St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church
1317 Florida Mango Road, West Palm Beach Florida 33406
Sunday, February 5, 2023

files/Bulletin-February-5-2023.pdf (21052kb)

files/CPR-Class.pdf (3818kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The virtue of humility having no outer signs, quite often remains unseen by others. In today’s “look at me” society obsessed with getting “likes” on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc., humility is not considered a strength, but a weakness—a defect of sorts.  In the Orthodox Christian tradition, humility has often been called the “mother of all virtues.”  The opposite of humility is pride – excessive and even unrighteous exaltation of one person over another, which can  even lead to rivalry with God.  The Holy Fathers of the Church quite often refer to pride as “the cause of all sin.”

This coming Sunday the Church commemorates ‘The Sunday of the Pharisee and Publican.’ It is one of pre-Lenten Sundays that prepare us for the start of Great Lent (February 27th) In the Gospel lesson read on  this Sunday (Luke 18: 10-14) Jesus Christ teaches us through a parable. The Pharisee—a respected and learned man is full of pride. The Publican—tax collector and commonly despised by the people has humbled himself. Christ condemned the Pharisee and considered the Publican "justified." As we prepare to begin Great Lent, let us do so in humility, and not allow ourselves to be suffocated in pride, keeping in mind that humility and pride determine the state of our soul.

NOTES:

1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.

2. Blessing of Homes continues through February 25th. To get on the schedule, please email me at frpshport@gmail.com, or telephone/text at 561.632-7066.

3. Join with us in prayer this coming week:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    **Sunday, February 5th (The Sunday of the Pharisee and Publican): Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.                                                                                                                              Fr. Peter will offer his monthly Children’s Sermon prior to Holy Communion.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          **Wednesday, February 8th:  Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.

4. Bible Study has moved to Monday Evenings.  Join us  this Monday, February 6th for Bible Study from 6:45 to 8:00 PM, in the Conference Room. Led by Jim Gavrilos, the topic is ‘Romans.’  All are welcome to attend!

5. Are you interested in learning CPR! Sponsored by the Parish Council, Saint Mary's will offer a CPR Class on Sunday, February 19th, from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, with full certification by the American Heart Association upon completion of the class. There are only 20 spots available. To register, please refer to The Weekly Bulletin, or the attached flier. Deadline to register is February 12th.

In closing some words of wisdom from  +Saint Ephrem the Syrian:  “If a sinner acquires humility, he becomes a righteous man.”

God bless,

Fr. Peter

Reminder for upcoming week

 

BIBLE STUDY HAS MOVED!

Beginning tonight (Monday, January 30th) Bible Study will be held on Monday Evenings from 6:45 to 8:00 PM, in the Conference Room. This move from Tuesday evenings was necessitated by several forthcoming conflicts. Join us tonight, and each Monday night as we study the Apostle Paul's Letter to the Romans led by Jim Gavrilos. All are welcome to attend!

 

THE FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST INTO THE TEMPLE

Vesperal Divine Liturgy for the celebration of this feast will be prayed on

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST AT 6:30 pm

The Feast of the Presentation of Christ commemorates Joseph the Betrothed and the Theotokos presenting Christ into the temple and being received

by the Righteous Simeon 40 days after His birth.  This is one of the major feast days of the Orthodox Church.

Please join us in prayer!

Sunday January 29, 2023

files/Bulletin-for-Sunday-January-29-2023.pdf (14173kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This coming Sunday the Gospel lesson is taken from Matthew 15: 21-28, concerning the woman of Canaan who approached Jesus as he came into the region of Tyre and Sidon.  She was a Gentile of Canaanite stock, who were old enemies of the Jews. Despite this, the woman was not afraid to approach Jesus Christ. She called out to Jesus, “Have mercy on me O Son of David! My daughter is severely possessed by a demon!”  She continued to dialog with Jesus who said to her. “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel…it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs”, to which the woman responded, “Yes Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their Master’s table”. Jesus was so moved by her faith that he said to the Canaanite women, “O woman great is your faith. Let it be to you as you desire…and her daughter was healed from that very hour”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This Gospel lesson shows us that faith is also a matter of human resolve.  Faith can build up a person, a home, family, friendship, church community and society.  Faith also unlocks the blessings of God’s love and wisdom and allows him to act in our lives quite often with astonishing results. Let us strive in our lives to be persistent in our faith entreating the Lord as did the Canaanite Women, “to help me!”

NOTES:

1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.

2. The Blessing of Homes continues. To get on the schedule, please email me at frpshport@gmail.com, or telephone/text at 561.632-7066.

3. Join with us in prayer this coming week:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            **Sunday, January 29th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.                                                                                                                                                                                                      **Wednesday, February 1st: Commemoration of the Feast of the Presentation of Christ into the Temple - Vesperal Divine Liturgy at 6:30 PM.

4. Bible Study is moving to Monday Evening beginning this coming Monday, January 30th. Bible Study is from 6:45 to 8:00 PM, in the Conference Room. Led by Jim Gavrilos, the topic is ‘Romans.’ All are welcome to attend!

In closing some words of wisdom from St. Simeon the New Theologian:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “No one and nothing can stop us from believing, if we desire it.  We can decide to believe and immediately we believe.”

God bless,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, January 22, 2023

files/Bulletin-January-22-2023.pdf (1534kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As noted in last week’s email, our Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese held a historic Nomination Convention in Dallas, Texas on January 12th and 13th, of which I had the opportunity to participate. The results of the convention produced the names of three nominees to be submitted to the Holy Synod of Antioch for consideration as the next Metropolitan/Archbishop of our archdiocese.  Over 700 votes were cast representing the priests, parishes, organizations and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees.  The following are the three nominees (in alphabetical order by first name) elected: Bishop John (Abdallah), Bishop Nicholas (Ozone), Metropolitan Saba (Esber).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Our Patriarch, John X, of Antioch, has received these names along with the vote totals from our Patriarchal Vicar, Metropolitan Antonios, and will convene a Special Meeting of the Holy Synod (comprised of 22 Metropolitans/Archbishops from throughout the Patriarchate of Antioch) on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at the Balamand, to elect a new Metropolitan/Archbishop for our archdiocese.                                               May the Holy Spirit guide our Patriarch and the Holy Synod of Antioch in their deliberations.

NOTES:

1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.

2. This coming Sunday (January 22nd), will be our Annual Parish Meeting, beginning at 11:45 AM, in the hall. Please make plans to attend this annual meeting.

3. The Blessing of Homes continues. To schedule your home to be blessed, please email me at frpshport@gmail.com, or telephone/text me at 561.632-7066.

4. Join with us in prayer this coming week:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            **Sunday, January 22nd: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.                                                                                                                                                                                                          **Wednesday, January 25th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.

5. Tuesday Bible Study continues this Tuesday, January 24th, from 6:45 to 8:00 PM, in the Conference Room. Led by Jim Gavrilos, the topic will be ‘Romans.’ All are welcome to attend.

 In closing, some words on our relationship with God and the Church by Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of blessed memory.

“Orthodox theology never treats the earthly aspect of the Church in isolation, but always thinks of the Church in Christ and the Holy Spirit. All Orthodox thinking about the Church starts with the special relationship which exists between the Church and God.” By this “special relationship,” through participation in the inner life of the Church by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we may come not only to believe in God, but even to know Him. As St. Silouan observes, “Enlightened by baptism, people believe in God. But there are some who even know Him. To believe in God is good, but it is more blessed to know God.”

In Christ,

Fr. Peter

Blessings of Homes

BLESSING OF HOMES

As a reminder, Fr. Peter begins the 'Blessing of Homes' on Friday, January 6th. It is tradition in the Orthodox Church that the priest blesses the homes of the faithful as a sign of God's blessings, protection and His presence in our lives and homes.

To schedule an appointment for Fr. Peter to bless your home, please telephone/text him at (561) 632-7066, or email him at frpshport@gmail.com

Sunday January 15, 2023

files/Bulletin-January-15-2023.pdf (2185kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

You are receiving this weekly email a little earlier this week as I am travelling to Dallas, TX, to participate in the historic Archdiocese Nomination Convention. The purpose of this convention is to select three candidates to be submitted to the Holy Synod of Antioch for consideration as the next Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.  There are nine candidates who are bishops or priests in our archdiocese, or with ties to our archdiocese. Each has their own merits. Their biographies are on the archdiocese website if you wish to learn more about them.  At the nomination convention our parish has two votes, and the priest of our church has one. The Parish Council at its last meeting held on January 8, 2023, voted that Metropolitan Saba Esber and Bishop John Abdallah each would receive a vote from Saint Mary’s. 

At the conclusion of the nomination convention, the names of three candidates with the highest vote totals will be announced in alphabetical order. The number of votes each candidate received will not be announced, but sealed and given to the Patriarch and the Holy Synod by our Patriarchal Vicar, Metropolitan Antonios. It is hoped that by the beginning of Great Lent (February 27th), the Holy Synod will have elected our new Metropolitan.   

Please keep these proceedings in your God-pleasing prayers.

NOTES:

1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.

2. Our Ladies Society will meet this Sunday, January 15th, at 11:45 AM.

3. The Blessing of Homes continues. To get on the schedule, please email me at frpshport@gmail.com, or telephone/text me at 561.632-7066. You may also speak to me during Coffee Hour.

4. Join with us in prayer this coming week:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 **Sunday, January 15th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.                                                                                                                                                             **Wednesday, January 18th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.

5. Tuesday Bible Study resumes on Tuesday, January 17th, from 6:45 to 8:00 PM, in the Conference Room. Led by Jim Gavrilos, the topic will be ‘Romans.’ All are welcome to attend.

In closing, some words of wisdom from the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church;

“When there is a respect for small things, there will be an even greater respect towards the bigger things. When there is no respect for small things, then neither will there be for the bigger ones. This is how the Fathers maintained Tradition.”    The Elder Paisos

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday January 8th, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It has been the practice of Orthodox Christians for centuries to have our homes blessed.  This is not just a “once in a lifetime blessing,” but is an annual practice.  By blessing our homes,  we acknowledge God’s presence in our lives and our homes, making it a dwelling place for God. The blessing of our homes also maintains the spiritual connection between the 'family church' and our parish.

When the priest comes to bless the home, he remembers in prayer those living in the home, as well as  their loved ones. Prayers are also offered for family members who have fallen asleep in the Lord. All the rooms of the house are sprinkled with Holy Water that was sanctified on Epiphany. At the conclusion of the blessing, all who are present are blessed with holy water.

The Holy Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy (1 Timothy 4: 1-5) teaches that “...everything created by God is good… for it is made holy (sanctified) by the word of God and prayer.” Let us sanctify our homes, our families, our lives in prayer during this Holy Season of Epiphany.

NOTES:

  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. Home Blessings have begun! Make sure to schedule an appointment by telephone/text (561) 632-7066, or email frpshport@gmail.com.
  3. Join with us in prayer this coming week:      
  • Sunday, January 8th: Matins begin at 8:50 PM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.  The monthly ‘Children’s Sermon’ will be offered prior to Communion.                                                                                      (As a reminder, Sunday School and Teen Classes resume this coming Sunday).
  • Wednesday, January 11th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.

I close this weekly email with some wisdom of the Holy Fathers:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             A man in this world must solve a problem: to be with Christ, or to be against Him. And every man decides this, whether he wants to or not. He will either be a lover of Christ or a fighter of Christ. There is no third option. “    +Saint Justin Popovich

God bless,

Fr. Peter

Sunday January 1, 2023

files/Bulletin-January-1-2023.pdf (1577kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions? Here are a 10 all of us can consider for 2023:

  1. Pray daily. Set aside some time each day to pray, in particular asking God’s will be done in your life.
  2. Read the Scripture every day. You can use as a guide the 2023 Church Calendars mailed to your home.
  3. Attend Church Services. Not just Sunday morning, but make time to attend as many of the Vespers and Feast Day Services as possible.
  4. Volunteer. You may have a talent the church can use.
  5. Invite someone to church (a co-worker, neighbor, friend, family member). You would be surprised how many people would come to church services if asked.
  6. Practice hospitality. 
  7. Pledge to the church—whether it is a weekly offering or a tithe.  Your heart is where your treasure is (Matthew 6:21).
  8. Love. Do not be judgmental. We are all created in God’s image and likeness.
  9. Take time each day to express gratitude, first towards God for His abundant blessings, and then to others.
  10. Strive to fill your mind each day with something that is “true, noble, just, pure, lovely, holy” (Philippians 4:8).

Fr. Peter's Notes

  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. IMPORTANT!  On New Years Eve - December 31st - our church community will be blessed by a visit from the Patriarchal Vicar to our Archdiocese, His Eminence, Metropolitan Antonios of Zahle, and His Grace, Bishop Nicholas, Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast. The purpose of the visit is to discuss the nomination and election process for the new Metropolitan of our Archdiocese, as well as discuss the future of the Church in North America.

They will meet with the parishioners of Saint Mary's beginning at 3:30 PM, in the Conference Room. At 5:00 PM, Great Vespers for the Feasts of the Circumcision of Christ and Saint Basil the Great will be celebrated in our church, presided over by our visiting hierarchs.

I would ask everyone to make every effort to participate and represent our parish.

  1. Upcoming Church Services:
  • Sunday, January 1st (Feasts of the Circumcision of Christ and Saint Basil the Great): Matins at 8:50 AM; Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
  • Wednesday, January 4th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.
  • Thursday, January 5th (Celebration of the Theophany (Epiphany) of our Lord): Matins at 5:45 PM; Divine Liturgy at 7:00 PM; Blessing of the Water following.
  1. Blessing of Homes begins Friday, January 6th. Please contact Fr. Peter to schedule your home to be blessed.

“You came into the world to save sinners; therefore You came to save Me also? You came to find and to save him who was lost; therefore You came to seek me too, for I am one of the lost. O Lord, O my God and Creator!"   +Saint Tikhon of Zadosk

May the coming New Year be filled with health, happiness and the furtherance of all that is Good!

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Welcome

Welcome, and thank you for visiting St. Mary Orthodox Church online. We hope that our website highlights the wide variety of worship, fellowship, ministery and education opportunities available. Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come join with us in prayer. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.

Organizations, Ministries and Education

Our parish organizations, which include Amen, the ladies Society, Teen SOYO, young Adult Ministry, Sunday School, and the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, we welcome your participation

Our Mission
The mission of St. Mary Orthodox Church of West Palm Beach is to live out and proclaim the gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ through worship, witness, fellowship and service.

Father Peter Shportun, Priest/Pastor

 

Sunday Morning Services:

 

    Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM

    Matins at 8:45 AM

    Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.


    Wednesday Service:

       Vespers at 6:30PM

 

Feast Day Services are as announced in the Sunday Bulletin and the Church Website.

 

Schedule of Services
Sunday
8:30am - Sunday Morning Service

Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM

Matins at 8:50 AM

Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.<

  
Wednesday
6:30pm - Wednesday Vesper Service:
  
Feast
  - Feast Day Services

Feast Day Services are as announced in the Sunday Bulletin and the Church Website.