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Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop calls for prayer

The Episcopal Church
Office of Public Affairs

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori calls for prayer following the tragedy in Connecticut:

We grieve with the many families and friends touched by this shooting in Connecticut.  We mourn the loss of lives so young and innocent.  We grieve that the means of death are so readily available to people who lack the present capacity to find other ways of responding to their own anger and grief.  We know that God’s heart is broken over this tragedy, and the tragedies that unfold each and every day across this nation.  And we pray that this latest concentration of shooting deaths in one event will awaken us to the unnoticed number of children and young people who die senselessly across this land every day.  More than 2000 children and youth die from guns each year, more than the soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Will you pray and work toward a different future, the one the Bible’s prophets dreamed of, where city streets are filled with children playing in safety (Zechariah 8:5)?

The Most Rev. Katharine… Continue reading

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.
Wait.
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.

More information:

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

You are invited to lend a hand at repainting the Parish Hall this Saturday, November 3rd starting at 9am!

By now you have hopefully noticed our new logo for the church. It will be creeping its way into every publication we produce. As I discussed in a past article, it is important for the church’s materials to be clearly recognizable, consistent, and representative of who we are.  We are now well on our way to realizing this goal.

Continue reading

Saturday, October 20th from 9am to noon!

We’ll be weeding, weed whacking, pruning, dusting, cobwebbing, and window washing! There’s something for everyone! Please stop by for any portion of that time and help keep your church home looking lovely!