Coronavirus Update from the Rector

Dear Holy Apostles,

Grace and peace to you from God.  The consensus of the CDC and other health officials is that, along with washing your hands, social distancing is a vitally important part of mitigating the spread and severity of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community.  Social distancing means keeping away from large gatherings and creating a wider “personal bubble” when you are out in public.  And most importantly, it means staying home and away from others when you are sick.  These steps are essential parts of taking care of ourselves as well as loving our neighbors as ourselves. 

However, the danger is that in the process of social distancing we will end up emotionally and spiritually isolating ourselves.  In other words, I worry our reactions to the COVID-19 health crisis—especially reactions that are driven by fear—will only add to one of the pandemics that has gripped our society for some time, the virulent and insidious pandemic of loneliness, isolation, and despair. 

Emotional and spiritual distancing isn’t going to help anyone.  There is, in fact, a direct link between spiritual health and physical and emotional health.  This essential connection has not diminished because there is a new and scary public health emergency.  We need to maintain our spiritual connection to God and each other.  The question is:  how do we as a church take prudent precautions against the spread of infectious disease while maintaining a sense of community and spiritual care which imbues life with meaning and makes it worth living in the first place?  This is a difficult but not impossible balance.  I wrote last week about the precautions we are taking at church including wiping down high-touch surfaces before and after services, exploring alternatives to handshakes and hugs during the Peace, and increasing the amount of hand washing that goes on before Holy Communion.  I also wrote about the sufficiency of only taking Communion in one kind, the bread.

At this time I want to reiterate what you have undoubtedly heard from many sources: please stay home if you are sick.  Also if you are sick, let me know so that your faith community can provide you with support.  This is a time for solidarity not stigma.

If you are a member of a group that is particularly at risk of serious health complications, please consider your options for spiritual and emotional support carefully.  If you feel comfortable coming to church, please do so, as long as you are not sick.  A second option is that I am more than willing to bring the Holy Sacrament to you in your home.  I am currently healthy and will be monitoring my health carefully.  With God’s sustaining help, I will be available for eucharistic visitation, pastoral visits, and prayer.

Another option is to participate in our worship services digitally.  We are working to make digital options available by this weekend for those who are sick or who want to stay at home.  Digital interaction is not the same thing and face-to-face interaction and participation, and it is not sufficient or sustainable in the long-term.  But as a short-term stopgap it may be the best option for some to connect.  Be on the lookout for links to livestreams of services and other activities. 

Unless the bishop tells me otherwise, I will not be cancelling Sunday Eucharist or weekday Morning Prayer.  During this difficult time we need more prayer and more sacraments, not less.  As one of my friends put it, the prayers of the faithful are the most powerful tool we have in times of crisis.  I stand firm in my conviction that the sacrament of the Eucharist is given by God for the healing of the whole world.  It is more important than ever to continue to offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God and pray for grace and healing on behalf of a broken and anguished world. 

In consultation with the vestry, I will be making decisions about whether to cancel other church activities on a case-to-case basis, including Lenten group activities, Bible Study, and various committee meetings.  I spoke with the Rev. Doris Rajagopal today about the Darby Mission Supper next Tuesday night.  She has not cancelled the supper at this time.  Assuming nothing changes in the next several days, I would like for us to go forward with providing the meal.  However, I am strongly discouraging folks who are at high risk of health complications due to coronavirus from attending the meal.   When the time comes we will decide with Doris whether to deliver the food and leave, or to stay with a smaller group of volunteers and help serve.

Most importantly, don’t isolate yourself from this lifegiving body, our church.  Even if you cannot be physically present please reach out.  Call me if you need to talk.  Call each other.  Let’s check in on each and make sure we’re okay.  Above all else, pray for each other and for the safety and well-being of our community. 

Know that God is with us in difficult times.  God has not abandoned the world.  Jesus came into the world as a human to live among us and to demonstrate that God’s love is in solidarity with human suffering.  We are Christ’s body.  We are called to demonstrate to a suffering and fearful world that God is still present with us now. 

Peace & Good,
James+

Announcements – 12/1/19

Worship

† On December 8, we will welcome our second St. Faith preacher, the Rev. Canon Betsy Ivey, the Canon for Growth and Support at the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.

† Are you friendly?  We need you! Our greeter ministry is one of the key ministries of our church.  Greeters welcome visitors, make people comfortable, hand out service leaflets and take up offering.  They make sure the service runs smoothly. Starting in October, we will be organizing a monthly Greeters breakfast with the Rector, probably at a local restaurant.  If you’re interested in serving God in this way, talk to Jim Jervis or Fr. James.

† 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.

Outreach

† Connect-by-Night begins tonight!  There are still some empty slots needed for lunch preparers!  See the sign-up sheet in the parish hall or online: bit.ly/2WbmPn3

† There are lots of opportunities to participate in Holy Apostles Outreach through our various programs:

      – Delivering items to a food pantry in Northeast Philadelphia

      – Meals at Darby Mission (3/17) or our annual holiday meal with the East Parkside Community Association (12/9). Other ideas are welcome. Please contact Joe Zorc (zorc@email.chop.edu) or see the sign-up sheet in the parish hall.

Children and Youth

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

† The Holy Apostles Choir School is off and running for 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.

† Christmas Pageant: December 15 during the 10AM service. Rehearsals will be during Sunday School (10AM) on Dec. 1, and Dec. 8. There will also be a rehearsal on Sat., Dec. 14 at 9AM. All children encouraged to participate! Contact Michelle Gallagher with questions or email holyapostlessundayschool@gmail.com.

Parish Life

† Caroling rehearsals at 6pm on December 5, 12, and 19. Christmas Caroling is on December 20, followed by Christmas Party!

† Pancakes with Santa! December 7th is next Saturday.  Please contact Drew Meiers with questions concerning volunteers!

† We are getting ready to refresh the hallway outside the church offices including some new paint, new furniture, and eventually new flooring.  As a result we have been moving some things around. The Lost & Found box is now located in the church office.

† 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.

† 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)!

† 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

† Join us for BASICS class, every 3rd Sunday at 9AM. 

† Bible Study on Deuteronomy, Thursdays at 11AM.  All are welcome.

† FacePsalm online study of the Psalms: bit.ly/2ndKq9o

LITURGY PARTICIPANTS

December 8, 2019

Reader: Valle Brokes
Intercessor: Nancy Haas
Chalice Bearers: Christina King-Smith and Clifton Davis
Greeter: Jim Jervis
Acolytes: Thomas and Peter Mustered

December 15, 2019

Reader: Christmas Pageant
Intercessor: Toni Meiers
Chalice Bearers: Dan Dugan and Annette Smith
Greeter: Mike Johnson
Acolytes: Adrienne Hillis and Garrett Delevan

COFFEE HOUR HOSTS

December 1 Vicki & Tom Forker

December 8 Jim & Judy Jervis — St. Nicholas Visit

December 15 Christmas Pageant—Fellowship Committee

December 22 Dave & Annette Smith

December 29 Todd & Meg Delevan

Announcements – 5/26/19

Worship

† Today is Rogation Sunday.  There will be a special procession and blessing in Wynnewood Valley Park immediately following 10AM Eucharist.

† May 30th is the Feast of the Ascension.

† There will be no Morning Prayer on May 30 & 31.  James will be at his nephew’s high school graduation.

† 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 continue 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.

† 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: 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

† The All Parish-Sunday School cook-out is Pentecost Sunday, June 9th.  Sign up to bring a side-dish outside the parish office.  Main course, drinks, dessert will be provided.  Bring a friend!

† 2019 Happy Hour Dates

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

            May 31—THIS FRIDAY 6:30PM

            June 28

            July 19—*date change*—with a special musical guest

            August 30

† New Parish Communications Coordinator: We are happy to announce that Dan McKeon, a graduate student in creative writing & publishing will be joining the church staff in June.  Dan will be responsible for our printed and online communications! 

† The Rev. Jim Robertson who was our deacon here from 1992-94, is being ordained to the priesthood in Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.  Jim reached out to church with an invitation, and a request for our prayers.  The ordination will be June 15, 2019 at 10:30AM at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in Harrisburg, PA.  An invitation posted in the parish hall provides more information. 

† 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)!

† 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 11AM.

† 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! 

            June 16– What is liturgy, anyway? 

            June 23– Morning Prayer vs. Holy Eucharist, a duel to the death?

            July 7– Does changing the room change how liturgy feels?

            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.

Announcements – 5/19/19

Worship

† Next Sunday, May 26th is Rogation Sunday.  There will be a special procession and blessing in Wynnewood Valley Park on that day. 

† 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 continue 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.

† 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: 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

† The All Parish-Sunday School cook-out is Pentecost Sunday, June 9th.  Sign up to bring a side-dish outside the parish office.  Main course, drinks, dessert will be provided.  Bring a friend!

† 2019 Happy Hour Dates

            May 31

            June 28

            July 26

            August 30

† The Rev. Jim Robertson who was our deacon here from 1992-94, is being ordained to the priesthood in Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.  Jim reached out to church with an invitation, and a request for our prayers.  The ordination will be June 15, 2019 at 10:30AM at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in Harrisburg, PA.  An invitation posted in the parish hall provides more information. 

† 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)!

† 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 11AM.

† 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! 

            June 16– What is liturgy, anyway? 

            June 23– Morning Prayer vs. Holy Eucharist, a duel to the death?

            July 7– Does changing the room change how liturgy feels?

            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.

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.

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.