The Messenger
A weekly e-newsletter of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
June 23, 2022
In this Issue:
Message from the Rector
By The Rev. Dr. Vincent Joseph Kopp

Dear Good People of St. Stephen’s,

New seasons come and go in many forms. 

Trinity Sunday, June 5th, marked the start of “ordinary time,” the season after Pentecost, the long “green” season in the liturgical year that extends to Advent. 

Tuesday, June 21st, the day of the 2022 Summer Solstice, marked the official start of summer and the end of spring, though it has felt like those two seasons changed places weeks ago.

And then, unique to this year, April 10th marked the 199th anniversary of St. Stephen’s official inclusion as a Parish in the Diocese of North Carolina, itself only organized six years earlier in 1817. 

These seasons are all a part of God’s plan for us, the plan Christ offers to us, the plan the Holy Spirit guides us to accept. They are simple, palpable, and permit us to participate, grow, and, yes, move on in a life full of both joys and pains.

The Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 puts it this way:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”

God equips each of us to discern our place in all different seasons; to discern what Christ would have us do when seasons change around us, like it or not; and to discern the Holy Spirit’s work in the midst of chaos or calm, each of which is a season in itself. 

Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection as Christ fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. Some of the old seasons mentioned above no longer apply when we grow in Christ. Death is no more to be feared; love triumphs over hate; peace is better than war. 

Harvest the fulfillment Christ planted for us and turn it into the Bread of Life for each other. 

In Christ,
Weekly Happenings

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I (Sanctuary)
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II (Sanctuary)
11:30 a.m. Coffee Hour (Parish Hall)
5:00 p.m. EYC End of Year Gathering (Sciortino Home)

6:00 p.m. Hope House Board Meeting (Parish Hall)

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)
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II (Sanctuary)
11:30 a.m. Coffee Hour (Parish Hall)
Prayer List
Mary Branch
Cissie Bryan
Kelly Holden
Pam Martin
Dick Taylor
Rives Hicks
Lucy Landis Moore
Jimmy Winston

Hodges & Harris Families
Bert Kempt
Janelle Ramsey
Betty Jo White

Isaac Hodges
June Birthdays & Anniversaries

03 Ginny Hicks
04 Mack Harris
06 Caroline Folger
08 Harvey Spurr
10 Jim Branch
10 Mary Elizabeth Hicks
10 Beckett Swanner
12 Frances Mathews
22 Laurel Sciortino
24 Mary Ruth Edmundson
02 William & Ginger Claiborne
03 Adam & Lee Brewer
04 Clayton & Claire Ramsey
04 Joe & Jennifer Tartamella
10 Harvey & Marlene Spurr
14 Mack & Eve Harris
16 Tom & Grey Currin
20 Scott & Madeline Basnight
21 Jim & Mary J. Branch
Bishops of the Diocese of NC Respond to Shooting in Alabama

Please review the pastoral letter issued by the Diocese of North Carolina’s bishops following the shooting incident at St. Stephen’s Parish in Alabama last week. You can view the letter here.
Parish Strategic Plan
Michael Currin, Chair of the Strategic Planning Process for 2022-2023, will soon convene a committee and develop a timeline for the work to be done. If you are interested in being a part of this process, please reach out to Michael. The Strategic Planning Process will provide groundwork and recommendations needed for St. Stephen’s to accommodate future growth as Oxford and Granville County grow. Please discern your part in the process and stay tuned to learn more as it starts to unfold.
Bicentennial Year

Preston Johnson will Chair St. Stephen's Bicentennial Committee. Please discern if you have a part to play in Bicentennial Year preparations and make yourself known via the Parish Office.

Want to serve at St. Stephen’s in new and creative ways? Going forward we need volunteers to serve in the following ways:
  • Altar Guild
  • Readers of Lessons and Prayers of the People
  • Lay Ministers, Crucifers, and Acolytes
  • Greeters
  • Bell Ringers
  • Photographer
  • Bicentennial Planning Committee
  • Strategic Planning Committee
  • Creation Care Committee
Please give prayerful consideration of where your highest and greatest gifts meet St. Stephen’s greatest needs.
Thrift Shop Day
Saturday, July 9th

Saturday, July 9th is Volunteer Day at the Community Church Ministry Thrift Shop. Parishioners are encouraged to stop by the shop and purchase items between 9am and 12pm; all proceeds will go to St. Stephen’s.

The shop receives a variety of donations, including antiques and collectibles. They have jewelry, children’s items/games, a large book section, and many other items. They are located at: 1200 SE Industry Drive, Oxford (across the street from Revlon)
Eucharist & Picnic at Kerr Lake
Sunday, July 10th

On July 10th the parish will have Holy Eucharist at 11am with a picnic lunch afterward at Henderson Point on Kerr Lake. Folks are asked to bring sides. Church Life will provide main courses. If you have thoughts about transportation, please share these with the Church Life Committee.
Social Media

It is easy to discount social media, yet numbers do not lie. To date, pictures from our Shrimp Boil on Facebook have had over 400 encounters and 200 engagements (some form of active response after an encounter). The Memorial Day St. Stephen’s Window post had 600 encounters and 80 engagements. And our recent profile photo change had 300 encounters and 60 engagement. Thank you for being active on social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube); it is helping St. Stephen's reach out to others.
Rector's Weekly Video
Third Sunday after Pentecost - June 26, 2022
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