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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


Protodeacon

Alexis Washington

Biography

Blessed art You O Christ Our God. You have revealed the fishermen as most wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit. Through them You drew the world into Your net O Lover of Man, Glory to You!





When the most High came down and confused the tongues, He divided the nations; But when He distributed the tongues of fire, He called all to unity. Therefore, with one voice, we glorify the All-holy Spirit!





















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Bishop Daniel, Rector

bishopdaniel@sspeterpaulaz.org

480-287-0240

Father David Balmer, Attached, Retired

frdavidb@sspeterpaulaz.org

480-213-7631

Protodeacon Alexis Washington

pdnalexis@sspeterpaulaz.org

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

Mike Wagner, Webmaster   

mike@sspeterpaulaz.org

602-741-4950

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Christ is risen!


As in the early morning hours of Holy Pascha, I greet you with the joyful announcement of Christ’s Resurrection, wishing you the continued joy of the Feast of Feasts.  Memories of our parish observance of Holy Week and Pascha are still fresh in our minds as we walk with the Risen Lord during these 40 full days of celebration.

Having completed our 40 days of fasting, we now rejoice in our 40 days of feasting.

I am grateful to each and every one of our parishioners who made our Great Lent, Holy Week, and Pascha to be spiritually uplifting and fulfilling… and so very beautiful and inspiring.  So many people were involved in so very many aspects of those days that it would be difficult (and risky) to attempt to prepare a list of names of those who should be thanked.  There were so many areas of dedicated involvement and service—cleaning, decorating, singing, praying, reading, directing, traveling to and from church, serving in the Altar, baking and cooking, dyeing eggs, ironing and changing covers and servers robes, setting up and taking down and setting up again…  and so many additional things taking place “behind the scenes” in order for everything to be prepared as a fitting offering to the Lord.  All of this time, energy, and resources were all for one purpose: to give glory to the Lord Jesus Christ in celebration of His victory over darkness, sin, and death itself.  All was done to give glory to the Triune God.

Now that Great Lent and Holy Week have passed and we are fully into the Paschal Season and heading toward the 50th day celebration of Pentecost, the challenge before us is to preserve the brightness, joy, and excitement of the Feast of Feasts!  We do not want to allow our paschal greeting, “Christ is risen!” to be a mere habit or something that is simply routine, even though we’ve all returned to our normal schedules, everyday duties, and maybe even the monotony of our daily lives.  No, we want to make our daily lives, in and out of season, to be true reflections of the joy of Pascha Night itself.  (We remember that Saint Seraphim of Sarov greeted the people who came to him with the paschal greeting, no matter the time of the year). All we do, whether during Pascha or throughout the rest of the year, is to be done for one and the same purpose: to proclaim Christ’s victory over sin and death in the glory of His Resurrection- to proclaim the Good News that is the Gospel.  And to give glory to God.  

Let us, each and every one of us, do our part in keeping the joy of Pascha alive and vibrant in our parish, in our homes and families, with our friends and acquaintances, and in our daily lives—throughout the 40 days and throughout the entire year.  I wish to express my gratitude to God for all of you, (priests, clergy, and faithful alike) for your participation in the life of our parish, and for your many personal kindnesses to me--  and, most importantly, for how your lives and faith inspire me to walk ever more closely with Christ, our Crucified and Risen Savior.

Indeed He is risen!


With love in the Risen Lord,

+Bishop Daniel


 Bishop Daniel’s Message for May

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

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.


Holy Pentecost

In the Church’s annual liturgical cycle, Pentecost is “the last and great day.” It is the celebration by the Church of the coming of the Holy Spirit as the end—the achievement and fulfillment—of the entire history of salvation. For the same reason, however, it is also the celebration of the beginning: it is the “birthday” of the Church as the presence among us of the Holy Spirit, of the new life in Christ, of grace, knowledge, adoption to God and holiness.

This double meaning and double joy is revealed to us, first of all, in the very name of the feast. Pentecost in Greek means fifty, and in the sacred biblical symbolism of numbers, the number fifty symbolizes both the fulness of time and that which is beyond time: the Kingdom of God itself. It symbolizes the fulness of time by its first component: 49, which is the fulness of seven (7 x 7): the number of time. And, it symbolizes that which is beyond time by its second component: 49 + 1, this one being the new day, the “day without evening” of God’s eternal Kingdom. With the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s disciples, the time of salvation, the Divine work of redemption has been completed, the fulness revealed, all gifts bestowed: it belongs to us now to “appropriate” these gifts, to be that which we have become in Christ: participants and citizens of His Kingdom.

THE VIGIL OF PENTECOST

The all-night Vigil service begins with a solemn invitation:

“Let us celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit,
The appointed day of promise, and the fulfillment of hope,
The mystery which is as great as it is precious.”

In the coming of the Spirit, the very essence of the Church is revealed:

“The Holy Spirit provides all,
Overflows with prophecy, fulfills the priesthood,
Has taught wisdom to illiterates, has revealed fishermen as theologians,
He brings together the whole council of the Church.”

In the three readings of the Old Testament (Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29; Joel 2:23-32; Ezekiel 36:24-28) we hear the prophecies concerning the Holy Spirit. We are taught that the entire history of mankind was directed towards the day on which God “would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh.” This day has come! All hope, all promises, all expectations have been fulfilled. At the end of the Aposticha hymns, for the first time since Easter, we sing the hymn: “O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth...,” the one with which we inaugurate all our services, all prayers, which is, as it were, the life-breath of the Church, and whose coming to us, whose “descent” upon us in this festal Vigil, is indeed the very experience of the Holy Spirit “coming and abiding in us.”

Having reached its climax, the Vigil continues as an explosion of joy and light for “verily the light of the Comforter has come and illumined the world.” In the Gospel reading (John 20:19-23) the feast is interpreted to us as the feast of the Church, of her divine nature, power and authority. The Lord sends His disciples into the world, as He Himself was sent by His Father. Later, in the antiphons of the Liturgy, we proclaim the universality of the apostles’ preaching, the cosmical significance of the feast, the sanctification of the whole world, the true manifestation of God’s Kingdom.

THE VESPERS OF PENTECOST

The liturgical peculiarity of Pentecost is a very special Vespers of the day itself. Usually this service follows immediately the Divine Liturgy, is “added” to it as its own fulfillment. The service begins as a solemn “summing up” of the entire celebration, as its liturgical synthesis. We hold flowers in our hands symbolizing the joy of the eternal spring, inaugurated by the coming of the Holy Spirit. After the festal Entrance, this joy reaches its climax in the singing of the Great Prokeimenon:

“Who is so great a God as our God?”

Then, having reached this climax, we are invited to kneel. This is our first kneeling since Easter. It signifies that after these fifty days of Paschal joy and fulness, of experiencing the Kingdom of God, the Church now is about to begin her pilgrimage through time and history. It is evening again, and the night approaches, during which temptations and failures await us, when, more than anything else, we need Divine help, that presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who has already revealed to us the joyful End, who now will help us in our effort towards fulfillment and salvation.

All this is revealed in the three prayers which the celebrant reads now as we all kneel and listen to him. In the first prayer, we bring to God our repentance, our increased appeal for forgiveness of sins, the first condition for entering into the Kingdom of God.

In the second prayer, we ask the Holy Spirit to help us, to teach us to pray and to follow the true path in the dark and difficult night of our earthly existence. Finally, in the third prayer, we remember all those who have achieved their earthly journey, but who are united with us in the eternal God of Love.

The joy of Easter has been completed and we again have to wait for the dawn of the Eternal Day. Yet, knowing our weakness, humbling ourselves by kneeling, we also know the joy and the power of the Holy Spirit who has come. We know that God is with us, that in Him is our victory.

Thus is completed the feast of Pentecost and we enter “the ordinary time” of the year. Yet, every Sunday now will be called “after Pentecost”—and this means that it is from the power and light of these fifty days that we shall receive our own power, the Divine help in our daily struggle. At Pentecost we decorate our churches with flowers and green branches—for the Church “never grows old, but is always young.” It is an evergreen, ever-living Tree of grace and life, of joy and comfort. For the Holy Spirit—“the Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life—comes and abides in us, and cleanses us from all impurity,” and fills our life with meaning, love, faith and hope.

Father Alexander Schmemann (1974)











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

PRAY • VOLUNTEER • DONATE

FOCUS North America

Summer Feeding

(Click for Details)

Volunteers are needed to deliver and serve meals.

We need you May23 – August 5!

Sign up to volunteer at

specific times at

WWW.FOCUSNORTHAMERICA.ORG/PHOENIX

For questions email

SDAWSON@FOCUSNA.ORG