Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of March 26, 2023
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
Intercessions this Week
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of South America
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: Madison, Linda, Harper
Those who celebrate baptismal anniversaries this week: Liz, Dan, Lisa, Vicki, Pat, Joan
Those who have died: Irwin Blanchard, Eleanor Green, Norman Gittinger, Sara Smith, William Schlansker
This week’s Lessons and Prayers
The Collect and Scripture Readings for the fifth Sunday in Lent, Year A
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the
spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it
was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.” So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD.
1 Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice; *
let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.
2 If you, LORD, were to note what is done amiss, *
O Lord, who could stand?
3 For there is forgiveness with you; *
therefore you shall be feared.
4 I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him; *
in his word is my hope.
5 My soul waits for the LORD,
more than watchmen for the morning, *
more than watchmen for the morning.
6 O Israel, wait for the LORD, *
for with the LORD there is mercy;
7 With him there is plenteous redemption, *
and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the
Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on
the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law–indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
News and Updates
Prelude Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley Page
Opening hymn: #567
Sequence hymn: #510
Offertory Anthem Wonderous Love Pooler
Closing hymn: #610
Postlude Out of the Depths I Cry to You Lasky
Ushers: D. May, R. Stefanski
Lectors: J. Palko, D. Csaposs
Celebrant: Mother Sally Heiligman
Celebrant / Officiant Update:
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
Street Soldiers Lunch Making – Please join us today after the service to make bagged lunches for Street Soldiers Schenectady.
New Parish Directory – We are starting the process of making a new directory. Please fill out the electronic form emailed to you this week if able, or fill out a paper copy found at the back of the church by Wednesday, April 5 if you would like to be included.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to Bethany.
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. As of March 19, we have raised $4,020, which includes a matching donation from a St. Stephen’s family. We will continue to accept donations through Easter Sunday; checks can be made out to St. Stephen’s or to Episcopal Relief & Development. Thank you so much!
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.
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 email@example.com as needed.
Easter Flowers – Easter Sunday is April 9. If you would like to contribute to the altar flowers for that day’s service please return an offering slip by Sunday, April 2. They are available in the weekly prayer e-mail or from an Usher.
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 hand.