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Two of the Parish Youth Travel for Service Work

Alexa and Zachary Fitzgerald along with other youth from the diocese went to St. John the Compassionate Mission to serve people in Christ's name.  Here is Alexa's reflection from the trip that she gave after the Gospel today.

Reflection on my Trip to St. John the Compassionate Mission

By Alexa Fitzgerald

 Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to volunteer my time at St. John the Compassionate Mission in Toronto, Canada, with 4 other members of the Jr. ACRY and our national spiritual advisor.  I decided to go and experience how the mission is run because being there is different then hearing how great it was from friends who have went in the past. I also wanted to give my time to people who needed it rather then wasting it at home on a computer. 

I arrived on Tuesday in time for vespers and Wednesday was our first full day. On Wednesday, I quickly learned that when you volunteer at the mission, you don't volunteer for one specific task, but you do whatever needs to be done. I went from cleaning appliances and the Baptismal fount (aka the Stanley Cup) to serving food to calling BINGO. It's important to realize that I haven't used the words homeless, food bank, or soup kitchen because the mission is a community for everyone. A community is where people serve with other people, but that is also known as being compassionate thus the mission is named St. John the Compassionate. 

On Wednesday, Fr. Deacon Pawel spoke with our group about the chapel and he told us that St. John Chrysostom teaches us that there are two tables in the church. There is one for the poor in spirit and one for the rich in spirit. The two tables at St. John the Compassionate are the altar table in the chapel and the second is represented by the icon of the Holy trinity also known as the Hospitality of Sarah and Abraham on the wall before you enter into the chapel. It was pleasing for me to see that when we do prayers before each meal that our faith is able to bring loving people from the one table together to serve the people who need a little boost at the other table. 

The last thing I saw when leaving the mission to come home was the icon of Christ feeding the 5,000 with the 5 loaves and two fish, but it was a normal icon. The icon depicted people who have attended the mission as the ones who were being feed. This taught me that if Christ could do it with such little food, but still have so much food. Then giving time out of your day to just talk to someone can go a long way because communication was a key role in the success in the mission. I would like to leave you with the words of Mother Teresa who sums up my experience with only a few words, “Faith in action is love, and love in action is service.” 

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School happened this past week and was a great amount of fun.  The young children of the parish learned the basics about the faith and made plenty of crafts to keep them focused on prayer.  Even a little bit of prayer throughout the day can change our whole outlook on life. The children learned about who Jesus was, the bread we make for church (the prosphora and what is written on it, about baptism, marriage, and about other things we keep in the church.  They made prayer pillowcases, prayer mats, and decorated candles.  I heard that many of the kids were nervous about coming the first day but with Pani Amy and Mrs. Kathy Harbilas every day after that they couldn't wait to come.   The Jesus prayer was also taught to the children.  ‘Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner.’  Pani Amy taught them how to sing it!

Patronal Feast - Sts. Peter and Paul Picnic!

"The commemoration of each of the saints on the appointed feast day is an occasion for town and country, citizens and their rulers to share in rejoicing, and brings great benefit to all who celebrate." ~ St. Gregory Palamas on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

The Parishoners' of Sts. Peter and Paul celebrated the Patronal feast of thier parish Sunday, July 13th, and came together in fellowship and Christ's love.  There were some fun games being played, great food,  and smiles.  Each parishoner brought a side dish, which were all very tasty!  The Lyasko's cooked the main meat portion of the meal, slow cooked pulled pork, chicken wings, stuffed chicken, hamburgers and hotdogs!  May we always remember Christ's infinite goodness and celebrate as the mystical body of Christ!

Summer Schedule

Here is the Summer Schedule in PDF form.

Summer Schedule

Welcome to Our Parish!

The parish family of SS Peter & Paul Church cordially invites you to come and visit with them. We are a Pan-Orthodox community serving the region of Northern and Northwestern New Jersey. Our church is a parish in the New Jersey Deanery of the American Carpatho-Russian Diocese of the USA (ACROD) . We warmly welcome all who are searching for a church that is in unchanging continuity with the Church of the Apostles and where they may find the purity of the Apostolic Faith.

We are a church for those of all ages, ethnicities and races, for both families and singles who are searching for the anchor of a Christian community in our rootless society.

Above all, we are a Eucharistic community worshipping in the Holy Trinity in spirit and truth as we seek to know God, to conform ourselves to Christ's example of true humanity, and to be transformed to become partakers of the Divine Nature. Come and worship with us and with the Saints of all ages!


Click here to see our weekly bulletins and keep yourself updated!
The Lives of Saints Peter and Paul

The Holy Apostle Peter
The son of Jonah and brother of Andrew the First-Called, of the tribe of Simeon and the town of Bethsaida, he was a fisherman and was at first called Simon, but the Lord was pleased to call him Cephas, or Peter (JN 1:42). He was the first of the disciples to give clear expression to his faith in the Lord Jesus, saying, "Though art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." (MT 16:16) His love for the Lord was very strong and his faith in Him went from strength to strength. When the Lord was put on trial, Peter denied Him three times, but he needed only one look into the face of the Lord and Peter's soul was filled with shame and repentance. After the descent of the Holy Spirit, Peter became a fearless and powerful preacher of the Gospel. After his first sermon in Jerusalem, about 3,000 souls were converted to the Faith. He preached the Gospel throughout Palestine and Asia Minor, in Italy and in Illyria. Peter was condemned to death on the order of the wicked Emporer Nero. After installing Linus as Bishop of Rome and exhorting and encouraging the flock of Christ there, Peter went to his death with joy. When he saw the cross before him, he asked the executioner to crucify him upside-down, because he felt himself to be unworthy to die in the same way as his Lord. And so, this great servant of the greatest Master went to his rest and received a crown of eternal glory!
The Holy Apostle Paul
Born in Tarsus and of the tribe of Benjamin, he was formerly called Saul and studied under the teacher Gamaliel. He was a Pharisee and fierce persecutor of Christians. Saul was wondrously converted to the Christian Faith by the Lord Himself, who appeared to him on the road to Damascus. He was baptized by the Apostle Ananias, named Paul and enrolled in the great work of the Apostles. He preached the Gospel everywhere with burning zeal, from the borders of Arabia to the land of Spain, among both the Jews and Gentiles (heathens) and receiving the title 'Apostle to the Gentiles'. His fearful sufferings were matched only by his superhuman endurance. Through all the years of preaching, he hung from day to day like a thread between life and death. Filling his days and nights with toil and suffering for Christ, organizing the Church in many places and reaching a high level of perfection, he was able to say, "It is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me." (Galatians 2:20) Paul was brutally beheaded in Rome in the reign of Nero, at the same time as St. Peter.
Through all the world their voice resounds; their message reaches to the ends of the earth.
Prokimenon for the Feast of SS Peter and Paul
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