Prosfora: D. Federinko
Altar Server: M. Caldwell
Greeter(s): M. Jobst, M. Brausch
Epistle: L. Short
Donut Sponsor(s): Fencik
Chapel Vacuum: Doebler
Candle care: Doebler
Counters: B. Garber, P. Friesel
9:00am Hours: L. Short
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
11:15am Youth group
11:30 Fellowship Hour: Team 2
11:45 Church School
Today’s Hymns & Readings:
Resurrection Troparion: Tone 5
Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, coeternal 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!
Troparion for the Nativity of the Theotokos: Tone 4
Your nativity, O Virgin, has proclaimed joy to the whole universe! The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, has shone from you, O Theotokos! By annulling the curse, He bestowed a blessing. By destroying death, He has granted us eternal life.
Resurrection Kontakion: Tone 5
You descended into hell, O my Savior, shattering its gates as Almighty, resurrecting the dead as Creator and destroying the sting of death. You have delivered Adam from the curse, O Lover of Man, and we cry out to you: “O Lord save us!”
Kontakion for the Nativity of the Theotokos: Tone 4
By your Nativity, O most pure virgin, Joachim and Anna are freed from barrenness: Adam and Eve, from the corruption of death. And we, your people freed from the guilt of sin, celebrate and sing to you: The barren woman gives birth to the Theotokos, the Nourisher of our life.
Prokeimenon: Tone 6
O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance.
See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand! As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
Gospel: John 3:13-17
No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Hymn to the Theotokos
Magnify, O my soul, the most glorious Nativity of the Mother of God. Virginity is foreign to mothers; Childbearing is strange for virgins. But in you, O Theotokos, both were accomplished! For this, all the earthly nations unceasingly magnify you!
I will receive the cup of salvation and call the name of the Lord!
For Further Reading:
Rational man suffered even more, awaiting his liberation. For this reason, mankind offers the highest gift to Christ Who becomes man: His Virgin Mother.
In fact, we men had nothing more honorable to offer God. The Panaghia (‘Pan Aghia’: ‘All Holy Mother of God’) had already offered herself entirely to God, and as a most pure vessel was ready to receive in her womb her Son and her God and so, at her Annunciation, when Archangel Gabriel told her that she would become the Mother of Christ, she could answer with confidence in God: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.”
Moreover, we could not have offered the Virgin Mary to God if she had not offered herself to God. This free offering of the Virgin made the incarnation of God possible, for God would not violate our freedom by becoming incarnate without our own consent. The Virgin was able to stand before God as our representative, and to say ‘Yes’ to God. Her deed is a deed of unique responsibility, of love, and of freedom. She gave God what He Himself did not have - human nature - in order that God might give man what he did not have - deification (theosis). Thus the Incarnation of Christ is not only God’s free act of offering to man, it is also a free offering from man to God through the Virgin.
This mutual freedom is the prerequisite for love. God offers freely without any necessity, and the Virgin accepts the gift freely without compulsion. The Virgin could not co-operate with God if she had established her own egoistic satisfaction at the content of her freedom - rather than her offering to God and man. Moreover, the Virgin is always rightly blessed by all generations of Christians, and especially during these holy days, as the: ‘cause of the deification of all.’ At the same time, she points out the way of true freedom (George Capsanis, The Eros of Repentance, pp. 68-70).
Servants of God
What a sight - to see a countless multitude of luminaries above the clouds, an incomparable company of men exalted as a people of gods surrounding God! The fair ones surrounding the Fair One, the servants surrounding the Master! He does not begrudge His servants if any of them share in His splendor, nor does He regard it as diminishing aught from His own glory were He to receive many as partakers of His kingdom. Those among men who hold others in subjection, even if they give their subjects everything, would not bear even to dream of them sharing their rule. But Christ does not regard His servants as though they were slaves, nor does He bestow on them honors fit for slaves; He regards them as friends. Towards them He observes rules of friendship which he has established from the beginning; He shares His own with them, not merely one or another part of His riches, but He gives the very kingdom, the very crown. What else is it that blessed Paul has in view when he says that they are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17), and that all those who have shared hardships with Christ reign with Him (2 Tim. 2:12)? (Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ, pp. 166-167).
God So Loved the World
In receiving the gifts of God and willingly offering them back to him, we are blessed to participate in both heaven and earth, in a mode of ordered liturgical existence. In this way, we are ourselves offered up in order to perform liturgy, by preserving and participating in all that is “good” (Gen. 1:31). “It is this world (and not any ‘other world’), it is this life (and not some ‘other life’) that were given to man to be a sacrament of the divine presence, given as communion with God, and it is only through this world, this life, by ‘transforming’ them into communion with God that man was to be.” With these words Fr. Schmemman expressed that this world is not merely a dwelling place for humanity, but an integral part of humanity’s aspiration towards transfiguration. Man receives both “this world” and “this life” to be offered up and transfigured. In this way, mankind may truly become human. This offering of one’s self and the world is the purpose of mankind, which is fully realized and expressed in the incarnation of the Word of God himself (Bishop John Abdalah and Nicholas G. Mamey, Building an Orthodox Marriage, pp. 14-15).
Deny Yourself and Take Up the Cross
From this point of view, it would be appropriate to also quote an amazing third-century text by of the author of the most early Philokalia, Origen: “You are, all of you, a priestly people. Consequently, you have access to the sanctuary; each one of you has in himself his holocaust and he himself kindles the altar of sacrifice, so that it burns continually. If I renounce all my possessions, if I carry my cross and follow Christ, I offer my holocaust on the altar of God. If I deliver my body in order to burn with charity, if I acquire the glory of martyrdom, I offer myself as a holocaust on the altar of God. If I love my brothers to the point of giving up my soul for them, if I fight to the death for justice and truth, I offer my holocaust on the altar of God. If I mortify my members of all carnal consupiscence, if the world is crucified to me and I to the world, I offer my holocaust on the altar of God and I become the priest of my own sacrifice.” (Boris Bobrinksoy, The Compassion of the Father, p. 111).
Here too, in the case of the Cross, the moment this form of the Cross is depicted on a wall or on a board, or it is fashioned out of some kind of gold or silver and the like, or carved out of wood, immediately it puts on, and is filled with, the divine power which was residing there at the time, and (so) it becomes a place of God’s Shekhina, even more so than in the Ark. Just as the ministry of the New Covenant is more honorable before God than the things which took place in the Old Covenant, just as there is a difference between Moses and Christ, just as the ministry which Jesus received is more excellent than the one which was given through Moses, and just as the honor of a human person is greater and more excellent in His creation than (that of) dumb objects - so is this form of (the Cross), which now exists, much more honorable because of the honor of the Man whom the Divinity took from us for His abode; and because this divine good pleasure which is in this Man who completely became its temple is different from the metaphorical good pleasure which of old was in those dumb objects in which was the shadow of these things to come in Christ (Isaac of Ninevah, The Second Part, Chapters 4-41 (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium), p. 56).
Recent Posts on Fr. Ted’s Blog:
Wednesday Book Study
The group is meeting this week on Wednesday, at 11am to continue their discussion of the book An Introduction to God by Fr. Andrew Damick. Please read chapters 4 & 5. If you would like to discuss how to approach other people to talk about God, this book and discussion is for you.
The class which is meeting for diaconate and catechist training is open to any parish members who would like to audit the course. The first meeting of the class will be Saturday, September 16, from 2-4:30pm. If you would like to join the class and are not on the email list, please let Fr. Ted know ASAP. He will send you the course syllabus. You are not required to purchase the books or read them if you want to audit the class.The books they will be reading are on the syllabus as well as the dates for all future classes. The class meets once per month for 2.5 hours with a total of 6 class meetings.
Take Up Your Cross Procession
The church school students will be participating in the procession for the feast of the Elevation of the Cross next Sunday the 17th during the Little Entrance of the Liturgy. If weather permits, we will be going outside for the procession. Please bring a cross for your child to carry in the procession. We will sit in church as a group in the first couple of pews on the left side. Children will be dismissed to sit with their parents after the procession for the rest of liturgy.
Although children will play a special part in the carrying the cross procession, it is not just for children. Today, in many places on earth, Christians are being persecuted exactly because of their faith in Christ. We all should walk with them, as it says in the Epistle to the Hebrews: "Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured" (Hebrews 13:3). Let us all walk with our fellow Christians who are being persecuted - bring a cross to carry in our procession during the Liturgy next Sunday. We can demonstrate, even if only symbolically, that we do in fact agree to take up our cross and follow Christ.
Upcoming Baptism: Zoe Weis
Zoe’s baptism will be September 23 at 1pm followed by a reception. Vivian’s baptism will be September 30 at 10am followed by a reception. Everyone is welcome to attend--let Heather Weis know if you plan to come.
Upcoming Baptism: Vivian Opperman
Vivian’s baptism will be September 30 at 10am followed by a reception. Everyone is welcome to attend but if you desire to stay for reception after please RSVP to Jules.
Orthodox Women in Healing Ministries
Holy Dormition Monastery is holding their annual Orthodox Women in Healing Ministries Retreat Oct. 6-8. Rev. Dcn. Stephen Muse is the speaker and more information can be found at owhm.org.
Youth Retreat with Bp. Paul
Join Bishop Paul and other teens from across the Midwest for a virtual youth discussion and overnight retreat to strengthen your Life in Christ. The retreat is October 27-28 at various locations in the Midwest. David Short and Tammy Abshear are putting together an event for our parish’s teens--details will be announced. See them with questions.
We Need You!
The fellowship hour teams are in need of some more willing volunteers to bring food to share after liturgy. Volunteers will bring food one Sunday a month. The food doesn't need to be fancy, either. Thanks in advance!
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.
Bring Flowers/Icons for the Church
Parishioners are always welcome to bring special flowers/icons to the church for decoration and veneration. If you have a special icon for a feast day or saint day to be put in the icon case or would like to bring flowers at any time (fancy or not!) please let Erin Caldwell or Fr. Ted know so we can coordinate. You can bring flowers for many occasions--name days, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. If you’d like, a dedication can also be put in the bulletin.
Help Wanted - Seamstress
1] We are in need of someone to repair a couple of altar boy robes, as well as some of Fr. Ted’s vestments. If you have a penchant and talent for sewing, please talk to Fr. Ted. 2] We also are in need of someone to wash the Communion cloths. If you know how to do this and are willing to do it, please let Fr. Ted know.
Time for Confession
If you want or need to have Fr. Ted hear your confession, please contact him any time. Confessions can often be done before or after any of the scheduled services, Monday-Saturday even if no confession time is listed in the bulletin. It is a good idea to let Fr. Ted know you would confession to make sure he is available at the time you want to come. God always gives you now as the time for repentance.
In September, we are asked to remember in prayer the men and women of our Diocese who feel called to attend seminary to prepare themselves for ministry in the Church. Bishop Paul and our Diocese has issued an SOS - Support Our Seminarians - appeal to every parish and member of the Diocese. Our charity funds this month are being sent to the Diocese to support the seminarians and their families who make great sacrifices to attend seminary - they leave jobs behind and uproot families to serve the Lord. Our diocese is supporting eight candidates this year and all funds are given directly to the seminarians. Please remember them and the faculties and staffs of our seminaries in your prayers.
Birthdays: Alexandra Pacak, Rebecca Barone, Art Schwaninger
God grant you many years!
This Week’s Schedule:
Monday, September 11
Afterfeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. Ven. Theodora of Alexandria (474-491).
Readings: Galatians 2:11-16, Mark 5:24-34
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours
Tuesday, September 12
Leavetaking of the Nativity of the Theotokos. Hieromartyr Autonomus, Bishop in Italy (313).
Readings: Galatians 2:21-3:7, Mark 6:1-7
Wednesday, September 13 (fast)
Forefeast of the Elevation of the Cross. Commemoration of the Founding of the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulcher) at Jerusalem (335). Hieromartyr Cornelius the Centurion (1st c.)
Readings: Galatians 3:15-22, Mark 6:7-13
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours
11am Discussion: An Introduction to God (chapters 4 & 5)
Thursday, September 14 (strict fast)
The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Lifegiving Cross
Readings: Exodus 15:22-16:1, Proverbs 3:11-18, Isaiah 60:11-16
6pm Vespers-Liturgy for the Elevation of the Holy Cross
7:30pm Lenten potluck
Friday, September 15 (fast)
Afterfeast of the Elevation of the Cross. Greatmartyr Nicetas (Nikita) the Goth (ca. 372).
Readings:Galatians 4:8-21, Mark 6:45-53
8:30am Festal Matins 9am Office Hours
Saturday, September 16
Afterfeast of the Elevation of the Cross. Saturday after Elevation. Greatmartyr Euphemia the All-praised (304).
Readings: 1 Corinthians 4:17-5:5, Matthew 24:1-13
2-4:30pm Class on Orthodox Theology/ Doctrine
Sunday, September 17
15th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 6. Afterfeast of the Elevation of the Cross. Sunday after Elevation. Martyr Sophia, and her three daughters: Faith (Vera), Hope (Nadézhda), and Love (Liubóv’, Charity), at Rome (ca. 137)
2 Corinthians 4:6-15, Matthew 22:35-46
Prosfora: Need volunteer
Altar Server: D. Abshear
Greeter(s): D. Helferich & G. Friesel
Epistle: L. Short
Donut Sponsor(s): Muzzy
Chapel Vacuum: Need volunteer
Candle care: Need volunteer
Counters: J Wiese & L. Wagner
9:00am Hours: B. Edwards
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Chrismation of Evan Abla
Procession with crosses for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
11:15am Youth group
11:30 Fellowship Hour: Team 3
11:45 Church School
Upcoming Dates to Remember
September 23 Zoe Weis Baptism, 1pm
September 30 Serving at St. Vincent de Paul / Vivian Opperman Baptism, 10am