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 Fifth Sunday of Easter
2 May 20210
The Virgin in Prayer (1640-1650) by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato (1609 - 1685), National Gallery, London.
Kalendar and Readings
Readings for this Sunday

Psalm 66

Click the readings above for links to the RSV
NOTICE: Travelling to the Church on Sunday
On Sunday May 2nd, Brown University will holding two commencement ceremonies for undergraduate students on Sunday at 10:00 and 2:30. George Street is closed to thru-traffic and parking is forbidden on both sides of the street. Please leave extra time to reach the church on Sunday if you plan to attend in person mass. More information is available here: https://dps.brown.edu/alerts/street-parking-restrictions-may-1-2-commencement-weekend

On Sunday, the Providence Marathon will be run with courses for the full and half marathons wending through the East Side of the city. Those who will be travelling by motor vehicle for either the 8 am or 10 am services are highly advised to look at the race routes on the Providence Marathon website and make plans accordingly: https://providencemarathon.com/race-details/.
Organ: Sonatina, II. "Very Slowly," by Leo Sowerby (1895 - 1968)

Mass: Service of Holy Communion in E minor, Richard Dirksen (1921 - 2003)

Psalm 66 "Jubilate Deo," Tone I

Organ: Toccata (1940), by Leo Sowerby
A Word from the Rector
Dear beloved in Christ,

I want to begin by thanking you for the outpouring of love and prayers in the recent days. I will work to return your calls and messages as I am able. I am grateful to Fr. Bill Locke and Fr. Michael Pearson for stepping up and providing coverage for Sunday and daily masses – you are in good hands for the next few weeks. I do not know exactly when I will return for Sunday mass, but I pray it will be sooner than later. Each day is getting easier as I use a walker to get around the house, and hopefully I can transition to crutches in due course.

We are now (or shortly will be) in the month of May – a month traditionally held to be “Mary’s month.” In many Catholic and Anglo-Catholic parishes, flowers will adorn statues of Our Lady, and in a normal year outside of COVID times, we would have a Marian procession around the neighborhood, singing devotions to Our Lady.

While we will not have a May procession this year, or any special mass with the Society of Mary, we will add a Marian devotion to the end of Mass in the remaining Sundays of Easter – the Regina Coeli, which is the traditional devotion that takes the place of the Angelus during Eastertide. (And before you start to look at your watch, do not fear: it will add just over one minute to the length of mass!). It will be a wonderful way to honor Mary in her month, and to remember that Mary’s joys and her hopes that are found in the Resurrection of her Son are likewise our hopes and our joys.

Mary also shares in our fears and our sorrows, of course. Many of us turn to her in our hour of need. I was reminded of this earlier in the week as I endured the most painful and anxious moments of my ordeal. As doctors worked to reset the compound fracture, and as I prepared to go into surgery the following morning, I found myself reciting the Angelus and praying Hail Mary’s as a way of staying calm but also as a way of finding peace and strength in those moments of fear. That is one of the gifts of liturgical worship and of such devotions – they become imprinted on our hearts and are there for us when we need them in unexpected times of trial. And so, I leave you with another traditional Marian prayer, the ‘Memorare.’

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

May our blessed Mother watch over each of you always.

Yours in the joy and love of her Risen Son,
Fr. Benjamin+
Meals for Fr. Benjamin
Alison Huff, our junior warden, is coordinating meal delivery for Fr. Benjamin. Any who are interested may sign up at this link, or contact Alison at alisonhuff12@gmail.com or 401-465-8029. Thank you to all who have expressed support for Fr. Benjamin at this difficult time.
New Book Discussion Group - Mondays in May
On the first four Monday evenings of May (3, 10, 17, 24), Fr. Benjamin will be leading a book discussion over Zoom. The book is by the late Rachel Held Evans, “Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again.” If the Bible isn’t a science book or an instruction manual, then what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? When Rachel Held Evans found herself asking these questions, she began a quest to better understand what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. What she discovered changed her—and it will change you too.
Drawing on the best in recent scholarship and using her well-honed literary expertise, Evans examines some of our favorite Bible stories and possible interpretations, retelling them through memoir, original poetry, short stories, soliloquies, and even a short screenplay. Undaunted by the Bible’s most difficult passages, Evans wrestles through the process of doubting, imagining, and debating Scripture’s mysteries. The Bible, she discovers, is not a static work but is a living, breathing, captivating, and confounding book that is able to equip us to join God’s loving and redemptive work in the world. 

Those interested may purchase the book online, or else the church will provide you with a copy. We will cover two chapters each week, beginning with chapters one and two this Monday. If you are interested, please email Fr. Benjamin (rector@sstephens.necoxmail.com) or the office (office@sstephens.necoxmail.com). This book study will be offered again in the autumn for those unable to join at this time.
A Reminder about Masks
and COVID Protocols
Even as we rejoice that so many of us are receiving or have received the COVID vaccine, we must still wear masks in worship and maintain six feet between family/household groups.

Masks must be worn and must be kept in their proper position above the nose. For the benefit of those in attendance and viewing online, the small calculated risk is made allowing someone leading worship to remove their mask when speaking or reading (i.e. the Celebrant, Preacher, or Lector). The Choir are also permitted to remove their masks while singing as long as they are inside the Rood Screen, where they are still to maintain appropriate distancing.

Additionally, while at Easter we knew it would be hard to stifle singing, we ask that you use any hymns sung at Mass as devotional texts and allow the choir to carry the singing.

We've come a long way since the beginning of this pandemic a little over a year ago, and ask for your continued patience and perseverance. We will continue to evaluate and respond to any changes or new information as they come our way, and will communicate that to you accordingly.

The Rector & Wardens
Zoom Coffee Hour
Join us for Virtual "Coffee Hour" via Zoom after Mass this Sunday at 11:30 by clicking here. These Zoom gatherings are on the First and Third Sundays of the month only (and the occasional Fifth Sunday.)
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: Richard Budlong, Lola Campagna, Ruby Campagna, Fr. Norman Catir, Diana Clarke, Sarah Clarke, Fr. Harrington Gordon, Joan Gordon, Richard Hogarth, Fr. Jay C. James, Conrad Johnson, Ann Brooke Mason, Beverly Myers, Rhoda Steinhart, Fr. Benjamin, Luca Turrisi, and Christopher Whittingham.

Birthdays this week: Robyn Noble (5/3), Jenny Jones (5/7), Karen Williams (5/9).

Anniversaries this week: Anniversary of Ordination to Sacred Priesthood for Fr. Gary K. Sturni (5/8).

The faithful departed:
Year's mind: Charles N. Williams, Sr. (5/3), Sarah Volante (5/3), Lois Alene Decker (5/4), Marc V. Ragsdale (5/5), Elizabeth Anna Schumann (5/6), Robert Hales Ives Goddard (5/6), Edna Rawlings (5/6), Marion Beverly Hall (5/8).

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Nippon Sei Ko Kai. In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for Saint Mark's, Warwick, and The Church of the Good Shepherd, Pawtucket.
This Week at St. Stephen's

Saturday 8 May
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4 pm

All Services Streamed on our Facebook Page

Sunday 2 May
Morning Prayer & Low Mass 8:00 am
Sung Mass 10:00 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary

Monday 3 May
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6:00 pm

Tuesday 4 May
English Saints and Martyrs of the Reformation Era
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Wednesday 5 May
Sung Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6 pm

Thursday 6 May
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Friday 7 May
Harriet Starr Cannon, Founder of the Community of Saint Mary, 1896
John of Beverley, Monk, Bishop, 721
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Saturday 8 May
Julian of Norwich, Mystic, Teacher, c. 1417
Morning Prayer 9:30 am
Low Mass 10:00 am
Holy Rosary 10:30 am

Next Sunday
Morning Prayer & Low Mass 8:00 am
Children's Sermon 9:00 am
Sung Mass 10:00 am