St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church

Sunday Bulletin

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Tone 6. Ven. Erasmus of the Kiev Caves (Near Caves—12th c.)

Today’s Schedule:

Prosfora: D. Federinko

Altar Servers: D. Beleny, J. Cunningham

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

Epistle: C. Engel

Donut Sponsor(s): Smith

Chapel Vacuum: M. Baker

Candle care: Need volunteer

Counters: K. Henry & M. Brausch

9:00am Hours: C. Engel

9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

11:30am Fellowship Hour: Team 4

11:45am Church School/Youth Group

12:45pm  Altar Server Meeting

Hymns & Readings:


Tone 6 Troparion (Resurrection) 

The angelic powers were at Your tomb; the guards became as dead men. Mary stood by Your grave, seeking Your most pure Body. You took captive hell, not being tempted by it. You came to the Virgin, granting life. O Lord who rose from the dead: glory to You!


Hymn of Sts. 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!


Tone 6  Hymn for The Prodigal Son

I have recklessly forgotten Your glory, O Father; and among sinners I have scattered the riches which You gave me. And now I cry to You as the prodigal: "I have sinned before You, Merciful Father; receive me a penitent and make me as one of Your hired servants."


Tone 6 Kontakion (Resurrection)

When Christ God, the Giver of Life, raised all of the dead from the valleys of misery with His mighty hand, He bestowed resurrection on the human race.  He is the Savior of all, the Resurrection, the Life and the God of all.


Tone 6 Prokeimenon

O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance.


Epistle: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.


Gospel: Luke 15:11-32

Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

For Further Reading: 

Going to Confession

In confession a man breaks through to certainty. Why is it that it is often easier for us to confess our sins to God than to a brother? God is holy and sinless, He is a just judge of evil and the enemy of all disobedience. But a brother is sinful as we are. He knows from his own experience the dark night of secret sin. Why should we not find it easier to go to a brother than to the holy God? But if we do, we must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God, whether we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution. And is not the reason perhaps for our countless relapses and the feebleness of our Christian obedience to be found precisely in the fact that we are living on self-forgiveness and not a real forgiveness? Self-forgiveness can never lead to a breach with sin; this can be accomplished only by the judging and pardoning Word of God itself.

Who can give us the certainty that, in the confession and the forgiveness of our sins, we are not dealing with ourselves but with the living God? God gives us this certainty through our brother. Our brother breaks the circle of self-deception. A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person. As long as I am by myself in the confession of my sins everything remains in the dark, but in the presence of a brother the sin has to be brought into the light. But since the sin must come to light some time, it is better that is happens today between me and my brother, rather than on the last day in the piercing light of the final judgment. It is a mercy that we can confess our sins to a brother. Such grace spares us the terrors of the last judgment. Our brother has been given me that even here and now I may be certain through him of the reality of God in His judgment and His grace. As the open confession of my sins to a brother insures me against self-deception, so, too, the assurance of forgiveness becomes fully certain to me only when it is spoken by a brother in the name of God. Mutual, brotherly confession is given to us by God in order that we may be sure of divine forgiveness. But it is precisely for the sake of this certainty that confession should deal with concrete sins. People usually are satisfied when they make a general confession. But one experiences the utter perdition and corruption of human nature, in so far as this ever enters into experience at all, when one sees his own specific sins. Self-examination on the basis of all Ten Commandments will therefore be the right preparation for confession. Otherwise it might happen that one could still be a hypocrite even in confessing to a brother and thus miss the good of the confession.

Jesus dealt with people whose sins were obvious, with publicans and harlots. They knew why they needed forgiveness, and they received it as forgiveness of their specific sins. Blind Bartimaeus was asked by Jesus: What do you want me to do for you? Before confession we must have a clear answer to this question. In confession we, too, receive the forgiveness of the particular sins which are here brought to light, and by this very token the forgiveness of all our sins, known and unknown.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community, pp 138-141)


I Am the Prodigal

I am the prodigal son every time I search for unconditional love where it cannot be found. Why do I keep ignoring the place of true love and persist in looking for it elsewhere? Why do I keep leaving home where I am called a child of God, the Beloved of my Father? I am constantly surprised at how I keep taking the gifts God has given me - my health, my intellectual and emotional gifts - and keep using them to impress people, receive affirmation and praise, and compete for rewards, instead of developing them for the glory of God. Yes, I often carry them off to a “distant country” and put them in the service of an exploiting world that does not know their true value. It’s almost as if I want to prove to myself and to my world that I do not need God’s love, that I can make a life on my own, that I want to be fully independent. Beneath it all is the great rebellion, the radical “No” to the Father’s love, the unspoken curse: “I wish you were dead.” The prodigal son’s “No” reflects Adam’s original rebellion: his rejection of the God in whose love we are created and by whose love we are sustained. It is the rebellion that places me outside the garden, out of reach of the tree of life. It is the rebellion that makes me dissipate myself in a “distant country.” (Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son, p. 43)


The Dangers of Discipleship

At the same time, he emphasizes from the start the controversial nature of this mission, which would be fulfilled in spite of the longstanding laws of both the Jewish and Gentile worlds, which would provoke anger, rejection, and malice, and which would be the cause of family strife. He does not behave at all as a Jewish rabbi of his time would, who probably would promise his disciples various blessings, predict success in other undertakings, and teach them how to achieve it. Jesus says nothing of the sort. He does not promise his disciples success, happiness in their personal life, material prosperity, or spiritual comfort. He does not promise them acceptance from their compatriots, the Gentiles, or even their close relatives.

            We can only guess what sort of reaction such predictions elicited from the disciples. As John Chrysostom writes:

            For indeed we have great cause to marvel, how they did not straightway dart away from Him on hearing these things, apt as they were to be startled at every sound, and such as had never gone further than that lake, around which they used to fish; and how they did not reflect, and say to themselves, “And wither after all this are we to flee? The courts of justice against us, the kings against us, the governors, the synagogues of the Jews, the nations of the Gentiles, the rulers and the ruled.” (Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching, p. 425)


How Do I Confess My Sins?

“Confess your sins one to another,” bids us the disciple and brother of the Lord, “and pray one for another, that we may be healed;” and, “if we confess our sins,” the beloved disciple pledges himself also, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” How shall I confess?  By imitating the prodigal in falling down and crying out to the Lord with contrite heart and humbleness of spirit, “I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight; receive me, Father, in my repentance.” How shall I confess? By departing from error and by abominating sin. For it thou shalt turn, and humble thyself before the Lord, and remove unrighteousness far from thy habitation, the Almighty shall be thy helper. And, “Turn ye to me, and I will turn to you,” saith the Lord Almighty. How shall I confess? By turning with all my heart, and by humbling myself with fasting and lamentation and rending of the heart. “For now,” saith the Lord our God, “turn ye to me with all your heart, and with fasting and with weeping and with lamentation; and rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, long-suffering and plenteous in mercy.” How shall I confess? By pitying the poor and the beggar, and by forgiving my neighbor’s faults. For it says, “The merciful shall obtain mercy,” and, “forgive and it shall be forgiven you,” and “a man’s mercy is to Him as a signet,” and it is a good gift to them that do it before the most High. Thus is sin wiped out, thus are we cleansed of faults. (St. Photius, The Homilies of Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, pp. 45-46)


Recent Posts on Fr Ted’s Blog:


Wednesday Adult  Discussion Group

Our Wednesday morning discussion is not meeting this week. We will resume meeting on March 6 at 11am to continue discussing “The Didache.” Please join us in discussing this 2nd Century Christian document where we get insight into what the earliest Christians thought was most important for Christians to know and do. We will be discussing the Didache for the next couple of weeks and then will begin a new discussion: Metropolitan Kallistos Ware’s book How Are We Saved? You can order your copy online.


Altar Server, Altar Boys and Parents Meeting

We will have a meeting for all Altar Servers, Altar Boys, and Parents of Altar Boys today, February 24th at 12:45pm (right after church school ends) in the chapel, and we'll be finished no later than 1:30pm. The purpose of this meeting is to give the altar boys a chance to ask questions and voice any concerns that they have, and to be able to have clear and consistent rules that everyone understands, so that our service at the altar may be orderly and harmonious. See Victor Weis if you have any questions.


Memorial Liturgy

We will again do one Memorial Liturgy  -  Saturday, March 2 at 9:30am. You can bring to the Liturgy a written list of the names of your deceased family and friends whom you want prayed for, and we will pray by name for them during the Liturgy. Fr. Ted will also be available to hear confessions immediately following the Divine Liturgy on that Saturday morning from about 11am-Noon.


Great Lent - Time for Confession

The time for repentance is at hand! Today we are at the second Sunday of the Lenten Triodion (the book which has the hymns for the days of Great Lent). Now is the time also to come to Confession, so that you can use the entirety of Great Lent as a time of repentance. We do pray that we might "spend the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance" - at a minimum we should spend the 6 weeks of Lent in repentance following our confession. Prepare yourself now and come to confession. The times when Fr. Ted is at the church for Confession is listed in the weekly schedule. Coming to the sacrament of Confession to receive Christ’s forgiveness is something we all are to do every year as part of our Christian discipline. We do Confession for our own salvation, for in our sins being forgiven, we are united to Christ and  we are given eternal life. We confess our sins to empty our hearts of the burden of sin, to make room for Christ our God to enter our hearts and abide in us.


Meals for the DeLong Family

The DeLong family welcomed their fifth child Simeon George on February 15. If you'd like to make a meal for them, please click the following MealTrain link:

Pysanky Egg Decorating Workshop

The Pysanky Easter Egg Workshop is scheduled for the second full weekend in March: Friday, March 8 (10 am to 4 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm) and Saturday, March 9 2018 (10 am to 3 pm). Please check the bulletin board for reservation sign-up and additional information. Due to some problems that have occurred in the past, please do not announce the workshop on social media.


Prosphora Baking Workshop

Led by Dot & Audrey, our annual prosphora baking workshop will be March 16 from 10am-12pm at the church. Anyone interested in learning to make prosphora and maybe some of the significance behind the seal is invited. See Erin Caldwell with questions.


Sunday Lenten Book Discussion 

Interested in joining a book discussion on four Sundays during Great Lent? We will be discussing the book TIME AND DESPONDENCY  on Sundays March 17, 24, 31 and April 7.  This discussion is open to all who would like to add a spiritual study to their Lenten discipline this year. We will meet for about 45 minutes each time starting about Noon. We need to know how many will attend, so please tell Fr. Ted or David Abshear if you will attend. You can purchase the book online and it is available as an ebook. Fr. Ted can also place an order for the books but needs to know this week if you want him to order you a copy, so tell him or email him ASAP.


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. 


February Charity

This month our charity is being given to our sister parish of St. Stephen’s in Lima as they continue to pray for a priest to be their pastor. Bishop Paul is looking to find a “tent-maker” priest, one who can find a full time secular job so that he can support himself while also working to build up the parish. Please remember our Orthodox missions and mission priests in your prayers.


Notes from the 19 February Parish Council Planning Meeting

Present:  Fr. Ted, Bruce Garber, Kerrie Wiese, Heather Weis, Ann McLarnan, David Avdako, Brian Garber, David Short, David Abshear


2018 YTD Financial Report as of 31 December 2018 (Unaudited)

Budget                                     $266,709.14

Expenses                                $259,830.71

Income                                    $258,973.68

Assets                                     $234,684.29


The Parish stayed within its adopted 2018 Budget, and though showing a slight deficit, still had a strong financial year due to the continued generous giving of the members.  


For the Planning Meeting, Council considered the question: What is the purpose of the parish?  We explored the idea that the purpose of the parish and thus of the Parish Council is to nurture the members of the Body of Christ. We considered ideas of outreach beyond and outside of the community as well as to the parish family members. Nurturing includes teaching, sharing, praying, growing in the faith, inviting new people into the community, providing security and safety to all members. Council discussed the challenges of providing security and safety including the demands of society, insurance companies, the OCA and balancing that with the diverse needs, expectations and wants of parish members. Council discussed several new ideas and their potential good as and the risks for the parish as well as the challenges to achieve them.  A major work of the Church and the parish and the parish council is communications and this poses challenges for how things are adopted and accomplished within the parish. Council also recognized some impending capital expenses, the benefits of a growing parish as well as growing pains. We talked about the importance of and need for various social venues as well as educational and spiritual growth opportunities.

This Week’s Schedule:

Monday, February 25

St. Tarasius, Archbishop of Constantinople (806).

Readings: 1 John 2:18-3:10, Mark 11:1-11

8:30am Matins            9am Confession         10am  Office Hours


Tuesday, February 26

St. Porphyrius, Bishop of Gaza (420).

Readings: 1 John 3:11-20, Mark 14:10-42

4:30 Confession          6pm    Vespers


Wednesday, February 27

Repose of St. Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn (1915)

Readings:1 John 3:21-4:6, Mark 14:43-15:1

8:30am Matins            9am Office Hours       NO Discussion Group         


Thursday, February 28

Ven. Basil the Confessor, Companion of Ven. Procopius at Decapolis (750).

Readings: 1 John 4:20-5:21, Mark 15:1-15


Friday, March 1

Martyr Eudoxia of Heliopolis (ca. 160-170)

Readings: 2 John 1:1-13, Mark 15:22-25, 33-41

8:30am Matins            9am Confession         10am  Office Hours   


Saturday, March 2

Memorial Saturday. Hieromartyr Theodotus, Bishop of Cyrenia (ca. 320)

Readings: 1 Corinthians 10:23-28, Luke 21:8-9, 25-27, 33-36

9:30am Memorial Liturgy

11:00am  Confession

4pm Confession

5pm Vespers

5:45pm  Confession


Sunday, March 3

SUNDAY OF MEATFARE — Tone 7. Sunday of the Last Judgment.

Readings: 1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2, Matthew 25:31-46

Prosfora: Nkki G.

Altar Servers: D. Abshear, J. Cunningham

Greeter(s): MK Smith, M. Adrian

Epistle: D. Holobeny

Donut Sponsor(s): Topalov

Chapel Vacuum: S. Osman

Candle care: Garber

Counters: B. Lootens, M. Pearson

9:00am Hours: D. Holobeny

9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

11:30am Fellowship Hour: Potluck

11:45am Church School/Youth Group


Upcoming Dates to Remember:

March 8-9  Pysanky Workshop

March 11 Great Lent Begins

March 16 Prosphora Workshop

March 25  Feast of the Annunciation

April 20 Baptism of Jarret, Vera & Max Sainz

April 28 Pascha