Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Year of St Paul

Dear Parish Faithful,

I just discovered that the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, and Pope Benedict of Rome have declared the year from June 29, 2008 - June 29, 2009 to be the YEAR OF ST. PAUL. According to scholars, that will be around the time that St. Paul will be celebrating 2000 years since his birth!

There is a travel agent who has already posted an interesting presentation about St. Paul as he tries to encourage people to travel to Turkey to visit the birthplace of St. Paul. This is rather an odd site - forwarded to me the other day - to hear about St. Paul (a Turkish travel agent!), but the rather full biography of the Apostle Paul made available there is quite well done, and something you may want to read over time.

By a nice coincidence, we are studying the apostolic ministry of St. Paul this year - and into next year - through our study of the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES at our Bible Study. The majority of this book narrates the life of St. Paul from his "conversion" (ACTS 9) to the time of his house arrest in Rome (ACTS 28). Almost all of the material in the intervening chapters covers some aspect of St. Paul's labors for the Gospel.

We just began this part of the ACTS last Wednesday when we covered the beginning of ch. 9, and St. Paul's vision of the Risen Lord and his call to the apostolic ministry. This would be a good place to join us at the Bible Study as we will honor this newly-declared YEAR OF ST. PAUL by carefully studying his life as presented in the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. It is all fascinating reading, and the best place to begin learning more of this great apostle, together with reading and studying his epistles. (For those unfamiliar with the term "epistle" it is good to remember that an epistle is not the wife of an apostle).

Let us honor, commemorate and venerate the great Apostle Paul is this upcoming YEAR OF ST. PAUL by zealously studying his life and writings both in our communal and personal lives.

Throughout July and into August, our Bible Study is scheduled for Wednesday evenings at 7:45 p.m., following Vespers which begins at 7:00 p.m. For this evening, we will cover ACTS 9:19 - 10:48. Hope to see you there!

Fr. Steven

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