The seasonal newsletter of Prince of Peace Episcopal Church
Prince of Peace, 5700 Rudnick Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Tel: 818-346-6968 Fax: 818-346-3349
As Christmas has become more exhausting and commercialized, many people find that keeping a preparatory season of Advent helps them stay focused and recover something of the mystery and excitement that Christmas ought to have. This year at Prince of Peace, we will have a special Advent Evening Prayer service Tuesday nights to help with this focus. As we approach the darkest time of the year (in the northern hemisphere), Advent offers a gleam of light and hope.
But Advent can also be puzzling. Advent means coming or arrival. Hymns and readings this season are about two quite different things: waiting for the first coming, the birth of Jesus, and waiting for his second coming to put everything right. How do you make wise, prayerful sense of it all?
The early Christians develop the church year as a way of telling, learning and reliving the story of Jesus, which stand as the heart of our faith. In Advent we think back to the ancient people of God, the call of Abraham and his family as the start of God’s rescue operation for a world in ruins and a human race in chaos. We follow Israel’s hope, a hope that refused to die no matter what terrible things happened; a hope that the first Christians believed had become human in the baby Jesus. This rescue operation had begun but was not yet completed. Jesus launched God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven through his life, death, and resurrection. But it was clear that the mission was ongoing and that Jesus' followers, through humble loving service, would carry on God’s work until the time when Jesus returned to finish it, to put all things right, to banish evil and death forever, and to bring heaven and earth together.
We live in the time between the first and second advent. Advent is a time where we go back to check our bearings and to go forward on the path as people who follow Jesus.
May we be an Advent people who bring light in a darkened world, people who bring hope in times and places of despair. May we be a people who follow Jesus.
Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve.
The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First (Coming) Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second (Coming) Advent. Advent celebrates a truth about God, the revelation of God in Jesus whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a congregation, as they affirm that Jesus has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power. We acknowledge this in the Nicene Creed almost weekly.
Advent is a time of preparation that is marked by prayer. While Lent is characterized by fasting and a spirit of penitence, Advent’s prayers are prayers of humble devotion and commitment, prayers of submission, prayers for deliverance, prayers from those walking in darkness who are awaiting and anticipating a great light (Isa 9)! Historically, the primary color of Advent is Purple. This is the color of penitence and fasting as well as the color of royalty to welcome the Advent of the King.
Among all the festivals and holidays of the Christian Church year, Christmas remains the most observed and most popular. Historically, Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth to a young maiden from Galilee. Theologically, Christmas is the celebration of the incarnation of God in Jesus the Christ, the self-revelation of God to the world in human form for the reconciliation of humanity to Himself. All the details of the various accounts concerning Jesus’ birth revolve around that central truth.
While we most often think about Christmas as a single day, it is actually a season of the year, which begins at sunset on Christmas Eve, December 24, and lasts through January 5. Since this time includes 12 days, the season of Christmas is known in many places as the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Observed on January 6th, the Epiphany celebration remembers the three miracles that manifest the divinity of Christ. The name "Epiphany" comes from the Greek word Epiphania, and means "to show, make known, or reveal." The feast unites three events in the life of Christ when His divinity shines through His humanity: the adoration of the Magi; the baptism of Christ in the Jordan; and the first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. The colors of Epiphany are usually the colors of Christmas, white and gold, the colors of celebration, newness, and hope that mark the most sacred days of the church year.
Advent, Christmas and Epiphany
6:30am – Holy Communion in the Chapel
This service is ½ hour long followed by a continental breakfast. A great service for anyone who wants spiritual refreshment for the middle of the week.
December 2 – Advent 1
8 and 10am – Holy Communion
December 9 – Advent 2
8 and 10am – Holy Communion
December 16 – Advent 3
8 and 10am – Holy Communion
10am – Children’s Christmas Pageant “The Christmas Window"
Sunday, December 23 – Advent 4
8 and 10am – Holy Communion
Monday, December 24
December 25 – Christmas Day
8 and 10am – Holy Communion
6pm– Annual Twelfth Night Handbell Concert
January 13 – The First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ
8 and 10am – Holy Communion
10am – Holy Baptism
8 and 10am – Holy Communion
January 27 – The Third Sunday after the Epiphany
9am – Holy Communion followed by the Annual Meeting of the Parish
Holy Communion with the imposition of ashes:
6:30am – Chapel
Noon – Sanctuary
7pm – Sanctuary
Ashes To Go. Teams will be on the northeast corner of Topanga Canyon and Ventura Boulevards from 8am to 6pm offering the imposition of ashes to anyone and everyone who stops by. Contact George Packer for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Next Baptism will be Sunday, January 13, The Feast of the Baptism of our Lord. If you are interested in the Sacrament of Baptism for yourself or are inquiring for someone else, please contact the parish office at 818-346-6968.
Thanks and blessings to Ann Gillinger, who has graciously agreed to continue as our Office Administrator, Monday - Thursday. Katherine Geeslin will continue to work from home as our Communications Director.
Special thanks to office volunteers: Amal Girgis, Pat Narciso, Leslie Yannetti, Patti Crawford, Sue Bridges, Jesslyn Bothwell and Linda Armstrong who faithfully keep the office in running order.
Thanks and blessings to our retiring Vestry members: Ann Gillinger, Leslie Yannetti and Colette Rosario.
A Special Thank You! To you our devoted Champion Teachers who lovingly donate one or more Sundays a month to share God’s word with our POP children. Champion Leaders; Alma Fountain, Kevin Fountain, Patty Papps, Connie Bartz, Marge Stanton, Richard Muniz, Nova Heiss, Susan Bishop, Karen King, Elizabeth & Caroline Bates. Preschool: Mike & Margie Pavlowsky.
Sunday, January 6 would be a great day to invite your friends to join you for worship and fellowship! Mark your calendars and plan to attend this special event!
Rand Reasoner ✞
Secret Prayer Partners
The women who join Secret Prayer Partners (SPP's) are asking for prayers and seeking spiritual growth through prayer for others. The SECRET is that you don't know who is praying for you until the reveal at the annual Christmas party.
In January, questionnaires are given out and returned to the SPP chairperson. These questionnaires, available in the church office, have the information needed, such as what to pray for, special dates and anything else that person would like to share. Once the questionnaires are received, partners are assigned by random selection. Then the questionnaires are sent to their respective partners. It is recommended that a note or card be sent once a month to let their partner know they are being thought of and being prayed for. Throughout the year, correspondence and personal contact is carried out secretly.
This Christmas, SPP's Christmas party and gift exchange will be held on Saturday, December 8 at 12pm in the Family Center. It is during the gift exchange that the identities are revealed. Each member is asked to bring a wrapped gift ($20 is the recommended maximum amount) with a card on the outside. The card should contain clues as to the identity of the sender. Each partner reads the clues aloud, makes a guess as to who has been sending her notes and then opens the gift. There will be a card on the inside revealing the name of her partner.
SPP's was formed to bring our women into a closer fellowship and deeper spiritual awareness of each other's needs. ALL WOMEN AT POP ARE INVITED TO JOIN. Won't you consider this opportunity?
As Senior Warden, I am so grateful for the many blessings of fellowship, insight, and commitment of the parish members who share their time, talents, and treasure to help shepherd the POP community through the challenges of “living life together” as Jesus guided us. Whether it is considering the many facets of the budgeting process, or deciding how to welcome our neighbors while limiting their activities on our beautiful campus, these fellow travelers are intentionally meeting and praying together to keep us safe and maintain our aging buildings and infrastructure. Working together like this has been a big part of growing my understanding of The Way of Love that our Bishop has set out to guide us in following Jesus.
My personal path this coming year will represent a change from “filling in” for our wonderful Katherine Geeslin, to assuming the duties of the Office Administrator as Katherine works from home in a newly defined role as Communications Director for the parish. How blessed I am to have this amazing lady see her path lead to a new way of serving our parish and be able to work alongside her. I am grateful for the time and opportunity to work through this evolution for the support of our wonderful church family and Father Rand. Please pray for us as we work together in these new roles.
Ann Gillinger, Senior Warden ✞
The Annual Meeting of the Parish
The 2018 Annual Meeting will follow the 9am Worship Service on Sunday, January 27. At this meeting we will present the 2019 budget, share ministries and elect new members to the Vestry (Board of Directors). Please plan to attend and take part in the counsels of the church.
Congratulations to our Vestry nominees: Richard Muniz, Rebecca Packer and Joyce Prescott. Learn more about them below:
Richard L. Muniz
I come from a military family so moving from duty station to duty station every 3 to 5 years was common at the time. Hence, I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and spent most of my formative years in Germany and El Paso, Texas.
During my senior year at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), I joined the Army Reserve on a delayed entry. Once I graduated and completed my basic and advanced training for the Army Reserve, I decided to move to Los Angeles to find work. I arrived in Burbank, California on January 2, 1990 and was soon hired as a Disability Claims Adjuster, which continues to be my vocation to this day. I completed my Army Reserve service in February 1996.
I met my wife Roya, when we both worked at UnumProvident Insurance Company in May 2000. We married in May 2004 and our daughter Hannah was born in April 2008.
I was originally baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church. Roya was born in Iran and raised in the Shia Muslim faith. I started attending the Prince of Peace Episcopal Church(POP) in July 2011. Roya and Hannah were baptized at POP in April 2012. Roya and I were confirmed in April 2018.
While I was raised in the Catholic Church, other than going to church on Sunday, I never really belonged to a church community until I became a member at POP. I am involved with the ministries for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, Worship Without Walls, The Men’s Choir, I have facilitated Bible Study classes, and I am LEM. I am also involved with the Dinner Club and occasionally cook for the Community Dinner.
My family is also involved at POP as my wife is the Panty Supervisor and my daughter is an acolyte. I thank you for your nomination and I would be honored to serve as a Vestry member.
I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in which I was baptized and confirmed as catholic with my parents and 2 siblings. I am the oldest of the 3. We were not 'regular' attenders of church but I knew there was something more to that than just 'being' catholic. In 2005, as an adult, when my father and mother were both ill, I began to question whether or not just 'being' catholic meant anything. As I pondered, and questioned, I then decided to commit myself to get re-baptized, as on adult, in a non- denominational Christian church in Porter Ranch, California. I was baptized in March of 2005 and my father passed away in September of 2005. I attended there for 7 years where my faith and love for Jesus grew.
My husband introduced me to the wonderful community of Prince of Peace shortly before we got married. He has attended Prince of Peace since he was very young. Together we attended several events at the Prince of Peace community before we decided to get married at Price of Peace Church in June of 2012. Our son George Packer V (the fifth), was also baptized at Prince of Peace. His Grandfather, Deacon George Packer III (the third) baptized him. We have been attending services since and decided to make Prince of Peace our new 'home' Church. Most recently, I have also been 'received' into the Episcopal Church presided by the honorable Bishop John H. Taylor.
Aside from being a wife and mother of our little boy, I have worked in the in the residential mortgage industry just shy of 18 years and continue to do so for a major Bank. I manage 38 Bank branches specifically in the mortgage division. I am responsible for the sales of my 17 direct reports. Those 17 direct reports originate loans of purchase and refinances for residents all over the country.
I believe God has put me through all my experiences, adventures, challenges and has blessed me with my talents to share with the rest of my faith community specifically here at Prince of Peace. I would be honored to serve the Lord through the vestry.
I grew up in a small town outside of Rockford, Illinois called Roscoe. I was baptized and confirmed in the First United Methodist Church as a child. Bill and I were married in that same church almost fifty years ago! He was raised in a small town outside of Chicago, but we met at Eastern Illinois University in the southern part of the state in the theatre arts department. We moved to California in 1974 and have attended many different churches during that time. We came to Prince of Peace 25 years ago and were both recently confirmed by Bishop Taylor. Our three children were married here as well. This is where we have our roots!
I recently retired from a teaching career that has spanned well over three decades in various private schools across the Los Angeles area. While my career has been in mostly third and fourth grade, my passion for theatre is probably one of ways that most POP members know me. I love to tell Bible stories at VBS every year and help with creating a Christmas pageant. Bill has also convinced me to do a little acting with the Prince’s Players once in a while. Among other responsibilities over the years, I have served as a greeter, a clergy prayer person and as a part of the healing ministry. Recently I joined the Days for Girls group and truly enjoy that service.
Outside of teaching and church activities, I am a passionate reader, enjoy sewing, and especially love working out at our family’s gym. They have even convinced me to add my clerical skills in the office for a few hours a week since my retirement. Additionally, Bill and I enjoy hiking through many of the southern California mountains whenever we have the chance.
I feel blessed with strength of mind and body and look forward to being a part of the vestry next year. It will truly be a privilege to serve.
From 7 to 8 pm on Tuesdays, November 27, December 4, 11, and 18, a service of Evening Prayer, brief meditation on the upcoming Sunday Gospel lesson, spiritual direction, and music will be offered. It will be an hour to come away from the business that can capture this time of year and will offer an opportunity to focus on what was spoken about in the From the Rector article. Hope to see you in the stillness of the Chapel Tuesday Evenings in Advent.
Children & Families Ministry
email@example.com (818) 346-6968
This Advent Season our children will be learning the meaning of Advent and lighting our Advent wreath during class each week.
Calling all Children, Youth & Parents!
The Christmas Window’
Our Prince of Peace children will be presenting a Christmas pageant called; ‘The Christmas Window’ on Sunday, December 16th at the 10am service. We will be rehearsing Sundays, December 2 & 9. Please make sure your child attends the practices, so they will feel comfortable performing.
EXTRA SPECIAL REHEARSAL after the 10am service on Sunday, December 9. Please plan to attend! This helps your child understand how to move during the play and gets them more comfortable being at the altar.
Christmas Pageant & Party Our POP children will be presenting the; “The Christmas Window?” Christmas Pageant on Sunday, December 16th, during the 10am service. All children must arrive by 9:15 am & proceed to Taylor Hall. After the pageant our children will have a Christmas party in Taylor Hall
Parents, to make this Christmas Party special, please bring one plate of the following for each of your children:
*Last names A-S, please bring 1 doz. cookies
*Last names R-Z, please bring 1 doz. finger sandwiches
No peanut butter or nuts please, several children have allergies. Thank you!
Beginning January 13, 2019
Our Prince of Peace Children will begin a five week series called ‘Wake Up!’ that centers around five impactful stories that required someone to wake up. This is themed in a Wake Board extreme water sport atmosphere with medal champion’s sharing their faith in Christ. Our children will be introduced to life changing principles that will make their faith Wake Up and come alive.
Begins at 9:30am for breakfast.
Lent is a season of Prayer and Devotion. Just as the early Christians did, your children will begin their Lenten season by making pretzels for the congregation. We do this to remind ourselves how important prayer is. The dough is formed into the shape of two arms crossed in prayer.
02 Light Advent Wreath, Pageant practice, Advent 1
09 Light Advent Wreath, Pageant practice in class & after in Church
16 Christmas Pageant & Party,
23 No Classes, Have a Merry Christmas with your families
30 No Classes, Have a Happy New Year!
06 Classes Begin 10am, Teachers Meeting 9am,
13 Wake Up! Curriculum, Jesus!
20 Play Day, Martin L King Weekend
27 Wake Up Peter, James & John! (Annual Meeting: Classes are at 9am)
03 Wake Up Peter!
10 Wake Up Guard!
17 Play Day, President’s Day Weekend
24 Wake Up Eutychus!
03 Intro to Ash Wednesday & Lent, 1st Resurrection Lesson
March 6th Ash Wednesday
10 Family ‘Pretzel’ Sunday with Breakfast 9:30am
Greetings Youth and Families!
I know you are looking forward to spending some quality time with family and friends this Christmas! Below are the classes and activities for December, and early January. Invite your friends to any of these -- we would love to meet them!!
10AM Sunday School:
Dec. 9 Video Series and Discussion: Wish List
Dec. 23 NO CLASS. Enjoy your Christmas Break!
Community Dinner Outreach- Saturday, December 8
Meet in Main Parking Lot at Prince of Peace from 4-6PM for
Essentials and Goodies Distribution.
** The POP Community Dinner feeds those in need twice a month. On December 8, we will also be handing out a bag of items that they could use and some nice treats as well. A sort of early Christmas gift!! **
SAVE THE DATE!! Saturday, January 5: POP Youth Christmas Party!
If anyone would like to host, please call me at 818-694-9289
Other Volunteer Opportunities for Youth (earn volunteer hours for school!):
1) Christmas Pageant: if you are interested in participating or helping in any way, contact Linda Sawyer, our Children's Ministry Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Heart 4 Uganda Celebration: experience the wonderful culture of Uganda! If you would like to come help set up on Saturday, December 1, contact me at email@example.com or come help at the celebration on Sunday, December 2 after Worship and ask for Alma Fountain.
3) Acolytes: still in need! Call the church office if you are interested: 818-346-6968
Blessings and Peace to you all!
Youth Ministry Director
Alternative Christmas Faire: there will be tables on the patio after each service on Sunday, December 9. There will be gift cards available for purchase and a Christmas card to write a note on at each table for Haven Hills and Angels Way. There will also be the opportunity to make a donation for "Our Little Roses", a home for at risk young girls in Honduras. Checks for the above can be written to Prince of Peace with a memo directing them to one of the organizations above. For more information, please contact Ginny Kreuzberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advent Outreach: Beginning Advent 1, December 2, and continuing through Christmas, the large glass jar will be in the church’s main aisle. All monies including Christmas envelope donations and the loose plate offering at Christmas services will be used to support the Community Dinner Ministry at Prince of Peace. The mission of the Community Dinner is to reach out in love to our neediest friends and neighbors in the West Valley. On the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month, volunteers and guests come together over delicious meals & heartfelt hospitality.
Uganda Development Initiative: Heart 4 Uganda will be held on Sunday, December 2 from 11:30-3pm at Prince of Peace. All are invited to a fun afternoon featuring Ugandan and International Food, International Fashion Show, Dances, Silent Auction, Games, Presentations and Interactive Exhibits. Your free will donation will support life changing projects in Uganda! Contact Alma Fountain at 818-667-6467 or email@example.com to get involved. We need volunteers to share a favorite international dish with us, participants for the International Fashion Show and items or services for the Silent Auction.
Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse: Because of your donations, 90 children will experience God’s Love by receiving a Christmas Shoebox this year. Of these, 61 were from our ‘Adopt-A-Box’ program, teaching our children about service to others. The boys and girls who receive these boxes will be invited to learn about Christ through lessons in a discipleship program.
MODEL FOR HEALTHY LIVING – FRIENDS & FAMILY
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching(Hebrews 10:24-25).
Sharing God’s love though community has always been central to our faith. We give each other strength as we come together. We build a foundation for our life through a network of friends and family. This foundation supports our mind, body, and spirit. Many studies have shown the medical benefit of having strong relationships.
The early church was known for it’s supportive relationships, and they set the church apart from the rest of society:
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved(Acts 2:46-47).
The message is that Godly connections with others strengthen the faith of the entire community. Notice too that the fellowship of the believers was a testimony to a world in need of a relationship with God. It’s as if the health of the Christian community was contagious!
· Share a meal with family or friends
· Write thank you notes to people who lift you up
· Assess the amount of time you spend nurturing relationships
· Pray to repair broken relationships: …with God all things are possible(Matthew 19:26).
Ann Lowe, Parish Nurse ✞
Boude Moore has served in Music Ministry at Prince of Peace for 30 years.
As part of our Advent preparations, let us take time to focus on the Why? of Worship at Prince of Peace.
Let’s start at the very beginning.
Why are we here?
What is our purpose?
Who are we, what are we to do and why?
What is the most important thing?
When asked these things, Jesus’ response was “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
soul, mind and strength; and your neighbor as yourself.”
The establishment of any ministry in this place is an expression of the desire to fulfill this, the great commandment. Programs at Prince of Peace are many and varied but all have one thing in common. They are all a means for us to love the creator and his creation.
So it is with the music at Prince of Peace. Through music we love the Lord in intellectual, physical, and spiritual ways. Through music we care for and uplift our neighbor.
If in both preparation and performance, we begin with the great commandment,
if we keep in mind our primary purpose, the details will fill themselves in.
Think for a moment about what our physical worship space has to say before one word of the liturgy is said or sung. We read in Paul that the Fruits of the Spirit are Love and Joy, Peace and Patience, Gentleness and Self-Control; Kindness, Goodness, and Faithfulness. Striving to live a life where Love of God and service of neighbor are first and foremost, we enter this place through doors proclaiming this goal. This is the kind of people we wish to be: a loving people, a joyful people, a kind and gentle people, a good and faithful people, a patient, peaceful people. As a welcome to any visitor and a reminder to every regular worshiper, the words are emblazoned on the main entrance.
Encircling the nave where we sit is a series of stained glass windows. They are beautiful, yes, but not merely ornamental. Upon the representation of water floats the ship of the church. Looking up, we see in the beams the keel of that ship, that vessel where, sheltered from the storms that toss us, we safely travel together toward our destination.
The water reminds us of the summary of salvation in the baptismal rite. As part of this sacrament of entry into the family of Christ, we hear that the spirit moved over water in the beginning of creation; that through water the children of Israel were delivered from bondage; that in water Jesus himself was baptized, and proclaimed as Messiah; that in the water of baptism we are all buried with Christ to share in his resurrection. In this sea, are eight medallions. The first represents Baptism. The next three, the three persons of the Trinity in whose name we receive that sacrament: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Continuing to the other side we see symbols of the gifts that come with baptism. The Holy Scriptures, the sacrament of Holy Communion, resurrection to eternal life, and responsibility to bring about the reign of Christ over the world entire.
In anticipation of resurrection to eternal life, of being in the lasting presence of Almighty God,
and singing with all his angels his glory and praise, we illustrate the glory of heaven in the high altar. The rear window with the rays of light shining from the risen Christ is the focal point of the entire room. In this rich display, even the empty church shouts its purpose: We come here to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
And if the altar is a representation of the glory of heaven, the organ in the loft opposite is the earthly reflection of that heavenly glory. The organ case, inspired by the fundamental lines, shapes, and designs of the architecture of the building itself, takes the same shape as the rearados behind the high altar. The upward lines of the pipes soar heavenward. And the crowning adornment of angels with trumpets reminds us of God’s intervention in history, the angels’ announcement of the birth of the Savior, and the message of peace and good will among God’s people on earth. This in turn sums up the second half of the great commandment: to love our neighbor as ourselves. The organ even in the empty room is the voice of the church, ready to burst into song “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.”
So the adornment of our worship space is in itself a statement of the Great Commandment: The Altar: “love God.” The Organ “love your neighbor.”
That in a (lengthy) nutshell is the “Why” of the “What” we do. Music at Prince of Peace is a means to praise God and to love and serve our neighbor. And a preparation for the life that is to come.
Boude Moore ✞
PeacePrints Editorial Info
Submissions for the Lent Newsletter, 2019
The submission deadline for the Lent edition of PeacePrints is Sunday, February 24. Please e-mail items to Katherine Geeslin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please call Katherine at (818) 346-6968 with questions. PeacePrints welcomes expressions of all views. Articles should be brief and are subject to editing. The author must be identified. Thanks!