This week, instead of our usual Evening Prayer on Wednesday night, we will observe the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, with a celebration of the Eucharist. It is traditional in the Anglican Church worldwide to observe the Feasts of St. Stephen, St. John, and The Holy Innocents during the week following Christmas Day. Please come and join us (at 7:00 p.m.) as we commemorate St. John and continue in our celebration of Christmas.
Today (December 26) is observed as the Feast of Stephen the first martyr.
GRANT, O Lord, that, in all our sufferings here upon earth for the testimony of thy truth, we may stedfastly look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed; and, being filled with the Holy Ghost, may learn to love and bless our persecutors by the example of thy first Martyr Saint Stephen, who prayed for his murderers to thee, O blessed Jesus, who standest at the right hand of God to succour all those who suffer for thee. our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
Acts vii. 55.
STEPHEN, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
St. Matthew xxiii. 34.
BEHOLD, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
From Rich Zepernick: I work with a gal who is in need of replacement bunk beds for her boys as hers has broken beyond repair. She is limited in funds and her husband can’t currently work due to an automobile accident. Is there anyone that has a set of bunk beds that is available? She might be willing to buy them if they fit what she needs. Please call me if you can help. (937) 478-7209 Thanks very much!
The Annual christmas family craft and drama event will be tonight, Friday, December 15 at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served afterwards. A family photo booth will be available. Every child will make his own Nativity set to keep year after year. Don’t miss the fun!
Just a reminder that the Men of the Church will meet for a great breakfast this coming Saturday, December 16, at 7:30. Come enjoy fellowship and good food with the other men of the church. It’s a great way to get your Saturday started — you’ll be well-fed and on your way by 9:00 a.m.
All men are invited to attend.
Karla Herman is looking for three people to play Mary, Joseph and the Angel for the Christmas program this Friday. The Keepsake Christmas cast members (Mary, Joseph and the Angel) interact with kids and families as they bring the Christmas story to life. I am playing the part of the Keepsake conductor.
Below is the script for you to decide if this is something you can do. Please contact me at 369-7220 ASAP if you can perform Mary, Joseph or the Angel on Friday.
Greg Current’s brother, Geoff, had a stroke yesterday afternoon and is in the hospital in Ft. Wayne, IN (he was travelling when it occurred). It’s doubly difficult with his being distant from family and friends. Please keep Geoff, Greg, and the rest of the family in your prayers.
O Lord, who feels the pain of the world, and cares for all sick and suffering persons, enfolding them in your love; Grant that, in the midst of suffering and fear, Geoff may know your presence; to doctors and nurses caring for him grant tender hearts and healing hands; and give health again in body and soul, for Jesus Christ’s sake and through his mercy. Amen.
From Terri: The knee replacement surgery went well on Monday. I’m thankful for everyone’s prayers. I’m continuing to make good progress with physical therapy. It will be a few weeks until I will be able to return to church. I do welcome visitors.
Wednesday Evening Prayer during Advent we will have Choral Evensong. If you have never attended a choral service of Evening Prayer, this is a beautiful and reflective addition to your Advent preparation. Much of the service is sung, but there is also opportunity to reflect together on the scripture readings and offer our own prayers. Starting at 7:00 p.m. and lasting about one hour, it is a beautiful and meaningful service which will provide an oasis of peace in the busyness of the season.
Here is the website for finding various prayer and study resources from the ACNA which Fr. Isaac discussed in Sunday School today:
At this website, if you scroll down toward the bottom you will find Additional Resources and Translations. If you want to download and print the collect, lessons, and gospels for each Sunday, click on “Leaflet Scripture Inserts — Year B”
If you want the daily lectionary readings for Advent which will be discussed on Sunday, December 17 and 24, just scroll up slightly from there to Calendars and Lectionaries and click on “Daily Office Lectionary”.
All material is available as both a pdf and a word document.