Weekly Newsletter

ST. STEPHEN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – SERVICE OF HOLY EUCHARIST II

October 17, 2021 † 10:00 am

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Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Lectionary Readings

Job 38:1-7, 34-41
Psalm 104:1-9, 25, 37b
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

Worship Assistants

Lesson 1 and Psalm: Tom Mohr
Lesson 2: Greg Branan
Eucharistic Minister: Bea Mohr
Ushers: Larry Flores and Tom Mohr

Weekly Bible Study: 21 Pentecost

The text of the sermon offered by Matt+ last Sunday is available by clicking here.

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As a reminder, we are returning to indoor worship this Sunday with our 10:00 a.m. service of Holy Eucharist II. For those who cannot or choose not to attend, the service will be live streamed as it is each week on the parish Facebook page.

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From the Priest’s Study

Dear St. Stephen’s family,

The guest speaker at this week’s clergy retreat in Salem challenged us to consider how the ideas of salt and light can be seen in our lives. We had an opportunity to talk about the former as things that season, preserve and are reflected in creation (the sea) and our emotions (tears). For many, light signified such things as hope, promise, warmth and birth. This by no means is an exhaustive list for either; there were as many images as there were folks in the room.

As we approach the start of our stewardship season, I invite you to consider what salt and light mean in your lives and how you seem them incorporated in your roles as empowered agents of God. I also invite you to consider them as sacraments. In the Episcopal tradition we have two major sacraments – Baptism and the Eucharist – that are ways of making God visible to the congregation. But as we clergy were reminded, we can actually consider that there are millions of sacraments because there are millions of ways God is made known to us: through the actions we witness from our friends, neighbors and loved ones; through the work we do on behalf of others here and in the broader community; and through how we see the images of salt and light active in creation.

I give thanks each day for your faithful witness, love for your neighbor, and living into the Baptismal Covenant. Each of you – and the salt and light you provide – are stones in the foundation on which St. Stephen’s continues to be built!

Grace and blessings,
Matt+

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All Saints Remembrance: November 7

As part of our service of Holy Eucharist on Sunday, November 7 we will include a time to remember by name all those parishioners, friends and loved ones who have died during the past year and gone to join the communion of saints. If there are names you would like included in this remembrance please email them to the Parish Office.

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Candidates for Vestry

At the end of this year two members of our Vestry will complete their terms of service, which means we’ll have two seats to fill at our next parish annual meeting in January. According to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, a confirmed adult communicant of the parish in good standing for at least one year preceding the election is eligible to stand for election to a three-year term on the Vestry. Service on the Vestry is an outstanding way of sharing your gifts and talents for the benefit of the entire parish and enables you to participate in caring for our facilities, managing the finances of the church, working with the priest in planning for the future, and helping grow the kingdom. If you are interested in standing for election or have any questions about what being on the Vestry entails, don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of the Vestry.

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Forward Day by Day

The Forward Day by Day devotional book for November/December/January is now available. Copies can be found on the table at the back of the sanctuary; please help yourself to these wonderful prayer and devotional aids.

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Outreach Opportunity: United Way Food Drive

Between now and October 27 we’re gathering food in support of the United Way of Central Virginia annual October Food Drive. The specific items requested are apple sauce, canned soup, coffee/tea, macaroni and cheese, rice, canned fruit, canned veggies, canned meats, condiments, cereal, dish soap, flour, pancake mix, syrup, baby food, pasta sauce, hamburger helper, juices, instant potatoes, beans, and sugar free options. (The United Way is asking that only individual or family-sized items be donated; no large items.) Additionally they are encouraging the donation of high-demand protein items, such as canned tuna, salmon, chicken and peanut and other nut butters. If you would like to make a donation, please bring it with you when you come to church on Sunday mornings (October 17 and 24) or feel free to drop it by during the work week. Matt+ is typically in the office Monday – Thursday from 8:30 – 3:00 but he recommends you call first to make sure he’s not away on a pastoral call or at a meeting. We’ll gather all donations together in the Parish Hall and at the end of the month box and deliver them to one of the United Way collection points. A flyer that you can download and share with other friends and neighbors is available here.

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Calendar of Special Services, Events and Parish Notices (October – December 2021)

Saturday, November 6 (Time TBD): Fall Parish Cleanup and Gravestone Cleaning Workshop
Thursday, November 25 (9:00 a.m.): Thanksgiving Day Eucharist
Thursday, December 23 (7:00 p.m.): Longest Night Service
Friday, December 24 (5:00 p.m.): Service of Lessons and Carols
Friday, December 24 (10:00 p.m.): Christmas Eve Eucharist

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Revised Worship Guidelines

  • Based on updated CDC guidelines and continued evaluation of available data by our Health and Safety Committee, we are once again requiring that all worshipers wear a face mask for our indoor services, regardless of vaccination status. This includes anyone who has had previously-documented COVID-19 and especially those who are immunocompromised.
  • We will continue screening worshipers upon arrival at the church; please continue avoiding direct physical contact during the passing of the peace.
  • If you travel abroad, we recommend you follow CDC guidelines upon your return.
  • The process for taking part in the Eucharist will be explained at each service, and ushers are available to guide you.Thank you for your faithfulness in keeping our congregation and visitors safe throughout this time!

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Support for St. Stephen’s

We are grateful for your continuing support of St. Stephen’s through your gifts of time, talent and treasure and deeply appreciative of your prayerful gifts to the mission and ministry of the parish. If you wish to make a one time or recurring gift or make your pledge online, please visit https://tithe.ly/give_new/www/#/tithely/give-one-time/1565122.

For more information about life here at St. Stephen’s please visit our website, www.ststephensforest.org. In the time ahead we will be making updates so that it becomes a go-to source for information together with our parish Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ststephensforest.

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