Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church 

Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of May 14, 2023

May Messenger

REMINDER: If you have not already done so, please fill out this form if you want to be included in our new directory!

MoonCatcher MoonBee this Saturday at 2:00!  Since 2011, The MoonCatcher Project has been making reusable, washable menstrual management kits called MoonCatcher Kits for distribution to girls around the world.  This Saturday, May 13, St. Stephen’s will host a MoonBee in the parish hall, 2-4 pm, to help make MoonCatcher kits to help girls stay in school.  Join us for a fun and informative event!  If you sew, please bring your machine.  In addition, we are collecting for girls and women right here in our area. So please bring disposable menstrual supplies for LOCAL girls and women (the lives of whom are affected by the inability to afford these expensive items), and put them in the collection area. Thank you!  Questions?  Contact Richey Woodzell at

Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

The Sixth Sunday of Easter

Collect and Lessons for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A


O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding. Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


Acts 17:22-31

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him–though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ Since we are God’s offspring, we

ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he

has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

Psalm 66:7-18

    7 Bless our God, you peoples; *

    make the voice of his praise to be heard;

8 Who holds our souls in life, *

    and will not allow our feet to slip.

9 For you, O God, have proved us; *

    you have tried us just as silver is tried.

10 You brought us into the snare; *

    you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.

11 You let enemies ride over our heads;

     we went through fire and water; *

    but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.

12 I will enter your house with burnt-offerings

      and will pay you my vows, *

    which I promised with my lips

    and spoke with my mouth when I was in trouble.

13 I will offer you sacrifices of fat beasts

     with the smoke of rams; *

    I will give you oxen and goats.

14 Come and listen, all you who fear God, *

    and I will tell you what he has done for me.

15 I called out to him with my mouth, *

    and his praise was on my tongue.

16 If I had found evil in my heart, *

    the Lord would not have heard me;

17 But in truth God has heard me; *

    he has attended to the voice of my prayer.

18 Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer, *

    nor withheld his love from me.


1 Peter 3:13-22

Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited  patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.  And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you–not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.


John 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples,”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Intercessions this Week

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Church of the Province of West 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, the Humphrey Family, Marshall, Pat, Peter and Joe

Those who celebrate birthdays this week: Charline, Maggie

Those who celebrate baptismal anniversaries this week:  Thomas

Those who have died: Donald Atkinson, John Peatling, David Smith, Myrtle Baker, Belle Beck, Mildred Leeser, Della Hewlett

Special Prayers of the People

For the President and other political leaders, and for our church leaders, that they continue to do a good job leading us this year; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For Schenectady and Niskayuna, for every city and community, and for those who live in them; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For mothers and mother figures that they know happiness and love from their families; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For those who miss their mothers or are sad on this day that they may find peace and comfort; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For children everywhere that they feel taken care of and live happily ever after; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For all of the wild animals that we care for them and protect their environments so they may thrive; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For all pets that are in the pound that they will find a happy home, and for those who already have a happy home that they have loving owners; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For the poor, the unemployed and all who are in pain or feel sad, and for all who remember and care for them; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For the elderly and ill, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For people who have passed away that we hold in our hearts, may they rest with Jesus in peace; let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

Written and Compiled by Sammy & Maddie

News and Updates 

Music Today 

Prelude                          Meditation from “Thais”               Massanet

Opening hymn: #191

Sequence hymn: #455

           Offertory Music                     Sing of Mary  Arr. by Roland F. Palmer

Closing hymn: #490

Postlude                      Toccata – Sortie                             Larriu

Current Announcements

Celebrant / Officiant Update:  

5/21 – Father Marshall Vang

5/28 – Mother Sally Heiligman

6/4 – Father Marshall Vang

6/11 – Mother Sally Heiligman

6/18 – Father Marshall Vang

6/25 – Mother Sally Heiligman 

Ushers: M. Cohen, H. Ruscitto

Lectors: F. Ruscitto,  S. Schuldt, P. Olsen, K. Olsen

Acolytes: V. Cohen, F. Ruscitto, S. Schuldt

Celebrant: Mother Sally Heiligman 

If you need a new picture for the directory please plan to stay after the service on Sunday, May 28 or Sunday, June 4. Meet Bethany in Begley Hall following the service. 

Mark your calendars – We are having an end of program year picnic and volunteer recognition celebration on Sunday, June 11, immediately following the service.  There is a sign-up sheet in the back of the church for help with set-up, barbecuing, and clean-up.  We are also asking everyone to sign up to bring a dish to share.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, buns, chips, condiments, and beverages will be provided by the church.

Street Soldiers Lunch Making will be on May 28 following the church service. Please consider joining us to make sandwiches and package lunches for those in need in our community. Thanks to all who volunteered last month and all who brought snacks to stuff the bags! We have plenty to share this month. 

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

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!

AED status – We, unfortunately, fell significantly short of our $2000 goal for the AED and were declined on the grant application via Walmart.  The timing may just be too much with all the other issues we are experiencing at St Stephens.  In light of this, we will table the purchase of an AED at this time. Any donors who wish a refund or to designate their funds elsewhere within the church please see or communicate Denise Crates at you all for your support for this endeavor.  Hopefully we will attempt again in more settled times. Doreen May and Sara Palko

Altar Flowers given by the Taylor and Montorio families in memory of Gwen Robbins. 

Initial Nominees for Tenth Bishop of AlbanyTuesday, 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 WardRector of Saint Christopher’s Episcopal Church,River Hills, Wisconsin (Diocese of Milwaukee)
The Reverend Jeremiah WilliamsonRector of Grace and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado (Diocese of Colorado)
The Very Reverend Neal LongeRector of Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church,Amsterdam, New York (Diocese of Albany)
The Reverend Scott GarnoRector 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 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 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 (

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:

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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