Acts of the Apostles – 05/23/2021

Week of May 23, 2021

This Sunday
Day of Pentecost

10AM Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Limited to 50 in-person attendees
Social distancing and masks required – Sign Up
Watch the broadcast on our YouTube channel
Service Material can be found on our website

Scripture readings
Acts 2:1-21
Psalm 104:25-35, 37
Romans 8:22-27
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

A Note from the Rector

“No one steps into the same river twice, for it’s not the same river they aren’t the same person.” Thus, goes the famous saying attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. The point is, change is always happening—both around us and within us. One attribute that we identify with God—in One who transcends the systems, rules, and constraints of the physical realm—is that God is changeless. And not just God, but God’s self-revelation of love and grace—these will not change. This is part of what Jesus was saying when he said, “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). This echoes the praise of the psalmist, “Your Word, O Lord, is everlasting” (Psalm 119:89). All of this to say that in the midst of the changes and chances of this life, God keeps God’s promises. And God has promised to “be with us always even unto the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). That’s the truth that keeps us going. 

The preceding paragraph is the only way I could conceive of beginning this note about new changes that are coming soon. The diocese has issued new protocols for how we worship together in this time of change. The last couple of weeks have seen some dramatic changes in the way our country may be handling coronavirus protocols, and there seems to be a lot of confusion about it. In some ways, the situation at church is much clearer. Our rules have never been directly determined by state law or CDC guidelines. Our rules have been set by the bishop, and our relationship to the bishop is different than to any state or federal entity. As part of the body of Christ, our participation in these protocols has more to do with mutual trust, loyalty, a pastoral relationship between the parish and the diocese, and—in my case especially—a very real, consequential and spiritual vow of obedience that I took when I became a priest (some of you were in the room when I made those vows on December 9, 2017!). That being said, our bishop and his staff had made every effort to 1. Follow state law; 2. Take into account the needs and safety of us all; and 3. Use relevant guidance from the CDC, and other respected scientists and doctors. So, that’s how we’ve ended up with the rules we’ve had so far, and I trust the same is motivating what comes next.  So, here’s what comes next:

Effective Sunday, June 6,

  1. We can reintroduce indoor congregational singing. 
  2. We can put our prayer books and hymnals back in the pews. 
  3. Coffee hour and other fellowship may resume.
  4. We may begin having in-person meetings like vestry and committee meetings again. 
  5. Also, on June 6, we are planning to do away with the mandatory sign up sheet for church. We will still be tracking attendance for contract tracing purposes, but we’ve got a sense of who is coming, and have worked out a way to manage without the extra step of requiring everyone to sign-up.

That is a lot of changes all at once. My head is spinning. But, notice what hasn’t changed according to the bishop:

  1. We must still wear masks inside the building. 
  2. We must still maintain social distance (including at the peace).
  3. We must still distribute Communion in the bread only. 

My hunch is that some of us will be excited about these changes. Others are going to feel uncomfortable with them because they seem too lax. Others are going to feel disappointed that these loosened restrictions didn’t go far enough, especially in the mask wearing department. My one plea that pertains however you might feel: Love each other. Holy Apostles is a special place because regardless of all the confusion and division all around us we are, by the grace of God, capable of loving each other across difference in real and tangible ways. This love is going to be expressed in different ways, so I beg you to find your way! For some, love will be expressed by continuing to participate in Church from home. We are not going to discontinue our online opportunities for worship. For some, love will mean coming back to church for the first time in a long time. Things have changed around here, but the love and grace and mercy that God extends us all are everlasting. They never change. You can still find meaning and purpose and fellowship here, at your parish, so please come back if you’ve been away for awhile and you feel safe. For some, love will mean getting vaccinated. For some, love will mean trusting each other enough not to ask, or insist, or be suspicious of others and their vaccination status. Our society spends billions teaching us to be wary and suspicious, and unforgiving. God offered himself up to death in Jesus Christ to teach us a different way. However love looks for you and your family—take this seriously—God loves you and will never leave you, and God’s presence empowers us to love each other even in hard times and confusion. 

The vestry and I still need to work out the exact details of how we will move forward. I will do my best to keep you informed. On the other hand, with so many things changing, it’s hard to stay on top of it all. Which leads me to one of my favorite verses, one that I couldn’t conceive of ending this Note without quoting (in the King James of my youth): “Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.”  In other words, continue to live day by day, trusting in God’s grace, because nothing is certain, except grace. Grace is everything. 

Services

You can view our live-stream on our YouTube channel.  
A link to this video will be posted to Facebook.
To attend in person, please sign up to reserve your spot.

Sunday, May 23, 2021 – Day of Pentecost
Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Prayers of Spiritual Communion 10AM
Live-streamed, In-person attendance limited to 50
The Rev. James Stambaugh, celebrant & preacher

Sunday, May 30, 2021 – Trinity Sunday
Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Prayers of Spiritual Communion 10AM
Live-streamed, In-person attendance limited to 50
The Rev. James Stambaugh, celebrant & preacher

Weekday Meetings
Zoom Compline is held every night at 7:30PM
A brief time of prayer and checking in with other members of CHA
“Zoom Compline has been really helped me through this difficult time.  It’s such a great way to close the day.” – CHA Member
Follow this link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/233415613?pwd=dTBDeUhrUUdSak9MS3RUaXdDSDhpUT09
or call into the meeting toll-free 1-888-475-4499 
Callers will be promoted to enter this meeting ID: 233 415 613
and passcode: love

Zoom Bible Study is held every Thursday at 11AM
We are doing a combined study of the Books of Daniel and Revelation. Please join us as we discover a new view on the never-changing promises of God. No previous experience required.
Follow this link to join:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/788355291?pwd=R2FQRWltZ01LWG92WGtPSm54cXJSUT09
or call 1-888-475-4499 US Toll-free
You will be prompted to enter this meeting ID: 788 355 291
and passcode: love

*note: the passcode for all CHA Zoom meetings is “love”

(Photo Credit: Jean Gentile, Goat Cuteness Credit: Joy)

May 29, 2-4pm

Help support the Philly Goat Project’s free community programs and show our appreciation for GOAT WEEK. This event will feature opportunities to visit with the goats, create original paintings with the goats, and to purchase Philly Goat Project shirts and swag.
Rain date 5/30 2-4pm.

FREE to attend, no reservations needed, donations (strongly) encouraged!

Outreach – Up Next

Connect by Night

Please consider donating your books into the weather-tight box outside the church main entrance for our Beach Bag Book Drive to provide books to our friends at CBN. Collection extends through May 30. Box location allows you to drop off your items any time during the week.

Things to know:

  • We are collecting books from all genres – Mystery, Sports, Biography, Humor, History and Inspirational, etc.
  • See a book you want to read? Please feel free to borrow it to enjoy and return it to the collection box when you’re through! You are welcome to use the box as a Take one, Leave one resource
  • We also welcome donation of reusable bags for the CBN clients to use when borrowing books.
  • Donated books will be delivered to CBN periodically over the summer.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Darby Mission 

Next month’s project details will be available soon. The afterschool project will be all about Photosynthesis!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

Looking for folks who are willing and able to help with transporting donated items from the church to the mission on an as-needed basis. Cassie would like a team of folks who she can call on to assist with deliveries. Please email or text Cassie if you can help!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Remember if you dislike shopping or can’t get out and about you can still participate in these and any of our outreach opportunities! Make a monetary donation to the cause with a check to Church of the Holy Apostles in any amount and write OUTREACH in the memo. Or use the GIVE button on our website and choose Darby Mission in the drop down list.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cassie Woestman, Outreach Chairperson, contact info:
Email: grammysqrd@gmail.com
Phone/Text: 610-608-5440

Announcements

+ Goat Week Extended Edition – The goats are leaving for the weekend, but they’ll be back for a few days next week.  The schedule is dependent on how much they eat, as well as other events that are held by the Philly Goat Project.  Check holyapostlespa.org/goats for updates as we receive them.  

+ Garden with the Goats…& Deb – Plan to come by the Backyard on Tuesday, May 25 @ 10am to lend a hand with some gardening! No green thumb required. Close-toed shoes and gloves are recommended. 

+ Red signifies the fire of Pentecost (see Acts 2), we encourage you to wear red to church this Sunday, whether you’re joining us in person or online!

+ Michael Poll Concert.  THIS Sunday, May 23rd at 5:30PM, acclaimed classical guitarist Michael Poll will perform two Bach suites on the 7-string guitar.  A Penn Wynne neighbor, Michael is an accomplished musician who has performed in concert halls on 3 continents.  You can find out more about Mr. Poll on his website. Use this link to sign-up for the limited in-person attendance spots. The concert will also be aired on our YouTube channel. The event is free, but we are asking for donations either in-person or online. All donations will benefit the Darby Mission and Michael’s charity that is focused on bringing high quality live music to underserved neighborhoods in Philadelphia and beyond.  

+ Parish Prayer Guild was introduced in last week’s Note from the Rector and you are encouraged to consider making a commitment to this group. To join or if you have questions, please contact Nancy Haas (610-220-8792) or James.

+ There is now a form on our website that you can use to make a prayer request

+ Picnic Prep –  Please contact Suzanne Lees at suzannelees@yahoo.com or via cell 610-220-7120 if you would be willing to help set up tables and chairs prior to the 10am service on the day of the picnic, June 6. Thank you!

+ The Sensory Garden in Wynnewood Valley Park is looking for help watering during the summer months.  All equipment is on site.  Anyone interested in helping can reach out to Deb Stambaugh  (505) 980-4300 

+ Church Service Attendance – Masks and appropriate distancing will continue to be observed. We look forward to seeing you back at church if you feel comfortable there. Services will also continue to be livestreamed. 

+ Bible Study: Every Thursday at 11AM (currently on Zoom). We are doing a combined study of the Books of Daniel and Revelation. Now is a great time to join us as we discover a new view on the never-changing promises of God. No previous experience required. Join us anytime using this link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/788355291?pwd=R2FQRWltZ01LWG92WGtPSm54cXJSUT09

+ One Love: Our diocese has created an online platform where you can find inspirational videos, sermons by the bishop and other clergy, and online services.  Visit DioPA One Love Online: https://episcopalpa.online.church

+Eucharistic Visits: During this time, the rector and trained Eucharistic ministers may visit others to bring them the Eucharist. Meeting in outdoor spaces of homes will be preferred.  Contact the rector if you would like to schedule a visit. 

+Giving: You can still mail pledge contributions to the church at this time.  The mail is checked regularly.  You can also securely give online.  Go to holyapostlespa.org and click on the “Give” button on the top right hand corner of the webpage.  

+ Online Worship: Online worship is here to stay!  We will be live-streaming each Sunday at 10AM. It’s all happening on our YouTube Channel. Be sure to hit the SUBSCRIBE button!

+ Happy Birthday! The following folks have birthdays in the month of May.
1st      Eric Haas
          Jennifer Lees
2nd     Nathaniel Russell
4th      Gregory Smith
5th      Bryce Henderson
10th    Porter Forker
12th    Dan Dugan
14th    Toni Meiers
16th    Marianne Neff
19th    Elliott Brown IV
26th    Joe Zorc
30th    Allen Mustered
If your birthday, or the birthday of another parishioner in your family is missing, please notify the Parish Office at holyapostlespa@gmail.com

Our mailing address is:
1020 Remington Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096 

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