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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

Andrew Maxwell

Biography


You are most glorious, O Christ our God! You have established the Holy Fathers as lights on the earth! Through them you have guided us to the true faith! O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You!


The Apostles’ preaching and the Fathers’ doctrines have established one faith for the Church. Adorned with the robe of truth, woven from heavenly theology, it defines and glorifies the great mystery of Orthodoxy!


Beloved in Christ,


The liturgical life of the Orthodox Christian has its own special ebb and flow.  It is marked by feasts and fasts as well as the times in between.  Through the course of the year we commemorate those moments and events in the life of the Lord that are significant because they are the story of our salvation.  Of course, the greatest moment in salvation history and the most significant of our commemorations is that of the Lord’s victory over death in the glories of His Resurrection.  We recently celebrated this on Pascha, we continue to celebrate it now during the forty days of the Paschal Season (until the Eve of the Ascension), and we commemorate it every Sunday throughout the year.

In the next few weeks, however, our focus will change as we celebrate the Great Feast of the Lord’s Ascension into Heaven (May 25th this year).  Then, having celebrated the Lord’s return in glory to His Father’s right hand, we  spend ten prayerful days in anticipation of the Feast of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Lord’s apostles and disciples.  The days between these two feasts are quiet, simple, still days of prayer.  There are no specially-appointed Divine Services.  During these days nothing out of the ordinary that takes place in the liturgical life of the Church.  

For some, these inter-festal days might be seen as somewhat boring. But, then, there are a lot of people who do not know how to live without excitement, without the sense that something “special” is happening.  Whether it comes from the pleasures of life, leisure, or from crisis, there are those who simply thrive on activity, on doing things, on solving problems, on getting things done, on adrenalin.

In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles we’re told that, after the Lord’s Ascension, the disciples found themselves in this kind of situation, in a period of quiet waiting - now they found themselves having to face a period in which they would simply have to wait for Christ's promise to them to come true.

The Lord had taught them, he encouraged them, he commissioned them to do a job, and then - on the day of his ascension into heaven, when they were anxiously asking him when his kingdom would be established, when the next phase of the divine plan would take place, he tells them that it is not for them to know the times or periods established by God - but that they should go back to Jerusalem - and wait, wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit - wait for the power they would need to witness to him there, and in Judea and all of Samaria, and ultimately in all the world.

Living between times, living between occasions in which all of our minds and hearts and energy are absorbed can, in fact, be quite wonderful. It can be for us  a “pause that refreshes,”  a time in which we gain strength, a time in which we quietly grow and are prepared for that which will come next. God knows that we too need periods of rest - periods of waiting - periods in which we can be changed, refreshed, and renewed.

During these days as we transition from Pascha to the Lord’s Ascension, to Pentecost (June 4), and beyond; as we prepare for the coming summer months with their own special focus of rest and respite, let’s attempt to quiet down a bit, to enter more deeply into the spirit of hopeful prayer and waiting for the Lord’s promises to us to be fulfilled. Let us “wait upon the Lord.” After the Lord’s Ascension, the apostles and disciples stayed together and they prayed - and in so doing, they prepared themselves for the job Jesus had told them that they would do when the Holy Spirit came upon them as He had promised it would.

As Jesus told the disciples, the Lord also tells us:  “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you - and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria—and to the ends of the world.”  May these days be prayerful days of reflection and preparation as we prepare to celebrate the Great Feast of Pentecost and as we prepare ourselves anew for the mission the Lord has entrusted to us.

Indeed He is risen!

With love in the Risen 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 May

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The Most Blessed TIKHON
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Metropolitan of All America and Canada


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Archbishop of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West


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Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.


But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.


Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

Commemorated on May 28


On the seventh Sunday of Pascha, we commemorate the holy God-bearing Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.


The Commemoration of the First Ecumenical Council has been celebrated by the Church of Christ from ancient times. The Lord Jesus Christ left the Church a great promise, “I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18). Although the Church of Christ on earth will pass through difficult struggles with the Enemy of salvation, it will emerge victorious. The holy martyrs bore witness to the truth of the Savior’s words, enduring suffering and death for confessing Christ, but the persecutor’s sword is shattered by the Cross of Christ.

Persecution of Christians ceased during the fourth century, but heresies arose within the Church itself. One of the most pernicious of these heresies was Arianism. Arius, a priest of Alexandria, was a man of immense pride and ambition. In denying the divine nature of Jesus Christ and His equality with God the Father, Arius falsely taught that the Savior is not consubstantial with the Father, but is only a created being.


A local Council, convened with Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria presiding, condemned the false teachings of Arius. However, Arius would not submit to the authority of the Church. He wrote to many bishops, denouncing the decrees of the local Council. He spread his false teaching throughout the East, receiving support from certain Eastern bishops.


Investigating these dissentions, the holy emperor Constantine (May 21) consulted Bishop Hosius of Cordova (Aug. 27), who assured him that the heresy of Arius was directed against the most fundamental dogma of Christ’s Church, and so he decided to convene an Ecumenical Council. In 325, 318 bishops representing Christian Churches from various lands gathered together at Nicea.


Among the assembled bishops were many confessors who had suffered during the persecutions, and who bore the marks of torture upon their bodies. Also participating in the Council were several great luminaries of the Church: Saint Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia (December 6 and May 9), Saint Spyridon, Bishop of Tremithos (December 12), and others venerated by the Church as holy Fathers.


With Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria came his deacon, Athanasius (who later became Patriarch of Alexandria (May 2 and January 18). He is called “the Great,” for he was a zealous champion for the purity of Orthodoxy. In the Sixth Ode of the Canon for today’s Feast, he is referred to as “the thirteenth Apostle.”


The emperor Constantine presided over the sessions of the Council. In his speech, responding to the welcome by Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, he said, “God has helped me cast down the impious might of the persecutors, but more distressful for me than any blood spilled in battle is for a soldier, is the internal strife in the Church of God, for it is more ruinous.”


Arius, with seventeen bishops among his supporters, remained arrogant, but his teaching was repudiated and he was excommunicated from the Church. In his speech, the holy deacon Athanasius conclusively refuted the blasphemous opinions of Arius. The heresiarch Arius is depicted in iconography sitting on Satan’s knees, or in the mouth of the Beast of the Deep (Rev. 13).


The Fathers of the Council declined to accept a Symbol of Faith (Creed) proposed by the Arians. Instead, they affirmed the Orthodox Symbol of Faith. Saint Constantine asked the Council to insert into the text of the Symbol of Faith the word “consubstantial,” which he had heard in the speeches of the bishops. The Fathers of the Council unanimously accepted this suggestion.


In the Nicean Creed, the holy Fathers set forth and confirmed the Apostolic teachings about Christ’s divine nature. The heresy of Arius was exposed and repudiated as an error of haughty reason. After resolving this chief dogmatic question, the Council also issued Twelve Canons on questions of churchly administration and discipline. Also decided was the date for the celebration of Holy Pascha. By decision of the Council, Holy Pascha should not be celebrated by Christians on the same day with the Jewish Passover, but on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal equinox (which occured on March 22 in 325).


The First Ecumenical Council is also commemorated on May 29.

Consecration of Sretensky Monastery's Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church (VIDEO)

May 25, 2017, on the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrated the rite of the Great Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ and the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church in Sretensky Monastery and led the Divine Liturgy in the newly-consecrated church. Russian president Vladimir V. Putin was present at the Divine service.