A Note from the Rector – 5/19/19

Series of Vestments: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

In this on-going (never-ending?) series on garments for worship (AKA vestments), we have in the fourth week come to the two items that are most properly called vestments in the first place: the stole and the chasuble.    

The stole is the long, scarf-like thing that is worn draped around the neck.  If the wearer is a deacon the stole is worn fastened to one side like a sash.  If s/he is a bishop they wear the stole draped down the front.  A priest wears the stole the same way, or sometimes they will cross the stole in front to differentiate themselves from the higher office of bishop.  Along with the chasuble, the stole usually matches the color of the liturgical season.  Right now, for the Easter season, it is white.

The stole’s exact origins are shrouded in the mists of time.  It may be related to pre-Christian religious garments in southern Europe.  It has often been compared to the priestly ephod in the worship of the ancient Israelites and the prayer shawls of modern-day Judaism.  It is likely related to garments given to magistrates and other public officials in the Roman Empire to denote their office.  This function seems to relate to the fact that the way a clergy person wears the stole tells you something about their office (a deacon, or a bishop or a priest). 

Whatever the historical development, I find the deepest significance of the stole in the story of Last Supper. As we celebrate on Maundy Thursday, this is the night that Jesus put an apron or towel around himself and stooped to wash his disciple’s feet.  The stole represents that towel.  So, even as the stole functions as a distinctive mark of the office of a clergy person, it is also always a symbol of servanthood.  As Jesus told his disciple at the table, if any one wants to be a leader, they must be a servant of all (Matthew 20:26).  I generally wear a stole anytime I am doing something sacramental like consecrating the Eucharist, anointing the sick with oil, baptizing someone, or blessing a marriage.

On top of the stole, a priest who is going to celebrate Eucharist may wear a chasuble.  The chasuble is sometimes called theEucharistic vestment, because it is only worn for the purpose of Eucharistic celebration.  Let’s face it, the chasuble is a fancy poncho.  It’s a direct descendent of the outer cloaks worn in the Roman Empire in the 4thcentury.  Back then, these cloaks were worn by everyone.  As fashions changed in the early middle ages, bishops and priests alone held onto the chasuble, and it became the main garment used for the liturgy.  

Like the rest, the chasuble has accrued a symbolic meaning.  This can be seen from the traditional prayer for putting on the chasuble, which in its original Latin dates to the middle ages: “O Lord who hast said, ‘my yoke is easy and my burden is light’: enable me so to bear that I may attain to thy favor and abide in thy love.”  This prayer quotes Matthew 11:29-30: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” In placing the chasuble around my neck as a yoke around the neck of an oxen, it reminds me of this promise of Jesus, which finds its counterpart and fulfillment in a commandment: “take up your cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24).  

To be clear, it is not just the priest who is meant to take up Jesus’ yoke, and carry his cross.  This is for all of us.  Remember, the chasuble is a Eucharistic vestment, and at the Eucharist the priest is a symbol and a stand-in for the whole gathered community.  It’s not me as an individual up there, but all of us offering our gifts of wine and bread, of thanksgiving and praise to God, and receiving those gifts back from God, broken open, transformed, overflowing with grace that is the balm of all who are weary and heavy-laden.  This whole operation only makes sense when we’ve all yoked ourselves to Jesus, when we’ve all gathered ourselves underneath the saving health of the cross.  All these vestments are meant to help us participate aesthetically and symbolically in these truths.  Next week I will finish this exploration of vestments by talking about a few odds and ends.

Announcements – 11/18/2018

Upcoming Events

November 21 – 7PM – Evensong & Fireside Reception (see announcement)
Bring a beverage or appetizer to share.

December 1 – 7:30AM-11AM – Pancakes with Santa (see announcement)
Bring the kids, and/or invite a neighbor with kids.

December 2 – The First Sunday of Advent
Lo! He comes on clouds descending.

December 9 – 10AM – Bishop’s visitation Sunday
Eight youth will be confirmed and one adult will be received!

December 10 – 5PM-9PM – East Parkside Dinner
Share a meal with our long-standing friends & neighbors.

December 16 – Pageant Sunday
Our children will tell the story of Christmas.

December 16-31 – Connect-by-night (see announcement)
Our homeless friends need a place to stay the last half of December.

Announcements

Worship

† Wednesday, November 21st, at 7:00 p.m. Evensong on Thanksgiving Eve. Following the service there will be a Fireside Reception in the Memorial Room (please bring a beverage and appetizer to share). RSVP to Judy Jervis at (610) 348-5529 or tuesbowler@outlook.com if attending reception.

† Bishop Gutiérrez will visit CHA on Sunday, December 9th for Confirmations, Receptions, and Reaffirmations.

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings.

Outreach

Pancakes with Santa: Saturday, Dec. 1st, 7:30 to 11:00 a.m. in the Parish Hall. Breakfast free for children 5 years old and younger. Ages 6-14 are $4. Ages 15 and up are $7. Baked goods will be for sale. Bring your own camera for pictures with Santa!

† Volunteers are needed to help with “Pancakes with Santa” (see announcement above). Opportunities to help: kitchen, set-up, clean-up, arts and crafts table, and bake sale table. Donations of baked goods and Christmas items to be sold are appreciated. If you would like to help, please contact Drew Meiers, Judy Jervis, or place your name on the sign up list in the Parish Hall.

† The East Parkside Citizens Association is celebrating their annual holiday party and has invited us to celebrate with them once again this year on Monday, December 10th, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. We will meet at the church at 5 p.m. to travel together, or you can come to Christ Community Baptist Church, 1224 N 41st St., Philadelphia PA 19104. We usually bring side dishes and will post a sign-up list in the Parish Hall. They are determining whom they will honor this year and will let us know how we can participate in that.

† The Connect by Night shelter program does not have a host for the month of December due to emergency repairs in one of their churches. After some careful consideration on the vestry, we have decided to offer to be their host for the last 2 weeks of the month over the holidays (December 16th-31st). They will use a combination of the Church and Parish Hall for accommodations during that time, and we will do our usual lunch preparation. We will post a sign-up list in the parish hall and online.

Children and Youth

† 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: Children Preschool – 2nd grade and 3rd – 8th grade attend Sunday classes at 10:00 a.m., 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 10:00 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.

† Confirmation Class: November 25 at 5 p.m.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School pilot program will start February 5, 2019. It is an after-school program on Tuesday and Thursdays. Students, grades 1 – 5 will receive homework assistance and then study music using the Royal School of Church Music, Voice for Life curriculum. If your student is interested in participating in the program, please return the attached application to drstambaugh@gmail.com.

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 https://holyapostlespa.org/choir-school/. Please forward this information to friends and neighbors who may be interested. If a child needs transportation assistance, please contact drstambaugh@gmail.com.

Parish Life

† Parish Office hours for week of Thanksgiving:

+ 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20

+ Normal hours resume the week of Nov. 26th.

Turkey Trot: 5K Run or 1 Mile Walk 9:00 a.m. Thanksgiving, Nov. 22nd, to raise money for the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania . (Meet in front of St. Faith Church, Havertown.) The fee is $20 or $10 for participants under 12. This event is held each year in memory of Matt Smyth who passed away from Testicular Cancer at age 23 and to remind men to check themselves. Make your donations payable to Abramson Cancer Center and in the memo put “The Matt Smyth Fund”.

Education

† Fall Reading: We finally received our copies of The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism by Ben Myers. Those of you who ordered a book, please pick them up. If you want, get started on reading it, and stay tuned as we figure out a time to discuss this wonderful book.

† Advent Soup Group

Like a Rolling Stone & The Rock That Doesn’t Roll: Stones in the Bible

Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

December 5th

December 12th

December 19th

Bible Study

Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.

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

 

 

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

Worship

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.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR – BISHOP DANIEL GUTIERREZ WILL VISIT HOLY APOSTLES & CONFIRM ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2018

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.