News from St. Stephens
"This is the day which the Lord hath
made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God
Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
The Second Sunday in Advent
Sunday December 4, 2016 is The Second Sunday
Services are held: Sunday, at 9:30 a.m.
(Please Call (805) 524-1697 or e-mail
for further information and location.
Collect for The Second Sunday in Advent
Blessed Lord, who has caused all holy
Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such
wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by
patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold
fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Collect for Advent
To be repeated after the Collect of the Day
until Christmas Day.
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast
away the works of darkness and put upon us the armour of light, now
in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came
to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall
come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the
dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and
reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
EpEpistle: Romans 15:4, page 92
Gospel: St. Luke 21:25, page 93
You will find the text of these lessions as well as the Collect
of the Day, the minor propers and sermons at
One who is baptized into union with Christ's Body, which is the
Church, and who endeavors to follow the example and teachings of
Chirst. In its origin, the name was used in derision by the pagans
for the followers of the Christ (Acts 11:26), but it was soon
adopted by the followers themselves and became a name, as it is
today, of the highest honor and beauty.
Christian Year or Church Year
long garment, usually of black satin, with arm-holes but no sleeves,
which is worn by bishops over the rochet. Red is commonly used
Christian Year or Church Year
TThe ecclesiastical Calendar of the Seasons and Holy Days, beginning
with the First Sunday in Advent (the Sunday nearest St. Andrew's
Day, November 30th), four Sundays before Christmas. No better
instructor in the life of Christ and the truths of the Bible can be
found than the Christian Year. (1928 Book of Common Prayer, pg. 90)
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ACA Web Site
Anglican Church in America, the ACA, has a new web address:
http://www.anglicanchurchinamerica.org. If you have
bookmarked the ACA web site in your web browser, you should
consider updating it to this address.
Be a beacon of His love and redeeming power, to a world dark and
"Small numbers make no difference to God. There is nothing small if God is in it."
Your prayers are important and do make a difference.
If you know of anybody who is interested in being part of
building Christ's Body, within a traditional Anglican Church, please
tell them about St.Stephens and ask them to contact me. I would be
pleased to call on anyone who might be interested.
If you have any pastoral requests or needs, please contact
me, at (805) 524-1697 or at
Your Servant in Christ
Fr. Bob Hammond
Food for Thought
The Christmas ideal is different. Yes, take
care of your health. But understand how important it is and central
to the Christmas message, to be merry, to have a hopeful, positive,
and optimistic attitude, even if your health is bad or if life is
not at its best. The infant Jesus is lying in a barnyard crib, and
yet the emotional atmosphere is glorious and full of hope. What a
lesson for us living in a time of worldwide conflict and personal
— from The Soul of Christmas
Everyone must work
In the passage where the New Testament says
that every one must work, it gives as a reason ‘in order that he may
have something to give to those in need’. Charity—giving to the
poor—is an essential part of Christian morality: in the frightening
parable of the sheep and the goats it seems to be the point on which
everything turns. Some people nowadays say that charity ought to be
unnecessary and that instead of giving to the poor we ought to be
producing a society in which there were no poor to give to. They may
be quite right in saying that we ought to produce this kind of
society. But if anyone thinks that, as a consequence, you can stop
giving in the meantime, then he has parted company with all
Christian morality. I do not believe one can settle how much we
ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than
we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts,
luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those
with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too
little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should
say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to
do and cannot do because our charities expenditure excludes them. I
am speaking now of ‘charities’ in the common way. Particular cases
of distress among your own relatives, friends, neighbours or
employees, which God, as it were, forces upon your notice, may
demand much more: even to the crippling and endangering of your own
position. For many of us the great obstacle to charity lies not in
our luxurious living or desire for more money, but in our fear —
fear of insecurity. This must often be recognised as a temptation.
Sometimes our pride also hinders our charity; we are tempted to
spend more than we ought on the showy forms of generosity (tipping,
hospitality) and less than we ought on those who really need our
— From Mere Christianity
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
Are You Swapping Heaven?
The great old evangelist, Dwight L. Moody,
used to tell a legend about a beautiful swan that alighted one day
by the banks of the water in which a crane was wading about seeking
snails. For a few moments the crane viewed the swan in stupid wonder
and then inquired:
"Where do you come from?"
"I come from heaven!" replied the swan.
"And where is heaven?" asked the crane.
"Heaven!" said the swan, "Heaven! have you
never heard of heaven?" And the beautiful bird went on to describe
the grandeur of the Eternal City. She told of streets of gold, and
the gates and walls made of precious stones; of the river of life,
pure as crystal, upon whose banks is the tree whose leaves shall be
for the healing of the nations. In eloquent terms the swan sought to
describe the hosts who live in the other world, but without arousing
the slightest interest on the part of the crane.
Finally the crane asked: "Are there any snails
"Snails!" repeated the swan, "No! Of course
there are not."
"Then," said the crane, as it continued its
search along the slimy banks of the pool, "you can have your heaven.
I want snails!"
"This fable," said Moody, "has a deep truth
underlying it. How many a young person to whom God has granted the
advantages of a Christian home, has turned his back upon it and
searched for snails! How many a man will sacrifice his wife, his
family, his all, for the snails of sin! How many a girl has
deliberately turned from the love of parents and home to learn too
late that heaven has been forfeited for snails!"
Moody spoke those words a century ago, but
people are still swapping heaven for snails. How about you? John the
Baptist's words are for each of us: Are there some changes that need
to be made in your life?
— Moody's Anecdotes, Page 125-126,
adapted by King Duncan
Recognizing our Need to Repent
One critic said he had gone to many churches
and heard the preacher say, "Don't try to impress God with your
works" or "Don't attempt to please God with your merits" or "Don't
try to keep the rules and regulations and thus win your way." He
looked around at nearly slumbering collections of utterly casual
Christians and wondered, "Who's trying?"
— Martin Marty
2 December 2016 at 2358 PST