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Sunday Services

8AM spoken Rite I Eucharist

10AM choral Rite II Eucharist
Sunday School & Nursery

 

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June 24, 2020

Dear People of St. Stephen’s,
 
Your vestry and I again carefully and thoughtfully discussed the topic of regathering for in-person worship. At that meeting, we decided to continue virtual worship through the summer and to re-engage in this conversation and deliberation at our September meeting.
 
The overall feeling of the group was one of being uncomfortable with the level of risk implicit in re-gathering and a concern that what was to be gained by worshiping in-person was not worth the risk. As I wrote last time, we would have to be distanced, wearing masks (unable to see one another’s faces), not singing, responding to prayers fairly quietly and communion is even more risky not to mention the amount of time and energy that goes into reopening plans and proposals. Yesterday I was on a call with the clergy of our deanery and one person voiced the concern that we had been told not to gather for safety and now we are reopening while the number of cases rise. This is indeed counterintuitive.
 
I assure you that we do not make this decision lightly. We all deeply miss gathering in… Continue reading

Teachers of Centering Prayer and other forms of meditation often counsel to begin our silence by listening to our breath, coming in through our nose, down into our lungs, filling them full and then flowing up and out into the air. For those with Covid-19, breathing can become a terrifying issue. The lungs are filled with clots and we cannot seem to get enough air. I have chosen a poem about breath as today’s reflection by Jan Richardson, in Circle of Grace, p. 101.

Instructions: You are invited to pause every Monday evening at 6:00 PM or Tuesday morning at 9:30 AM. Find a comfortable place to sit for 25 minutes without interruption. Set a timer to tell you when the time has passed. Turn off the phone. Read the opening reflection (below). Close your eyes. Listen to your breathing. In rhythm with your breath repeat a sacred word to help stop the business – the chattering monkeys – in your mind. Rest with God. When a thought rises in your mind, gently push it away. When the time is done reflect on your personal thanksgivings then quietly enter into your evening or new day.

Opening reflection for August 10… Continue reading

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