Announcements for December 2008
Announcements for December 2008 - 12/01/08

News about the Potential New Church Property
Weekly bulletins will be provided

The Akathist Hymn Honoring our Heavenly Patrons
Reader Isaac Lambertsen has composed an akathist in honor of our patron Saints “Paul and the assembly of the twelve” (from our festal Kontakion). Our regular Wednesday moleben (prayer service) will be alternatively dedicated to the Holy Apostles and the Mother of God. For both these intentions, please join us to help intensify our prayer together, to further bind us as a family and as a body of “prayer warriors.” In these services, as in our daily prayers, we should remember Isaac especially now when he is undergoing extensive procedures to benefit and preserve his sight.

The Visit of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God
Father George will retrieve the icon from Father Victor Potapov’s house on the morning of the 15th, Monday. From that time until the evening vigil in honor of the Mother of God’s icon, we hope to visit our shut-in population and, if not doing that, to have the icon at the church and pray frequently before it. After Tuesday’s Liturgy, Father George will convey the icon to Holy Transfiguration parish in Baltimore for an Akathist Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, the icon will be back at Holy Apostles from 10 until 5, when Father George will return the icon to St. John the Baptist.

Visiting the Sick and Shut-ins
Our sister, Elisabeth Chisholm, and is not able to easily get to Church. Please keep her in your prayers. Please call her when you can. She would also appreciate a visit.

Parish Groups and Activities
Holy Apostles welcomes participants in a number of groups and activities. Please see the leader or coordinator listed for more information.
Choir – Take this opportunity to be the “voice of the Church” – Rehearsals are on Thursday evenings at 7 – Please contact the director, Reader Christopher Johnson, to find out more.
Sunday School and other catechesis - There are three classes for children and young people. Adult catachesis will be taught by Father George. Adult catechesis is regularly available after the regular Wednesday evening Moleben. This will be tailored to the needs of those in attendance.
Sunday Luncheon Signup – Every Sunday after Divine Liturgy, we sit down together for a communal meal. This is a traditional and vital part of our community’s life and everyone regularly participating should take a turn to prepare the meal for us all. Please speak to Matushka Anastasia for further details.
Cleaning the church - If you would like to help with church cleaning, please speak to Matushka Anastasia. Please volunteer to help out with cleaning the church.
St. Joseph the Patriarch Young Adults Group - Please contact reader Christopher Johnson if you would like to find out more about this group which was founded for young adult Orthodox Christians from the greater DC metropolitan area, ages approximately 18-35.

Sunday School Development Program – Matushka Deborah, Matushka Anastasia and Dorothy Dillon are attending a course based on the philosophy of Sofia Cavalleti contained in her book “The Religious Potential of the Child.” Work has already been done elsewhere that demonstrates the adaptability of her work to Orthodox catachesis. The course sessions will be for ten months, one Saturday per month, starting Saturday the 20th of September. Please make a donation to support this effort (indicating so with a note accompanying cash, or on a check’s memo line). Please also keep the Matushkas and Dorothy in your prayers for this effort.

We take very seriously the apostolic admonitions regarding preparation for receiving Holy Communion, or the Holy Mysteries. This is manifested in the tradition of making a confession at Church the evening before we intend to receive the Holy Mysteries as part of that preparation. This practice coincides with another part of our preparation: attendance at the All-Night Vigil. If, however, because of distance or other considerations (pre-arranged with Father George), it is necessary to confess on Sunday morning before the Liturgy, we should arrive at church for this purpose no later than 9:15. Also, it is necessary if one is unable to attend vigil, that Saturday evening be spent quietly and prayerfully, preparing for confession and reading the pre-Communion prayers. We should do our best to preserve the traditions of our Church and to be considerate of others by not causing a delay in the beginning of Divine Liturgy.

Dressing for Church
While it is important to feel at home in one’s parish, it is also important to remember that when we gather for services, we are here for prayer and the worship of God. In this light, there are traditional customs of dress that should be observed. No one who is not a small child should wear shorts. Girls and women should wear head coverings and skirts. Shirts and blouses should cover the shoulders. Any clothing that is revealing or on the borderline of modesty is not appropriate. Slogans should not appear on apparel. A Church service is neither the time nor the place for advertisement or self-promotion.
Purchase of Candles, Prosphora and Other Items
Please remember when buying anything from the church to record the item, quantity, and $ amount on the columned paper at the candle stand. Also indicate on the check memo line, or on a slip of paper with your name attached to cash, what a donation is for. By so doing, you will be helping our Treasurer immensely in the accounting.

Good Stewards, Good Neighbors – Membership at Holy Apostles
A standard element of the Orthodox Christian life is membership in an Orthodox parish. Parish membership is the way to demonstrate the seriousness of our commitment to maintain not only our individual or household Orthodox life, but to maintain our mutual Orthodox life as a parish community, or, as the Holy Apostle puts it, to “bear… one another’s burdens.” By committing to keeping the parish supplied and in place, we are instruments of God’s providence. At the same time that we give of our substance, we provide the proper circumstances to supply each other’s spiritual needs. If you regularly attend services, please consider also that being one of the living stones that St. Peter speaks of entails material contribution. We read in the Acts of the Holy Apostles, that time when the spiritual temperature of the new-born Church was at its height, that the members gave very generously of their substance, in fact, they gave everything. While we do not live in their circumstances and are not now called upon to pool everything for the sake of physical survival, we do live in a time of great spiritual incoherence and frequent hostility to the Christian Faith.
We each need, therefore, to do all we can to secure, maintain and grow our parish so that it may continue to serve as a harbor for those who seek spiritual peace and refuge from the stormy sea of this life. A good foundation for stewardship is the tithe - 10% of our income. Some of us are doing this already. Those who tithe can testify that God takes care of such benefactors. First of all, they are remembered in prayer at every Divine Service. Let all who read this be stimulated to become one among the choir of benefactors. To become a member of the parish, please see our Treasurer, Damian Dantinne.

Our Building Fund
We have a building fund. We hope and pray, that one day with God’s help, we will be able to restore and make useful the St. Joseph’s chapel and re-dedicate it to our patron saints, the Holy Apostles, to the glory of God. Eventually we hope to also build a parish hall and a larger new temple on the same grounds. To this end, we ask that our parishioners and friends keep this prayer in their daily prayers. We also ask that contributions targeted for the building fund be made, over and above our regular pledging, indicating so on the memo line of a check, or through a note attached to other means of giving. According to His will, may God grant us to see the day of the dedication of a new church.

A Flyer to Invite Visitors
We have a flyer available for you to hand out or post on bulletin boards, regarding our newly remodeled church. One is included in this monthly bulletin, and more are available at the candlestand. Please invite a friend to come visit our church. We want to fill our new space!

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