Sunday, December 29, 2013

The week of December 30


Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

Wednesday January 1  - Holy Name of Jesus
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
James Mackay, music
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Friday January 3   
Fr. Jamie’s day off

Sunday January 5 21 Christmas (Epiphany Sunday)
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
Proclamation of the Date of Easter/Blessing of Chalk
Children’s Chapel
Coffee Hour following with 3 Kings Cake
Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

De-Greening of the Church following the Mass

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas at St. Stephen's


Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

Tuesday December 24  - Christmas Eve
8:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
James Mackay, music
Christmas tableau for the Children during the reading of the Gospel

Wednesday December 25 –   Christmas
10:00 am Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/Pr. Mark Strobel, preacher
James Mackay, music
Incense will be offered at this Mass

Thursday December 26St. Stephen
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/Pr. Mark Strobel, preacher
James Mackay, music
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Sunday December 291 Christmas
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie Parsley, celebrant/preacher
NO Children’s Chapel
Coffee Hour following

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Prayers for the repose of the soul of Peter Reilly


The prayers of St. Stephen’s are requested for the repose of the soul of Peter Reilly, father of our own Heather Reilly, who died today in Texas.

Please also keep Heather and the Reilly family in your prayers.

Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord;
And Light perpetual shine upon him.
My his soul and the souls of all the departed rest in peace
and rise in glory. 

Christmastide 2013 at St. Stephen's


Tuesday December 24  - Christmas Eve
8:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
James Mackay, music
Christmas tableau for the Children during the reading of the Gospel

Wednesday December 25    Christmas
10:00 am Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/Pr. Mark Strobel, preacher
James Mackay, music

Thursday December 26St. Stephen
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/Pr. Mark Strobel, preacher
James Mackay, music
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Sunday December 291 Christmas
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie Parsley, celebrant/preacher
NO Children’s Chapel
Coffee Hour following

 

Monday, December 16, 2013

The week of December 16


Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

Wednesday December 18 
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
James Mackay, music
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Friday December 20   
6:15 pm – Caroling Party (rescheduled)
Warm-up at Rectory following

Sunday December 224 Advent
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/Sandy Holbrook, preacher
Children’s Chapel
Coffee Hour following

6:00 pm – Lessons and Carols
Fr. Jamie and Pastor Mark Strobel, officiating

"Greeing of the church" following

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bishop Michael's visit/Confirmation/Receptions

 
 
 
 
Three Confirmations, three receptions and two new members welcomed by Bishop Michael
 
Bishop Michael and acolyte Max Strobel

 
Acolyte Max Strobel, Fr. Jamie, Bishop Michael and Worship Leader Dustin Wallace

(Photos by William Weightman, except the cake photo by John Baird)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bishop Michael's Annual Visit



St. Nicholas celebtration at St. Stephen's



Joyful noise: People with Parkinson’s, brain disorders find fellowship, strengthen vocal cords in Tremble Clefs Choir


By: John Lamb, INFORUM



FARGO - In this season of songs, a very different act performs today as part of the Plains Art Museum’s Noon Holiday Concert series.

It’s not a group of young students, though the ensemble is just learning how to get the most out of their voice and in some cases, even re-learning how to breathe again. It’s not a group of seasoned veterans, though some members of this choral group have been singing for 50 years or more.
The Tremble Clefs Choir, consisting of members with Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, brain injury survivors and even one with dementia, performs a handful of tunes as part of today’s show.

The mini-concert will be the group’s third in the past two weeks, but its first public appearance. Other performances were for a Parkinson’s support group and at Rosewood on Broadway, a nursing home where one of the group’s former member lives.

“It’s major for us, but minor in the grand scope of things. Singing in a nursing home is not a big resume builder,” Tremble Clef singer Bruce Anderson says with a smile.

Just flashing a smile can be something that takes work for some with Parkinson’s, members say.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. While tremors are a well-known symptom, those affected by it sometimes have a blank expression as well as slowed and softened speech.

Singing may seem counterintuitive, but it can help strengthen the vocal cords, exercise facial muscles and even help with balance, says choir director Michelle Gelinske.

A voice and piano teacher, Gelinske was approached a few years ago by an adult student, Jan Nelson, about starting the program. Nelson, an occupational therapist, started HeartSprings Community Healing Center, a non-profit holistic organization focused on diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
They started local chapter of Tremble Clefs, a nationwide program, four years ago. The group has struggled to get its name out there to let others know what they do and how to get involved.

Still, organizers see it as a small-scale success.

“The purpose is to be joyful and make a lot of noise,” Nelson says. “It is inspiring for them to know they can sing.”

The biggest victory, she says is just getting people to show up.

“Parkinson’s can inhibit some, and they give up on parts of life they used to be involved in. The choir re-engages them back into life,” Nelson says.

She points to the fact that members don’t just attend Tuesday practices at Messiah Lutheran Church in Fargo to hit their notes. Choir members will often gather afterward for a communal lunch and conversation.

“They exercise, sing and eat together,” Nelson says. “For me, that’s the most important part, to feed not only the body, but the soul and the spirit … The biggest thing the choir offers is hope.”
Chuck Erstad says the social aspect and fellowship is why he’s been coming for the past year.

Erstad and his wife moved to Fargo from Jamestown when health concerns became a factor. Tremble Clefs helped him make new friends.

He even helped bring in the group’s newest member, Al Nelson, who has been coming for just a few weeks.

The 73-year-old Nelson was diagnosed four years ago and was forced to retire as a barber. While Parkinson’s patients may feel their condition ostracizes them, Nelson says Tremble Clefs and a support group at Sanford Health – where he met Erstad – have helped him come out of his shell recently.

“My wife can notice that I’m so much more outgoing,” he says.

His doctors and therapists encourage him to act big and loud, project his voice, gesture when he talks and move his arms when he walks.

Gelinske incorporates some of that in choir rehearsals. The group warms up with vocal exercises, including raising arms over their heads while emphatically sounding out words. Later, they sing and act out “The Hokey Pokey” to “shake it all about.”

Rehearsals wind through old favorites like “What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?” and “Ring of Fire,” along with the new “Sing With Our Tremble Clef Choir.”

The group sings their signature tune today with the composer, Fargo pianist Darin Henze. Performer Steve Stark will also join the group for “White Christmas.”

The theme song addresses the lack of facial expression, but that only makes Jim Coffey glow even more.

“It just fills your heart with happiness and joy. It hits it on the nail perfectly,” he says.

The 84-year-old was diagnosed 13 years ago and while his tremors have forced him to give up his photography hobby, he’s found something to take its place.

“I never dreamed I’d be in a choir or a musical group. I love music,” he says, sitting at a table for dinner with friends after last week’s performance for a Parkinson’s support group.

“I feel good about having the disease, because it put me in contact with so many people,” he says. 
“Seeing these people as often as we do, that’s inspiring to me.”

If You Go
WHAT: Tremble Clefs Choir with Michelle Gelinske and Darin Henze
WHEN: Noon today
where: Plains Art Museum, 704 1st Ave., N., Fargo
info: Free

Monday, December 9, 2013

The week of December 9


Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

Wednesday December 11 
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
James Mackay, music
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Friday December 13   
7:00 pm Rectory Christmas Party

Sunday December 153 Advent (Gaudete)
BISHOP’S VISITATION
Confirmation/Reception/New Member Sunday
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Bishop Michael Smith, celebrant/preacher
Children’s Chapel/St Nicholas celebration
Potluck following

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pledge-Ingathering THIS SUNDAY


REMINDER: This Sunday, December 8th, is Pledge Ingathering. If you have not already returned your pledge and Time and Talent Sheets, please plan on doing so this Sunday, or mailing it back to the Church.
Thank you. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Caroling Party POSTPONED


Due to the dangerous temperatures forecast for this coming weekend, the Caroling Party originally scheduled for Friday December 6th has been postponed to Friday, Dec. 20 at 6:15 pm. The warming party will be held afterward at the Rectory.

For more information, please contact Regina Ranney at reginaranney@gmail.com

Wednesday evenings in Advent


Monday, December 2, 2013

The week of December 2


Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

Wednesday December 4 
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
James Mackay, music
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Friday December 6   
Fr. Jamie’s day off

6:15 pm Caroling (at the church)

Sunday December 82 Advent
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie Parsley, celebrant/preacher
PLEDGE INGATHERING
Children’s Chapel/St Nicholas celebration
Coffee Hour following

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Article in Today's Fargo Forum about FM Veg's Gentle Thanksgiving at St. Stephen's

Beast-free feast gives local vegans cause to celebrate

By: Emily Welker, INFORUM




FARGO – Celebrating a holiday based in large part on largesse can be tough for vegans and vegetarians.

“We had one gal – she had never been to anything where she could eat everything,” said Kathleen Keene of Moorhead.

The woman, a vegan, told Keene she was usually reduced to eating only corn and salad at Thanksgiving celebrations with family.

That was before a group of local vegans and vegetarians began holding an annual “Gentle Thanksgiving” at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Fargo, celebrating what they call a “cruelty-free” holiday.

“Most people are coming as a refugee – they’re the only ones who are vegan or vegetarian [in their households]. We have kind of adopted each other as a family,” said Keene, one of the dinner’s organizers.

Gentle Thanksgiving began locally seven years ago, put on by Fargo-Moorhead Vegetarians and Vegans. It was based on a national movement to take the turkey out of Turkey Day and introduce celebrating the holidays without meat or animal products.

The local Thanksgiving potluck, which was held Sunday this year, is open to the public, but Keene said they have to keep the guest list limited to 50 because of lack of space at the church.

Four meat eaters were present this year, one of whom came with her vegetarian husband. Keene said that doesn’t seem to pose a problem at their events.

“If you don’t advertise, people don’t realize it’s anything different than you usually eat,” Keene said.

Granted, that’s coming from a vegan. It’s the sort of gathering where the green beans with real cheese on top just sat off in the corner by themselves. The big hit this year was the vegan mac and “cheese.”

Elizabeth Pausch of Christine hopes to replicate the dish after going back for seconds and trying to snag the recipe from a fellow member.

“He says he doesn’t have a recipe for it, which saddens me greatly,” said Pausch, who brought another big hit, the pumpkin-chocolate chip cake.

Since it’s a feast almost entirely free of animal products, there’s less of a focus on a single centerpiece entrĂ©e. Still, mock meat products like Tofurky (tofu made to taste like turkey) are popular. Keene tries to get the companies that produce them to donate them each year.

Aside from the food, the main attraction for many is that the gathering can be fraught with less friction than they find at home.

Keene said many members find themselves bringing their own food to family gatherings, rather than impose upon the cook to provide something special.

But bringing one’s own, or even refusing food the host offers, even when it’s based on health or ethical objections, can create hurt feelings as well, she agreed.

“I had a moment – ‘I guess I’m going to have to host it myself,’ ” she said.

Pausch said bringing vegan and vegetarian traditions to the family table can be done incrementally. Her moment of triumph was getting her father to concede that vegan mashed potatoes tasted like – no kidding – mashed potatoes.

“I didn’t push for a lot of vegan things,” she said.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The week of November 25

Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

Wednesday November 27  - Thanksgiving Eve
7:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/Pr. Mark Strobel, preacher
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Saturday, November 30
Salvation Army

Sunday December 11 Advent
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie Parsley, celebrant/preacher
NO Children’s Chapel
Coffee Hour following

 

Monday, November 18, 2013

The week of November 18


Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

Wednesday November 20 
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
Deacon Linda Hall, Deacon
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Friday November 22   
Fr. Jamie’s day off

Saturday November 23
11:00 am – Advent Wreath/Menorah making workshop

Sunday November 24Christ the King Sunday
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie Parsley, celebrant/preacher
Children’s Chapel
Coffee Hour following

5 pm - FM Veg Gentle Thanksgiving 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fr. Jamie's Stewardship Letter


November 11, 2013
Feast of St. Martin of Tours

Dear members and friends of St. Stephen’s,

Stewardship time is upon us. This is always an exciting time for us at St. Stephen’s. It is a time for us talk about money, our place in the congregation, the many ministries we do and to celebrate who we are as a congregation.

We certainly have much to celebrate! This past year has been a very busy one. We have continued our many ministries of radical love, radical acceptance and radical welcoming to those in our community. And many people have responded to that outreach. We have welcomed 30 new members to our fold in 2013 over two New Member Sundays (a third New Member Sunday is scheduled for December 15 when Bishop Michael Smith visits us; that day we will also celebrate at least three confirmation and two receptions). Our congregation has grown from 55 members in 2008, to almost 150 members this year! That is incredible! And it is an amazing sign of God’s presence in our midst, in our many ministries, and in all that we do here.

During this Stewardship time, we of course give thanks for all these wonderful things. We also look forward to our future: our financial future and the futures of  the ministries God has called each of us to both within our congregation and in the larger community.

Stewardship is also about presence. One of the ways in which we can most easily and visibly contribute to Stewardship at St. Stephen’s is by our very presence on a regular basis at the Sunday morning celebration of the Holy Eucharist or on Wednesday evenings.

Attendance is not only about what each of us needs, it also what the larger congregation needs. We essentially need each other. We need the presence and proximity of each other. I recently came across this interesting take on church attendance, which I have paraphrased and adapted to us at St. Stephen’s:
The writer of Hebrews challenges us with convicting words, “Let us not give up meeting together…but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).  It is important for us to think about how important our presence is in church on Sundays or Wednesdays. When one is not here:
-          The body of the congregation is incomplete
-          Our voice is not heard in the worship and singing of the saints
-          We cannot actively serve others who may need our gifts
-          We miss out on receiving the Word of God in a preaching format
-          We miss out on corporate prayer
-          We miss out on fellowship with our friends and others at the church
-          We miss opportunities to share our own struggles with others who can help us  
-          We miss out on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the spiritual benefits that go with regular Holy Communion.

My intent in sharing this is not to make anyone feel guilty. As you have heard me say many times, I do not take attendance at the door. I also understand that many people cannot attend due to illness or other circumstances in their lives. My intent is simply to remind us that when we pledge to St. Stephen’s we pledge of our money, we pledge of our talent, we pledge of the gifts we have received and are willing to share with others, we pledge of our expertise in certain areas of our lives, and we pledge of our very presence.

So, please do give. Give of your time and your presence. Give from the abundance that God has granted to you. And share of yourself in what ministries God has called you to here at St. Stephen’s

Your presence is also requested this coming Sunday November 17. On that day, we will gather together for our Pledge Sunday. The Vestry will host a lunch for us after our 11:00 celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Pledge Cards and Time and Talent sheets will be handed out as well.

In preparation for this special Sunday, I invite all of you to take time to reflect and to pray about your own stewardship. What talents can we offer to make St. Stephen’s a church that can reach out in love, compassion and radical acceptance to others? What material resources can we give to help maintain the ministries we do here?

As we continue our journey together, we look forward in hope and joy at the many incredible potentials that await us at St. Stephen’s.

Finally, please know of my gratitude in serving all of you as your priest. I feel blessed more and more each day for being here. Know that I pray for each of you by name in the course of a week in my daily prayers. I ask your continued prayers for me as well.

- peace,

Fr. Jamie A. Parsley
Priest-in-Charge

Monday, November 11, 2013

The week of November 11

Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

Wednesday November 13 
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Friday November 15 –   
Fr. Jamie’s day off

Sunday November 1726 Pentecost
STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie Parsley, celebrant/preacher
Children’s Chapel

Stewardship Luncheon served by our vestry following

Monday, November 4, 2013

The week of November 4 at St. Stephen's

Join us this week at St. Stephen’s
Wednesday November 6 
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

 
Friday November 8   
Fr. Jamie’s day off


Sunday November 1025 Pentecost
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie Parsley, celebrant/preacher
Children’s Chapel
Coffee Hour following

 12:45 pm - Vestry

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The week of October 28

Join us this week at St. Stephen’s
Monday October 28-Tuesday October 29 – Fr. Jamie out of town
Wednesday October 30 – Commemoration of All Faithful Departed (observed)
6:00 pm – Requiem Eucharist for our deceased loved one
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
The names of all those buried from St. Stephen’s throughout the years as well as those written on the list in the Narthex will be read.
Incense will be offered at this Mass
Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Friday November 1 – All Saints Day 
Fr. Jamie’s day off

Sunday October 27All Saints Sunday
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Baptism of Cameron Miller
Fr. Jamie Parsley, celebrant/preacher
Children’s Chapel
Coffee Hour following

Thursday, October 24, 2013

All Saints/All Souls Octave Oct. 27-Nov.3


Octave of All Saints/All Souls at St. Stephen’s

This year at St. Stephen’s we will once again have an entire week to celebrate the saints in our lives. In preparation for the Feast of All Saints (which is one of the most important feast days in our Church year), we will be remembering all of the saints in our lives (those whom we have loved and who have shown us something of who God is). We will be offering several opportunities at St. Stephen’s to honor those who have passed on before us to the larger Communion of Saints.

+ A list will be placed in the Narthex for you to write  the names of your deceased loved ones so they may be remembered at the special Requiem Mass we will celebrate on Wednesday October 30. You can also send me any names at apium@aol.com and I will make sure they are remembered by name at the Requiem Mass on October 30 and their names placed on the altar on All Saints Sunday.

+ A special altar will once again be placed in the Narthex. Please bring a photograph or other memento of your loved one to be displayed there from October 27 through November 3.

+ Attend the Requiem Mass at 6:00 pm Wednesday Oct. 30 and the All Saints Sunday Mass on November 3.