St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church
Sunday, September 23, 2018
17th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 8
The Conception of the Honorable Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John
Prosfora: Need volunteer
Altar Servers: V. Weis, J. Fencik
Greeter(s): D. Helferich, D. Short
Epistle: M. Pearson
Donut Sponsor(s): Muzzy
Chapel Vacuum: Need volunteer
Candle care: Need volunteer
Counters: K. Henry & M. Brausch
9:00am Hours: M. Pearson
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
11am Reception of Daniel & Elizabeth Callahan, Andrew Reigelman, & Jacob Sims into the Catechumenate
11:30am Fellowship Hour: Team 4
11:45am Youth group/Church School
Hymns & Readings:
Tone 8 Troparion (Resurrection)
You descended from on high, O Merciful One! You accepted the three day burial to free us from our sufferings! O Lord, our Life and Resurrection, glory to You!
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 8 Kontakion (Resurrection)
By rising from the tomb, You raised the dead and resurrected Adam. Eve exults in Your Resurrection, and the world celebrates Your rising from the dead, O greatly Merciful One!
Tone 8 Prokeimenon
Pray and make your vows before the Lord, our God!
Epistle: Galatians 4:22-31
For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar – for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children – but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children Than she who has a husband.” Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
Gospel: Luke 1:5-25
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.
For Further Reading:
Maintaining the Unity of the Community
Once when Abba John was going up from Scete with other brothers, their guide lost his way and it was night. The brothers said to Abba John: “What shall we do, abba, for the brother has lost his way; maybe we will wander off and die?” The elder said to them: “If we tell him he will be grieved and ashamed. But look here: I will pretend to be sick and will say: ‘I cannot travel [further] so I am staying here until dawn,’” and so he did. The rest of them said: “Neither are we going on; we are staying with you.” They stayed [there] until dawn and did not offend the brother. (John Colobos, Give Me a Word, p. 135)
Where There is No Struggle, There is No Virtue
Do not fear the conflict, and do not flee from it: where there is no struggle, there is no virtue; where there are no temptations for faithfulness and love, it is uncertain whether there is really and faithfulness and love for the Lord. Our faith, trust, and love are proved and revealed in adversities, that is, in difficult and grievous outward and inward circumstances, during sickness, sorrow, and privations. (John of Kronstadt, A Treasury of Russian Spirituality, p. 391)
The Foundation of Love
Spiritual progress has no other test in the end, nor any better expression, than our ability to love. It has to be unselfish love founded on respect, a service, a disinterested affection that does not ask to be paid in return, a ‘sympathy’, indeed an ‘empathy’ that takes us out of ourselves enabling us to ‘feel with’ the other person and indeed to ‘feel in’ him or her. It gives us the ability to discover in the other person an inward nature as mysterious and deep as our own, but different and willed to be so by God.
In this fallen world the unity of human beings has been broken, everything is a ‘rat race’, and I try to free myself from the anguish that torments me by projecting it onto another, the scapegoat of my tragic finiteness. The other person is always my enemy and I need him to be so. In Christ, however, death has been defeated, my inner hell transformed into the Church, I no longer need to have enemies no one is separated from anyone. The criterion of the depth of one’s spiritual growth is therefore love for one’s enemies, in accordance with the paradoxical commandment of the Gospel that takes its meaning solely from the cross - Christ’s cross and ours - and from the resurrection - again Christ’s and our own. (Oliver Clement, The Roots of Christian Mysticism, pp. 270-271)
Christian: Obey Christ
Among Christians no one is unaware that he is under obligation to undertake the whole task. All alike, when they joined Him in the beginning, vowed to follow Him through all things, and it was after they had thus bound themselves by those covenant that they underwent the sacred rites [of Baptism].
Since the Saviour’s commands are thus binding on all the faithful and are capable of fulfilment by those who are willing, they are most necessary. Apart from them it is impossible to be united with Christ, otherwise we should be at variance with Him in that which is greatest and noblest, will and purpose. If we share in His blood we must share in His will. We cannot be joined to Him in some ways, and yet be separated from Him in others, neither can we love Him in one way and be hostile to Him in another, not be His children on the one hand and worthy of blame on the other. (Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ, pp. 160-161)
St. John the Baptist
John had no agenda - his only agenda was God. He administered a type of sacrament, baptism, which was associated with confession of sins and a change of life, not only to Jews but to Gentiles, in particular to Roman soldiers. His followers returned to their homes and occupations, although some joined him in the wilderness for a time. Neither John nor his disciples produced any literature, nor did they start a sect or community, nor did they have any political motivations. John preached repentance in the wilderness. He was not in a city, nor in a temple, nor in a rabbinical school, nor in the courts of law, nor in a government forum. John transcended human institutions and so he did not seek their approbation, nor that of any human being. They were totally superfluous to him. He transformed the world by renouncing it. He calls light, light and darkness, darkness. He dared to say “Thus saith the Lord” which few have the calling and moral authority to say - and even fewer when called actually do so, because they know it’s synonymous with signing one’s own death certificate. John had both the moral authority and the courage to say it to everyone, including to the adulterous King Herod.
John’s message was simple. According to John, nothing can save men except a confession of sins and change of life. (Hieromonk Calinic, Challenges of Orthodox Thought and Life, p. 62)
Recent Posts on Fr. Ted’s Blog
Les Homan is still missing his cross that he brought to church last week for our procession. If you know of its whereabouts, please let us know.
Children’s choir continues today. 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. This time, we hope to learn some of the odes of the Akathist of Thanksgiving, hopefully singing what we’ve learned o the Sunday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 18 & 25). Any kids under 18 are 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.
Wednesday Adult Discussion Group
We are resuming on Wednesday, September 19. We will continue our 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 to get a copy of the reading materials if you plan to join the discussion.
St. Paul Library Story Time Outing
Our next library story time outing is Tuesday, September 25th, 10:00-11:00 am at the Main Library. This story time is geared towards ages 0-36 months but bigger kids are welcome too!
Serving at St. Vincent DePaul
We only have two remaining times we as a church will be serving at St Vincent de Paul. September 29 will be the fifth Saturday and thus our day to serve. We all gather at the St Vincent Gateway shelter for women and families in the kitchen at 9:15am Saturday the 29th and make subs for the guests lunch meal. If you would like to join us please contact Matthew Jobst so I know how many will be helping. This is an amazing way to sow your time to help those in need and reap a joy that you have made a positive impact in someone’s life! Thanks again!
Annual Corn Maze
Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 21 because we will be heading down to Germantown to enjoy some food and fun at Tom's Corn Maze! Meet at 3:00PM (or come even earlier for extra fun!) near the entrance of the farm. There are plenty of activities for all ages including the big corn maze, straw bale maze, pumpkin cannon and train ride. At 5:00 we will head over to one of Tom's campfires for an old fashioned hot dog and marshmallow roast! We have the campfire from 4-7pm so get ready for a great time. Sign up sheets will be available on the bulletin board soon. Tom's maze is located 1 mile west of State Route 4, at 4677 Germantown-Liberty Road at the intersection of Germantown-Liberty Rd. and Farmersville-West Carrollton Rd.http://www.tomsmaze.com/directions/ Questions? See Alyson Turri.
Chili-Cook Off and Bonfire
Our annual chili cook off and bonfire will be after Vespers on November 10. Look for more details coming soon!
Erin Caldwell will be working to update our parish directory this month. If you have corrections to make from our last photo directory, feel free to send those to her any time. More formal instructions will follow.
Notes from the 18 September Parish Council Meeting
Present: Fr. Ted, Brian Garber, Kerrie Wiese, Ann McLarnan, Janine Elash, David Short, Bruce Garber, Rebecca Barone, Bill Lamb
YTD Financial Report as of 31 July 2018
Discussions: 1) Parish Finances are in good shape, income is approximately the same as for the past 2 years. Parish continues to stay within Budget. 2) Council adopted the Proposed 2019 Budget which is about $265,000. This is about the same amount as the adopted 2018 Budget. 3) Council approved replacing the existing water softener. 4) Bill Lamb discussed his concerns about Ohio State Issue 1 which is up for vote in November. Council decided to stick with the current parish council practice and not promote political issues as a parish. 5) Brian is researching online methods of submitting pledges. 6) At the November 11 Annual Parish Meeting, there will be 3 seats on Parish Council up for election. Bruce Garber is willing to serve another term. Rebecca Barone and Janine Elash are getting off Council. We need to find two more people willing to serve on Council. 6) Sugar Creek Police met with the Risk Committee to discuss security and emergency planning issues. 7) Annual Parish Meeting is Sunday, November 11. 8) If all goes as planned, Dave Abshear will be ordained to the diaconate in 2019. 9) Next Parish Council meeting: October 16.
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.
September: Support Our Seminarians!
While all of God’s People are called to proclaim the Good News, our clergy have been given the special task of “equipping the saints for ministry” by planting the seeds of faith and nurturing spiritual growth. For three quarters of a century, our seminaries have devoted themselves to imparting information about our faith and to pursuing the formation of those called to the ordained ministry. Our diocesan seminarians have chosen a truly difficult and selfless path, especially in terms of funding their studies and related living expenses. September 2018 has been designated “Support Our Seminarians Month” in the Diocese of the Midwest, culminating in “SOS Sunday” on September 30. Please be generous as we join together to help lighten our seminarians’ financial burdens. All funds will be given directly to our seminarians! Please send your donations to the Diocese of the Midwest, 927 North LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610.
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: Hank Engel, Irene Snodgrass, Jon Raptosh, Guinevere Allen
This Week’s Schedule:
Monday, September 24
Holy New Martyrs of Alaska, Hieromonk Juvenaly (ca. 1796) and Peter the Aleut (1815).
Readings: Ephesians 4:25-32, Luke 4:37-44
No Matins or Office Hours
Tuesday, September 25
Repose of Ven. Sergius (Sérgii), Abbot and Wonderworker of Rádonezh (1392)
Readings: Ephesians 5:20-26, Luke 5:12-16
Wednesday, September 26
Repose of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian (2nd c.)
Readings: Ephesians 5:25-33, Luke 5:33-39
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours 11am Discussion Group
4pm Catechism/Inquirer’s Class 4 6pm Catechism/Inquirer’s Class 4
Thursday, September 27
Martyrs Callistratus and his company (49 Martyrs—ca. 304).
Readings: Ephesians 5:33-6:9, Luke 6:12-19
Friday, September 28
Ven. Chariton the Confessor, Abbot of Palestine (ca. 350)
Readings: Ephesians 6:18-24, Luke 6:17-23
8:30am Matins 9am Office Hours
Saturday, September 29
Ven. Cyriacus the Hermit, of Palestine (556)
Readings: 1 Corinthians 15:39-45, Luke 5:17-26
3pm Baptism of Quinton Parker
Sunday, September 30
18th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 1. Hieromartyr Gregory, Bishop of Greater Armenia (ca. 335)
Readings: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, Luke 6:31-36
Prosfora: Need volunteer
Altar Servers: D. Abshear, D. Beleny
Greeter(s): D. Short
Epistle: A. McLarnan
Donut Sponsor(s): Muzzy
Chapel Vacuum: Alex & Bobby Tyson
Candle care: Alex & Bobby Tyson
Counters: B. Lootens & J. Weise
9:00am Hours: A. McLarnan
9:30am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
11:30am Fellowship Hour: Potluck
11:45am Youth group/Church School
Upcoming Dates to Remember:
September 29 St. Paul Serves at St. Vincent DePaul
October 14 Fire drill during fellowship hour
October 21 Corn Maze Event
November 10 Chili Cook-Off & Bonfire
November 11 Annual Parish Meeting
November 15 Nativity Fast Begins
November 20 Vespers-Liturgy for the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple