Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church 

Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of December 18, 2022


Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

From Our Prayers of the People 

Anglican Cycle of Prayer:  The Anglican Church of Korea

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,Sal Belardo, Samantha Humphrey & the Humphery Family, and Joe White

Those who celebrate birthdays this week: Shirley Gretz

Those who celebrate baptisms this week: George Woodzell

Those who celebrate wedding anniversaries this week: Linda & Gerald Perreguax

Those who have died: Gertrude Welter, Clifford Santer, Gladys Titterington,  Jeffery Knight

Advent Wreath Candle Lighting

Celebrant: God our Father,  the Angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that she was to be the mother of your Son.  Though Mary was afraid, she responded to your call with joy. Help us, whom you call to serve you, to share like her in your work of bringing to our world your love and healing. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the light who is coming into the world.

People: Amen.

The Celebrant how lights the fourth candle in silence.

Officiant and People: Lord Jesus, light of the world, blessed is Gabriel, who brought good news;  Blessed is Mary, your mother and ours. Bless your Church preparing for Christmas; and bless us your children, who long for your coming. Amen.

This week’s Lessons

4 Advent  

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


Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.



Isaiah 7:10-16

Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as  heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also?  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.  For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.” 

PSALM 80:1-7, 16-18

1   Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; *

      shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.

2   In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, *

      stir up your strength and come to help us.

3   Restore us, O God of hosts; *

      show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

4   O LORD God of hosts, *

      how long will you be angered

      despite the prayers of your people?

5   You have fed them with the bread of tears; *

      you have given them bowls of tears to drink.

6   You have made us the derision of our neighbors, *

      and our enemies laugh us to scorn.

7   Restore us, O God of hosts; *

      show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

16  Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, *
    and son of man you have made so strong for yourself.

17  And so will we never turn away from you; *

      give us life, that we may call upon your Name.

18  Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; *

       show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.


Romans 1:1-7

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set

apart for  the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy  scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of  holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,  through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the  obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name,  including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,  To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.   


Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.  Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:  “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”  When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus. 

News and Updates 

Music Today

Prelude            Creator of the Stars of Night                     Haan                                      

Opening Hymn                                             #72

Sequence Hymn                               # 67

Offertory Anthem                Prophets Knew                               Larson

Closing Hymn                                             #73

Postlude                         Magnificat Primi Toni                    Buxtehude

Current Announcements

Lectors: C Jones,  D Csaposs                      Celebrant: Father Marshall Vang

Coffee Hour: The Schuldts 

Celebrant / Officiant Update:  

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

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

1/1 – Father Marshall Vang

1/8 – Mother Sally Heiligman

Christmas Eve –We will be continuing our tradition of having the children bring up pieces for the creche during the procession at the beginning of the service.  If your child wants to participate please bring them to the back of the church before the  service. Also, please join us after the Christmas Eve service in the Parish Hall for a light reception.

Christmas Pageant – CHANGE your calendars! This year’s Christmas Pageant will now be an Epiphany Pageant during the 9:30 service on January 8, 2023! 

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.  To date we have raised $510! 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.

Thank you for your generosity in supporting our outreach programs. As of last Sunday we have collected:

  • $125 for Street Soldiers Schenectady
  • $160.93 for Things of My Very Own
  • $500 for St. Joe’s sandwiches
  • Over $1,000 in cash, checks, and gift cards for the Grimasons

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.

Please join us in praying for Samantha Humphrey’s safe return and for the Humphrey family during this difficult time.

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

 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.