Weekly announcements - May 26
Special Healing and Celebration Service
We will bring our formal healing process to a close with a special service on June 4 at the Misa Alegria (5:30pm). The morning service that day will be simple so we can focus our energy on the bilingual 5:30pm service.
At the service, we will pray for the brighter vision that we have laid out for ourselves as a parish and celebrate with a festive dinner afterwards.
The healing task force will continue to wrap up some loose ends into the summer, including revising the principles based on the feedback you shared and making a shorter version that can be easily referenced in church meetings and parish life.
We want to say a big thank you to everyone who participated in the healing process at any point. We take hope from the love you have shown for each other, your commitment to the church, and your desire for a different future. We look forward to seeing you on June 4.
- The Healing Task Force: Bill MacKaye, Elizabeth Finley, John Payne, Liane Rozzell, Maria Mercedes Bejarano, Nicole Martinez Moore, Sandra Moore
Marching in DC's Pride Parade
June 10 is the DC Pride Parade, and Episcopal parishes are invited to join the diocese's parade contingent. It will take most of the afternoon and is an uplifting experience, suited for all ages if you can tolerate a lot of waiting and then some very slow walking. Details on where to meet and when will be provided closer to June 10.
Thank you and going away celebration for Rev. Rondesia - Sunday, June 11
Rev. Rondesia's last Sunday at St. Stephen's will be June 11. Please join us for celebrations after the 10:30 and Misa Alegria services that day. We'll be thanking Rev. Rondesia for all she has done for our community as our interim rector over the past two years. Please consider bringing a dish to share and a note with a favorite memory or something you appreciate about Rev. Rondesia.
If you have questions or would like to contribute money toward a gift, please reach out to Sandra Moore at 703-507-0954 or Maria Mercedes Bejarano at 301-728-6481
This is a time of education and discussion held on the second Sunday of each month at 9:15am.
Coming up on June 11: Mental Health 101 (Bill Briggs)
Volunteers are needed to lead upcoming Morning Forums. This could involve, for example, sharing your professional knowledge, facilitating a discussion, or introducing an organization or service opportunity. Some past Morning 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 Morning Forum session.
Small Group: Threaders of St. Brigid
Every Tuesday, 7:00-8:30pm in the sanctuary. Light snacks will be provided.
Bring your knitting, sewing, or other craft project, or come to learn. No experience necessary.
Contact: Jane Bishop
Seasonal changes to our worship – and a time to grow our faith!
On the church calendar, the last Sunday of May is the Day of Pentecost, and what follows is the season after Pentecost. This year, Pentecost Sunday happens to fall on Memorial Day weekend, which is the unofficial start to the summer season. So, beginning on June 4, there will be some seasonal changes to the 10:30 am worship service through the summer:
The choir will be on break for the summer. You may hear special music by soloists or small groups on occasion (if you want to play something, you are welcome to; contact Stephen Padre). Without a paid music director since the beginning of the calendar year, the choir has been led and other musical roles have been filled by volunteers from among the choir members, so they also want to take a break from those roles.
We will have a series of supply preachers following the departure of Rev. Rondesia at the end of her time with us as interim rector.
As a result of the above, and due to the fact that programming in churches is usually low-key in the summer months, the worship service will be simpler – and shorter – with less music.
The season after Pentecost is also known as Ordinary Time on the church calendar. That does not mean the season is plain or boring. In fact, the color of the season is green because of the growth of our faith that occurs during this season, much like summer is the prime growing season for crops. Summer is the time of vacations, rest and renewal, so while our worship life may be more low-key, it’s a great time to do other things to strengthen and develop your faith – to read a book on spirituality or parts of the Bible or to start a new prayer practice, for example.
One final note: If you are going to be absent from worship, don’t forget your giving to St. Stephen’s. Attendance at Sunday morning worship dips during the summer, but the parish's expenses don’t.
COVID Policy Update
The CDC and DC government have downgraded their COVID emergency responses. The vestry will vote on the best policy for our parish at the June vestry meeting. Until then, the wardens and vestry members want to hear your feedback on the possible change. Shall we continue requiring masks, make mask-wearing optional, or no longer require masks at church? Tell your a vestry member what you would prefer.
Note: Our current policy of mask-wearing during in-person worship services will remain until the vestry votes on a change.
Parishioner Directory Update
In preparation for our new priest-in-charge, we want to ensure that the office has everyone's current contact information (mailing address, email, phone). We are going to be taking photos to go with contact information to help the new priest know who is who. Over the next several Sundays, you will have the opportunity to get your photo taken (headshots only) and double check that your contact information is correct.
Rector Search Process on the Website
Updates on the rector search can be found on our website. Check it out now!
Search for a new Music Director and Organist
The church has launched a search for a new Music Director and Organist. In the coming weeks, hopefully we will have a suitable candidate to hire on an interim basis for several months with the possibility of becoming permanent after our new priest is hired. A small group of choir members will review applications and interview candidates, and the wardens will have the authority to hire for this role while we have a vacancy in the priest role. Foremost in the group’s mind for filling the musician role is the centrality of music, both choral and on the organ and piano, in our worship services and the styles of music the choir and congregation appreciate.
If you know of musicians who would be interested in this role, see the full job posting, which you are welcome to share.
In search of book lovers and/or would-be librarians
You may have noticed the pile of boxes and the almost overflowing bookcases in the auditorium. The Building and Grounds Committee is in search of a few dedicated souls willing to spend a couple of hours sorting through books to identify and pack those we could donate, those that are worth keeping in our "library" and to take a crack at organizing those worth keeping. Contact Elizabeth Finley at email@example.com if you are interested in this piece of work, and she will help organize a crew.
In the meantime, please take a minute to look through the shelved books and feel free to take any of them that might be of interest to you.
Children's Ministry Update
Please consider how you might share your time and talents with our beloved little (and not so little) ones. With questions, ideas, and/or to volunteer, email Jane Bishop or call/text: 202-297-8627.
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
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.
Calling All Bakers
Do you bake? Do you bake bread? We need volunteers to bake bread for the 10:30am Sunday Eucharist. Please call or email Bill MacKaye at 202-374-5100 if you would like to bake bread on the first Sunday each month or the fifth Sunday (only four times a year!) or occasionally as a substitute.