Announcements

Announcements – 3/24/19

Worship

† There are many opportunities to participate in a holy Lent this year, and it’s not too late!   There are additional Lenten activities available for children and youth on the table in the office hallway.  

† 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 smart phone apps!  See the last section of the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles” for details.

Outreach

† A huge THANK YOU to all those who contributed toward and participated in the Darby Mission Meal last Tuesday!  We had a wonderful selection of chili, cornbread, and side dishes which fed 102 people.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal and the fellowship very much.  A special thanks to Cassie Woestman for organizing everyone.  Don’t forget to pick up your crock-pot in the church hallway, and mark you calendars for our next all-church Darby Mission Meal: 9/17/19.

† We are collecting non-perishable food items for the food pantry of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Look for the collection box in the hallway outside the parish hall.

Children and Youth

† Our Sunday School students are hosting a CRAFT FAIR today during coffee hour.  The crafts have been created by our children and all proceeds will go toward a donation for the children we sponsor through Child Fund International.  The students have decorated “A cross in my pocket”, prayer bracelets, and re-useable shopping bags. 

† 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 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.

Parish Life

† Easter Flower Memorials– It is our custom to remember deceased loved ones in the light of Christ’s Resurrection with a stunning array of flowers on Easter day.  Watch for a letter this week, or contact the church office with names of those you would like to remember.  The suggested donation is $8.00 per name.

† 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 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

† You are invited to join our Lenten “soup group” which meet Wednesday nights in Lent.  Don’t worry if you can’t make every class.  Come for the soup and stay for a lively discussion about faith and life (or come for the discussion and stay for the soup!)  This year’s topic is:

                                      “Good News & God’s Mission”

† Bible Study is held on Thursdays at 11AM.

Community Events

† Mainline Reform Synagogue is hosting a Women’s Interfath event on Sunday, April 7 from 3-5PM.  The event is entitled: “Refugees and Asylum Seekers Share Their Stories of Exodus: A Women’s Interfaith Gathering.”  Look for flyer in the parish hall or email the church office for more information.

A Note from the Rector – 3/24/19

I love Lent.  I also love Spring.  I love watching early Spring flowers—crocuses, irises, tulips—as they begin to break through dirty snow, dark muddy soil, rotting leaves.  They are glimmers of hope cracking open the gloom of winter.  But, you can’t rush Spring.   It is easy for me to get impatient.  One beautiful Spring day may be followed by a week of storms and terrible weather.  It is hard for me to remember that all are part of the process of new life being birthed again in the world.  It is all part of an incredible miracle, but one that requires patience and attention in order to experience. 

Lent and Spring are both times of rebirth and growth, and this growth can be subtle.  You don’t always notice a crocus growing until one day your whole yard is full of beautiful purple flowers.  This is also true of spiritual growth.  God surprises us sometimes with our own spiritual growth, with the insights and joys, with uncomfortable realizations, and strange, unexpected consolations.  These all come to us, not from within ourselves or own intellect, but from God. They are arriving to us from God’s merciful excess.  So, this Spring and this Lent don’t forget to be surprised, to be taken aback by the wonder that God is bringing into this world, as gloomy, imperfect, or hopeless as it may seem.  God is in the business of surprises.  Let us keep our eyes open for wonder, even in this slog of early Spring and mid-Lent, lest the grace of God spring on us like a trap and catches us unprepared to give God thanks.   

In Christ,
James+

Announcements – 3/17/19

Worship

† There are many opportunities to participate in a holy Lent this year, and it’s not too late!  Please pick up a Lenten booklet this morning.  There are also Lenten activities available for children and youth on the table in the office hallway.  

† 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 smart phone apps!  See the last section of the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles” for details.

Outreach

† We will be hosting our next Darby Mission meal on Tuesday, March 19th.  We will be cooking chili and need food preparers (main dish, cornbread, mac & cheese, salad, dessert) and people to join in and serve the meal.  We will meet at the church at 5PM to driver together, or 5:30 at the Darby Community Center (1021 Ridge Ave., Darby PA).  A sign-up sheet is posted in the parish hall, find the online sign-up sheet in the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles.”

† We are collecting non-perishable food items for the food pantry of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Look for the collection box in the hallway outside the parish hall.

Children and Youth

† Our Sunday School students are hosting a CRAFT FAIR on Sunday March 24 during coffee hour.  The crafts have been created by our children and all proceeds will go toward a donation for the children we sponsor through Child Fund International.  The students have decorated “A cross in my pocket”, prayer bracelets, and re-useable shopping bags.  Bring lots of money. 

† 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 in late February.  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

† This morning, after the 10AM service (and coffee hour) we will hold an Anglican Prayer Bead Workshop.  We will make and learn how to use Anglican prayer beads.  This is an all ages event!  

† 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 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

† You are invited to join our Lenten “soup group” which meet Wednesday nights in lent.  Don’t worry if you can’t make every class.  Come for the soup and stay for a lively discussion about faith and life (or come for the discussion and stay for the soup!)  This year’s topic is:

                                      “Good News & God’s Mission”

† Bible Study is held on Thursdays at 11AM.

Community Events

† Mainline Reform Synagogue is hosting a Women’s Interfath vent on Sunday, April 7 from 3-5PM.  The event is entitled: “Refugees and Asylum Seekers Share Their Stories of Exodus: A Women’s Interfaith Gathering.”  Look for flyer in the parish hall or email the church office for more information.

A Note from the Rector – 3/17/19

Welcome to the Second Sunday in Lent, which also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day.  Except for major feasts of Our Lord, whenever a saint’s feast day falls on a Sunday, it is transferred to the next day.  So, in the church’s mind, St. Patrick’s day is celebrated tomorrow (in case you want to wear your “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirt tomorrow also).  This is because Sunday is always a major feast of the Resurrection.  Every Sunday is Easter Sunday, in other words.  As awesome as St. Pat is, he doesn’t hold a candle to the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  It also means that while it is a Sunday IN Lent, it is not really a Sunday OF Lent, because Sunday is always Easter.  In fact, the 6 Sundays that occur during the season of Lent are not counted in the 40 days of Lent.  Do with that information what you will.

After today’s 10AM service we are holding an Anglican Prayer Bead workshop in the Memorial Room.  Let me tell you about prayer beads.  First, it is interesting to note that the English word “bead” descends from the medieval Old English word “bede,” which means “prayer.” This testifies to how important prayer beads have been to the spiritual lives of many.

They are an aid to help us focus in prayer.  Being human means that we are spiritual and physical beings.  Many of us find it helpful, then, to have physical components to our spiritual prayer.  Prayer beads give our hands something to do, which somehow frees up some mental and emotional space and helps to focus and concentrate our prayer.  Body, mind, and spirit are connected in mysterious ways.

This embodied, contemplative practice of using objects to count prayers is very old—probably first developed in the Hindu religion over 5,000 years ago.  Many major world religions have their own version of prayer beads.  In the earliest days of Eastern Christian monasticism, monks used pebbles to count their prayers.  This practiced developed over time (4thand 5thcenturies) into beaded or knotted ropes that monks would hold and use to count their prayers. Made out of wool, and tied with a special (and very complicated) knot, prayer ropes (commonly called after their Russian name “chotkis) are still very much in use in the Eastern Christian world.  The prayer used most often with these prayer ropes is called the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”  This prayer is based on several passages form the Gospels, mainly from Luke 18:38 when a blind man outside Jericho cries out to Jesus as he passes by: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”

In the West, this practice showed up first in Ireland, in the 9thcentury monastic communities of St. Columba.  It spread throughout Europe and developed in the later middle ages into the Rosary—the “rose garden”, that is still in common use by Roman Catholics, as well as Anglicans and even a Lutheran or two.  The traditional use of the Rosary calls for three main prayers: the “Hail Mary” (derived mostly from several passage of the Gospel of Luke chapter 1), the Lord’s Prayer, and the “Glory Be” (Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…).

Sometime in the 1980s an Episcopal priest along with the contemplative prayer group at her parish, developed a simplified version of the Rosary.  They called it the Anglican Rosary.  It uses 33 beads to signify the 33 years of Jesus’ life.  Diverse prayers have been used with the Anglican Rosary, but they have always been closely derived or inspired by Scripture (as, indeed, all the prayers mentioned so far have been).  Our workshop is going to be fun for all ages.  This is a great way to teach children about prayer.  See you there!

A Note from the Rector – 3/10/19

Today is the first Sunday of the season of Lent.  This morning we join in the prayers of the Church using a very ancient form of prayer—the Great Litany.  The Great Litany is the real deal; the big time; the major leagues of prayer.  This prayer was first assembled in response to a 4th century volcanic eruption.  It was further shaped by political uncertainty, war, and medieval outbreaks of the Black Plague in Europe.  In 1544, the Great Litany was the first part of the Liturgy to be translated (and heavily edited) into vernacular English by Thomas Cranmer.  Five years later Cranmer finished the first Book of Common Prayer, which stands at the fountainhead of our own style of worship.  Cranmer’s version of the Litany melded medieval catholic spirituality with the theological concerns of the Reformation.  Martin Luther’s hand can still be detected on the version of the Litany that is in our prayer book.

At one time, the Great Litany was prayed by every Anglican parish every Sunday.  These days, even though it is included in our version of the prayer book, it has fallen into disuse.  This is a real shame. As one scholar writes, the Litany is “a most careful, luminous, and comprehensive collection of the scattered treasures of the Universal Church.”  It holds together the reformed and catholic strands of our tradition, and it articulates the needs, anxieties, and suffering of humanity with a power that is rare.  More than that, the Litany is a profound reminder that we need to rely on the grace and mercy of God.  This is equally true today as it was in the 4th century, or the 14th.  Our life depends on God, whether we recognize it or not.  And the fact is, we often don’t recognize it.  Lent is a good time to correct that, so let’s do it with style.

This morning’s service is going to feel different.  We will begin the service by chanting together this ancient, beautiful prayer. The choir is going to march around the church really slow, and any children present might feel like joining in the march, which would be ideal as far as I am concerned.  My experience is that children intuitively understand the grandest and most sublime parts of liturgy, even if their response to them don’t always strike us adults as appropriate.  It’s going to take some time to chant the Great Litany, which is okay.  Don’t be anxious.  This is an opportunity to lose yourself in the mystery and the majesty of something bigger than you, something more important (really, it is) than the busyness and anxieties and luxuries of everyday life.  I promise it will be worth it.  I also promise to keep my sermon short.  🙂

For more on the history and use of the Great Litany see this excellent article from the Living Church magazine.

A Note from the Rector – 3/3/19

Sunday, March 3rd, is World Mission Sunday.  In this space last week, we printed the bishop’s message calling all the churches in the diocese to mark this day.  You will notice several special prayers in our liturgy this morning which are meant to commemorate mission.  Mission is also a big part of this year’s Lenten Soup Group.  Soup Group is an opportunity to gather on Wednesday evenings in Lent, eat some soup and bread, and have an interesting discussion together about Christian faith and practice.  So, this year, we’ll discuss mission (and evangelism, and the Anglican Communion, and science fiction).  All this talk of mission, though, begs the question.  What is mission?  Here’s a teaser for the Soup Group discussion:

Until the 1400s, mission (missio in Latin) was a word that was only applied to deity.  It was a technical term for the ways that God reveals God’s self in the world.   It was first used for human activity during the European conquest of South and Central America.  At that time, the Church sent “missions,” groups of missionaries to bring Christianity to indigenous people.  The outcome of these missions is, well, complicated.  Not everything done by those and other missionaries was bad.  However, I don’t have to tell anyone that there was and is a lot of terrible stuff that is done in the name of Jesus.

What can be done about the fact that missionary activity has very often gone awry in significant ways?  The first step is to recover the original definition of mission.  Mission is not something that we do.  It is not something that we have.  Contrary to how some might act, Christians don’t possess a mission.  Mission belongs to God.  Mission is the name that we give to the activity of God in the world.  God missions, that is, God moves.  God crosses boundaries.  God shows up in unexpected places at unexpected times.  God’s mission is most perfectly expressed in the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is God’s mission to the world.  Jesus crossed the boundary between divine and human in order to bring God’s love and forgiveness to humans.  That’s mission.  Jesus has invited us to participate in His life through baptism.  In baptism we are called to participate in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection (Romans 6:4).  In baptism we cross the boundary from death to life   In baptism we become parts of Christ’s body, and therefore are invited to participate in God’s mission.  BOOM!

If you want to hear more come to Soup Group, Wednesday nights in Lent, or just keep your ears open around here.  I love this stuff and I am not likely to shut up about it anytime soon.

Announcements for 3/3/2019

Worship

† Today is World Mission Sunday in the Episcopal Church.

† March 6th is Ash Wednesday.  The following services are offered:

7:30AM—Imposition of Ashes; no Eucharist

9:15AM—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

† There are many opportunities to participate in a holy Lent this year.  Please pick up a Lenten booklet this morning, or look for the online version on our website soon.  Feel free to take a booklet for a friend or neighbor, it would be an easy way to invite them to 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 smart phone apps!  See the last section of the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles” for details.

Outreach

† We will be hosting our next Darby Mission meal on Tuesday, March 19th.  We will be cooking chili and need food preparers (main dish, cornbread, mac & cheese, salad, dessert) and people to join in and serve the meal.  We will meet at the church at 5PM to driver together, or 5:30 at the Darby Community Center (1021 Ridge Ave., Darby PA).  A sign-up sheet is posted in the parish hall, find the online sign-up sheet here.

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 in late February.  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

† March 5 we will celebrate Shrove Tuesday with a pancake dinner at 6:30PM in the parish hall.  Children in the parish are encouraged to come help James lock up the “Alleluias” until Easter morning.  Todd Delevan is providing some of his legendary homebrewed beer for the adults.

† 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 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

† You are invited to join our Lenten “soup group” which meet Wednesday nights in lent, beginning on March 13.  Come for the soup and stay for a lively discussion about faith and life (or come for the discussion and stay for the soup!)  This year’s topic is:

“Good News & God’s Mission”

† Bible Study is held on Thursdays at 11AM.

Diocesan Events

† Next Saturday, 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.