Sunday of St. John of the Ladder
St. Nicholas Bulletin - April 11, 2021
Christ is in our midst! Христос међу нама! Cristo entra esta nosotros
Let Us Turn to Repentance in the Sense in which St. John Climacus Sees It...
Homily from St. Anthony of Sourozh
St John Climacus whose memory we keep today says in one of his writings: “We shall not be judged, brothers, we shall not be condemned for not having worked miracles or spoken words of prophecy ; but we shall be condemned for not having bewailed our sins throughout our life”.

What is there in sin which should cause us such broken-heartedness that all our life should be – not darkened, but inspired by this pain in our hearts? We tend to define sin as breaking of the moral law or acting in a way which is contrary to our duty or to what is right, but there is something more fundamental in sin, which should indeed cause us sadness and more than sadness: a deep pain.

Sin is disloyalty, sin is unfaithfulness, it is unfaithfulness and disloyalty towards God because it means that whatever He says matters little to us, although, when He spoke to us, He spoke with all His human love and His love divine ; and indeed, to show us how much we matter to Him, how deeply He values us, He gave all of His life and all of His death to save us, and for us to believe in love divine!

To sin means to turn away from One who loves us unto life and into death; and it means by implication that His life and death are too little for us, too little for us to respond by love, to respond by faithfulness and loyalty. Indeed, this attitude results in our breaking in a multitude of ways those laws of life, which are conducive to life eternal ; those laws of life that would make us truly, perfectly human in the way in which Christ was perfectly human, in the total harmony between God and us.

But these concrete sins which we commit all the time, this coldness to one another, this indifference, the ease with which we judge and condemn, the way in which we turn away from the need of others, the way in which we care nothing for the love which is offered us: all that results from this coldness of our hearts.

It is not in vain that Christ says today in the Gospel, “This demon, this spirit is cast out only by prayer and by fasting”: fasting, in the sense of turning away from all those things which are beguilement, which take us away from love, from loyalty, from faithfulness, from integrity, that destroy our wholeness ; and prayer, as communion with the living God Who is love, and in whom alone we can find the strength and power to love.

So it is not surprising that when the man who had brought his child, sick with epilepsy, to the disciples, turned to Christ saying “They were unable to heal him”, He said, “Bring him to Me” ! Unless we are brought to Him, all other things are in vain. We may ask ourselves, “Are we so separated from God that we should bewail this separation all our life?” Indeed, who of us would dare say that at every moment his heart is warm, his heart is deeply moved by the sense of being with God, of God being close, of being in communion with Him?

We should be with regard to God in the condition of one who is in love, who at every moment, day and night, waking or sleeping, is aware that his heart is exulting and tremulous with a love that fills him to the brim, that is joy, that is exultation, that is peace and serenity, and strength, and courage, and a love that allows us to look around and see everyone in a new light, that allows us to see the divine image shining in each person whom we meet, rejoicing in it.

If we ask ourselves how far we are from God, and cannot measure the distance between us because our experience of being close to Him is so small, let us ask ourselves “How far am I from the people who surround me? How little love, how little loyalty, how little gift of self, how little rejoicing in my neighbor there is in me? How much there is of judgement, of indifference, of coldness, of forgetfulness?”. And then we will be able to say, if I am like that ,it means that I am not God-centered, that God is not the King reigning supreme in my heart and mind and my whole being and life. And when we think of ourselves and see ourselves divided between the call of God, the desires of our fallen humanity and the beguilement of evil, then we can again say “How far I am”. And until we have found harmony with God, we will be divided and broken within ourselves, until we have found harmony with God, we will be divided one from another.

This is why St John Climacus calls us to give absolute centrality to the way in which we relate to God; because everything else will depend upon it. He is like the key of harmony that allows a tune to be read and sing; He is, as another writer says, the thin string that keeps together flowers, which otherwise would fall apart – even flowers, even virtue, even beauty, even truth fall apart, if there is not that wonderful love, exultation and joy which is given only by our communion with God, because He is love, He is life, He is truth, He is joy and light and exultation.

Let us therefore turn to repentance in the sense in which St John Climacus sees it: not an empty bewailing of our past, not a useless, barren regret at our not being what we wish we were, but a cry to God, “Come, Lord, and come soon !” And if we cry with all our heart, all our mind, all our need, then God will come, then we will find ourselves in communion with the living God and all things will become beauty; we will have entered into the Kingdom of God.
~Hymnography of the Day~
Let the heavens rejoice! Let the earth be glad! For the Lord has shown strength with His arm. He has trampled down death by death. He has become the first born of the dead. He has delivered us from the depths of hell, and has granted to the world great mercy.

Truly you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence; your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you. Hierarch Father Nicholas, entreat Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

O dweller of the wilderness and angel in the body, you were a wonderworker, O our God-bearing Father John. You received heavenly gifts through fasting, vigil and prayer, healing the sick and the souls of those drawn to you by faith. Glory to Him Who gave you strength! Glory to Him Who granted you a crown! Glory to Him Who grants healing to all!

On this day You rose from the tomb, O Merciful One, leading us from the gates of death. On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices; with the Prophets and Patriarchs they unceasingly praise the divine majesty of Your power.

Steadfast Protectress of Christians and constant Advocate before the Creator; despise not the cry of us sinners, but come speedily to help those who call on You in faith. Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for You always protect those who honor You!

HYMN TO THE THEOTOKOS (Instead of “It is Truly Meet…”)
All of creation rejoices in you, O Full of Grace: the assembly of Angels and the race of men. O sanctified temple and spiritual paradise, the glory of virgins, from whom God was incarnate and became a Child – our God before the ages. He made your body into a throne, and your womb He made more spacious than the heavens. All of creation rejoices in you, O Full of Grace. Glory to you!

~Scripture Readings of the Day~
Matins: Popadija Andreja Epistle: Nick Govelovich
Matins Next Week: Nicholas Ressetar Epistle Next Week: Natalija Gligorevic

EPISTLE: Hebrews 6: 13-20
DEACON:      Let us pay attention. 
PRIEST:        Peace be unto all!
READER:      And with your spirit!
DEACON:      Wisdom.
READER:      The Prokeimenon in the Third Tone: Sing praises to our God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
CHOIR: Sing praises to our God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
READER: v: Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
CHOIR: Sing praises to our God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
READER: Sing praises to our God, sing praises!
CHOIR: Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: The Reading is from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews
DEACON: Let us attend!
READER: Brethren, when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.  For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.  Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
PRIEST: Peace be unto you, reader!
READER: And with your spirit! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: In You, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be put to shame!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: Be a God of protection for me, a house of refuge in order to save me!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

АПОСТОЛ: Јеврејима 6: 13-20

Ђакон:          Пазимо
Свештеник: Мир свима!
Читач:           I Духу Твоме!
Ђакон:           Премудрост
Читач : ПРОКИМЕН- глас 3 Појте Богу нашему, појте! Појте Цару нашему, појте!
Хор: Појте Богу нашему, појте! Појте Цару нашему, појте!
Читач: Сви народи, запљескајте рукама, покликните Богу гласом радосним!
Хор: Појте Богу нашему, појте! Појте Цару нашему, појте!
Читач: Појте Богу нашему, појте!
Хор: Појте Цару нашему, појте!
Ђакон: Премудрост
Читач: Читање посланице Св. Апостола Павла Јеврејима
Ђакон: Пазимо
Читач: Браћо, јер кад Бог даде обећање Аврааму, немајући ни у кога већега да се закуне, закле се самим собом, говорећи: Заиста ћу те богато благословити и обилно те умножити. И тако Авраам стрпљиво чекајући дочека обећање. Јер се људи заклињу већим од себе, и сваком њиховом препирању завршетак је заклетва као јемство. Зато и Бог, желећи да насљедницима обећања што поузданије покаже неизмјенивост своје одлуке, послужи се заклетвом, да бисмо у двјема непоколебивим стварима, у којима је немогуће да Бог превари, имали моћну утјеху ми који смо прибјегли да се држимо наде која је пред нама; Њу имамо као котву душе, чврсту и поуздану, која улази унутар иза завјесе, гдје као претеча за нас уђе Исус, поставши Првосвештеник вавијек по чину Мелхиседекову.
Свештеник: Мир свима Читачу!
Читач: I Духом Твоме! Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: У тебе се, Господе, уздам, немој ме оставити под срамотом до вјека.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Буди ми Бог заштитник, дом уточишта, да би ме спасао.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа

Mark 9: 17-31

Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.” He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it.  For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”

Марко 9: 17-31

У вријеме оно, неки човјек дође Исусу, клањајући му се и говорећи: Учитељу, доведох теби сина својега у коме је дух нијеми. И кад год га ухвати ломи га, и пјену баца, и шкргуће зубима; и суши се. И рекох ученицима твојим да га истјерају; и не могоше. А он одговарајући рече: О роде невјерни, докле ћу с вама бити? Докле ћу вас трпјети? Доведите га к мени. И доведоше га њему; и кад га видје дух, одмах га стаде ломити; и паднувши на земљу ваљаше се бацајући пјену. И упита оца његова: Колико има времена како му се то догодило? А он рече: Из дјетињства. И много пута баца га у ватру и у воду да га погуби; него ако што можеш, помози нам, смилуј се на нас. А Исус му рече: Ако можеш вјеровати, све је могуће ономе који вјерује. И одмах повикавши отац дјетета са сузама говораше: Вјерујем, Господе, помози мојему невјерју! А Исус видјевши да се стјече народ, запријети духу нечистоме говорећи му: Душе нијеми и глухи, ја ти заповиједам, изиђи из њега и више не улази у њега! И повикавши и изломивши га врло, изиђе; и би као мртав тако да многи говораху: умрије. А Исус, узевши га за руку, подиже га; и устаде. И кад уђе у кућу, питаху га ученици његови насамо: Зашто га ми не могосмо истјерати? И рече им: Овај се род ничим не може истјерати до молитвом и постом. И изишавши оданде иђаху кроз Галилеју; и не хтједе да ко дозна, jер учаше ученике своје и говораше им да ће Син Човјечији бити предан у руке људи, и убиће га, и када га убију, трећег дана васкрснуће.

~ The Week Ahead: Scriptures and Services ~
April Birthdays
Doni Cashman (April 3), Fr Dcn Bojan Gligorevic (April 9), Sandy Marijan (April 10), Shirley Hathaway (April 11), Sue Petrovich (April 12), Andrew Imschweiler (April 12), Parker Brosius (April 13), Philip Werner (April 16), Ava Carricato (April 17), Marina Radanovic (April 18), Jessica Barry (April 18), Nicholas Govelovich (April 20), Cameron Barber (April 21), Evan Filepas (April 22), Grant Govelovich (April 22), Sladjana Jovic (April 24), Olga Gaydebouroff (April 25), Dragan Lalovic (April 25), Fr Christopher (April 26), Angie Bagley (April 27), Luis Radanovic (April 30) 

April Anniversaries
Bill & Ruth Yovanovich (April 3), Jelena & Justin Bowser (April 21), Russ & Amy Hewitt (April 27) 
New Covid Protocol
As the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is beginning to loosen restrictions, we too will begin to slowly re-open at the parish level. We will still keep the mask mandate in place, and encourage physical distance between households. However, we will not be restricting attendance anymore. 

May God enable us to continue to open up as the pandemic comes to an end.
~Bulletin Board~
His Grace instructs that the fast in preparation for receiving the Holy Eucharist at the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy is to begin at noon. After this time, you should refrain from eating and drinking until receiving the Holy Body and Blood of Christ that evening.

Calling all organizations: please send any pictures, announcements, or other information to Father Chris ( to be included in the Paschal Messenger no later than Monday, April 19th.

SOTAYA is keeping its tradition, even through tough times, and will be selling Peanut Butter Easter Eggs. The eggs, POSNO (Vegan) or REGULAR, will be $2 each. The eggs can be coated in your choice of white, milk, or dark chocolate! Preorder by calling or texting Sladjana Gligorevic (717-538-2073) or Angie Vorkapich (717-813-5128). The delivery dates are March 28, April 11 and April 25. Thank you in advance and stay safe.

We thank God for you all, and your commitment to Him in the form of your Time, Talents and Treasures. Take some time this week as you complete your card to consider how your offering reflects your thanksgiving to God for all that He has given you: family, kumovi, friends, life, livelihood— and most importantly—Eternal Salvation through the Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The Serbian-American Club is once again offering a scholarship to a graduating high school senior continuing their education. The guidelines and application can be found on the Tutors stand in the Narthex. Application deadline is May 1, 2021. The Club is accepting additional scholarship donations which will be added to the amount already collected for the scholarship. If you are interested in donating, see Chris Radanovic.

Friday evening, April 23 at 5:30pm we will be assembling palms and pussywillows for Palm Sunday. Come and help, if you are able.

If you would like to purchase an Easter Lily to help decorate the Lord’s Tomb on Great & Holy Friday, please contact Daria in the church office. Cost is $9.00.  Also contact Daria if you would like to make donations for red candles, wine, incense, rose oil or olive oil. If you would like the item for the health of someone or in memory of someone, please have your request/money in by April 25 for it to appear in the Pascha bulletin.

Sign up for the guarding of Christ’s Tomb from the Burial Vespers until the Resurrection Service. This is a noble and prayerful way to participate in Christ’s death and burial, so we may also participate in His Glorious Resurrection. Email Father Chris at or call the parish house at 717.939.0251.

The Great Fast begins tomorrow. The pandemic has ushered in a time of great renewal. This Lenten Season, take advantage of all that the Church has to offer to help renew your relationship to Christ.

Come to the additional services. Offer your confession and receive absolution. Receive the Holy Body and Precious Blood of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Read the Scriptures each day. Utilize the Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian.

Fast from sin. Be mindful of what you allow into your body, mind and soul.

Fast as best you are able from meat and dairy. Those with greater strength can increase the fast through also abstaining from fish, wine and oil.

Above all, keep the Lenten Fast with Joyful Sadness, that you might be united with our Lord in His Glorious Pascha!

The gift shop in the lobby has added new greeting cards for Pasha as well more incense and many other new items. Stop by after Liturgy.

Peggy Radanovic is collecting club dues once again. Please mail your dues to her at her new address (203 Community Circle, Palmyra 17078) or here at church. You may call her with questions at 717-641-4249. Dues are $5 for the year.

JoAnn Filepas is collecting 2021 dues for the St Nicholas Seniors. Please mail your dues to her at (7054 Red Top Road, Harrisburg 17111). Dues are $5 for the year.

Sunday, April 18
The choir will once again be selling posno sticky buns by the dozen only.
$8 per dozen plain
$9 per dozen with nuts
Pre-orders by Sunday, April 10 to Yovanka Hoover call / text 717-623-8588. Order forms may also be found on the tutors stand
Our Website is Updating!
Be sure to check out our updated format on the website! It still remains as one of our most valuable tools for parish information. Now, it will also be easier to use on your smartphone!

Festal Readings from the OT

The Feast of Holy Theophany
The Holy Prophet and Forerunner John baptized the Lord prior to the beginning of His earthly ministry. The next few weeks, we will encounter the Old Testament Readings related to this feast.

This week, explore the second reading from the Book of Exodus, chapter 15.
April Charity
Bethesda Women & Children’s Shelter

A House of Refuge
For over 34 years Bethesda Women and Children’s Mission has offered a place of healing, change, and hope for women in need of addiction recovery, safety and stability, a new start in life, and place where they can call home.
A House of Change
A Christ-Centered facility, we offer hope to those searching for their purpose and their place in this world, by offering an array of programs and services geared toward reconciliation, renewal and change. Our initial Discipleship and Recovery program is at least ONE YEAR long, and upon completion, women have the option to move to into our Transitional Living Program before moving out on their own.
A House of Healing
We have found that a long-termed recovery program is successful when each individual is permitted to rest, reflect, renew, and re-enter. Time to heal, encouragement for others, and new experiences assist in offering new life to those that come through our doors.
A House of Hope
In addition to internal programming, we utilize local social, medical, and educational services to help each new person to set attainable goals during their stay. Some women, after completing our programming either return to the workforce or continue their education at our local college. Many of our graduates remain in contact through calls, mentoring, or volunteering of their time.
Church School Corner
We hope you enjoy this new addition to our weekly bulletin during the Great Fast. Each week, we will include lessons and activities for our children to help them navigate the Lenten Journey. May it enable us all to bear the good fruit of holy repentance!

Take some time this week to review this with your children or grandchildren by clicking on the button below to download the PDF.