The third Week of Epiphany 2021

Dear St. Stephen’s church family,

Epiphany blessings!

Let your light shine before others. -Matthew 5:16

 An Epiphany prayer: Light of the world, we bow before you in awe and adoration. Bless us and our simple faith seeking understanding. Epiphany means manifestation. Lifting the veil, revelation. Reveal to us then what we need to know to love You and serve You, and keep Your word with fidelity and truth, courage and hope, this day and always. Amen -Miriam Therese Winters

 The readings for tomorrow, the 3rd Sunday in Epiphany, are: Jonah 3:1-5;10 (but read all 4 chapters if you have time!), Psalm 62:6-14, I Corinthians 7:29-31 and Mark 1:14-20.

There is a beautiful paper craft Jonah ornament from our Jesse tree mailout  hanging in the front entrance of the church, along with the others, on the Jesse Tree. The accompanying write up reads:

Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. – Jonah 1:17 Jonah was not happy with what God wanted him to do. God told Jonah to go and tell the Ninevites, enemies of Israel, to repent and turn to the Lord. Jonah did not want to talk to them, and he did not want God to help them. Instead of going to Nineveh as God asked, Jonah decided to get on a boat that was going in the other direction. God sent a storm. Jonah knew the storm was sent because of him, so he told the crew to throw him overboard! He was swallowed by a whale, or actually a big fish! And he lived inside the whale for 3 days and 3 nights. Inside the belly of the whale, Jonah prayed and repented. The whale spat Jonah out on the shore, and Jonah went on to do what he was asked to do. The people of Nineveh repented and turned back to God’s ways. Jonah was not too happy about this, even after all of the things he had gone through! But Jonah had finally chosen to do what God asked, and that is what matters. Do you find it difficult to do what God wants you to do sometimes? Do you feel angry that God loves other people, even people you don’t like? Jonah felt that way too. However you feel, it’s important to follow God’s ways and do what is right. Jesus teaches us to pray for our enemies. Maybe that can help us when we feel like Jonah felt. 

 Grandmothers for Grandmothers (G4G) Virtual Fundraising Concert: Saturday, February 13th with Connie Kaldor and her family. All proceeds to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, supporting grandmothers in Africa coping with HIV/AIDS and this past year, Covid 19. Tickets are $20 per person ($30 for households of 2 or more). Tickets include a download link to a prairie cookbook. Tickets to watch this concert can be purchased by following this link:  Many St. Stephen’s members are involved in Grandmothers for Grandmothers. Let’s support them in this important work of love and care for our sisters in Africa.

Sunday, January 24th at 3 pm. Book Study/Discussion Group on Zoom. How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People.

Pancakes! Shrove Tuesday is coming up—February 16th. Order your take out/delivery pancakes and sausages. Celebrate with a syrupy feast before embarking on your Lenten journey. Meals are Catered by Karlos Hospitality in a covid safe environment. $15 each ($12 for children).

Parish Cycle of Prayer:
Monday: We pray for Christian unity, for all Christians in our world, that they may grow together in Christ, who is the vine. May we honour and love one another, humbling ourselves to learn from our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we, the branches, stay connected to the vine and support one another in our life together. Pray today for unity among all churches and all Christians.
Tuesday: Gene N and family
Wednesday: The Rev. Esther and family  
Thursday: Shirley and Peter O and family
Friday: Ifeanyi O and family

In Christ’s love and light,

 The Rev. Amy <><