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 AFTER THE EPIPHANY
7 February 20210
Jesus und die Schwiegermutter Petri, Hitda Codex, c. 1020, Darmstadt, Germany.
Kalendar and Readings
THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY (Year B)

Psalm 142

Click the readings above for links to the RSV
Music
Organ: Duet for Organ in C, I. Allegro, Samuel Wesley (1766 - 1837)

Mass: Missa Parvula, Peter Maxwell Davies (1934 - 2016)

Psalm 142, Voce Mea ad Dominum, Tone IV

Organ: Duet for Organ in C, Fuga, alla Cappella, Wesley
A Word from the Rector
Dear S. Stephen’s Parish Family,

Thank you for what was a wonderful Annual Meeting (via Zoom) on Sunday afternoon. It was good to see so many familiar faces and hear your voices. We elected a new Vestry slate, reviewed the budget for the coming fiscal year, and heard reports from your leadership about what has transpired in the parish since the last Annual Meeting.

I dare say, a year ago the Coronavirus was only faintly on our radar, and we could not have imagined how much all our lives would change seemingly overnight in early and mid-March 2020. Nevertheless, ministry has continued at S. Stephen’s, and you even called a new Rector to join you in the next chapter of your story. (No small feat, given the challenges!)

One of the most important things we shared with you in the Annual Meeting were the following goals set forth by the Vestry and myself for our first years of shared ministry together. This is required of all parishes in Rhode Island when they call a new Rector, and is a very good and useful way to help frame and evaluate our first years together. The following goals were developed out of conversations you had as a parish when you began your rector search as well as a survey of the vestry in December. The following has also been submitted to Bishop Nicholas Knisely for his approval.

“The Vestry of S. Stephen’s Parish, together with their Rector, have set forth the following goals for their first years of shared ministry together, in which they pledge their mutual support and accountability to one another in advancing of said goals, in order that the Good News of Jesus Christ might be made known and embodied:

1) Renewed discipleship
  • connecting S. Stephen’s beloved common liturgical life with the daily experience of Christian living
  • a renewal of Congregational life, particularly with regard to pastoral care & Christian education
  • utilizing our Anglo-Catholic traditions as an asset with which to evangelize and draw in new members

2) Deeper engagement with the community & city
  • Increased ministry to the college communities & immediate neighborhood
  • Increased engagement with the issue of local food insecurity
  • Promoting awareness of and supporting the work of The Center for Reconciliation (Diocesan)

3) Fiscal sustainability and health of physical plant
  • Increased pledging (tied to congregational growth) coupled with decreased spending, in order to stabilize the draw on the endowment
  • Active and prudent maintenance of the buildings and grounds
  • continued scrutiny of expenses and complete transparency to parish on budget and finance matters”

These goals are all extremely doable and within our reach, and in some ways we have already begun to make progress on some of them. With God’s grace and God’s help, may we accomplish all this and more in the years to come. May the Lord our God prosper thou the work of our hands. (Ps. 90:17)

Faithfully,
Fr. Benjamin +
Update on worship at S. Stephen's
At this point, we are still closed to in-person worship, with the exception of the celebrant, server, musicians, and reader who participate in the livestream liturgy. However, the rate of COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island is continuing a steady decline in recent weeks, and if that trend continues, we have reason to believe that we can resume the kind of in-person worship we practiced in the autumn months in several weeks’ time. While this is welcome news, we cannot say with certainty what that date will be. Please continue to pray for our state and local communities, and pray that the spread of this virus may abate, so that we may gather together once again in our beloved sacred space.
Ash Wednesday
At this point, the assumption is that we will still be limited to virtual livestream worship only on Ash Wednesday. That Ash Wednesday liturgy will stream on our Facebook page at 7:00 PM and remain there for later viewing. Fr. Bill Locke will be our preacher that evening.

Those desiring ashes on Ash Wednesday may come to S. Stephen’s, where Fr. Benjamin will be at the church doors to offer the imposition of ashes between Noon and 1:00 PM, and again from 5:00 to 6:00 PM, preceding the 7:00 PM liturgy. The Imposition of Ashes will be accompanied by a short recitation of a psalm and brief prayer, and it is hoped that this devotion is connected with a later participation in the livestream liturgy (as opposed to the “Ashes to Go” initiative that has gained in popularity in recent years). If neither of those times works, and you would like to receive ashes, please call the office and see if another time can be scheduled.
Pancake Supper
Pancakes anyone? We can't gather on Shrove Tuesday but we can still eat pancakes together! Show off your flipping skills or just pop in to say hello at 5:30pm on Tuesday, February 16. Here is the link for Zoom Pancake Supper!
Year-End Giving Statements
It has come to our attention that there may be some inaccuracies or discrepancies in some parishioners’ statements, following the unexpected passing in August 2020 of our bookkeeper, Lorraine Slaney, along with the departure of Jacob Ihnen. We apologize for any errors in your statements, and urge you to contact the office or Fr. Benjamin if you feel anything has not been recorded accurately. Thank you for your gracious understanding.
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).
Absalom Jones
February is designated in our country as Black History Month, and as part of our shared ministry goals in raising awareness for our Diocese’s Center for Reconciliation, which seeks to foster racial reconciliation and racial justice by confronting the legacy of slavery, I want to draw attention to a story within our own Episcopal Church. On February 13, we will commemorate in our celebration of the mass the life of Absalom Jones, an abolitionist and the first black man ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. You can read more about his life and witness here. We will look at other stories within our own parish and our diocese in the weeks and months to come. Please also take a moment to look at the website for the Center for Reconciliation and learn more about their important work.
Multiple Parish Lenten Study
Four historic Anglo-Catholic parishes (St. Stephen's, St. John's Newport, St. Paul's Brooklyn, St. Thomas' in Toronto) are joining forces to offer a special Wednesdays in Lent series at 7 p.m. each week via Zoom. "The Eucharist in a time of Pandemic: Sacramental Theology for when you cannot receive the Sacrament," will begin on Wednesday, February 24 and run for five sessions through Wednesday, March 24.

Wednesday, 24 February
Foundations in Scripture with Fr. D'Angelo & John Lord
What are the Biblical roots of the Eucharist?
Wednesday, 3 March
Patristic Development with Fr. D'Angelo & Fr. Humphrey
How did the Church Fathers interpret the Biblical Witness?
Wednesday, 10 March
Medieval Unfolding with Fr. Straley & Fr. Ogburn
Amidst the Black Death, how was the Eucharist understood and practiced?
Wednesday, 17 March
Reformation Response with Fr. Ogburn & Fr. Humphrey
What lasting insights did the English Reformation impart?
Wednesday, 24 March
Anglo-Catholic Synthesis with Fr. Humphrey & Team Faculty  
How does Anglo-Catholic theology and practice promise life in the midst of death?


Information, including a Zoom link, will be forthcoming. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
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, 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: Sharon Lloyd Clark (2/9), Chris Butler (2/10), Alison Huff (2/12).

The faithful departed: Year's mind: Thomas Greene Cure, Priest (2/13).

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer: In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Anglican Church of Burundi. In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Church of the Beloved, Pascoag.
This Week at St. Stephen's
EXTRA-PAROCHIAL EVENTS HOSTED AT S. STEPHEN’S
Wednesday 3 February
"What is Anglo-Catholicism?" series 7:00 pm

Saturday 13 February
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4 pm

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

Sunday 7 February
THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
Sung Mass 10:00 am
Zoom Coffee Hour 11:30 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary

Monday 8 February
Feria
Jerome Emiliani, Priest, Founder of the Somaschi Fathers, 1537
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6:00 pm

Tuesday 9 February
Feria
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Wednesday 10 February
Scholastica, Abbess, c. 543
Sung Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6 pm

Thursday 11 February
Our Lady of Lourdes
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Friday 12 February
Feria
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Saturday 13 February
Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818
Morning Prayer 9:30 am
Low Mass 10:00 am


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

Wednesday 17 February
Ash Wednesday
Distribution of Ashes 12 - 1 pm, 5 - 6 pm
Sung Mass 7 pm