A Note from the Rector – 8/4/2019

This Sunday’s liturgy lab will briefly explore the components, significance, and history of our Eucharistic Prayers.  In last week’s note I described the various Eucharistic prayers which are approved for use in our church.  

At the 10AM service, we will use Eucharistic Prayer D, which will illustrate our conversation.  As you will immediately note, using a prayer which is in our Book of Common Prayer and is already used occasionally is not very experimental.  My interpretation of the Episcopal Church’s rules (known as canons) with which I am bound under oath to comply is that it is impermissible to use an experimental prayer during our principal Sunday celebration of Christ’s Resurrection.  

However, during a Eucharist which is not the principal Sunday service, a more experimental Eucharistic prayer may be used as long as it follows the general outline provided in the Book of Common Prayer.  So, this coming Tuesday, August 6 at 6:30, we will celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration using an experimental Eucharistic Prayer that I have written for the occasion. See you there!

In Christ,

James +

Announcements – 7/28/2019

Worship

† During the summer months, 10AM services may be held in the parish hall if it is too warm to hold them in the church, which does not have air conditioning.  8:30AM Morning Prayer will continue to be held in the church.

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings and at 9:15AM Tuesdays through Fridays.  Anyone can pray the service privately using the Book of Common Prayer or one of a number of smartphone apps!  See the last section of the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles” for details.

† There is one weekday services coming up: Tuesday, August 6: 6:30 PM Eucharist for the Feast of the Transfiguration

Outreach

† A huge THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to last week’s plea for support of the work of the Darby Mission.  We raised $1181! Rev. Doris passes on her sincere gratitude.

† Our Connect by Night hosting month has been moved from July to December.

† Thanks to all who contributed to food collection for St. Mark’s in Frankford.  Joe Zorc delivered groceries collected and they were very appreciative and added it to their pantry for parishioners in need.  We will continue to collect food for St. Mark’s in the box in the parish office hallway. We will look for other opportunities to work with them.  Let Joe Zorc know if you are interested in participating.

† This summer, we will be sponsoring an end of summer celebration for the summer day camp at the Darby Mission.  If you would like to contribute, please make a contribution to the Outreach Committee.

† Our next all-church Darby Mission Meal: 9/17/19.

Children and Youth

† Nursery childcare is available during the 10:00AM Sunday service for children ages 3 and younger in the Godly Play Room.

† Sunday School is on hiatus from June 16 until September 8!  Thank you to all students, parents, and especially our teachers for a great year of Sunday School.

† There will be no Family Evening Worship in July or August. Sunday Evening Worship will return September 8 with exciting new energy. The once-a-month gathering will begin at 5PM with YOUTH GROUP for students approximately ages 11-18. Stay tuned for more info.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School is looking toward it’s grand opening in the Fall of 2019.  If you have a potential student, apply today.  More information is available at holyapostlespa.org/choir-school/. Please forward this information to friends and neighbors who may be interested. Contact Deb Stambaugh if you have any questions.

† We are already excited about the new Sunday School year beginning this September.  We will be implementing a dynamic and creative new curriculum, if you would like to be involved, now is the time!  Contact Peter Patton or Joe Zorc if you are interested in helping, or for more information on the exciting things we’re cooking up. 

Parish Life

† If you have an announcement to be included in Acts of the Apostles, please send it to holyapostlescomm@gmail.com before Thursday at noon of each week.

† 2019 Happy Hour Dates. Bring a drink and a snack or appetizer to share.  We’ll hang out on the lawn weather permitting. 

· August 30

† Don’t forget to enter the church through the Parish office door and grab a “Church Member” badge from the office during Daycare hours (7:00AM – 6:00PM Mon-Fri)!

† Did you know that you can support the church through your
amazon.com shopping habit?  Go to smile.amazon.com. You’ll be prompted to choose a charity to support. Search for Church of the Holy Apostles, Penn Wynne and select.  A small percentage of each amazon purchase that goes through smile.amazon.com is given to the church.

† The Cash for Causes Program at Giant Supermarket:

· Purchase through JT Wertz

· 5% of card value is given to Holy Apostles operating fund.

· Can be used in store or when ordering Giant groceries through Peapod online delivery service.

Education

† Bible Study is held on Thursdays at 11:00AM. We will continue to hold Bible Study through the summer.

† Liturgy Lab: This summer we will be exploring the meaning and purpose of liturgy with 5 “Liturgy Labs.”  Liturgy Lab will begin with a brief discussion of some aspect of liturgy.  During our worship that day, we will incorporate an experiment that will further explore or illustrate our topic.  Donuts & Discussion from 9:15AM—9:45AM, service begins at 10AM.  It’s going to be fun! 

August 4– All the pieces of the Eucharistic prayer you wish you     knew the fancy names for.

A Note from the Rector – 7/28/2019

Next Sunday, August 4, is the last in a series of five “Liturgy Labs” that we’ve held this summer.  We’ve gathered before the 10AM service, eaten donuts, and discussed various parts of our liturgy, and then we’ve experimented in our service in ways that illustrate or build on our discussion.  These sessions have been a lot of fun, and were well attended. Thank you to all who have and will participate, help set up, and bring the donuts.  

Our last Lab will focus in on Eucharistic Prayer.  Like each of the five topics, this one is too vast to adequately explore in 45 minutes of conversation before the service.  So, I am going to offer a couple of introductory remarks now, which will hopefully whet your appetite for next Sunday morning, August 4.

Eucharistic Prayer refers to the prayer which forms the second half of liturgy (the first being the “Liturgy of the Word”).  The prayer begins after the Offering with the dialogue between priest and congregation, “The Lord be with you…” and continues through several key movements, which I will discuss at the class.  Right now, I want to draw attention to the various Eucharistic prayers that are authorized for use in our church, and a little bit about where some of them came from.  

In the early church, the Eucharist was the exclusive domain of the bishop, and the earliest Eucharistic prayers were probably extemporaneously composed by the bishop during the service. Over time, bishops ordained priests to be their stand-ins as churches and diocese grew.  Eucharistic prayers began to be standardized and written down.  

There are technically eight Eucharistic prayers in the Book of Common Prayer 1979.  The first two are used within the service which is called Rite I. Rite I more closely relates to older versions of the Book of Common Prayer and uses Elizabethan (think Shakespearean) English.  Eucharistic Prayer 1 in Rite I is similar to the Eucharistic prayer that was written by Thomas Cranmer and included in 1552 Book of Common Prayer (with some important differences that I will discuss in the Lab).  

There are four Eucharistic prayers included in Rite II, which is the version of the service that we almost always use at Holy Apostles.  These prayers are named A, B, C, and D. All these prayers, except Prayer C, follow a similar pattern. Prayer C was written for the 1979 Prayer Book and is a pretty radical departure from the other prayers.  Legend has it that Prayer C was written by some priests and a bishop over the course of one evening in a Brooklyn bar and laundromat. It would be hard to make that up. Prayer D is an English translation of the 4th century Prayer of St. Basil, and is the only Eucharistic prayer that we share with the Roman Catholic Church as well as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, and is very similar to a prayer used by Eastern Orthodox churches.

The other two Eucharistic prayers in the Book of Common Prayer are really more like outlines for Eucharistic prayer, which presume that the community will compose certain sections with guidelines and without failing to include certain key elements.  These forms can be found starting on page 400 of the BCP. It should be noted that these prayers should not be used for the principal Sunday service.   

There are also three more complete Eucharistic prayers, and two more forms or outlines for Eucharistic prayer found in the supplemental resource Enriching Our Worship.  These prayers are available for occasional use with the permission of the bishop. These prayers represent attempts to expand the language we use for God and avoid specifically masculine language or imagery. While I endorse the intent, the outcome (in my opinion) is not completely satisfactory.  

Well, that’s just scratching the surface; I hope to see you at 9:15 on August 4!

In Christ,

James +

A Note from the Rector – 7/21/2019

I hope everyone is enjoying this summer, despite the heat!  It has been about 6 months since the parish annual meeting, and I thought I would take this opportunity to give an update on some of the things that are going in the parish and with me.  

Building & Grounds

Our purpose for existing as a church is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (BCP, p.855).  Our buildings exist to help us fulfill this purpose. They are not a purpose in themselves, but they do enable us to do the things God has called us to do together: pray, worship, proclaim the Gospel, and promote justice, peace, and love.  

Here’s what is going on with the buildings this Summer:

-Cippilone Heating and Cooling is in the process of installing new baseboard heaters in the parish hall and godly play room.  This will replace the in-floor radiant heating system, which has failed or is failing all over the building.  

-There are a lot of smaller improvements in the works, including fresh paint for the doors, a refresh of the hallway outside the offices, and some improvements to the godly play room.  

-The rectory is also being improved by replacing the heating and HVAC system which was at the end of its useful life.  

A huge thanks to the property committee for the enormous amount of work in planning and executing various projects to keep our physical plant in good condition toward fulfilling our purpose as a community.  We are blessed with a whole cadre of talented, skilled, and hardworking women and men who are able to accomplish a lot with God’s help.

Programs

This year, it has been my goal to focus on bolstering our faith formation/Christian education/discipleship programs.  With the help and leadership of a ton of creative and faithful people, here are a few things that are coming to fruition soon:

-This Fall we are planning to launch the Holy Apostles Choir School, which will meet on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and provide quality music education, after-school care, snacks, and homework help to about 20 children from our church and neighborhood.  This is a big deal! Volunteer opportunities abound at various levels of time commitment, so please do get involved anyway you can!  

-We are also launching a new (yet to be named) opportunity for youth ages 11-18 to gather, have fun, and grow together in the Christian life.  We will meet at 5PM on the second Sunday of each month. Family Evening Worship (we’re also looking for a new name) will happen immediately following at 5:45PM.  

-We will be using a new, innovative Sunday School curriculum in the Fall, which includes a lot of interactive material for students, and ways to make preparation easy and fun for teachers.  If God is calling you to teach Sunday School, now is the time to sign up!  

-The St. Faith Preachers Series will be launching on October 6, the Feast of St. Faith, with an exciting guest preacher.  You’ll be hearing more about this soon.

-We are cooking up some exciting new opportunities for adult faith formation, community involvement, and fellowship this Fall and Winter.  Stay tuned!  

Thanks to the incredibly dedicated Sunday school teachers, and parents.  And thanks to the volunteer core that has, through the mysterious working of the Holy Spirit, brought the Choir School from non-being into a real, actual, revitalizing program for our parish.

The Rector

My primary responsibility is to serve this congregation and community: to teach, preach, pray, administer sacraments, and especially to equip all of you to do the work that God is calling us to do.  I also have a responsibility to take part in the councils of the wider church. As with all of us, life requires the important and sometimes precarious balance of work, family, and leisure. Here are few things that are happening on those last two fronts.

-I have been appointed to the Commission on Ministry for the Diocese.  This committee meets monthly to advise and assist the Bishop in the oversight of various aspects of the ministry of the diocese, including the recruitment, training, and ordination of new clergy for the diocese and the Church.  It is a huge honor to serve in this capacity.

-I am also serving on a Diocesan committee which is exploring Prayer Book revision and Prayer Book education.  I will share more information on this work as it becomes publicly available.

-I am almost done co-writing a chapter of a book about partnership and ministry with my friend, the Rev. Canon Cornelia Eaton of the Episcopal Diocese of Navajoland.  The book will be published in the Spring of 2020. I also have a couple of other small writing projects this Summer and Fall.

-The Stambaugh family will be vacationing in Colorado from August 13-20.  The Church will have a guest preacher and celebrant on Sunday, August 18.  

Thanks to the vestry, and to each and every member and friend of this parish.  It is an honor, and a great pleasure to serve as the Rector of your church, and to be part of this loving, vibrant faith community.  I love you all and I love the community that we have partnered with God to make at Holy Apostles.

In Christ,

James +

Announcements – 7/21/2019

Worship

† Today, Sunday July 21st: Liturgy Lab #4: Bible Translations & Scripture in Liturgy.

† During the summer months, 10AM services may be held in the parish hall if it is too warm to hold them in the church, which does not have air conditioning.  8:30AM Morning Prayer will continue to be held in the church.

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings and at 9:15AM Tuesdays through Fridays.  Anyone can pray the service privately using the Book of Common Prayer or one of a number of smartphone apps!  See the last section of the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles” for details.

† There is one weekday services coming up: Tuesday, August 6– 6:30 PM Eucharist for the Feast of the Transfiguration

Outreach

† EMERGENCY: Our dear partner in ministry, the Darby Mission needs some help feeding students as their phenomenal summer day camp comes to end this month.  This is an emergency appeal for donations for this weekend only–give a little or give a lot–all the money will go to feed children in Darby and their families.  Designate checks or cash for the Darby Mission. If you have any questions let James know. Thank you!

† Our Connect by Night hosting month has been moved from July to December.

† Thanks to all who contributed to food collection for St. Mark’s in Frankford.  Joe Zorc delivered groceries collected and they were very appreciative and added it to their pantry for parishioners in need.  We will continue to collect food for St. Mark’s in the box in the parish office hallway. We will look for other opportunities to work with them.  Let Joe Zorc know if you are interested in participating.

† This summer, we will be sponsoring an end of summer celebration for the summer day camp at the Darby Mission.  If you would like to contribute, please make a contribution to the Outreach Committee.

† Our next all-church Darby Mission Meal: 9/17/19.

Children and Youth

† Nursery childcare is available during the 10:00AM Sunday service for children ages 3 and younger in the Godly Play Room.

† Sunday School is on hiatus from June 16 until September 8!  Thank you to all students, parents, and especially our teachers for a great year of Sunday School.

† There will be no Family Evening Worship in July or August. Sunday Evening Worship will return September 8 with exciting new energy. The once-a-month gathering will begin at 5PM with YOUTH GROUP for students approximately ages 11-18. Stay tuned for more info.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School is looking toward it’s grand opening in the Fall of 2019.  If you have a potential student, apply today.  More information is available at holyapostlespa.org/choir-school/. Please forward this information to friends and neighbors who may be interested. Contact Deb Stambaugh if you have any questions.

† We are already excited about the new Sunday School year beginning this September.  We will be implementing a dynamic and creative new curriculum, if you would like to be involved, now is the time!  Contact Peter Patton or Joe Zorc if you are interested in helping, or for more information on the exciting things we’re cooking up. 

Parish Life

† If you have an announcement to be included in Acts of the Apostles, please send it to holyapostlescomm@gmail.com before Thursday at noon of each week.

† 2019 Happy Hour Dates. Bring a drink and a snack or appetizer to share.  We’ll hang out on the lawn weather permitting. 

July 19

 August 30

† Don’t forget to enter the church through the Parish office door and grab a “Church Member” badge from the office during Daycare hours (7:00AM – 6:00PM Mon-Fri)!

† Did you know that you can support the church through your
amazon.com shopping habit?  Go to smile.amazon.com. You’ll be prompted to choose a charity to support. Search for Church of the Holy Apostles, Penn Wynne and select.  A small percentage of each amazon purchase that goes through smile.amazon.com is given to the church.

† The Cash for Causes Program at Giant Supermarket:

· Purchase through JT Wertz

· 5% of card value is given to Holy Apostles operating fund.

· Can be used in store or when ordering Giant groceries through Peapod online delivery service.

Education

† Bible Study is held on Thursdays at 11:00AM. We will continue to hold Bible Study through the summer.

† Liturgy Lab: This summer we will be exploring the meaning and purpose of liturgy with 5 “Liturgy Labs.”  Liturgy Lab will begin with a brief discussion of some aspect of liturgy.  During our worship that day, we will incorporate an experiment that will further explore or illustrate our topic.  Donuts & Discussion from 9:15AM—9:45AM, service begins at 10AM.  It’s going to be fun! 

August 4– All the pieces of the Eucharistic prayer you wish you     knew the fancy names for.

Announcements – 7/14/2019

Worship

† During the summer months, 10AM services may be held in the parish hall if it is too warm to hold them in the church, which does not have air conditioning.  8:30AM Morning Prayer will continue to be held in the church.

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings and at 9:15AM Tuesdays through Fridays.  Anyone can pray the service privately using the Book of Common Prayer or one of a number of smartphone apps!  See the last section of the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles” for details.

† Healing Prayer will take place during the 10AM Eucharist this Sunday, July 14.

† There are two special weekday services coming up:

Thursday, July 25—6:30PM Eucharist for the Feast of St. James Tuesday, August 6– 6:30 PM Eucharist for the Feast of the Transfiguration

Outreach

† Our Connect by Night hosting month has been moved from July to December.

† Thanks to all who contributed to food collection for St. Mark’s in Frankford.  Joe Zorc delivered groceries collected and they were very appreciative and added it to their pantry for parishioners in need.  We will continue to collect food for St. Mark’s in the box in the parish office hallway. We will look for other opportunities to work with them.  Let Joe Zorc know if you are interested in participating.

† This summer, we will be sponsoring an end of summer celebration for the summer day camp at the Darby Mission.  If you would like to contribute, please make a contribution to the Outreach Committee.

† Our next all-church Darby Mission Meal: 9/17/19.

Children and Youth

† Nursery childcare is available during the 10:00AM Sunday service for children ages 3 and younger in the Godly Play Room.

† Sunday School is on hiatus from June 16 until September 8!  Thank you to all students, parents, and especially our teachers for a great year of Sunday School.

† There will be no Family Evening Worship in July or August. Sunday Evening Worship will return September 8 with exciting new energy. The once-a-month gathering will begin at 5PM with YOUTH GROUP for students approximately ages 11-18. Stay tuned for more info.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School is looking toward it’s grand opening in the Fall of 2019.  If you have a potential student, apply today.  More information is available at holyapostlespa.org/choir-school/. Please forward this information to friends and neighbors who may be interested. Contact Deb Stambaugh if you have any questions.

† We are already excited about the new Sunday School year beginning this September.  We will be implementing a dynamic and creative new curriculum, if you would like to be involved, now is the time!  Contact Peter Patton or Joe Zorc if you are interested in helping, or for more information on the exciting things we’re cooking up. 

Parish Life

† If you have an announcement to be included in Acts of the Apostles, please send it to holyapostlescomm@gmail.com before Thursday at noon of each week.

† 2019 Happy Hour Dates

· Bring a drink and a snack or appetizer to share.  We’ll hang out on the lawn weather permitting. 

· July 19 – *date change* – with a special musical guest, Dennis Chiccino

· August 30

† Don’t forget to enter the church through the Parish office door and grab a “Church Member” badge from the office during Daycare hours (7:00AM – 6:00PM Mon-Fri)!

† Did you know that you can support the church through your
amazon.com shopping habit?  Go to smile.amazon.com. You’ll be prompted to choose a charity to support. Search for Church of the Holy Apostles, Penn Wynne and select.  A small percentage of each amazon purchase that goes through smile.amazon.com is given to the church.

† The Cash for Causes Program at Giant Supermarket:

· Purchase through JT Wertz

· 5% of card value is given to Holy Apostles operating fund.

· Can be used in store or when ordering Giant groceries through Peapod online delivery service.

Education

† Bible Study is held on Thursdays at 11:00AM. We will continue to hold Bible Study through the summer.

† Liturgy Lab: This summer we will be exploring the meaning and purpose of liturgy with 5 “Liturgy Labs.”  Liturgy Lab will begin with a brief discussion of some aspect of liturgy.  During our worship that day, we will incorporate an experiment that will further explore or illustrate our topic.  Donuts & Discussion from 9:15AM—9:45AM, service begins at 10AM.  It’s going to be fun! 

July 21– The Bible (and its many translations) in liturgy.

August 4– All the pieces of the Eucharistic prayer you wish you     knew the fancy names for.

A Note From the Rector – 7/14/2019

Last Sunday, we had a Liturgy Lab discussion about church furniture, and how changing the orientation of the altar, pulpit/lectern, font, and seating change our experience of worship. It was an interesting discussion. 

Then we experimented with the orientation of our furniture of worship during our 10AM service.  Since we were worshiping in the parish hall, we placed our movable altar in the center of the room, and oriented the lectern and baptismal font on either side.  We then sat “collegiate” or “monastic” style with the chairs lined up on either side, facing each other (sort of like the choir seating area is arranged in the chancel of the church building itself).  This had the effect of putting the altar and the Eucharistic prayer right in the middle of everything. The idea was that the presence of Christ is found in Communion, right in our midst.  

While there will not be a Liturgy Lab discussion, this Sunday the experiment continues.  We are going to try a different orientation of our worship space while we worship in the parish hall.  During last week’s discussion, we talked about “praying toward the East.” It was the ancient practice of the church until the 20th century to pray facing east.  Praying facing the direction of the rising sun is symbolic of our hope in the return of God’s son, Jesus Christ.  Our hope is that God’s Son will return one day to judge the living and the dead and to bring about God’s reign of righteousness & perfect peace.  For centuries, this hope was symbolically expressed by facing the east during liturgical prayer. Logistically, this means that the priest presiding over the Eucharistic prayer and the people all faced the same direction (east) while praying to God.  As liturgical scholar, U.M. Lang writes, “When we speak to someone we obviously face that person. Accordingly, the whole liturgical assembly, priest and people, should face the same way, turning towards God to whom prayers and offerings are addressed in this common act of trinitarian worship.”[1]  

This practice ought to emphasize that when the priest says the Eucharist, it isn’t a performance. He or she isn’t saying the prayer to the people, but rather, he or she is a representative of the people offering the prayer and other offerings to God on the people’s behalf.  

Accordingly, our liturgical experiment for this Sunday will be that we will orient the altar and the chairs so that we all face east when we pray to God.  It ought to be fun. I am very interested in hearing from you how this orientation (and last week’s orientation) change the experience of worship for you.  

In Christ,

James +

[1]U.M. Lang, Turning Toward the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer. San Francisco: Ignatius Press (2004), 32.