Recently a friend who visited St. Stephen’s remarked on the buzz and vitality that she felt in our worship and amongst the congregation. This past year has brought new members to our community, a new feeding ministry (Saturday Table), and many people finding anew the gifts God has given them and the ways that they can be used at St. Stephen’s and beyond. Thus, it seems appropriate to cap this exciting growth in our community and in our ministries with the celebration of what many in our Church consider the holiest and most sacred liturgy in our Church year—the Great Easter Vigil on the eve of Easter. This year we conclude our observation of Lent and Holy Week with the celebration of the Great Easter Vigil. This service offers us the opportunity to experience the joy and awe that the apostles felt at the resurrection of Christ!
The Great Easter Vigil is not to be confused with the vigil that St. Stephen’s parishioners keep in the sanctuary after our Maundy Thursday service until the morning of Good Friday—they are keeping vigil. The Great Easter Vigil is traditionally held after dark on Holy Saturday and before dawn on Easter Sunday.… Continue reading
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
Tuesday, February 12th at 5:30pm
Wednesday, February 13th
Holy Eucharist & Ashes 9:30am & 7:00pm
Holy Eucharist 8am & 10am
March 28th 7:00pm
Holy Eucharist, Foot Washing & Stripping of the altar
Vigil kept overnight
Stations of the cross at noon
Service at 7:00pm
Great Easter Vigil
Saturday, March 30th at 8pm
Holy Eucharist, Lighting of the Pascal Candle, & Renewal of Baptismal Vows
Choral Eucharist 8am & 10am
“The Paschal Cycle”
For our Lenten Adult Formation this year we will be studying the liturgies and events of the Paschal Cycle which includes Lent, Holy Week and Easter. The paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and our participation in this mystery is at the theological core of the gospel and its liturgical celebration is the central event of our church year. You are invited to come learn more about these liturgies and our celebration of Jesus’ death and rising again!
Tuesday, February 5th at 6pm—Ash Wednesday & Lent
Thursday, February 28th—Palm Sunday
Thursday, March 7th— Maundy Thursday
Thursday, March 14th—Good Friday & Holy Saturday
Thursday, March 21st—The Great Easter Vigil & Easter Day
Soup Supper at 6pm followed by discussion
The Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner, our Diocesan Bishop, will be leading us in worship on February 3rd at both services!
The season of Advent
means there is something on the horizon
the like of which we have never seen before.
It is not possible to keep it from coming,
because it will.
That’s just how Advent works.
What is possible is to not see it, to miss it,
to turn just as it brushes past you…
So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry.
Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder.
There will be time enough for running.
For rushing. For worrying. For pushing.
For now, stay.
Something is on the horizon.
Jan L. Richardson
In Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas
In the church, we hear this admonition year after year. Slow down! It’s advent! The warning can become so commonplace that we fail to hear its message. But in it there is deep truth. At a time of year that calls for busyness—parties, presents, meals, shopping, decorating, celebrating, traditions galore—it is easy to lose ourselves in it all and somehow miss it. It is possible to feel the days pass and the energy escalate but as the day dawns feel as if something has elusively brushed past us, something has just escaped our grasp.
I find that… Continue reading
Bishop Beisner is inviting the entire Diocese of Northern California to take The Bible Challenge with him, beginning Epiphany 2013. The Bible Challenge is a year-long commitment of daily Bible reading that will lead participants to easily complete the whole Bible in one year. Each day we will all be reading the same three chapters from the Hebrew Bible, a Psalm, and one chapter from the New Testament. The Bishop will not only be doing the daily readings along with participants, but will be supporting them throughout the year through e-mail, the website, prayer and in other ways. There is no cost and any Bible is suitable. Each day’s readings will be augmented by a brief meditation posted on The Bible Challenge web page or can be purchased in book form through forward movement.
The kick-off for The Bible Challenge will be on Epiphany (January 6, 2013) when participants will bring their Bibles to church for a special blessing. The readings will begin on Monday, January 7, 2013. Pamphlets with readings for each date are available at the back of the sanctuary or here… Continue reading
Joyful Noise! Gospel Singers will be performing at St. Stephen’s on Sunday, November 25th at 3pm. The concert is called “Through the Storm” and is a benefit for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. $10 at the door.
Ways you can help:
DONATE: In light of Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, Episcopal Relief and Development has established a dedicated Hurricane Sandy Response Fund to support the relief and recovery efforts of our partners in both the Caribbean and the US. Click here to make a donation. (If you prefer not to donate by credit card, there is check mailing information at the bottom of the page this link takes you to.)
PRAY: Please continue to keep everyone in your prayers.
Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts by Episcopal Relief & Development
Thanks to the generosity of Episcopalians from around the country, Episcopal Relief & Development is in the process of making emergency grants to impacted dioceses in support of parish-based relief activities following Superstorm Sandy. In the US, these funds will help congregations expand feeding ministries and facilitate the provision of shelter and transportation assistance for those in need. In the Caribbean, Episcopal Relief & Development support is helping to secure food, water and building materials for distribution in critically impacted areas.
Superstorm Sandy hit the… Continue reading
Thursdays November 29th, December 6th, 13th, and 20th at 6pm.
You are invited to join your St. Stephen’s family in observing advent! We will meet for four soup suppers to break bread together and deepen our understanding and experience of advent. Each week we will discuss a chapter from, “Songs in Waiting: Spiritual Reflections on Christ’s Birth” by Paul-Gordon Chandler.
“Inspiring reflection and a sense of wonder along the faith journey of Advent, Songs in Waiting is a book of spiritual meditations focusing on the ancient Middle Eastern songs celebrating the birth of Jesus: the Song of Mary (the Magnificat), the Son of Zecharias (the Benedictus), the Song of the Angels (the Gloria), and the Song of Simeon (the Nunc Dimittis).
These four songs, full of hope, mystery and divine purpose, have played an important role in Christian worship for two thousand years, inspiring the work of artists and musicians over the centuries. Beautifully woven throughout the book, the inspirational paintings of artist Daniel Bonnell help capture and define the essence of these songs. Grounded in the original context of their middle Eastern cultural settings, this literary and visual presentation creates new… Continue reading