St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church

Sunday Bulletin

Sunday, December 2, 2018

27th Sunday after Pentecost

Tone 2. Prophet Habakkuk (6th c.)

Today’s Schedule:

Prosfora: S. Pacak

Altar Servers: D. Abshear

Greeter(s): MK Smith, M. Adrian

Epistle: S. Pacak

Donut Sponsor(s): Muzzy

Chapel Vacuum: J. Cunningham

Candle care: Garber

Counters: B. Lootens, M. Pearson

9:00am Hours: S. Pacak

9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

11:30am Fellowship Hour: Potluck

11:45am Youth group/Church School


Hymns & Readings:


Tone 2 Troparion (Resurrection)

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!


Tone 2 Troparion (Resurrection)

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, my Savior, praises You forever.


Tone 2 Prokeimenon

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 18:18-27

Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?” But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”


For Further Reading:

Sell All You Own and Follow Christ

One of the monks, called Serapion, sold his book of the Gospels and gave the money to those who were hungry, saying: I have sold the book which told me to sell all that I had and give to the poor. (From Thomas Merton’s The Wisdom of the Desert, p. 37)


Learning the Skill of Charity

One person has the skill to hammer brass into the most exquisite shapes and to engrave elaborate patterns on to it. Another has the skill to make furniture, joining together different pieces of wood so firmly that no one can break them apart. A third person can spin the finest yarn, while a fourth weaves it into cloth. A fifth craftsperson can lay stones one on top of the other to build walls, while a sixth puts a roof on top of the walls to make a house. Indeed there are so many different skills, each one requiring many years to attain, that it would be impossible to list them all. So what is the skill that rich people should acquire? They do not need to fashion brass or wood, or to build houses. Rather, they must learn how to use their wealth well, to the good of all the people around them. The ordinary craftsperson may think that that is an easy skill to learn. On the contrary, it is the hardest skill of all. It requires both great wisdom and grate moral strength. Look at how many rich people fail to acquire it, and how few practice it to perfection. (St. John Chrysostom, On Living Simply, p. 14)


Warming and Healing Our Hearts

Starets - a synonym of starik, the Russian for “old man” - implies all the veneration given to an “elder,” but none of the conventional respect which surrounds him. The call to be a starets comes late, after a long life devoted to the cultivation of simplicity and humility. The way - for himself and for his disciples - lies through obedience and prayer, and it exacts a constantly deepening love of God and of all creatures. In the words of Igor Smolitsch, the great warm heart of a starets revives the shrunken, frozen hearts of those who flock to him; his perfected will reforms and sustains the imperfect wills of those who place themselves under his guidance. (Iulia De Beausobre, from Russian Letters of Spiritual Direction, p. 7)


The Pursuit of Happiness?

Pascal uses “wretchedness (unhappiness) and “happiness” here in their deep, ancient meanings. There are three important differences:

  1. To us moderns, “happiness” connotes a subjective feeling, not an objective state, like health. To the ancients, happiness was to the soul what health was to the body. The test case is suffering: if happiness is objective, it can include suffering, as in Job and Greek tragedy; if t is merely subjective, then by definition it cannot.
  2. Our word “happiness” comes from the Old English “hap” (chance, luck, fortune: it “happens”). It comes from without and from the material world rather than from within our own souls. It comes from what used to be called “the gifts of Fortune”, who was traditionally pictured as a whore and a cheat (see, for example, Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy). Thus happiness is not under our own control - a terrifying and pessimistic conclusion indeed, as it is in Freud.
  3. To us, happiness is present and transitory rather than permanent: a momentary “high” rather than the quality of a whole life, as Aristotle defines it.

Like the ancients, Pascal means by “happiness” (I) a state of real perfection (2) of soul (3) in a complete life, including eternity. Aristotle’s word for this was eudaimonia: the lasting state (-id) of true goodness (eu-) of soul (daimon). That is why Pascal offers religion instead of psychology as the way to happiness; for psychology can make us feel good, but religion can make us be good. (Peter Kreeft, Christianity for Modern Pagans, p. 27)


The Virtue of Self Control

I have also learnt this from experience, that unless a monk cultivates the following virtues he will never make progress: fasting, self-control, keeping vigil, patient endurance, courage, stillness, prayer, silences, inward grief and humility. These virtues generate and protect each other. Constant fasting withers lust and begets self-control. Self-control enables us to keep vigils, vigils beget patient endurance, endurance courage, courage stillness, stillness prayer, prayer silence, silence inward grief, and grief begets humility. (The Philokalia, p. 27)


Recent Posts on Fr Ted’s Blog


Wednesday Adult  Discussion Group

Our Wednesday morning discussion is meeting Wednesday, December 5 at 11am at which time we will begin discussing a new book, Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture After Genetic Science by Scot McKnight and Dennis R. Venema. The book is available for purchase online and is available as an ebook. We will discuss chapters 1 & 2 on December 5. You are welcome to join the discussion whether or not you have read the book.


Akathist of Thanksgiving

Everyone is encouraged to come out to offer the Akathist, “Glory to God for All Things”, this Wednesday at 6pm. This beautiful poetic prayer calls us to thank God for everything, even our sorrows. It was composed in a Soviet era gulag by an Orthodox Christian who did not let the system take away his hope, thanksgiving, prayerfulness and love. “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:16)


Church Cleaning Day

Our annual before-Nativity cleaning day will be Saturday, December 8 from 9am-12pm. Come one come all, young and old to help! We will focus on some of the deep-cleaning tasks that only get done once in a while like windows, floors, chairs, tables, etc. Please bring your own cleaning supplies. See Brian Garber with questions.


Angel Giving Tree

The church school is once again sponsoring the Angel Tree to help four St. Paul families this holiday season. 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 December 16. Please remember to attach your angel to the outside of the wrapped package. Direct all questions to Kerrie Wiese.


Church School Schedule & Nativity Play

The Nativity Play will occur immediately following services on Sunday, December 23. Church school will not meet on December 23 or December 30. All classes will resume on January 6.


Altar Boy/Altar Server Meeting

There will be a meeting for all who serve behind the altar on December 30 at around 11:45am. All altar boys and altar servers should plan to attend. Also, any boys or men who are interested in helping out in this way should also plan to attend. See Victor Weis with questions.


2019 Church Wall Calendars Are In

If you turned in your 2019 Pledge, you can pick up your copy of the 2019 Church Wall Calendar.   Don’t be the only parishioner in your pew who doesn’t have their 2019 Calendar. Turn your 2019 Pledge Form in today and get your copy of the Calendar. Be the first at your fellowship table to know the date for Pascha in 2019 - turn in your pledge and get your calendar.


2019 Pledge Campaign Update

Thank you to all who have turned in pledge forms. As of Sunday, November 25, 2018, we have received 60 pledge forms, representing 89 parishioners, that total $196,920. This amount represents approximately 74.2 % of our 2019 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  

We are giving our December Charity monies to several local families who are in need at this time. Please do pray for those who struggle to make ends meet, and pray that we as a society will show gracious and generous mercy to help them.  Give expecting nothing in return is what the Lord Jesus taught us to do.


This Week’s Schedule:


Monday, December 3

Prophet Zephaniah (Sophonias—635-605 B.C.)

Readings: 2 Timothy 2:20-26, Luke 20:27-44

8:30am Matins            9am Office Hours


Tuesday, December 4

Greatmartyr Barbara and Martyr Juliana, at Heliopolis in Syria (ca. 306)

Readings: 2 Timothy 3:16-4:4, Luke 21:12-19


Wednesday, December 5

Ven. Sabbas the Sanctified (532)

Readings: 2 Timothy 4:9-22, Luke 21:5-7, 10-11, 20-24

8:30am Matins            9am Office Hours       11am Adult Discussion: Adam and the Genome

6pm Akathist: “Glory to God for All Things”


Thursday, December 6

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia (ca. 345)

Readings: Titus 1:5-2:1, Luke 21:28-33


Friday, December 7

St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (397).

Readings: Titus 1:15-2:10, Luke 21:37-22:8

8:30am Matins            9am Office Hours       10am  Catechism        6:30pm Catechism


Saturday, December 8

Ven. Patapius of Thebes (8th c.)

Readings: Ephesians 1:16-23, Luke 13:18-29

4pm Confession         5pm Vespers


Sunday, December 9

28th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 3. The Conception by Righteous Anna of the Most-holy Theotokos

Readings: Colossians 1:12-18, Luke 17:12-19

Prosfora: Need volunteer

Altar Servers: D. Abshear

Greeter(s): M. Jobst & M. Brausch

Epistle: R. Barone

Donut Sponsor(s): Helferich

Chapel Vacuum: T. Jacobs

Candle care: J. Elash

Counters: B. Garber, J. Elash

9:00am Hours: M. Pearson

9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

11:30am Fellowship Hour: Team 2

11:45am Youth group/Church School


Upcoming Dates to Remember 

December 8 Church Cleaning Day

December 15 Hannah Callahan’s Baptism

December 16 Reception of Daniel & Elizabeth Callahan into the Orthodox Faith

December 18 Parish Council Meeting

December 23 Church School Christmas Play

December 24 Vespers & Lessons & Carols for the Eve of the Nativity

December 25 The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Flesh

December 30  Altar Boy Training Meeting