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 OF CHRISTMAS
3 January 20210
Herodes Antipas (c. 1493) from the workshop of Michael Wolgemut (1434 - 1519) for the Nuremburg Chronicle
Kalendar and Readings
THE SECOND SUNDAY OF CHRISTMAS (Year B)


Click the readings above for links to the RSV
Music
Organ: Jul, op. 36, no. 2, Otto Olsson (1879 - 1964)

Mass: Missa de Sancta Maria Magdelena, Healy Willan (1880 - 1968)

Psalm 97, vs. 1-4, 11-12, Tone V

Organ: Fuga über den Choral "Wie schön leucht' uns der Morgenstern, Max Reger (1873 - 1916)
A Word From Fr. Benjamin
Dear beloved in Christ,

Happy New Year! May God’s blessings be with us abundantly as we enter this new calendar year.

The 12 days after Christmas are a blur of saints days and major feasts. As I indicated in my last letter, our earlier spiritual ancestors made quite a time of embracing the 12 days as a time of feasting and a break from labor.

Yesterday was the feast of the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, observed 8 days after Christmas (Jan 1) in remembrance of Jesus’s being circumcised and officially “named” 8 days after this birth, in accordance with Jewish custom. Scripture asserts the significance of his name as given by the angel Gabriel even before he was conceived in the womb. In Philippians, St. Paul tells us that it is the Name above all other names, unto which every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. The Psalmist declares “O Lord our Governor, How excellent is thy Name in all the world!” And such was and is the reverence for the Name of God in the Jewish faith, that it was considered to be unutterable, and was abbreviated in scripture (what we now agree was likely “Yahweh”). To this day, pious Jews will not write out God, but instead “G-d” as sign of reverence for the holiness of God’s name.

Names carry great meaning. They go to the core of how we identify as people. All of the things that make me “me” are as wrapped up in my own sense of being “Benjamin” as anything else. The same is undoubtedly true for you. In Jesus, we are given access to the Father in an intimate, direct way. As St. Paul writes, “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"” Through Jesus, God-made-man, we have a wonderful Name – a face, a heart, a voice – to aid our relationship with God. As John Newton wrote in his hymn text, “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer's ear!”

In this coming year, whatever we set about to accomplish, whatever goals we set, whatever labors we undertake, must have Jesus as their foundation if they are to have any worth or meaning. Let us give thanks at the beginning of this New Year for the gift of Jesus’s Name, which we can call upon at all times, confident that it is a Name that is strong to save, and the only Name given for health and salvation.

“O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend,
my Prophet, Priest, and King,
my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
accept the praise I bring.” (John Newton)

Yours in the Love of our Incarnate Lord,
Fr. Benjamin +
Vestry Nominations for 2021
The Nominations Committee respectfully submits the following names for election by the church membership at our annual meeting on January 7, 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.
Annual New Year's Day Dinner
Thank you to Bobby Rose and Chris Butler for preparing the food for our annual New Year’s Day Dinner, and to all the other volunteers who helped package and distribute the to-go boxes. This is an important ministry, and it is commendable that the inability to host the hungry inside our building did not deter us from meeting the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Sunday Livestreams
We have begun using a new streaming app for our Sunday 10:00 Mass. One thing we are unable to do is link to the Facebook “event” that we were previously creating, but if you go to our Facebook page you can easily see that we are going live and it should come up in your feed.
Zoom Coffee Hour
Join us for Virtual "Coffee Hour" via Zoom after Mass this Sunday at 11:30 by clicking hereA reminder that these Zoom gatherings are now on First and Third Sundays of the month only (and the occasional rare Fifth Sunday).
Zoom Church School
On second Sundays of the month, there will be a 9:00 Zoom “Children’s Sermon” and check-in with Fr. Benjamin open to school-age children and their parents, available here.
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: Philip Noble (1/5), Katherine Hayslip (1/6)

The faithful departed: Year's mind: Marion Dunlop (1/6), Arthur Files, Jr. (1/8), John Frances Hall (1/9)

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer: In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Episcopal and Anglican province of Alexandria. In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the clergy and people of The Church of the Epiphany, Rumford.
This Week at St. Stephen's
EXTRA-PAROCHIAL EVENTS HOSTED AT S. STEPHEN’S
Saturday 9 January
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4 pm

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

Sunday 3 January
THE SECOND SUNDAY OF CHRISTMAS
Sung Mass 10:00 am
Virtual Coffee Hour 11:30 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary

Monday 4 January
Monday in the Second Week after Christmas
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6:00 pm

Tuesday 5 January
Tuesday in the Second Week after Christmas
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Wednesday 6 January
THE EPIPHANY
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6 pm

Thursday 7 January
Feria
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Friday 8 January
Feria
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Saturday 9 January
Feria
Morning Prayer 9:30 am
Low Mass 10 am

Next Sunday
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY: THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD
Children's Sermon 9:00 am
Sung Mass 10:00 am