Friday, September 25, 2020

 

PARISH NOTES
Sunday 27 September 2020

 

The Parable of the Father and His Two Sons in the Vineyard (1534-35) by Georg Pencz (1500-1550). Engraving from The Story of Christ. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, NY.


THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Psalm 25:3-9
Philippians 2:1-13 

THIS SUNDAY’S MUSIC

J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750)—Fantasia in C-Moll, BWV 537

Paul Callaway (1909 – 1995)—Service of Holy Communion

J. S. Bach—Fuga in C-Moll, BWV 537

A WORD OF WELCOME

Welcome to Saint Stephen’s – S. Stephen’s Church is in the midst of Brown University and serves the communities of the East Side of Providence, North Providence, East Providence, and beyond. It is a parish of the Diocese of Rhode Island in the Episcopal Church in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Anglo-Catholic tradition informs and shapes our life together. We are a diverse community uniting all sorts and conditions in the worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ and aim to offer up the best we have in liturgy, music, preaching, teaching, fellowship, and service.

A WORD FROM FATHER BENJAMIN 

Dear brothers and sisters,

On Tuesday, 29 September, the Church celebrates and observes one of my favorite major feasts of the liturgical year, the feast of Saint Michael and All Angels. Such was the significance of this date in older times, that in England and at educational institutions with Anglican patrimony, the fall academic term is often called “Michaelmas” term.

The Archangel Michael is patron saint of many orders and causes – but one of my favorite depictions of St. Michael is on the front of Coventry Cathedral, in which we see a victorious Michael having emerged from combat with Satan under his feet, bound in chains. Michael is a figure who permeates both later Jewish tradition and appears even in the Book of Revelation, when St. John sees a vision of war breaking out in heaven.

Frankly, despite the usual depictions of angels as rather plump, cherubic-looking figures, they must be startling or even terrifying in their appearance. The seraphim and cherubim are described as having many eyes and wings, and every time an angel appears to a human being in scripture their first words are “Do not be afraid!” – again, it seems to imply something startling at the very least – if not downright terrifying.

I’ve never experienced angels in the way that they are popularly described (i.e. “guardian angels”) – I suppose I like to ascribe to them a loftier or more majestic strata, swirling about the throne of God. But what I am reminded of every year on this feast is that whenever angels appear in Scripture, it is in when the realm of God and the eternal breaks into the earthly and the temporal. Some of us would call those moments “thin spaces” – and in a way, every Mass is a thin space, where the divine power of God breaks anew into our earthly plane. With that in mind, may we pray we renewed awareness, “Therefore with angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven,” as we prepare to acclaim the holiness of God, confident that all the angels of God are joining with us in the chorus of praise that rings throughout eternity: Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Deus Sabaoth.

ANNOUNCEMENTS 

Welcome Back! – We’re delighted to be able to see you again this coming Sunday! While we continue to gather again, this privilege brings with it some protocols to keep us all safe. A summary of the safety protocols may be found here.

Virtual Offices and Masses – We offer Virtual Offices and Masses for those who wish to continue to participate safely from home. To access and view the LIVE (and archived) services, please visit the parish Facebook page here (you do not need a FB account to tune in). To access accompanying Daily Office and Low Mass readings and resources (as well as archived services), please visit the parish website sermon page here.

Celebrating Jacob Ihnen – As was announced last week, Jacob Ihnen will be leaving us in early October to return to Iowa for a time. We are very sorry to see him go, but we look forward to honoring him at the 10 am Mass this Sunday, 27 September. We have been taking up a purse to both thank him and help him as he transitions to a new season of life. If you haven’t already made a contribution, it’s not too late to still leave one in the offering plate on Sunday, mail to the church office, or go online at sstephens.org/donate and using the Vanco platform to make a donation. In all cases, please make a memo it is for “Jacob Ihnen gift.”

8 am and 5:30 pm Sunday Masses to Resume – Next Sunday, 4 October, we will resume the 8 am Mass for in-person worship in the Lady Chapel. This mass will not be live streamed. On that Sunday, we will also begin offering the 5:30 pm Mass for the EMBR (Episcopal Ministry at Brown and RISD) community. The same protocols regarding social distancing, masks, and sanitization are still in full effect.

Though we continue to hold in-person worship, and even at this time expand our offerings, we must keep in mind that if there is any sort of up-tick in cases, particularly as some experts warn of a second “surge” this fall/winter, that S. Stephen’s will need to abide with whatever directives the Diocese and the State put in place regarding gatherings of persons and public worship.

Virtual Coffee Hour – Please join us for Virtual Sunday Coffee Hour this Sunday, 27 September, at 11:30 am. Please click here to join. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Fr. Benjamin Straley at rector@sstephens.necoxmail.com. Thank you!

Saint Michael and All Angels (29 September) – a major feast of the church year, will be kept this coming Tuesday with Noonday Prayer at 12 pm, followed by Low Mass at 12:10 pm.

Flowers – The flowers at the high altar this Sunday are given to the glory of God and in thanksgiving by Charles and Sandra Calverley for their upcoming 60th wedding anniversary. They were married 1 October 1960 in S. Stephen’s.

Society of Mary – The Society of Mary: Our Lady of Providence Ward will meet this coming Saturday, 3 October, for Holy Rosary following the 10 am Low Mass. All are welcome and invited to participate!

Stewardship Sunday – “Stewardship Sunday” this year will be 11 October. Letters will be mailed out soon, so be on the lookout for them! S. Stephen’s simply cannot operate or engage in ministry without your time, talent, and financial support. It is so important that we know what your commitment in the coming year can be so that we can plan our budget and programming accordingly. If you have been worshiping in person, please bring your pledge card to leave in the offering plate on Sunday, 11 October. Otherwise, please pledge online (sstephens.org/donate) or return your card via mail by 15 November at the latest. Thank you for all the ways in which you are already supporting S. Stephen’s.

Honoring Fr. Locke – On Sunday, 18 October, we will honor Fr. Bill Locke, who served briefly as Interim Rector over the summer months. Please be present as you are able as we thank him in our 10 am liturgy for shepherding us between Fr. Mead’s departure and the arrival of the new Rector.

Interested in Serving at Mass? – We are currently in need of a few more people to add to the rota of altar servers at Sunday and weekday masses. If this is something you would be interesting in learning more about, please email Fr. Benjamin at rector@sstephens.necoxmail.com. We are also planning to resume reading of the lessons from the lectern once we have our new live streaming system in place, so if you are interested in reading, or have been a lector in the past, please know that opportunity will also be available soon.

Concerning Pledges and the Sunday Offering – Thank you to all who have been so faithful in maintaining your financial support of S. Stephen’s during this pandemic. As some are able to return to in-person worship while others understandably need to stay home, there are three ways to continue your giving to S. Stephen’s:
  • There is an offering plate in the back of the church where you may leave your offering.
  • Offerings can be sent to the church office through the mail.
  • You can give online by clicking here. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Again, thank you to all who have been so supportive.

FOR YOUR PRAYERS 

Prayers have been requested for: Charles, Sandra, Lola, Ruby, Norman, Diana, Sarah, Harrington, Joan, Phebe, Hunter, Jay, Conrad, Ann, Beverly, Tom, Angela, Bobby, Beverly, Rhoda, and Christopher.

Birthdays this week: William Ripley (Wednesday 9/30) and Mason Butler-Rose (Saturday 10/3).

60th Wedding Anniversary: Charles and Sandra Calverley (Thursday 10/1/60).

The faithful departed: Year’s Mind: Christopher Shane Barnes (27 September 1967), Elizabeth Alexandra Clarke (30 September 2015), and Domenica Nicolella (2 October 1979).

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer – In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan: The Most Rev’d Ezekiel Kumir Kondo, Archbishop of the Province of Sudan & Bishop of Khartoum; in the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, for the people and clergy of St. Michael's, Bristol.

THIS WEEK AT S. STEPHEN’S 

PARISH PROGRAMS, EVENTS & MEETINGS

Saturday 3 October
Society of Mary  10:45 am (Lady Chapel)

EXTRA-PAROCHIAL EVENTS HOSTED AT S. STEPHEN’S

Saturday 3 October
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4 pm

LITURGICAL CALENDAR & SERVICE SCHEDULE

* REGATHERING HAS RESUMED FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES ON SUNDAYS (80 PEOPLE TOTAL) AND WEEKDAYS (14 PEOPLE TOTAL)
* ALL ATTENDEES MUST ADHERE TO WRITTEN AND VERBAL PROTOCOLS TO ATTEND


Sunday 27 September
SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary: Proper 21, Year Two

Monday 28 September
FERIA (G)
Wenceslaus, Duke of Bohemia, Martyr, 929
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Tuesday 29 September
SAINT MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS (W)
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Wednesday 30 September
Jerome, Translator of the Scriptures, Teacher, 420 (W)
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Thursday 1 October
Thérèse of Lisieux, Carmelite Nun, Spiritual Writer, 1897 (W)
Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, Apostle of the Franks, 533
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Friday 2 October
FERIA (G)
The Holy Guardian Angels
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Saturday 3 October
FERIA (G)
Morning Prayer  9:30 am
Low Mass  10 am
Holy Rosary  10:45 am

Sunday 4 October
EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Morning Prayer  8 am
Low Mass  8:10 am
Sung Mass  10 am
Evening Prayer w/ EMBR  5:30 pm
Campus Eucharist  6 pm

NEXT SUNDAY'S READINGS (4 October)

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:7-15
Philippians 3:4b-14 

Friday, September 18, 2020


PARISH NOTES
Sunday 20 September 2020

 

Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard (1637) by Rembrandt (1606–1669). Oil on panel. The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.



THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Jonah 3:10—4:11
Psalm 145:1-8
Philippians 1:21-30
Matthew 20:1-16

THIS SUNDAY’S MUSIC

Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856)—Skizze, D flat, Op. 58, № 3 and Kanon, B, Op. 56, № 6

Paul Callaway (1909 – 1995)—Service of Holy Communion

Robert Schumann—Skizze, F-moll, Op. 58

A WORD OF WELCOME

Welcome to Saint Stephen’s – S. Stephen’s Church is in the midst of Brown University and serves the communities of the East Side of Providence, North Providence, East Providence, and beyond. It is a parish of the Diocese of Rhode Island in the Episcopal Church in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Anglo-Catholic tradition informs and shapes our life together. We are a diverse community uniting all sorts and conditions in the worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ and aim to offer up the best we have in liturgy, music, preaching, teaching, fellowship, and service.

A WORD FROM FATHER BENJAMIN

“The Strange Economy of God”

This Sunday, we’ll hear a parable about a vineyard owner and laborers in the vineyard. At the end of the day, those who had worked only an hour or two at the end of the day receive the same wage as those who worked since the morning hours. Understandably, the laborers who worked longer are bit upset at this “unjust” treatment. The owner points out that they were indeed paid what they were promised, and so if they are angry, it is only the owner’s generosity that they have issue with – and what concern is that to them? for it does not belong to them.

So it is with God’s kingdom – God’s love and grace. They are equally available to all, at any point in their lives, at any stage of discipleship. The thief dying beside Jesus on the cross is promised a place with him in Paradise. And so we see that the person who has known and loved God for a lifetime is equally beloved by God as the person who might appear to others as “late to the game.”

By the world’s standards, and by any typical measure of work and compensation employed in our market economy, this is unfair, unjust, and impractical. But the economy of God does not operate along those lines – and that is very good news for all of us. The love, mercy, and grace of God are eternal and boundless – there is no shortage, but only more and more of it to go around. Plenty for you and me, and plenty for anyone else. We are reminded in this parable that we don’t get to set limits or parameters on how God dispenses what is God’s – we can simply enjoy the plenteousness which he has already bestowed upon us, which is more than enough. Good news, indeed, for our “kingdom economy.”

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Welcome Back! – We’re delighted to be able to see you again this coming Sunday! While we continue to gather again, this privilege brings with it some protocols to keep us all safe. A summary of the safety protocols may be found here.

Virtual Offices and Masses – We offer Virtual Offices and Masses for those who wish to continue to participate safely from home. To access and view the LIVE (and archived) services, please visit the parish Facebook page here (you do not need a FB account to tune in). To access accompanying Daily Office and Low Mass readings and resources (as well as archived services), please visit the parish website sermon page here.

Traffic Pattern and Parking this Sunday – As a new group of Brown University students arrives on campus this weekend, we have been notified of some temporary changes to traffic patterns. The one that will affect us most is that George Street will be one-way east from Thayer Street to Brook Street on Sunday. However, we have been assured by Brown Public Safety that there will be plenty of street parking for our parishioners on Sunday around S. Stephen’s on both George and Thayer Streets.

Departure of Jacob Ihnen – It saddens me to announce to the parish that Jacob Ihnen, our Communications Director, will be leaving us at the beginning of October. Jacob has been described by many as an “anchor,” particularly during the past 6 months. From setting up for masses, starting our live stream worship, serving as altar server/MC/lector/thurifer, and even taking on office duties that arose, Jacob has been an integral and invaluable member of our S. Stephen’s family. I can truly say I would be lost in my first month here in the parish without him, and I know we are all very grateful for all that he has done over the past few years.

As a way of expressing our gratitude, we will honor him at the 10 am Mass on Sunday, 27 September, and would like to take up a purse to both thank him and help him as he transitions to a new season of life in Iowa. Checks can be mailed or left with the regular offering on Sunday, with a memo indicating it is for “Jacob Ihnen gift,” or you can go online and use the Online Giving portal (https://www.sstephens.org/donate) to make a donation, indicating that it is for Jacob. Jacob will truly be missed!

Virtual Coffee Hour – Please join us for Virtual Sunday Coffee Hour next Sunday, 27 September, at 11:30 am. As a reminder, coffee hour will be every other Sunday going forward. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Fr. Benjamin Straley at rector@sstephens.necoxmail.com. Thank you!

8 am and 5:30 pm Sunday Masses to Resume – On Sunday, 4 October, we will resume the 8 am Mass for in-person worship in the Lady Chapel. This mass will not be live streamed. On that Sunday, we will also begin offering the 5:30 pm Mass for the EMBR (Episcopal Ministry at Brown and RISD) community. The same protocols regarding social distancing, masks, and sanitization are still in full effect.

Interested in Serving at Mass? – We are currently in need of a few more people to add to the rota of altar servers at Sunday and weekday masses. If this is something you would be interesting in learning more about, please email Fr. Benjamin at rector@sstephens.necoxmail.com. We are also planning to resume reading of the lessons from the lectern once we have our new live streaming system in place, so if you are interested in reading, or have been a lector in the past, please know that opportunity will also be available soon.

Honoring Fr. Locke – On Sunday, 18 October, we will honor Fr. Bill Locke, who served as Interim Rector between Fr. Andy Mead’s departure and the arrival of the new Rector. More details to follow.

Stewardship Sunday – “Stewardship Sunday” this year will be 11 October. Please be on the lookout for letters which will be going out in the mail in the coming days.

Update on Heating System – Our new heating system is nearly done! If you went by the church this past week, you would have noticed the driveway somewhat torn up as they put in the new gas line. We are so thrilled to be nearing completion of this project, and grateful for the work of Tom Bledsoe, George Ryan, and others from the Building & Grounds Committee.

Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist (21 September) – a major feast of the church year, will be kept this coming Monday with Evening Prayer at 5:30 pm, followed by Low Mass at 6 pm.

Concerning Pledges and the Sunday Offering – Thank you to all who have been so faithful in maintaining your financial support of S. Stephen’s during this pandemic. As some are able to return to in-person worship while others understandably need to stay home, there are three ways to continue your giving to S. Stephen’s:
  • There is an offering plate in the back of the church where you may leave your offering.
  • Offerings can be sent to the church office through the mail.
  • You can give online by clicking here. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Again, thank you to all who have been so supportive.

FOR YOUR PRAYERS

Prayers have been requested for: Charles, Sandra, Lola, Ruby, Norman, Diana, Sarah, Harrington, Joan, Jay, Ann, Beverly, Tom, Angela, Bobby, Beverly, and Rhoda.

Birthday this week: Dolores Bliss (Tuesday 9/22).

The faithful departed: Year’s Mind: Hana Widmer (21 September 2010), June M. Gaudet (23 September 2000), Ernest A. Elderkin (24 September 1991), Mary Shaw Rose (24 September 1992), Ann Marie Starks (25 September 2010), and Donald B. Ward (26 September 1996).

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer – In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan: The Most Rev’d Justin Badi Arama, Bishop of Juba and Archbishop of the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan; in the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, for the people and clergy of Sts. Matthew and Mark, Barrington, and St. Matthew's, Jamestown.

THIS WEEK AT S. STEPHEN’S

EXTRA-PAROCHIAL EVENTS HOSTED AT S. STEPHEN’S

Saturday 26 September
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4:30 pm

LITURGICAL CALENDAR & SERVICE SCHEDULE

* REGATHERING HAS RESUMED FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES ON SUNDAYS (80 PEOPLE TOTAL) AND WEEKDAYS (14 PEOPLE TOTAL)
* ALL ATTENDEES MUST ADHERE TO WRITTEN AND VERBAL PROTOCOLS TO ATTEND


Sunday 20 September
SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary: Proper 20, Year Two

Monday 21 September
SAINT MATTHEW, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST (R)
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Tuesday 22 September
FERIA (G)
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Wednesday 23 September
FERIA (G)
Linus, Pope, c. 78
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Thursday 24 September
Our Lady of Walsingham (Blue)
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Friday 25 September
FERIA (G)
Sergei of Radonezh, Russian Monastic Reformer, Teacher, 1392
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Saturday 26 September
Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, Spiritual Writer, 1626 (W)
Cosmas & Damian, Martyrs at Aegea, c. 287
Morning Prayer  9:30 am
Low Mass  10 am

Sunday 27 September
SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

NEXT SUNDAY'S READINGS (27 September)

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Psalm 25:3-9
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32

Saturday, September 12, 2020

 PARISH NOTES 

Sunday 13 September 2020

Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (1629) by Claude Vignon (1593-1670). Oil on canvas. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours, Tours, France.


THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
 

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Genesis 50:15-21
Psalm 103:8-13
Romans 14:1-12 

THIS SUNDAY’S MUSIC

Harold Darke (1888 – 1976)—A Fantasy

Plainchant—Missa IX (Cum Jubilo)

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704)—Panis angelicus, H. 243

Herbert Howells (1892 – 1983)—Paean

A WORD OF WELCOME 

Welcome to Saint Stephen’s – S. Stephen’s Church is in the midst of Brown University and serves the communities of the East Side of Providence, North Providence, East Providence, and beyond. It is a parish of the Diocese of Rhode Island in the Episcopal Church in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Anglo-Catholic tradition informs and shapes our life together. We are a diverse community uniting all sorts and conditions in the worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ and aim to offer up the best we have in liturgy, music, preaching, teaching, fellowship, and service.

A WORD FROM FATHER BENJAMIN 

Dear brothers and sisters,

Our Gospel reading for this Sunday picks up where we left off last week, and continues the theme of sin and forgiveness begun in last week’s Gospel. Peter, who has been playing a prominent role in our readings of late, comes to Jesus and asks, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” To which Jesus replies, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.”

It may be Peter asking the question, but it is one that all of us have asked at some point in our hearts. And as we experience the fullness and range of Peter’s faithfulness as well as his fickleness, we realize that Peter really represents each of us in the Gospels. Jesus’s strong words about the dangers of not forgiving are likewise directed at all of us, for he knows what happens when we fail to live into the life of reconciliations that God wills for us.

This brings to mind one of my favorite hymns in The Hymnal 1982, no. 674, “Forgive our sins as we forgive,” written by Rosamond Herklots (1905-1987). She wrote the following words in 1966 after digging out weeds in her garden and thinking about how bitterness, hatred, and resentment are like poisonous weeds growing in the Christian garden of life. So often I find that poetry or music convey truths more effectively than prose, and so I commend these beautifully expressed words for your own devotion: we may not be able to sing hymns in church right now, but we can still pray them.

“Forgive our sins as we forgive,”
you taught us, Lord, to pray;
but you alone can grant us grace
to live the words we say.

How can your pardon reach and bless
the unforgiving heart
that broods on wrongs and will not let
old bitterness depart?

In blazing light your cross reveals
the truth we dimly knew,
how small the debts men owe to us,
how great our debt to you.

Lord, cleanse the depths within our souls,
and bid resentment cease;
then, reconciled to God and man,
our lives will spread your peace.

Yours in the peace of Christ,


Fr. Benjamin+

ANNOUNCEMENTS 

Welcome Back! – We’re delighted to be able to see you again this coming Sunday! While we continue to gather again, this privilege brings with it some protocols to keep us all safe. A summary of the safety protocols may be found here.

Virtual Offices and Masses – We offer Virtual Offices and Masses for those who wish to continue to participate safely from home. To access and view the LIVE (and archived) services, please visit the parish Facebook page here (you do not need a FB account to tune in). To access accompanying Daily Office and Low Mass readings and resources (as well as archived services), please visit the parish website sermon page here.

Virtual Coffee Hour – Please join us for Virtual Sunday Coffee Hour this Sunday, 13 September, at 11:30 am. Please click here to join. Note that this is a new link and will remain the link going forward. Further, coffee hour will now be every other Sunday. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact Fr. Benjamin Straley at rector@sstephens.necoxmail.com. Thank you!

A Note on E-mail Communications – Our apologies as the email servers for our Cox Business E-mail account have not been working the last few days. If you have tried reaching us, please be patient as we work this out. Thank you!

Holy Cross Day (14 September) – a major feast of the church year, will be kept this coming Monday with Evening Prayer at 5:30 pm, followed by Low Mass at 6 pm.

Monthly Commemoration of the Departed – whose year’s mind falls during September will be offered virtually and in person this coming Saturday, 19 September, at 10 am (preceded by Morning Prayer at 9:30 am). If you have any names to add to those to be remembered, please let Nancy Gingrich know. This Mass is sponsored by the Guild of All Souls, St. Stephen Protomartyr Branch: all are welcome and invited to attend!

Meet the Rector! – Please join us for an upcoming small group Zoom meeting with Father Benjamin! The next meeting is scheduled for Monday 9/14 at 7 pm. Contact Alison Huff at 401-465-8029 or alisonhuff12@gmail.com to join this event or to host one of your own!

College Ministry – Welcome to all new and returning students! We hope your first week of classes went well! The Episcopal Ministry at Brown and RISD (EMBR) is still preparing for this Fall and will kick off soon. Once we resume our programming, all undergraduate and graduate students will be most welcome and invited to attend.

Concerning Pledges and the Sunday Offering – Thank you to all who have been so faithful in maintaining your financial support of S. Stephen’s during this pandemic. As some are able to return to in-person worship while others understandably need to stay home, there are three ways to continue your giving to S. Stephen’s:
  • There is an offering plate in the back of the church where you may leave your offering.
  • Offerings can be sent to the church office through the mail.
  • You can give online by clicking here. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Again, thank you to all who have been so supportive.

FOR YOUR PRAYERS 

Prayers have been requested for: Charles, Sandra, Lola, Ruby, Norman, Diana, Sarah, Harrington, Joan, Jay, Ann, Beverly, Tom, Angela, Bobby, Beverly, and Rhoda.

Anniversary of Ordination to the Sacred Diaconate: Fr. Michael A. Pearson (Monday 9/14/77).

Birthday this week: Amanda Malone-Drew (Sunday 9/13).

Wedding Anniversary: Richard and Robyn Noble (Tuesday 9/15/84).

The faithful departed: Year’s Mind: James F. Littlefield (13 September 1986), Margaret Chase (13 September 1998), and George R. Finch (13 September 2009). Recently Departed: Steven Peay, Priest.

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer – In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Anglican Church of South America: The Most Rev’d Gregory James Venables, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of South America & Bishop of Argentina; in the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, for the people and clergy of The Church of the Holy Cross, Middletown, and The Church of the Redeemer, Providence.

THIS WEEK AT S. STEPHEN’S 

PARISH PROGRAMS, EVENTS & MEETINGS

Monday 14 September
Meet the Rector Small Group Meeting  7 pm

Saturday 19 September
Guild of All Souls  10 am (Lady Chapel)

EXTRA-PAROCHIAL EVENTS HOSTED AT S. STEPHEN’S

Saturday 19 September
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4:30 pm

LITURGICAL CALENDAR & SERVICE SCHEDULE

* REGATHERING HAS RESUMED FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES ON SUNDAYS (80 PEOPLE TOTAL) AND WEEKDAYS (14 PEOPLE TOTAL)
* ALL ATTENDEES MUST ADHERE TO WRITTEN AND VERBAL PROTOCOLS TO ATTEND


Sunday 13 September
FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary: Proper 19, Year Two

Monday 14 September
HOLY CROSS DAY (W)
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Tuesday 15 September
FERIA (G)
Our Lady of Sorrows (Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Wednesday 16 September
Ninian, Bishop of Galloway, Apostle of the Picts, c. 432 (W)
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Thursday 17 September
Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, Visionary, 1179 (W)
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Friday 18 September
Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, Tractarian, 1882 (W)
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Saturday 19 September
Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690
Morning Prayer  9:30 am
Low Requiem Mass  10 am (Black)

Sunday 20 September
SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

NEXT SUNDAY'S READINGS (20 September)

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Jonah 3:10—4:11
Psalm 145:1-8
Philippians 1:21-30

Friday, September 4, 2020

PARISH NOTES 
Sunday 6 September 2020

Saint Paul Writing His Epistles (between c. 1618 and c. 1620)
by Valentin de Boulogne (1591-1632). Oil on canvas.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
 

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Ezekiel 33:7-11
Psalm 119:33-40
Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:15-20

THIS SUNDAY’S MUSIC

J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750)—Sonata IV in E-moll, BWV 528: 2. Andante

Plainchant—Missa IX (Cum Jubilo)

J. S. Bach—Allabreve in D, BWV 589


A WORD OF WELCOME 

Welcome to Saint Stephen’s – S. Stephen’s Church is in the midst of Brown University and serves the communities of the East Side of Providence, North Providence, East Providence, and beyond. It is a parish of the Diocese of Rhode Island in the Episcopal Church in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Anglo-Catholic tradition informs and shapes our life together. We are a diverse community uniting all sorts and conditions in the worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ and aim to offer up the best we have in liturgy, music, preaching, teaching, fellowship, and service.


A WORD FROM FATHER BENJAMIN

Dear S. Stephen’s family,

Instead of reflecting on this Sunday’s Gospel reading, I’d like to look ahead to the following day, which is Labor Day.

One of the delightful things about our Book of Common Prayer is the rich variety of collects and prayers it provides for all sorts of occasions in both our personal, church, and national life. It is truly an “American” Prayer Book. It even provides a collect for Labor Day, found on pages 210 or 261.

Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

While many of us will be enjoying a day off and the official “last day of summer,” for many the ability to find work and support their families has been a considerable strain and uncertainty these past several months. I ask that you take the time to lift up in prayer all those in our city, state, and country that are currently seeking meaningful employment, as well as give thanks for all those whose labor makes our lives and economy possible, particularly in these times: for doctors, nurses, health care workers, utility company workers, trash collectors, reporters, teachers, bus drivers, janitorial staff, road repair crews … I could go on and on.

May we continue to labor for the common good of all, and remember that all we have ultimately comes from God, to whom we return the sum of our life and labor in every Eucharistic celebration. May we always remember to build upon the foundation that is Christ, the true cornerstone.

Blessings,








Fr. Benjamin+

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Welcome Back! – We’re delighted to be able to see you again this coming Sunday! While we continue to gather again, this privilege brings with it some protocols to keep us all safe. A summary of the safety protocols may be found here.

Virtual Offices and Masses – We offer Virtual Offices and Masses for those who wish to continue to participate safely from home. To access and view the LIVE (and archived) services, please visit the parish Facebook page here (you do not need a FB account to tune in). To access accompanying Daily Office and Low Mass readings and resources (as well as archived services), please visit the parish website sermon page here.

Virtual Coffee Hour Update – There will be no Coffee Hour this Sunday, as it is a holiday weekend. Further, the new schedule of virtual coffee hour will be every other Sunday. Therefore, please join us for Virtual Sunday Coffee Hour next Sunday, 13 September, at 11:30 am. (Please note there will be a new link next Sunday and this will remain the link for coffee hour going forward.) If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact Fr. Benjamin Straley at rector@sstephens.necoxmail.com. Thank you!

College Ministry – Welcome to all new and returning students! The Episcopal Ministry at Brown and RISD (EMBR) is still preparing for this Fall and will kick off soon. Once we resume our programming, all undergraduate and graduate students will be most welcome and invited to attend.

Labor Day (7 September) – as on all Federal Public Holidays, Low Mass this coming Monday will be offered at 10 am, preceded by Morning Prayer at 9:30 am.

The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (8 September) – a major feast of the church year, will be kept this coming Tuesday with Noonday Prayer at 12 pm, followed by Low Mass at 12:10 pm.

Vestry Meeting – The Vestry will virtually conduct its monthly meeting this coming Tuesday, 8 September, at 7 pm.

Meet the Rector! – Please join us for one of our upcoming small group Zoom meetings with Father Benjamin! The next meetings are scheduled for Wednesday 9/9 at 2 pm and Monday 9/14 at 7 pm. Contact Alison Huff at 401-465-8029 or alisonhuff12@gmail.com to join either event or to host one of your own!

Concerning Pledges and the Sunday Offering – Thank you to all who have been so faithful in maintaining your financial support of S. Stephen’s during this pandemic. As some are able to return to in-person worship while others understandably need to stay home, there are three ways to continue your giving to S. Stephen’s:
  • There is an offering plate in the back of the church where you may leave your offering.
  • Offerings can be sent to the church office through the mail.
  • You can give online by clicking here. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Again, thank you to all who have been so supportive.

FOR YOUR PRAYERS

Prayers have been requested for: Charles, Sandra, Lola, Ruby, Norman, Diana, Sarah, Harrington, Joan, Jay, Ann, Beverly, Tom, Angela, Bobby, Beverly, and Rhoda.

The faithful departed: Year’s Mind: Alan Peter Maynard, Priest (7 September 2006), Mary J. Seamans (10 September 1987), and Michele Leighton (11 September 2009). Recently Departed: Steven Peay, Priest.

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer – In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa: The Most Rev’d Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Capetown and Primate of Southern Africa; in the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, for a blessing upon all human labor and for those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work.

THIS WEEK AT S. STEPHEN’S

PARISH PROGRAMS, EVENTS & MEETINGS

Tuesday 8 September
Vestry Meeting  7 pm

Wednesday 9 September
Meet the Rector Small Group Meeting  2 pm

EXTRA-PAROCHIAL EVENTS HOSTED AT S. STEPHEN’S

Saturday 12 September
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4:30 pm

LITURGICAL CALENDAR & SERVICE SCHEDULE

* REGATHERING HAS RESUMED FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES ON SUNDAYS (80 PEOPLE TOTAL) AND WEEKDAYS (14 PEOPLE TOTAL)
* ALL ATTENDEES MUST ADHERE TO WRITTEN AND VERBAL PROTOCOLS TO ATTEND

Sunday 6 September
FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary: Proper 18, Year Two

Monday 7 September
FERIA (G)
Morning Prayer  9:30 am
Low Mass  10 am

Tuesday 8 September
THE BIRTH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (Blue)
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Wednesday 9 September
Constance, Nun, and Companions, 1878 (R)
Charles Fuge Lowder, Priest, Founder of the Society of the Holy Cross, 1880
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Thursday 10 September
FERIA (G)
Finnian, Abbot of Moville, 589
Alexander Crummell, Priest, 1898

Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Friday 11 September
FERIA (G)
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Saturday 12 September
John Henry Hobart, Bishop of New York, 1830 (W)
Morning Prayer  9:30 am
Low Mass  10 am

Sunday 13 September
FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

NEXT SUNDAY'S READINGS (13 September)

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Genesis 50:15-21
Psalm 103:8-13
Romans 14:1-12
Matthew 18:21-35

Friday, August 28, 2020

PARISH NOTES 
Sunday 30 August 2020

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1463) by Piero della Francesca (c. 1415-1492). Mural in fresco and tempera. Museo Comunale, Sansepolcro, Italy.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
 

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26:1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28

THIS SUNDAY’S MUSIC

Gabriel Dupont (1878 – 1914)—Meditation

William Byrd (1543 – 1623)—Mass for Four Voices

William Byrd—Ave verum Corpus

Eugène Gigout (1844 – 1925)—Toccata


A WORD OF WELCOME 

Welcome to Saint Stephen’s – S. Stephen’s Church is in the midst of Brown University and serves the communities of the East Side of Providence, North Providence, East Providence, and beyond. It is a parish of the Diocese of Rhode Island in the Episcopal Church in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Anglo-Catholic tradition informs and shapes our life together. We are a diverse community uniting all sorts and conditions in the worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ and aim to offer up the best we have in liturgy, music, preaching, teaching, fellowship, and service.


A WORD FROM FATHER BENJAMIN

Dear brothers and sisters,

This Sunday we encounter one of my favorite collects in the Prayer Book, which entreats God to “graft in our hearts the love of thy Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works.” As if to anticipate the questions, “Well, what exactly is true religion? And what are examples of the fruits of good works?” the portion from Paul’s letter to the Romans that we will hear on Sunday provides us with a long list of examples. “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.” And that’s only the beginning of it!

Our Gospel reading picks up where it left off last week, and we will encounter an impulsive Peter being admonished by Jesus with the infamous rebuke, “Get behind me, Satan!” Jesus then proceeds to remind them that the Christian life will be one of self-denial and forgoing the usual definitions of worldly success and power. The Gospel shows us that real power and true glory look very different from what we are often told they look like, and that we are to lead lives that more closely resemble in word and deed the actions and postures listed by St. Paul above.

I pray that we may always have the grace to take a step back and examine our lives, our actions, and our priorities, hold them up to the light of the Gospel, and consider whether our thoughts and deeds are in all honesty as closely aligned with the values of the Kingdom of God as they could be. Jesus’s words about self-denial and taking up the cross to follow him don’t exactly sound like an invitation to a happy or care-free life – but they do promise us that we will discover something worth more than life itself. And that, my friends, is a promise worthy of all our faithfulness.

Yours, in Christ’s love,








Fr. Benjamin

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Welcome Back! – We’re delighted to be able to see you again this coming Sunday! While we continue to gather again, this privilege brings with it some protocols to keep us all safe. A summary of the safety protocols may be found here.

An Update on In-person Worship Matters – As a follow up to last week’s update regarding the wearing of masks in public worship, I would like to remind the parish that the requirement for the Celebrant and all lectors, etc. to wear masks during the course of the liturgy is being made at the strongest possible urging of Bishop Knisely.

I am aware that this requirement has made it difficult to understand portions of the liturgy as easily, especially anything said without the aid of a microphone. We must simply be patient for the next few months and remain hopeful that things will improve sooner than later.

However, please know that as we install Wi-Fi in the church nave, and work to improve our live-streaming capabilities, one consequence of these changes will be bringing more of the liturgy back to its normal location, especially as regards the readings and the sermon. Such improvements will greatly improve the experience of those gathered for in-person worship, and the added camera angles will likewise enhance the experience of those worshiping online. 
- Fr. Benjamin

Virtual Offices and Masses – We offer Virtual Offices and Masses for those who wish to continue to participate safely from home. To access and view the LIVE (and archived) services, please visit the parish Facebook page here (you do not need a FB account to tune in). To access accompanying Daily Office and Low Mass readings and resources (as well as archived services), please visit the parish website sermon page here.

Virtual Coffee Hour – Please join us for our Virtual Sunday Coffee Hour this Sunday, 30 August, at 11:30 am. To attend, please click here. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact Junior Warden Alison Huff via call or text at 401-465-8029 or email (alisonhuff12@gmail.com), or Jacob Ihnen via call or text at 712-348-5848 or email (jacob_ihnen@alumni.brown.edu). Thank you!

Society of Mary – The Society of Mary: Our Lady of Providence Ward will meet this coming Saturday, 5 September, for Holy Rosary following the 10 am Low Mass. All are welcome and invited to participate!

Concerning Pledges and the Sunday Offering – Thank you to all who have been so faithful in maintaining your financial support of S. Stephen’s during this pandemic. As some are able to return to in-person worship while others understandably need to stay home, there are three ways to continue your giving to S. Stephen’s:

  • There is an offering plate in the back of the church where you may leave your offering.
  • Offerings can be sent to the church office through the mail.
  • You can give online by clicking here. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Again, thank you to all who have been so supportive.

FOR YOUR PRAYERS

Prayers have been requested for: Beverly, Patti, Ethel, Carl, Kade, Sherri, Charles, Sandra, Lola, Ruby, Norman, Diana, Sarah, Shannah, Lynne, Harrington, Joan, Robyn, Phebe, Hunter, Jay, Ann, Beth, Sandy, Kiersten, Beverly, Tom, Jill, Bryan, Angela, Bobby, Susan, Beverly, Rhoda, Crystal, and Christopher.

The faithful departed: Year’s Mind: Eleanor Fayerweather (30 August 1992), Philip Joseph Miller (30 August 2015), Robert Thomas McElligott (2 September 1989), and Malcolm Donald Hyman (4 September 2009). Recently Departed: Clare Powers MacLean.

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer – In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the united Church of South India: The Most Rev’d Dharmaraj Rasalam, Moderator of CSI & Bishop of South Kerala; in the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, for our Bishop and members of the Diocesan Staff.

THIS WEEK AT S. STEPHEN’S

PARISH PROGRAMS, EVENTS & MEETINGS

Saturday 5 September
Society of Mary  10:45 am (Lady Chapel)

EXTRA-PAROCHIAL EVENTS HOSTED AT S. STEPHEN’S

Saturday 5 September
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4:30 pm

LITURGICAL CALENDAR & SERVICE SCHEDULE

* REGATHERING HAS RESUMED FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES ON SUNDAYS (80 PEOPLE TOTAL) AND WEEKDAYS (14 PEOPLE TOTAL)
* ALL ATTENDEES MUST ADHERE TO WRITTEN AND VERBAL PROTOCOLS TO ATTEND


Sunday 30 August
THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary: Proper 17, Year Two

Monday 31 August
FERIA (G)
Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Tuesday 1 September
FERIA (G)
Giles of Provence, Hermit, c. 710
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Wednesday 2 September
FERIA (G)
The Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1942
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Thursday 3 September
FERIA (G)
Phoebe, Companion of Saint Paul, Deaconess, 1st century
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Friday 4 September
FERIA (G)
Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester, Apostle of Wessex, 650
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Saturday 5 September
FERIA (G)
Boris & Gleb (Romanus & David), Princes, Martyrs, 1015
Morning Prayer  9:30 am
Low Mass  10 am
Holy Rosary  10:45 am

Sunday 6 September
FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

NEXT SUNDAY'S READINGS (6 September)

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Ezekiel 33:7-11
Psalm 119:33-40
Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:15-20

Friday, August 21, 2020

PARISH NOTES 
Sunday 23 August 2020

Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter (1598) by Bernardo Castello (1557-1629).
Illumination on vellum. Louvre Museum, Paris, France.

THIS SUNDAY’S READINGS
 

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Isaiah 51:1-6
Psalm 138
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20

THIS SUNDAY’S MUSIC

J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750)—Praeludium in C-dur, BWV 547

Plainchant—Missa VIII (De Angelis)

J. S. Bach—Fuga in C-dur, BWV 547


A WORD OF WELCOME 

Welcome to Saint Stephen’s – S. Stephen’s Church is in the midst of Brown University and serves the communities of the East Side of Providence, North Providence, East Providence, and beyond. It is a parish of the Diocese of Rhode Island in the Episcopal Church in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Anglo-Catholic tradition informs and shapes our life together. We are a diverse community uniting all sorts and conditions in the worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ and aim to offer up the best we have in liturgy, music, preaching, teaching, fellowship, and service.


A WORD FROM FATHER BENJAMIN

“But who do you say that I am?”

I simply love every time this Gospel reading comes up in the lectionary. It cuts right to the essential question at the heart of the Christian faith: Who is Jesus? How we answer that question reveals a lot about us – and it is the question that has defined and shaped the Church since its first days. It is the question that lies behind the emergence of the Church from its Jewish roots, to the Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Ephesus, and even into the sixth century: who is Jesus? And what are the implications of the answer (or answers) to that question?

How we answer that question has everything to do with how we worship as the Church, particularly at S. Stephen’s. Jesus is God made Man – God Incarnate – the Second Person of the Trinity – who has left us a wondrous sacrament in which we continue to experience indwelling with him. Because of his Real Presence in the Sacrament, we enter worship with an acute awareness that we are entering into the presence of the Holy. Our worship, even though earthly, becomes a foretaste or anticipation of the heavenly.

And so we come to Mass and “present [ourselves] a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is [our] spiritual worship,” as St. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans. St. Paul also has a good deal to say about the nature of the Church as the Body of Christ, and how that shapes our interactions and responsibilities to each other as fellow members of the Body. It is the perfect passage to be presented with as we begin to think about our time together: what gifts do we each bring to the table? How might we all use our gifts to collectively build up the Body of Christ that is S. Stephen’s Church in Providence? How will we continue to build on the successes of the past, while entering into a new season of life with a new Rector?

However we do it, it will be done with our focus on the one who calls us to follow him – the one who asks us, “Who do you say that I am?” Like Simon Peter, may we always have the boldness to proclaim him as “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” He is the Head of the Body, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Living Water, the Good Shepherd, and our true and living Bread, who sustains us in all our life’s journeys.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Welcome Back! – We’re delighted to be able to see you again this coming Sunday! While we continue to gather again, this privilege brings with it some protocols to keep us all safe. A summary of the safety protocols may be found here.

Thank you from Fr. Benjamin – Dear S. Stephen’s family,

I want to echo my thanks that I gave on Sunday morning at Mass, and thank you profoundly for the outpouring of generosity upon my arrival in Providence two weeks ago. The stocked fridge, pantry, and additional gifts, including gift cards to Petco and Adler’s Hardware were very thoughtful and have already come in handy! I am very touched, and cannot thank you enough. You cannot know what a gift a stocked refrigerator is in the midst of a move on a hot summer day, particularly when dealing with two cats. To the Wardens, Vestry Members, Society of Mary, Guild of All Souls, and every parishioner, “THANK YOU.”

An Update on Safety Protocols – Following a Town Hall style meeting with Bishop Knisely this past Thursday night, I have some information to share regarding the wearing of masks during the liturgy. Whereas before, when in-person worship was first resumed, the Celebrant and lectors were permitted to officiate without wearing masks, Bishop Knisely revised those guidelines to require that the Celebrant and others wear a mask at all times. This comes out of a meeting with Dr. Anthony Fauci with the House of Bishops in which he communicated the most up-to-date scientific findings which show that the COVID-19 virus is spread primarily through droplets in the air, and that masks are extremely effective in containing the transmission of COVID-19.

I am aware that the wearing of a mask rendered parts of the sermon hard to understand for those in attendance on my first Sunday. Please know we are working to address this, and we will make sure the microphone is placed in a better position this Sunday as a first step in that direction. We are also working on measures to move more of our worship back into the Nave, utilizing once again the pulpit and lectern. Whatever frustration this might bring, the good news is that all of these measures are being put in place so that we can return to a place of “normalcy” as soon as possible. What a gift! What a wonderful thought! Worshiping in a way that resembles normalcy by October or November – or once again going to a football game in the fall.

While it is an inconvenience, it is a small price to pay with the larger goal in mind, and so I pray that we may continue to keep our eyes on the prize. Together, we can do this!

Blessings,
Fr. Benjamin

Virtual Offices and Masses – We offer Virtual Offices and Masses for those who wish to continue to participate safely from home. To access and view the LIVE (and archived) services, please visit the parish Facebook page here (you do not need a FB account to tune in). To access accompanying Daily Office and Low Mass readings and resources (as well as archived services), please visit the parish website sermon page here.

Virtual Coffee Hour – Please join us for our Virtual Sunday Coffee Hour this Sunday, 23 August, at 11:30 am. To attend, please click here. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact Junior Warden Alison Huff via call or text at 401-465-8029 or email (alisonhuff12@gmail.com), or Jacob Ihnen via call or text at 712-348-5848 or email (jacob_ihnen@alumni.brown.edu). Thank you!

Saint Bartholomew the Apostle (24 August) – a major feast day of the church year, will be celebrated this coming Monday with Evening Prayer at 5:30 pm and Low Mass at 6 pm.

Meet the Rector – Volunteers are still needed to host a series of small group gatherings of 5 or so either in person or by Zoom. If you are interested in hosting, please contact Joy D'Ambra (JoyLDAmbra@gmail.com) or Alison Huff (alisonhuff12@gmail.com).

Concerning Pledges and the Sunday Offering – Thank you to all who have been so faithful in maintaining your financial support of S. Stephen’s during this pandemic. As some are able to return to in-person worship while others understandably need to stay home, there are three ways to continue your giving to S. Stephen’s:
  • There is an offering plate in the back of the church where you may leave your offering.
  • Offerings can be sent to the church office through the mail.
  • You can give online by clicking here. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Again, thank you to all who have been so supportive.

FOR YOUR PRAYERS

Prayers have been requested for: Beverly, Patti, Ethel, Carl, Kade, Sherri, Charles, Sandra, Lola, Ruby, Norman, Diana, Sarah, Shannah, Lynne, Harrington, Joan, Robyn, Phebe, Hunter, Jay, Ann, Beth, Sandy, Kiersten, Beverly, Tom, Jill, Bryan, Angela, Bobby, Susan, Beverly, Rhoda, Crystal, and Christopher.

40th Wedding Anniversary: Fr. Bill & Ethel Locke (Sunday 8/23/80).

Birthdays this week: Patti Barnes (Wednesday 8/26), Florence Ferreira (Wednesday 8/26), Julie Pearson (Thursday 8/27), and Simon Newby (Saturday 8/29).

The faithful departed: Year’s Mind: Robert E. Latham (23 August 1999), Phoebe Robertson (23 August 2016), Thomas Edward Goode (24 August 1991), Florence Thorpe (24 August 1994), Sheila Kathleen Beresford (26 August 1986), and Jonathan T. Glass, Priest (28 August 2004). Recently Departed: Lorraine Slaney and Clare Powers MacLean.

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer – In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Church of the Province of South East Asia: The Most Rev’d Melter Tais, Archbishop of South East Asia & Bishop of Sabah; in the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, for students and leaders of our campus ministries at Brown/RISD, the University of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island College.

THIS WEEK AT S. STEPHEN’S

EXTRA-PAROCHIAL EVENTS HOSTED AT S. STEPHEN’S

Saturday 29 August
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4:30 pm

LITURGICAL CALENDAR & SERVICE SCHEDULE

* REGATHERING HAS RESUMED FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES ON SUNDAYS (80 PEOPLE TOTAL) AND WEEKDAYS (14 PEOPLE TOTAL)
* ALL ATTENDEES MUST ADHERE TO WRITTEN AND VERBAL PROTOCOLS TO ATTEND


Sunday 23 August
TWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary: Proper 16, Year Two

Monday 24 August
SAINT BARTHOLOMEW THE APOSTLE (R)
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Tuesday 25 August
FERIA (G)
Louis, King of France, 1270
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Wednesday 26 August
FERIA (G)
Dominic Barberi, Priest, Religious, Missionary, 1849
Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Thursday 27 August
FERIA (G)
Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Friday 28 August
Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher, 430 (W)
Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Saturday 29 August
FERIA (G)
Beheading of John the Baptist
Morning Prayer  9:30 am
Low Mass  10 am

Sunday 30 August
THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (G)
Sung Mass  10 am

NEXT SUNDAY'S READINGS (30 August)

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26:1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28