Sunday of the Life-Giving Cross
St. Nicholas Bulletin - April 4, 2021
Christ is in our midst! Христос међу нама! Cristo entra esta nosotros
Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross
Homily from Fr. Philip LeMasters
In any kind of difficult challenge, it’s always inspiring to know that you are half way to the end. It might be a race, a school year, or a project at work; if you’ve made it this far, you know that you can eventually reach your goal.

We are now half way through the season of Lent, and the Church calls our attention today to the great symbol of victory, the great sign of hope, our Lord’s cross. During the time of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, of course, no one was inspired by the cross, for it was a feared instrument of execution. No one honored the cross and certainly no one thought that God’s Messiah would die on one. 

      So it was profoundly shocking when the Savior told His disciples that He would be rejected, suffer, die, and rise again. When St. Peter tried to correct Him, Christ called him “Satan” and said that he was thinking in human terms, not God’s. Then the Lord told the disciples what they didn’t want to hear. They too must take up their crosses and lose their lives; that’s the way to enter into the blessed salvation of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The hard truth that Jesus Christ broke to His disciples was that we can’t jump ahead to the joy of the empty tomb. We must first go with our Lord to the cross; we too must die in order to rise again. And the unpopular truth is that every last one of us needs to die to our sinfulness, to how we have distorted ourselves, our relationships, and our world. The Son of God offered Himself in free obedience to the Holy Trinity, taking upon Himself the full consequences of sin and death to the point of a horrible execution; He did so out of love for us. And thus He opened the way to the Kingdom of heaven, to life eternal, for you, me, and all humankind; indeed, for the entire creation.  

      And that way is the cross, for if we want to share in the joy of His resurrection, of His victory over death, we must first participate in the struggle, pain, and sacrifice of crucifixion. We must crucify the habits of thought, word, and deed that lead us to worship and serve ourselves instead of God and neighbor. We must kill our pride, our selfishness, and our slavery to pleasure. If we don’t crucify these passions, our souls will be too sick, dark, and weak to share in the glory of the resurrection. Like St. Peter, we will think in human terms, not God’s, no matter how religious or moral we appear to others.  

And the reality is that we have no shortage of opportunities to take up our crosses. When we struggle to resist a temptation, when we battle angry thoughts against those who have wronged or somehow irritated us, and when we endure deep sorrows and disappointments with trust in God’s faithfulness and mercy, we take up the cross. 

Fortunately, we do not go to the cross alone. No matter what we are tempted to think at times, our Savior is no stranger to temptation, suffering, pain, and death. He sympathizes with our struggles because He endured them. He was literally nailed to a cross, died, was buried, and descended into Hades in order to bring the joy of life eternal to corrupt, weak, imperfect people like you and me through His glorious third-day resurrection. And in order to follow Him to the joy of Pascha, we must likewise take up our cross.

      So as we begin the second half of Lent, let us keep our eyes on the prize, looking to the great trophy of our Savior’s victory over sin and death, the cross, through which joy has come into all the world. And even though it is a struggle and none of us does it particularly well, let us put aside our own preferences and obsessions in order to take up the cross through prayer, fasting, forgiveness, mending broken relationships, and showing generosity to those in need. Let us offer our lives in free obedience to the Father, accepting whatever pain and struggle there may be in setting things right in our lives as best we can. And no matter what burdens we may bear, no matter our frustrations and failures, let us press on the joy of Pascha. Jesus Christ participated in death in order to bring us into His life, and we must participate in His death in order to share in the glory of His resurrection. So let us deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him. For this alone is the way to the brilliant light and eternal blessedness of the Kingdom of God.

~Hymnography of the Day~
When You descended to death, O Life Immortal, You destroyed hell with the splendor of Your Godhead. And when from the depths You raised the dead, all the powers of heaven cried out: “O Giver of life, Christ our God, glory to You!”

O Lord, save Your people, and bless Your inheritance! Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by virtue of Your Cross, preserve Your habitation!

Now the flaming sword no longer guards the gates of Eden; it has been mysteriously quenched by the wood of the Cross. The sting of death and the victory of hell have been vanquished; for You, O my Savior, have come and cried to those in hell: “Enter again into Paradise!”

Before Your Cross, we bow down in veneration, O Master, and Your holy Resurrection, we glorify.

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: Milan Radanovic Epistle: Marijana Rocknage
Matins Next Week: Popadija Andreja Epistle Next Week: Nick Govelovich

EPISTLE: Hebrews 4: 14-5:6
DEACON:     Let us pay attention. 
PRIEST:       Peace be unto all!
READER:      And with your spirit!
DEACON:     Wisdom.
READER:      The Prokeimenon in the Sixth Tone: O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance!
CHOIR: O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance!
READER: v: To You, O Lord, will I call. O my God, be not silent to me!
CHOIR: O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance!
READER: O Lord, save Your people ...
CHOIR: … and bless Your inheritance!
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: The Reading is from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews
DEACON: Let us attend!
READER: Brethren, seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins. And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” As He also says in another place: “You are a 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: Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: God is our King before the ages; He has worked salvation in the midst of the earth!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

АПОСТОЛ: Јеврејима 4:14-5:6

Ђакон:         Пазимо
Свештеник: Мир свима!
Читач:           I Духу Твоме!
Ђакон:         Премудрост
Читач : ПРОКИМЕН- глас 6 Спаси Господе, народ Свој и благослови наследство Своје.
Хор: Спаси Господе, народ Свој и благослови наследство Своје.
Читач: Теби, Господе вапим: Боже мој, немој ме оставити без одговора!
Хор: Спаси Господе, народ Свој и благослови наследство Своје.
Читач: Спаси Господе, народ Свој
Хор: и благослови наследство Своје.
Ђакон: Премудрост
Читач: Читање посланице Св. Апостола Павла Јеврејима
Ђакон: Пазимо
Читач: Браћо, имајући, дакле, Првосвештеника великога, који је прошао небеса, Исуса Сина Божијега, треба да се држимо чврсто вјере коју исповиједамо. Јер немамо првосвештеника који не би могао састрадати немоћима нашим, него Првосвештеника који је у свему кушан као и ми, али без гријеха. Стога приступајмо смјело пријестолу благодати, да примимо милост и нађемо благодат за благовремену помоћ. Јер сваки првосвештеник који се узима између људи, поставља се за људе на служење Богу, да приноси и дарове и жртве за гријехе, који може да саосјећа са онима који су у незнању и заблуди; јер је и сам подложан слабостима, и због тога је дужан, како за народ, тако и за самога себе да приноси жртве за гријехе. И нико сам себи не присваја ту част, него призван од Бога, као и Арон. Тако и Христос не даде сам себи славу да буде првосвештеник, него Онај који му рече: Син мој јеси ти, ја те данас родих. Као што и на другом мјесту вели: Ти си Свештеник вавијек по чину Мелхиседекову.
Свештеник: Мир свима Читачу!
Читач: I Духом Твоме! Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Опомени се сабора Својега, којег си стекао од старине.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Бог је Цар наш пре векова, који твори спасење посред земље.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа

Mark 8:34-9:1

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

Марко 8:34-9:1

Рече Господ: Ко хоће за мном да иде нека се одрекне себе и узме крст свој, и за мном иде, jер ко хоће живот свој да сачува, изгубиће га, а ко изгуби живот свој мене ради и јеванђеља онај ће га сачувати. Јер каква је корист човјеку ако задобије сав свијет а души својој науди? Или какав ће откуп дати човјек за душу своју? Јер ко се постиди мене и мојих ријечи у роду овоме прељуботворном и грјешном, и Син ће се Човјечији постидјети њега кад дође у слави Оца својега са светим анђелима. И рече им: Заиста вам кажем: има неки међу овима што стоје овдје који неће окусити смрти док не виде Царство Божије да је дошло у сили.

~ 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.

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.

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.

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

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.
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 reading from the Book of Exodus, chapter 14.
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.