The Messenger
A weekly e-newsletter of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
August 18, 2022
New This Week:
Message from the Rector
By The Rev. Dr. Vincent Joseph Kopp

Dear Good People of St. Stephen’s,

If you’ve ever set the goal for yourself of reading the Bible, it is never too soon to start on your journey.

You can read the Bible fast or you can read the Bible slow. You can take a year reading a set amount every day or you can take three years--or even longer--following the Lectionary.

Whichever way you choose--a quick once through or an extended tour--stick with your basic goal: read the Bible all the way through at least once. And then meditate on--not debate--its meaning.

I had a wonderful friend and mentor tell me on his deathbed that his only regret in life was that he did not accomplish this goal, one he didn’t realize he had until near the end of his life. Reading the Bible had always been a vague aspiration, something major to do in the future, and a daunting goal at that. So he kept putting it off until--in his mind--it was too late.

I assured him that he had “read” the Bible into his daily life; and that he had lived its meaning through his actions and the way he treated others, and especially in how he kept God front and centered in all he said and did. Whether he was reassured or not I cannot say. My hope is his regret was simply a brief moment and that it passed.

Yet his situation illustrates a reality. Whether it’s reading the Bible or something else, we have to start somewhere, sometime. And once we do, we have to continue until our goal is reached and our journey is done.

As the Spanish poet Antonio Machado wrote in Campos de Castilla:

“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road--Only wakes upon the sea.”

Let Us Pray:

57. For Guidance (BCP, p. 832)

“Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

In Christ,
Prayer List

† Mary Branch
† Cissie Bryan
Rives Hicks
† Kelly Holden
Lucy Landis Moore
† Pam Martin
† Dick Taylor
Jimmy Winston

Dale Hughes
Bert Kemp
Janelle Ramsey
Courtney Ruth
Betty Jo White
Prayer Chain

Do you need prayer but would like to keep it confidential? St. Stephen's has a group of dedicated parishioners who will pray for you or your loved ones in time of need. Contact Pam Muller to be added to the Prayer Chain prayer list or click on "Request a Prayer" above.

St. Stephen's is looking for more participants to join this special ministry. Please reach out to Pam if you are interested in joining.
ACIM Needs Your Help

ACIM receives generous support from St. Stephen’s. In recent months delivery of meat from WalMart to ACIM to customers has been interrupted. Freezers and the refrigerator truck have gone unused. If you are interested in advocating to correct this situation, please contact Marcia Byrd. She can provide information about ways to help ACIM in a new way.
Outreach Committee Meeting
August 21st

There will be an Outreach Committee Meeting this Sunday, August 21st, after the 10:30am service in the Parlor. A sign-up will be available for the Hot Sauce Festival.
Weekly Happenings

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I (Sanctuary)
9:15 a.m. "Living Wills/DNR Orders" - Death, Be Not Proud, Part II (Parish Hall)
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II (Sanctuary)
11:30 a.m. Outreach Committee Meeting on Hot Sauce Festival (Parlor)
11:30 a.m. Coffee Hour (Parish Hall)
5:15 p.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II with Pizza Afterward (Pavilion)

5:00 p.m. Centering Prayer / Lectio Divina (Parlor)
8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer Rite I (Sanctuary)
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I (Sanctuary)
9:15 a.m. “Planning a Burial Service” - Death, Be Not Proud, Part III (Parish Hall)
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II (Sanctuary)
11:30 a.m. Coffee Hour (Parish Hall)
Bible Study
Starting in September

The Adult Formation Survey results are in and processed. About 20 surveys were received. A wide range of suggestions about times and days and content was received. At this point, an interest in Bible study is clear. Thus, the Rev. Kopp will introduce a weekly Bible study in September that will run through November, with attention given to the Books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. The hard part is finding a day and time that works. Our choices are Sundays from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Tuesdays from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM. Please complete the survey provided at the link below or fill out a paper copy in the Parish Hall to indicate your choice.
"Death, Be Not Proud"
August 14, 21, & 28

Our three-part series on practical matters related to the end of life continues this Sunday, August 21st with a presentation from John Anderson, MD on “Living Wills/DNR Orders.” The series concludes on August 28th with the Rev. Dr. Vincent Joseph Kopp covering “Planning a Burial Service.” All sessions will be in the Parish Hall between services, from 9:15 AM to 10:00 AM.

View handouts from the "Estate Planning" session on August 14th:
Youth Formation

The Family Forum on August 9th attracted twenty attendees – 14 adults and six children. Amy Campbell, Diocesan Children and Family Missioner answered questions about Youth Formation tools for a parish our size. Round table discussions yielded ideas and some clarity about what is valued and valuable at St. Stephen’s. A good basis for forming a plan is now in hand. Thanks to all who attended.


Want to serve at St. Stephen’s in new and creative ways? Going forward we need volunteers to serve in the following ways:
  • Acolytes
  • Altar Guild
  • Bell Ringers
  • Greeters
  • Lay Ministers (certification required)
  • Photographers
  • Prayer Chain
  • Readers of Lessons and Prayers of the People
  • The Bicentennial Planning Committee
  • The Creation Care Committee
Please give prayerful consideration of where your highest and greatest gifts meet St. Stephen’s greatest needs.
Bridge Luncheon
September 30th

We will have a Bridge Luncheon on September 30th, starting at 11am. If you are interested in playing, please contact Chip Hughes for tickets. Tickets are $25. Lunch will be provided.
Lobster Sale
October 29th

The annual Lobster Sale is back and will take place October 29th. We will use newspapers to wrap the lobsters, so start saving your Oxford Ledgers (minus any flyers) and bring them to the Parish Hall. There's a box designated for the newspapers to the left as you enter the hall.
Stewardship Award

The Rectory has been picked by the Oxford Historic Preservation Commission to receive the 2022 Stewardship Award. This award recognizes the work and improvements made in the past year. Thank you to the past and present Jr. Wardens, Joe Sciortino and Bernie Nelson, respectively, and to the Vestry for making this award possible!

Thanks to the Oxford Public Ledger for the photo (printed in the August 11th newspaper).
Thanks to the Church Life Committee

The Church Life Committee did another outstanding job hosting the Parish Brunch on Sunday, August 14th. In addition to 50 or so parishioners present we had at least 11 visitors, all of whom expressed feeling welcomed and well fed! Thank you to all who were involved.
August Birthdays & Anniversaries

1 Sallie Jackson
17 Frank Folger
20 Hannah Tartamella
20 Rachael Tartamella
23 Betty Jo Hamme 
28 Michael Currin
28 Julia Day 
30 Richard Moore
31 Tom Evins, Jr.
31 Joe Sciortino

4 Kenny & June Manning
6 Dave & Julia Day
9 John & Charlotte Watson, Jr. 
Rector's Weekly Video
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost - August 21, 2022
The Rev. Vincent Kopp (Rector):
Lidiya Potapenko (Parish Office):
Jim Branch (Sr. Warden):
Bernard Nelson (Jr. Warden):
MISSION STATEMENT: We are dedicated to sharing the Gospel and love of Christ Jesus through service to our Church, community, and world.
Office Hours: M-Th 9AM-4PM