Acts of the Apostles – 02/14/2021

Week of February 14, 2021

This Sunday

10AM Holy Eucharist
Limited to 20 in-person attendees – Social distancing and masks required – Sign Up
Watch the broadcast on our YouTube channel
Service Material can be found on our website
Scripture readings – Last Sunday after Epiphany – Celebrating the Feast of Absalom Jones
Isaiah 42:5–9
Psalm 126
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
John 15:12–15

A Note from the Rector

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday this week (see the Ash Wednesday plan here).  I’ve chosen to center our Lenten offerings this year around a theme: “Monastic Wisdom for Non-Monastics in an Anxious World.”  Ok, it’s a long-winded theme, but stick with me. 

I am aware that our perceptions and notions of monks and nuns are going to vary widely.  Some of us were educated in Roman Catholic schools where you had monastics teachers.  I know that some of you had excellent experiences, and some not so much.  Others of you will know that there is a long tradition of monasticism in Anglicanism, and might be curious about that or other traditions.  Others may not have any reference point or knowledge of monasticism outside of bits and pieces picked up at church or from popular culture.  Monasticism is a pretty wild idea, actually.  The idea that there are people who feel called to make some kind of commitment to live a different kind of life, “in the world, but not of the world,” together in a community (or as a hermit), following a rule of life that includes enormous amounts of prayer and study, holding personal possessions in common, and agreeing to be celibate—all of this is very counter-cultural.  Monasticism may seem like a rarified pursuit, far removed from the experiences and concerns of us, and our parish.  In reality, I believe the opposite is true.  [more]

Services

You can view our live-stream on our YouTube channel.  
A link to this video will be posted to Facebook.
To attend in person, please sign up to reserve your spot.

Sunday, February 14, 2021 – Last Sunday after the Epiphany,
Celebrating the Feast of Absalom Jones 

Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Prayers of Spiritual Communion 10AM
Live-streamed, In-person attendance limited to 20
The Rev. James Stambaugh, celebrant & preacher

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 – Ash Wednesday
Ashes to Go 8:00-9:15AM
In the church parking lot. Please see last week’s “A Note from the Rector” for details on the safe practices that will be in place.

Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Prayers of Spiritual Communion 12:15PM
Live-streamed, In-person attendance limited to 20
The Rev. James Stambaugh, celebrant & preacher

Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Prayers of Spiritual Communion 6:30PM
Live-streamed, In-person attendance limited to 20
The Rev. James Stambaugh, celebrant & preacher

Sunday, February 21, 2021 – 1st Sunday of Lent
Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Prayers of Spiritual Communion 10AM
Live-streamed, In-person attendance limited to 20
The Rev. James Stambaugh, celebrant & preacher

The BCP Daily Office
Tuesdays in Lent – Feb 23, Mar 2, Mar 9, Mar 16, Mar 23, Mar 30
 8:30 AM – Morning Prayer – YouTube
12:00 PM – Noonday Prayer – Zoom
 5:30 PM – Evening Prayer – YouTube
 7:30 PM – Compline – Zoom

Zoom Compline is held every night at 7:30PM
A brief time of prayer and checking in with other members of CHA
“Zoom Compline has been really helped me through this difficult time.  It’s such a great way to close the day.” – CHA Member
Follow this link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/233415613?pwd=dTBDeUhrUUdSak9MS3RUaXdDSDhpUT09
or call into the meeting toll-free 1-888-475-4499 
Callers will be promoted to enter this meeting ID: 233 415 613
and passcode: love

Zoom Bible Studyis held every Thursday at 11AM
We are just starting a combined study of the Books of Daniel and Revelation. Now is a great time to join us as we get ready to discover a new view on the never-changing promises of God. 
Follow this link to join:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/788355291?pwd=R2FQRWltZ01LWG92WGtPSm54cXJSUT09
or call 1-888-475-4499 US Toll-free
You will be prompted to enter this meeting ID: 788 355 291
and passcode: love
*note: the passcode for all CHA Zoom meetings is “love”

Outreach – Up Next

Lenten Service Projects
Objective:
To show continued support for helping with
food scarcity issues in the community

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,
for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16 NRSV

Connect by Night
We would like to provide some simple suppers, reminiscent of our own Soup Group Nights at CHA. 
What: Simple Suppers – 2 events
When: Wednesday, February 17 and Wednesday, March 10
Menu: Multiple crocks of soup for 10-12, Crusty bread, Cheese plate, Fresh Fruit

Still needed for THIS WEDNESDAY, February 17:
2 more crocks of soup
Fresh Fruit – preferably whole oranges, apples, grapes

Please contact Cassie to volunteer to provide for one or both of these dinners!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Darby Mission
During Lent our goal is to help stock and replenish the Darby mission Food Pantry and School Supplies. Below is a “top ten” list of items that would be required to meet the needs of Rev. Doris’ clients. Other non-perishable items also accepted. Children and Youth could be encouraged to concentrate on school supplies while the Adults of the congregation could take on the food and personal hygiene items.  
School Supplies most needed: crayons, glue sticks, composition notebooks, pencils 
Food and Hygiene items most needed: pasta, pasta sauce, tuna, cereal, tampons 

Drop off locations:
In or near the designated box in the church narthex 
27 Kathmere Rd, Havertown
Ship directly to CHA when ordering on line

Collection will run from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday. If you can offer to be an additional collection location, please contact Cassie.

THANK YOU for your continued support of those in need in our communities.
Cassie Woestman, Outreach Chairperson, contact info:
Email: grammysqrd@gmail.com
Phone/Text: 610-608-5440

Announcements

+ Lenten Services – Follow the [more] link on the Note from the Rector to get all the information on services being offered from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday.

+ Lenten Reading – Lent starts this week!  This year you are invited to participate in an All Parish Book Reading and Discussion. We will read a short, intriguing, and enjoyable book by Esther De Waal entitled Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict (Liturgical Press, 1984, updated 2001) There will be two opportunities to discuss this book together via Zoom on Sunday March 7th and Sunday March 21st,  after the morning service. You are also welcome just to read the book on your own! You can find the book on Amazon or at an independent bookstore such as Eighth Day Books or Hearts and Minds Books.

+ Church Service Attendance – Based on guidelines from Bishop Daniel and a corresponding vote by your Vestry, beginning February 7 the maximum number of attendees will be raised to 20 persons. Masks and appropriate distancing will continue to be observed. We look forward to seeing you back at church if you feel comfortable there. Services will also continue to be livestreamed. Please note that you must pre-register to attend service to allow us to  continue keeping with our safe practices. If you are serving (organist, reader, cantor, tech, usher, etc.) please remember to sign up as well.

+ Sunday School: Sunday School will be held online via Zoom on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month for preschool (5 years old) through 8th grade.  You can join Sunday School using this link (all ages welcome):  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89142013163?pwd=WFpJVDlZVFJhOUVVa1gxQ2k0djVndz09
We’re looking for more teachers! If you would like to be involved in this exciting ministry, contact Peter Patton: pmpatton307@gmail.com

+ Bible Study: Every Thursday at 11AM (currently on Zoom). We are just starting a combined study of the Books of Daniel and Revelation. Now is a great time to join us as we get ready to discover a new view on the never-changing promises of God. . Join us anytime using this link: 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/788355291?pwd=R2FQRWltZ01LWG92WGtPSm54cXJSUT09

+ Girl Scout Cookies are here! Click here to place an online order or go to: 
https://app.abcsmartcookies.com/#/social-link-landing/d209b161-8f30-4958-aa36-8807e0d457b1  You can choose shipping, or girl delivery with a credit card. You can also contact Michelle Gallagher directly and use cash, check, Venmo, PayPal, etc. Emma can deliver or set up a time to meet (socially distanced) in the church parking lot.  Emma Gallagher says “thank you for your support of our troop!” Cookie sales run from January 21- March 14.

+ One Love: Our diocese has created an online platform where you can find inspirational videos, sermons by the bishop and other clergy, and online services.  Visit DioPA One Love Online: https://episcopalpa.online.church

+Eucharistic Visits: During this time, the rector and trained Eucharistic ministers may visit others to bring them the Eucharist. Meeting in outdoor spaces of homes will be preferred.  Contact the rector if you would like to schedule a visit. 

+Giving: You can still mail pledge contributions to the church at this time.  The mail is checked regularly.  You can also securely give online.  Go to holyapostlespa.org and click on the “Give” button on the top right hand corner of the webpage.  

+ Online Worship: Online worship continues!  We will be live-streaming each Sunday at 10AM.  We will be calling on our virtual choir to provide music for us, and there will be occasional readings from members at home.  It’s all happening on our YouTube Channel. Be sure to hit the SUBSCRIBE button!

+ Happy Birthday! The following folks have birthdays in the month of February.
6th      Carter Grant
12th    Jamieson Henderson
17th    Mike Johnson
19th    Annie Neff
          Jamison Grant
23rd    Lyn DeSilets
          Lucas Johnson
24th    Jeremiah Mustered
27th    Meg Delevan
          Alice Vroome
28th    Braeden Wherry
          Colin Vroome
If your birthday, or the birthday of another parishioner in your family is missing, please notify the Parish Office at holyapostlespa@gmail.com

Our mailing address is:
1020 Remington Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096 

A Note from the Rector – 02/14/2021

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday this week (see the Ash Wednesday plan here).  I’ve chosen to center our Lenten offerings this year around a theme: “Monastic Wisdom for Non-Monastics in an Anxious World.”  Ok, it’s a long-winded theme, but stick with me. 

I am aware that our perceptions and notions of monks and nuns are going to vary widely.  Some of us were educated in Roman Catholic schools where you had monastics teachers.  I know that some of you had excellent experiences, and some not so much.  Others of you will know that there is a long tradition of monasticism in Anglicanism, and might be curious about that or other traditions.  Others may not have any reference point or knowledge of monasticism outside of bits and pieces picked up at church or from popular culture.  Monasticism is a pretty wild idea, actually.  The idea that there are people who feel called to make some kind of commitment to live a different kind of life, “in the world, but not of the world,” together in a community (or as a hermit), following a rule of life that includes enormous amounts of prayer and study, holding personal possessions in common, and agreeing to be celibate—all of this is very counter-cultural.  Monasticism may seem like a rarified pursuit, far removed from the experiences and concerns of us, and our parish.  In reality, I believe the opposite is true.  There is much profound wisdom in the Christian monastic tradition that has a great deal to do with us in our current situation.  This can offer us a lot of wisdom, solace, and strength during this extended period of pandemic related crisis.  So, I am not asking anyone to become a monk or nun for Lent.  Instead, I am inviting us all to explore how monastic wisdom can enrich our own lives as we live them in our present circumstances. 

The core commitment and center piece of monasticism is also the inspiration and centerpiece of the Book of Common Prayer: daily prayer.  The Book of Common Prayer was designed to take the monastic cycle of daily prayer and put it within the reach of non-monastic Christians like you and me.  This cycle of prayer is called the Daily Office. During the pandemic, many of us have rediscovered the power and joy of one of these monastic prayer offices called Compline.  During Lent, I am inviting everyone to explore the Daily Office as it is given to us in the Book of Common Prayer.  This Office includes Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer (said around dusk), and Compline (said at bedtime or roundabouts).  For some, this daily prayer practice will be new.  I would suggest trying out each of these services in turn.  The easiest way to start might be joining us for nightly Compline.  There are also many apps, websites, podcasts, and books that can help you understand how to use the Book of Common Prayer on your own, and I will be posting links to these resources here: www.holyapostlespa.org/lent.  Some might want to try to pray more than one Office every day during Lent.  Some might want to try praying them all, at least once in a while.  To facilitate this, I will be leading the entire Daily Office on Tuesdays during Lent starting February 23rd.  Morning and Evening Prayer will be livestreamed to our YouTube channel.  Noonday Prayer and Compline (both quite short) will be prayed on Zoom using the same link that we use for Compline now.  The schedule can be found below.  There are also many other online opportunities to join other communities in daily prayer, including Holy Apostles and the Mediator, the Diocesan staff, and many parishes in this diocese, and indeed, around the world.  As we go along, I will be finding and sharing some of these opportunities (feel free to send me ones that you have found).  I encourage you to pray these services with me, and/or explore the riches of this essentially monastic tradition on your own. 

We are also reading a book together this Lent.  The book is called Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict by Esther DeWaal.  This book, which is written for non-monastics and for non-specialists, will help us explore one of the many monastic traditions and bodies of wisdom, Benedictine Monasticism, from the perspective of what it has to say to us in our context.  There will be two opportunities to discuss this book together via Zoom on Sunday March 7th and Sunday March 21st, after the morning service. 

One piece of Benedictine monastic wisdom is that spirituality must be balanced.  It must fit holistically and realistically into one’s life.  This year, with online school and childcare shaping and limiting my schedule, leading a weeknight class during Lent isn’t going to work for me and my family.  My dance card is full, as my grandmother used to say.  But, I hope that reading this short, insightful book will be a rewarding experience instead of our normal “Soup Group” class and discussion. 

I will use my weekly Notes from the Rector to highlight some other aspects of the broader monastic tradition and look for other resources to share with you.  For instance, there are a number of fascinating documentaries and fictional movies about monasticism that you might find interesting.  I’ll share some of them with you as we go along. 

God willing, during Holy Week (schedule below) we will be able to continue to have limited in-person gatherings.  The exact details of our services will need to be flexible and take into account what is happening in our world and community.  One way or the other, we will hold our Holy Week services as well as other Lenten devotions such as the Stations of the Cross, the Rosary (perhaps), and the all-night prayer vigil starting on the night of Maundy Thursday. 

I look forward to this journey of preparation for Easter with all of you.  Lent is a time of introspection and self-reflection.  It is a time of study and fasting.  It is a time of taking up things that are valuable and real, and letting go of illusions and other things that hinder us on our journey toward God.  I am always available to listen to your spiritual concerns, hear your confession, and offer God’s absolution.  I can also easily arrange for another priest to hear confession if that is preferable.  Lent is a particularly good time for this sort of internal spiritual work.  I’m here if you need me.   

The BCP Daily Office
Tuesdays in Lent

8:30AM – Morning Prayer – YouTube
12PM – Noonday Prayer – Zoom
5:30PM – Evening Prayer – YouTube
7:30PM – Compline – Zoom

Holy Week & Easter Schedule

Palm Sunday – March 28
Holy Eucharist with Blessing of the Palms, Procession, and Passion Reading – 10AM

Tuesday –  March 30
Stations of the Cross – TBD
Chrism Mass (Philadelphia Cathedral, virtual) – TBD

Wednesday – March 31
Stations of the Cross – TBD
Tenebrae – 6:30PM

Maundy Thursday – April 1
Stations of the Cross – TBD
Agape Meal, Holy Eucharist & the Stripping of the Altar – 6:30PM
The Altar of Repose & All Night Vigil (virtual and in-person)

Good Friday – April 2
Stations of the Cross – TBD
Service of Readings and Meditations – 12PM
Good Friday Liturgy with Music and Veneration of the Cross – 6:30PM

Holy Saturday – April 3
Holy Saturday Liturgy – 9:15AM
Easter Vigil – 8PM

Easter Morning – April 4
Festival Eucharist  – 10AM

A Note from the Rector – 02/07/2021

2021 is slipping away so quickly, it seems.  It’s almost time for Lent.   Ash Wednesday is February 17th.  Following diocesan guidelines, the vestry and I have decided to move forward with the distribution of ashes in a way that mitigates the risk of potential coronavirus transmission.  There will be three opportunities to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday.  The first will be “Ashes to Go” in the morning.  Between 8am and 9:15am, you will have the opportunity to drive or walk to church, where you will find me standing near the parking lot.  To avoid contact, I will use a Q-tip to impose ashes on your forehead, and will say the familiar words from the prayer book.  We’ll all be wearing masks (maybe even two masks) the whole time, and my ashen Q tips will be single use. 

There will also be two more traditional Ash Wednesday services at 12:15 and 6:30PM.  These services of Eucharist will also include the imposition of ashes by Q-tip in the same manner.  Services will limited to 20 people, and you will need to sign up in order to come

Anglicans have often been a little skeptical of ashes anyway.  The 1979 Book of Common Prayer is the first to include the option to impose Ashes on Ash Wednesday, and including this option was very controversial at the time.  Many Episcopalians at the time felt like the idea of Ash Wednesday violated Jesus’ commandment in Matthew 6: “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them… whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting” (in order to build in some intentional irony and self-reflection, Matthew 6 is the Gospel reading for the Ash Wednesday service).  On the other hand, many others have felt that the visceral, fragile, and potent reminder that ashes provide us is important, nonetheless.  This strange ritual reminds us of our own mortality, of the mortality of our loved ones, and even the mortality of the people that we see walking around us.  It is physical reminder of the fragility and preciousness of life; the need to trust in God; the need to care for and cherish others; the need to live life now, with what we’ve got, while we’ve got it; to not take tomorrow for granted—ashes on the forehead really do it for some folks.  It can be a powerful and holy way to begin Lent, that season of preparation before the glory of Easter. 

So, I am offering this weird symbol to those for whom it is important.  I do believe that physical things, like ashes, like candles, can communicate important things and can ultimately help us receive God grace in our lives.  When it comes to the sacraments—the waters of baptism, the bread and wine of Eucharist—my confidence and commitment are magnified significantly.  Ultimately, this is because I believe that God became human in Jesus Christ and made material things, matter, matter.  They matter in such a way that transcends our fragility and mortality and touches upon the divine.  I’m staking my life on that.  I believe in all of this so much that I’m willing to hang out outside in the cold and put ashes on your forehead with a Q tip.  That being said, the safest thing is to watch the service online, especially for those of us who are might be particularly vulnerable to serious illness because of coronavirus.  We’ll take every precaution, but there’s always risk.  So, I’ll be here if you need me.  But ashes or not, regardless of me or you or what we do, God’s love for us is always nearby.  God is always very near. 

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+

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.

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.

 

 

Announcements for 2/24/19

Today

The Seventh Sunday after Epiphany—

Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 10AM

Celebrant & preacher, The Rev. James Stambaugh, Rector

Holy Apostles supports Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) with loose plate offerings collected on the fourth Sunday of each month.  Thank you for your contributions.

Upcoming Events

March 3 -World Mission Sunday

March 5 -Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner

March 6 -Ash Wednesday

March 13 – “Soup Group” begins

Announcements

Worship

† Next week is World Mission Sunday (see this week’s edition of A Note from the Bishop).

† 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!

† There will be no morning prayer February 26-28.  Morning Prayer will resume March 1.

† 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.

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”

† There will be no Bible Study this week.  Bible Study is normally held on Thursdays at 11AM.

Diocesan Events

† 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lenten Offerings 2018

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

Ash Wednesday – February 14

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

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

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

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

Wednesday Night Study Group

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

6:30PM in the Memorial Room

February 21 – Varieties of Prayer

February 28 – Confession

March 7 – Intercessory prayer

March 14 – Contemplative prayer

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

Lenten Reading

Featured Book: The Practice of Prayer by Margaret Guenther

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

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

Seeing the World Aright

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

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

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

Daily Devotional

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

Stations of the Cross

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

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

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

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

Holy Week & Easter

Palm Sunday –

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

Tuesday –

Morning Prayer – 9AM

Tenebrae – 6:30PM

Wednesday

Holy Eucharist – 7:30AM

Maundy Thursday –

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

Good Friday

Stations of the Cross – 7:30AM

Potential Ecumenical Good Friday Service

Good Friday Liturgy – 6:30PM

Holy Saturday

Easter Vigil followed by Champagne Reception – 8PM

Easter Morning

Festival Eucharist with Baptism – 10AM

 

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