EASTER FLOWERS 1998

    I would like to share in the Easter flowers:

    In memory of:
        or
    Loved ones of:    _________________________________________

Given by:    ____________________________________________________________

Phone:_________________________Pledge box number:    _____________________

Donation: $_______________________

Checks should be made payable to St. Stephen's Church.  Please place your Easter flower envelope or this coupon with your check, in the collection plate or mail to the parish office no later than March 29, 1998.  Any amount will be gratefully received.






EASTER BASKET PROJECT

Following on the success of the Christmas Tree Project, the Service Committee once again would like to create another opportunity for us to reach out to some of our less fortunate neighbors by organizing an Easter hamper project.  The intention is to give Easter hampers of food to our "Christmas Tree" families.  Rather than asking members just to give cash, we will place request slips naming needy food items, on the "old rugged cross" in the Parish Hall.  These are generally canned and dry goods, that we can organize into hampers for "our" families, giving each hearty Easter fare.  Please take a slip and return the food item by the 10:15 am service on Easter Sunday, April 4th.  Any questions, please call Pauline Holmes at 384-0904.  Thank you once again for your generosity in enabling six families to feel cared for and to have a better Easter.

Pauline Holmes for the Service Committee



        KEEPING LENT AT HOME                                 



    The following suggestions are meant to jog your own family creativity, for children benefit especially from active participation and tangible expression of what may otherwise become too abstract or boring as a long Lent draws itself out.

    To give an outward sign to our Lenten efforts, we can make and hang something over the hearth or, for that matter, the kitchen sink, which will encourage us and make us mindful of our resolutions.

    A banner or poster with that three-fold theme of prayer, fasting, and alms giving is a fine place to begin.  Illustrate their symbols next to them and draw out a discussion at dinner time about how the family might interpret these disciplines during the next six weeks.

    Lent means spring, another theme for this season, can be lettered on a length of shelf paper and illustrated with everyone's signs of springtime.  Guests and visitors and the children's friends can be invited to add to the illustrations as they come to visit.

    A mask or a drawing of a face with two halves, one side cheerful and one gloomy, can illustrate Christ's suggestions to us that Lent not be a dismal affair but actually something that contains its own rewards, shining out of a happy face.  "When you fast, do not look glum as the hypocrites do...When you fast, comb your hair and wash your face.  In that way no one can see that you are fasting but your Father who is hidden; and your Father who seems what is hidden will repay you."  (Ash Wednesday's Gospel).

    A simple cross made of two twigs can be planted in a desert pot with cactus.  Add the inscription: "If any man loves me, let him take up his cross and follow me."  Or make an arrangement of bark and twigs and dry weeds, and as Lent progresses, make some changes by adding spring greens, pussy willows and new life to the dry collection.

    A flower garden chart is a help for small children.  With each day that passes, or with each good deed or experience, they can add a flower and watch Lent bloom.

    An alms box or a tin to collect your money for the poor can be set on the mantel or prepared as a table centerpiece.  Decorate with the inscription: "The Fasts of the Rich are the Feast of the Poor".  Omitted desserts, cheaper cuts of meat, meals at home rather than eaten out, movies not seen, miles not driven, unessentials not bought all add pennies to the mite box.



LENT
    Lent, the annual celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ,
is an intense period of Christian teaching and training.  In earlier centuries,
the season provided the background for the preparation of the catechumen
(new converts) for baptism on Easter morning.

    The catechumens were later joined in their studies by professional Christians seeking continued study and spiritual renewal.  By the third century, Lent also was a time when Christians who had lapsed in the faith could prepare for reuniting with the body of Christ on Maundy Thursday (Great Thursday).  Their journey began on Ash Wednesday when ashes gathered from the burnt palms of the previous year's Palm Sunday were placed on the confessor's forehead as a sign of repentance and total dependence on God.  Thus, Lent has become a time for all Christians - new converts, committed followers, and renewed believers, to reflect on their baptism in the light of Christ's baptism and temptation. 

    Lent is a time for spiritual preparation; a time for discipline; a time to "repent" or "turn around" as the Greek words "metania" implies.  The spirit of Lent is to take on anew all that it means to belong to Christ.

    Lent is a way of growing into Easter.



HOLY WEEK WORSHIP SCHEDULE

Palm Sunday - March 28, 1999
8:00 am & 10:15 am Procession with Palms & Eucharist

Holy Monday - March 29, 1999
12:30 pm Eucharist

Holy Tuesday - March 30, 1999
12:30 pm Eucharist

Holy Wednesday - March 31, 1999
12:30 pm Eucharist

**Maundy Thursday - April 1, 1999
10:00 am Eucharist & Healing
7:30 pm Eucharist & Stripping of the Altar
9:00 pm Prayer Vigil through the night

**Good Friday - April 2, 1999
12:00 Noon Stations of the Cross
7:30 pm Lessons & Prayers



Stations of the Cross

A 'Station' is any place in the church where, during a solemn procession, there is pause for a prayer.  At St. Stephen's these include the creche at Christmas, the entrance to the church on Palm Sunday and the baptismal font on the day of Pentecost (when there are no actual baptisms!)  During Lent there is a practice in which fourteen 'stations' are visited in turn, with a pause for a reading, a versicle and response, a prayer, and a time for meditation.  In this case, the 'stations' are fourteen pictures depicting incidents in the narrative of Christ's passion, from Pilate's house to the entombment.  These pictures will be placed around the church on Fridays and booklets which lead the participant through each station can be found on the table in the back of the church.  The church and chapel will be open each Friday from 9 am to 9 pm.







On Palm Sunday, we enter the most significant eight days in the Church's calendar.  It is of the greatest importance that we participate in the experiences described in the church calendar, because living through them, walking the way Christ walked, we uncover the core of Christian Belief and living.

We invite all members and friends of St. Stephen's to be present at these services.  If you are infirm, please call the office to arrange for communin to be brought to you at home by one of the clergy.


























EASTER EVEN VIGIL TO BEGIN THE  EASTER CELEBRATION

The Church will be in darkness.  Into that darkness will be brought the new light of Easter and carried through the Nave to the altar where the Paschal Candle will be placed  in its stand to burn through the fifty days of Easter till the Ascension of our Lord.

We will rehearse our history as a people of God from creation through the Red Sea out of bondage with God's promises for his people culminating in the story of the Resurrection.

Easter is the festival of Baptism and we shall celebrate that sacrament as well as have the opportunity to renew our own baptismal vows.

And then the shout be raised
HE IS RISEN,
THE LORD IS RISEN INDEED,

and so begins the first Eucharist of Easter, 1997.  The service begins at 7:30 p.m.  The service begins at 7:30 p.m.Child care will be available Child care will be available

MAKE THIS THE BEGINNING OF YOUR EASTER.

.






MAUNDAY THURSDAY
PRAYER WATCH

There is a sign-up sheet on the shop counter for the Maunday Thursday Vigil.  It is suggested that two or more persons sign up for each one hour segment.


GOOD FRIDAY OFFERING

On Good Friday we remember in a unique way the witness that Jesus gave to us on the cross.  Through his obedience and through his suffering -- through the fateful steps he took each day of Holy Week -- he showed the world just how much God loves us.  Jesus' entire life was a witness to that love and the cross continues to be a sign of that reality.

In the midst of religious tensions, historic animosities and political unrest, the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East stands witness to the people of our Lord's homeland, proclaiming and serving the same message that Jesus brought to that land almost 2,000 years ago.


On Good Friday we stand with the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem as it witnesses to the love of God in a strife-filled part of the world through our prayers and financial support. Please be generous in your support of the continuing ministry of our sisters and brothers in the Middle East.

EASTER EGG HUNT!!

Come to the third annual Easter egg hunt at St. Stephen's from 9am to 10:15am on Easter morning.  The egg hiders are getter better every year!



THANK YOU.....

....to all who submitted reports for the Annual Meeting, and all who attended

...Pauline Northrop who plowed through so many numbers in preparing our Parochial Report for the national church, and also for the MANY HOURS she puts in as our parish treasurer

....to Carl  Hatlee, Don Reid  & Charlie Vedder, who cooked and shopped, and to the Sr. High youth group who served and to all who helped  at the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper to make it such a success

...to Marti and Austin Spang for  collating tons of papers for the Annual Meeting

...to our sexton, Dave Snyder, who has chipped more ice off the sidewalk in January than he ever wants to again!

...to all those who are hosting our Lenten Planning meetings and to those who are leading them

...and to all those who do so many things in and around the church!


  Can you find 20 Books of the Bible?
  (This puzzle isn't for the Timid(thy)


    Someone showed me this story and remarked that there are twenty books of the Bible hidden here.  He challenged me to find them.  Sure enough, they're all
here.  Still, this thing's a lulu, kept me looking so hard for the longest time.
    Some of you will get bogged down with the facts, others are hit by them like they were some kind of revelation or something.  You may get in a jam, especially since the names are not capitalized and often leap the space between words.  This makes it a real job to find them, but it'll provide a most fascinating few minutes for you.  Yes, there are some really easy ones to spot, but don't get the big head cause truthfully you'll soon figure that it would take most federal judges and preachers numbers of hours to find them all.
    I will admit that it usually  takes a minister to find all of them and that it is not uncommon for there to be loud lamentations when it is pointed out.  One lady says that when she is confronted with puzzles like this she brews a cup of tea to help her concentrate better, but then this gal's a real pro!
    Verbs, nouns, all that stuff are her thing.  See how well you can compete. Relax, there really are twenty names of the Bible in this story.  If you fail to find them there's a penalty.  You'll
have to go fly a kite, sit on a banana, hum the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," or hose a dog (a mean one).  Get to it.


ANSWERS: give them to Fr. James and the person finding the most books will get a prizeDear Friends,

"I would have joined this church years ago, if only I had known about it."

This was a statement made to me recently by a new member.  "If only I had known....."  There are many people living all around us who need the caring and nurture of this wonderful congregation.  Our neighborhoods and workplaces are filled with confused, lost, yet seeking people.  Many of them have been "turned off" religion because they have had unfortunate experiences with a kind of Christianity that is limited and  shallow.  The solid Christian nurture given at Saint Stephen's is what many people are seeking.  Try to share this with them. 

Episcopalians have our own way.  We don't knock on doors the way the Mormons do.  We don't preach on the street corners as some Fundamentalists do.  Episcopalians live out the joy of Christ in their daily life and then when someone asks us why we live the way we do, we use that opportunity to share our faith and our church.  But we need to create that opportunity. 

One simple way to create an opportunity is to put the enclosed Episcopal Shield on your car, preferably in the back window.  People will see it and sometimes ask you what the Episcopal Church is all about.  That's your opportunity!  When people see how important your church is to you, they will ask about it.

But how do you know what to say about Saint Stephen's?  You could tell them that our tradition provides a way to faith that embraces mind and spirit, that affirms the goodness of the material world, that speaks to the value of work and worth and community.  Tell them that at Saint Stephen's questions can be raised, concerns can be voiced, the contradictions found in scripture can be confronted and engages as we read the story of faith in which we find our stories lifted up.  You could also tell them that Saint Stephen's is a community that embraces newcomers.  We possess a spiritual tradition that nurtures our members and a liturgy that engages us.  We respect individual freedom and the right use of rational thought.  We are like a broad sidewalk, not a narrow sectarian path.  See, you probably already know enough about our congregation to talk about it. 

As you talk to others about Saint Stephen's, please remember that it is not just to build up the size of our parish.  We talk to others because we, ourselves, know God and love God and give thanks for the Good News God has shared with us in Jesus Christ.  We have accepted Jesus and we know the joy of that relationship.  We share that joy because we want to bring it to as many people as possible for the Kingdom's sake and for their sake.