St Stephens Church Tidings
Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
6th September 2020

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

Please read about the new YouTube Channel below.

We Have Moved Our Streaming Platform to YouTube
Thank you for tuning into to livestream services and messages from St Stephen’s Church. We have moved streaming off of the Vimeo platform onto YouTube. YouTube offers a much more substantial, faster tracking, and far-reaching platform.

Please Subscribe, and ask everyone you know to subscribe, to our YouTube channel:

To Subscribe to St Stephens YouTube Channel
  1. Click the subscribe button
  2. You will be asked to sign in. Click on the words Sign In.
  3. Your Google accounts will be listed. Choose one that is listed or choose, Other Account.
  4. At this point, if you do not have a Google Account, you may create one here. Follow those instructions.
  5. Once you have created an account and/or signed in, click on the little bell in the upper right corner. Choose Manage Notifications to receive notices about when content is added to St Stephens Channel. From time to time important short videos are added to the channel, and you can receive alerts about these, and any changes with Sunday livestreams.

A mini challenge: When we reach 100 subscribers, we can customize our YouTube URL, giving us even more options and reach. 
Labor Day, a national holiday in the US celebrated on the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. A yearly tribute to the varied contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country, the holiday seems particularly poignant this year. With unemployment at unprecedented levels, we are mindful of, and pray for, all those who do not have work at this time. We pray also for all those whose work puts them in harm’s way, caring for and protecting members of our local and national communities. And we pray for all those trying to do any work in the face of pandemic, political tension, and environmental crisis.

Welcome to St Stephen’s this holiday weekend, a community that works and serves in the name of Christ.
— CTT+
Please Note: The Clergy and Staff will observe the Labor Day Holiday
on Monday, 7th September. Email and phone responses, except for emergencies, will be delayed until Tuesday at the earliest. We wish you a happy and safe holiday.
Altar Flowers
The flowers at the altar this Sunday, 6th September 2020,
Lauren & Jerry Hancock
in celebration of the
St Stephen’s community,
especially during these uncertain times,
and in memory of their beloved parents, 
Charles Dessommes & Mary Hancock..

Floral donations support the
livestream service.
Regathering for In-Person Worship Update | 5th September 2020

Preparations for in-person worship continue. We hope to run a trial service and then re-open for worship in the courtyard on Sunday, September 27th (dependent on safety precautions relating to COVID regulations and AQI [Air Quality Index] due to wildfires).

The outdoor worship service envisioned will offer 18 reserved spots. We plan to offer reservations through Eventbrite. The reservation process will begin at noon on Monday, September 21st, and close at Noon on Thursday, September 24th, giving the office time to prepare for set up and check-in on Sunday. Instructions on how to reserve spots will be provided closer to the re-opening date.

Check-in for the service will be at 8 am, with worship beginning at 8:15. A word liturgy, the service will combine prayers and music with a focus on scripture and preaching. Brief and accessible, it aspires to appeal to all ages. While we hope to be able to offer holy eucharist/communion before too long, and are preparing for a safe method of distribution, we are still awaiting episcopal approval for the sharing of this sacrament.

Reservations will be made through the office, and we are still working out a system which ensures that all who want to come will have a fair opportunity to reserve a spot(s) over time. Seating will be assigned. Social distancing will be observed, and masks must be worn at all times. People will not be permitted to congregate before or after the service.

The livestream service will continue at 10 am. Please stay tuned as we ready to regather.
— CTT+
Sunday, 13th September, 9:00 - 10:00am Zoom
Slow Religion: The Foundations of Christian Faith in the 21st Century 
Where is God in the Whirlwind or Our Exile of Today?
The Slow Religion: The Foundations of Christian Faith studies explore the core beliefs and experiences of the Christian faith, and invite reflection within our 21st Century/Covid-19 pandemic context. The series is led by Joe Jennings and the Revd Zoila Schoenbrun, and is organized into two sets: first, the historical context and development of the faith; and, second topical examinations of belief and how to apply those today. The Topics include: God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, Incarnation, Resurrection, Forgiveness of Sins and Eternal Life. Each subject will include a brief presentation to give historical and textual content, readings in the Bible, creeds and prayers from multiple sources, and then questions for reflection and discussion. 
Pre-Christian Origins and Context 
Pre-Christian context for the new religion: Greek, Pagan, and Jewish views of God, early creeds and prayer life. Sources include the Old Testament and Roman and Greek texts. We will reflect on how do we respond when God seems distant, and modernity attempts to crowd out religious faith?
Anti-Racism Efforts at St Stephen’s

Sacred Ground Dialogue Circles
This week the Sacred Ground Dialogue Circles held introductory meetings to begin the film- and readings-based program offered through the Episcopal Church. Two groups will meet from early September through early February to dive more deeply into conversations about racism in our church and society.

Advocacy in the Community
Members of St Stephen’s Church attended the recent Town Hall meeting and marched against recent public instances of racial profiling in Belvedere/Tiburon.

Special Meeting of the Vestry
The vestry of St Stephen’s Church met for a special, extended session on Monday, 31st August to discuss ideas for making a more public expression of our desire to work against racism in our church and society. While our preaching, teaching, forums and programs aim to foster conversation and inform greater awareness about how too-long- ingrained racism impacts all of us, we are seeking ways to more intentionally, and robustly, integrate these attitudes in our own lives and out into the wider community as we work for real change.

Vestry members and parish officers expressed a variety of opinions and proposed a host of ideas. It was a good, honest, open, and, albeit at times, hard conversation.

We are all digesting the meeting and planning the next steps of action. Please watch for more news about how your leadership is responding in these tense and awakening times.
— CTT+
Online Studies

Online Film Society
Donald Sung
Wednesdays at 4:00 pm

Slow Religion | Sunday
Joe Jennings & the Revd Zoila Schoenbrun
13th September, 9:00 - 10:00 am Zoom
Slow Religion: The Foundations of Christian Faith in the 21st Century 

Online Prayer Breakfast
Saturdays, 8:00am
Through 12th September
Join the Revd Richard Schaper
Visit Together Apart,
The almost daily Clergy Blog, at
About Livestreaming

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.

  • St Stephens has moved the livestream channel to YouTube. All upcoming livestreams, as well as revised links for 8.23.20 and 8.16.20 are available on this channel. If you subscribe, you can always doublecheck for the most current version of the Sunday livestream, as well as view those archived since the changeover. Go to, and save this in your browser favorites.

  • All service livestreams from Vimeo are archived and available on the livestreams page at The YouTube link will remain constant until we have 100 subscribers, all videos from 8.16.20 forward will be on that channel, and you will see the current Sunday date listed to click start. The static link to the St Stephens Channel will remain at the top of the website livestreams page.

September Full Corn Moon | Photo & poem from two Parishioners

Moonlight on water
Ephemeral; magical
Savor the moment
Disaster Relief
A Prayer for those affected by disaster

O God of compassion, we pray for those who have been devastated by these wildfires, and this hurricane. We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring them consolation and comfort. Surround them with our prayer for strength. Bless those who have survived and heal their memories of trauma and devastation. May they have the courage to face the long road of rebuilding ahead.

We ask your blessing on all those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their security, and their hope. Bless the work of relief agencies and those proving emergency assistance. May their work be guided by the grace and strength that comes from you alone.

Help us respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, in aid to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of those affected, even after the crisis is over. We ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen.
18 August Fire
Fire Relief Response

At last count, 560 wildfires currently raged across the state of California. According to Cal Fire, the mass of land burned in the past seven days is larger than the size of Rhode Island, already more than triple the area burned during a typical fire season. Thousands have been evacuated and displaced, during a pandemic. You need only step outside, or sniff the smoky air seeping into your home to know that many of us, and our neighbors face great risk and loss.

The generosity many of you have shown was needed and heartwarming. However, relief providers signal that the amount of donated items organizations have received has become overwhelming and difficult to manage.

Neighboring relief providers have asked that instead of items, monetary donations be directed to the North Coast Opportunities/Mendo Lake Credit Union Lake County Wildfire Relief Fund with a memo for “Valley Fire.” The Red Cross suggests visiting to contribute financial aid or texting the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
— CTT+
Hurricane Laura

As the Episcopal Relief Development acts quickly to assist those impacted by #Hurricane Laura and other devastating storms, we urgently ask for your support. Make a donation to our hurricane relief fund and help us assist Episcopal dioceses in the Gulf Coast, who have extensive experience responding to disasters — not to mention powerful communications networks.

Save the Date: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Virtual Visit to DioCal
On 27th September 2020, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be visiting (virtually) the Diocese of California. Bishop Curry will be the guest preacher at Grace Cathedral’s 11am Choral Eucharist. He will also be speaking live with Bishop Marc at a special 12:30 pm Forum. Both events are being planned with the entire diocese in mind. Stay tuned for more details about how to participate.
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The Weekly Digital Newsletter
of St Stephens Church

Please stay connected. The St Stephens Church Tidings digital newsletter currently serves as our primary, weekly communication. If you would like to receive this enews or are having problems receiving it, please email the office. It helps to put into your contacts, and to check your junk mail if you think you did not receive it.

The Tidings [note that the weekly enews was renamed St Stephen's Church News when the COVID-19 crisis first hit, and up until three weeks ago. It is once again called Tidings, and delivers at 6:00 am on Saturday mornings, and provides the latest news on worship livestreams, bible studies, classes, regathering, surveys, groups, and all the programs listed on St Stephen’s Central.
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