Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of May 7, 2023
REMINDER: If you have not already done so, please fill out this form if you want to be included in our new directory!
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
✠The Fifth Sunday of Easter✠
The Collect and Scripture Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter
Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.
1 In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; *
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Incline your ear to me; *
make haste to deliver me.
3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4 Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *
for you are my tower of strength.
5 Into your hands I commend my spirit, *
for you have redeemed me,
O Lord, O God of truth.
15 My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me.”
1 Peter 2:2-10
Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Jesus said “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
Intercessions this Week
Sunday, April 23, 2023
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Church in Wales
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, the Humphrey Family, Marshall, Pat, Peter and Joe
Those who celebrate birthdays this week: Jean
Those who have died: Alice Burrows, Shirley Tinney, Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne
News and Updates
Prelude Adagio Mendelssohn
Opening hymn: #525
Sequence hymn: #243
Offertory Ave Maria Bach/Gounod
Marina (Boschi) Pero, violin Susan Lohnas, organ
Closing hymn: #457
Postlude Toccata in F Buxtehude
Celebrant / Officiant Update:
5/14 – Mother Sally Heiligman – Children’s Service
5/21 – Father Marshall Vang
5/28 – Mother Sally Heiligman
Ushers: M. Humphrey, R. Stefanski
Lectors: J. Palko, D. Schuldt
Celebrant: Father Marshall Vang
New Parish Directory – If you haven’t submitted a contact form for our new directory and would like to be included please do so by 5/12. Paper copies are available in the back of the church or see the online form in the weekly emails.
The next Children’s Service will be on Mother’s Day, May 14. We are hoping to have a special coffee hour to celebrate mom’s and their kids following the service. If you are willing to bring a snack to share at coffee hour, make the coffee, bring drinks, or help set up/clean up, please sign up in the back of the church. Thanks!
The CROP Walk for the Hungry is scheduled for today, Sunday, May 7th, beginning at 1:00 pm at the Trinity Community Center 705 Curry Rd, 12306. St. Stephen’s has not organized a team this year, but you can still participate by registering or donating online at https://www.sicm.us/cropwalk2023/.
MoonCatcher Project- Since 2011, The MoonCatcher Project has been making reusable, washable menstrual management kits called MoonCatcher Kits for distribution to girls around the world. On Saturday May 13 we will host a MoonBee in the parish hall, 2-4 pm. Join us for a fun and informative event. Help make MoonCatcher kits to help girls stay in school. If you sew, please bring your machine. If you don’t sew, we have plenty of jobs for you as well.
Schenectady Community Ministries (SiCM) During May and June we will collect spices and seasonings for the SiCM pantry. Save the date! On Sunday May 21 Tom Schofield, Food Justice Initiatives manager at SiCM, is planning to speak about the food program during coffee hour. Come hear how our contributions to SiCM are being used and find out about their plans for the future!
St. Stephen’s is in need of a deputy (and deputy alternates) for the 2023 Albany Diocesan Convention to be held virtually on June 10th. Those deputies who attend this year’s convention in June will also represent St. Stephen’s in the fall for a special convention to elect the next Bishop of Albany. In order to be a deputy, you must be a confirmed Episcopalian in good standing at St. Stephen’s. A new bylaw as of last year states you must have been a member of St. Stephen’s as of January 2022 (last year’s annual meeting). If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Susie Olsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations needed for lunches for St. Joseph’s Place – Once a month a small but dedicated group of volunteers from St. Stephen’s gather at St. Joseph’s Place next door to the SiCM Food Pantry to prepare 30 bagged lunches for the visitors to the drop-in center. St. Joseph’s provides a place where people from the community can gather for conversation, friendship, and spiritual support in a comfortable and safe environment. We are once again asking for donations towards the cost of the lunches. If you would like to contribute, please make checks payable to St. Stephen’s Church with St. Joseph’s on the memo line and give them to Denise Crates or drop them in the collection plate. Thank you!
Initial Nominees for Tenth Bishop of Albany Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
The Profile and Search Committee for the Tenth Bishop of Albany has reported to the Secretary of Convention with an initial list of candidates to be placed in nomination for the Tenth Bishop of Albany.The initial list of nominees comprises:
The Reverend Geoffrey Ward Rector of Saint Christopher’s Episcopal Church, River Hills, Wisconsin (Diocese of Milwaukee)
The Reverend Jeremiah Williamson Rector of Grace and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado (Diocese of Colorado)
The Very Reverend Neal Longe Rector of Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church ,Amsterdam, New York (Diocese of Albany)
The Reverend Scott Garno Rector of Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Delmar, New York (Diocese of Albany)
A 30-day Independent Nomination Period, in which further nominees may be brought forward, opens on Monday, May 8, 2023. Independent nominees must meet the same requirements as the nominees identified by the Profile & Search Committee. Nomination forms, procedures, and requirements will be available at https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/nominations/ starting on Thursday, May 4, 2023. The link will become active on that date. The Independent Nomination Period closes on Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
Basic information on the current nominees can be viewed at https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/bishop-candidates/. More extensive information will be posted after the Independent Nominees have been identified and have met the nomination requirements.
Before the Electing Convention, the Diocese will schedule a number of opportunities at which members of the Electing Convention and other members of the diocese can meet and get to know all of the nominees. News and information regarding opportunities to get to know the candidates will be posted on the Episcopal Transition page of the diocesan web site (https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/episcopaltransition/).
The Electing Convention is scheduled to open on Friday, September 8, at the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany. A formal Call to Convention will be issued soon.
The Profile & Search Committee consists of one lay member and one clergy member (priests or deacons) elected from each of the eight regional deaneries of the Diocese, plus six at-large members elected by the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee is serving as the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese until a bishop is elected, confirmed, consecrated, and assumes jurisdiction.
The process of selecting the initial list of candidates began with a call for recommendations. After reviewing the eligibility and qualifications of those recommended and conducting two rounds of interviews, the Profile & Search Committee identified semi-finalists who attended an intensive discernment retreat. Based on the results of that retreat, the Committee prayed to be guided by the Holy Spirit in submitting the present list of names in its report for nomination. Because of the intensely personal nature of the process, out of respect for the participants and their families, no information on anyone other than the nominees will be disclosed. This is a standard best practice in the election of a bishop.
The Episcopal Diocese of Albany is grateful to all who submitted recommendations, all who were recommended, all who participated in and assisted the screening and discernment process, and all who will continue to support the process of discerning our next bishop. We ask your prayers for all of us, for our Diocese, and for this process.
|Ongoing adult education opportunities and activities|
2023 Convention – June 10
Don’t forget to submit your Certificate of Election. The Call to Convention and other important documents can be found by using the link below.
June 23-25First Loved Ministries believes that to love people the way Jesus loves people, we have to be loved by Jesus first. So they offer teaching, training, and touchpoints that help people receive love, from God and people, so that we are all able to go out and love God and people, just like Jesus did. Join founder Mark Gordon Fee as he leads you to begin a life-changing journey of experiencing God personally love you on a daily basis.
August 25-26God cares about Holiness and He is always working to shape us into being more like His son. Like a potter, He leans into us and leans over us as He molds us into the shape He so desires. Like a patient artisan, He pinches, trims, and squeezes us into the shape He longs to see. Therefore, we must be willing to examine our hearts to name elements in our lives that resist His shaping of us. Attending to our soul is necessary as we seek God’s renewal and transformation in our lives. As we learn to pay attention to our soul we will become more aware of what lies underneath the energy that promotes sin, yet also awakens our longing and desire for more. Join us as we look into our own soul, not to self promote, but rather to promote spiritual formation that reflects more of the life of Christ in our lives.NOTE: While this is a continuation of last year’s retreat, it stands on its own. You do not have to have attended last year for this to be a fruitful retreat for you.
September 14-16This conference will explore Hope and Healing in the Name of Jesus, and unpack the wholeness Jesus desires for each of us in these main areas of Healing, Salvation and Deliverance. Join keynote speaker Judith MacNutt, President and Co-founder of Christian Healing Ministries, for this very special 3-day conference. Dive deeply into the love of Jesus and experience His healing, salvation and deliverance; and become equipped to bring that hope and healing to our world.
Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning – contact Becky Holder for the link: email@example.com.
Our office email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.