Sunday of the Precious Cross
St. Nicholas Bulletin - March 27, 2022
Christ is in our midst! Христос међу нама! Cristo esta entra nosotros!
Homily on the Sunday of the Cross

from Father Philip LeMasters
 In some ways, people today are too familiar with the image of the cross. Some wear it as just another a piece of jewelry or otherwise use it to symbolize values or organizations that have nothing to do with the cross through which our Lord conquered death. Unfortunately, those who confess its true spiritual significance can easily rest content with beliefs about the cross without actually obeying the clear instructions of our Lord that we must deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him. Celebrating the Exaltation of the Cross with integrity requires that we confess truthfully with St. Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

The Lord’s Self-Offering on the Cross for the salvation of the world is unique and all encompassing. As we chant when we especially celebrate the cross, “Before Thy Cross, we bow down and worship…” We must not respond passively to the cross, however, as though all the work has already been done in a way that requires nothing of us. For the only way to share in the Savior’s life is to enter personally into the deep mystery of His sacrifice. He offered Himself fully and in free obedience to the point of death, burial, and descent into Hades in order to conquer the corruption to which we had enslaved ourselves.  In order to embrace the liberation and healing of our Crucified and Risen Lord, we must die to all that holds us back from embodying the fullness of His great victory. That means offering ourselves without reservation for union with Christ in holiness as we become “partakers of the divine nature” by grace.

In the world as we know it, doing so requires a perpetual struggle of the soul. The fight is not against other people and certainly not against God. Instead, it is a battle with ourselves because we have all accepted the lie that true fulfillment comes from our own will being done. In one way or another, we have all come to identify with our self-centered desires such that we think we could not exist without gratifying them. Consequently, to put the demands of loving God and neighbor first in life requires us to deny ourselves and to abandon our well-settled habit of living in the service of our passions. We must all be “crucified with Christ” in the sense of dying to the corruptions that keep us from sharing in the Savior’s restoration and healing of the human person in the divine image and likeness.

The Lord’s command to take up our crosses, deny ourselves, and lose our lives has nothing to do with appeasing an angry Father by our suffering. It is not concerned with the pointless task of trying to earn forgiveness by paying a debt or meeting a legal obligation. Instead, it is about doing what is necessary to find healing. In order to regain physical health, we may have to do some painful and difficult things at times, like having surgery, going to physical therapy, or changing our diet. Those are not punishments, but simply what is necessary for us to regain our health in light of our particular physical condition. If we want to get better, we will put aside our preferences and accept the inconvenience.

The same thing is true for us spiritually. Offering ourselves to the Lord for the healing of our souls in whatever circumstances we face is how we take up our crosses. From the origins of the Church to this very day, that has meant literal martyrdom for those who refuse to deny Christ when the powerful of this world kill them as a result. For all who unite themselves to Christ, there must be some form of martyrdom as we die to self-centeredness by putting faithfulness to the Lord and service to our neighbors before satisfying our own desires. If we do not take up our crosses in the challenges that we face daily, whatever they may be, then we show that we are ashamed of Christ and of His Cross. We show that we want no part of Him and prefer to gratify our own desires instead of offering ourselves for the service of His Kingdom.

Like Peter before He denied the Savior three times, we may well believe that we would never do such a thing. Like Peter, however, we may have such a poor understanding of the Messiah we serve that we will be unprepared when our eyes are opened to the truth. Today’s gospel passage comes right after Peter tried to correct the Savior when He predicted His death and resurrection. The Lord said to him in response, “Get behind me, Satan, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”  Peter had likely envisioned the Messiah as a successful military leader who would defeat the Romans and give the Jews a powerful earthly kingdom. The idea of following someone like that appealed to his pride, for being the chief disciple of the new King David would bring riches, power, and glory.

When the Savior made clear that the religious leaders of Israel would reject Him, that He would be killed, and that He would rise from the dead, Peter was horrified to the point that he tried to set Christ straight. That is when the Lord said in no uncertain terms that to reject the cross was the way of the devil, the way of completely rejecting His ministry for the salvation of the world. Remember that Satan had tempted Christ in the desert by promising Him worldly power if He worshiped him. Now Peter provided the same temptation. That is when Christ told the disciples that they would have no part in Him if they did not also take up their crosses. In this light, it is not surprising that Peter later denied He knew the Lord three times after His arrest and abandoned Him at His crucifixion. At that time, he and the other disciples were ashamed of a Messiah Who died on a cross.

Likewise, we show that we are ashamed of our Lord when we refuse to take up our crosses. Our lives are filled with opportunities to turn away from prideful self-centeredness as we put the needs of those around us before ourselves. Instead of indulging in gluttony, greed, hatred, envy, or other passions, we must redirect the energy of our souls to blessing our neighbors. Remember that the Lord did not go to the cross for His own benefit, but for ours. We will offer ourselves more fully to Him as we offer ourselves to serve those in whom He is present to us each day. If we do not, we will show that we are ashamed of our Lord.

The same is true whenever we refuse to keep a close watch on our hearts. The ancient idols of sex, money, and power are worshiped openly in our culture, and we must be ready to embrace the cross of rejecting their powerful temptations. Today reserving sexual intimacy for the union of husband and wife in marriage is widely considered archaic and oppressive.  Pornography is easily available and generally accepted, even though it is poisonous in so many ways.  Money and what it can buy often become the measure of our lives, regardless of what we say we believe. Many people today seem to take pride in hating those with whom they disagree about politics and in self-righteously and hypocritically condemning them. Nothing could be more contrary to denying ourselves and taking up our crosses than to embrace such temptations in our hearts. Nothing could be more deadly to our souls.

Thankfully, there was hope for Peter and there is hope for us also through our Lord’s great victory over sin and death on His Cross. Let us celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross by showing that we are not ashamed of His Self-Offering for our salvation. No matter the circumstances of our lives, let us deny ourselves as we embrace the crosses of our lives. That is how we may all enter into the joy of the Kingdom.

~Hymnography of the Day~
Commemorating St Theognostus Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia, St Euschemon the Confessor Bishop of Lampsacus, Venerable Benedict of Nursia, Right-believing Great Prince Rostislav-Michael Prince of Kiev

By Your Cross You destroyed death. To the thief You opened Paradise. For the Myrrhbearers You changed weeping into joy. And You commanded Your disciples, O Christ God, to proclaim that You are risen, granting the world great mercy.

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: Jason Milletics
Next Week:     Matins : Lenny Tepsic    Epistle: Teddy Sukhernik
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!
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: 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
Ђакон: Премудрост!
Читач: 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), Barrett Bernardi (April 26), Logan Livingston (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)
~Bulletin Board~
His Grace, Bishop IRINEJ, directs us to prepare for Holy Communion at the Pre-sanctified Liturgy in the following way: Begin the complete fast at 12 noon from food and water. If you have a medical concern, please see Fr. Chris to discuss options.

This movie, directed by Jelena Popovic, tells the story of St. Nektarios of Aegina. It plays again on Monday, March 28 at 7:00pm EDT. All are encouraged to see this film, which has the blessing of the Holy Mountain (Mt. Athos) in both production and distribution. Locally, it is showing at Regal Cinemas on Caughey Drive. Tickets are still available, but going fast.

The Bible Study resumes on Mondays during April at 6:30pm. This class will be available via video chat, with a link emailed each week. Our current theme is the Old Testament readings for the Feasts of Holy Annunciation, Palm Sunday and Holy Saturday.

Sotaya is keeping its tradition and will be selling peanut butter and coconut Easter eggs. The eggs POSNO (vegan) or REGULAR will be $3 each and can be coated in your choice of white, milk, or dark chocolate. To order please call or text Sladjana Gligorevic @ 717-538-2073. The delivery dates are: March 20th, April 3rd, and April 17th. Thank you in advance for supporting the youth of our church!

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 $10.00. 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 17 for it to appear in the Pascha bulletin.

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, 2022. 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.

The next Mothers Club meeting is scheduled for Sunday, April 3 after divine liturgy. All members are urged to attend.

The St Nicholas Seniors organization is having an R&K Sub Sale fundraiser. Orders are due Sunday, April 17 and will be ready for pick-up on Friday, April 29 between 4:30 and 6:30 in the Church Social Hall. Cost is $6.50 for subs and $5.50 for pretzel sandwiches. Order forms will be on the tutor’s stand or you can call Sue Petrovich at 717-944-1258 (home) or 717-614-3114 (cell) to order, or turn order forms into the office. Make checks payable to “St Nicholas Seniors”. Payment is due at time of ordering.

The St Nicholas Seniors’ next meeting/luncheon will be held Tuesday, April 12 at Leeds Restaurant on Eisenhower Blvd, starting at 11:30 am. Hope to see you there!
Please consider bringing in donations for our Food Pantry box in the lobby along with any of the following:
Men’s mission—13 and 60 gallon trash bags, wash cloths & towels, Large print bibles (NIV, NASB or ESV), batteries (AA, AAA, 9 volt), umbrellas, shower shoes (flip flops), and winter clothing (thermal underwear, sweatshirts, long sleeved shirts such as under armor—plus sized LG-XXXL needed most), winter boots (size 10-13)
Medical Clinic—Alka Seltzer Cold, Neosporin, Anti-Fungal Cream, Cepacol Throat Lozenges, Cough Drops (regular and sugar free), DayQuil, Eye Drops, Hand Sanitizer (personal size), Hydrocortisone Cream, Instant Hot Packs, Lip Balm, Sinus Congestion Medication
Mobile Mission—Sweatshirts & pants (M, L, XL), Jeans (Waist 32,34,36,38,40), Underwear, T-shirts, Candles, Sterno, Deodorant, Flashlights
Women’s Mission—Stamps, Paper products, headphones/earbuds, phone chargers, gallon size baggies, bath towels, washcloths
Dental Clinic—Hydrogen Peroxide 1.5%-2% mouth rinse, Polident, soft toothbrushes (individually packaged), travel size non-alcoholic mouthwash, dental pics & floss, denture cases, travel toothbrush holders

Sunday, April 10
The choir will once again be selling posno sticky buns
 by the dozen only.
$8 per dozen plain
$10 per dozen with nuts
Pre-orders by Sunday, April 3 to Yovanka Hoover 
call / text 717-623-8588
Order forms may also be found on the tutors stand

Rolls are $20 each and the last day to order will be
Sunday, April 3rd
There will be LIMITED QUANTITIES, so order soon
Order forms are available at the tutors stand
and can be turned in to Popadija Andreja.
Or call her at 717-939-0251
Pick Up will be Thursday, April 14 from 4 pm - 6 pm
This movie, directed by Jelena Popovic, tells the story of St. Nektarios of Aegina. It plays on Monday, March 21 and Monday, March 28 at 7:00pm EDT. All are encouraged to see this film, which has the blessing of the Holy Mountain (Mt. Athos) in both production and distribution. Locally, it is showing at Regal Cinemas on Caughey Drive. Tickets are still available, but going fast.
On this day, the Third Sunday of the Fast, we keep the feast of the Veneration of the honorable and life-creating Cross.
Let the whole world entire worship the Cross
through Which it truly knew to worship Thee, O Word.
Every hard and strenuous work is accomplished with great difficulty, which appears especially in the middle of such work; for the effort in this performance brings with it fatigue which makes the accomplishment of the rest difficult. Having arrived with God’s grace at the middle of the Fast, our compassionate Mother—the Holy Orthodox Church—thought fit to reveal to us the Holy Cross as the joy of the world and power of the faithful to help us carry on the struggles of the divine Fast. By its power, O Christ God, preserve us from the crafty designs of the evil one and account us worthy to worship Thy divine Passion and life-giving Resurrection, as we achieve the course of the Forty Days with ease, and have mercy on us, as Thou alone art good and the Lover of mankind. Amen.
March Charity
St. Sava Pro-Cathedral, New York City, NY

The St. Sava Pro-Cathedral in New York City was burned in a fire on Pascha in 2016. The Cathedral is the Seat of our Diocese of Eastern America. As such, it also belongs to all of the faithful in the Diocese. The Cathedral is currently being renovated, and in need of funds to do so. The entirety of the project will eventually amount to around $62 million when completed. Thus, it is indeed a long range project in need of renewed support. Currently, the Cathedral has completed the Secure & Enclosure Phase. This consisted of securing the walls, including rebuilding segments of the roof line; installing new roof and floor beams; putting up the roof, all save the final slate layer, originally replaced in the years preceding the fire; pouring the floor, except for the final layer, which is to be determined by other factors, such as heating and finish; framing the doors and windows; and installing temporary fireproof metal doors and plexiglass windows. According to His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America, "with the removal of the interior scaffolding completed, once again the steeply pitched roof, which soars to the height of nearly two stories above the roofline, covering the broad expanse of our magnificent Cathedral, appears likened unto hands stretched forth in prayer". Spanning an entire city block, "the vast grandeur of this edifice, stands before God and humanity, likened unto the very image of Christ's Resurrection". According to the Bishop's vision, "our Cathedral promises to be a perfect harmony of East and West, where, in the timeless words of our Holy Bishop Nicholai (Velimirovich), 'the light of the East and the Light of the West will rest at their noon'." With the issuance of a temporary occupancy permit, our faithful will be allowed to return to their house of worship, the St. Sava Cathedral, which is now saved for posterity. Progress reports are available at or at the cathedral website:

Lenten Almsgiving
Worthwhile Projects with the IOCC
In response to the crisis in Ukraine, IOCC is working with partners in country and across the region to address immediate needs while also looking ahead and planning for longer-term response. Initial work in Ukraine includes providing generators, fuel, and other emergency supplies to a humanitarian partner. IOCC is also coordinating with partners on the ground in Romania and Moldova who are serving refugees arriving from Ukraine. We’ve deployed staff to the area and are working with local churches to provide emergency supplies including food, water, mattresses, blankets and other bedding, baby food, wipes, and diapers, plus other hygiene and sanitary items. You can serve people affected by the Ukraine crisis with a gift today to IOCC's Ukraine Crisis Response Fund. Please help us raise $1 million to help those in need. Thank you.

In Kosovo, IOCC works to provide the foundations for stronger communities, building schools and agricultural facilities that make life better for those in need.

Please join IOCC’s Chairman of the Board, Jasmina T. Boulanger, in supporting this work as IOCC invests in a brighter tomorrow. Whether through repairing or equipping a school, expanding the Church’s agricultural facilities, or helping farmers increase their productivity, together, we are serving people in the spirit of Christ’s love.