Archive | Vicar’s Voice

Vicar’s Voice – 1/20/17

January 20, 2017

Dear St. Stephen’s Family and Friends,

Thank you for the many expressions of sympathy and love following my Mom’s death. Your words, hugs, cards, notes and messages reminded me of the joy of being a part of a Christian community. My Mom Eileen Johnson died on December 17. She was a resident of the memory cottage of Spring Arbor in Richmond, Virginia, having entered into a state of dementia about three years ago. She had excellent care and was supported principally by my sister Lisa. (I have three siblings; Kristine, Lisa and Paul.) We all managed to get to Richmond on Monday, December 19 and held a brief service of commendation, anointing and blessing on Tuesday afternoon. We returned home on Wednesday.

My Dad’s ashes are interred in the memorial garden of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Naples, Florida. We will inter my Mom’s ashes on February 7 in the same garden. My parents were most active in their spiritual life at Grace Episcopal Church in Hinsdale, Illinois. Because of that and because the Chicago Area was their home, a memorial service for her will take place there sometime in April or May.

Thank you, again, for your expressions of understanding, love and compassion. They are balm for a harried and hurting heart.

Love and blessings,

Alvin+

Vicar’s Voice – January 13, 2017

January 13, 2017

Dear St. Stephen’s Family and Friends,

Our Annual Meeting is Sunday, January 29.  While this is an occasion to handle “church business”, more importantly this is a day to St.-Stephen-the-Martyrcelebrate community.  In that vein, we will transfer the Feast of St. Stephen from December 26th to the 29th and give thanks for Stephen, give thanks for our community, enjoy lunch, handle some church business, and welcome new members to the Body of Christ through baptism.

That’s what we are about as a church; welcoming people through baptism, through visits, through ministries, through worship; through whatever it takes to bring people into a loving and redeeming relationship with Love.  Let’s fill our worship space and our parish hall with the Holy Spirit and with our spirits.  Let’s enjoy being a unique community in the world; a place where we are known and know others; a place of intended hospitality.  Don’t let the business put you off; we’ll have lots of fun because we are a community and as one friend said as he prayed before a pick-up basketball game, “Let’s have fun in Jesus because Jesus is fun!”

See you in worship on the 29th.  And hopefully see you in worship this Sunday.

Love and blessings,

Alvin+

Vicar’s Voice – Second Week of Advent

December 2, 2016

Dear St. Stephen’s Family and Friends,

Here’s a simple vision!  “’We are gathered together in Thy name.’  First, we are gathered together, bound by a common loyalty to God and to each other.  Then, when this condition has been fulfilled, God is present with us.  Then, when God is there and one with us, we voice a common prayer.  Then it follows that our prayer will be answered according to God’s will.  Then, when our prayer is answered, we are bound together in a lasting fellowship of the spirit.”  (Hazelden)

advent2What better picture for the life we share than these words.  Our invitation to Jesus is to find our common prayer as St. Stephen’s Church.  It follows that our prayer as a community will be answered according to God’s will and then we will be bound, as many know already, together in a lasting fellowship of the spirit.

Light the second candle.  Continue the journey through Advent and beyond.  Every one of us is essential to the life, vitality and unity of this church.  You matter to God and to St. Stephen’s.  Thanks.

Love and Blessings,

Alvin+

1070 Dutch Road, Fairview, PA 16415 * 814.474.5490