St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church

Sunday Bulletin

Sunday, December 17 (Nativity fast)

28th Sunday after Pentecost    Tone 3.

Sunday of the Forefathers. Daniel and the Three Holy Youths.

Today’s Schedule:

Prosfora: M. Bunta

Altar Server: V. Weis

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: Tyler, Holly, Olivia, Josiah, Malachi, and Hazel DeLong; Christopher and Christine Albee; Lonell Childred

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

Hymns & Readings:


Resurrection Troparion: Tone 3

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 of the Forefathers: Tone 2

Through faith You justified the Forefathers, betrothing through them the Church of the gentiles. These saints exult in glory, for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: She who bore You without seed. So by their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us!


Kontakion of the Forefathers: Tone 6

You did not worship the graven image, O thrice-blessed ones, but armed with the immaterial Essence of God, you were glorified in a trial by fire. From the midst of unbearable flames you called on God, crying: Hasten, O compassionate One! Speedily come to our aid, for You are merciful and able to do as You will.


Resurrection Kontakion: Tone 3

On this day You rise from the tomb, O Merciful One, leading us from the gates of death. On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices. With the prophets and patriarchs they unceasingly praise the divine majesty of Your power.


Prokeimenon for the Sunday of the Forefathers: Tone 4

Blessed are You, O Lord God of our Fathers, and praised and glorified is your name forever.


Epistle: Colossians 3:4-11

When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.


Gospel: Luke 14:16-24

Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. ’For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’”


Communion Hymn

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the just.

For Further Reading:


Charity: Even a Little is Good

A brother said to Abba Poemen: “If I give my brother a little bread or something else, the demons denigrate the deed as being done to please men.” The elder said to him: “Even if it is done to please men, let us give the brother what he needs,” and he told him this parable: “There were two men, both farmers, living in one city. One of them sowed and reaped a small crop of poor quality, while the other neglected to sow and reaped nothing. When there is a famine, which of the two will be found to life?” “The one who reaped a small crop of poor quality,” the brother replied. Said the elder to him: “So it also with us; let us too sow a little even if it be of poor quality so that we do not die by famine.” (Give me a Word: The Alphabetical Sayings of the Desert Fathers, p. 235)


Fasting Before Christians

Everything we do, our every objective, must be undertaken for the sake of this purity of heart. This is why we take on loneliness, fasting, vigils, work, nakedness. For this we must practice the reading of the Scripture, together with all the other virtuous activities and we do so to trap and to hold our hearts free of the harm of every dangerous passion and in order to rise step by step to the high point of love.

            It may be that some good and necessary task prevents us from achieving fully all that we set out to do. Let us not on this account give way to sadness or anger or indignation, since it was precisely to repel these that we would have done what in fact we were compelled to omit. What we gain from fasting does not compensate for what we lose through anger. Our profit from scriptural reading in no way equals the damage we cause ourselves by showing contempt for a brother. We must practice fasting, vigils, withdrawal, and the meditation of Scripture as activities which are subordinate to our main objective, purity of heart, that is to say, love, and we must never disturb this principal virtue for the sake of those others. (John Cassian, John Cassian: Conferences, p. 41-42)


St. Gregory of Nyssa on the Forefathers

Each Old Testament worthy became for Gregory the model of a virtue. Thus he says: “Scripture teaches us that Noah was righteous, Abraham faithful, Moses meek, Daniel wise, Joseph chaste, Job blameless, and David great-souled.” In his panegyric on Meletius, Gregory declares that he possessed the gentleness of David, the understanding of Solomon, the goodness of Moses, the scrupulousness of Samuel, the chastity of Joseph, the wisdom of Daniel, and the zeal of Elijah.

            Abraham is described in Against Eunomius in terms very similar to those applied to Moses. Abraham surpassed his countrymen in their own wisdom, the philosophy of the Chaldaeans. The migration of Abraham was no mere spatial journey: He stretched his human capacity in order to attain to God. Making each new discovery a stepping stone to another, he ever “strained ahead for what was still to come” (Phil. 313, the text verse of The Life of Moses). He left all sense and perception behind and arrived by faith at the knowledge that God is greater and more sublime than any token by which he may be known. (Gregory of Nyssa: The Life of Moses, p. 20)


The Incarnation: For the Healing of Our Souls and Bodies

When the Lord, on account of the inexpressible ocean of His mercy, appeared on earth as a man to heal the diseases of our soul and take away the sin of the world, He also healed those diseases which the law specified as unclean. So if anyone considers such illnesses to be really impurity and sin, let him confess the one who delivers men from them as God. If, however, he rightly takes such afflictions as symbols of actual uncleanness and transgression, let him understand from the things Christ accomplished in respect of these symbols, that He is truly the one who has power to forgive and cleanse the sin of the world. It would, in my opinion, also be correct and truthful to say something else. The Lord exhorts us to seek after spiritual things - “Seek ye first the kingdom of God”, he says, “and his righteousness” - and when we look for what is beneficial for our souls and brings salvation, he also promises to supply our bodies’ needs, saying, “And all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). In the same way, when He graciously willed to bow the heavens and come down from on high to our lowest state, in order to cleanse us from our sins, He granted in addition that the lame should be put back on their feet, the blind see and the lepers be cleansed, and simply healed all our bodily sicknesses and diseases, as He is rich in mercy. (St. Gregory Palamas, The Homilies, pp. 503-504)


Recent Posts on Fr. Ted’s Blog:


Children’s Choir

Children’s choir will be singing our hymn today and next week just before communion. All children who wish to sing should make their way to the back of the church after the Lord’s prayer.


Angel Giving Tree

thank you to all who contributed to the Angel Tree presents. All presents should be brought to the church by this Sunday, December 17.  Please remember to attach your angel to the outside of the wrapped package.


Church School Schedule & Nativity Play

The Nativity Play will occur immediately following services today, December 17. Church school will not meet after Liturgy on Sunday, December 24  and Sunday, December 31. All classes will resume on January 7.

Wednesday Book Study

Our group is meeting this Wednesday to continue discussing Scott Cairns’ The End of Suffering: Finding Purpose in Pain. Please join us in discussing suffering in this world as well as in our lives.  

Bp. Paul in Lima

Bp. Paul will be serving liturgy at St. Stephen’s in Lima on December 27th at 9:30am. Anyone who would like to come is welcome.

Serving at St. Vincent DePaul

What a great way to end the year! The fourth and final fifth Saturday of the year is this month (December 30) so it's time to serve at St Vincent de Paul. For those new to this, we make sub sandwiches for the single woman and families who stay at the shelter. Come at 9:15 AM and stay till about 1 PM at 120 W. Apple St. 45402. Please call or email Matthew Jobst if you would like to help.


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.


2018 Pledge Campaign Update

Thank you to all who have turned in pledge forms. As of Sunday, December 10, 2017, we have received 61 pledge forms, representing 92 parishioners, that total $180,520. This amount represents approximately 67.7% 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 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.


December Charity 

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: Janine Elash

Namedays: Bill Turri

God grant you many years!

This Week’s Schedule:

Monday, December 18 (Nativity fast)

Martyr Sebastian at Rome and his companions: Martyrs Nicostratus, Zoë, Castorius, Tranquillinus, Marcellinus, Mark, Claudius, Symphorian, Victorinus, Tiburtius, and Castulus (ca. 287)

Readings: Hebrews 3:5-11, 17-19, Mark 9:42-10:1

8:30am Matins            9am Office Hours


Tuesday, December 19 (Nativity fast)

Martyr Boniface at Tarsus 

Readings: Hebrews 4:1-13, Mark 10:2-12


Wednesday, December 20 (Nativity fast)

Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ. Ignatius, the God-bearer.

Readings: Hebrews 4:1-13, Mark 10:2-12

8:30am Matins            9am Office Hours       11am Adult Discussion Group

5pm Confession          5:30pm Vespers          6pm Parish Council Meeting


Thursday, December 21 (Nativity fast)

Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ. Virgin Martyr Juliana of Nicomedia, and with her 50 men and 130 women (304)

Readings: Hebrews 7:1-6, Mark 10:17-27


Friday, December 22 (Nativity fast)

Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ. Great Martyr Anastasia, “Deliverer from Bonds”, and her teacher, Martyr Chrysogonus, and with them Martyrs Theodota, Evodias, Eutychianus, and others, who suffered under Diocletian (ca. 304).

Readings: Hebrews 7:18-25, Mark 10:23-32

9am 1st & 3rd Royal Hours                10am Confession        12pm 6th & 9th Royal Hours


Saturday, December 23 (Nativity fast)

Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ. Saturday before the Nativity. Holy Ten Martyrs of Crete: Theodulus, Saturninus, Euporus, Gelasius, Eunician, Zoticus, Pompeius, Agathopus, Basilides, and Evaristus (3rd c.). 

Readings: Ephesians 2:11-13, Luke 16:10-15

4pm Confession         5pm Vespers


Sunday, December 24 (Nativity fast)

29th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 4. Eve of the Nativity of Christ. Sunday before the Nativity. Nun-martyr Eugenia of Rome, and with her Martyrs Philip, her father, Protus, Hyacinth, Basilla, and Claudia (ca. 262).

Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40, Matthew 1:1-25

Altar Server: M. Caldwell

Greeter(s): D. Federinko, B. Edwards

Epistle: M. Pearson

Donut Sponsor(s): Helferich

Chapel Vacuum: Need volunteer

Candle care: Need volunteer

Counters: K. Henry, M. Brausch

9:00am Hours: M. Pearson

9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Children’s choir sings during preparation

11:30 Fellowship Hour: Team 4/NO Children’s Choir

5pm Vespers for Nativity, Lessons & Carols, 5pm


Upcoming Dates to Remember

December 25 Divine Liturgy of St. Basil for the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 9:30am, Festal Potluck following

December 30 St. Paul serves at St. Vincent DePaul

January 5 1st & 3rd Royal Hours of Theophany, 9am; 6th & 9th Royal Hours of Theophany, 12pm; Great Vespers and the blessing of the water, 6pm

January 6 Divine Liturgy for Theophany, 9:30am

January 7 Installation of the Parish Council