Prosfora: Nikki G.
Altar Servers: D. Abshear
Greeter(s): MK Smith & M. Adrian
Epistle: M. Pearson
Donut Sponsor(s): Smith
Chapel Vacuum: J. Cunningham
Candle care: Bruce Garber
Counters: Ben Lootens & Mark Pearson
9:00am Hours: M. Pearson
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
11:30am Fellowship Hour: Potluck
11:45am Youth group/Church School
Hymns & Readings:
Tone 5 Troparion (Resurrection)
Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, co-eternal 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.
Hymn of St. Paul
O blessed and Holy Paul the Apostle, Enlightener of the Nations; Your preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, has brought salvation to the ends of the earth. Never cease to intercede for us your children, that within us the Love of God may abide, bringing great joy to our neighbors and for us the salvation of our souls!
Tone 5 Kontakion (Resurrection)
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 to You: “O Lord, save us!”
Tone 5 Prokimenon (Resurrection)
You, O Lord, shall protect us and preserve us from this generation forever.
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 1:21-2:4
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth. Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand. But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow. For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me? And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.
Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14
And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
For Further Reading:
Refusing God’s Invitation to His Wedding Banquet
The God of Jesus Christ, on the contrary, was a God very near, not far away; a God who needed no persuading at all to have mercy but who poured out his mercy with an almost reckless prodigality. This forgiveness of sins, freely given, freely received, in the wedding feast of God’s return to his people, was the heart of Jesus’ evangelion or “Good News.” It consequently must have struck him as perverse that many of his follows rejected this theology, and thus opposed his personal insight into religion and his claims to prophetic authority in preaching it. These he characterized as the ones who refused to join in the celebration, those who would not come to the feast: “Tell the guests the banquet is all prepared: my oxen and fattened cattle have all be slaughtered. All is ready. Come to the wedding. But they were not interested.” The reaction of the elder son in the parable of the Prodigal Father who was too incensed at the “easiness” of forgiveness granted to his dissolute brother to be able to come to the celebration is a typical illustration of the case in point. (John A. McGukin, Witnessing the Kingdom, pp. 21-22)
The Elder always said that evil does not exist in this world. Everything was created by God and he saw that everything is “very good” (Gen. 1:31).
Evil exists when we make wrong use of the things God granted to us for our benefit.
It is not bad for someone to have money, but it is bad to be avaricious. Drugs are not an evil thing, when used to relieve the pain of people who suffer. They are bad when used for a different purpose. A knife is a useful utensil, when we used it to cut bread. However, when it is used to hit someone, it becomes a deadly weapon. In this case, it is not the knife which is evil, but the inner disposition of the murderer.
Therefore, we must use everything in the right way, the natural way, not abuse them and go against nature.
Since we are weak by nature, when we are inclined to give in to a passion, we should try to avoid anything that makes us feel vulnerable. We should also be aware that the reason we avoid the causes of our passions is not because they are evil themselves; but rather, because our ill inner disposition does not permit us to use them correctly.
Since we cannot benefit from them, it is better to avoid them, so they do not harm us. At the same time, we should glorify God for His gifts, and blame ourselves for abusing them and this provoking the evil. (Priestmonk Christodoulos, Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, pp. 112-113)
What Does Following Christ Mean?
In continuity with the Old Testament passage in which “the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land I will show you’” (Gen 12:1), Jesus encourages His disciples to seek detachment. Following Him implies a reversal of our values. It means going in a direction other than the way of the world, which advocates the acquisition of every kind of possession: money, power, possessions and property, with every sort of passion they entail: ambition, greed, envy and heart-heartedness. In a world where wealth is idolized, Jesus warns against laying up treasures for oneself (Mt 6:19). Instead, He preaches dispossession, abnegation and sharing: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Lk 6:20). It is well worth reading the passage of the temptation in the desert (Mt. 4:1-11), in which the Prince of this world appeals to a possessive instinct which Jesus strongly condemns. If we realize that every form of greed stems fundamentally from a mental condition, it becomes easier to understand the efforts of the great ascetics, which consist in focusing their minds on their repentant hearts.
In the same way that our disorders, loss of inner harmony and personal disintegration can lead to similar conditions in the world around us, those who are truly “in Christ” can shape and nourish science, culture and humanity as a whole. The audience for whom the following words of Dostoevsky's were intended seems to be growing day by day:
You who deny God and Christ have not even considered that without Christ, everything in the world would be impure and corrupt. You judge Christ and you dismiss God; but what sort of example do you yourselves offer? You are petty, debauched, greedy and arrogant! By eliminating Christ, you remove from humanity the epitome of beauty and goodness, you make Him inaccessible. For Christ came precisely for this reason: that humanity might know and recognize that a true human spirit can appear in this heavenly condition, in the flesh and not merely in a dream or in theory - that it is indeed both natural and possible. Christ’s disciples proclaimed His radiant flesh to be divine. Through the cruelest of tortures they confessed the blessing of bearing this flesh within themselves, of imitating His perfection, and of believing in Christ in the flesh (Carnets des Demons, Belov An VI, 281, 155).
(Michael Quenot, The Resurrection and the Icon, pp. 229-230)
The Nativity of the Theotokos
Thus, while each holy festival both affords the enjoyment of common gifts and lights up its particular glow of grace, the present feast honoring the birth of the Virgin Mother of God easily carries off the glittering prize of seniority against every competitor. For, just as we know the root to be the cause of the branches, the stem, the fruit and the flower, though it is for the sake of the fruit that care and labor are expended on the others, and without the root none of the rest grows up, so without the Virgin’s feast none of those that sprang out of it would appear. For the resurrection was because of the death; and the death because of the crucifixion, and the crucifixion because Lazarus came up from the gates of Hell on the fourth day, because the blind saw, and the paralytic ran carrying the bed on which he had lain, and because of the rest of those wondrous deeds (this is not the time to enumerate them all) for which the Jewish people ought to have sent up glory and chanted praise, but were instead inflamed to envy, on account of which they perpetrated the Savior’s murder to their own destruction. And this because Christ, having submitted to baptism, and having released men from their error, taught the knowledge of God in deed and word. The baptism was because of the nativity; and Christ’s nativity, to put it briefly and aptly, was because of the Virgin’s nativity, by which we are being renovated, and which we have been deemed worthy to celebrate. Thus the Virgin’s feast, in fulfilling the function of the root, the source, the foundation (I know not how to put it in a more appropriate way), takes on with good reason the ornament of all those other feasts, and it is conspicuous with many great boons, and recognized as the day of universal salvation. (The Homilies of Photius Patriarch of Constantinople, 165)
Recent Posts on Fr. Ted’s Blog
Wednesday Adult Discussion Group
This week the group will begin a discussion on a vision for Orthodoxy in America. We will be looking at a couple of articles that deal with some of the first Russian Orthodox missionaries to America who began to envision an Orthodox Church for America that wasn’t here to serve ethnic migrants but was here to establish an English language church for all Americans. Please see Fr. Ted today to get a copy of the reading materials if you plan to join the discussion.
St. Paul Ladies’ Gathering
Join us for a ladies’ gathering at Tastefully Roasted Coffee house in Oakwood on Thursday, September 6 from 6pm-9pm. See Erin Ferdelman with questions.
Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God
We will be celebrating the Nativity of the Mother of God on September 7 with Vespers at 6pm and September 8 with Divine Liturgy at 9:30am.
Library Story Time Outings
Erin Ferdelman has organized some outings for our moms/kids to meet at some local libraries for story times. The first outing will be Wednesday, September 12th, beginning at 10:00am at the main branch of the Dayton Metro Library. This storytime is geared towards ages 0-24 months, but bigger kids are always welcome. See her with questions.
We will be starting up our children’s choir again beginning on September 16. Erin Caldwell & Erin Ferdelman will be leading this informal singing group in an effort to make our kids feel more a part of the liturgy and to familiarize them a little more with some of the hymns of the church. Any kids under 18 is welcome to join. We will be meeting in the church at 11:30am just before church school and will dismiss kids to church school at 11:45am.
New Catechism/Inquirer’s Class
This week, we have the second class, there will be only one section of the class at 6pm.
“That we might spend the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, let us pray to the Lord.” We do ask God to give us a lifetime of repentance. If you want to come to the sacrament of Confession at any time during the year, please contact Fr. Ted to set up a time for your confession. He is regularly available before and after the Saturday 5pm Vespers, but it is always good to call him in advance to make sure he is available.
Adult Discussion This Autumn
What is the vision of our parish for the parish? This autumn we can have a discussion of Fr. Alexander Schmemann’s FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD. St. Vladimir’s Seminary will issue a new edition of this classic Orthodox book this fall. Originally published in 1963, the book is based on a series of lectures Fr. Schmemann delivered in which he gave a vision for the liturgical theology of the Orthodox Church. It is a book that helped inspire the creation of the Orthodox Church in America. The book was also Fr. Ted’s inspiration for coming to Dayton to start the St. Paul mission. If you would join a group meeting 4 times to discuss the book, please speak with Fr Ted. We probably will not order copies of the book until the new edition is published. So far 5 people have expressed an interest in attending.
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.
Our September charity will be given to the Diocesan Support our Seminarian campaign. The money will be used to help seminarians and their families with expenses for food and housing. Please remember to pray for our diocesan seminarians and their families - they are devoting their lives to serve us in the Church.
Birthdays: Adam Barone, Ted Rusen
Anniversary: Brian & Wendy Garber, John & Ernestine Raptosh, Rich & Patti Peterson, Fr. Steve & Denise Gresh, Chris & Kristine Albee
God grant you many years!
This Week’s Schedule:
Monday, September 3
Hieromartyr Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia, and those with him: Martyrs Theophilus—Deacon; Dorothesus, Mardonius, Migdonius, Peter, Indes, Gorgonius, Zeno; the Virgin Domna, and Euthymius (302).
Readings: Galatians 2:11-16, Mark 5:24-34
9am Office Hours
Tuesday, September 4
Hieromartyr Gorazd, Bishop of Bohemia and Moravia-Silesia (Serbian—1942 (1942).
Readings: Galatians 2:21-3:7, Mark 6:1-7
Wednesday, September 5
Holy Prophet Zachariah and Righteous Elizabeth, parents of St. John the Baptist (1st c.)
Readings: Galatians 3:15-22, Mark 6:7-13
9am Office Hours
11am Adult Discussion Group
6pm Catechism/Inquirer’s Class
Thursday, September 6
Martyrs Eudoxius, Zeno, and Macarius (311-312).
Readings: Galatians 3:23-4:5, Mark 6:30-45
Friday, September 7
Forefeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. Martyr Sozón of Cilicia (ca. 304).
Readings: Galatians 4:8-21, Mark 6:45-53
9am Office Hours
6pm Vespers for the Nativity of the Theotokos
Saturday, September 8
The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady, Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. Saturday before Elevation.
Readings: Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28
9:30am Liturgy for the Nativity of the Theotokos
Sunday, September 9
15th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 6. Afterfeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. Holy and Righteous Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna. Sunday before Elevation.
Readings: 2 Corinthians 4:6-15, Matthew 22:35-46
Prosfora: S. Pacak
Altar Servers: V. Weis, D. Beleny
Greeter(s): M. Jobst & M. Brausch
Epistle: S. Pacak
Donut Sponsor(s): B. Edwards
Chapel Vacuum: T. Jacobs
Candle care: J. Elash
Counters: B. Garber, J. Elash
9:00am Hours: S. Pacak
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
11:30am Fellowship Hour: Team 2
11:45am Youth group/Church School
Upcoming Events to Remember:
September 13 Vespers-Liturgy for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 6pm
September 14 Exaltation of the Holy Cross