St Stephens Anglican Church, Fillmore, California

News from St. Stephens

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Rev. 4:8

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 Lord. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary

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 Lectionary Central.

Church Terminology


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 whole year.


A bell tower, especially one built separate from a church.A bell tower, especially one built separate from a church.

Candles on the Altar

The 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

facebookVisit the St. Stephens facebook page by clicking of the icon at the left.

ACA Web Site

Anglican Church in AmericaThe Anglican Church in America, the ACA, has a new web address: 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 in pain.


"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 trouble.

— 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 Scripture.

Now, where does that leave us? Let me tell you a story.

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 created you."

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