Friday, October 9, 2020

PARISH NOTES, Sunday, October 11, 2020



Sunday 11 October 2020


Parable of the Great Banquet, by Brunswick Monogrammist (circa 1525), location: National Museum, Warsaw.



Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)

Isaiah 25:1-9

Philippians 4:1-9

Matthew 22:1-14

Click here for a link to this Sunday’s readings.



Herbert Howells (1892-1983) Partita, IV. Sarabande for the 12 day of any October

Edward C. Bairstow (1874-1946) — Office of Holy Communion

Herbert Murrill (1909-1952) — Carillon



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.



Dear brothers and sisters,

This Sunday, we’ll hear the Parable of the Great Banquet, in which many are called and invited by a king to a wedding banquet for his son. Some things go awry with the first round of invited guests, and especially badly for one poor soul who didn’t read the invitation carefully enough.

I’ll have more to say about that on Sunday, but for now, I want us to stop and consider the great and wondrous banquet that is the Eucharist we are invited to continually by God, whether on Sundays or in the quiet celebrations of daily mass.  So often words can fail to describe all that we seek to capture when we attempt what we find and receive in God.  I find that music often fills that gap, particularly hymns. Sadly, right now, we are not able to safely all sing together, but I will commend to your devotion the words of the hymn “Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness” for your use.

Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness,

leave the gloomy haunts of sadness,

come into the daylight’s splendor;

there with joy thy praises render

unto him whose grace unbounded

hath this wondrous banquet founded;

high o’er all the heavens he reigneth,

yet to dwell with thee he deigneth.


Sun, who all my life dost brighten;

Light, Who dost my soul enlighten;

Joy the best that any knoweth;

Fount, whence all my being floweth;

at thy feet I cry, my Maker,

let me be a fit partaker

of this blessed food from heaven,

for our good, thy glory, given.


Jesus, Bread of life, I pray thee,

let me gladly here obey thee;

never to my hurt invited,

be thy love with love requited;

from this banquet let me measure,

Lord, how vast and deep it's treasure;

through the gifts thou here dost give me

as thy guest in heaven receive me. 

Furthermore, perhaps look up a recording of the hymn on YouTube. And while you’re at it, listen to J.S. Bach’s cantata (BWV 180) based on the same text and tune, which you can find here on YouTube. Bask in the beauty of God’s banquet which spills into our lives in numerous ways – art, music, or the warm sun upon our faces in these beautiful, crisp autumn days.


Fr. Benjamin+




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.

UPDATE: 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 archived services, please visit the parish website sermon page here.

**Please note, at this point, Friday & Saturday masses will no longer be livestreamed.  While masses Sunday through Thursday will continue to be livestreamed, they will not be archived on the S. Stephen’s website: they will only be archived on our Facebook Page.  Additionally, readings and other liturgical sources for daily services will not be posted on the S. Stephen’s website. Only Sunday 10:00 Masses and Major Feasts or commemorations will be archived on the website.


Stewardship Sunday Stewardship Sunday is today! Most of you have received letters in the mail from Fr. Benjamin and Sharon Lloyd Clark. Today we kick off a month long “season” of Stewardship, as we ask you to consider your commitment for 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 this Sunday. Otherwise, please pledge online ( or return your card via mail. We would like to have all pledges in by Sunday, November 15. Thank you for all the many ways in which you are already supporting S. Stephen’s.


Honoring Fr. Locke Next 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.

"Meet the Rector" Zoom Meeting Wednesdays in October at 7 pm Please drop in to meet Fr. Benjamin by Zoom any Wednesday evening in October at 7 pm. Contact junior warden Alison Huff at or call or email the office for more information or simply join by clicking here.


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 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.


Beyond our Parish – the Center for Reconciliation (an Initiative of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island): CFR’s Classic Walking Tour—Now back for a limited time only! October 8 - November 1, 2020

Thursdays, 2:00 pm; Saturdays, 10:00 am and 2:00 pm; Sundays, 2:00 pm

Tickets: $25/person, 6 people maximum per tour

For more information and for booking requests go to

Despite being the smallest colony and then the smallest state, Rhode Island was one of the US's largest contributors to the international slave trade. How? In College Hill and the International Slave Trade, you will discover how white residents of College Hill trafficked in and owned enslaved people of African descent, therefore creating wealth in Providence and helping to lay the foundation for race relations in the state.

During our two-hour hike through history, we'll discuss complicity and resistance from the viewpoints of enslaved Ghanaians, indentured Irish sailors, housewives, captains, barrel makers, chocolatiers, church bishops, insurance dealers, and Quaker slave owners and abolitionists.

The CFR takes the health and safety of its tour guides and tour participants extremely seriously. All tours will be conducted entirely outdoors with appropriate COVID-19 precautions taken.


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

Birthdays this week: Christine Sylvia (Friday 10/16).

Wedding Anniversary: Kristin Ripley-McNamar (Sunday 10/11).

The faithful departed: Year’s Mind: James K. Walker (11 October 2008), David W. Marsland (14 October 1993), Albert Croft (15 October 1984), William N. H. Potterton (17 October 1997).

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer  In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Church of the Province of Uganda, the Most Revd Stephen Samuel Kaziimba - Archbishop of Uganda & and Bishop of Kampala; in the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, for those who serve on the Diocesan Commission on Investments; Commission on Finance; Program and Budget Committee; congregational stewardship committees; treasurers; auditors; bookkeepers; and all those who are stewards of the wealth God has entrusted to the church.





Sunday 11 October
EMBR: Evening Prayer and Low Mass  5:30 pm (Lady Chapel)


TUESDAY 13 October

Vestry Meeting, 7:00 pm (via Zoom)



Saturday 17 October
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4 pm




Sunday 11 October

Philip, Deacon and Evangelist

Morning Prayer  8 am

Low Mass  8:10 am

Sung Mass  10 am

EMBR Campus Eucharist 5:30 pm

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary: Proper 23, Year Two

Monday 12 October (Columbus Day, Federal Holiday)

Wilfrid of Ripon, Bishop, Missionary, 709

Morning Prayer  9:30 am

Low Mass  10 am

Tuesday 13 October

Edward the Confessor, King of England, 1066

Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Wednesday 14 October
Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, Bishop of Shanghai, 1906 (W)

Evening Prayer  5:30 pm
Low Mass  6 pm

Thursday 15 October
Teresa of Avila, Carmelite Nun, Teacher, 1582 (W)

Noonday Prayer  12 noon
Low Mass  12:10 pm

Friday 16 October
Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, Bishops, 1555 (R)

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1556

Noonday Prayer  12 noon

Low Mass  12:10 pm

Saturday 17 October

Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, and Martyr, c. 115 (R)

Morning Prayer  9:30 am

Low Mass  10 am


Sunday 18 October

Morning Prayer  8 am

Low Mass  8:10 am

Sung Mass  10 am

EMBR Campus Eucharist  5:30 pm


Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)

Isaiah 45:1-7

Psalm 96:1-9

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Matthew 22:15-22

Click here for link to the readings.