Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church
Phoenix, Arizona
Bishop Daniel’s Message for September

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the Book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon writes the following familiar words, popularized by the musical group “The Birds” in the mid-1960’s:

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; KJV)

As the summer months draw to an end and as we who live in the Valley of the Sun look forward to the all-too-slow-in-coming cooler days, we, as Orthodox Christians note that September 1st marked the “turning” of time and the beginning of the New Church Year.  While we are accustomed to celebrating January 1st of each year as the beginning of the civil year, we should be aware that January 1 as the beginning of the year, as the time to begin using new calendars and the day to make resolutions is really, in the greater historical context, a more recent practice.

While thinking of September 1 as the beginning of a new year may seem a quaint historical practice or even unusual to us, the beginning of the Church year (also known by an antiquated term as the Indiction) nonetheless gives us the opportunity to pause for a moment and offer our thanks to God for the blessings we have received in the past year, and to reflect upon the year that lies ahead.  This is particularly appropriate in light of the fact that, for many of us, the month of September represents a return to normal schedules, both at home and at work or school.  The summer months are past.  For the most part, vacations and travel are behind us.  And our daily routines seem more and more “normal” and predictable.

Acknowledging that the beginning of September brings with it this special observance within the Church, we also acknowledge that every day of every year, no matter the month or the season, offers us the blessed opportunity to pause and to give thanks to God for His many blessings.  Every day of every year invites us to draw closer to Christ, to grow in holiness, to bear witness to our faith, and to continue to work out our salvation.  As we enter into the New Church Year in the 2018 calendar year, we at Saints Peter and Paul Church look forward to another Year of Grace, living the Gospel, serving our brothers and sisters, living the Church’s liturgical cycle which invites to enter, ever more deeply, into the great mystery of our salvation.

As we enter the New Church Year, may the Lord bless our parish community, our families, friends, and all those who are dear to us.

With love in the Lord,

+Bishop Daniel

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Upcoming Calendar
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    Sep

    Saturday
    5:00 Great Vespers
  • 30

    Sep

    Sunday
    9:00 Divine Liturgy
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    Oct

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    5:00 Great Vespers
  • 7

    Oct

    Sunday
    9:00 Divine Liturgy
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    Oct

    Saturday
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    Oct

    Sunday
    9:00 Divine Liturgy
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    Oct

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    Oct

    Sunday
    9:00 Divine Liturgy
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Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church
1614 E Monte Vista Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85006