St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church

Sunday Bulletin

Sunday, December 3 (Nativity fast)  Tone 1

26th Sunday after Pentecost 

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

Today’s Schedule:

Prosfora: Dot Federinko

Altar Server: V. Weis

Greeter(s): MK Smith, M. Adrian

Epistle: D. Abshear

Donut Sponsor(s): Smith

Chapel Vacuum: Need volunteer

Candle care: Need volunteer

Counters: B. Lootens, R. Wagner

9:00am Hours: D. Abshear

9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

11:15am Youth group

11:30 Fellowship Hour: Potluck

11:30 Children's Choir Practice

11:45 Church School  

Hymns & Readings:


Resurrection Troparion: Tone 1

When the stone had been sealed by the Jews; while the soldiers were guarding Your most pure Body; You rose on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. The powers of heaven therefore cried to You, O Giver of Life: "Glory to Your Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Your Kingdom! Glory to Your dispensation, O Lover of mankind!”


Hymn of Ss. Peter & Paul

O First-Enthroned of the Apostles! Teachers of the Universe! Entreat the Master of all, to grant peace to the world and great mercy to our souls!


Resurrection Kontakion: Tone 1

As God, You rose from the tomb in glory, raising the world with Yourself. Human nature praises You as God, for death has vanished. Adam exults, O Master! Eve rejoices, for she is freed from bondage, and cries to You: You are the giver of Resurrection to all, O Christ!


Prokeimenon: Tone 1

Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have set our hope on you.


Epistle: Ephesians 5:9-19

(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.


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:


A person who, by such love, draws near to the image and likeness of God, will rejoice in the good because of the joy of the good itself. Possessing the same feeling of patience and gentleness, he will not be angered by the faults of sinners, but rather, sympathizing with and co-suffering with their infirmities, he will ask for mercy on them. For he remembers that he was long opposed by the impulses arising from similar passions until he was saved by the mercy of the Lord. (St. John Cassian, found in Daniel G. Opperwall, A Layman in the Desert, p. 139)


Charity at Christmas

Today, I stand before you to make a just, useful, and suitable intercession. I come from no one else; only the beggars who live in our city elected me for this purpose, not with words, votes, and the resolve of a common council, but rather with their pitiful and most bitter spectacles. In other words, just as I was passing through the marketplace and the narrow lanes, hastening to your assembly, I saw in the middle of the streets many outcasts, some with severed hands, others with gouged-out eyes, others filled with festering ulcers and incurable wounds, especially exposing those body parts that, because of their stored-up rottenness, they should be concealing. I thought it the worst inhumanity not to appeal to your love on their behalf, especially now that the season forces us to return to this topic.

            ...but during the season of winter, the battle against them is mighty from all quarters, and the siege is twice as great--the famine that devours the viscera from within and the frost that freezes and deadens the flesh from without. Therefore, they need more nourishment, a heavier garment, a shelter, a bed, shoes, and many other things. And, indeed, what is altogether grievous, they cannot find work easily, since the season of year does not allow it. Therefore, their need of the bare necessities is much greater, and besides, work passes them by, because no one hires the wretched, or summons them to service. (St. John Chrysostom, The Fathers of the Church, p. 131 & 132)


The Rich Ruler Considers the Value of Poverty

“It is difficult for the rich…” It is quite obvious that at the center of Christianity is the renunciation of wealth, any wealth. The beauty of poverty!--there is also, of course, the ugliness of poverty, but there is beauty. Christianity is enlightened only by humility, by an impoverished heart. Poverty does not consist always of lacking something--that is ugliness--but in being content with what there is. (Alexander Schmemann, The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann, p. 50)


Revealing Sins in Confession for Healing

Bear the sufferings and painful smarts of the operation so that you may regain your health afterwards (this is said in reference to confession). It means that at confession you must declare all your shameful deeds to your confessor, without concealment, though to do so may be painful, shameful, ignominious, and humiliating. Otherwise the wound will remain unhealed, will ache and be painful, will undermine your spiritual health, and remain as a leaven for other spiritual infirmities, or sinful habits and passions. A priest is a spiritual physician. Show him your wounds, without being ashamed, sincerely, openly, with son-like trust and confidence; for the confessor is your spiritual father, who should love you more than your own father and mother; for Christ’s love is higher than any carnal, natural love. He must give an answer to God for you. Why has our life become so impure, so full of passions and sinful habits? Because a great many conceal their spiritual wounds and sores, owing to which they ache and become inflamed; and it is impossible to apply any remedy to them. (St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ, p. 170)


Recent Posts on Fr. Ted’s Blog:


Children’s Choir

We have begun a children’s choir to learn some hymns to be sung during the preparation on various Sundays throughout the year. We will continue practicing a hymn for today at around 11:30 in the church (before church school). We are going to try to sing the hymn the Sunday before Nativity (Dec. 17) and on Nativity Eve.


Wednesday Book Study

Our group is meeting this Wednesday to begin discussing Scott Cairns’ The End of Suffering: Finding Purpose in Pain. The book is available as an ebook, and there are plenty of used copies for sale online.


A Visit from St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas will be visiting St. Paul’s on 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.


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 December 17. Please remember to attach your angel to the outside of the wrapped package. Direct all questions to Kerrie Wiese.

Message from Bp. Paul about Supporting Clergy in AK and Mexico 

To all Clergy, Monastics and Laity of the Diocese of the Midwest,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Two years ago, we embarked on the motorbikes for Kenya collection, in which our Diocese collected over $31,000.00 to purchase 33 motorbikes for the Diocese of Kenya. Thank you for your generosity. The news of this project has become well known throughout the Orthodox world, and I am so thankful to God that we were able to do something within our means to help our fellow Orthodox brethren across the Atlantic.

During this Advent Season, I have been thinking about how we might be able to do something to again assist our fellow Orthodox Christians needing support. Next July, the Midwest Diocese is hosting the All-American Council [AAC] in St. Louis.  Making it to the AAC is particularly difficult for delegates from Alaska and Mexico due to the real lack of financial resources they have to cover the expenses for the AAC. Here is the breakdown of the costs to attend the AAC supplied to me by Melanie Ringa, Treasurer of the OCA.

For Mexico
Airplane Ticket $400.00
Hotel: $150.00 per night x five nights - $750.00
Train to hotel and back to airport - $20.00
Meals: $40.00 per day for six days - $240.00
Total $1,410.00

For Alaska
Flight(s): Anchorage to and from St. Louis - $1000.00; Transport to and from Anchorage - $500.00
Transport to hotel and airport - $20.00
Hotel: $150.00 per night x five nights - $750.00
Meals: $40 per day for six days - $240.00
Total: $2,510.00

As the host Diocese of the AAC, I think it would be a good thing to ask our parishes to help out in the way they did two years ago in the motorbike collection. It would be great if we could raise enough funds to send at least four people from each Diocese to enable them to attend next year’s AAC. The funds we need to raise to do so comes to $15,680.00.  One or two of our parishes having the resources might be so bold as to donate the entire cost for a delegate from Alaska or Mexico.  Parishes can partner up and put up half the funds each for a delegate. Our youth could sponsor a meal at their parish to raise these funds.

I just want to encourage you to do what you can to help; any donations would be greatly appreciated.  Please make out your checks to the “Diocese of the Midwest” and note that it is for “Alaska-Mexico.”  It would be good to have these funds collected by February 1, 2018. AAC registration opens up as of January 1, 2018.

May this be a fruitful Advent Fast for us all, as we wait in anticipation of our Lord’s wondrous Nativity.

With love in Christ, the unworthy

+ Paul
Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest

2018 Pledge Campaign Update

Thank you to all who have turned in pledge forms. As of Sunday, November 26, 2017, we have received 48 pledge forms, representing 73 parishioners, that total $162,000. This amount represents approximately 60.7% of our 2018 budget. All members, please return your completed Pledge Forms to Brian Garber or Kerrie Wiese as soon as you can.

2018 Parish Wall Calendars are In

It is timely that the new calendars have arrived. Turn in your pledge and pick up the 2018 wall Calendar. Pascha is coming early in 2018.


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: Lilia Rastrigin, Rob Wagner

Namedays: Nicholas McLarnan, Carolyn Russ

God grant you many years!


This Week’s Schedule:

Monday, December 4 (Nativity fast)

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

Readings: 1 Timothy 5:1-10, Luke 20:27-44

NO Matins or office hours


Tuesday, December 5 (Nativity fast)

Ven. Sabbas the Sanctified (532)

Readings: 1 Timothy 5:11-21, Luke 21:12-19


Wednesday, December 6 (Nativity fast)

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

Readings: 1 Timothy 5:22-6:11, Luke 21:5-7, 10-11, 20-24

8:30am Matins                        9am Office Hours

11:00 am Wednesday Morning Discussion

Thursday, December 7 (Nativity fast)

St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (397)

Readings: 1 Timothy 6:17-21, Luke 21:28-33


Friday, December 8 (Nativity fast)

Ven. Patapius of Thebes (8th c.)

Readings: 2 Timothy 1:1-2, 8-18, Luke 21:37-22:8

8:30am Matins            9am Office Hours


Saturday, December 9 (Nativity fast)

The Conception by Righteous Anna of the Most-holy Theotokos 

Readings: Galatians 5:22-6:2, Luke 13:18-29

4pm Confession         5pm Vespers


Sunday, December 10 (Nativity fast)

27th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 2. Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus, of Alexandria (ca. 313)

Ephesians 6:10-17, Luke 17:12-19

Prosfora: S. Pacak

Altar Server: M. Caldwell

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


Upcoming Dates to Remember

December 17             Reception of Catechumens into the Orthodox Faith/Children’s Nativity Play

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