Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of May 21, 2023
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
✠The Seventh Sunday of Easter✠
The Collect and Scripture Readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year A
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven. Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
PSALM 68:1-10, 33-36
Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; *
let those who hate him flee before him.
Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *
as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *
let them also be merry and joyful.
Sing to God, sing praises to his Name;
exalt him who rides upon the heavens; *
YAHWEH is his Name, rejoice before him!
Father of orphans, defender of widows, *
God in his holy habitation!
God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom; *
but the rebels shall live in dry places.
O God, when you went forth before your people, *
when you marched through the wilderness,
The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain,
at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, *
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; *
you refreshed the land when it was weary.
Your people found their home in it; *
in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor.
Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; *
sing praises to the Lord.
He rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; *
he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice.
Ascribe power to God; *
his majesty is over Israel;
his strength is in the skies.
How wonderful is God in his holy places! *
the God of Israel giving strength and power to his people! Blessed be God!
1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking
place among you to test you, as though something strange were
happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s
sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.
After Jesus had spoken these words, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
Intercessions this Week
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Church in the Province of the West Indies
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: Ron, Allison, Marilyn
Those who celebrate baptismal anniversaries this week: Diane
Those who celebrate marriage anniversaries this week: Don & Joan, Dave & Denise, Brian & Kate
Those who have died: Ellen Stokes, Elwood Welsh, Olive Carter Luczka
News and Updates
Prelude Meditation on “Diademata” Callahan
Opening hymn: #214
Sequence hymn: #483
Offertory Anthem Look Away to the Skies Thornhill/Raney
Closing hymn: #215
Postlude A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing! Hobby
Celebrant / Officiant Update:
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: P. Nelson, D. Crates
Lectors: G. Woodzell, D. Csaposs
Celebrant: Father Marshall Vang
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) Today we welcome Tom Schofield, Food Justice Initiatives manager at SiCM, who will speak about the food program during coffee hour. Come hear how SiCM is addressing hunger needs in our community. We will continue to collect spices and seasonings for the food pantry through May and June – thanks for your donations!
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 email@example.com.Thank you all for your support for this endeavor. Hopefully we will attempt again in more settled times. Doreen May and Sara Palko
Office Phone – Update! We have a new office (cell!) phone! The number is the same as the old office phone – (518)346-6241. Please call or text this number for any church business. Missed calls and messages will be returned at the earliest convenience.
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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our office email is: email@example.com.
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 han