Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church 

Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of December 11, 2022

December Messenger:

Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

From Our Prayers of the People 

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of Kenya

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, Priscilla Sprague, June Russell, Bill Frank, Susie Olsen, and Joe White

Those who celebrate birthdays this week: Evan Fronk

Those who have died: Vera Anker, Dora Gardner, Katherine Dorman, Hiola Henry

Advent Wreath Candle Lighting

Officiant:  Blessed are you, Sovereign Lord, just and true: To you be praise and glory for ever.

                  Your prophet John the Baptist was witness to the truth as a burning and shining light.

                   May we your servants rejoice in his light, and so be led to witness to him who is the

                    Lord of your coming kingdom, Jesus our Savior and King of the ages.

People:  Blessed be God for ever.

The Officiant now lights the third candle in silence.

Officiant and People:  Lord Jesus, light of the world, John told the people to prepare,

                   for you were very near. As Christmas grows closer day by day, help us to be ready to welcome you now. Amen.

This week’s Lessons

3 Advent  

The Collect and Scripture Readings for the third Sunday of  Advent, Year A

PSALM 146:4-9

   4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *

    whose hope is in the Lord their God;

5 Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *

    who keeps his promise for ever;

6 Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *

    and food to those who hunger.

7 The Lord sets the prisoners free;

  the Lord opens the eyes of the blind; *

    the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;

8 The Lord loves the righteous;

  the Lord cares for the stranger; *

    he sustains the orphan and widow,

    but frustrates the way of the wicked.

9 The Lord shall reign for ever, *

    your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.



Isaiah 35:1-10

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice  and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.  Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of  water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become  reeds and rushes.  A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.   


James 5:7-10

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors!  As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  


Matthew 11:2-11

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for  another?”  Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:  the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind?  What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces.  What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’   Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”  


Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come

among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins,

let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver

us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and

the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

News and Updates 

Music Today

Prelude          Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus             Broughton

Opening Hymn                                                                             #66

Musical Offering      Creation Will Be at Peace         Williams/Page

Music Offering               Long-Awaited One                  Elsey/Nolan

Closing Hymn #76

Postlude               Carillon on ‘Comfort Ye My People’            Fedak

Current Announcements

Lectors:  P Sprague,  D May

Ushers: R Stefanski, D May

Celebrant / Officiant Update:  

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.

If you indicated on your pledge card that you wanted pledge envelopes they can be found in the nave extension with your name on the box. If you were not able to make a pledge, but would like pledge envelopes, please email Denise Crates at

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

*Humphrey family asking for prayers – The Humphrey family has requested prayers from the congregation for the safe return of their missing child, Samantha (Marilyn’s great granddaughter). 

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.

Tuesday Lunch Menu

December 13

Christmas Party

Cheese & Cracker Board

Holiday Punch Bowl

Hand Carved Oven Roasted Ham

Au Gratin Potatoes

Butternut Squash

Green Beans

Salad Bar

Soup of the Day

Holiday Ice cream Brownie Sundaes

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.  

  Blue Christmas Service – A Celebration of Remembrance & Hope December 21| 6:30 PM St. George’s, Clifton Park On Wednesday, December 21st at 6:30pm, St. George’s Clifton Park will offer a gentle and contemplative service for those who are carrying grief and loss, whether the devastating loss of a loved one or the daily small losses we are all grieving during Advent. The service will be held in the large nave of the church. There will be a simple reception afterwards in our parish hall.


Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning – contact Becky Holder for the link:

Our office email is:

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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