A Note from the Rector – July 1

Governance in the Episcopal church is unique.  One of its important aspects is General Convention, a once every three year gathering that serves as a bicameral legislative body for the church.  The two houses of General Convention are the House of Bishops, and the House of Delegates. The first General Convention was in 1785, two years before the formation of the U.S. Congress. William White, the first Bishop of Pennsylvania presided over the first General Convention.  The 79th General Convention convenes this year in Austin, Texas from July 5-13th.

Among the hundreds of resolutions that will be discussed and voted on this year are a several concerning the revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.  There are two major options on the table. Option #1 details a 12 year process of comprehensive revision to the prayer book culminating in a vote to adopt a new Book of Common Prayer at General Convention 2030.  Option #2 calls for extensive research into how the current (1979) prayer book is actually being used, and the development of resources to help parishes better “live into” the spirituality of the current prayer book.  Option #2 also calls for translations of the current BCP into French and Haitian Creole, and for a better translation into Spanish (the current one is not very good).

There are also various proposals for “surgical changes” to the current prayer book.  One of the most noteworthy is a resolution to insert the rite for same-sex marriage into the prayer book after the current marriage rite, and to change the definition of marriage in the catechism at the back of the BCP.  The rite for same-sex marriage was approved for trial use at the 2015 General Convention, and has been used in most of the dioceses in the Episcopal Church with the express permission of the diocesan bishop. Bishops who do not allow their priests to use the same-sex marriage rite are supposed to make some provision for same-sex couples in their diocese to be married (i.e. asking another diocese to provide clergy, etc.).  Inserting the same-sex marriage rite into the current prayer book would make it uniformly available to all, and would circumvent the authority of bishops to approve or disapprove its use.

I am not going to predict how these resolutions to change the Book of Common Prayer will ultimately pan out.  I will say that I am convinced by arguments against the complete revision of the prayer book. I think it is true that most Episcopalians, including myself, have not fully internalized the deep spirituality and practice that is encoded in our prayer book.  It would behoove the Church to spend some more time opening up the riches of this truly remarkable book.  Of course, the prayer book isn’t perfect. That is one reason there are approved supplemental materials like the alternative translation of the Nicene Creed that that we have implemented at Holy Apostles every other week with Bishop Daniel’s permission.

I will try to stay abreast of what is going on in Austin, and keep you informed of developments of interest. I ask that you prayer for the Holy Spirit to guide all the delegates and bishops of our wonderful church as they convene for their important and difficult work.

If you want to browse the resolutions that will be taken up at General Convention click here.

You can also keep up with General Convention news at The Episcopal Herald.

A Note from the (Former) Rector: History of Connect-by-Night at Holy Apostles

by the Rev. Steve Snider (Rector 1991-2006)

We began sheltering circa 1994, I think it was, with a group of interdenominational parishes coordinated by an organization called Shepherd’s Place. Sally Griffith, now a parishioner of Holy Trinity Rittenhouse Square, alerted us to the organization and affected the marriage between CHA and Shepherd’s Place. We signed on and a core group of parish volunteers quickly expanded to the numbers you have today. I advocated and Sally was our first coordinator by default! She did a great job. Looking through the 2006 directory, the year I retired from CHA, I count 40+ families or individuals who stepped up to host and prepare bag lunches, drinks, sanitize, etc. Many of them are still helping today. I also remember our earliest volunteers now departed: Win Becker, Sr., Peter Cadwallader, Bonnie Davis, Ray Dyer, Bob & Carole Moore, Vince Raimondo, Harry Sibley, Sandy Smith, Gene Stivers, and I hope for forgiveness for missing anyone else.

Prior to our first year of hosting, we sent flyers around the neighborhood and the result was predictable. Some neighbors called to complain; some anonymously called the township resulting in a surprise inspection, albeit with an apology from the inspector; some called and offered to help. Ultimately, we had many more neighborhood helpers than complainers. After the first couple of years the nay-sayers stopped saying, well, ‘nay’.

When we first began, we were assigned winter months, and thus helped to save many from freezing on the streets. We needed to put a hold on our involvement in 1999 when the parish hall underwent re-construction. When we re-joined the rota for the month of July, which worked well since we had just installed air-conditioning in the parish hall.  We have been helping people avoid heat related catastrophes ever since.

At some point in the mid-90’s, Shepherd’s Place ceased to exist and the sheltering operation came under the auspices of Connect-By-Night social services in Upper Darby. Largely, CHA and other parishes hosted the overflow from the permanent shelter located at 63rd & Market in Upper Darby. That shelter was overwhelmed by the first year of its opening. At first our guests – numbering from 25 to 60 people each night – included children, most often with their mothers and sometimes with both parents/partners. In time, the children began to disappear for an assortment of reasons, some of them good.

I am so pleased and give thanks to God that CHA continues in this life-saving outreach. By my count 2018 marks the 24rd year in this sacred endeavor…anyway, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.


2018 Connect-by-Night Needs

This year, as part of our 24 year commitment to welcoming guests who are experiencing homelessness into our church community, the Sunday School is leading a donation drive for the following items:


Lunch Supplies
Juice boxes
Pretzels (hard)
sandwich bags
brown paper bags

Announcements 4/15/18

This Week at Holy Apostles

Sunday, April 15th         10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite II

Celebrant: The Rev. James Stambaugh, Rector                                                       

Monday, Apr.16th          Office Closed

Tuesday, Apr. 17th         9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Office Hours

Wednesday, Apr.18th   7:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist

Thursday, Apr. 19th      9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer

Friday, Apr. 20th           9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Office Hours

Sunday, Apr. 22nd      10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite II

                                               Celebrant: The Rev. James Stambaugh, Rector

5:00 p.m. Confirmation Class

Announcements for Sunday, April 15th, 2018


Special worship services during the season of Easter:

Wednesday, April 25th – Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist: Holy Eucharist 6:00 p.m. (followed by Soup Group make-up discussion on Prayer)

Sunday, May 6th – Rogation Sunday: 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist; Rogation Procession after service (see announcement in Parish Life)

Thursday, May 10th – Feast of the Ascension: 7:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist

Sunday, May 20th – Feast of Pentecost: 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist

Children & Youth

Confirmation classes are being held the second and fourth Sundays of each month at 5:00 p.m.  All children and youth 5th grade and up (at parent’s discretion) are welcome to attend, even those who are not seeking confirmation.


April 29th is Youth Sunday, when children and teens in the church take part in leading the service. There is no Sunday School held that day, and children attend church with their parents.

Nursery Childcare is available during the 10:00 a.m. Sunday service for children ages 3 and younger in the Godly Play Room.

Sunday School classes (preschool – 2nd grade and 3rd – 8th grade) are held routinely on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Sundays of the month, beginning at 10:00 a.m., the same time as the church service starts; children join their parents in the church in time for communion. On 2nd Sundays children attend church with their parents, either the 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist service or the 5:30 p.m. Family Worship Service. When there is a 5th Sunday, children attend church with their parents, with some of the children taking part in leading the service.

Adult Education

On Wednesday, April 25, we will hold a special Easter season “make-up day” for our Lenten study series on prayer.  It will begin with a Eucharist in honor of the Feast Day of St. Mark the Evangelist at 6:00 p.m., and then a soup and salad supper and discussion will follow.  The discussion will focus on tools for prayer such as prayer ropes, rosaries, and Icons.

Parish Life

Sunday, April 15th, at 4:00 p.m.: Centennial Organ Recital at Church Farm School Chapel of the Atonement will be held today. Among other performers will be Michael Stairs, one of the most accomplished organists in our area, Organist Emeritus at Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr, and organist for the Philadelphia Orchestra. The concert is free, and all are invited to a reception at Ned and Linda Sherrill’s home after the performance. Please see Nancy Haas for more information.

On Sunday April 22nd, the Penn Wynne Civic Association is hosting an Earth Celebration in Wynnewood Valley Park next door. This is a great chance for the church to be present to the neighborhood.  There will be a number of fun activities for children and families, and a member of our youth group will be part of a music performance.  1PM-5PM (Confirmation class will start at 5PM!)

On Saturday, May 5th, we are planning an ALL PARISH WORK DAY from 2PM-5PM.  We will work to clean and fix up the church, and then enjoy a taco dinner together.  Among other things, we are looking to clean up and re-open the bathrooms in the basement.  Come for as long as little as you can. The only expertise necessary is the ability to eat tacos.

On Sunday, May 6th, we will celebrate a parish Rogation Day. Rogation comes from the Latin word rogare, which means “to ask.” Since the 5th century the days leading up the Feast of the Ascension have been Rogation days specifically to ask for God’s protection and blessing over land, crops, waterways, and other places and things important to growing and agriculture.  On May 6th, immediately following the 10:00 a.m. service, there will be a Rogation procession from the church to the Wynnewood Valley Park next door for special prayers and blessings over the flora, fauna, and watershed that nourishes and beautifies our neighborhood.

If you visit the church during the week (and we hope you do!), please use the red double doors nearest the church offices.  Please take special care to lock doors behind you, and ensure that they latch properly.  Doors that are not locked or completely shut are a very serious safety concern for Little Friends Daycare.  Thank you!

This week the Parish Office will be open on Tuesday, April 17th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and on Friday, April 20th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Music Notes – Ecce Lignum Crucis

by Paul Emmons, Organist

As organist, harpsichordist, conductor, composer, and teacher, Anton Heiller was a highly versatile and honored musician in mid-20th-century Vienna.  His performances and recordings of the organ works of Bach were among the most magisterial ever heard. Heiller was often asked to end his American organ recitals with an improvisation on a submitted theme.  He graciously complied, producing stunning creations on a moment’s notice, but regarded the feat as a mere stunt and placated his conscience by charging a lower fee for the event– a scruple which probably only encouraged further such requests!

Heiller’s Ecce Lignum Crucis (Behold the Wood of the Cross) is based upon the Gregorian chant melody for these words in the Good Friday rite.  It appears three times, each time in a higher key, just as it is sung liturgically.  I believe that the dramatic middle variation evokes the hammer blows as the nails are driven into Our Lord’s flesh.  By contrast, the exquisitely tender third variation may remind a listener of Michelango’s sculpture “The Pieta.”   It juxtaposes the Ecce lignum Crucis melody with the German folk song “Es sungen drei Engel” (Three angels are singing), which Heiller’s friend Paul Hindemith had made familiar to us in his symphony Mathis der Maler.

Lenten Offerings 2018

Dear Friends,

Lent is a season of preparation and repentance leading up to Easter.  This year Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 14, and continues until the Easter Vigil on the night of Saturday, March 30.

As your priest, it is my sacred obligation to call you to a holy Lent during this time.  Lent is an opportunity, perhaps, to fast from something or give something up.  It is also a time, perhaps, to take up something new—some new spiritual practice, study, scriptural or devotional reading.  Below you will find information about the Lenten services, and practices that are available at and through Church of the Holy Apostles.  You may choose to do one or more of these activities, or they may simply serve to spark your imagination.   Whatever the case, I implore you to make Lent something special.  Make it personal to you and your spiritual journey.

As in many things in life so it is for Lent, you get out what you put in.  In this case, if you spend time this February and March making for yourself a holy Lent, spending the extra time on your spiritual journey, you will be abundantly rewarded with a joyous and festive Easter season.  The more intentional the Lent, the more meaningful and joyful your Easter will be.  Remember, Lent may be 40 days, but Easter—the season in which we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus—is a 50 day party!

Ash Wednesday – February 14

6:20AM-8:46AM – “Ashes to Go” – Imposition of Ashes w/out a service at the Penfield station of the Norristown High Speed Line

9:15AM – Liturgy with Imposition of Ashes, no Eucharist

12:15PM – Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes

6:30PM – Holy Eucharist with music and the Imposition of Ashes

Wednesday Night Study Group

Our Lenten Study Group each Wednesday of Lent (except Feb. 14 & March 28). We will gather, eat a simple dinner, and discuss the inexhaustibly fascinating subject of prayer.  Youth and adults welcome.

6:30PM in the Memorial Room

February 21 – Varieties of Prayer

February 28 – Confession

March 7 – Intercessory prayer

March 14 – Contemplative prayer

March 21 – Prayer with implements (icons, rosaries, etc.)

Lenten Reading

Featured Book: The Practice of Prayer by Margaret Guenther

As a compliment to the Wednesday night study, and as a way to deepen one’s understanding on one’s own, I am recommending the book, The Practice of Prayer, written by the venerable Episcopal priest and spiritual director, Margaret Guenther.  I am buying several copies for the church’s library, personal copies can be purchased from amazon.com for between $10-$15.

Other books on various spiritual themes chosen from the parish library and from Fr. James’ library will be available to borrow and read.  Look for the book table display outside the parish hall.

Seeing the World Aright

The poet, Mary Oliver says, “To pay attention; that is our endless and proper work.” This Lent you are invited to practice the spiritual discipline of paying attention. The idea is that you use your camera phone (or other camera) to take one picture for every day of Lent looking for some little beautiful, or sacred, or holy thing that is breaking into your ordinary life:

the first green shoots of spring, the smile of a child or grandchild, a lovingly prepared meal, a candle lit against the darkness, anything that reminds you that you are God’s and that God is present in the smallest ways, and most ordinary circumstances. There is no need to be a professional photographer, it is about training ourselves to see the divine everywhere. You

will also be invited to share your pictures on facebook and other social media platforms, if you wish.

Daily Devotional

Clergy of the Merion deanery (Episcopal churches in Lower and Upper Merion and surrounding area) are collaborating on a collection of short daily devotional readings.  The devotional will be distributed as a printed booklet to all the congregations in the deanery, as well as posted online in a daily blog format.  This will be a nice way to “be on the same page” with many of our Episcopal neighbors during Lent.

Stations of the Cross

February 23 – Friday, 6:30PM – Multi-media Stations of the Cross

March 11 – Sunday, 5:30PM – Children & Youth Stations of the Cross for Family Evening Worship

March  16 – Friday, 6:30PM – Multi-media Stations of the Cross

March 30 – Good Friday, 7:30AM – Traditional Stations of the Cross

Holy Week & Easter

Palm Sunday –

Holy Eucharist with Blessing of the Palms, Procession, and Passion Reading – 10AM

Tuesday –

Morning Prayer – 9AM

Tenebrae – 6:30PM


Holy Eucharist – 7:30AM

Maundy Thursday –

Holy Eucharist with Foot-washing & the stripping of the altar – 6:30PM

Good Friday

Stations of the Cross – 7:30AM

Potential Ecumenical Good Friday Service

Good Friday Liturgy – 6:30PM

Holy Saturday

Easter Vigil followed by Champagne Reception – 8PM

Easter Morning

Festival Eucharist with Baptism – 10AM


The Church office will be closed both Monday & Tuesday following Easter day.


Nursery/Childcare Position Available

Church of the Holy Apostles is looking to fill the vacant part-time position of Nursery childcare provider.


The successful candidate will work at Church of the Holy Apostles (1020 Remington Rd. Wynnewood, PA 19096) every Sunday from 9:45am – 11:15am, during our Sunday morning service.   This person will be responsible for providing childcare for children ages infant to 3 yrs old.  Additional adult(s), will be present in the room for support.

The church’s nursery is part of a larger play/class room.  The nursery/childcare provider will be responsible for maintaining a safe, clean and playful environment within the nursery.   There will be opportunities to work at additional church events and special occasions.  Competitive pay commensurate with experience.


Qualifications for this position are experience working with young children and references from previous employers.  Applicant must successfully complete FBI fingerprinting, PA Child Abuse Clearance, PA State Criminal History Report, and Mandatory Reporter Child Abuse Training prior to employment in order to comply with PA state regulations.

Applicants please email Church of the Holy Apostles.  In the email, please include a brief statement of interest in the position describing pertinent experience, at least one reference, and contact information.  Thank you for your interest.

Announcements – 12/24/17

Worship Schedule for Christmas 2017

December 24th
10AM – The Fourth Sunday of Advent
4PM – Christmas Eve Family Eucharist
10PM – Christmas Eve Festival Eucharist

December 25th
9AM – Christmas Day Holy Eucharist

December 31st
10AM – Service of Christmas Lessons & Carols
followed by Holy Eucharist



Welcome to Church of the Holy Apostles! This 10:00 p.m. service is Holy Eucharist, Rite II.  The celebrant is our rector, the Rev. James Stambaugh.

There will be no Sunday School during the Sunday morning service.

No Morning Prayer this week.

Children & Youth

Childcare is available during the 10:00 a.m. Sunday service for children ages 3 and younger in the Godly Play Room.

Sunday School classes (preschool – 2nd grade and 3rd – 8th grade) are held on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Sundays of the month, beginning at 10:00 a.m., the same time as the church service starts; children join their parents in the church in time for communion. On 2nd Sundays children attend church with their parents, either the 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist service or the 5:30 p.m. Family Worship Service. When there is a 5th Sunday, children attend church with their parents, with some of the children taking part in leading the service.


Our adult education mini-series, Theological Liner Notes, was a lot of fun.  Thanks to those who participated, and especially to those who provided wonderful food.  Stay tuned for more Christian education opportunities in the new year.

Parish Life

The Stambaughs will be away visiting family from Dec. 26-30.  Fr. James can still be reached by email or phone.

Home Blessings – The season of Epiphany is a customary time to have your home blessed by a priest.  Fr. James will be offering home blessings during this period starting on Epiphany (January 6th).  If you would like to have your home blessed, look for the sign up sheet in the parish hall.

Music Notes for Sunday October 29th

Martin LutherWhen I moved to this area from Washington State in September 1985, I left the position of Organist-Choirmaster of St. Timothy’s Church, Yakima.  My successor was a young Lutheran lady who immediately began making plans for Reformation Sunday.  She was surprised when the rector informed her, “We don’t observe Reformation Sunday, because we’re only half reformed.” So it is in every Episcopal church I know (and far be it from me to object). But on October 29, our Protestant friends will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  It is an ideal time for us to sing Martin Luther’s most famous hymn, “A mighty fortress,” which has long appeared in Anglican hymnals, and even Roman Catholics have been glad to sing since Vatican II.

Luther not only wrote the words but composed the music, and we shall use his original form, which I hope you will agree is actually rather jazzy and, once you get used to it, more exciting and fun than the regular rhythm popularized by Bach.

Paul Emmons, Organist