Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church 

Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of February 19, 2023 and Ash Wednesday  

Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

Intercessions this Week

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Eglise Anglicane du Rwanda (The Anglican Church of Rwanda)

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, Marilyn Causey, Eunice Chouffi, Mary Frances Hatfield, Vincent Avila, June Russell, Bill Frank, Chris Holder, Sal Belardo, Marti Spang, Samantha Humphrey & the Humphrey Family, and Joe White

Those who celebrate birthdays this week: Mary, Christine, Teddy, Joan

Those who celebrate marriage anniversaries this week: Jamie and Kati; James and Lisa

Those who have died: Joan Campbell, Kay Deane, Helen Begley

This week’s Lessons and Prayers

Last Epiphany

The Collect and Scripture Readings for the last Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A 


O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son

revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be

strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Exodus 24:12-18

The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.” Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.


1   Why are the nations in an uproar? *

      Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?

2   Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt,

    and the princes plot together, *

      against the LORD and against his Anointed?

3   “Let us break their yoke,” they say; *

  “let us cast off their bonds from us.”

4   He whose throne is in heaven is laughing; *

      the Lord has them in derision.

5   Then he speaks to them in his wrath, *

      and his rage fills them with terror.

6   “I myself have set my king *

      upon my holy hill of Zion.”

7   Let me announce the decree of the LORD: *

      he said to me, “You are my Son;

      this day have I begotten you.

8   Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for

      your inheritance *

      and the ends of the earth for your possession.

9   You shall crush them with an iron rod *

      and shatter them like a piece of pottery.”

10  And now, you kings, be wise; *

      be warned, you rulers of the earth.

11  Submit to the LORD with fear, *

      and with trembling bow before him;

12  Lest he be angry and you perish; *

      for his wrath is quickly kindled.

13  Happy are they all *

      who take refuge in him!


2 Peter 1:16-21

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.


Matthew 17:1-9

Six days after Peter said that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved;  with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

News and Updates 

Music Today 

Prelude                          Reverie               Still

Opening hymn: #135

Sequence hymn: #7

Baptism hymn: #296

Offertory           Arioso                            Bach

Doxology #380

Closing hymn: #129 

Postlude                      Trumpet Tune                 Wagner

Current Announcements

Ushers:  Peter Nelson, Vicki Hoshko

Lectors:  Readings: Joe Palko                

Celebrant: Father Marshall Vang 

Celebrant / Officiant Update:   

2/22 @5:30 – Father Marshall Vang- Ash Wednesday 

2/26 – Morning Prayer – Allison de Kanel + Street Soldiers lunch making

3/5 – Father Marshall Vang

3/12 –  Mother Sally Heiligman

Today we celebrate the baptism of Benjamin.        

Locking up the Church – We have started scheduling people to lock up the church after Sunday services. If you are interested in being on the list (detailed directions available) please see Erin Cohen.  If you are the last person to leave the church, whether or not you’ve locked up, please double check that the door you leave from is shut and locked.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – Don’t miss the traditional Pancake Supper from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, in the Parish Hall, marking the last time for festivities before Lent begins on Wednesday.  Menu includes pancakes (gluten free available with prior notice to Linda Emaelaf by Sunday, February 12), sausages, and beverages.  Price is $7.00 – Adult; $4.00 – ages 5-12; $20.00 for a family.  This includes all you can eat!  Bring your family, your friends, and your appetite!  Volunteers are needed to help set up, cook, serve, and clean up.  Sign up sheet in the back of the church. And don’t forget to bring last year’s palms that evening so they can be burned to use for Ash Wednesday’s ashes.

We will be making lunches for Street Soldiers after morning prayer on 2/26. Please consider donating individually packaged food for the bags and / or staying to help make the lunches. 

SiCM Pantry requests  The Rev. Phil Pantry needs baby food and formula as well as diapers in sizes 4, 5 and 6.  Requested personal items are  toothbrushes & toothpaste and adult diapers in sizes L, XL and 3XL.

We collected $59 in the “Souper Bowl” Sunday collection last week.  Thank you for your gifts to provide more food in the pantry!  With the rise in prices over the past year, more families are running out of food each month.

Lenten Outreach-  During Lent we will be raising money to help Episcopal Relief & Development provide critical relief to communities impacted by the February 6 earthquake in Turkey and Syria.  Episcopal Relief & Development is already supporting local partners with life-saving supplies and resources, medicine and emergency support, to help communities rebuild and heal.  Next Sunday is Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday, when the Prayers of the People will have a focus on their work and the people they serve.

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

Ash Wednesday

Collect and Lessons for Ash Wednesday


Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Joel 2:1-2,12-17

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near–a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come. Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.  Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God?  Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy.  Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep. Let them say, “Spare your people, O LORD, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations.  Why should it be said among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?'”

PSALM 103:8-14

8   The LORD is full of compassion and mercy, *

      slow to anger and of great kindness.

9   He will not always accuse us, *

      nor will he keep his anger for ever.

10  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, *

      nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.

11  For as the heavens are high above the earth, *

      so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.

12  As far as the east is from the west, *

      so far has he removed our sins from us.

13  As a father cares for his children, *

      so does the LORD care for those who fear him.

14  For he himself knows whereof we are made; *

      he remembers that we are but dust.


                                                        2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.  For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see–we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.


Matthew 6:1-6,16-21

Jesus said, “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.  But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Lector: D Lohnas

Ash Wednesday Music

Sequence Hymn #142

Offertory            Ave Verum                    Mozart

Closing Hymn #143

Postlude             Wondrous Love                Johnson

Bishop Search News A new Bishop Search Announcement has been posted on our website. To view it here visit:
For a PDF version of the announcement click here.
Ongoing adult education opportunities

The Chalice of Repose Project Lenten RetreatTuesdays beginning Feb 28 | 7:00-8:30 PM
An exploration of beauty through the Gospels, pastoral care and liturgical arts with artist-in-residence Therese Schroeder-Sheker. Therese is a Benedictine oblate, educator and writer on music-in medicine, contemplative musicianship, and the theology of women mystics. She is also founder of The Chalice of Repose Project which “lovingly cares for the physical and spiritual needs of the dying with prescriptive music.” The class meets for six 1 1/2 hour sessions on Tuesdays at 7PM on Zoom. Begins February 28.Please register early as the class is limited to ten participants.Partial scholarships are available.
Email with questions.Register here:

Register here:


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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