Sunday, December 10 (Nativity fast)
27th Sunday after Pentecost Tone 2.
Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus, of Alexandria (ca. 313)
Prosfora: S. Pacak
Altar Server: D. Abshear
Greeter(s): M. Jobst, M. Brausch
Epistle: S. Pacak
Donut Sponsor(s): Edwards
Chapel Vacuum: Need volunteer
Candle care: Need volunteer
Counters: B. Garber, P. Friesel
9:00am Hours: S. Pacak
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
11:15am Youth group
11:30 Fellowship Hour: Team 2
11:30 Children's Choir Practice
11:45 Church School
Hymns and Readings:
Resurrection Troparion: Tone 2
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!
Hymn of St. Paul
O blessed and Holy Paul the Apostle, Enlightener of the Nations; Your preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, has brought salvation to the ends of the earth. Never cease to intercede for us your children, that within us the Love of God may abide, bringing great joy to our neighbors and for us the salvation of our souls!
Resurrection Kontakion: Tone 2
Hell became afraid, O Almighty Savior, seeing the miracle of Your Resurrection from the tomb! The dead arose! Creation, with Adam, beheld this and rejoiced with You! And the world, O my Savior, praises You forever!
Prokeimenon: Tone 2
The Lord is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation.
Epistle: Ephesians 6:10-17
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Gospel: Luke 17:12-19
Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
For Further Reading:
Caring for the Sinner
When we want to correct someone usefully and show him he is wrong, we must see from what point of view he is approaching the matter, for it usually right from that point of view, and we must admit this, but show him the point of view from which it is wrong. This will please him, because he will see that he was not wrong but merely failed to see every aspect of the question. (Paschal, from Peter Kreeft’s Christianity for Modern Pagans, p. 39)
Socially Acceptable Political Correctness, The End of Time
Here is another image of the human situation.
We are locked in a car (our body), rushing furiously down a hill (time), through fog (ignorance), unable to see ahead, over rocks and pits (wretchedness). The doors are welded shut, the steering works only a little, and the brakes are nonexistent. Our only certainty is that all the cars sooner or later fall over the edge of the cliff (death).
So what do we do? We erect billboards at the edge of the cliff, so that we do not have to look at the abyss. The billboards are called “civilization”.
Our “solution” is the biggest part of our problem. (Peter Kreeft, Christianity for Modern Pagans, p. 145)
The Incarnation of God
The union of Christ’s full divinity and humanity is the touchstone of the Orthodox understanding of salvation. The Church fathers widely exploit this biblical teaching of the incarnation as sharing and participation in the very life of God. According to Athanasius, if the problem was the guilt of sin, forgiveness could have been granted from heaven upon repentance of transgressions. But the problem was the power of corruption and death that ruled the world and held humanity captive. The incarnation was necessary not only for the forgiveness of sins, but also for the rescue of humanity from the corruptive powers of darkness. This rescue was shown decisively by the resurrection of Christ. To use the language of the Gospel of John, the incarnation is an invasion of light and life into the realm of darkness and death. The incarnation provides the basis for the redemption from sin as a universal power, and liberation of life from the forces of evil. It is life confronting and overcoming death. The victory is decisively achieved through Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection, viewed as one movement of the Son’s return to the Father , which John’s Gospel calls the “hour of glory” (John 12:23-24; 17:1-5). (Theodore G. Stylianopoulos, Encouraged by the Scriptures, p. 8)
Created in God’s Image for the Sake of Virtue
So let us not grow tired until we reach the end; this, after all, was why we were made, not to eat and drink and wear clothes, but to avoid evil and choose virtue by adopting the divine value system. For proof, in fact, that we were not made for eating and drinking but for other far greater and better things, listen to God himself explaining the reason why he made the human being: at the time of its creation he spoke this way, “Let us make the human being in our image and likeness.” Now, we become like God not by eating and drinking and wearing clothes - but by practising righteousness, giving evidence of lovingkindness, being good and kind, showing mercy to the neighbor, pursuing every virtue; eating and drinking we have in common with the nature of brute beast, and in that regard we are no better than they. But what is the basis of our superiority? Being made in God’s image and likeness. (St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, pp. 13-14)
Teachings from the Didache
There are two ways; the one is that of life and the other is that of death. There is a great difference between the two ways. The Way of Life is this: first, you shall love the God Who made you; second, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Everything that you do not wish to be done to you, do not do to another!
Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies. Fast for those who persecute you, for what grace would you receive if you love only those who love you back? Even the heathen do that. Love those who hate you, and you will have no enemies. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also, and you will be perfect.
You shall not be rapacious and always want to have more, or be deceitful, or malicious, or imagine yourself to be great. You shall not plot evil schemes against your neighbor. You shall not hate any man. You shall admonish people, you shall pray for people, and you shall love man more than your own life.
Do not grumble, for this leads to blasphemy; do not be self-willed or evil-minded, for all these things breed blasphemy. Be gentle-minded, for those of a gentle mind shall possess the earth. Be patient and have a loving heart. Be guileless, quiet and good, trembling in all things at the words you have heard. You shall not exalt yourself or allow your heart to be bold or presumptuous. Your heart shall not cling to the high and mighty on earth but to the good and humble folk. (George Grube, What the Church Fathers Say About…, pp. 137, 138, 139)
Recent Posts on Fr. Ted’s Blog:
Children’s choir will have one more practice today in the church at 11:30am before singing the hymn we’ve been learning next week, Dec. 17. All children who wish to sing next week should make their way to the back of the church after the Lord’s prayer and we will be signing during the preparation.
Wednesday Book Study
Our group is not meeting this Wednesday but will resume discussing Scott Cairns’ The End of Suffering: Finding Purpose in Pain on December 20. Please join us in discussing suffering in this world as well as in our lives.
Help Needed: Church Cleaning Day
We will do our annual pre-Christmas cleaning of our church this Saturday, December 16, from 9-11am. We need as many hands as we can get to put up Christmas Decorations, and deep-clean the fellowship hall, kitchen, library, and other areas. Please come help!
A Visit from St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas will be visiting St. Paul’s today! December 10 after Liturgy. We ask that all children bring a new package of socks (any size) to give to St. Nicholas during his visit. The socks will be donated to a local charity. Please make sure you bring all your little ones to enjoy this special visit!
Church School Schedule & Nativity Play
The Nativity Play will occur immediately following services on Sunday, December 17. Church school will not meet after Liturgy on Sunday, December 24 and Sunday, December 31. All classes will resume on January 7.
Photo directories have arrived!
The long-awaited photo directories have arrived! If you submitted a photo or got your photo taken by Lifetouch, please pick up your directory in the office and cross your name off the list beside the books (one per household). If you did NOT submit a photo or get a picture taken, let Erin Caldwell know if you want one and she’ll let you know if there are enough extras.
Fr. Ted on Vacation
Fr. Ted will be away Monday - Wednesday this week to visit his son, John.
Angel Giving Tree
The church school is once again sponsoring the Angel Tree to give help this holiday season to several families within the St. Paul parish. Please take as many “angels” off the tree as you would like. Each angel contains a few wish list items that the families suggested. Feel free to select an item(s) off of the wish list or something else that is age appropriate for the child. You do not need to purchase all of the items on the card as these are just suggestions! Presents should be returned to the church by next week, December 17. Please remember to attach your angel to the outside of the wrapped package. Direct all questions to Kerrie Wiese.
2018 Pledge Campaign Update
Thank you to all who have turned in pledge forms. As of Sunday, December 3, 2017, we have received 54 pledge forms, representing 83 parishioners, that total $172,060. This amount represents approximately 64.5% of our 2018 budget. All members, please return your completed Pledge Forms to Brian Garber or Kerrie Wiese as soon as you can.
St. Paul Prayer Team
If you would like to submit prayer requests for the prayer team, forms can be found on the greeter’s table. Please place requests in the box on the greeter table or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to be a part of praying with the team - and pray daily for others in the parish, or if you have further questions please contact Mark Pearson.
As we did last month, we are giving our charity funds this month to several different families who are in financial need to help them get through difficult times. Please do remember to pray for all families, that God may protect and bless them.
Birthdays: Kristine Albee, Jeff McGlaun, Heather Weis, Marky Champ
Namedays: Jeff McGlaun
God grant you many years!
This Week’s Schedule:
Monday, December 11 (Nativity fast)
Ven. Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople (489-490)
Readings: 2 Timothy 2:20-26, Mark 8:11-21
NO Matins or Office Hours
Tuesday, December 12 (Nativity fast)
St. Spyridon the Wonderworker, Bishop of Tremithus (ca. 348).
Readings: 2 Timothy 3:16-4:4, Mark 8:22-26
Wednesday, December 13 (Nativity fast)
Repose of Ven. Herman of Alaska, Wonderworker of All America
Readings: 2 Timothy 4:9-22, Mark 8:30-34
NO Matins, Office Hours or Discussion Group
Thursday, December 14 (Nativity fast)
Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucis, and Callinicus of Apollonia (249-51).
Readings: Titus 1:5-2:1, Mark 9:10-16
Friday, December 15 (Nativity fast)
Hieromartyr Eleutherius, Bishop of Illyria, and his mother, Martyr Anthia (2nd c.).
Readings: Titus 1:15-2:10, Mark 9:33-41
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours
Saturday, December 16 (Nativity fast)
Prophet Haggai (Aggæus—50 B.C.)
Readings: Ephesians 1:16-23, Luke 14:1-11
9am Church Cleaning Day 2-4:30pm Diaconate Training Class: Theology
5pm Vespers 5:45pm Confession
Sunday, December 17 (Nativity fast)
28th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 3. Sunday of the Forefathers.
Colossians 3:4-11, Luke 14:16-24
Altar Server: M. Caldwell
Greeter(s): G. Friesel, D. Helferich
Epistle: L. Short
Donut Sponsor(s): Muzzy
Chapel Vacuum: Need volunteer
Candle care: Need volunteer
Counters: J. Weise, L. Wagner
9:00am Hours: L. Short
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Reception of Catechumens into the Orthodox Faith
Children’s choir sings during preparation
11:15am Children’s Nativity Play
11:15am Youth group
11:30 Fellowship Hour: Team 3/NO Children’s Choir
Upcoming Dates to Remember
December 22 1st & 3rd Royal Hours, 9am; Confession, 10am; 6th & 9th Royal Hours, 12pm
December 24 Vespers for Nativity, Lessons & Carols, 5pm
December 25 Divine Liturgy of St. Basil for the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 9:30am, Festal Potluck following