Announcements

Announcements for 1/20/2019

Upcoming Events

TODAY: Sunday, January 20 – The Second Sunday after Epiphany, Holy Eucharist, Rite II at 10AM, followed by the Annual Parish Meeting

Announcements

Worship

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings and at 9:15AM Tuesdays through Fridays.  Morning Prayer will not take place during James’ trip to the Holy Land. The last day of Morning Prayer will be January 25, and it will resume February 12).  Anyone can do pray the service privately using the Book of Common Prayer or one of a number of smart phone apps! See the last section of the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles” for details.

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: Children Preschool – 2nd grade and 3rd – 8th grade attend Sunday classes at 10:00AM, the same time as the church service starts; children join their parents in the church in time for communion. Classes are held on the 1st, 3rd, & 4th Sundays of the month. On 2nd Sundays children attend church with their parents, either the 10:00PM Holy Eucharist service or the 5:30PM 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.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School begins its pilot program on February 5, 2019.  If you have a potential student, apply today.  Applications are available on-line or on the “connect” table. The Choir School will accept only 20 students for the pilot semester. Placement preference will be given to members of the Church of the Holy Apostles. 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.

Parish Life

† Annual Parish Meeting today following the 10:00 service.

† Margaret Helminska is leaving the position of parish administrator effective February 1st.  Margaret began during the interim period in the summer of 2017, and has faithfully served the organizational and administrative needs of the parish through a time of transition and change.  We are very grateful to Margaret for her service and wish her every good thing going forward. The vestry is planning a lunch in celebration of Margaret’s service. We invite you to offer your thanks to Margaret during the remainder of her time with us.

† 2018 Giving Statements were sent electronically by J.T. Wertz, who administrates  our Stewardship software. If you should have received one and did not, or if there any questions please contact him.

† James+ will be away from Jan. 26 – Feb. 7.  James+ and Deb will be travelling to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage sponsored by the diocese and the Episcopal Friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem.  See today’s “Note from the Rector” for more details.

† If you enter the church building when the Little Friends Day Care is in session (7:00AM – 6:00PM Mon-Fri), and are anywhere other than in the church itself, please obtain a “Church Member” name tag from the Parish Office and wear it while you are here. This will show the teachers and children at the day care that you are a person who belongs here. Any workers/maintenance people or visitors who come into the buildings are required to wear a “Visitor” name tag to identify themselves to our own staff as well as to the day care staff and children.

† The Cash for Causes Program at Giant Supermarket: Purchase a Giant supermarket gift card through the Church of the Holy Apostles, and 5% of the value of the card will be given to the church. These gift cards can be used like cash when you are buying your own groceries or you can give the cards as gifts. The cards must be purchased through the church in order for the church to receive the 5%.  JT Wertz is the church liaison for this Cash for Causes Program. Please talk with him to purchase a Giant gift card or if you would like more information. All money received by the church through the Cash for Causes Program will become part of the General Operating Fund.

Education

† James+ will offer a presentation on his Holy Land Pilgrimage, Thursday evening, February 21st. A second presentation could be arranged if there is enough interest to hold it during the day.

† Reading: The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism by Ben Myers.

†  Bible Study

Thursdays, 11:00AM

Join us as we take a deep dive into the Acts of the Apostles.

Diocesan Events

† Absalom Jones Celebration – February 9, 9:30AM-11AM at The Philadelphia Cathedral.  Bishop Carl Wright, Suffragan Bishop for the Armed Forces will Celebrate and Preach.  All are welcome.

† Save the Date! March 9, 2019 at 2:00 PM: Bowling with the Bishop at Wynnewood Lanes. Youth across the Diocese are invited for a day of pizza and bowling.

 

A Note from the Rector for 1/20/2019

As many of you know, Deb and I will soon be going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  The trip is organized by the diocese of Pennsylvania and our bishop will lead the pilgrimage.  For most of the time, we will stay at St. George’s College, which is part of St. George’s Cathedral, the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem.  The itinerary for the trip is a bit overwhelming.  Highlights include visits to places that chart Jesus’ entire life from Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity, to Nazareth where we will tour an archeological site that may have been Jesus’ childhood home, to the Sea of Galilee where He called his disciples, to the well where He spoke to the Samaritan woman, to the temple mount where He taught, to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane, to the Via Delarosa, the path on which He carried the cross, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which encompasses both the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and the tomb where He was raised from the dead.  We will celebrate Holy Eucharist in the Judean desert, visit Jericho and the Dead Sea.  We will meet with the Most Reverend Suheil Duwani, the Anglican archbishop of Jerusalem, pray with Armenian Orthodox Christians at the Armenian Cathedral of St. James,  and hear talks by Christians, Muslims, and Jews about a number of historical and contemporary issues.

You can be assured that I will tell you all about this trip in various ways.  I am going to be jabbering on about this for a while!  As internet access allows, I intend to post updates of the pilgrimage on the church’s website, as well as probably on my personal Facebook page.  And I am planning to have a presentation about the trip on February 21st at Holy Apostles.  But there is much more to this trip than just information.  I will be bringing the prayers of/with/for this parish and all of its members with me to the Holy Land.  Deb and I will be praying for you all by name at the holiest places in the world.  In case you would like us to carry a specific prayer intention with us, there will be slips of paper and a large manila envelope on the table in the office hallway.  Those requests will be carried with us throughout the pilgrimage as a tangible reminder of the fact that we carry you all with us in our hearts and minds.

I am very grateful to the vestry and all of you for allowing me the opportunity to go on this pilgrimage.  At my request, Nancy Haas has agreed to continue in her role as Senior Warden until I return, and I am very thankful for her.  I am also thankful to members of the property committee who will be keeping an eye on the rectory.  And, I am grateful to the Rev. Doris Rajagopal, the Rev. Ken Wissler, and others who will cover the liturgical and pastoral needs of the parish in my absence.

James+

 

 

Announcements for 1/13/2019

Upcoming Events

TODAY: Sunday, January 13 – The First Sunday after Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord, Holy Eucharist, Rite II at 10AM

Sunday, January 20 – Annual Parish Meeting

Announcements

Worship

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings and at 9:15AM Tuesdays through Fridays.

† Family Evening Worship tonight, January 13, at 5:30PM.

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: Children Preschool – 2nd grade and 3rd – 8th grade attend Sunday classes at 10:00AM, the same time as the church service starts; children join their parents in the church in time for communion. Classes are held on the 1st, 3rd, & 4th Sundays of the month. On 2nd Sundays children attend church with their parents, either the 10:00PM Holy Eucharist service or the 5:30PM 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.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School begins its pilot program on February 5, 2019.  If you have a potential student, apply today.  Applications are available on-line or on the “connect” table. The Choir School will accept only 20 students for the pilot semester. Placement preference will be given to members of the Church of the Holy Apostles. 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.

Parish Life

† Our Annual Parish Meeting is NEXT WEEK.  You can access a tentative agenda, proposed changes to our Articles of Incorporation and other materials for the meeting at www.holyapsotlespa.org/annual-meeting.

† We are so grateful to have an excellent, well qualified slate of nominees for the vestry.  This year we have 4 spots to fill.  The nominees are: Meg Delavan, Mike Johnson, Suzanne Lees (2 year term), & Peter Patton.  Other nominations will be accepted during the annual meeting with the prior consent of the person nominated.  Thank you so much to our nominees!

† 2018 Giving Statements were sent electronically last week by J.T. Wertz, who administrates  our Stewardship software.  If you should have received one and did not, or if there any questions please contact him.

† James+ will be away from Jan. 26 – Feb. 7.  James+ and Deb will be travelling to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage sponsored by the diocese and the Episcopal Friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem. Expect a full report and many sermon illustrations upon their return. Stay tuned for details about clergy and pastoral support while James is away.

† If you enter the church building when the Little Friends Day Care is in session (7:00AM – 6:00PM Mon-Fri), and are anywhere other than in the church itself, please obtain a “Church Member” name tag from the Parish Office and wear it while you are here. This will show the teachers and children at the day care that you are a person who belongs here. Any workers/maintenance people or visitors who come into the buildings are required to wear a “Visitor” name tag to identify themselves to our own staff as well as to the day care staff and children.

† The Cash for Causes Program at Giant Supermarket: Purchase a Giant supermarket gift card through the Church of the Holy Apostles, and 5% of the value of the card will be given to the church. These gift cards can be used like cash when you are buying your own groceries or you can give the cards as gifts. The cards must be purchased through the church in order for the church to receive the 5%.  JT Wertz is the church liaison for this Cash for Causes Program. Please talk with him to purchase a Giant gift card or if you would like more information. All money received by the church through the Cash for Causes Program will become part of the General Operating Fund.

Education

† James+ will offer a presentation on his Holy Land Pilgrimage, Thursday evening, February 21st. A second presentation could be arranged if there is enough interest to hold it during the day. 

† Reading: The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism by Ben Myers.

†  Bible Study

Thursdays, 11:00AM

Join us as we take a deep dive into the Acts of the Apostles.

Diocesan Events

† Absalom Jones Celebration – February 9, 9:30AM-11AM at The Philadelphia Cathedral.  Bishop Carl Wright, Suffragan Bishop for the Armed Forces will Celebrate and Preach.  All are welcome.

† Save the Date! March 9, 2019 at 2:00 PM: Bowling with the Bishop at Wynnewood Lanes. Youth across the Diocese are invited for a day of pizza and bowling.

 

 

A Note from the Rector for 1/13/2019

We are preparing to elect four new members to our vestry next Sunday at our Parish Meeting.  I am so grateful to our current vestry, its outgoing members, and to our new nominees.  Serving on the vestry is a large commitment of time, but it is so very important to the life of this parish.  The current vestry and I recently completed something called a Mutual Ministry Review. You’ll be hearing more about that, but it just serves to highlight that ministry—service to God and others—really is mutual.  The vestry and rector TOGETHER serve as the leadership of this parish.  The vestry system is unique to the American branch of the Anglican Communion (The Episcopal Church).  During our colonial period, the Church of England operated in the American colonies under the direct authority of the Bishop of London.  There were no bishops on American soil until after the American Revolution.  There were also no seminaries, and the colonies eventually experienced a dire clergy shortage.  The vestry system developed out of this necessity.  In order for parishes to survive, they needed to have strong lay leadership.  Especially in colonies like Virginia where the Church of England was the Established Church, parishes were not just church communities, they functioned as geographical entities (similar to the old system of counties and parishes in England).  The parish vestries that developed, then, did not just administer the temporal affairs of the parish church, but also, in many cases, served as civil administrators of the entire geographical parish.  From this history, our contemporary vestry system has developed.  Unique in Anglicanism (and also to Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and many “Mainline” denominations), a vestry in the Episcopal church is tasked with hiring a rector in consultation with the bishop.

Vestries are a testament to a fact just as true today as it was in colonial America, and indeed everywhere at every time: the church’s backbone is strong lay leadership.  The New Testament puts this in theological terms.  All baptized Christians are called to be the “priesthood of all believers” (1 Peter 2:5).  We are all ministers of the Gospel and essential parts of the Body of Christ, the Church.  Our role as priests, under Jesus the Great High Priest (Hebrews 7), is to pray for and bless this world, and by our lives to bring this world closer to God’s Kingdom.  That’s the cosmic picture.  The local picture seems more mundane.   Don’t be fooled.  It is just as profound, essential, and beautiful—committed, loving members of this local congregation quietly doing God’s work day in and day out.  I am so grateful.

James+

Announcements for 1/6/2019

Upcoming Events

TODAY: Sunday, January 6 – The Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, with the Blessing of Chalk and Epiphany Inscription followed by Holy Eucharist, Rite II at 10AM

Sunday, January 20 – Annual Parish Meeting

Announcements

Worship

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings and at 9:15AM Tuesdays through Fridays.

Outreach

† Thanks to everyone who participated in our Connect by Night sheltering program over the holidays.  In particular, thanks to the Hillis family, who set up several distribution stations (socks, toothpaste, soap, etc.) over the 2 weeks, as well as everyone who made lunches, and the Property Committee who made sure they were warm and comfortable in several different locations.  We had a number of the guests attend the late Christmas Eve service and I know they all felt very welcome and appreciative of the efforts. Joe Zorc, Chair, Outreach Committee

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: Children Preschool – 2nd grade and 3rd – 8th grade attend Sunday classes at 10:00AM, the same time as the church service starts; children join their parents in the church in time for communion. Classes are held on the 1st, 3rd, & 4th Sundays of the month. On 2nd Sundays children attend church with their parents, either the 10:00PM Holy Eucharist service or the 5:30PM 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.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School begins its pilot program on February 5, 2019.  If you have a potential student, apply today.  Applications are available on-line or on the “connect” table. The Choir School will accept only 20 students for the pilot semester. Placement preference will be given to members of the Church of the Holy Apostles. 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.

Parish Life

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Sunday, January 20, following the 10AM service.  The members of the Vestry have reviewed the church’s Articles of Incorporation and are proposing several changes. The current Articles of Incorporation and the proposed changes (with explanations) were mailed to each parishioner this past week.  Please review the documents that were sent to you, both the original and the proposed changes to the Articles of Incorporation If you have objections, comments, questions, concerns, etc., please reply to Susanne Wherry directly at susannewherry@hotmail.com prior to the Annual Meeting on January 20, 2019.

† James+ will be away from Jan. 22 – Feb. 7. The Stambaughs will be spending a few days with family in NM, and then James+ and Deb will be travelling to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage sponsored by the diocese and the Episcopal Friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem. Expect a full report and many sermon illustrations upon their return. Stay tuned for details about clergy and pastoral support while James is away.

† If you enter the church building when the Little Friends Day Care is in session (7:00AM – 6:00PM Mon-Fri), and are anywhere other than in the church itself, please obtain a “Church Member” name tag from the Parish Office and wear it while you are here. This will show the teachers and children at the day care that you are a person who belongs here. Any workers/maintenance people or visitors who come into the buildings are required to wear a “Visitor” name tag to identify themselves to our own staff as well as to the day care staff and children.

† The Cash for Causes Program at Giant Supermarket: Purchase a Giant supermarket gift card through the Church of the Holy Apostles, and 5% of the value of the card will be given to the church. These gift cards can be used like cash when you are buying your own groceries or you can give the cards as gifts. The cards must be purchased through the church in order for the church to receive the 5%.  JT Wertz is the church liaison for this Cash for Causes Program. Please talk with him to purchase a Giant gift card or if you would like more information. All money received by the church through the Cash for Causes Program will become part of the General Operating Fund.

 Education

†  Reading: The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism by Ben Myers.

†  Bible Study
Thursdays, 11:00AM
Join us as we take a deep dive into the Acts of the Apostles.

Diocesan Events

† Save the Date! March 9, 2019: Bowling with the Bishop at Wynnewood Lanes. Youth across the Diocese are invited for a day of pizza and bowling.

 

 

 

A Note from the Rector for 1/6/2019

You will notice a couple of weird additions to our normal liturgy this week.  Before our service of Holy Eucharist begins Sunday morning, we will gather on the steps outside the front door (as I write this on Thursday I am hoping for tolerable weather on Sunday morning).  There, we will bless a bunch of chalk, and I will use a piece of it to inscribe a set of mysterious letters and numbers above the door of our beloved church (don’t worry, it can be washed off).  Here is the inscription:

20+C+M+B+19

The crosses—just like the sign of the cross we make during the liturgy and just like the cross I like to write after my name—are meant to be a visual symbol of blessing, a reminder and a claiming for one’s own of the blessing afforded to us by the passion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The 20 and the 19 together stand for the year.  The C, M, and B have a double meaning.  They are the initials of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, which according to tradition are the names of the three Magi whose visit to the Christ child in Bethlehem we celebrate in today’s Gospel passage.  The letters also stand for the Latin phrase, Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means “May Christ Bless this House.”  Everyone will be invited to take a piece of blessed chalk home with instructions to mark their own doors.

The other unusual piece of our liturgy is found right before the sermon.  I will solemnly read the Epiphany Proclamation, which informs the congregation of the most important dates of the upcoming year.  This tradition arose because, unlike fixed holy days like Christmas, there are holy days that are movable as they are ultimately tied to the Jewish lunar calendar instead of our solar calendar.  Easter is the preeminent of these holy days.  Once the date of Easter is determined, the date of other movable holy days can be determined.  Before the prevalence of printed calendars (or google), the average person was not equipped to accurately calculate the date of Easter.  So, every year on Epiphany the date of Easter and all the other movable holy days were announced in each local parish.

Finally, you’ll notice on the front of today’s service leaflet, we have printed Sunday’s date in what might seem like a comically formal and overwrought fashion, using the phrase “in the year of our Lord.”  This way of writing the date comes from the early middle ages, when Pope Gregory the Great had the old Roman calendar re-tooled, so that it began the year that Christ was born (or as close to that year as the scholars of the time could manage).  Every year after Christ’s birth is marked as A.D. (for Anno Domini which is Latin for “in the year of our Lord.”)  All the years of recorded history before Christ’s birth, in our calendar, step reverently backwards from the year of the Incarnation.

There is a method to this madness, and it’s not just because I love the antiquarian and obscure.  What we are about, as weird as it may seem, is very serious.  These traditions are about marking out places and times as being sacred, holy, set apart.  They are about making time and space sacred again.

Our society runs on the mechanization and the routinization of time and place.  Our watches our synchronized.  Our calendars are fixed and full.  Every minute is accounted for and most of those minutes are monetized.  Time is money.  Our public places are uniform, mass-produced, and streamlined for efficiency.  Perhaps some of this is necessary for the ways that we provide for ourselves.  But it has the effect of tricking us to think that our mediated experience of time and space is the only reality there is.  It shapes our hearts and imaginations away from sacred time and space.  Liturgy—what we do on Sunday morning and beyond—along with all the strange little traditions that Christians have developed over the last two millennia are meant to remind us of a different reality; to make us see how things actually are.  All places are sacred, though some have been desecrated.  This is because the entire universe and all that is in it finds its ultimate source in God’s creative act.  All time is ordained by God.  What’s more, God in Christ has entered into human history in a personal, embodied way.  Jesus’ birth two-thousand and nineteen (or so) years ago changed everything.  Christ’s life, death and resurrection continue to reverberate throughout history, both forward and backward.  By his saving grace, everything changes; everything is made new.  That is the Good News of God’s reality.  As we embark on this year of our Lord 2019, we need every reminder of this ultimate truth and deeper reality that we can muster.  Let this sacred place be a sign to others that all places are holy; that God’s presence is available everywhere.  Let our weird little celebrations of the Church’s year be signs to everyone who knows us that Jesus is real in our lives and that his presence makes all the difference in the world.

James+

Announcements for 12/30/2018

Upcoming Events

TODAY: December 30 – First Sunday of Christmas Lessons & Carols at the 10AM service

Announcements

Worship

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on most Sunday mornings. Today, December 30, Holy Eucharist will be held at 8:30AM, with Christmas Lessons and Carols at 10:00AM.

Outreach

† We are hosting the Connect by Night shelter program for the last 2 weeks of the month (December 16th-31st).  Thank you to all who helped to make this happen.

 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: Children Preschool – 2nd grade and 3rd – 8th grade attend Sunday classes at 10:00AM, the same time as the church service starts; children join their parents in the church in time for communion. Classes are held on the 1st, 3rd, & 4th Sundays of the month. On 2nd Sundays children attend church with their parents, either the 10:00PM Holy Eucharist service or the 5:30PM 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.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School begins its pilot program on February 5, 2019.  If you have a potential student, apply today.  Applications are available on-line or on the “connect” table. The Choir School will accept only 20 students for the pilot semester. Placement preference will be given to members of the Church of the Holy Apostles. 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.

Parish Life

† The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Sunday, January 20, following the 10AM service.

† If you enter the church building when the Little Friends Day Care is in session (7:00AM – 6:00PM Mon-Fri), and are anywhere other than in the church itself, please obtain a “Church Member” name tag from the Parish Office and wear it while you are here. This will show the teachers and children at the day care that you are a person who belongs here. Any workers/maintenance people or visitors who come into the buildings are required to wear a “Visitor” name tag to identify themselves to our own staff as well as to the day care staff and children.

† The Cash for Causes Program at Giant Supermarket: Purchase a Giant supermarket gift card through the Church of the Holy Apostles, and 5% of the value of the card will be given to the church. These gift cards can be used like cash when you are buying your own groceries or you can give the cards as gifts. The cards must be purchased through the church in order for the church to receive the 5%.  JT Wertz is the church liaison for this Cash for Causes Program. Please talk with him to purchase a Giant gift card or if you would like more information. All money received by the church through the Cash for Causes Program will become part of the General Operating Fund.

 Education 

† Reading: The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism by Ben Myers.

†  Bible Study

Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.

Join us as we take a deep dive into the Acts of the Apostles.

Diocesan Events

† Save the Date! March 9, 2019: Bowling with the Bishop at Wynnewood Lanes. Youth across the Diocese are invited for a day of pizza and bowling.