December 2019

From Reverend Jonathan Clodfelter, 
The Lord's Prayer
Both John the Baptizer and Jesus had disciples and there were information exchanges. When John the Baptist was in jail under Herod's Palace he sent his disciples to Jesus with one simple question: "are you the one?"

11:1 Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities. 2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" 4 Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me." ( NRSV Matthew 11:1-6)

The truth of the word of God ends there and while there are some time-line challenges that present themselves, I believe that there was a healthy information exchange when the two groups of disciples met. John's disciples engaged Jesus asking the all-important question. And those same disciples were later to return to John with the information from Jesus himself, in a way that could not be challenged and there was no need of further discussion. And, John's and Jesus' disciples shared their teaching, John taught his disciples to pray. Jesus was asked by his disciples to teach them to pray in the way of John.

Jesus gathered those who trusted him most away from the hustle and bustle of the market city of Jerusalem. He took them well above the Kidron Valley, up through the centuries-old olive trees and herbs. He took them to the ridge on the Mount of Olives where cedars dominated the vegetation. And in that private place he taught his disciples the words of the Lord's Prayer. Today, this place is marked by the Church of the Pater Noster, where the campus contains handcrafted ceramic plaques containing the Lord's Prayer in well over 100 languages.

I believe that the Lord's Prayer should be understood as of the highest importance to all humanity. We should, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest it, so as all of us during periods of want as well as prosperity, we may with confidence know that we have ample words at our disposal to engage God.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer is simple, yet at times, we make it hard. Many of us will look for the most perfect words to pray, feeling - maybe - judged by those we are praying with. This past Thanksgiving, one of my grandchildren requested that we pray the Lord's Prayer as our special Thanksgiving prayer and it was indeed, special. I was praying and had sort-of lost myself in the prayer, so on black Friday, I asked another present if it seemed as though everyone knew the Lord's Prayer and she said, "I was praying and I don't know what the others were doing." Can there be a better answer?

Prayer can be difficult, if we let it, but the Lord's Prayer should not be. Yes, the Prayer, as I have chosen to have printed for our liturgical use, is not the most enlightened, but it is the one that the world knows. It is the version of prayer that I have prayed countless times at the death beds of the dying. It is the prayer that I have believed that I have felt acknowledged from folks in comas. It is the prayer that I pray every day throughout the day.

As English is the language of international affairs, so the traditional language Lord's Prayer is the prayer that almost all of us know. It was the version that, in as early as 1541, Henry the VIII, decreed be taught to all humankind in his realm. He commanded fathers to teach their children the prayer as well as the creeds of the church as combating idleness, which almost 500 years later is, once again, the scourge of our society. And thus 500 years later, the prayer can be heard the world over, because everywhere there was English, there was the Lord's Prayer.

I have made a few liturgical changes since my arrival in October most geared toward either bringing us into the mainstream of broad-church Episcopalianism or what in my education and experience helps new-comers enter the fold and feel a part of what we are doing. The return to "Prayer Book liturgy" by using what are more-or-less exact page to page copies of our worship services from the Book of Common Prayer. To this end, and as early as my second week here, I re-introduced the traditional language Lord's Prayer. Initially, I printed the prayer in the worship leaflet, and now it is printed weekly in our booklet. My goal is that the traditional language Lord's Prayer should always be considered our main prayer, a theological statement, and that the prayer is so written in our hearts that we will never forget it and that it can be prayed by any and all wherever in the valley of the shadow of darkness we find ourselves.

There are other versions of the prayer that are wonderful and maybe even more biblically relevant. And for those of us that English is not our first language should always know that they are welcome to pray the prayer as taught in their own, discipleship, if you will. But this is the version that I have heard from thousands of hospital beds in tens of hospitals from one end of the Episcopal Church to the other. The traditional language Lord's Prayer was the last prayer on the lips of my grandparents, as well as my parents, and I have prayed it with folks from the alleys and shooting galleries of Kensington and Frankford to private care rooms in some of the finest hospitals in the region.

Everyone I know, unless they came from under a rock or some other part of the country I have yet to be exposed to, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jew, if they are my age or older, they know the Lord's Prayer. My point is that regardless of our belief system, we may pray the Lord's Prayer. And that, because we all know it, let's go ahead and cling to it, so that in that last day, when everything we have known will appear differently, we can still cling to the Lord's Prayer. I do not know how many times I have prayed the Lord's Prayer or with how many folks. I just don't know . But I do know, that regardless of the circumstances, when I begin praying, that the sickest, angriest, most marginalized folks will pray with me.

Please accept my reverting to the traditional language Lord's Prayer, as it will serve us well as we teach it, without shame, and without regret, to the young we influence so.

From the Senior Warden

In the season of Advent we, as Christians, anticipate the coming of Jesus. At Redeemer in December we will be anticipating His coming in many different ways. At the 10:30 services the children will be processing with banners and figures for the creche, presenting the banners with readings, and lighting the Advent wreath candles.

On Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, we will be holding our Christmas Treasures and More event at which we will open the church to the community for food, fellowship, and fantastic financial opportunities.

On Sunday, December 15, the children and youth will be preparing salad ingredients for the Darby Dinner on December 17. On that Sunday we will also be assembling the gifts and food we have brought for the families we support through our Christmas Angels program.

On Sunday, December 22, the children and youth will be rehearsing for the Christmas Pageant at the 5:02 (note the time change) service on Christmas Eve. There will also be a later service at 9:02 on Christmas Eve. We will also be greening the church after the 10:30 service on December 22.

We do all of this in anticipation of the coming of Christ. Come join us for any or all of it. The more the Merrier Christmas.

Commitment Sunday for pledge cards was December 1st. In case you forgot, as Jane and I did, you have a chance to Redeemer (get it?) yourself. Pledge cards will be accepted all through December. Extra pledge cards will be in the back of the church in case you forget again. Jane and I are increasing our pledge this year because we see a positive future for Redeemer. In January, the Finance Committee and Vestry will develop a budget for 2020 based on the pledges we receive. The more pledges we receive the more we can do in Christ's name.

George Baughan

Gift of Angels
The Gift of Angels program is being re-energized with the formation of a committee comprised of Lee Lucas, Helen Lightcap, and Jane Nyiri. They will be compiling a list of items needed by the church and prioritizing them. We have a number of people who have already donated to this program or have committed to a donation and we want to thank them for their support of Redeemer. When the committee completes the list of needs, they will match the gifts with the needs and then we can acknowledge the donors. If you see a need or wish to make a donation, please contact one of the three members of the committee.

Sunday School in December
During the season of Advent, we will be processing with banners and figures for the creche. After we present the banners with readings, we will light the Advent Wreath candles and then go to the vestry room underneath the church to complete our Advent booklets. Readers are needed for the presentations of the banners

On December 22, we will be rehearsing for the Christmas Pageant. George will be checking with past participants to find out who will be in the cast this year.

Adult Forum
"Two of our number vanish from mid-June to just after Labor Day and come back with stories of what sounds like a mythical place, Chautauqua (Camelot?). Rowland and Linda Bennett have agreed to share some of the highlights of the preaching from Chautauqua that has inspired them over the last six summers. 

Please join us between the services at 9:00 AM in the vestry room below the church. Grab a cup of coffee in the parish hall before the class."

Redeemer Thrift Shop
Thanksgiving and fall harvest stock is put away and we are ready to move on. We have lots of decorations for the coming festivities, household treasures for gift giving plus many warm tops, sweaters, coats and scarves for the colder weather. Don't be a stranger. Come shop for the best deals in town! Volunteering at the Thrift Shop is a truly rewarding and fun job - why not try it?

November sales $3,322
Year-to-date $20,643

Hours of Operation
Tuesdays 10 am - 2 pm
Saturdays 9:30 am - 2 pm

Christmas Treasures and More
Saturday, December 7th from 9 am to 3 pm
Our biggest fund raiser of the year is 2 days away. Here are ways you can help make the day a success:

The day of the event: Work for an hour or two on December 7. You may even select where you would like to assist. Free coffee for workers!
Stop by to browse, shop, eat. Light breakfast is served from 9-10:30. Lunch is served from 11:30-1:30. Bring your friends.
The Thrift Shop will be open throughout the day - 9 am until 3 pm.

Christmas Angels
Once again we will be providing Christmas gifts and food for families adopted from Delaware County Children and Youth Services and the Upper Darby School District. On Sunday, November 24th, nametags will be placed on a tree at the back of the church. Please pick up one or more gift tags  off the tree, purchase a gift for that person, wrap it, place the tag on the package and return it on or before December 15th. If you plan to buy more than one gift for the same person, take a tag for each gift. Lists will be available with gift suggestions, clothing sizes, and food needed. You will also find a master list. If you know what you are going to get for a gift, cross it off the list so someone who has the same name will not duplicate it. These are all poor families who struggle just to keep a roof over their heads and some have not even been able to do that.  Basic food staples will be needed for about 12 families as well as monetary contributions for food gift cards for meat and other perishables. If you would like to make a monetary contribution, please make out a check to the church and mark it for the Christmas Angels.

On Sunday, December 15th help will be needed after the 10:30 service to organize and pack everything for delivery. A light lunch will be provided.  If you have any questions, call Jane Nyiri at (610)328-6506.

Darby Mission
Church of the Redeemer will cook, serve and eat dinner with the guests at the Darby Mission on Tuesday, December 17th.  Please see the sign-up sheet at the back of the church to see where you can help out.


For holiday gift giving remember to use Amazon Smile when you shop online!

To use AmazonSmile, simply go to  from the web browser on your computer or mobile device, or go to Amazon and search Amazon smile. On your first visit to AmazonSmile ( ), you need to select Church of the Redeemer as your charitable organization to receive donations. 

December Birthdays

12/1 Jane Baughan                               1 2/18 Charles Klaniecki
12/3 Linda Bennett                                12/20 Kaylee Douge
12/6 Jordan Wren                                  12/20 Rick Doyle
12/6 John Bozzuto                                 12/21 Sofia Brzezicki
12/8 Erin Daley                                      12/22 Sharon Appelbaum
12/9 Matthew Dobbs                             12/23 Lindsay S. Crosby 
12/9 Jeffrey Brzezicki                            12/27 Jamie Lennan
12/10 Leslie Gibson                               12/28 Cynthia Hartnett 
12/10 Kurt Eisenhuth                             12/28 Sonya Rowland
12/12 Joan Sherrill                                 12/30 Vivienne Douge
12/13 Israel Ramirez                              12/31 Riley O'Connell
12/14 Logan Sonny Wren

December Anniversaries
12/30 Dee and Gregory Gutierrez         12/31 Linda and Rowland Bennett

Worship Services
December 24th
5:02 pm Children's Pageant
9:02 pm Candlelight Service

December Calendar

Send corrections, remarks, or updates to the Redeemer Reporter to Israel Ramirez:


Reverend Jonathan Clodfelter, Priest , 215-518-1419

Senior Warden
George Baughan


Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10 am to 2 pm; Friday, 10 am to 1 pm.
Summer Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10:30 am - 4:30 pm
Susanna Faust, Minister of Music                                   M aria Macfarlan,Parish Administrator, (610) 766-1812          
Gary Rew, Sexton

George Baughan '22, Senior Warden -
Lee Lucas '20, Junior Warden -
Sharon Appelbaum '21, Keith Brown '22, Ginny Doyle '22, Jim Lambert '21,
Helen Lightcap '20, Jane Nyiri '20, Gary Rew '21
Eucharistic Visitors: Linda Bennett, Carol Kane, Claire Witzel