Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, May 22, 2016


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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, May 22, 2016
Christ is Risen!

FOURTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: THE HEALING OF THE PARALYTIC; THE HOLY PROPHET ISAIAH; TRANSFER OF THE RELICS OF SAINT NICHOLAS THE WONDERWORKER OF MYRA IN LYCIA

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE THREE:
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 the world great mercy!

TROPARION TO THE HOLY PROPHET ISAIAH – TONE FOUR:
With a great voice like that of a trumpet, you proclaimed the coming of Christ to the world. You were revealed as a swiftly-writing scribe of the things to come; therefore, we acclaim you with hymns, most illustrious prophet Isaiah.

KONTAKION TO THE PARALYTIC - TONE THREE:
By Your divine intercession, O Lord, as You raised up the paralytic of old so raise up my soul, paralyzed by sins and thoughtless acts; so that being saved I may sing to You: ‘Glory to Your power, O compassionate Christ!

PASCHAL KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT:
Thou didst descend into the tomb, O Immortal; Thou didst destroy the power of death. In victory didst Thou arise, O Christ God, proclaiming ‘Rejoice’ to the myrrh-bearing women, granting peace to Thy apostles, and bestowing resurrection on the fallen.

INSTEAD OF “IT IS TRULY MEET…”:
The angel cried to the Lady Full of Grace: Rejoice, O Pure Virgin! Again I say: Rejoice! Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb! With Himself He has raised all the dead! Rejoice, all ye people! Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem! The glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exult now and be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!

INSTEAD OF “WE HAVE SEEN THE TRUE LIGHT…”:
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (once)

EPISTLE READING

THE PROKIMENON IN THE 1ST TONE:
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have set our hope on You.

FOURTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: ACTS 9: 32-42
In those days it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda. There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bed-ridden eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately. So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.

THE ALLELUIA VERSES:
I will sing of Your mercies, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim Your truth from generation to generation. You has said: Mercy will be established forever, and My truth will be prepared in the heavens.

GOSPEL READING

FOURTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: JOHN 5: 1-15
At that time there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’” Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

FROM THE PROLOGUE
FOR MAY 9/22 BY ST. NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:

The Holy Prophet Isaiah
This great prophet was of royal lineage. Isaiah was born in Jerusalem of his father Amoz, who was the brother of Amaziah the King of Judah. By the great grace of God that was in him, Isaiah was made worthy to see the Lord of Sabaoth on the throne in heaven surrounded by six-winged seraphim who continuously sing: Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Sabaoth (Isaiah 6:3). Isaiah prophesied many things to individual men as well as to the people. On one occasion, he walked naked through the streets of Jerusalem for three days, prophesying the imminent fall of Jerusalem to the Assyrian King Sennacherib, and reminding the king and the leaders of the people not to hope in assistance from the Egyptians or Ethiopians, because they too would be subjugated to the same Sennacherib, but rather to trust in help from God the Most High. This prophecy, as well as other prophecies, was literally fulfilled. Isaiah’s most important prophecies are the ones concerning the Incarnation of God, His conception by the All-holy Virgin, John the Forerunner, and many events in the life of Christ. This prophet, because of the purity of his heart and his zealousness toward God, also received the gift of working miracles. Thus, when the besieged Jerusalem suffered from drought, Isaiah prayed to God and water flowed from beneath Mount Zion. This water was called Siloam, which means “sent.” Later, the Lord directed the man who was blind from birth to bathe in this water to gain his sight. During the reign of King Manasses, when Isaiah thundered against the pagan customs of the king and the leaders, comparing that generation with Sodom and Gomorrah, the anger of the leaders and the people was aroused against this great prophet. He was captured and led out of Jerusalem, and was sawn in half. Isaiah lived and prophesied about seven hundred years before Christ.

The Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia
In 1087, during the reign of Emperor Alexius Comnenus and Patriarch Nicholas Grammaticus, the body of this saint was translated from Myra in Lycia to the town of Bari in Italy. This occurred because of the Moslem assault on Lycia. The saint appeared in a dream to an honorable priest in Bari and ordered that his relics be translated to this town. At that time, Bari was Orthodox and under an Orthodox patriarch. During the translation of this saint’s relics, many miracles occurred either through touching the relics or from the myrrh that abundantly flowed from them. Also on this day is commemorated the miracle St. Nicholas wrought on the Serbian King, Stefan of Deèani. This was when St. Nicholas restored sight to the blinded King Stefan.

The Holy Martyr Christopher
Christopher was a great miracle-worker. He is especially venerated in Spain. The people pray to him primarily for protection from contagious diseases and great pestilence. He suffered for Christ and was glorified by Christ in the year 249.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Stefan of Deèani
On the Field of Sheep, the blind Stefan slept,
And in a dream he endured misfortune without peace.
His eyes bloody, his body shivering:
Death is surely better than such a life.
At that moment, in a dream a man appeared to him,
In heavenly radiance, in heavenly glory.
“I am Nicholas of Myra in Lycia,” said he,
“And you are one of those whom God has chosen.
Look into my right hand, O Stefan:
Behold, your eyes are preserved in it!
You are without eyes; your eyes are with me.
I will give them to you when the Lord wills.”
Five years passed and Stefan was in darkness.
He had a strong hope, a strong faith:
“Nicholas will come once more to me;
With God’s help he will help me.”
Thus did Stefan ponder in the church,
And with tears he prayed to the beloved saint.
And, while he sat in the chair, he had a dream:
Behold, St. Nicholas came to him again!
The saint held the two eyes of the king in his right palm.
“Behold,” said he, “for you, O King, the day has dawned!
In the name of the Lord, Who gives sight to the blind,
Look and cry out: To God be glory!”
The saint touched the blind eyes,
And darkness was drawn from his eyes like a curtain.

REFLECTION
Every Christian can accept martyrdom for the Faith for himself, in times of persecution as well as in times of peace. Abba Athanasius says: “Be tortured by your conscience, die to sin, mortify your earthly members, and you will be a martyr in accordance with your wishes. The martyrs fought with emperors and princes; you have the king of sins—the devil and the demonic princes. Before, there were idols, pagan temples, and those who offer sacrifice to the idols. And now, they exist as thoughts in the soul. He who is a slave to debauchery worships the idol of Aphrodite. He who becomes angry and enraged worships the idol of Ares. He who is avaricious and ignores the pain and misery of his neighbor worships the idol Hermes. If you refrain from all of this and preserve yourself from passions, you have overcome idols, you have rejected an evil belief and have become a martyr for the true Faith.” Therefore, a man need not especially yearn for persecution and martyrdom. Everyone in every age can endure martyrdom for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the descent of God the Holy Spirit upon the apostles:
1. How all the men wondered and marveled, hearing to the apostles speak in different tongues;
2. How some mocked them, saying: They have had too much new wine (Acts 2:13).

HOMILY
on the curse of man who trusts in man
Thus says the Lord: cursed is the man who trusts in man, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord (Jeremiah 17:5).
When man alienates himself from God in his heart he usually trusts in men and in himself, for in whom else can he trust when he has untied his little boat from God’s ship? Since he has already loosed his boat from God’s ship, nothing else remains for him except to trust in his boat or in the boat of his neighbors. A weak trust, but there is none other for him! A lamentable trust over the abyss of destruction, but there is no other!
But, O heaven and earth, why did man loose his boat from God’s ship? What happened to man that he flees from his security? What calculation did he make when he decided it would be better for him alone on the tempestuous waves than in God’s house near the hem of His robe! With whom did he make an alliance when he breached his alliance with God? Is it with someone stronger than God? Foolishness, foolishness, foolishness!
Cursed is the man who trusts in man. God said this once, and men have repeated this thousands of times. Being disappointed in their trust in men, they have thousands of times cursed those who have trusted in man. God has said only that which men have both experienced too well and confirmed by their experience: Truly, how cursed is the man who trusts in man!
Brethren, that is why we should have trust in God, Who is the stable ship in the tempest and Who will not fail us. Let us have trust only in Him, for all other trust is a devilish delusion. In Thee do we trust, O Lord, our fortress and refuge. Tie us alongside Thee and do not allow us to loose ourselves if we, by our foolishness and accursedness, attempt to do so.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

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Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, April 24, 2016


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  Exceptional new book on Serbian Christian Heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, its heartland in medieval times and through Ottoman domination, is intended to introduce to a wide reading public the oldest and richest treasury of Serbian medieval history and culture.  
 
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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, April 24, 2016

PALM SUNDAY
The Entrance of our Lord Jesus

Christ into Jerusalem

FIRST ANTIPHON
VERSE: I love the Lord because He has heard the voice of my supplication.
REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.
VERSE: Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.
REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.
VERSE: Glory to the Father and to the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
REFRAIN: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

SECOND ANTIPHON
VERSE: I kept my faith even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted!”
REFRAIN: O Son of God who sat upon the foal, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!
VERSE: What shall I render to the Lord for all the things He has given me?
REFRAIN: O Son of God who sat upon the foal, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!
VERSE: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. Only-begotten Son and immortal Word of God...

THIRD ANTIPHON
VERSE: O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever!
PALM SUNDAY TROPARION - TONE ONE: By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion, Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, O Christ God! Like the children with the palms of victory, we cry out to Thee, O Vanquisher of Death: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!
VERSE: Let the house of Israel say: For He is good, for His mercy endures forever!

PALM SUNDAY TROPARION

INTROIT OF THE LITTLE ENTRANCE:
Wisdom, let us be attentive! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord! God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us!

PALM SUNDAY TROPARION

SECOND PALM SUNDAY TROPARION - TONE FOUR:
When we were buried with Thee in Baptism, O Christ God, we were made worthy of eternal life by Thy Resurrection! Now we praise Thee and sing: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!

PALM SUNDAY KONTAKION - TONE SIX:
Sitting on Thy throne in Heaven, carried on a foal on earth, O Christ God! Accept the praise of angels and the songs of children, who sing: Blessed is He that comes to recall Adam!

HYMN TO THE THEOTOKOS (REPLACES “IT IS TRULY MEET”): God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us! Celebrate the feast and come with gladness! Let us magnify Christ with palms and branches, singing: Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!

EPISTLE READING

The Prokimenon in the 4th Tone: Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord! God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us!

Palm Sunday: Philippians 4: 4-9
Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

The Alleluia Verses: O sing to the Lord a new song, for the Lord has done marvelous things! All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God!

GOSPEL READING

Palm Sunday: John 12: 1-18 At that time, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.” Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus. The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it, as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign.

FROM THE PROLOGUE
For April 11/24 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic: The Hieromartyr Antipas, Bishop of Pergamum in Asia Minor

Antipas is mentioned in the Book of Revelation as, Antipas, my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth (Revelation 2:13), that is, in the city of Pergamum. The inhabitants of this city lived in the darkness of idolatry and in extreme impurity. They were slaves to passions. They were slanderers, tyrants and incestuous people. In other words, they were the servants of Satan. Here among them lived Antipas, “as a light in the midst of darkness, as a rose among thorns and as gold in the mire.” In this city, he who captured and killed a Christian was deemed good and just. The totality of their pagan belief consisted of soothsaying, interpretation of dreams, serving demons and extreme perversion. Being frightened of Antipas as of fire, the demons appeared to the soothsayers in a dream and confessed how afraid they were of Antipas—and how, because of him, they had to depart from the city. The pagan priests assembled a large number of people against Antipas and interrogated him, trying to force him to deny Christ and worship idols. Antipas said to them: “When your so-called gods, lords of the universe, are frightened of me, a mortal man, and must flee from this city, do you not recognize by this that your faith is a delusion?” The saint spoke to them further about the Christian Faith as the One, True, Saving Faith. They became as enraged as wild beasts and dragged the aged Antipas to the temple of Artemis, before which stood an ox cast in bronze. They heated the bronze ox and hurled the servant of God inside. From within the fiery ox, St. Antipas glorified God with thanksgiving, like Jonah in the belly of the whale or the Three Youths in the fiery furnace. Antipas prayed for his flock and for the entire world, until his soul parted from his weakened body and ascended among the angels into the Kingdom of Christ. He died in torments and was crowned with unfading glory in the year 92.

The Holy Martyrs Processus and Martinian

Processus and Martinian were jailers in the Roman prison where the Apostles Peter and Paul were imprisoned. Hearing the words and witnessing the miracles of the apostles, they were baptized, and released the apostles from prison. The apostles left Rome, but the Lord appeared to Peter on the way. “Lord, where are you going?” Peter asked. The Lord answered: “I’m going to Rome, to be crucified a second time.” Ashamed, the apostles returned to Rome, where they were apprehended and slain. Also slain with the apostles were these two brave martyrs, Processus and Martinian.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Antipas
In a fiery ox as in a luminous temple,
Antipas, the Christian, does not suffer loneliness:
In his pure heart the Lord abides.
The fire does not burn him, nor is he afraid of it.
For Christ the saint patiently endures all,
And his prayers to Christ ascend from the fire:
“O All-powerful Christ, King of all ages,
For these sufferings, a hundredfold thanks be unto Thee!
Let burn with fire all that is sinful in me,
That I may be more precious according to heavenly worth.
I pray to Thee, O Savior, protect my flock
In this town, in this awful dung!
May my blood strengthen them in the Faith,
And may their hearts be fixed on Thee.
And for the heathen, also, I pray to Thee, O Blessed One:
Tear them away, once and for all, from demonic lies.
I pray for all sinners who mock Thy law:
Direct them to serve none but Thee.
Behold, all is in the power of Thy holy will.
Finally, I further pray: may it be better for the Church!”

REFLECTION
“There can be no rest for those on earth who desire to be saved,” says St. Ephraim the Syrian. The struggle is unceasing, be it external or internal. The adversary acts at times visibly, through men and other things, and at other times invisibly, through thoughts. At times the adversary appears openly and behaves brutally and cruelly like an enemy and, at other times, under the guise of a flattering friend, he seduces by shrewdness. That which occurs in battle between two opposing armies also occurs to every man individually in battle with the passions of this world. Truly, “there can be no rest for those on earth who desire to be saved.” When salvation comes, rest also comes.

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the resurrected Lord Jesus:

1. How Simon Peter and the other disciple ran quickly to the tomb to confirm the news of the Resurrection;

2. How one after the other entered the tomb and saw the linen clothes and the napkin;

3. How they both saw and believed, and then witnessed; and how, for their witness, they died.


HOMILY on the two Adams: the death-creating and the life-giving

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (I Corinthians 15:22).

In Adam, life is sown in shame; in Christ, life is raised in glory. Sin is from Adam and justice is from Christ. Weakness and death come from Adam, and strength and life come from Christ. Thus, in Adam we all die. And thus, in Christ we shall all be brought to life. That one is the earthly man; this one is the heavenly man. That is the bodily man and this is the spiritual man. Christ did not resurrect for His sake but for our sake, just as He did not die for His sake but for our sake. If His Resurrection does not signify our resurrection, then His Resurrection is bitterness and not sweetness. Where, then, would the love of God be? Where, then, would the meaning of our miserable earthly experience be? What, then, would be the purpose of Christ’s coming to earth? Where Adam ends, Christ begins. Adam ends up in the grave, and Christ begins with the Resurrection from the grave. Adam’s generation is the seed underground that rots and decays, that does not see the sun. It does not believe that it can emerge from beneath the earth to blossom into a green plant with leaves, flowers and fruit. Christ’s generation is a green field upon which wheat grows, turns green, puts forth leaves, blossoms and bears much fruit. “In Adam” does not only mean that we will die one day; rather it means that we are already dead—dead to the last one. “In Christ” does not only mean that we will revive one day, but rather that we are already alive—that the seed in the ground has already begun to germinate and to break through to the light of the sun. The complete expression of death is in the grave, but the complete expression of eternal life is in the Kingdom of God. The mind of the sons of Adam is in accordance with death, reconciled with being in a state of decay, and it sinks even deeper into the ground. The mind of the sons of Christ rebels against death and decay, and strives all the more, so that a man burgeons toward the light, with the help of the grace of God. O resurrected Lord, sober the minds of all the sons of men, that they would flee from darkness and destruction and reach out toward light and eternal life, which is in Thee. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

 


Lenten Prayer of
St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen. 


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NEWEST PUBLICATIONS

Covek zajednice u Hristu

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by His Grace Bishop Maxim Vasiljevic

Read More...

sts mardarije sebastian

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kss brosura
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at Amazon:

Our Newest Addition

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than the Christian Faith

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of Ever-Living Fire

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What is Orthodox Christianity?

what is orthodoxy
A three-part slideshow that answers the question, "What is Orthodox Christianity?" by emphasizing the prayer of the heart, watchfulness, and the Holy Mysteries that set Orthodox Christianity apart from other Christian confessions.

View All Three Parts


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MANY ONGOING MINISTRIES...


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