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Fisherman Vol. 19, No. 3 March 2011

Newsletter of St. Peter’s Antiochian Orthodox Church Fort Worth, Texas

“Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8

A Meditation on Almsgiving By Father Thomas Hopko


hrist commanded his disciples to give alms. To “give alms’ means literally “to do” or “to make merciful deeds” or “acts of mercy.” According to the Scriptures, the Lord is compassionate and merciful, longsuffering, full of mercy, faithful and true. He is the one who does merciful deeds (see Psalm 103). Acts of mercy are an “imitation of God” who ceaselessly executes mercy for all, without exception, condition or qualification. He is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Mercy is a sign of love. God is Love. A deed of merciful love is the most Godlike act a human being can do. “Being perfect” in Matthew’s Gospel corresponds to “being merciful” in Luke’s Gospel. “Perfection” and “being merciful” are the same thing. To love as Christ loves, with the love of God who is Love, is the chief commandment for human beings according to Christianity. It can only be accomplished by God’s grace, by faith. It is not humanly possible. It is done by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Acts of mercy must be concrete, physical actions. They cannot be “in word and speech, but in deed and truth” (first letter of John and letter of James). Acts of mercy are acts done to Christ himself who was hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless, in prison and sick in the form of

being wounded for our transgression on the cross, taking up our wounds, and dying our death. Christian acts of mercy must be sacrificial. By this, we understand that we must not simply give to others what is left over. We have to be sharing our possessions with others in ways that limit ourselves in some way (The Widow’s Mite). And, acts of mercy should be done without qualification or condition to everyone, no matter who, what or how they are (Parable of the Good Samaritan). Fr. Thomas Hopko is Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and currently serves at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.

Ash Wednesday March 9, 2011 7:30am Matins followed by Mass 6:30pm Vespers The fast is over at 3pm.

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Pan-Orthodox Vespers Sundays in Lent

6pm Followed by a Lenten Meal

Fridays in Lent 6:00pm Vespers & Stations of the Cross Beginning March 11

Wednesdays in Lent 6:00pm Vespers, Pot Luck Supper, & Lenten Speakers Children’s Program during the Adult Program

March 13- Sunday of Orthodoxy Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Dallas March 20 – St. Barbara’s, Fort Worth March 27- Ss. Constantine & Helen, Dallas April 3 – St. John the Baptist, Euless April 10 – St. Seraphim Cathedral, Dallas

Thank You… To Frank Zak for a recent plumbing repair. To Homer Cox, Fr. Anthony, and Brooke Shannon for trimming plants in the garth. To Pam Kalil, Eva Kaskos, Sahera Gasgous, Areej Hanna, and Judy Yacio for their demonstrations of how to make Middle Eastern dishes and for cooking for St. Sophia’s in February. To Scott Allsebrooke and Georgia McCracken for helping with the book store items at the Festival of Orthodoxy…and to all those who brought food and ushered for this event. It was very well done, and the speakers were excellent.

Beginning March 16 Please sign up in Booth Hall if you will be bringing children.

On Sale at St. Monica’s Books & Gifts: March 16 – Fr. Anthony March 23 – Fr. Dan Keller March 30 – Gregg Pippin April 6 – Sandy Mitchell April 13 – Dn. Robert

10% off Books by Dr. Englehardt and Frederica MatthewesGreen for the Month of March

Parish Register Baptism Dale Pilcher February 23

Our Sympathy To Georgia McCracken on the loss of her son, Paul, on March 1, 2011.

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Food for Hungry People During Lent we are asked to give alms to the FFHP program through our Archdiocese. Mite boxes are available in the parish hall. We will bring our collection of cash or checks on Easter, and St. Peter’s will send one check to Metropolitan PHILIP at that time. He will decide which organization will receive the funds from the Archdiocese.

March is Antiochian Women’s Month “The month of March is designated as Women’s Month in our Archdiocese. Since the 1970’s, the Ladies have raised over two million, four hundred thousand dollars toward the funding and support of many or our projects, such as Antiochian Village, Married Seminarians, Project Orphanages, the Retired Clergy Housing Fund, Children with Special Needs, and currently the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village. Through their hard work, dedication and commitment, they have continued to find many ways to strengthen their ministry in the Orthodox Church. For the second year, the Antiochian Women are raising funds for The Convent of St. TheklaProject 2011. This worthwhile endeavor deserves our undivided attention. A nun’s life in one that maintains a monastic prayer life, a presence not only to the many ministries at Antiochian Village but also to the local church communities. The nuns must make a vow of obedience, poverty and chastity. The future of the Convent is bright with Mother Alexandra as the Acting Abbess of the Convent. We are truly blessed to have her. The Convent will be a wonderful addition to the many ministries at Antiochian Village.” From the Metropolitan’s letter to the parishes

Page 3 Mission Statement of Antiochian Women To develop among women throughout the Antiochian Archdiocese a spirit of Christian leadership, awareness and commitment as taught in the Holy Orthodox Church. To foster among women throughout the Antiochian Archdiocese a genuine expression of love and service through works of charity. To instill among women throughout the Antiochian Archdiocese and the community at large a sense of fellowship and a deeper understanding of the heritage and traditions of the Antiochian Archdiocese and the Orthodox Church.

Antiochian’s Women’s Scholarship Scholarships are available to Antiochian Women who choose to continue their education to improve their circumstances and those of their families. Qualifications for the Scholarships are as follows. Applicant must: 1. Be a female 25 years or older. 2. Be a member in good standing of the Antiochian Archdiocese. 3. Be actively involved in her parish. 4. Be applying for or registered in an academic or trade study program. 5. Demonstrate financial need. A scholarship application is available in the parish office or from one of your St. Sophia’s officers.

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discontent anger bitterness self-concern discouragement laziness suspicion guilt



gratitude patience forgiveness compassion for others hope commitment truth the mercy of God

Lent is just such a time of feasting and fasting. _________________________ St. Peter’s Antiochian Orthodox Church 7601 Bellaire Drive South Fort Worth, TX 76132 Phone: 817 263-55554

The Fisherman March 2011  

Parish Newsletter