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 Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity
Sunday October 23, 2016 is The
Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity
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 Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity
Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy household
the Church in continual godliness; that through thy protection it
may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee
in good works, to the golory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our
Epistle: Ephesians 6:10, page 220
Gospel: St. John 4:46, page 221
You will find the text of these lessions as well as the Collect
of the Day, the minor propers and sermons at
The Calendar of the Church is to be found in the introductory
portion of Prayer Book (pp. vii-lvii), including Lectionaries and
Tables for finding Holy Days and Rules for the Movable and Immovable
Feasts together with Days of Fasting and Abstinence through the
A bell tower,
especially one built separate from a church.A bell tower, especially
one built separate from a church.
Candles on the Altar
use of candles on the Altar is a very ancient practice in the church
and is reminiscent of the time when the church was driven by
persecution underground into the catacombs and candles were the only
light by which to see.
Facebook Page For St. Stephens
the St. Stephens facebook page by clicking of the icon at the left.
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
I heard a pastor tell a story one time of
something he saw back in the days of World War II. He was somewhere
over in France, and he and a buddy of his were in a house. They
happened to be cleaning that house. All of a sudden, the bombs
started to fall just as they had begun to mop the kitchen floor.
He said he had a friend with him, a G.I., who
was helping him to mop the floor. The floor was just covered with
soap and water. When the bombs started to fall, this man tried to
run. But the floor was so slippery he couldn't run. He kept falling
down. Finally, he got his footing, and when he got to take a first
real step, he stepped in the pail and got it stuck on his foot. That
caused him to fall again. When he stood back up, he stepped on the
mop, it flew up and hit him in the face and knocked him under the
stairs. All the time the bombs are falling on that house.
He said this man was just struggling just to
get out of that house and get to safety. In all of that bombing and
chaos, he prayed and said, "O God, if you will just help me get out
of this mess, I will get out of the next one all by myself."
Well, that soldier was right to pray in that
situation, but he was wrong to say he wouldn't pray in the next one.
You see, we are to turn every care into a prayer, every aggravation
into a supplication, and every irritation into an invocation.
We are to pray when we are in trouble, but we
are to pray when we are not in trouble. As a matter of fact, if we
would give ourselves to more prayer we would get ourselves in less
— James Merritt, Collected Sermons
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Until You Beat the Path
I believe persistent prayer is very important,
even when such prayers are not answered in the ways we think best.
It is important to be unrelenting in our prayers...not only because
of the changes our prayers may elicit in God's mind, but for the
changes such prayers can work in our own hearts and minds. As
Frederick Buechner said years ago, persistence is a key, "not
because you have to beat a path to God's door before [God will] open
it, but because until you beat the path, maybe there's no way of
getting to your door."
Buechner's comment set me to thinking that
maybe there's more to the parable in Luke 18:1-8 than we have
sometimes seen. What if Jesus offered this parable not only as a
call to prayerful persistence but also as a reminder to the church
of the importance of securing justice for the poor and the oppressed
in their midst? Alan Culpepper says, "To those who have it in their
power to relieve the distress of the widow, the orphan and the
stranger but do not [do so], the call to pray day and night is a
command to let the priorities of God's compassion reorder the
priorities of their lives."
— Robert Dunham, Whose Persistence?
Prayer Does Not Need Proof
Prayer does not need proof outside itself
because its proofs are within. It is in the nature
and function of man, like breathing, eating and drinking, and he
practices it as part of his very being.
— Samuel Johnson
We Are God's Answer to Injustice
Listen to me. If you are being bullied in
school, God knows about it and God hates it. If you are being
harassed in the workplace, for any reason, God hates it. If you
are being taken advantage of--or if you are taking unfair
advantage of someone else--there will be a day of reckoning. If
there is anyone anywhere praying for God to intervene and put an
end to their oppression, eventually that prayer will be heard
and that which is wrong will be set right. That's the promise of
Now, where does that leave us? Let me tell you
A young black man asked his minister why their
people had to suffer so much poverty, hardship, and oppression. "Why
doesn't God do something?" he wailed.
"He has," said that wise pastor. "He has
And so Desmond Tutu, now the archbishop of
South Africa, became the answer to his own question.
That's a good lesson for you and me. While we
are waiting for God to bring in a perfect and just society, you and
I are God's answer to the injustice in our world. That's what it
means to take up a cross and follow Jesus. It's not a comfortable
position to be in. It's not popular. But it is Christ's way.
Posted 21 October 2016 at 2152 MDT