Prosfora: Nikki G.
Altar Servers: D. Abshear, B. Garber
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
Hymns & Readings:
Tone 3 Troparion (Resurrection)
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!
Hymn of St. Paul
Facing danger at sea and fearful persecution, you became a chosen vessel of the savior, with your sermons you enlightened the nations, and to the Athenians you revealed the unknown God, teacher of the nations St. Paul the apostle, protector of us all. Keep us who honor you safe from every trial and danger!
Tone 3 Kontakion (Resurrection)
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.
Tone 3 Prokeimenon
Sing praises to our God, sing praises. Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
Epistle: Colossians 1:12-18
Give thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
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:
Lent is an intense period provided for us to focus again on what should be the content of every moment of our life - our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the beginning, the middle, and the end of Lent because he is the Alpha and the Omega of all creation - the first word and the last word of life itself - who, again, for the joy set before him accepted the Cross so that we might live, so that we might taste this joy as we also begin living, not for ourselves, but for God and others.
The transforming power offered to us in Lent doesn’t originate here below in the human realm where we muddle along with our eyes on the ground or closed in slothfulness or sleep. Lent is our chance to look up, to wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. As the first Christians said: Maranatha! Our Lord is coming! (Fr. John Behr, The Cross Stands While the World Turns, p. 32)
Christmas for Christians: Eat, Drink & Be Merry?
It is undoubtedly true that there has always existed a temptation, even among Christians, to make food and clothing something much more than a simple response to the need to eat and be covered. In modern society, the public is bombarded with advertising designed to create an obsession with elaborate clothing and fancy foods. The average Christian accepts almost without question the standards (our “high standard of living”) with which such advertising indoctrinates him. (The advertising industry excuses itself by claiming that it merely reflects the demands of society.) Many Christians see no conflict between their excessive anxiety about food and clothing and their Christian principles. Some point out defensively that only the cults require simplicity and modesty, a radical change of lifestyle in response to their faith. (While it is true that many cults do demand denial or sacrifice of certain things, it is because, for them, those things are evil in themselves. In the Christian faith, it is the use to which things may be put that makes them evil.)
In the early Church, a certain simplicity in all aspects of life was generally accepted by all Christians. It was only after the establishment of the Church as the state religion and the entry of whole populations into the Church that expectations and standards were lowered, and it became fairly common (and acceptable?) for Christians to indulge themselves in luxury and high living. The ideals taught by Christ and the Apostles, however, always remained in the Church’s conscience and manifested themselves in two notable ways: monasticism and the Great Fast (Lent). In both, the call to the simple life is of primary importance. In monasticism, men and women bore witness to the fact that it was possible, quite literally, to follow the teachings of Christ, no matter what society approved of. In Lent, all Christians were called back to the simple life, simple food and clothing, elimination of entertainments, and increased concentration on their relationship with God. (Bishop Dimitri, The Kingdom of God: The Sermon on the Mount, pp. 93-95)
Who is the King of Glory - Jesus or Caesar?
Ethelbert Stauffer in his work, Christ and the Caesars (SCM Press, 1955)...pays close attention to the evidence of the imperial coinage (which was regularly used as a propaganda medium) in this regard. The imperial coinage is full of the characteristic motifs of Advent and Epiphany, celebrating the blessings which the manifestation of each successive divine emperor was to bring to a waiting world. Among the adulatory formulas with which the emperor was acclaimed, he mentions, as going back probably to the first century, ‘Hail, Victory, Lord of the earth, Invincible, Power, Glory, Honor, Peace, Security, Holy, Blessed, Great, Unequalled, Thou Alone, Worthy art Thou, Worthy is he to inherit the Kingdom, Come come, do not delay, come again’ (p. 155). Indeed, one has only to read Psalm 72 ‘in Latin, in the official language of the empire, to see that it is largely the same formal language which is used alike in the Forum for the advent of the emperor and in the catacombs for the celebration of the Epiphany of Christ (p. 251). Here there could be no compromise. Who was worthy to ascend the throne of the universe and direct the course of history? Caesar, or Jesus? (F. F. Bruce, The Defense of the Gospel in the New Testament, p. 65)
Fighting the Fires of Hell with the Confession of Sins
Tertullian says, in a homily on repentance: “If you are afraid to confess your sins, look at the flames of hell that confession alone can extinguish.” (Nikolai Velimirovic, Homilies, p. 97)
A man who fails to discern the devil’s wiles allows himself to become annoyed at everything, permitting anger to master him, and so he ‘gives place to the devil’. But a man who stifles every upsurge of anger resists the devil and repels him, and gives no place to him within himself. Anger ‘gives place to the devil’, as soon as it is regarded as something just and its satisfaction is felt to be lawful. Then the enemy immediately enters the soul and begins to suggest thoughts, each more irritating than the last. The man starts to be aflame with anger as though he were on fire. This is the fire of hell; but the poor man thinks that he is burning with zeal for righteousness, whereas, there is never any righteousness in wrath (James i. 20). This is the form of illusion peculiar to wrath, just as there is another form of illusion peculiar to lust. A man who speedily overcomes wrath disperses this illusion and thus repels the devil as though by a strong blow in the chest. Is there anyone who, after extinguishing his anger and analysing the whole business in good faith, does not find that there was something wrong at the basis of his irritation? But the enemy changes the wrong into a sense of self-righteousness and builds it up into such a mountain that it seems as though the whole world would go to pieces if our indignation is not satisfied.
You say that you cannot help being resentful and hostile? Very well then, be hostile - but towards the devil, not towards your brother. God gave us wrath as a sword to pierce the devil - not to drive into our own bodies. Stab him with it, then, right up to the hilt; press the hilt in as well if you like, and never pull it out, but drive another sword in as well. This we shall achieve by becoming gentle and kind towards each other. ‘Let me lose my money, let me destroy my honor and glory - my fellow-member is more precious to me than myself.’ Let us speak thus to each other, and let us not injure our own nature in order to gain money or fame. (Theophan the Recluse, The Art of Prayer, p. 211-212)
Recent Posts on Fr Ted’s Blog
A Visit from St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas will be visiting St. Paul’s on December 9 after Liturgy. Please make sure you bring all your little ones to enjoy this special visit!
Wednesday Adult Discussion Group
Our Wednesday morning discussion continues Wednesday, December 12 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 1-4 on December 5. 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.
Angel Giving Tree
The church school is once again sponsoring the Angel Tree to help four St. Paul families this holiday season. 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.
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 see Matthew Jobst. 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.
Thanks to All Who Worked Hard Yesterday
Thank you to all who came out yesterday to clean the church for Christmas. Many thanks to all who continue to support our parish in so many wonderful ways. Thanks to all serving us in the choir, in the church school, youth group and on Parish Council. Thanks to those who bring food to the fellowship hour and to those who help clean up afterwards. Thanks to those cleaning the nave weekly after the Liturgy and thanks to those who help count the money each Sunday. Thanks to those who do extra work around the property to keep things functioning and in beautiful shape. Thanks to those who give generously to fund the church, pay the bills, and allow us to generously give to those in need. Thanks to all the volunteers and to all those working on any committees. Thanks to those who arrange social events and to those who pray for us.
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.
Like to Donate to Purchase New Altarboy Robes?
We are in need of new altarboy robes. If you are willing to donate toward the purchase of new robes for the altarboys, please speak with Fr. Ted as soon as possible.
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 Sunday, December 2, 2018, we have received 64 pledge forms, representing 97 parishioners, that total $208,420. This amount represents approximately 78.5 % 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 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.
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.
Birthdays: Alex Avdakov
Anniversary: Chris & Amy Engel
This Week’s Schedule:
Monday, December 10
Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus, of Alexandria (ca. 313)
Readings: Hebrews 3:5-11, 17-19, Mark 8:11-21
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours
Tuesday, December 11
Ven. Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople (489-490)
Readings: Hebrews 4:1-13, Mark 8:22-26
Wednesday, December 12
St. Spyridon the Wonderworker, Bishop of Tremithus (ca. 348)
Readings: Hebrews 5:11-6:8, Mark 8:30-34
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours 11am Adult Discussion: Adam and the Genome
Thursday, December 13
Repose of Ven. Herman of Alaska, Wonderworker of All America (1837).
Readings: Hebrews 7:1-6, Mark 9:10-16
Friday, December 14
Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucis, and Callinicus of Apollonia (249-51)
Readings: Hebrews 7:18-25, Mark 9:33-41
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours 10am Catechism 6:30pm Catechism
Saturday, December 15
Hieromartyr Eleutherius, Bishop of Illyria, and his mother, Martyr Anthia (2nd c.)
Readings: Ephesians 2:11-13, Luke 14:1-11
4pm Confession 5pm Vespers 6pm Hannah Callahan’s Baptism
Sunday, December 16
29th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 4. Sunday of the Forefathers.
Readings: Colossians 3:4-11, Luke 14:16-24
Prosfora: D. Federinko
Altar Servers: Victor Weis, Greg Coons
Greeter(s): D. Helferich, M. Jobst
Epistle: E. Caldwell
Donut Sponsor(s): Need sponsor
Chapel Vacuum: S. Osman
Candle care: R. Helferich
Counters: J. Weise, Michaela Topalov
9:00am Hours: Need volunteer
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Reception of Daniel & Elizabeth Callahan into the Orthodox Faith
11:30am Fellowship Hour: Team 3
11:45am Youth group/Church School
Upcoming Dates to Remember
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 29 Serving at St. Vincent de Paul
December 30 Altar Boy Training Meeting