St Stephen s Church
Third Sunday after Trinity
28th June 2020
ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH IS GATHERING VIRTUALLY

Your one-click location to find the latest news and updates about worship,
programs, study groups, and pastoral care during the COVID-19 crisis .




RembrandtSacrificeOfIssac.Etch
The Sacrifice of Isaac, 1650
Rembrandt Harmensz.van Rijn,
1606 1669
FROM THE RECTOR
The Bible is able to depict its central protagonists in an unflattering light. The story of Hagar [Genesis 21], for example. Abraham, Sarah, and God don’t come off looking good at all. This is worth considering as the cancel culture bandwagon trundles across an already profoundly unforgiving landscape. For that chapter alone in their biography, the supercilious would cancel Abraham, Sarah, and the Most High. How could their reputations possibly survive scrutiny after what comes in the next chapter? “God tested Abraham saying, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall tell you.’”

All over the Old Testament there are sacrifices made by the offerer. This will be the first time God himself provides the sacrifice; in the next God will suffer for us, “in our place.” Here is the essential sign of contradiction to look for on the property of this church, in our Christus Rex and high above the main doors visible a mile away; the sign of the God “whose property is always to have mercy”: the cross.

Welcome to St Stephen’s.
Statistical oversampling

Dear Readers,

Why are churches disproportionately in the news as superspreaders? Is it because there’s something that makes a church risky to your health? It’s clickbait for the principalities and powers (Google, Facebook, Twitter), but one good explanation is that we sing in churches and singing aerosolizes. We get that. Here’s another reason: data sets. . .Click here to read on...
—PCE +
Phaelenopsis
ALTAR FLOWERS

The flowers at the altar today were given by
by Victoria & Phil Ellsworth
to the glory of God and in loving memory of Victoria’s parents,
 Muriel & Robert White,
and also in support of the livestream service.
AN IMPORTANT SURVEY FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION
Stained glass
LATEST UPDATE ON REGATHERING
FOR IN-PERSON WORSHIP [ SURVEY ]
27th June 2020

The St Stephen’s Phased Regathering Committee has met twice now and devised a preliminary plan for in-person worship which was submitted to the diocese for review and approval. As we move forward with the plan, we would like to have your input. Please help us with your feedback by completing the linked survey: Click here for the Survey.

Due to local restrictions against meeting inside, in-person worship will take place outdoors during the next phase. The clergy and musicians are designing a celebratory and brief service to be held in the courtyard that will be accessible to all ages. Please stay tuned to Tidings for more details about description, dates, and guidelines for this service.

Live-streaming of services will continue as a permanent worship option. This format has proven highly responsive and successful for reaching congregants who may still find it too risky to return, people whose schedules and life circumstances prevent them from attending, worshippers who live too far away to attend in person, and new people who have joined because livestream worship works well for them.

Each parish in the diocese is currently formulating a detailed plan for regathering in person. It is important to note that the entire diocese and St Stephen’s Church in particular, will be thoughtful, cautious, and unrushed in reopening church buildings. With many pastoral, justice, health, and logistical elements to consider, a reopening of church campuses (indoors and outdoors) for in-person worship will be a highly intentional, reasoned, trial-tested, and well-considered process.

The Phased Regathering Team for St Stephen’s Church is chaired by Dr. Philip Norris, and the team also includes Drs. Jennie Taylor, Ted Lynch and John Engstrom; Diana Long and Chris Mudge; the Rev’d’s Phillip Ellsworth and Christine Trainor.

The committee will outline a proposal based on their expertise, Marin County Health Orders https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/  and diocesan guidelines https://diocal.org/covid-19-advisories .

Please note that dates and practices may shift depending on the pace of the COVID-19 epidemic, and that once started, in-person services may need to be halted if community transmission changes.
—CTT+
CREATION CARE

Gracious God, grant us the wisdom to care for the earth and till it.
Help us to act now for the good of future generations and all your creatures. Help us to become instruments of a new creation,
founded on the covenant of your love. Amen.

During this time of sheltering in place and gradual reopening, many of us have renewed our appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the natural landscape around us. St Stephen’s Church remains committed to a ministry of sustainability, creation care, and stewardship of our natural resources.

You can participate in the parish’s ministry for the care of creation in the following ways:

HELP WITH THE
EARTH  &  ALTAR GARDEN
AWAKENING
EABeans2020
Even more so now during this increasingly stressful time, it is important to awaken the garden to help feed the homeless, as the church did in seasons past, and requires volunteers who are willing to help (at a socially acceptable distance). Karen Foss will oversee the garden planting plan, and has already begun soil preparation.

Please contact Elizabeth[at]stephenschurch.org, as soon as possible, to participate with this special project and help those in need.
HELP DEFRAY THE COST OF OUR SOLAR PANELS
Solar
About 80% of the church’s overall energy consumption is provided by 77 solar panels on our roof. We have the opportunity to buy back these panels from American Solar this year, which means that 100% of our savings translates into the ability to extend our ministry into the local community and beyond .

At this time in the history of St Stephen’s, you have the opportunity to invest in the future of the church and its two-fold ability to:

1) Engage as an environmentally responsible leader in the church and community.
2) Save significantly on energy costs now and going forward.

Purchase one, two or more solar panels today to help St Stephen’s in this joyful, sustainable, and forward-thinking way. Click here for a link to more information.
VISIT Together Apart ,
THE ALMOST DAILY CLERGY BLOG, AT
ONLINE STUDIES


Online Film Society
Donald Sung
Wednesdays, 4:00 pm

Race and Racism
Sunday Forum
12th July, 9:00 am
Led by Karl Belgum

Slow Religion has concluded

ONLINE PRAYER BREAKFAST | In-person today

Saturdays, 8:00am
This Saturday 27th June Meet at Salt & Pepper
Tiburon
From 13th June through 27th June
Join Father Schaper
Studio Desk
The church is looking for a donation of a large gently-used wooden table or desk [6 ft?] to use as the permanent home for St Stephen’s livestream recording equipment.

Please contact Elizabeth[at]ststephenschurch.org if you have one you have been intending to donate.
ABOUT LIVESTREAMING & TWO TIPS

Live Stream | We seek your feedback on your experience with the quality of the livestream. Are you having technical difficulties with livestream sound? Video? Glitches? Please email Elizabeth Gravely to let us know.

  • A tip from Rod Hall: If you are having audio problems, try not watching the stream live but clicking on the url later — perhaps at 11:15 — and downloading the video. All service livestreams are archived and available on the livestreams page at ststephenschurch.org.

  • Trouble connecting? If you log on to the Livestream prior to 10:00 am, and then have trouble with viewing at the 10:00 hour, refresh your browser and the livestream should reset to stream.

SUBSCRIBE TO TIDINGS:
THE WEEKLY, DIGITAL NEWSLETTER
OF ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH

We need your help to stay connected. The Tidings digital newsletter currently serves as our primary, weekly communication. If you would like to receive Tidings or are having problems receiving it, please email the office . It helps to put dee@ststephenschurch.org into your contacts, and to check your junk mail if you think you did not receive it.

Look for the St Stephen’s Church News at 6:00 am on Saturday mornings [i.e. Tidings ] to get the latest news on worship livestreams, bible studies, classes, groups, and programs at St Stephen’s Central.
VIRTUAL PRAYER CORNER

To light a candle in the virtual prayer corner, please see the instructions in this PDF link or in the Pastoral Care section of St Stephen’s Central.
MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL

Our Clergy are available for your emergency Pastoral Care 24/7 (see the back of your Sunday leaflet pdf for contact information),) but should you require a non-emergency mental medical health care professional, Marin County Community Action Marin at the Enterprise Recovery Center [ERC] offers the following: T wo Warm Lines (Mental health helplines). In addition to expanded hours for the English Language Warmline (9 am – midnight, 7 days a week at 415-459-6330), we now offer a mental health support line for Spanish Language Warmline speakers (1 5 pm, 7 days a week at 415-457-4026). Callers to the Warmline can share their concerns and experiences confidentially, without being judged. Psychiatric emergencies are referred immediately to appropriate emergency and professional services.
Like St Stephens on Facebook.
ST STEPHENS DIRECTORY
IS ONLINE

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You may opt out of any part or all of your listed information by contacting the office.


ST STEPHENS PRIVACY POLICY
Please read the Privacy Policy PDF
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