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Events & news

Weekly update week of September 3

Wednesday September 5

  • 7:30 pm Taize Service

Thursday September 6

  • 7:30pm Rehearsal for the 10:30am service choir

Sunday September 9

  • 8am Holy Eucharist Rite I, the Rev. Sam Dessórdi Leite preaches and presides.

  • 10:10am Sharing the Gospel with Loaves and Fishes.

  • 10:30am Holy Eucharist Rite II. Blessing of backpacks and bikes. The Rev. Sam Dessórdi Leite preaches and presides.

  • 4:00 pm Confirmation Class

  • 5:30pm Misa Alegría, (Spanish language liturgy). Blessing of backpacks. The Rev. Sam Dessórdi Leite preaches and presides.

Supporting Saint Stephen's

St. Stephen's is supported by your contributions and annual pledges. You can contribute or fulfill your pledge at the Sunday collection, by scanning the QR code in the weekly bulletin, or at the web site: We encourage you to automate your pledge payments, one of the options at the web site. Automating your pledge ensures continuity in revenue, allowing us to better plan, and is easier for you - you don't have to remember!

Date Change for Liturgy Retreat - “Do this for the remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 15, 10am to 3pm and join us for a 2-session liturgy retreat. The morning session will focus on the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, and also reserved for a Bible study on The Way to Emmaus.

The afternoon session will include training for MCs, WLs, Eucharistic Ministers, readers and acolytes. Also in the afternoon we will invite anyone interested to sign up for liturgy planning teams for the up-coming liturgical year beginning in Advent.

This retreat is designed for participation in the whole day or if you are interested in more study and reflection to stay just for the morning session. More details will follow closer to the date. All are welcome. The retreat will have simultaneous translation to Spanish.

If you can join us on September 15 for the Liturgy Retreat, please add your name to the signup sheet posted on the bulletin board in the parish hall or e-mail Mary Alcuin Kelly at <>.

It's time to sign up for a small group!

For those of you who haven't participated before: These groups are an opportunity for St. Stephen's folk, both longtime parishioners and newcomers, to get to know each other's lives and spiritual journeys. We meet every other week, rotating among parishioner's homes, to share a meal, informal discussion of some Christian spiritual reading, and prayer.

This fall we have four options, all open to folks of all ages:

  • Monday nights, Spirituality of the Psalms by Walter Brueggemann (led by Brede Eschliman & Mary Alcuin Kelly).

  • Monday nights, the week's scripture lessons from the lectionary (led by Lindsey Foss & Michele Lewis).

  • Tuesday nights, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans (led by Nicole Martinez Moore & Flannery Fox).

  • Wednesday nights, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans (led by Sarah Rogers & Gay Gellhorn).

Groups will start in mid-September and go through mid-December or early January.

Please click here to sign up.

Welcome to the PanTones

This morning we welcome the PanTones to St. Stephen’s. We thank them for enlivening our worship with their music and providing more during the coffee hour! Falan Yinug and Luciano Muzzatti are both members of this group! The PanTones are a local steel drum band with a repertoire that includes their own arrangements of lively calypso, soca, reggae and pop tunes. In 2012, they won the Gold Medal for Community Bands at the Virginia Caribbean Festival in Virginia Beach. They have played at other festivals (including the Hyattsville Arts Festival), outdoor concert series, neighborhood events, community pools, and private functions. The PanTones are affiliated with the Cultural Academy for Excellence (“CAFE”), a music-based academic and life-skills enrichment program for youth based in Hyattsville, Maryland.. All proceeds the band earns go to support this youth program.

The PanTones You Tube channel has videos of the group, and their website is Please check their website for future events, or if you would like their music at your next social gathering!

Choir rehearsals have begun!

If you have the urge to sing more in church, please consider joining the regular September to June 10:30 service choir! Our weekly rehearsals are held each Thursday from 7:30-9:15pm. On Sunday mornings the choir gathers at 9:30. If you have questions about choir, please ask Michael Salmon or any choir member. We do not have auditions, and anyone is welcome to join – there is a place for all of God’s creatures in the choir (in fact, if you are reading this, you are already in the largest choir at St. Stephen and the Incarnation)!

August 26th Vestry Meeting Highlights

July financial update: Pledge and plate are on plan, while expenses were over, due to utility billing errors on electricity and water bills. Loaves and Fishes net income is on target. Stewardship Campaign starts in the fall.

Parishioner giving, both pledged and plate were very strong for the month of July. Thank you! Please be sure to maintain your pledge payments as the summer vacation season draws to a close!

  • Parishioner Gifts Received by 07.31.18: $195,000

  • Expected Amount of Gifts: $182,000

  • Total 2018 Budget: $312,000

Committees Updates

  • Personnel: Both Victoria (Children’s Education Coordinator) and Yoimel (Communications Coordinator) started their employment.

  • The staff performance review process is starting up for the next year.

  • Ordination update: Official candidates for ordination from SSI are Yoimel Gonzalez and Elizabeth Dixon. Their ordinations will be on September 22 (Elizabeth Dixon) and November 17 (Yoimel Gonzalez). Three other candidates from SSI earlier on in the process include Savannah Ponder, Matt Ponder and David Potter.

Do you have a news to share?

Our church has three main ways to let others know about what is going on in the parish and in the community around it: the weekly announcements, printed in English and Spanish every Sunday; the weekly email update, sent electronically evening of Mondays, and the webpage Events & Updates in our website. The deadlines you must consider if you want to include announcements are:

  • Submissions for the weekly email update: Sunday, 8pm.

  • Submission for the weekly bulletin announcements: Thursday, 5pm.

As you know Yoimel Gonzalez is working as the Bilingual Communications Coordinator for our Parish. He can be reached at <> and at 876-356-5408.

Please, feel free to be in contact with him for more information or if you are interested in including announcements at some point. Please, be aware that sometimes we have limited space, and that people prefer short texts easy to read during the rush day. That is why we encourage you to:

  • Submit only announcements considered church news, not personal ones.

  • Include the desired title for the announcement.

  • Submit the announcement with minimal editing required.

  • Give people what they need; less is more. No more than 300 words, if possible, is appreciated.

  • Be sure you are providing all the information needed: What? Why? Who? When (day, date, time)? Where?

LAST CALL: Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation

Confirmation is the sacrament of maturity. With the gesture of laying on of hands and unction with chrism by the bishop, the power of the Holy Spirit fills the newly confirmed to proclaim the Good News in Christ, to give strength in faith and to lead people into the world. For that reason, our church is offering a Confirmation Class during the fall for those interested in taking this new step as part of the journey of faith. The Sacrament of Confirmation will take place at Washington National Cathedral, on November 3, 10am. Those interested, please contact Fr. Sam Dessórdi Leite, our Senior Priest, at ˂˃ before September 9 if you are interested in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Welcome Class

Are you new to Saint Stephen's or have you been here awhile and are interested in a deeper exploration with others of the Episcopal/Anglican tradition, Saint Stephen's history, liturgical and spiritual practices, and ways of living into your faith? Join us for the six-session Welcome Class, starting September 11 and meeting every Tuesday evening through October 16. Classes meet from 7:00 - 8:30 pm in the Godly Play room off of the auditorium. If you have questions or if you want to sign up to attend, contact Elizabeth Finley ˂˃, Father Sam Dessórdi

˂˃, and Laura Moye ˂˃.

Participate in Completing Your Emergency Contact Form

Recent experience has shown the importance of knowing whom to call if you became ill or had an accident in church. The form is simple to complete. It requests a name and phone numbers of individuals someone could call on your behalf in the event of an emergency or other need. The forms will be kept in a binder in the church office. If you have not yet been able to complete a form, extras are available in the back of the church today. Greeters can assist you. When your form is complete it can be placed in the collection plate.

Blessings of backpacks and bikes, September 9, 10:30am

September 9 is a Sunday for blessings. We welcome students and teachers of ALL ages to bring their backpacks. We'll set them by the altar during the service and bless them at the end. But we don’t stop there: we'll also offer a blessing for bikes and bikers in the church labyrinth area. Bring your bike indoors for the entire service. We will have extra ushers to help you. And invite your friends!

After the Coffee Hour we will leave on a bike ride down the trail in Rock Creek Park, 4.5mi (30 min.). The group may choose to have brunch together in the end of the ride. Bring your helmet and water bottle.

Seeing the Face of God in Each Other Anti-Racism Workshop, September 28 & 29

This workshop on September 28 from 12:30 - 8:00 p.m. and September 29 from 8:30am - 4pm at Washington National Cathedral (map at provides an opportunity for people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds to explore the history of institutionalized discrimination in our society. The training satisfies canonical requirements for anti-racism training in the Episcopal Church upon completion of both days. To learn more and register go to

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