S. Stephen's Church
in Providence
"Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." (Acts 7:56)
THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
17 January 20210
 San Felipe Apóstol (c. 1610 - 1614) Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco), Museo del Greco, Toledo, Spain.
Kalendar and Readings
THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY (Year B)


Click the readings above for links to the RSV
Music
Organ: Fantasia in C-moll, BWV 537, J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750)

Mass: Missa de Sancta Maria Magdelena, Healey Willan (188 - 1968)

Psalm 69, vs. 1 - 9, Deus, Deus meus, Tone I

Organ: Fuga in C-moll, BWV 537, J.S. Bach
A Word from the Rector
Dear beloved in Christ,

If you are like me, you are likely becoming increasingly frustrated regarding the suspension of in-person worship. Part of the challenge of this pandemic which we have been enduring for almost a year now is that it requires us to go against all our most human instincts in order to stay healthy and slow the spread. We long to gather together – we long to see each other – we long to embrace and be close with one another.

I don’t know when that time will come, though I do remain optimistic that it will arrive sooner than later. One question that may be on your minds is “Why do we continue to offer the Eucharist via livestream when we are not all gathered together?” In truth, we could simply do Morning Prayer together on Zoom every Sunday, which is what other parishes have done. However, since its founding, S. Stephen’s has stood within the High Church tradition and very early on embraced the weekly and then daily celebration of the Eucharist. We obey Christ’s command to “DO THIS” for the remembrance of him.

Much of the way we observe and enact the celebration of the Mass comes from a time in the Medieval Church when seeing the Mass, particularly the moment of consecration in the Eucharistic Prayer, was thought to be just as beneficial as receiving the Bread and the Wine. Our theology has evolved over time, but in a way this Pandemic has turned our entire church into Medieval Catholics with even the most “Low Church” Episcopalians having returned to a visual focus on the Eucharist.

I will explore that visual emphasis in the coming weeks, but what I wish to state simply and plainly right now is this: the Bread and the Wine which we offer at the altar every day represent the very stuff of our lives – they represent us. We offer them up to God that he may take them, bless them, break them, and give them back to us and to the world – that the common stuff of our lives may be made holy and life changing. As much as Christ is being remembered and made present at the altar, YOU TOO are also being remembered and made present at the altar. In that charitable Christian act of remembering one another at the Altar of the Lord and obeying his command to literally “Do This,” we also remain faithful to Jesus’s commandment that we love one another as he loved us. Even if we cannot be physically present, we can take comfort knowing that it is being done.

Moreover, we can take advantage of the technology which allows us to participate virtually, engaging our eyes and ears, and even our hearts and voices as we join in the prayers and make our spiritual communions as we gaze upon the Eucharistic elements as they are elevated, and offer our adoration of Christ in the Sacrament of his Body in which he his fully present.

May God bless you and keep you.

Faithfully,

Fr. Benjamin +
2021 Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting will be on January 31st at 12:00 noon via Zoom.

The Nominations Committee respectfully submits the following names for election by the church membership at our annual meeting on January 31st, 2021:
 
Vestry class of 2023 - Karl Benziger, Louis Verdolotti; Vestry class of 2024 - Leana Hooks, Lynne deBenedette; Convention Delegates 2021 - Rhoda Steinhart, Richard Noble; Convention Alternates 2021 - Cathy Bledsoe, Nancy Gingrich. Our By-laws allow for the potential of additional nominations by church members. Please contact Alison Huff at alisonhuff12@gmail.com or 401-576-8029 for more information.
What is Anglo-Catholicism?
S. Stephen’s is happy to announce we will host a series of hour-long discussions the next 3 Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM, in which we explore our theological and liturgical heritage as Anglo-Catholic Episcopalians. The dates for this Wednesday evening offering are January 20th, January 27th, and February 3rd. We are asking that folks also hold February 10th as an option for meeting as well, in case our discussion is not adequately contained within 3 sessions.

Zoom Coffee Hour
Join us for Virtual "Coffee Hour" via Zoom after Mass this Sunday at 11:30 by clicking here. A reminder that these Zoom gatherings are now on First and Third Sundays of the month only (and the occasional rare Fifth Sunday).
Volunteers for Sunday Masses
We are seeking people to serve as lectors and camera operators during our Sunday masses. If you are interested and are comfortable being socially distanced in the church with others, please write to the office at office@sstephens.necoxmail.com or by phone at 401.421.6702: training is available. Thank you to all who have and continue to fill these positions.
Giving to St. Stephen's
You can mail your pledge card or weekly/monthly offering to the church office, or pledge online here. Thank you for all the many ways in which you are already supporting S. Stephen’s. 
For your Prayers
Prayers have been requested for: Patti Barnes, Lola Campagna, Ruby Campagna, the Rev. Norman Catir, Diana Clarke, Sarah Clarke, Grace Deneault, Norman Gibbs Jr., Harrington Gordon, Joan Gordon, James Howley, the Rev. Jay C. James, Conrad Johnson, Ann Brooke Mason, Beverly Myers, Beverly Ryan, Rhoda Steinhart, Crystal Sylver, and Christopher Whittingham.

Birthdays this week: Danielle Latimer (1/22)

The faithful departed: Recently departed: David Whitham, Jr. Year's mind: John Arthur Clark (1/20), Ellsworth E.R. Wallace (1/21), Ruth B. Bodell (1/21), Gordon Bramwell (1/22).

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer: In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Anglican Church of Australia. In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Center of Reconciliation, and all who seek to be reconcilers in our state, nation, and world.
This Week at St. Stephen's
EXTRA-PAROCHIAL EVENTS HOSTED AT S. STEPHEN’S
Saturday 23 January
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4 pm

LITURGICAL CALENDAR & SERVICE SCHEDULE
All Services Streamed on our Facebook Page

Sunday 17 January
THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
Sung Mass 10:00 am
Zoom Coffee Hour 11:30 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary

Monday 18 January
THE CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER THE APOSTLE
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6:00 pm

Tuesday 19 January
Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Wednesday 20 January
Fabian, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, 250
Sebastian, Martyr at Rome, c. 288
Sung Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6 pm

Thursday 21 January
Agnes, Martyr at Rome, 304
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Friday 22 January
Vincent, Deacon of Saragossa, Martyr, 250
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Saturday 23 January
Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, 1893
Morning Prayer 9:30 am
Low Mass 10:00 am

Next Sunday
THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
Sung Mass 10:00 am