Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church 

Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of February 26, 2023

Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

Intercessions this Week

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Scottish Episcopal Church

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, Marilyn, Mary Frances, Vincent, June, Bill, Chris, Sal, Samantha & the Humphrey Family, and Joe

Those who celebrate birthdays this week: Liz, Brody, Dawn, Brynn

Those who celebrate baptisms this week: Don,  Emma

Those who have died: Eunice Chouffi, Morten Muller, Helene Perry, Mary Melvin, Marjorie Cox, Edna Sachs, Jim Borrowman

This week’s Lessons and Prayers

First Lent

The Collect and Scripture Readings for the first Sunday in Lent, Year A 


1   Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, *

      and whose sin is put away!

2   Happy are they to whom the LORD imputes no guilt, *

      and in whose spirit there is no guile!

3   While I held my tongue, my bones withered away, *

      because of my groaning all day long.

4   For your hand was heavy upon me day and night; *

      my moisture was dried up as in the heat of summer.

5   Then I acknowledged my sin to you, *

      and did not conceal my guilt.

6   I said,” I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” *

      Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin.

7   Therefore all the faithful will make their prayers to you in

                      time of trouble; *

      when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach them.

8   You are my hiding-place;

        you preserve me from trouble; *

          you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

9   “I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you

         should go; *

            I will guide you with my eye.

10  Do not be like horse or mule, which have no understanding;*

      who must be fitted with bit and bridle,

      or else they will not stay near you.”

11  Great are the tribulations of the wicked; *

      but mercy embraces those who trust in the LORD.

12  Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the LORD; *

      shout for joy, all who are true of heart.


Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded  the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you east of it you shall die.” Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the  woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’”  But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was food for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.


Romans 5:12-19

Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned – sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercises dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion

through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise 

dominion in life through one man, Jesus Christ. Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be righteous.


Matthew 4:1-11 

After he was baptized by John, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.


Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

News and Updates 

Music Today 

Prelude                            Prayer for Peace                      Fey

Opening Hymn                                                                           #150 

Musical Offering                                                                        #148

Office Hymn                          Prelude                 Chopin/Liebergen

Closing Hymn #449

Postlude             The Glory of These Forty Days             McConnell

Current Announcements

Ushers:  Vicki

Lectors:  Peter, Richey

Celebrant / Officiant Update:   

3/5 – Father Marshall Vang

3/12 –  Mother Sally Heiligman

3/19 – Father Marshal Vang

3/26 – Mother Sally Heiligman

Street Soldiers Lunch Making – We will be making lunches for street soldiers after the service TODAY, 2/26.  Please consider joining us in Begley Hall after morning prayer to help!

Next Sunday, March 5, Amber from Things of My Very Own will speak about their program during coffee hour.  We will collect donations for this local organization which serves children fleeing abuse.

Please join us in Begley Hall on Saturday, April 1st at 10 a.m. to make Palm crosses in preparation for Palm Sunday. Everyone is invited to lend a hand. Come join us for some fun and fellowship and learn or relearn this special art! It takes just a few minutes to learn and a few tries to perfect. 

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 feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes & toothpaste and adult diapers in sizes L, XL and 3XL.

Today is Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday, the beginning of a focus throughout Lent on Episcopal Relief & Development’s work and the people they serve.  We have set a goal of $1,500 to help them provide critical relief to communities impacted by the recent devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.  You may use the insert in today’s bulletin and the envelopes in the pews for your contributions.  Make checks out to St. Stephen’s or to Episcopal Relief & Development.

Thank you to the Sunday School children who have decorated paper t-shirts as symbols for our donations.  For every $25 raised we will post a shirt on the display in the nave extension.

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

Special Prayers of the People

The Prayers of the People for Episcopal Relief and Development Sunday

In prayerful partnership with all faithful people throughout the world, let us pray for the needs of all people and for all creation, asking God  to hear our prayer.  

Dear People of God: Let us pray that as we walk the way of love with  compassion, justice and reconciliation in our hearts, we may inspire  all the world to serve Christ in every living thing. God of grace and  love, Hear our prayer.  

Let us pray for all those who hold authority in every community and  every nation, especially our leaders Joseph, Kathy and Gary. That they  may not lose sight of the most vulnerable among us. God of grace and  love, Hear our prayer.  

Let us pray for The Scottish Episcopal Church in the Anglican cycle of prayer, for our  bishops Justin, Michael, Michael and Carol, for our lay reader Allison,  and for all bishops, priests and deacons. Let us pray for the staff and  partners of Episcopal Relief & Development as they facilitate healthier, more fulfilling lives in communities struggling with hunger,  poverty, disaster and disease. We pray that you guide them as your  servants in the world and that their work truly changes lives for the  better. God of grace and love, Hear our prayer. 

Let us pray for those struggling with poverty and hunger throughout  the world, that all peoples, especially the children in countries both  rich and poor, may reach their God-given potential to learn, grow and  thrive. God of grace and love, Hear our prayer.  

Let us pray for the health and well-being of all people. May every  person have the resources they need to live and thrive in safety and  may all people in every nation have access to life-saving medicines. God of grace and love, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for those who are in need of strength and healing, that they  may be comforted, especially Mary Ann Harrington, Marilyn Causey, Mary Frances Hatfield, Vincent Avila, June Russell, Bill Frank, Chris Holder, Sal Belardo, Samantha Humphrey & the Humphrey Family,  and Joe White. God of grace  and love, Hear our prayer.  

Let us pray for an end to the divisions and inequalities that scar God’s creation, especially the barriers to freedom faced by God’s children  throughout the world because of gender, race, religion or nationality;  providing them with equal access to education, health care, a living  wage, and equal political and economic representation; so that all who  have been formed in God’s image might know equality in the pursuit  of the blessings of creation. God of grace and love, Hear our prayer.  

Let us pray for this fragile earth, our island home, that we may be  emboldened to act on behalf of all of God’s creation on land, in the  seas and oceans, and in the air; protecting, restoring and promoting the  sustainable use of the land God commanded us to till and keep so that  it will continue to bring forth the fruits of the earth in abundance. God  of grace and love, Hear our prayer.  

Let us pray for justice and peace throughout the earth, following the  way of Jesus and learning from his example, seeking to serve him in  all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves and respecting the  dignity of every human being. God of grace and love, Hear our  prayer.  

Let us pray for those who have died as a result of poverty, hunger,  disease, violence, or hardness of the human heart; and for those of our  parish who have died, especially Eunice Chouffi, Morten Muller, Helene Perry, Mary Melvin, Marjorie Cox, Edna Sachs, and  Jim Borrowman. God of  grace and love, Hear our prayer.  

Let us offer to God our gratitude and thanksgivings. For all those, who out of their compassion and generosity, support the work of  Episcopal Relief & Development and its partners around the world;  for Ministry Partners and Disaster Volunteers; for all those who hold  this work in prayer; for the many gifts present that help achieve God’s  dream in every community. Let us offer thanks for those celebrating  birthdays, baptismal anniversaries and wedding anniversaries this  week, especially  Liz Pratico, Brody Riordon, Dawn Kaler, Brynn Grimason, Don Regula, Emma Rice. God of grace and love, Hear  our prayer.  

The Celebrant continues: Eternal God, continue to grace your people  with the will to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with you as  we discern your presence in all challenges we face, for we have been  redeemed by your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy  Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Ongoing adult education opportunities

Lenten Book Study: A Post-COVID Catechesis by Victor Lee Austin
February 26 | 11:45-12:15 PM  The Cathedral of All Saints 
Join Dean Harding and friends this Lent at 11:45AM on Sundays for a book study with coffee after the 10AM service. We will read “A Post-COVID Catechesis,” by Victor Lee Austin. No preregistration or purchase of the book is necessary. All are welcome.From the back cover: “For people having gone through a pandemic (with deep, unsettling effects), this book offers an intelligent, traditional, and yet unpredictable account of five basic Christian beliefs that can help us, not to return to a previous Christian comfort zone, but to rediscover old truths as if for the first time.”Victor Lee Austin is Theologian-in-Residence of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and Church of the Incarnation, Dallas.

Services at St. Andrew’s, Albany
Stations of the CrossFridays during Lent | 11:30 AM
Taize Worship
March 18 | 4:30 PMSt. Andrew’s Church, Albany
Following the service there will be a light supper. All are welcome to join us.

The Chalice of Repose Project Lenten Retreat Tuesdays 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:

Choral Evensong – Cathedral of All Saints
Sunday, March 5 | 3:00 PM
Preceded by organ recital at 2:30PM

Meditation on the Passion of Christ – The Cathedral of all Saints
Sunday, April 2 | 3:00 PM Preceded by organ recital at 2:30PM

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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