Prosfora: Need volunteer
Altar Servers: D. Abshear, D. Beleny
Greeter(s): D. Federinko, B. Edwards
Epistle: A. McLarnan
Donut Sponsor(s): Topalov
Chapel Vacuum: Alex & Bobby Tyson
Candle care: Alex & Bobby Tyson
Counters: K. Henry, M. Brausch
9:00am Hours: A. McLarnan
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. Chrysostom
Church School Nativity Play
11:30am Fellowship Hour: Team 4
Hymns & Readings:
Tone 5 Troparion (Resurrection)
Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, born for our salvation from the Virgin; for He willed to be lifted up on the Cross in the flesh, to endure death, and to raise the dead by His glorious Resurrection.
Tone 2 Troparion (Fathers)
Great are the accomplishments of faith, for the three Holy Youths rejoice in the fountain of flames as though in the waters of rest; and the Prophet Daniel appeared a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep. So by their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls!
Tone 4 Troparion (Pre-feast)
Prepare, O Bethlehem, for Eden has been opened to all! Adorn yourself, O Ephratha, for the Tree of Life blossoms forth from the Virgin in the cave! Her womb is a spiritual paradise planted with the Divine Fruit; if we eat of it, we shall live forever and not die like Adam. Christ comes to restore the image which He made in the beginning.
Tone 1 Kontakion (Fathers)
Rejoice, O Bethlehem! Prepare yourself, O Ephratha! The Lamb is on her way to give birth to the Chief Shepherd she carries in her womb. The God-bearing Forefathers will rejoice, beholding Him, and with the shepherds, they will glorify the Virgin nursing Him.
Tone 3 Kontakion (Pre-feast)
Today the Virgin comes to the cave to give birth to the Eternal Word. Hear the glad tidings and rejoice, O universe! Glorify with the Angels and the shepherds the Eternal God, Who is willing to appear as a little child!
Tone 4 Prokeimenon (Song of the Fathers)
Blessed are You, O Lord God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name forever!
Epistle: Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40
By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Gospel: Matthew 1:1-25
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us.’” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
Praise the Lord from the heavens! Praise Him in the highest! Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous; praise befits the just! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
For Further Reading:
The Infant Christ
The sign by which the shepherds will recognize the Saviour is that they will find "the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger." No sign of power accompanies the birth of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, God become man will make Himself known first of all by His poverty, His humility, His weakness. As a small child wrapped in swaddling clothes, He is at the mercy of those who press around Him. He depends on them. He cannot resist anyone. He is unable to exercise His will, nor can He defend Himself. As He appears in His birth, so will He appear in His passion, and that is how He wants me to be. (A Monk of the Eastern Church, Jesus: A Dialogue with the Savior, p. 93-94)
The Incarnation: Recreating Humans
The story of job serves to renew hope within us. Even though God’s image in man has been spoiled by the sin of Adam and Eve, by the sin of Cain, and by the sins of each one of us, Job allows us to hope for the coming of One—just and suffering, patient and triumphant—who will resist with courage and perseverance the assaults of the Evil One and will triumph over him, thereby restoring in mankind the divine presence which had been lost through sin and reestablishing in us the divine image in the fullness of its beauty. To do this, God sends among us the very Model according to which He had originally created us. Just as a faded print can be restored by reapplying the original stamp so the Son of God, who reflects the glory of God the Father (Heb. 1:3), can enter human nature by clothing Himself with it as with a garment, and thereby can create a new Adam, a perfect Man, a radiant Image of God. This occurs by what theologians call the Incarnation. This decisive event took place on the day of the Annunciation, when Gabriel, the messenger of God, visited a young virgin of Nazareth in Galilee called Mary. (The Living God: Vol. 1, p. 19)
Mary, the Virgin Earth
First of all, we need to show the reason why the Son of God had to be born of a Virgin. The initiator of a new birth had to be born in a new way, and Isaiah had predicted that the Lord would give a sign of this. What is that sign? ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive in her womb and bear a Son’ (Is. 7:14). Therefore the Virgin conceived and bore Emmanuel, God-with-us.
And this is the new birth: that man is born in God when God is born in man, having assumed the flesh of the old seed, but without using this seed, and to purify the flesh after having eliminated all its ancient stains. But, as it happened, this whole new manner of birth was prefigured in the ancient wise design that depended upon a virgin. When man was created by God’s action, the earth was still virgin, not yet pressed down by man’s toil, not having been sown. We know that, from this virgin earth, God created man as a living soul.
If, then, the first Adam was introduced in this way, all the more reason that the second Adam, as the apostle said, had to come forth from a virgin earth, that is, from a body not yet violated by generation, by God’s action, so that he might become the spirit who gives life. However, lest my introduction of Adam’s name appear meaningless, why did the apostle call Christ ‘Adam’ (cf. 1 Cor. 15:45), if his humanity did not have an earthly origin? But here, too, reason comes to our aid: through a contrary operation, God recovered his image and likeness, which had been stolen by the devil.
For just as the death-creating word of the devil had penetrated Eve, who was still a virgin, analogously the life-building Word of God had to enter into a Virgin, so that he who had fallen into perdition because of a woman might be led back to salvation by means of the same sex. Eve believed the serpent; Mary believed Gabriel. The fault that Eve introduced by believing, Mary, by believing, erased.” (Tertullian quoted in Mary and the Fathers of the Church, p 67)
The Ancestors of Christ
Although the Virgin, of whom Christ was born according to the flesh, came from Adam’s flesh and seed, yet, because of this flesh had been cleansed in many different ways by the Holy Spirit from the start, she was descended from those who had been chosen from every generation for their excellence. Noah, too, “a just man and perfect in his generation,” as the Scriptures say of him, was found worthy of this election.
Observe also that the Holy Spirit makes it clear to such as have understanding that the whole of divinely inspired Scripture was written because of the Virgin Mother of God. It relates in detail the entire line of her ancestry, which begins with Adam, then Zerubbabel, those in between them and their ancestors, and goes up to the time of the Virgin Mother of God. By contrast, Scripture does not touch upon some races at all, and in the case of others, it makes a start at tracing their descent, then soon abandons them, leaving them in the depths of oblivion. Above all, it commemorates those of the Mother of God’s forebears who, in their own lives and the deeds wrought by them, prefigured Christ, who was to be born of the Virgin.
See how Noah clearly foreshadows Him Who was later to be born of the Virgin, for Whose sake the election was made. For Noah was shown to be the saviour, not of all the race of men in general, but of his own household, all of whom were saved through him. In the same way, Christ too, is the Saviour of the race of men, not of all men in general, but of all His own household, that is of His Church; not, however, of the disobedient. Furthermore, the name Noah can be translated to mean "rest" (cf. Genesis 5:29). But who is true "rest" except the Virgin's Son, Who says, "Come unto Me through repentance, all ye that labour and are heavy laden with sins, and I will give you rest" (cf. St. Matthew 11:28), bestowing freedom, ease and eternal life upon you. (St. Gregory Palamas, The Homilies, pp. 471-472)
Recent Posts on Fr Ted’s Blog
Church School Schedule & Nativity Play
The Nativity Play will occur immediately following services TODAY, December 23. Church school will not meet on December 23 or December 30. All classes will resume on January 6.
Schedule of Services for Nativity
December 24 - Royal Hours of the Nativity: 1st & 3rd at 8:30am, 6th & 9th at 11am
December 24 - Vespers & Lessons & Carols for the Eve of the Nativity, 6pm
December 25 - The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 9:30am Divine Liturgy
There will be a Christmas buffet following liturgy provided by Mark Stokoe & Steve Brown. You may also bring dishes to share if you wish. We will also need help with clean up.
Wednesday Adult Discussion Group
Our Wednesday morning discussion will not be meeting for the next two weeks but will resume January 9 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. We will discuss chapters 7-8 on January 2. You are welcome to join the discussion whether or not you have read the book. If you like to reflect on how the science of genetics is related to the story of Adam and Eve, join our discussion.
Serving at St. Vincent DePaul
End the year by giving to those in need! Our parish is serving at St Vincent de Paul on Saturday December 29. If you are interested we all gather at the St Vincent Gateway shelter for women and families on Apple St. in the kitchen at 9:15am and make subs for the guests lunch meal. If you would like to join us please email Matthew Jobst so he knows how many will be helping. Thanks again!
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.
New Year’s Day Liturgy
Staring off the New Year right, we will celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, January 1 at 9:30m.
Meals for Steve Richey
Steve Richey will be home Sunday from having been in a rehab program in a nursing home. He would love to receive some meals over few weeks. Food needs to be ready-to-eat individual meal size. No sugar/fruit/desserts (Doctor's orders). Low carb is probably ideal. Click the link to sign up: https://mealtrain.com/gq6w0l
Looking for Something to Donate to the Church?
Our parish can always benefit from your end of the year donations to help us balance our budget and to make funding new initiatives possible. But if you would like to donate for “something” for the parish, if we receive some donations we can try to purchase more icons for the side walls of the nave. All the icons we have on the sidewalls were purchased online, at auctions or estate sales. We have to have cash in hand to be able to bid on more icons. Please speak with Fr. Ted if you are interested in funding more icons for the parish.
2019 Pledge Campaign Update
Thank you to all who have turned in pledge forms. As of December 20, 2018, we have received 69 pledge forms, representing 104 parishioners, that total $214,570. This amount represents approximately 80.9 % of our 2019 budget. All members, please return your completed Pledge Form 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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
Notes From the 18 December Parish Council Meeting
Present: Fr. Ted, Brain Garber, Bruce Garber, Kerrie Wiese, Ann McLarnan, David Short, Rebecca Barone, Heather Weis, Dave Avdakov, David Abshear
1] The financial report was not yet available. 2] Council reviewed the Facilities/Capital Improvement Plan submitted by the Facilities Committee. We are anticipating several significant expenses to maintain the property in 2019 including resurfacing the parking lot. The building is now at an age where some mechanical items will have to be replaced (for example HVAC equipment). 3] The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting have been approved by Bishop Paul. We will install the Parish Council on Sunday, December 30. 4] Council agreed to hold its annual Planning Meeting on Saturday, January 19 from 9m- Noon. Among the topics to be discussed are the Facilities Maintenance/Capital Improvement Plan and consideration of ways to improve the liturgical experience for families, parents and children by making the best use of the facilities. 5] Bishop Paul will make his archpastoral visit to our parish the weekend of March 29-31. We will make appropriate plans for his visit.
This Week’s Schedule:
Monday, December 24 - Strict Fast
Eve of the Nativity of Christ. Nun-martyr Eugenia of Rome, and with her Martyrs Philip, her father, Protus, Hyacinth, Basilla, and Claudia (ca. 262).
Readings: Micah 5:2-4, Hebrews 1:1-12, Matthew 1:18-25
8:30am 1st & 3rd Royal Hours 9am Confession 11am 6th & 9th Royal Hours
6pm Great Vespers & Lessons & Carols
Tuesday, December 25
The Nativity According to the Flesh of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. The Adoration of the Magi: Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar. Commemoration of the Shepherds in Bethlehem who were watching their flocks, and went to see the Lord.
Readings: Galatians 4:4-7, Matthew 2:1-12
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Wednesday, December 26
Second Day of the Feast of the Nativity. Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos
Readings: Hebrews 2:11-18, Matthew 2:13-23
NO Matins or Office Hours or discussion group
Thursday, December 27
Third Day of the Feast of the Nativity. Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen (34)
Readings: James 1:19-27, Mark 11:27-33
Friday, December 28
Afterfeast of the Nativity. . The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia, including: Glycerius, Zeno, Theophilus, Dorotheus, Mardonius, Migdonious, Indes, Gorgonius, Peter, Euthymius, and the Virgins: Agape, Domna and Theophila (302).
Readings: James 2:1-13, Mark 12:1-12
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours 10am Catechism 6:30pm Catechism
Saturday, December 29
Afterfeast of the Nativity of Christ. Saturday after the Nativity. The 14,000 Infants (Holy Innocents) slain by Herod at Bethlehem.
Readings: Colossians 1:3-6, Luke 17:3-10
9am Serving at St. Vincent De Paul 4pm Confession 5pm Vespers
Sunday, December 30
Afterfeast of the Nativity of Christ. Virgin Martyr Anysia at Thessalonica (285-305)
Readings: Hebrews 3:5-11, 17-19, Mark 12:13-17
Prosfora: D. Federinko
Altar Servers: V. Weis, B. Garber
Greeter(s): D. Short
Epistle: M. Pearson
Donut Sponsor(s): Topalov
Chapel Vacuum: Need volunteer
Candle care: Need volunteer
Counters: B. Lootens, J. Wiese
9:00am Hours: M. Pearson
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. Chrysostom
11:15am Installation of the Parish Council
11:30am Fellowship Hour: Potluck
11:45am Altarboy/Altar server training meeting
Upcoming Dates to Remember:
January 1 Divine Liturgy, 9:30am
January 4 Royal Hours of Theophany: 1st & 3rd at 8:30, 6th & 9th at 11am
January 5 Baptism & Chrismations of the Royer Family, 10am
Great Vespers and the Great Blessing of Water, 5pm
January 6 Theophany
February 2 Presentation of Christ in the Temple