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 Fourth Sunday after Trinity
Sunday June 19, 2016 is
The Fourth 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 Fourth Sunday after Trinity
O God, the protector of all that trust in
thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Increase and
multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we
may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the
things eternal,. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Epistle: Romans 8:18, page 194
Gospel: St. Luke 6:36, page 194
You will find the text of these lessions as well as the Collect
of the Day, the minor propers and sermons at
One who serves the Celebrant at the Altar,
sometimes called the server.
The pouring of water upon the head of the
child or adult to be baptized. The Church allows Baptism by
Immersion or Affusion (not sprinkling), according to the rubric in
the Baptismal Office that "the minister, taking the child, shall dip
him in the Water discreetly or shall pour water upon him" Prayer
Book Page 279
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
"We make a living by what we get. We make a
life by what we give."
— Winston Churchill
Martin Luther, believed in demons but he
believed in God more. In that great Hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our
God" he writes:
And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not
for him; His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure, One
little word shall fell him.
That hymn, first published in 1529, has been
called "the greatest hymn of the greatest man of the greatest period
of German history." It has also been dubbed the "Battle Hymn of the
Reformation" and with good reason. The Reformation touched off one
of the most influential movements in world history. But before this
famous Battle Hymn could be written Luther had to battle his
personal demons and exorcize them from his own life. Luther felt
utterly worthless and incapable of carrying the burdens of
priesthood. On occasion Luther even flogged himself in an attempt to
keep himself from sin.
He was often, he felt, pursued and tormented
by Satan and his cohorts. Until one day, while reading Paul's letter
to the Romans, he suddenly understood the meaning of God's grace and
how it is appropriated by faith. In that moment he came to
understand that he was justified before God through faith and not by
You might say that after this experience
Luther was no longer possessed by his demons, he was sitting
upright, dressed, and in his right mind.
— Brett Blair,
When Jesus Comes To Town
In a recent lecture the popular author,
Christopher Lasch, wonders about the lack of morality and human
values in our society. Many liberals today, says Lasch, see public
life as an amoral struggle for profit and power and relegate
morality to the shadowy realm of private choice and "lifestyles."
What we need, says Lasch, is a new sense of fraternalism, a new
sense of brotherhood that is neither self-righteous nor
exploitative. To bring more peace and wholeness we need to cast out
the demons of greed and exploitation and indifference.
When Jesus comes into an area, he not only
casts out demons, he changes the economy because he changes people,
their goals and values. When Paul preached Christ's gospel in
ancient Ephesus, the silversmiths and others, who made religious
souvenirs and idols of the goddess, Diana, knew their economy was in
trouble if Jesus' religion flourished.
John Newton, author of "Amazing Grace,"
finally stopped his slave trading when Jesus really got hold of his
life. Charles Colson, Richard Nixon's hatchet man, was converted and
now devotes his life to prison reform. What would happen to our
frenetic age of greed if Jesus really got hold of us drove out our
— Maurice A. Fetty, The Divine Advocacy
CSS Publishing Company.
What Have You to Do with Me?
"What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the most high God?" the
demented man cries out. Again we have a standard question in the
demonology of the time. In the Gospels the demons are pictured as
being scared stiff of the power of Jesus Christ. They try to get
away from Him as fast as they can! This may sound quaint to us, but
I would suggest this morning that in a deeper sense it is a question
that has been put to Jesus by individuals and societies again and
again. "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?" "Leave us
alone. Mind your own business. Keep your hands off my life." "What
have you to do with me?" the demented man asked. The answer is that
Jesus has everything to do with him. Jesus had come to cure him and
restore him to his right mind. He has authority over even the
demonic: "Come out of him, you unclean spirit!" (Mark 5 v.8) He
says. And it is done. Just so Jesus has cast unclean spirits out of
men and women down through the ages - spirits of greed, lust,
hypocrisy, aggression. That is not theory, it is history.
— Donald B. Strobe, Collected Works,
Return Home and Tell How Much God Has Done for You
As Ted Peters once pointed out, in the English language, it's
curious that the word evil is "live" spelled backwards. And indeed,
evil always destroys. Life is diminished if not wiped out where the
demons rule. The death of the pigs reflects that. What's more, in
the Ancient Near East, the sea represented one of the forces of
chaos that people feared. So it's a double-whammy: first there is
death but second there is death by drowning in the sea, thus piling
up and compounding the sense of chaos and evil in this story.
But the sad spectacle of those hapless pigs rushing headlong into
the sea also reminds us that the expelling of evil from our world
always involves sacrifice. For whatever the reason, God does not
simply wave a magic wand to eliminate evil. Rooting out evil takes
time, takes effort, and takes above all sacrifice. This should
hardly come as any surprise, however, to people who live their lives
in the shadow of a cross.
One final point, however: Jesus was chased away by the townsfolk but
the healed man remained and according to verse 39, he kept on
talking about what Jesus had done. Something about his ongoing
witness reminds us that this is also our role: lots of people in
this world try to chase Jesus away. Our task is to hang around
anyway and to just keep talking, just keep witnessing to Jesus'
work, and just keep hoping that at the end of the day, that witness
will bring people back to the very Jesus they once chased away.
"Return home and tell how much God has done for you," Jesus told
He tells the rest of us the exact same thing.
— Scott Hoezee, Comments and Observations
16 June 2016 at 1914 EDT