Acts of the Apostles – 08/15/2021

Week of August 15, 2021

This Sunday

12th Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 15

10AM Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Watch the broadcast on our YouTube channel
Service Material can be found on our website 

Scripture readings
Proverbs 9:1-6
Psalm 34:9-14
Ephesians 5:15-20
John 6:51-58

A Note from the Rector

My favorite mask is black with gold skulls on it. Isn’t that an incredibly weird thing to say: not just my choice of favorite mask, but the very fact that I have one at all? Who could have predicted 2 years ago that we would all have such a visceral relationship with masks? Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you’ve spent way more time thinking about masks then you ever thought you would. When we first reopened the church for in-person worship early last summer, masks were a requirement passed down to us by the diocese. Headed into this summer—when new infections were down and access to the vaccine was opening up—the CDC relaxed it recommendations about masking for those who were vaccinated and our diocese adopted the same approach. 
 
But, now infection rates are rising very quickly again. The evidence we have at this moment suggests that vaccinated people can make others sick even if they aren’t experiencing symptoms themselves, and the CDC is again recommending that everyone wear masks indoors. The diocese has not moved back to a mask mandate, however, the bishop now strongly recommends that we return to wearing masks 100% of the time while inside the church. So, this is a request, not a requirement: please wear a mask when you come to church on Sunday morning. If you don’t, the ushers will not throw you out. I certainly will not treat you any differently, or withhold communion or prayer. You know we live in strange times when it would even occur to me to reassure you of something like that. 
 
A big part of our problem is that masks (and vaccines and many other aspects of this pandemic) have become so politicized. Last summer, I wrote in one of these notes that the reason we don’t like masks as a symbol is that they remind us of our vulnerability. They serve to remind us that we are not entirely in control of our health, or any other aspect of our lives. Since most masks are not primarily for self-protection but for the preventing the mask-wearer from spreading the virus, masks are a very real reminder that our health is dependent to some degree each other’s choices. The same is true in regards to vaccination and the emergence of new variants of the virus. We all live (and die!) with the ramifications of each other’s choices, good or bad. Like it or not, we are responsible for each other’s well-being and not just our own. We didn’t choose this, but neither can we deny it. Independence is a lie.  We’ve always been and we always will be inter-dependent on each other. And while life’s responsibilities derive from our inter-dependence on each other, so do all of life’s greatest joys. Inter-dependence is the basis of our relationships, our loves, our moments of joy and sharing, even our faith. The fact of our inter-dependence on each other is related to the fact that we are our dependent on God.
 
That brings me back to why the mask with gold skulls is my favorite. It’s a memento mori, a reminder of death. Just as surely as we are inter-dependent on each other is that fact that we will all die. Reminders of death are important for us Christians, not because we’re morbid, but because you can’t be reminded of the resurrection of Jesus Christ unless you are reminded first of death. If we ignore or shy away from death, we are missing out on the only actual source of hope that we have—Christ has conquered death. The only way out of death is through it, and Christ has pioneered a safe passage through it for us. Christ will accompany us every step of the way. Similarly, the only way out of this pandemic is through it. Ignoring it or pretending it doesn’t affect us won’t help. What helps is to remember that even in the middle of this plague—this valley of the shadow death—Christ is with us. He will not abandon or us forsake us, ever. Because of Him we can be here for each other, helping to bear each other’s burdens, putting up with each other’s foibles, and we can get through this together. The only way out is through. So, with Christ’s help, let’s get through. Please wear a mask. Please get vaccinated. Please don’t give in to despair. 

Services

You can view our live-stream on our YouTube channel.  
A link to this video will be posted to Facebook.

Sunday, August 15, 2021 – 12th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 15
Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Prayers of Spiritual Communion 10AM
The Rev. James Stambaugh, celebrant & preacher

Sunday, August 22, 2021 – 11th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 14
Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Prayers of Spiritual Communion 10AM
The Rev. James Stambaugh, celebrant & preacher

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 – Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle
Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Prayers of Spiritual Communion 6:30PM
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”

Outreach – Up Next

Darby Mission

THANK YOU
for you donations so far this month for
our Back to School Supply Drive and the Darby Food Pantry!
This is just a portion of the Honey Nut Cheerios we’ve received from your generosity. Our total to date is 75 boxes and there are more on the way!

Donations have been pouring in for our Back to School supply drive. We will continue to collect these items through August 29. On September 5 at 4pm there will be a Backpack Blessing service on the lawn where Fr. James will be asking for God’s blessing on the donated items. Families are encouraged to bring their own backpacks to this event as well.

Here are our goals:
25 backpacks – 17 received – 8 more needed
25 boxes crayons – 19 received – 6 more needed
25 boxes markers – 13 received – 12 more needed
300 pencils – 386 received – goal met
50 lined tablets – 12 received (+11 subject spiral) – 38 more needed
50 glue sticks – 37 received – 13 more needed

Guidelines for backpacks:
We’d like a variety of sizes, as some of the children we are serving are as young as kindergarten age, and also a variety in designs so that the children might find something that appeals to them.

Announcements

+ YOUTH CONFIRMATION CLASS
Confirmation classes will begin in mid-September. If you or a family member is interested in joining us, let us know by filling out this google form. This isn’t a commitment, just a way to find out who is interested. And, of course, if you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to reach out to Fr. James directly.

+ MAY WE PRAY FOR YOU? 
Intercession brings before God the needs of others (BCP p.857)
The Parish Prayer list is included in the monthly newsletter that is sent through the mail. Additional copies are also available on the table in the Narthex. To add your prayer needs to the list, you can contact Fr. James, Nancy Haas, or use the form on our website.

+ CHURCH SERVICE ATTENDANCE
We look forward to seeing you back at church if you feel comfortable there. Masks are optional for those who have been vaccinated Services will also continue to be livestreamed on our YouTube Channel. Be sure to hit the SUBSCRIBE button!

+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 Fr. James 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.

+CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
Office hours for the week of August 15 are:
Tuesday – 8/17 – 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Wednesday – 8/18 – 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Friday – 8/20 – 9:00am – 12:00pm

Diocesan News

+ BLUE JEANS DRIVE

The deacons of the diocese are leading a blue jeans collection.  Blue jeans are durable and in need by those who are without shelter. They are asking  churches – and you – to collect what you can so they can be delivered to those with the most need.

Needed:

  • Clean, gently worn jeans.
  • Those jeans that are in the back of the closet that you will never wear again.
  • Brand new jeans, in your size. (It’s good to be generous.)

Churches and individuals can drop off at St. John’s Diocesan Center (Norristown); bring to The Philadelphia Cathedral on 10/23 before the diocesan convention begins; or contact archdeacon@diopa.org to make other arrangements.

Happy Birthday

The following folks have birthdays in the month of August
9th      Natalie Wherry
14th    Mike Zorc
15th    Wyatt Delevan
16th    Valle Brokes
17th    Elliott Brown III
          Patty Wertz
18th    Daniel Neff
          Paul Hughes
24th    Elisabeth McCracken
27th    Matt Dupre
28th    Lillian Neff
          Michelle Gallagher

If your birthday, or the birthday of another parishioner 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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