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Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church

1614 E Monte Vista Road

Phoenix, Arizona 85006

602-253-9515

Regular Services

Saturday:  

 5:00 PM  Great Vespers

Sunday:

 9:00 AM  Divine Liturgy


The Right Reverend DANIEL, Bishop of Santa Rosa, Rector


Priest David Balmer, Attached, Retired


Deacon

Drew Maxwell

Biography

Having learned goodness and maintaining continence in all things, you were arrayed with a good conscience as befits a priest. From the chosen Vessel you drew ineffable mysteries; you kept the faith, and finished a course equal to His. Bishop martyr Timothy, entreat Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Let us the faithful praise the Holy Apostle Timothy, the companion of Paul in his travels and together with him let us honor the wise Anastasius, who came as a star from Persia for the healing of the passions of our souls and the diseases of our bodies.


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,



As we arrive at the beginning of this New Year, we continue to rejoice in the bright and joyous feast of the Nativity of Christ.  And, indeed, we at Saints Peter and Paul Church were blessed with a beautiful, bright, and joyous celebration!  Allow me to extend my deep gratitude to all who prepared for this celebration, (all those “behind-the-scene” preparations- and they were many), to all those who contributed in any way to the celebration, and to all who participated and were present to pray and celebrate with us.  It is such a blessing for each one of us, as individuals, and for all of us together to come together as a loving community, to give thanks to God for His many blessings, and to commemorate the great moments in the history of our salvation.

We now continue forward in the festal cycle of the Nativity-Theophany.  We will gather again in solemn and joyous prayer on January 5 & 6 to celebrate the Feast of the Theophany, commemorating the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan and the revelation of the Most Holy Trinity—the revelation of God Himself.

Saint John, Archbishop of San Francisco, the Wonderworker, preaching about the Feast of the Theophany, writes, “When celebrating the Theophany, we call to remembrance both that God was made known to people as Trinity and that Jesus was revealed to people as Christ. Where was Christ revealed? Where was His work begun? Did He go to a great city to be revealed there in His Glory? Did He ascend a high mountain, with a crowd of many thousands standing below and looking up at Him like a wonder? No! Christ went into the desert, to the River Jordan, where John was baptizing the people. John preached repentance, calling upon sinners to be baptized in the Jordan as a sign of repentance. Christ, Who has no sin, now comes and asks for baptism as a sinner. John was fearful: “You should baptize me!” Jesus replies: “Let it be so now: for this is how we should fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:13-15).

As we remember this revelation, this THEOPHANY, and the moment of the Lord’s Baptism by John, we are invited to also recall our own Baptism and its significance in our lives.  Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco comments on this, “By His immersion in the Jordan, Christ sanctified not only the waters of the Jordan, but the whole nature of the waters, as the Church cries out in its hymns: “Christ hath appeared in the Jordan to sanctify the waters” (troparion of the forefeast); “Today the nature of the waters is sanctified” (troparion at the Blessing of the Waters). Since there is water everywhere, by sanctifying the waters, Christ thereby sanctified all of creation and the entire universe. Christ prepared nature that it, too, might experience the beneficial consequences of the sacrifice that He came to offer. But this was not yet everything. He gave the waters the power to cleanse human sin. The baptism of John was only a sign of repentance. Christian Baptism is a new birth and the forgiveness of all sins. God punished the sin of the first world with water, destroying it in a flood of waters. Now God saves people with water in the Mystery of Baptism.”

Saint John reminds us here not only of the great revelation that took place on the banks of the River Jordan but that, in celebrating the feast, we also recall our own Baptism and what it means for us.  Indeed, he calls us to remember that in Baptism we have been given a new birth, a new life.  And that we have been saved through the Mystery of Baptism—for through it we have been given a share in the very life of Christ Himself.

As we gather for the celebration of the Feast, let us take the opportunity to reflect upon the meaning of our Baptism- what Baptism means in our own lives.  And, since this feast comes at the beginning of a New (Civil) Year and many are involved in making resolutions about how to live the next twelve months, let us place at the top of our list of resolutions the resolution to recommit ourselves to living the baptismal life- a life of fidelity to Him who was baptized in the Jordan “for us and for our salvation,” to grow in holiness, and to increase our personal participation in the life of the Church and the life and activities of our parish community.

Be assured of my continued prayers for you and for all your loved ones.  As we enter yet another New Year, let us continue to pray and work together for the building up of Christ’s Kingdom.


With love in the Lord,

+Bishop Daniel

Church Etiquette

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Parish Contacts


Bishop Daniel, Rector

bishopdaniel@sspeterpaulaz.org


480-287-0240

Father David Balmer, Attached, Retired

frdavidb@sspeterpaulaz.org


480-213-7631

Deacon Andrew Maxwell

deaconandrew@sspeterpaulaz.org


480-320-8059

Stephanie A. Homyak, Church School Director & Newsletter Editor

stephanie@sspeterpaulaz.org

623-869-0470

Barbara Peterson, Myrrh Bearers

barbara@sspeterpaulaz.org

602-278-1994

Andrew Evans, Council President

andy@sspeterpaulaz.org

480-948-7929

Pat Starkey, FOCA President

pabs5@cox.net

623-512-2021

Barbara Harp, Choir Director

bharp@vosymca.org


Mara Hecht, Teen & Young Adult League   

mara@sspeterpaulaz.org


Mike Wagner, Webmaster   

mike@sspeterpaulaz.org

602-741-4950

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 Bishop Daniel’s Message for January

Visit our local Monasteries  websites

Saint John of San Francisco Monastery

Monastery of Saint Anthony the Great

Saint Paisius Monastery



Building Hope

for Boys Without

Families

And Families

Without Homes










The Most Blessed TIKHON
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada


Biography








The Most Reverend BENJAMIN
Archbishop of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West


Biography

4th Quarter Visitor Stats

Apostle Timothy of the Seventy

Commemorated on January 22


The Holy Apostle Timothy was from the Lycaonian city of Lystra in Asia Minor. Saint Timothy was converted to Christ in the year 52 by the holy Apostle Paul (June 29). When the Apostles Paul and Barnabas first visited the cities of Lycaonia, Saint Paul healed one crippled from birth. Many of the inhabitants of Lystra then believed in Christ, and among them was the future Saint Timothy, his mother Eunice and grandmother Loida (Lois) (Acts 14:6-12; 2 Tim. 1:5).


The seed of faith, planted in Saint Timothy’s soul by the Apostle Paul, brought forth abundant fruit. He became Saint Paul’s disciple, and later his constant companion and co-worker in the preaching of the Gospel. The Apostle Paul loved Saint Timothy and in his Epistles called him his beloved son, remembering his devotion and fidelity with gratitude.


He wrote to Timothy: “You have followed my teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, and patience” (2 Tim. 3:10-11). The Apostle Paul appointed Saint Timothy as Bishop of Ephesus, where the saint remained for fifteen years. Finally, when Saint Paul was in prison and awaiting martyrdom, he summoned his faithful friend, Saint Timothy, for a last farewell (2 Tim. 4:9).


Saint Timothy ended his life as a martyr. The pagans of Ephesus celebrated a festival in honor of their idols, and used to carry them through the city, accompanied by impious ceremonies and songs. Saint Timothy, zealous for the glory of God, attempted to halt the procession and reason with the spiritually blind idol-worshipping people, by preaching the true faith in Christ.


The pagans angrily fell upon the holy apostle, they beat him, dragged him along the ground, and finally, they stoned him. Saint Timothy’s martyrdom occurred in the year 93.


In the fourth century the holy relics of Saint Timothy were transferred to Constantinople and placed in the church of the Holy Apostles near the tombs of Saint Andrew (November 30) and Saint Luke (October 18). The Church honors Saint Timothy as one of the Apostles of the Seventy.


In Russian practice, the back of a priest’s cross is often inscribed with Saint Paul’s words to Saint Timothy: “Be an example to the believers in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).



Monkmartyr Anastasius the Persian

Commemorated on January 22


The Monk Martyr Anastasius the Persian was the son of a Persian sorcerer named Bavi. As a pagan, he had the name Magundates and served in the armies of the Persian emperor Chozroes II, who in 614 ravaged the city of Jerusalem and carried away the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord to Persia.


Great miracles occurred from the Cross of the Lord, and the Persians were astonished. The heart of young Magundates was inflamed with the desire to learn more about this sacred object. Asking everyone about the Holy Cross, the youth learned that upon it the Lord Himself was crucified for the salvation of mankind. He became acquainted with the truths of the Christian Faith in the city of Chalcedon, where the army of Chozroes was for a certain while. He was baptized with the name Anastasius, and then became a monk and spent seven years in one of the Jerusalem monasteries, living an ascetical life.


Reading the Lives of the holy martyrs, Saint Anastasius was inspired with the desire to imitate them. A mysterious dream, which he had on Great and Holy Saturday, the day before the Resurrection of Christ, urged him to do this.


Having fallen asleep after his daily tasks, he beheld a radiant man giving him a golden chalice filled with wine, who said to him, “Take this and drink.” Draining the chalice, he felt an ineffable delight. Saint Anastasius then realized that this vision was his call to martyrdom.


He went secretly from the monastery to Palestinian Caesarea. There he was arrested for being a Christian, and was brought to trial. The governor tried in every way to force Saint Anastasius to renounce Christ, threatening him with tortures and death, and promising him earthly honors and blessings. The saint, however, remained unyielding. Then they subjected him to torture: they beat him with rods, they lacerated his knees, they hung him up by the hands and tied a heavy stone to his feet, they exhausted him with confinement, and then wore him down with heavy work in the stone quarry with other prisoners.


Finally, the governor summoned Saint Anastasius and promised him his freedom if he would only say, “I am not a Christian.” The holy martyr replied, “I will never deny my Lord before you or anyone else, neither openly nor even while asleep. No one can compel me to do this while I am in my right mind.” Then by order of the emperor Chozroes, Saint Anastasius was strangled, then beheaded. After the death of Chozroes, the relics of the Monk Martyr Anastasius were transferred to Palestine, to the Anastasius monastery.

Announcements for January



IN ADDITION TO REGULAR SERVICES THIS MONTH:


Tuesday, January 24 – Blessed Xenia of St Petersburg,

    Divine Liturgy, 9:00 a.m.