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Events & news

Updated: Apr 28

Upcoming events


Benefit concert for Loaves and Fishes


May 18 at 7:30pm (doors open at 7:10pm with light refreshments)

Bands to perform: The Reclaimers, Dr. Horsedoctor and After the Flood (founded at St. Stephen's)


Tickets:

  • Suggested donation of $20 via Eventbrite (plus fees) or at the door with cash or Venmo

  • Advance tickets guarantee a seat if it sells out!

  • 50% of the ticket sales will go directly to our Loaves and Fishes weekend and holiday prepared meals program

As hosts of this neighborhood event, it would be awesome if St. Stephen's members could bring a drink or dessert to share, just to give it that good church potluck vibe!

 

Monthly potluck gatherings


Everyone is welcome! Please bring a dish, drink, or dessert to share.


Upcoming potluck: May 30 at the home of Liz Foster and her family (see the RSVP sheet at the link below for the address)



Future dates:


 

Urban Village Redevelopment Updates


May 5 after coffee hour (time when refreshments are served following the 10:30am worship service)


The Urban Village apartments that surround the church are affordable housing, built on land given by St. Stephen's for reparations in the 1970s. Urban Village is now undergoing redevelopment, potentially starting before the end of this year. Since our last update to the parish in December, we have received additional details on plans for the redevelopment. The construction will last 18-24 months and will quadruple the size of Urban Village with mostly market-rate units, affecting the church, our space users, the tenants of Urban Village and the supply of affordable housing in significant ways. The situation with Urban Village compounds the challenges we are already facing with our aging building and finances. 


A group of parishioners working on our response to the redevelopment has done some brainstorming on the potential courses of action open to us. Please join us see the redevelopment plans, hear about the impact of the redevelopment on us and Urban Village tenants, and give input on the potential courses of action.


Questions? Talk to a member of the Urban Village group: Elizabeth Finley, Erin Hutson, Sandra Moore, Atiba Pertilla, Priscilla Phelps, and Isaiah Poole. 

 

Noon Forum


This is a time of education and discussion, usually held on the second Sunday of each month. It begins after coffee hour (about 12:15pm).


Upcoming topics:


  • May 19: The Nicene Creed: Structure & Doctrines (Jim Frazer)


Volunteers are needed to lead upcoming Noon Forums. This could involve, for example, sharing your professional knowledge, facilitating a discussion, or introducing an organization or service opportunity. Some past forums were focused on the diaconate, rites of remembrance of the departed, Nicene Creed translations, the history of the Book of Common Prayer, bishops in the early church, the synoptic Gospels, the non-canonical Gospels, the Gospel reading for the day, and various service organizations. These are just examples; use your imagination, and don't be shy. Contact Jim Frazer if you would be willing to lead a Noon Forum session.

 

Small Group: Threaders of St. Brigid


Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday evening of the month

In the sanctuary

7 to 8:30pm

Light snacks provided


Bring your knitting, sewing, or other craft project, or come to learn. No experience necessary!


Contact: Jane Bishop

 

General announcements


Conversations with our new rector


Our new rector, Yoimel Gonzalez Hernandez, is excited to meet you! In his first few months, he will be meeting with groups of parishioners to get to know you, understand what draws you to St. Stephen’s, and your hopes for the future. Some of these groups will be based on common interests or experiences, such as parents of young children, YASSIs, seniors, choir, etc. There will also be general groups of parishioners, so don’t worry if you’re not part of a specific group. If you’re part of multiple groups, feel free to join any or all of the conversations relevant to you.


Interested in participating? Sign up and let us know your general availability. We'll schedule based on times that work for most people:  https://bit.ly/SSIRectorChats


Our new rector has been called!



Read about our new rector, Rev. Yoimel Gonzalez Hernandez.


Healing Committee: Reflection and Update, April 2024


From 2022 to 2023, our church engaged in a healing process to work through the pain, confusion, and distrust that resulted from the departure of Father Sam and the decisions that led up to it. Led by the Healing Task Force, the process created space for parishioners to be heard, to release the pain we were carrying, to repair pain we caused others, and agree on how we would create a different future. 


We started with grief work in affinity groups, then shared our reflections and experiences together as a whole church. From these discussions, we identified three major areas to work on: how we make decisions, transparency and accountability, and envisioning a different future (e.g., a community of justice and care). We imagined what a new church could look like, with visioning sessions after the morning and the Misa services. From these sessions, the Healing Task Force drafted a set of community principles, which the congregation workshopped in coffee hours and a discussion after the Misa Alegria. The process closed with a healing service, including an apology letter read by former leaders to the congregation, and a liturgy of reconciliation. The vestry has formally adopted the community principles. Read more about the process and what we learned


We have come through a lot, and we are experiencing seeds of new life - in the joyful news of our new rector, in the faces of newcomers, and in practicing new ways of being. With care and tending, these seeds can flourish into the multicultural community of justice and care that we envisioned. 


At the annual meeting on April 28, we’ll reflect on where we are seeing new blooms, where we could still use some weeding and pruning, and how we can ensure we continue to grow into the church we want to be.  


As a next step, we are putting together a team to help the church deepen our relationships and care for each other, disagree with love and respect, prevent and defuse conflicts, communicate clearly and kindly, and support one another in living into the principles. These skills are not just for church life, but are important in all aspects of our common life. Join us to build them for yourself and for St. Stephen’s. Contact Sandra Moore.  


Children's Christian Education


Children can join one of our programs, sit with their parents, or roam the floor when they come to worship with their families. Child care is provided for infants and toddlers during the service in the first room off the left aisle (before the fire doors). Godly Play for 3- to 9-year-olds is in the Godly Play Room off the Auditorium (follow the left aisle through the fire doors all the way back). The kids leave the service before the readings and return for the offertory. Sunday School for 4th to 8th graders is in the corner room just off the Godly Play Room.


Supply clergy and pastoral care


Until our new rector begins in April, our worship services will be conducted by supply clergy. These visiting priests will preach and preside at communion during our Sunday worship services.


For pastoral care during this time, please do not contact these supply priests as their duties and responsibilities at St. Stephen’s are limited. For pastoral care needs or to discuss scheduling sacramental events such as a wedding, please contact Jane Bishop or 202-297-8627 (call or text).

Loaves and Fishes donations needed!


Loaves and Fishes needs your help! This program of our parish continues to serve meals on all weekends and federal holidays to many people who need them; food costs are also going up. You can donate by visiting our online donation page on Realm and selecting "Loaves and Fishes" from the drop-down menu or by writing a check to St. Stephen's and noting Loaves and Fishes on the memo line.


Loaves and Fishes volunteer opportunity


Our Loaves and Fishes program serves a prepared meal every Saturday, Sunday and federal holiday year-round. Many people in need come for food. If you are interested in volunteering with Loaves and Fishes, simply text Denize at 240-855-5874


Coffee hour


Join us after the 10:30am service for coffee/tea, light snacks, and fellowship. Please sign up to volunteer to bring snacks and help with set-up/ clean-up for our weekly coffee hour. Thank you for making this time possible!


A Gentle Reminder Please keep your pledge up to date. Just like your household, the church has regularly monthly expenses we must meet, so your help in making regular pledge payments insures we can meet them. Thank you for your commitment and faithfulness to our community.


We are excited and delighted to announce that the Rev. Yoimel Gonzalez Hernandez, currently Associate Rector at St. Alban’s in Washington, D.C., has accepted a call from the Vestry of St. Stephen and the Incarnation to serve as the church’s next Rector. He will begin his tenure at St. Stephen’s next month, in April 2024.


Rev. Yoimel Gonzalez Hernandez is originally from Cuba, where he studied theater and theology. He served in different leadership positions in the Presbyterian Church of Cuba and the Cuban ecumenical movement for over twenty years before coming to the United States in 2016 and joining The Episcopal Church. He was ordained in the Diocese of Washington in 2019 and since then, in addition to serving at St. Alban’s, has also been dean of the diocese’s Latino Deacons School and collaborated with other diocesan initiatives. He has also been active in the wider church, serving as an alternate deputy at the 2022 General Convention and as a deputy to this year’s General Convention, as well as a delegate for The Episcopal Church to the 2022 Assembly of the World Council of Churches. In addition to these activities, he has supported a variety of nonprofits in the D.C. region, particularly those that support Latino and LGBTQ+ individuals and communities. He is passionate about formation and collaborating in God’s kingdom while doing multicultural ministry, and we are looking forward to him bringing all of these gifts to St. Stephen’s.


Many members will remember that St. Stephen’s was Yoimel’s first home parish when he became an Episcopalian. We sent him out to begin his path toward ordained ministry in 2018, and we are overjoyed to now be welcoming him back as our Rector. We will have more to share about welcoming Yoimel in future editions of the newsletter, but for now we will share his greetings to us all:


Dear family of St. Stephen’s and the Incarnation and Misa Alegría:


It is with great joy and gratitude that I have accepted the invitation of the Vestry to be your Rector. In a few weeks, I will be among you as your pastor and partner in mission, and we will have many opportunities to worship, pray, and continue to bear witness to God’s grace.


Many of you already know me because I was a member of St. Stephen and the Incarnation, and it was among you that I went through my discernment process to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church. I am sure there will be many opportunities to meet those who have joined the family of St. Stephen and the Incarnation since I left to answer my call to the ordained ministry.

You were my family, my shelter, my friends, and my church in the most difficult times after I arrived in the United States as an immigrant. I hope that now, you and I, in shared ministry, can continue to be the family, the shelter, the friends, and the church for many others who are looking for a faith community to call their spiritual home.


As we prepare for this new phase together, I invite you to continue walking in faith during this Lent, carrying your own crosses until we reach the foot of Jesus’ cross in Holy Week. God will sustain us along the way, and together we will have time to dream and celebrate during Easter.


God bless you and sustain you on the journey,


Yoimel



Holy Week — the liturgical remembrance of the events of the last week of the earthly life of Jesus — is the most sacred time of the Christian year. It begins with the Sunday of the Passion (Palm Sunday), commemorating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and concludes on Holy Saturday, remembering the day when the first disciples of Jesus kept the Sabbath rest after his death. It is immediately followed by Easter, celebrating the day of his resurrection from the dead. Although our Holy Week commemorations include a number of events (for example, the beautiful and solemn service of Tenebrae, or “Darkness,” scheduled for Wednesday evening), the most important three days (the Triduum) are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter (Holy Saturday/Sunday).


This year’s Holy Week and Easter liturgies have been carefully planned as a thematic whole for those attending our bilingual, English-, and Spanish-language services. We are grateful to Rev. Dr. A. Katherine Grieb and Rev. Sarabeth Goodwin for leading this effort. Come to as much as you are able. Wonderful things are happening here, and all are welcome at every worship service!


Palm Sunday

March 24 | 10:30am 

Procession, Passion reading and Holy Eucharist


Tenebrae

Wednesday, March 27 | 7:00pm 


Maundy Thursday

March 28 | 7:00 p.m.

Maundy Thursday Liturgy (in English and Spanish) and Holy Eucharist 


Good Friday

March 29

Noon: Good Friday liturgy (in English)

7:00pm: Stations of the Cross with Veneration of the Cross (in English and Spanish)


Easter Eve Saturday, March 30 | 8:00 pm 

The Great Vigil of Easter (in English and Spanish) and Holy Eucharist

Easter choir, “Hallelujah Chorus” (from Handel's "Messiah") and Easter music


Easter Day

Sunday, March 31

10am: Prelude (organ music of Bach, Franck, Vierne and Widor)

10:30am: Worship with Holy Eucharist

Easter choir, “Hallelujah Chorus” (from Handel's "Messiah") and Easter music

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