HOLY WEEK SERVICES: Maundy Thursday Service begins at 7 PM, and includes the tradition of foot washing as part of the service. The Altar will be stripped and the congregation is welcome to help in this process. We will also create a Garden of Repose which is a fairly new practice for St.Stephen’s. Good Friday: Episcopal Stations of the Cross with Katie Jones as leader will be at 3PM. The very special Good Friday Candle Service with Rev. Miriam begins at 7 PM. This very moving liturgy was used last year at St. Stephen’s for the first time. Again, individuals are needed to participate in the candle service. Communion will be offered at both evening services.
KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL UPDATE:M/b> We will be getting new upper and lower cabinets, countertops, appliances and a larger sink. We will also be moving things around to accommodate more work area and people in the space. We have started emptying and sorting all things kitchen but still need help. See Katie or Sabra to be part of the sorting crew. Demo will be a bit later if you need to bash something. Paint color choices are on the walls in the kitchen. Stop in the kitchen after the service and vote for your favorite. We will also have a list of items or services that we will need to complete the project. See if there is something on the list you’d like to support with a donation.
FUNDRAISING SEASON: Save the dates: Town wide Yard Sale, Saturday, June 1; Old Home Day, Saturday, July 13th. These are our big summer fund raisers.Currently, there is no coordinator for the Parish Life Guild. So there is no one to ask the thorny question “What do we want to do for fund raisers this season?” And the sticky question of “Do we want to do it in the same way we have for the last few years?” But we need to ask ourselves
these questions…. And share the answer with each other. We give to many food pantries, help school children in several towns and give to other charitable endeavors throughout the year. The money we give to others, is money that we have earned from working together at fundraising.
PRAYER LIST UPDATE: We have started updating the prayer list. If you have placed a name on the prayer list, please review the listing. Contact Sabra and Rick to either remove or retain the name of the
person for whom you asked to have prayers offered. Thank you!
THE WAY OF LOVE: The Presiding Bishop Michael B Curry invites us to practice The Way of Love, practices for a Jesus centered life. The Lenten program for the Diocese is grounded in these practices. You can learn more at The Way of Love.
LECTIONARY STUDY: Rev. Miriam Acevedo holds a weekly lectionary study on Fridays at 9 AM in the undercroft of St. Stephen’s All are welcome.
SOX BOX: We’re looking for donations of socks, mittens, gloves, and hats. Please help us fill the box at the back of the church to overflowing again this year. Donations benefit local elementary and middle school children.
SUNDAY SCHOOL SCHEDULE:The Godly Play program will be offered on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Godly Play is a curriculum of spiritual practice exploring God’s presence in our lives through story-telling and play. Using a Montessori foundation, the program is a creative, imaginative approach to Christian formation. Lindsey and her helpers are busy gathering materials and preparing the space and the lessons. She will be the primary teacher. Contact her if you are interested in helping or you have a child who wants to join in the learning and the fun!
FUNDRAISERS: The vestry seeks input about the fundraisers for 2019. Share your thoughts with a vestry member or write them down and bring them to the coffee hour. We are interested in your thoughts and ideas.
PITTSFIELD YOUTH WORKSHOP: PYW has resumed its academic year schedule. They are opening the food closet at the Middle-High School. Donations of canned chicken, tuna, as well as shelf staple vegetables, cereal, pasta, pasta sauce, are most appreciated. They will also be stocking personalhygiene items at the school and even laundry detergent to help teens to have clean clothes for school. Please help if you can.
ST. STEPHEN'S SCHOLARSHIP FUND: St. Stephens Scholarship Fund: Please consider making a donation in any
amount large or small to the Scholarship fund. We have given our first two awards this year and really want to keep the fund healthy and growing so we can have a small part in making some dreams of higher education come true for students in Pittsfield. Donations in any amount are accepted. The first recipients were awarded to Cameron Darrah and Megan Callicoat. They each received a $1000.00 award for their freshman year. These awards are renewable for an additional year if the recipients meet the renewal criteria set by the Scholarship Committee
FIRST SUNDAY BIBLE/BOOK STUDY: Every first Sunday of the month, Miriam will hold a short bible study or book review.
PARISH FAMILY SUNDAY: Please join us on the last Sunday of the month for light refreshments and conversation in the undercroft after the service. Sign-up sheet for hosting is posted in the Narthex. offee, tea, and punch supplies are stored in the kitchen. A simple snack is all that is needed.
VIGIL LIGHT: If you would like to dedicate the vigil light in memory, celebration or thanksgiving, please let Paul or Sabra know. There is no charge for this special way to note a milestone.
EPISCOPAL JOURNAL: The current issue of the paper giving all the latest in denominational news is available at the back of the church.
FOOD GATHERING: We are collecting items for the local food pantries on the last Sunday of the month. Donate non-perishable food or non-food items not eligible for food stamps such as toiletries or paper towels. Cash is also welcome. Envelopes for monetary offerings are available at the back of the church; place in the collection plate. Leave in-kind items next to the baptismal font.
QUIET TIMES: The current "Forward Day by Day" booklet to aid you with your daily meditations is in the rack at the top of the stairs. Help yourself!
BORROWING SOMETHING?: If you would like to borrow something from the church, please make sure your coordinate this with the Sr. Warden, Jr. Warden, or the Building and Grounds Team Leader.
CHURCH CLEANING: For the latest cleaning schedule in Adobe Acrobat format, see the link at the top of this page. A copy is posted at church. Thanks to all who have volunteered for this important ministry.
HOMEBOUND VISITS: Our lay Eucharistic Visitors are available for regular visits to homebound
VESTRY MEETING MINUTES: Approved Vestry Meeting minutes are posted on the bulletin board in the Undercroft.
PARISH FAMILY SUNDAY: Held on the last Sunday of the month throughout the year. Parishioners are invited to volunteer to take the gifts of wine and wafers to the Altar Rail during the Offertory for consecration. They are also invited to host the fellowship coffee hour in our Undercroft following the service. A sign-up sheet is posted on the bulletin board at the back of the church. You are encouraged to participate in this ministry!
PRAYER CONCERNS: Information received by Wednesday will be published in the following Sunday bulletin. Please note that permission must be granted from the individual before a name is published, and in all cases, confidentiality must be a major consideration. Once the prayer concern is satisfied, please ask that the name be removed.
ALTAR FLOWERS: If you would like to make a donation for flowers in remembrance or celebration, request forms can be found at the back of the church. Requests must be received two weeks in advance of the specified Sunday.