Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church 

Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of March 19, 2023 

Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

Intercessions this Week

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of Southern Africa

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; Marshall Vang and Sally Heiligman, our supply priests; and Allison de Kanel, our lay reader

Those who are in need of strength and healing: Mary Ann, Marilyn, Vincent, June, Bill, Chris, Sal, the Humphrey Family, Marshall, and Joe

Those who celebrate birthdays this week: Kathy, Amanda, Joanne, Marti

Those who celebrate baptismal anniversaries this week: Marshall, Bessie, Travis

Those who have died: Edmund Tatge, Frieda Wyman, Charles Daly, Ward Mason, Glenn Kaler, Virginia Malmros, Louise Gray, Theodore Schlansker

This week’s Lessons and Prayers

Fourth Lent

The Collect and Scripture Readings for the fourth Sunday in Lent, 

Year A 


Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


1 Samuel 16:1-13

The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I

have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me. ” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the LORD.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah


1   The LORD is my shepherd; *

      I shall not be in want.

2   He makes me lie down in green pastures *

      and leads me beside still waters.

3   He revives my soul *

      and guides me along right pathways for his Name’s sake.

4   Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

     I shall fear no evil; *

      for you are with me;

      your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5   You spread a table before me in the presence of those

     who trouble me; *

      you have anointed my head with oil,

      and my cup is running over.

6   Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days

                       of my life, *

      and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


Ephesians 5:8-14

For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light– for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 


John 9:1-41

As he walked along, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples

asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind?  How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out. 

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir?Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.

 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

News and Updates 

Music Today 

Prelude                          Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley          Page

Opening hymn: #493

Sequence hymn: #645

Offertory Anthem The Lenten Rose Hannibal                              

Closing hymn: #490

Postlude                      Fugue on the Kyrie                                  Couperi

Current Announcements

Usher:  P. Nelson

Lectors:  R. & S. Abel, R. Woodzell                

Celebrant: Father Marshall Vang

Celebrant / Officiant Update:   

3/26 – Mother Sally Heiligman

4/2 -Palm Sunday, Father Marshall Vang

4/6 -@ 5:30, Maundy Thursday with Eucharist, Father Marshall Vang

4/7 – @12:00, Good Friday Liturgy at  St. George’s, Father Marshall Vang

4/7-@ 5:30, Stations of the Cross: Allison de Kanel

4/8- @ 7:00, Easter Vigil at St.George’s, Father Marshall Vang

4/9-@ 8 a.m., Easter service, Father Marshall Vang

Families – join us after the Palm Sunday service for an Easter Egg hunt, special coffee hour, and activities for the kiddos! Looking for older kids to help hide the eggs after the service. Anyone interested, email or talk to Bethany.

Palm Sunday – We will be reading the Gospel as a congregation on Palm Sunday again this year as we have in the past. If you would like to read a part, please sign up in the back of the church this week or next. 

Lenten Outreach-  During Lent we are raising money for Episcopal Relief & Development for earthquake relief in Syria and Türkiye.  Check out the press releases on the bulletin board opposite the library on the work being done through their partners and local agencies.  Our goal is to raise $2,000 by Easter Sunday, to be matched by a generous St. Stephen’s family.  You can check our progress toward our goal on the t-shirt display – each shirt represents $25.  As of March 12, we have already raised $2,020!! Thank you!

Easter Brunch – We are trying to gauge interest in a pot luck Easter Brunch after the 8:00 am Easter service on April 9.  We will need volunteers to set up and clean up, as well as bring a dish to share.  We are aiming to do the bulk of the set up on Saturday, April 8.  If you would like to participate, there is a sign-up sheet in the back of the church.

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 – For March, please donate feminine hygiene products to SiCM.

Office Hours – Emails will be checked and responded to between 9am – 2pm Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. In person hours by appointment. Please contact Bethany at as needed. Thanks

Things of My Very Own donations – During the past two Sundays we collected $220.98.  Thank you very much!

Ongoing adult education opportunities

Services at St. Andrew’s, Albany
Stations of the CrossFridays during Lent | 11:30 AM

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

Register here:

Lenten Offerings at St. John’s, Troy, 146 First Street, Troy 12180

Stations of the Cross
Fridays at 12:00 Noon

Candlelight Meditations
Fridays at 5:00 – 6:00 PM

We will enjoy our candlelight meditations, where we are invited into the beauty of our candlelit sanctuary in silence, with music playing intermittently. 
Musicians this year will include:
March 17th, Tiffany Dzembo, soprano
March 24th, Fr. Darius Mojallali, violin
March 31st, Lauren Hunn, piano


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.