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About Us




Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church

1614 E Monte Vista Road

Phoenix, Arizona 85006


Regular Services


 5:00 PM  Great Vespers


 9:00 AM  Divine Liturgy

The Right Reverend DANIEL, Bishop of Santa Rosa, Rector

Priest David Balmer, Attached, Retired


Alexis Washington

Dweller of the desert and angel in the body, you were shown to be a wonder-worker, our God-bearing Father Auxentius. You received heavenly gifts through fasting, vigil, and prayer: healing the sick and the souls of those drawn to you by faith. Glory to Him who gave you strength! Glory to Him who granted you a crown! Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!

You delighted in abstinence, restraining the desires of the flesh. Divinely wise and holy Father Auxentius, you were revealed to be shining with faith,  blossoming like a plant in the midst of paradise.

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Bishop Daniel, Rector



Father David Balmer, Attached, Retired



Protodeacon Alexis Washington


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Barbara Peterson, Myrrh Bearers



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His Grace, Bishop DANIEL, offered the following reflection at the recent annual parish meeting, Sunday, January 31, 2016.

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Glory to Jesus Christ!

As we come together today for our annual parish meeting, I still have fresh in my mind the beautiful festivities of just last Sunday as we celebrated the Divine Liturgy and as you honored me on the occasion of the first anniversary of my consecration to the Holy Episcopacy.  I was deeply touched and am deeply grateful for the many outpourings of love and appreciation that were expressed on that memorable occasion.  And I pray that the Lord will continue to make me worthy of such love, trust, and support.

Last Sunday marked the first year anniversary of the beginning of a new phase of my service to Christ’s Holy Church.  But it also marked the anniversary of a new beginning for all of us here at Saints Peter and Paul as this parish was singled out to be placed under the archpastoral care of a bishop of the Church.  It also marked a new way of doing things – those things which relate specifically to a bishop – and, also, since it took place in January it marked the beginning of yet another year of this parish’s long history of service to Christ and to Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church.

Reflecting back on this past year we can easily observe that the Lord has continued to bless us.  We have continued to gather to observe the ebb and flow of the Church’s liturgical cycle- the fasting and the feasting and all the days in between- those days through which we are able to remember and to celebrate the history of our salvation and “all those things that have come to pass for us: the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the Third Day, the Ascension into Heaven, and the Second and Glorious Coming,” as we pray in the Anaphora of the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.  Our gathering for worship Sunday after Sunday, feastday after feastday, season after season, remains the first and foremost responsibility (and privilege) of any Orthodox Christian community- our liturgical gathering is the highest form of our praise and worship- and the first and foremost blessing given to us as Orthodox Christians.

Throughout the past year, we have also been blessed by God through His gift to us of many new members.  We all know that our numbers here at Saints Peter and Paul Church have increased.  This is easily observable. In this we can see, right before our very eyes, that the miracle of Pentecost continues in our own day.  As we read in the Second Chapter of the Acts of the Holy Apostles, following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church on the Day of Pentecost, the Church continues to grow.  Saint Luke writes words that reflect the Church in our own day and the Church here in our own community: “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47).  We see this dynamic in the earliest days of the Church being repeated in our own day, here in our own community.

This growth is easily measured even in the way we accomplish tasks and work on various projects that arise in the course of the year.  One example (although not the only, for sure) is seen in our recent celebration of the Nativity Holidays.  During the Holy Season just past, people came together as never before to 1) decorate the Temple; and 2) to reach out in love to our neighbors in the Christmas Outreach program.  Not to mention that added assistance the Myrrhbearers Altar Society has received in its projects and the fine work being done through our parish Teen/Young Adult League (T/YAL).

This is certainly a great blessing to us—a blessing which we should pause to reflect upon.  But why has the Lord found us worthy to welcome new members into this corner of His Vineyard here at Saints Peter and Paul Church?  Why have we been entrusted with receiving into our midst new brothers and sisters who desire to walk with us as faithful followers of Jesus Christ who profess the ancient and Orthodox Christian faith?  Why do people, even one-time visitors from other parishes around the country, respond so enthusiastically and warmly when they’re with us even if only for a Sunday visit?  I think there may be many answers to those questions.  And many reasons why we have been so blessed, especially throughout this past year.  But I remain firm in believing that the reason the Lord has given us this increase is because we, in our own simple way, have remained faithful to the call to be a hospitable, opening, inviting, warm and loving Christian community who loves the Lord and His Church and whose love is reflected in our prayer together and in all other aspects of our life.  Maybe more simply stated: We have remained faithful and steadfast in being who and what we are called to be as an Orthodox Christian parish community- and we have been blessed.  And we admit this not with pride, but with gratitude for the many mercies the Lord has shown us.

So today, as we gather again for another annual meeting, I ask that each and every one of us re-commit ourselves to that clear and simple call we have received and the clear and simple work which has been entrusted to us: 1) to grow in holiness as individuals and to become ever-more faithful members of Christ’s Church; 2) to grow in holiness as a parish community, to pray and celebrate together, and to welcome with love and with open, inviting arms those whom the Lord brings to our doorstep; 3) to recognize the many ways in which we serve one another and to support one another in that very service (we will hear more about this in the reports that are to be given); and 4) to live lives that bear witness to the saving power and presence of Christ in the midst of the world.  If we’re faithful in these things, we can be sure that the Lord will continue to be faithful to us.  And the mercies of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ will continue to be with us all.

Last Sunday, at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Archdeacon Kirill read a letter from His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon greeting me on the occasion of the first anniversary of my episcopal service in the Church.  It was a great personal honor to receive this letter from His Beatitude as well as a humbling reflection about my episcopal service to the Church at-large throughout the past year.  But the letter not only spoke to me and was not only about me.  Included in that letter (just in case you didn’t hear it) were words about this parish community- words about each one of you.  His Beatitude wrote: “I would also like to express my gratitude to the faithful parishioners of Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church for their love and care for their pastor…”   I, of course, add my gratitude to his.  But I also want to highlight those words as an expression of an important aspect of parish life.  That is: no bishop, no priest who stands at the Holy Altar and guides and shepherds the flock entrusted to him is able to do that without the love and care of that very same flock.  And I know that full well.

As you’ve heard me repeat and repeat throughout my nine-plus years of pastoral service here at Saints Peter and Paul: it’s not just about the priest or the bishop or about any one individual: its’ about each and every one of us doing our part, fulfilling our unique roles, working together, united in a common mission.  It’s all of us who make our parish what it is.  Our successes are everyone’s successes, our weaknesses and burdens also belong to everyone.  Therefore, I once again ask you to remain faithful, to do the work we have been given to do, to carry one another’s burdens, and to always keep your eyes fixed on the only goal, the only success of true importance: the Kingdom of Heaven which awaits us.

My prayer continues to be the prayer found in the 80th Psalm, the prayer invoked by every bishop when he celebrates the Divine Liturgy as he blesses those gathered around him in prayer: “Look down from heaven O God, and behold and visit this Vine which Thy right hand hast planted… and establish it!” (Psalm 80:14).

Glory to Jesus Christ!

 Bishop Daniel’s Message for February


Orthodox Churches

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Assumption Greek Orthodox Church

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church

St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church

St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church

St. John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox Church

Exaltation of The Holy Cross Orthodox Church

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church

For more information about our local monasteries, visit their websites

Saint John of San Francisco Monastery

Monastery of Saint Anthony the Great

Saint Paisius Monastery

Building Hope

for Boys Without


And Families

Without Homes

Sunday of Zacchaeus

The paschal season of the Church is preceded by the season of Great Lent, which is also preceded by its own liturgical preparation. The first sign of the approach of Great Lent comes five Sundays before its beginning. On this Sunday the Gospel reading is about Zacchaeus the tax-collector. It tells how Christ brought salvation to the sinful man, and how his life was changed simply because he “sought to see who Jesus was” (Luke 19:3). The desire and effort to see Jesus begins the entire movement through Lent towards Pascha. It is the first movement of salvation.

Our lenten journey begins with a recognition of our own sinfulness, just as Zacchaeus recognized his. He promised to make restitution by giving half of his wealth to the poor, and by paying to those he had falsely accused four times as much as they had lost. In this, he went beyond the requirements of the Law (Ex. 22:3-12).

The example of Zacchaeus teaches us that we should turn away from our sins, and atone for them. The real proof of our sorrow and repentance is not just a verbal apology, but when we correct ourselves and try to make amends for the consequences of our evil actions.

We are also assured of God’s mercy and compassion by Christ’s words to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation is come to this house” (Luke 19:9). After the Great Doxology at Sunday Matins (when the Tone of the week is Tone 1, 3, 5, 7) we sing the Dismissal Hymn of the Resurrection “Today salvation has come to the world,” which echoes the Lord’s words to Zacchaeus.

Zacchaeus was short, so he climbed a tree in order to see the Lord. All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). We are also short in our spiritual stature, therefore we must climb the ladder of the virtues. In other words, we must prepare for spiritual effort and growth.

St Zacchaeus is also commemorated on April 20.

Venerable Auxentius of Bithynia

Saint Auxentius, by origin a Syrian, served at the court of the emperor Theodosius the Younger (418-450). He was known as a virtuous, learned and wise man, and he was, moreover, a friend of many of the pious men of his era.

Distressed by worldly vanity, St Auxentius was ordained to the holy priesthood, and then received monastic tonsure. After this he went to Bithynia and found a solitary place on Mount Oxia, not far from Chalcedon, and there he began the life of a hermit (This mountain was afterwards called Mt. Auxentius). The place of the saint’s efforts was discovered by shepherds seeking their lost sheep. They told others about him, and people began to come to him for healing. St Auxentius healed many of the sick and the infirm in the name of the Lord.

In the year 451 St Auxentius was invited to the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon, where he denounced the Eutychian and Nestorian heresies. Familiar with Holy Scripture and learned in theology, St Auxentius easily bested those opponents who disputed with him. After the end of the Council, St Auxentius returned to his solitary cell on the mountain. With his spiritual sight he saw the repose of St Simeon the Stylite (459) from a great distance.

St Auxentius died about the year 470, leaving behind him disciples and many monasteries in the region of Bithynia. He was buried in the Monastery of St Hypatius at Rufiananas, Syria.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, February 10th

NO Adult Education this week!

2016 Pan-Orthodox Vespers Schedule

ALASKA IN AUGUST?  Escape the Phoenix heat?

Nicholas Bock is organizing a pilgrimage to celebrate the 46th anniversary of the canonization of ST. HERMAN on August 9th, 2016.

If you are interested and would like more information please feel free to contact Nicholas via email:  nickbock@hotmail.com or

phone @ 803-493-4502.

Please notate your email with Pilgrimage in the subject line.

Thank you to everyone for the wonderful celebration on the occasion of the first anniversary of my Episcopal Consecration.  The outpouring of love and support, the kind words, cards, and gifts are all deeply appreciated.  May the Lord continue to bless you and yours!

With love in Christ,

+Bishop Daniel