St. Stephen’s E-News – August 10, 2020

May grace and peace be yours in abundance!

A BLESSING FOR YOU:
May the everlasting Heavenly Father take you
In his own generous clasp,
In his own generous arms.
May the everlasting Father shield you
east and west wherever you go.
Amen.

Altar Flowers this Sunday, August 9, 2020
The flowers pictured above were on the altar this past Sunday. There were given by Tim Isaac to the glory of God and in honor of Terri’s and Tim’s seventh wedding anniversary. Congratulations!

The flowers were arranged this week by Joyce Dalton.

Image of 3 overhead speakers blaring the word “ANNOUNCEMENT!” in all caps

BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES IN AUGUST
AUGUST BIRTHDAYS
John Mason – August 6th
Karen Owen – August 8th
Catherine Fortney – August 19th

AUGUST ANNIVERSARIES
Burl and Sandy Hays – August 4th
Tim and Terri Isaac – 9th
Mack & Catherine Fortney – 22nd

SERVING NEXT SUNDAY, AUGUST 16TH, 10:30 AM
Toby Rowe – Celebrant
Laura Phillips – Sermon and Lector
Joyce Dalton – Deacon
Jim Dalton – Assisting

CHRISTMAS SERVICES
We are trying to finalize the celebrant/sermon schedule for the remainder of 2020. This year Christmas Eve is on Thursday, Dec. 24th; Christmas Day is on Friday, Dec. 25th; followed by a Sunday service on Sunday, Dec. 27th.

St. Stephen’s recent tradition: Christmas Eve Service from 10:30 PM – midnight; Christmas Day service at 10:00 AM. The reason for the Christmas Day service is because of the difficulty for some to attend such a late service on Christmas Eve.

Of course, we do not know when we will begin gathering together for worship, but whether the worship is virtual or face-to-face, whatever is decided about the schedule will remain the same.

PROPOSAL FOR THE CHURCH’S CONSIDERATION: The liturgy committee met, virtually, yesterday afternoon and would like to propose this schedule for Christmas this year:
Thursday, December 24th, Eve of the Nativity: 5:00 PM Worship Service and Compline on Facebook Live: 11:30 PM

Friday, December 25th, Christmas Day: No worship service
Sunday, December 27th, regular 10:30 AM worship service.

The committee and your clergy would really like your feedback before finalizing this decision. Please, send your feedback to any member of the committee. Committee members are: Jim Dalton, Toby Rowe, Joyce Dalton, Pat Phillips, Sharon Dykes, and Laura Phillips.

Offerings to God
Thank you all for continuing to support your church financially. We have decided that your tithes and offerings should be blessed during our virtual Sunday worship. So this blessing will be added to the Sunday liturgy, whether, it is Morning Prayer or the liturgy of The Word.

Services for the Week of August 9-15
SUNDAY, August 9
Sunday Worship, 10:30 AM, Facebook Live

MONDAY, August 10
Noon Prayer – 12:00 PM, Facebook Live: Prayers with Pat

TUESDAY, August 11
Morning Devotional – 8:00 AM, on Facebook Live: Java with Jim; Theme this week – Contrition
Compline – 7:00 PM, on Facebook Live: Joyce and Jim (for Toby)

WEDNESDAY, August 12
Noon Prayer -12:00 PM, on Facebook Live: Rejoice with Joyce
Bible Study – A Journey with John, Day 38, John 16:16-33, using Google Meet

THURSDAY, August 13
Morning Devotional – 8:00 AM, on Facebook Live: Java with Jim; Theme this week – Contrition
Compline – 7:00 PM, on Facebook Live: Twilight with Toby

FRIDAY, August 14
Noon Prayer – 12:00 PM, on Facebook Live: Prayers with Pat

SATURDAY, August 15
Compline – 8:00 PM, on Facebook Live: Late-night with Laura

More Statistics on the St. Stephen’s Weekly
Here are statistics kept by “Smores,” the newsletter format that we use for our weekly news. They have technology that records each time the newsletter is viewed from any source: your email, the church’s Facebook page, or any source to which it has been shared. Below are the dates of the St. Stephen’s Weekly newsletter and the number of views each one received. Surprised me! I hope it means that more folks are getting interested in St. Stephen’s!

March
11th – 196
18th – 294
25th – 163


April
1st – 126
8th – 298
14th – 315
20th – 295
25th – 351


May
4th – 358
11th – 189
18th – 178
25th – 280


June
2nd – 174
8th – 224
15th – 105
22nd – 165

July
7th – 130
15th – 168
20th – 137
27th – 156

August
3rd – 166

Image of a blue, grumpy gremlin with a large, red nose wearing a purple robe holding two cups of coffee

Java with Jim Mascot!
Many of you who understand my warped sense of humor, so you send me images during the week by email or text. I enjoy receiving them. I save many of them in a folder called “church humor.” Some, like the one above, are stored in a folder I labeled “church images.”

When I use the images, I try to credit whoever sent it to me. Alas, I do not remember who sent the picture above. But I do remember receiving the image and responding back that “I think I just found a mascot for Java with Jim.” But, for the life of me, I can’t remember who sent it …so sorry! I need to start putting the senders’ names in the file names when I save them!

Anyway, I love the little dude pictured above! I can’t help but think that this lovely caricature embodies the way we may appear to God at times in our lives (LOL)!

PRAYER FOR THE WEEK:

Gracious and loving God,
Set our hearts on fire with love for you, O Christ,
that in its flame we may love you
with all our heart,
with all our mind,
with all our soul,
and with all our strength,
and our neighbours as ourselves,
so that, keeping your commandments,
we may glorify you,
the giver of all good gifts.
-Kontakion for Love, Eastern Orthodox Church