The Messenger
A weekly e-newsletter of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
August 4, 2022
New This Week:
Message from the Rector
By The Rev. Dr. Vincent Joseph Kopp

Dear Good People of St. Stephen’s,

My mind has been on the Bible lately. As our prime reference book it makes sense that each of us commits (at some level) to “read, mark, and inwardly digest” the Scriptures’ contents, even if that only happens on Sundays.

For sure, there is much in the Bible that we do not and cannot comprehend. Much is history and patterns of social organization long lost to our sensibilities. There is also poetry and figures of speech that remain opaque to us. Even familiar metaphors are received dimly. How, for instance, are those of us who lack experience with livestock or planting, reaping, and sowing prepared to connect fully with such essential images?

And then there are miracles and other events for which we have no explanation that might make us squirm when we consider them. Thomas Jefferson, for one, was so committed to Enlightenment values, that he created his own version of the New Testament to present Jesus as the ultimate Teacher of ethical living, excising any mention of healings or miracles from what is known as The Jefferson Bible.

How, then, are we, who are even more removed than Jefferson from biblical times and daily circumstances, to know the Scriptures, especially when what they contained assaults our sensibilities?

Fortunately, in all of our explorations of the Scriptures, we are assisted by the Holy Spirit.

The Catechism (BCP, p. 853) puts it this way:

Q. How do we understand the meaning of the Bible?
A. We understand the meaning of the Bible by the help of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church in the true interpretation of the Scriptures.

In our contemporary setting we are likely to interrogate the Bible using Tradition, Reason, and Experience (TRE), forgetting that the Scriptures are God’s record of relationship with people of faith—first the Israelites, later the rest of us. Scripture cannot be replaced by TRE, the appreciations of which change over time and get adapted to contemporary needs. Scripture is timeless, though translations and interpretations may change.

Let’s commit to studying that record and living out the Scriptures’ meaning together. At a minimum, do as St. Francis is said to have said: "Preach the Gospel continually, and occasionally use words."

Let Us Pray:

Proper 28 (BCP, p. 184)

“Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them; that, by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 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
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.
Weekly Happenings

Youth Formation Survey Deadline
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)

6:00 p.m. Youth Family Forum Event with a Meal (Parish Hall)
5:00 p.m. Centering Prayer / Lectio Divina (Parlor)
8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer Rite I (Sanctuary)
5:30 p.m. Godly Play Training I (St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Goldsboro, NC)

8:30 a.m. Godly Play Training II (St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Goldsboro, NC)
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I (Sanctuary)
9:00 a.m. Godly Play Training III (St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Goldsboro, NC)
9:15 a.m. Estate Planning - Death, Be Not Proud, Part I (Parish Hall)
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II (Sanctuary)
11:30 a.m. Parish Breakfast (Parish Hall)
Youth Formation

Do you have children under 18? We want to know what you’d like your children to learn about Christ, the Church, and Christian life. Please complete the Youth Formation Survey, which will be open through this Sunday, August 7th. Paper copies of the survey are also available in the Parish Hall. Once compiled the results will be discussed in a Family Forum event with a meal on August 9th in the Parish Hall starting at 6:00 PM. Amy Campbell, Diocesan Children and Family Missioner, will be present to listen to our ideas. Please complete the survey and plan to attend the event!
EPISCOPALOOZA is back in person! This event is for youth grades 6-12 and the adults who work with them. It is taking place Saturday, August 20, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m at Haw River State Park (The Summit). The $20 cost includes lunch, and scholarships are available. It will be a day event full of music, games, worship, and a time to regather and have fun.
Godly Play Training

St. Stephen’s is in dialogue with St. John’s, Wake Forest, about Godly Play volunteer refresher training. Our plan is to have Godly Play back in full swing by mid-September. If you are interested in Godly Play Core Training, a class will be offered at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Goldsboro, NC, August 12-14.
Parish Breakfast
August 14th

Church Life is putting on a Parish Breakfast after the 10:30 AM service on August 14th. Bring your friends to church and your appetite to the Parish Hall afterwards.

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
  • The Strategic Planning Committee
Please give prayerful consideration of where your highest and greatest gifts meet St. Stephen’s greatest needs.
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.
"Death, Be Not Proud"
August 14, 21, & 28

Our three-part series on preparing for the end of life commences on August 14th with a presentation on “Estate Planning” by Jason Spain, Esq. On August 21st “Living Wills/DNR Orders” will be discussed by John Anderson, MD. The series ends on August 28th with a discussion about “Planning a Burial Service” led by the Rev. Dr. Vincent Joseph Kopp. All sessions will be in the Parish Hall between services, from 9:15 AM to 10:00 AM. 
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. 
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!
Rector's Weekly Video
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - August 7, 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