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 Second Sunday in Advent

Sunday December 4, 2016 is The Second Sunday in Advent

Services are held: Sunday, at 9:30 a.m.

(Please Call (805) 524-1697 or e-mail rlhammond4764@hotmail.com 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.

Sunday Lectionary

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 Lectionary Central.


Church Terminology

Christian

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

A long garment, usually of black satin, with arm-holes but no sleeves, which is worn by bishops over the rochet. Red is commonly used today.

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)


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: 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 in pain.

Remember

"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 rlhammond4764@hotmail.com

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 challenges.

— 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 help.

— 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 there?"

"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


Posted 2 December 2016 at 2358 PST