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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

Through faith You justified the Forefathers, betrothing through them the Church of the gentiles. These saints exult in glory, for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: She who bore You without seed. So by their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us!

You did not worship the graven image, O thrice-blessed ones, but armed with the immaterial Essence of God, you were glorified glorified in a trial by fire. From the midst of unbearable flames you called on God, crying: Hasten, O compassionate One! Speedily come to our aid, for You are merciful and able to do as You will.


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Those of us who are of a certain age might remember the days when, even in public schools such as the one I attended, there was never any controversy surrounding the annual school “Christmas Program” and no questioning of the fact that it could be understood as exactly that: a Christmas program which highlighted the celebration of Christ’s Birth, albeit with Santa and his elves, Rudolph, and Frosty also taking the stage.  I remember well, when I was in the third grade, that my class, all of us dressed as angels, walked into the school auditorium, went on stage and mounted the risers (with one of my classmates dressed as the Virgin Mary clinging onto her baby doll) to sing “Silent Night,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and a relatively new and modern Christmas song, “Do You Hear What I Hear?”  Some fifty and more years later, this Christmas song has found its way into the canon of Christmas music, has been recorded by countless artists, and is played and sung regularly throughout the Christmas season.

Because we so often hear and sing Christmas carols and songs without putting a lot of thought to their words or their meaning, I think it’s worth taking the time to reflect upon the few simple lines of this now-popular song:

“Do you hear what I hear? A song, a song, high above the trees with a voice as big as the sea…”

“Do you see what I see? A star, a star, dancing in the night with a tail as big as a kite…”

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king, “Do you know what I know?”
In your palace warm, mighty king, “Do you know what I know?”
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold, Let us bring Him silver and gold; Let us bring Him silver and gold.

Said the king to the people everywhere, ”Listen to what I say; Pray for peace, people everywhere! Listen to what I say!”
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night -He will bring us goodness and light…
He will bring us goodness and light…

As we hear and sing these words again during this year’s celebration of Christ’s Birth, we are invited to remember that we, as Orthodox Christians, have something to tell the world, something valuable to share.  We are called to tell the world what we have seen, what we have heard, and what we know through our own life experience and the Faith we share: that the Child Whose birth we celebrate, that Child who “shivers in the cold” of the cave in Bethlehem, is the Word Made Flesh, the Splendor of the Father.  The infant born of Mary is the Son of God Who “came into the world to save sinners…”  And all we do in our lives, both now in this holy season and throughout the year, is about Him!

Every day of the year provides us the opportunity to share our faith with others, but we are all too often reluctant to discuss our faith with others for fear of somehow offending those around us who may not be religious, or otherwise somehow being seen as somewhat “out of touch,” or because we’re afraid we don’t know enough about our faith to speak about it.  However, take courage in the fact that this “most wonderful time of the year,” the Christmas season, provides a possibly “safer” and possibly more natural time to share with others about what we believe, about how we celebrate and what we celebrate, about our church and parish activities and customs, about the services we attend and the joy that surrounds all we do in our church and in our homes.  I invite you to take advantage of this special season to share your faith – a sharing that can be done in a very natural way, without worrying about how much you know or don’t know.  For what you share is really about Who you share: Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Mary born in the cave in Bethlehem, the One you know as your Lord and Savior.

What the Holy Apostle and Evangelist writes in his first Epistle sums up the message we bring to the world: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ (1 John 1:1-3).  Indeed, what we share and what we celebrate in this holy season is about what we have heard, seen, touched… and know.

I extend my prayerful best wishes for a blessed and holy celebration for all of you.  May He Who was born in a cave and laid in a manger, Christ our True God, bless you and yours abundantly now and throughout the New Year.


With love in the Lord,

+Bishop Daniel

Church Etiquette

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December

Newsletter & Calendar

Today’s Saint

Fasting Seasons

of the

Church

Daily Prayers

Morning Prayers

Evening Prayers

Prayer to The

Theotokos

Love Without Limits

Today’s Scripture Readings

Reflections in Christ

Parish Contacts


Bishop Daniel, Rector

bishopdaniel@sspeterpaulaz.org


480-287-0240

Father David Balmer, Attached, Retired

frdavidb@sspeterpaulaz.org


480-213-7631

Deacon Drew Maxwell

deacondrew@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

Orthodox Church in America Links

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Orthodox Sites

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OCA.org

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Youth & Young Adults

pravmir.com

pravoslavie.ru

Mospat.ru/en

patriarchia.ru/

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 Bishop Daniel’s Message for December

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

Teen and Young Adult League

Project Mexico 2017!


Click Here For Flyer with Full Details


We will be going to Mexico with a large pan-orthodox group from the valley, about 35+. I am not sure exactly how many spots Saints Peter and Paul will get, but I'm hoping 7 to 10.


FUNDRAISING will be our focus over the next few months as we prepare to be a part of Project Mexico 2017!

June 7th  through the 13th, 2017 are the tentative dates for us to travel to Mexico and build a home. These dates will be confirmed after we register in October.

3rd Quarter Visitor Stats

Sunday of the Forefathers


The Sunday that falls between December 11-17 is known as the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers. These are the ancestors of Christ according to the flesh, who lived before the Law and under the Law, especially the Patriarch Abraham, to whom God said, “In thy seed shall all of the nations of the earth be blessed”

(Gen. 12:3, 22:18).







Synaxis of the Saints of Georgia


Having examined the history of Georgia and the hagiographical treasures attesting to the faith of the Georgian nation, we become convinced that Heavenly Georgia— the legion of Georgian saints, extolling the Lord in the Heavenly Kingdom with a single voice—is infinitely glorious. It is unknown how many cleansed themselves of their earthly sins in merciless warfare with the enemy of Christ, or how many purified their souls in unheated cells through prayer, fasting, and ascetic labors.


To God alone are known the names of those ascetics, forgotten by history, who by their humble labors tirelessly forged the future of the Georgian Church and people.


St. George of the Holy Mountain wrote: “From the time we recognized the one true God, we have never renounced Him, nor have our people ever yielded to heresy.”


A decree of the Church Council of Ruisi-Urbnisi states: “We will not depart from thee, the Catholic Church which bore us in holiness, nor will we betray thee, our pride—Orthodoxy—to which we have always been faithful, for we have been granted the honor to know thee, the witness of the Truth Itself!” This relationship to Orthodoxy is the cornerstone of the life of every Georgian believer.


It is impossible to count the names of all those Christians who have been raised up from the earthly Church in Georgia to the heavens, let alone to describe all the godly deeds they have performed. For this reason December 11 has been set aside for the commemoration not only of the saints whose Lives are known to us but also of the nearly three hundred more whose names, but not stories, have been preserved as well.


Most Georgian people bear the name of a saint who is commemorated on this day, and they entreat the saint to intercede before the Lord in their behalf.

The Patriarch’s Photo Album: The Soviet Years  (Click here to view)


On November 20, 2016 His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kyrill turned 70 years old.  The press-office of the Patriarch together with Pravmir are offering their readers black-and-white photos of the first years of the service of the Primate of the Russian Church as well as photos that witness to the tragic time in the life of his father and grandfather. .

Metropolitan Tikhon, OCA delegation in Moscow

(Click to read Part 1 of 2)

(Click to read Part 2 of 2)

Announcements for December


Saint Nicholas Community Outreach

Our parishioners are invited to join together on Saturday, December 10, as we host our friends and neighbors for a Christmas party.  It is at this time that the Christmas gifts donated by parishioners will be distributed to the local neighborhood children.


Parish Family Christmas Caroling: Let’s Sing Like the Angels!

Please join us in sharing the spirit of the Christmas Holiday with our neighbors and friends.  We will be Christmas caroling around the church neighborhood as a follow-up to our Christmas Outreach event with our neighborhood children.   Let’s take advantage of the joyful spirit of the season to be friendly and celebrate with our neighbors. Date:  Saturday, December 10, 2016 at  3:45 p.m. (we will gather in the church parking lot and leave from there, on foot, at 4:00 p.m) Please feel free to bring a hot beverage to help keep warm.  We will conclude with Vespers in the church at 5:00 p.m.  Music Sheets Will be Provided! All are welcome!  For more information, send all questions to Anne Ferbrache via email (eaferbrache@gmail.com) or text 602-999-5179.


Saint Nicholas Celebration

Our annual visit from Saint Nicholas will take place during coffee hour on Sunday, December 11th.  Saint Nicholas will join us in preparing for our celebration of Christ’s Birth and, as he always does, distribute pre-Christmas “treats” to the young and to the young at heart.


Feast of Saint Herman of Alaska

December 13th marks the Feast of Saint Herman of Alaska, the first saint glorified in North America.  The Orthodox Church in America rejoices in the life and example of Saint Herman and gives thanks for his intercession for us before the Lord.  This is also the nameday of His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN.  The Divine Liturgy in celebration of this feast will be celebrated on Tuesday, December 13, at 9:00 a.m.  Many years to His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN!  Eis polla eti Despota!


Christmas Flower Donations

Please donate toward the Christmas Flower fund in order to help beautify our church for the bright and festive celebration of Christ’s Birth


Parish Christmas Card

To have your name included in the Parish Christmas Card, please fill out a form available in the vestibule of the church or at the bookstore counter.  Deadline is December 13th.


Holy Supper on Christmas Eve

In many Slavic cultures, it is traditional for families to gather for a special meal on the Eve of the Nativity of Christ. This meal has come to be known as the “Holy Supper” or “Vigilia.” Traditional symbolic foods are shared as part of the Christmas celebration. Our parish family also observes this tradi­tional Christmas Eve observance every year. This year’s Holy Supper will take place in the Parish Cultural Hall following Compline at 5:00 p.m. Please contact Marty Gala to confirm that you will attend this special celebration of Our Lord’s Nativity.


SCHEDULE OF SERVICES

Saturday Dec. 24th , Eve of the Nativity

Compline at 5:00 pm, followed by Holy Supper.

Sunday Dec. 25th , Nativity Of Our Lord

Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am

CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!


LITURGICAL TRAINING PRACTICUM

Our parish will serve as the setting for a Liturgical Training Practicum sponsored by the Diaconal Vocations Program of the Diocese of the West, January 13-15, 2017.  Participants from around the Diocese, as well as from our own parish, will have the opportunity to be further trained in the manner of serving the Divine Liturgy, with special emphasis being given to the Divine Liturgy as it is served by a Hierarch.  Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov and Bishop Daniel will be the instructors and also provide guidance to the deacons, subdeacons, readers and altar servers who participate.  We look forward to welcoming our guests.