St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church

Sunday Bulletin


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday of the Prodigal Son  Tone 2.

Afterfeast of the Meeting. Ven. Isidore of Pelusium (ca. 436-440).



Today’s Schedule:


Altar Server: M. Caldwell

Greeter(s): MK Smith, M. Adrian

Epistle: D. Abshear

Donut Sponsor(s): Fencik

Chapel Vacuum: Tatiana Jacobs

Candle care: Janine Elash

Counters: B. Lootens, R. Wagner

9:00am Hours: D. Abshear

9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

11:30am Fellowship Hour: Potluck/Children’s Choir

11:45am Youth Group/Church School

 

Hymns & Readings:

 

Resurrectional Troparion, Tone 2:

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!

 

Troparion of the Meeting of the Lord:

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, Full of Grace! From you shone the Sun of Righteousness, ^Christ our God, enlightening those who sat in darkness. Rejoice and be glad, O righteous Elder,

you accepted in your arms the ^Redeemer of our souls, Who grants us the Resurrection

 

Kontakion of the Meeting of the Lord:

By Your Nativity You sanctified the Virgin’s womb and blessed Simeon’s hands, O Christ God.

Now You have come and saved us through love. Grant peace to all Orthodox Christians, O only Lover of Man!

 

Troparion of 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."

 

Prokeimenon of the Meeting of Our Lord Tone 3:

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

 

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Brothers and sisters,

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.’”

 

Hymn to the Theotokos 

O Virgin Theotokos, hope of all Christians, protect, preserve, and save those who hope in you!

In the shadow and letter of the Law, let us, the faithful, discern a figure: every male [child] that opens the womb is holy to God. Therefore we magnify the firstborn Word of a Father Who has no beginning, the Son firstborn of a Mother who had not known man.


Communion Hymn

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest! I will receive the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!


For Further Reading:


The Purpose of Liturgy

“This gets more to the heart of things,” said Father. “What does each of us do? Only we can answer that for ourselves. Doesn’t Christ say, ‘Where your treasure is, there also is your heart’? If you remain passive or a spectator, you never experience the inspiration and challenge of liturgy. You remain locked within yourself. You rate the liturgy like a TV show and grade it on the basis of how it entertains--without it ever entering your mind that the purpose of liturgy is not entertainment.”

            Father’s voice grew passionate. “Liturgy truly is ‘work’ in the sense that it requires us to move outside ourselves, to prepare, study, attend, sing, and listen together in faith and love. When liturgy is celebrated correctly and with care by everyone involved, its beauty and majesty does nourish and inspire us. These become the very vehicles that enable us to meet the mystery of God, giving us the strength to live life well and deal creatively with its problems. Only then does this ‘work’ bring us to Christ. Let’s face it: Liturgy is also about energy and belief, life and death. It’s not about comfort, amusement, entertainment, and distraction. Christian liturgy is about dying, leaving behind the old self and becoming a new person, so that we may life more fully, more abundantly.” (The Monks of New Skete, In the Spirit of Happiness, pp. 227-228)

 

Embracing the Sinner

One of the most difficult problems faced in Christian life, and one that the desert monks experienced acutely, is the problem of our temptation to seek distance from the struggles of others, and to promote a sense of separation from the sins of the world around us. There is a certain passing resemblance to Christianity in doing so. Indeed, we certainly do not actively desire temptation for ourselves, nor do we approve of engaging in any sin. It might seem natural, on the surface, to seek distance from those struggling with such things--to set ourselves apart as more pure and more holy than others.

            Yet, when we see ourselves as fundamentally different from other human beings, whether they are Christian or not, we quickly begin to resemble the foolish elder. We condemn and chastise those around us for their brokenness. Such condemnation and chastisements are, despite their outward claim to holiness, works of anger and never of love. If love is a shared commitment to purity of heart between individuals, then seeking separation from others, by its very nature, discourages love and can even make it ultimately impossible. To share the pursuit of purity of heart with another, one must share a connection with her, and in a fallen world, that means sharing a connection with a fallen person. (Daniel G. Opperwall, A Layman in the Desert, p. 73)

 

The Power of the Gospel

The Church Fathers, such as Saint Athanasios, the Cappadocians, Saint John Chrysostom, and others had a distinct vision of the power of the apostolic kerygma. Time and again they reflect on the miraculous success of the apostles, with their simple words about the crucified and risen Lord. Not logic and philosophy, but the fishermen’s message, so the Fathers were convinced, saved souls. The truth of the apostolic message was guaranteed by the authority of God and became effective through the power of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual power was in the apostolic message, not in human words of eloquence or wisdom. According to Saint Basil, the message of the Gospel carries the power to overcome souls and arouse them by grace to an unshaken faith in Christ.

            The efficacy of the Gospel can be experienced in our midst today when we concentrate on the nature of the Gospel, its blessings, demands, and promises. By way of explication, let us look at several major features of the Gospel. First, priority must be given to the content of the Gospel, i.e., the saving work of Christ, which is the basis of our reconciliation with God, the forgiveness of sins, and new life. The life, teachings, and person of Christ must frequently be proclaimed in simple language as the source of our salvation. Christ must be preached without apology as our crucified and risen Lord--the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and the Light of the world. The heart of the Gospel is Christ Himself, Who dwells in the church and with Whom each Christian is united by faith and sacrament. The primary aim of preaching, according to Saint Basil, is precisely to bring all people under the dominion of Christ within the Church and there to continue to build up their lives in their struggle against evil. Therefore, at every opportunity, whether in worship, preaching, the classroom, group meetings, or church assembly Christ and his work can in suitable ways be “publicly portrayed” (Gal. 3.1) as the ground of salvation. The essential Gospel must not be displaced by advice for better living, noble, moral teachings or even profound theological wisdom--despite the fact that all of these matters have value in their proper place. (Theodore Stylianopoulos, The Gospel of Christ, pp. 14-15)

 

The Prodigal

There were two brothers. Having divided the paternal inheritance between themselves, one remained at home, the other squandered all that was given to him and departed to a distant land because he could not bear the shame of poverty. I wanted to speak of this parable from the outset so that you could learn that, if we are attentive, there is remission of sins even after baptism. I do not say this to put you in a state of inertia, but to distance you from discouragement, because discouragement produces worse evils among us than inertia. Therefore, this son bears the image of those who suffer the fall after the Laver. That he represents those who fell after baptism is obvious from the parable. He is called “son”; no one can be called a son without baptism. Furthermore, he inhabited the paternal house, and took his share from all the paternal substance. Before baptism no one has the right to receive paternal things, nor to obtain an inheritance, so that through all these events he speaks to us about the status of the faithful. He was a brother of the reputable one; he would not have become a brother without spiritual regeneration. Therefore, what does the one say who fell into the workst wickedness? “I will arise and return to my father.” His father did not hinder him from departing to the foreign land precisely for this reason: so that he could learn well from the experience how much beneficence he enjoyed while remaining at home.

            Therefore, since the prodigal son departed for the foreign land and learned from his own experience how much evil it is for someone to be driven out of his paternal house, he returned, and his father did not remember the wrongs that he had committed against him, but accepted him with open arms. Why? Because he was a father and not a judge. Then, there took place dances, sumptuous feasts, and festivals; and the entire house was beaming with joy and exceeding gladness. What are you saying? These are rewards of wickedness? Not of wickedness, O man, but of the return. Not of sun, but of repentance. Not of cunningness, but of change toward the better. (St. John Chrysostom, The Fathers of the Church, pp. 11-13)

 

Recent Posts on Fr. Ted’s Blog:



Announcements:


Children’s Choir

Children's choir will continue TODAY at 11:30. We are leaning a hymn to sing on Forgiveness Sunday (Feb. 18) and the Sunday after (Feb. 25) as well.

 

IOCC Souperbowl Of Caring

Today, February 4th the Youth Group will be participating in the 20th International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Souper Bowl of Caring. Please considering bringing your favorite soup to share during fellowship hour. As in the past, we will be having a fundraiser by letting you vote for the team that you want to see win. All proceeds will be given to the IOCC. We will also be doing a food drive starting next week through the end of the month of February. Any food items brought in will be donated to a local food bank. There will be a box in the coat closet to put the food items into.

 

Confession

Since we are moving into the Lenten period, it is time for us all to think about receiving the sacrament of Confession. If you come to confession several times during the year, or if you have recently come to confession, you may not need to come to the sacrament during Great Lent. However, many of us use the Lenten season to repent of our sins because the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Consider coming early to Confession this year. Spend the remaining time of Great Lent in repentance by confessing your sins now. Fr. Ted will be available for Confession on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings after the 8:30am Matins as well as before and after the 5pm Vespers on Saturday evenings. This week he also will be available on Thursday evening from 5:30- 6:20pm.  Other times may be available by appointment.

 

Wednesday Book Study

Throughout Great Lent we will be discussing on Wednesday mornings the Epistle and Gospel readings for the Saturdays and Sundays of Great Lent. Please join us to consider these essential Scripture lessons and to share what value these readings have had in your spiritual life. This Wednesday, February 7, we will discuss the readings for the Prodigal Son: 1 Cor 6:12-20 and Luke 15:11-32 as well as the readings for the Last Judgment: 1 Cor 8:8-9:2 and Matthew 25:31-46. If you want to add to your Lenten discipline this year, please join our discussion.

 

Tuesday Morning Meet-Up

Heather Weis is organizing informal, bi-weekly meet ups for moms & kids and anyone else who is interested in coming to fellowship. The next meeting will be February 13 at 9:30am. Bring breakfast food if you wish, or just yourself. See you then.

 

Memorial Liturgy

We will again do one Memorial Liturgy during Great Lent -  this year on Saturday, March 3 at 9:30am. You can bring to the Liturgy a written list of the names of your deceased family and friends, and we will pray by name for them during the Liturgy.

 

Pysanky Egg Decorating Workshop

The Pysanky Easter Egg Workshop is scheduled for the second full weekend in March: Friday, March 9, 2018 (10 am to 4 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm) and Saturday, March 10, 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.

 

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 office@stpdayton.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.

 

February Charity

Our monthly charity is being split this month. Part will be given to a family of 4 children whose father and breadwinner suffered a crippling accident and is on a long road to recovery.  The other will be given to help our sister parish of St. Stephen’s in Lima as they work toward getting a priest for the parish and prepare for the expenses of moving a priest to Lima.

 

Charity Notes of Appreciation

From a family:

“Dear Father,

I write to you to thank you for your generosity toward our family in our time of need. The money came at just the right time to pay some pressing bills. Isn’t it wonderful how the Lord provides?!

But even more than the money, I am so grateful that you would remember me in your prayers.

May your kindness be repaid a hundredfold and may our dear Savior and His most Holy Mother keep you now and always.”

 

From Elizabeth New Life Center:

“It is your gift which helps our mothers say “yes” to life. Without you, there would not be nearly as many births to celebrate this year. During this holiday, please know of our thanks and appreciation for you. May you have a joy-filled Christmas season! In His hands, your gift creates life!”

 

Celebrations 

Birthdays: Paul McCollum, Peter Caldwell

 

God grant you many years!


This Week’s Schedule:


Monday, February 5

Afterfeast of the Meeting. Holy Martyr Agatha of Palermo in Sicily (251).

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

8:30am Matins            9:00am Confession               9:30am Office Hours

 

Tuesday, February 6

Virgin Martyr Dorothy, two sisters—Christina and Callista, and Theophilus, at Cæsarea in Cappadocia (288-300).

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

 

Wednesday, February 7

Afterfeast of the Meeting. St. Parthenius, Bishop of Lampsacus on the Hellespont (4th c.).

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

8:30am Matins            9:00am Confession               9:30am Office Hours

11am   Adult Discussion:  The New Testament Readings of Great Lent

 

Thursday, February 8

Afterfeast of the Meeting. Greatmartyr Theodore Stratelates (“the General”—319).

Readings: 1 John 1:8-2:6, Mark 13:31-14:2

5:30pm   Confession              6:30pm Catechism/Inquirer’s Class: Session 3

 

Friday, February 9

Leavetaking of the Meeting. Martyr Nicephorus of Antioch in Syria (ca. 257)

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

8:30am Matins            9:00am Confession               9:30am Office Hours

 

Saturday, February 10

Saturday of Meatfare Week — Hieromartyr Haralambos, Bishop of Magnesia in Thessaly, and Martyrs Porphyrius, Baptus and three women Martyrs (202).

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

2pm Deaconate Theology Class        5pm Vespers              5:45pm Confession

 

Sunday, February 11

SUNDAY OF MEATFARE — Tone 3. Sunday of the Last Judgment. Hieromartyr Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste (ca. 316)

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

Prosfora: Need volunteer

Altar Server: D. Abshear

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

Epistle: A. McLarnan

Donut Sponsor(s): I. Snodgrass

Chapel Vacuum: S. Osman

Candle care: Janine Elash

Counters: B. Garber, P. Friesel

9:00am Hours: M. Pearson

9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

11:30am Fellowship Hour: Team 2/Children’s Choir

11:45am Youth Group/Church School

 

Upcoming Dates to Remember

February 13   Tuesday Morning Meet-Up, 9:30am

February 18   Forgiveness Vespers, 5pm

February 19   Lent Begins/Canon of St. Andrew, 6pm

February 21   Canon of St. Andrew, 6pm    

February 23   Presanctified Liturgy, 6pm

February 28   Presanctified Liturgy, 6pm

March 3          Memorial Liturgy, 9:30am

March 9-10     Pysanky Workshop