Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church 

Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of December 4, 2022

Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

From Our Prayers of the People 

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem

& The Middle East

Our Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury; Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; and Allison de Kanel, our lay reader

Those who are in need of strength and healing: Mary Ann Harrington, David Humphrey, Marilyn Causey, Eunice Chouffi, Mary Frances Hatfield, Vincent Avila, June Russell, Bill Frank, Chris Holder, and Joe White

Those who celebrate birthdays this week: Louise Peake, Millie Gittinger, Vicki Hoshko, Claudia Turner

Those who celebrate baptisms this week: Jean Versocki, Linnea Cooke

Those who have died: Raymond Hughes, Rudolph Stauss, Albert Wilman, George Raser, Fred Williams, Frances Didion, Helen Ott

This week’s Lessons

2 Advent  

The Collect and Scripture Readings for the second Sunday of Advent, 

Year A

COLLECT

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to

preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:

Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,

that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy

Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

FIRST LESSON

Isaiah 11:1-10

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, 

and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 

The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, 

the spirit of wisdom and understanding, 

the spirit of counsel and might, 

the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 

His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. 

He shall not judge by what his eyes see, 

or decide by what his ears hear; 

but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, 

and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; 

he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, 

and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. 

Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, 

and faithfulness the belt around his loins. 

The wolf shall live with the lamb, 

the leopard shall lie down with the kid, 

the calf and the lion and the fatling together, 

and a little child shall lead them. 

The cow and the bear shall graze, 

their young shall lie down together; 

and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 

The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, 

and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. 

They will not hurt or destroy 

on all my holy mountain; 

for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD 

as the waters cover the sea. 

On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

PSALM 72:1-7, 18-19

1 Give the King your justice, O God, *
and your righteousness to the King’s Son;

2 That he may rule your people righteously *
and the poor with justice;

3 That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, *
and the little hills bring righteousness.

4 He shall defend the needy among the people; *
he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.

5 He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure, *
from one generation to another.

6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown field, *
like showers that water the earth.

7 In his time shall the righteous flourish; *
there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.

18 Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, *
who alone does wondrous deeds!

19 And blessed be his glorious Name for ever! *
and may all the earth be filled with his glory.
Amen. Amen.

SECOND LESSON

Romans 15:4-13

For whatever was written in former days was written for our

instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.  May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.  For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name”; and again he says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;  and again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples  praise him”;  and again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises  to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope.”  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  

GOSPEL

Matthew 3:1-12

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of

Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'”  Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.  Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.  But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”    

News and Updates 

Music Today

Prelude       Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus        Broughton                                      

Opening Hymn                                             #59

Sequence Hymn                               # 67

Offertory Anthem      Creation Will Be at Peace           Williams/Page  

Closing Hymn                                             #65

Postlude                    Carillon on ‘Comfort Ye My People’          Fedak

Current Announcements

Usher: P Nelson, G Woodzell

Lectors: S Schuldt, D Schuldt

Celebrant: Father Marshall Vang

Coffee Hour: Carole Merrill-Mazurek & Budd Mazurek

Celebrant / Officiant Update:  

12/11- Morning Prayer – Allison de Kanel

12/18- Father Marshall Vang

12/24- 5 pm Christmas Eve Service – Father Marshall Vang

12/25 -9:30 am Christmas Day – Mother Sally Heiligman

Christmas Pageant – Mark your calendars! This year’s Christmas Pageant will be during the 9:30 service on December 18, 2022!

Advent Outreach –  During Advent we will collect money for UNICEF to support the children of Ukraine.  Our goal is to raise $1,000 by Christmas.  You may contribute by check or cash in the offering plate or in the box in the nave extension.  Make checks out to St. Stephen’s Church, marked for UNICEF.  Your donation will help UNICEF ensure that Ukraine’s children have access to safe water, nutrition, health care, education and protection.

St. Joseph’s Place  Thank you to those who have contributed so that we may continue providing lunches once a month.  The lunches are funded now through March or April of next year.  Our next date is Wednesday, January 25.  Come join us for an hour at 9 a.m.! 

Requests from Street Soldiers Schenectady – drop off donations at Zion Lutheran Church parking lot, Sundays, 3-4 pm.

All Fall and Winter – Winter hats, gloves, mittens, scarves and socks

We are accepting new or gently used and freshly laundered items. Thank you!

Ongoing Covid and the addition of flu and RSV have us feeling as if pandemic precautions will never end. Due to change in the seasons and longer indoor exposures we invite you to consider masking at church if you feel vulnerable.  Masks are available from the ushers if anyone would like to use one.  Let’s keep strong and healthy.

Parishioner in need of a ride –  We have a request from a parishioner, Hellen Perkins,  in need of a ride to church once a month or so. If you are interested and able to help please let Bethany know at office@st.stephens.church.



Ongoing adult education opportunities

A weekly Healing Service in the Chapel of St. Michael and All Angels. After Communion, prayer teams locate throughout the chapel for ministry. Additional prayer ministry is offered by appointment.Lunches at Christ the King Center

Stations of Advent at Christ the King
Tuesday, December 6 at 1pm
Led by Fr Bill Hinrichs and Mtr Meaghan Keegan
You have probably prayed the Stations of the Cross many times, and even if you haven’t prayed them, you have probably heard of them. Praying the Stations of the Cross, prayerfully accompanying Christ on his way to Calvary, is an ancient devotion – especially popular during Lent – meant to help us grow in our friendship with the Lord. Why not do something similar during Advent?


In Advent we pay special attention to three comings of Christ: his first coming in Bethlehem, his final coming at the end of history, and his coming here and now in our hearts through the Church’s liturgical celebrations. Christ’s comings are the fulfillment of God’s promise to redeem the fallen human family. The redemption culminated in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, which happened on the first day of the week, also referred to by theological tradition as the “eighth day” – the day after the Sabbath, which was the seventh day of the ancient Jewish week. With that in mind, we have produced this little booklet with the Eight Stations of Advent. The introduction explains the elements of each Station and how to use them. We sincerely hope that this little devotion will help you live this Advent and Christmas more deeply, peacefully, and meaningfully than ever before.
This event is free and open to all. ou may RSVP to let us know you plan to attend by emailing director@ctkcenter.org.
For those interested lunch is served at 12 noon in the Welcome Center for $15 per person. To make a reservation visit: CtK (tableagent.com)Messiah
December 6| 7:00 PM
Woodrow Bynum leads The Cathedral of All Saints Choir of Men & Boys and The Cathedral Consort in a performance of Handel’s masterpiece, MESSIAH at 7 p.m. on Tuesday 6 December. Reserve your tickets early.https://albanymessiah.bpt.me/
Advent Taize Service
December 9| 6:30 PMSt. Ann’s Church | 37 Division St. Amsterdam An Advent Taize service will be celebrated on Friday, 12/9 at 6:30 pm at St. Ann’s, Amsterdam.  A Taizé worship service involves sung and chanted prayers, meditation, a period of silence, liturgical readings, and icons. There is no preaching. The style of prayer practiced at Taizé has attracted many worshipers from around the globe and from many different denominations The prayers consist of “short chants, repeated again and again,” according to an introduction in a Taizé songbook. “The words are sung over many times.”  

   A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols December 20| 7:00-9:00 PM The Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys sing A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with music for brass and organ beginning at 6:30 PM.Loved by millions, the Festival of Nine Lesson and Carols is a traditional part of the run-up to Christmas for many families.The original service was devised by E. W. Benson, the first Bishop of Truro and later Archbishop of Canterbury.According to his son A. C. Benson (who wrote the words to Elgar’s ‘Land of Hope and Glory’), his father “arranged from ancient sources a little service for Christmas Eve – nine carols and nine tiny lessons, which were read by various officers of the Church, beginning with a chorister, and ending, through the different grades, with the Bishop.”It was Eric Milner-White, Dean of King’s College Cambridge, who brought the service to the masses beginning in 1918. Deciding the Festival would be more uplifting than Evensong on Christmas Eve, he set up the Festival as an annual occurrence at King’s College Chapel and achieve instant popularity, spreading his new idea to schools, chapels and churches around the world. Please arrive early to ensure available seating. 

Reminders

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning – contact Becky Holder for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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