Monday, July 29, 2013

Prayers for the repose of the soul of my brother, Jeff Gould

I ask your prayers for the repose of the soul of my brother,
Jeffrey Roger Gould,
who died today (July 29, 2013)
suddenly and unexpectedly
in Loveland, Colorado.
I also ask your prayers for his wife, Judy,
his daughters, Jade and Anonna,
our mother, Joyce,
our siblings, Michelle and Jeff
and his father, Roger,
as well as our entire family.

The memorial service will be 11:00 am Saturday August 10
at St. Stephen's

Fr. Jamie, officiating/preaching
James Mackay, organist
Michelle Gelinske, soloist
Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord;
and let light perpetual shine upon him.
May his soul, and the souls of all the departed
rest in peace.

The week of July 29

Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

Wednesday July 31  
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
Incense will be offered at this Mass

Supper afterward at a local restaurant

Sunday August 411 Pentecost
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/Sandy Holbrook, preacher

Coffee hour following

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wedding ceremony for William Weighman and James Mackay

William Alan Weightman
James Edward Mackay
will be married in a civil ceremony
at the Clay  County Courthouse
Moorhead, Minnesota
at 4:00 pm
Monday, August 5, 2013
The Eve (almost) of the Feast of the Transfiguration

A reception will be held after the service
at 6:00 pm at
St. Stephen’s Rectory
117 20 Avenue, Fargo
hosted by Fr. Jamie

No gifts please; donations are welcome to a fund to refurbish the Baptismal Font

The couple will keep September 17, 2008 as their anniversary date,
the day they exchanged vows and rings.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New piano

The new piano arrived on Tuesday afternoon. Thank you for Leah Elliott for her very kind donation. A plaque in her honor will affixed to it in the fall.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The week of July 22

Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

Wednesday July 24 – Eve of St. James
6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
Incense will be offered at this Mass

Supper afterward in celebration of Fr. Jamie’s 10th anniversary of ordination of the Diaconate at a local restaurant

Friday July 26 -
after 7:00 pm – Tiki Party at St. Stephen’s rectory (117 20 Ave. N., Fargo)

Sunday July 2810 Pentecost
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher

Coffee hour following

2:00- 8:00 pm – Sundaes on Sunday

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fr. Jamie quoted in article in today's Forum

A follower of Jesus: Social media brings new opportunities for churches to increase their flocks

FARGO -- When the Rev. Jamie Parsley first started fiddling around with social media eight years ago, he questioned whether it would bear fruit.
By: Roxane B. Salonen, INFORUM                           
    FARGO -- When the Rev. Jamie Parsley first started fiddling around with social media eight years ago, he questioned whether it would bear fruit.
    “I was sort of going into it blindly,” says Parsley, a 44-year-old pastor from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Fargo.
    But then readers began responding to his blog posts and Facebook updates – people from all over who liked what they read and wanted to stay connected, even though they might never step foot in his church.
    “That’s something only social media can do that we couldn’t have done 20 years ago,” he says. “When I realized I was getting this kind of reaction, I saw how important (new media) is to the church.”
    Though we’ll always need the physical presence of the church, Parsley says, “Our ways of doing church and understanding church are changing.”
    “Those who are resistant, I really don’t understand that,” adds Parsley, who blogs, Tweets and keeps his Facebook updated regularly. “It’s such an inexpensive and relatively easy form of evangelization.”
    Tech-savvy faith
    Parsley’s social-media use echoes results of a recent study by Barna Group, a California-based faith research organization, found that 66 percent, or two-thirds, of all pastors now lean on Facebook to connect with their flocks.
    Of the 23 percent now using Twitter – which has experienced a 77 percent jump by churches in less than two years – 40 percent of the accounts were instituted by pastors ages 29 to 47, according to Barna Group. Conversely, only 6 percent of pastors older than 67 have dipped their toes into the Twitter stream.
    But in some ways it’s all ancient history, according to Parsley, who notes that Saint Francis of Assisi, who lived in the 1200s, used to go out to the people to spread the gospel.
    “It was pretty radical for that time because the Church expected people to come to church to find the Church,” he says. “But Francis went walking around and traveling to meet people where they were at. And where are people today? They’re online.”
    Old needs, new methods
    The Rev. Jeni Grangaard, pastor of Glyndon (Minn.) Lutheran Church, says she couldn’t even find her church in a Google search while preparing for her interview three summers ago.
    Upon accepting the job, she immediately began implementing a basic website, which since has been updated and incorporated a variety of other social media into the ways she reaches out to her church community.
    “The website’s the new yellow pages,” she says. “It’s helped us have a presence. We’re not just an old church building but a church with a lot going on.”
    Vanessa Veflin, 38, recently joined a technology task group at her First Presbyterian Church in Fargo to help identify how to more effectively implement and use social media.
    “There are so many different ways to communicate. Nothing ever really goes away, but social media is a great way to connect with people,” she says, noting that her pastor makes podcasts of his sermons so anyone who misses a Sunday can pick up where they left off.
    “It’s an easy way for people to stay connected,” she says. “If you’re in line at the grocery store, nearly everyone is checking their updates or texts, so you can keep people in touch with what’s going on (at church) even when they’re busy.”
    Using tools well
    One of Veflin’s frustrations, however, is when churches establish social media but don’t maintain it. “If you’re going to have a (Facebook) page, then update it and respond to people. If not, just take it down.”
    Adam Copeland of Moorhead, who studies the merging of religion and social media, says it’s a false assumption for churches to think just because they’re exploring digital media they’re “instantly hip” or automatically connected to young people.
    “People can see through the use of a Facebook page just to get people through the doors on Sundays,” he says.
    Copeland, 30, began using digital technology his first year as a minister in rural Hallock, Minn.
    “I’d look for resources or wonder about doing something new, like presiding over my first wedding, and I’d think, ‘I should ask on Twitter what some good liturgies are,’ ” he says. “I’d also constantly be reflecting on or asking for communal input on my blog.”
    Having now transitioned from congregational ministry to the academic setting of college instructor, Copeland is pursuing a doctorate with an emphasis on religious rhetoric and new media.
    “My interest has stayed in the area of digital religion because I see so many interesting cultural and religious connections there,” Copeland says. “Young people are exploring new ways of living out their religion and spirituality, and the tools technology affords us are more powerful than anything we’ve had before.”
    But he says social media isn’t for everyone, and some younger people are intentionally opting not to go in too deep with it. “They’re choosing to live their lives in a way where they’re not sharing instant statuses with tons of people, and I think that’s an important choice to make.”
    Cell-phone fixation
    Tracy Bieger, 41, youth minister at Calvary Lutheran in Perham, Minn., says churches need to approach new media “in baby steps,” for the sake of the older members, but they have to start somewhere.
    “Teens today have 40 percent more homework than I did in high school, and we have to adjust for that,” she says. “We need to be flexible and not always just glorify the past.”
    In fact, though she also uses Facebook and email to communicate, she found teens respond best to her Twitter updates received by text. She’ll send out a weekly Bible verse or a fun faith question and reward a prize to the first correct responder.
    “I hate to say we need to be more relevant, because the church also needs to be a constant and be a comfort for people, too,” Bieger says, “but we’ve got to make it more inviting and make sure everyone knows they don’t have to be some theologically brilliant person to come to church.”
    Betsy Birmingham, congregant of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fargo-Moorhead, says she enjoys not only keeping up with church friends through Facebook, but glimpsing their lives in a way that hasn’t been possible in the past.
    “I think personally the best thing about it is just that you have insight into people’s lives and stories and how they came to what we all experience together – our church community,” she says.
    Birmingham says she does see some drawbacks to social media and church, including the possible temptation for churches to be so concerned about reaching the youth that they forget about their older members.
    She also wonders about “the digital divide” between those who have Internet access and those who don’t, and how that might affect the faith connections of some, such as the new Americans.
    “They’re much less likely to have Internet in their homes, and if they do have access, it’s more likely through a cell phone than a computer,” Birmingham says. “And we don’t often design our messages for that.”
    But she won’t discount the merits of social networking for forging faith ties.
    “Seeing how people who are a part of my church community enact their faith, both in their lives and through personal sites … and seeing how we as a community represent ourselves to the outside world has made my personal spiritual journey richer,” she says.

    Monday, July 15, 2013

    The week of July 15 at St. Stephen's

    Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

    Wednesday July 17 -
    6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
    Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
    Incense will be offered at this Mass

    Supper afterward in honor of former member, Joanne Droppers, at a local restaurant

    Friday July 19 -
    4:00 pm – Wedding of Kathy Hegge and Eric Rehm
    Fr. Jamie, officiating

    Sunday July 219 Pentecost
    11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
    Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher

    Coffee hour following

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    Eve of the feast of St. Benedict at St. Stephen's

     A very festive celebration of the eve of the feast of St. Benedict.

    Stephanie Parrot Baptism

    Congratulations to Stephanie Parrott, who was baptized last Sunday.

    Stepanie (left), with her sponsor, Leah Elliott

    Stephanie's baptism cake

    Monday, July 8, 2013

    Prayers for the repose of the soul of Adele Meister

    The prayers of the St. Stephen’s family are requested for the repose of the soul of Adele Meister, mother of Mark Meister, who died suddenly today (July 8, 2013). She was 75.

    Mark said, “My mother was a wonderfully bold, forthright, and beautiful person who cherished her family more than anything else.  I am heartbroken and will deeply miss her.  Thank you for your prayers.”

    Please also keep Mark and Ann and their entire family in your prayers as well.

    Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Adele, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

    May her soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.

    The week of July 8

    Join us this week at St. Stephen’s

    Wednesday July 10 - Eve of the Feast of St. Benedict
    6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist
    Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
    Incense will be offered at this Mass
    Supper afterward at a local restaurant

    Sunday July 78 Pentecost
    11:00 am – Holy Eucharist
    Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher
    12:45 - Vestry 


    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Flooded Undercoft update from Lavonne Marubbio


    Just a recap on the water removal job at St. Stephens.   The undercroft was dry enough to use for Coffee Hour yesterday.  The carpets were shampooed Sunday afternoon, and the workmen picked up their equipment Monday morning.  Everything looks and smells great!  We were  fortunate to get an early start at cleanup, so that we have escaped mold damage so far.

    A repairman from Sanford Health Accessories came Monday afternoon to restore service to the elevator.  It is now working...

    Some items that were stored in the closet in the Office sustained damage from the water.  Some had to be tossed, but others are spread out on tables to dry.  These include papers and artifacts relating to St. Stephen's history.  We will try to get them properly stored for the future.

    Some Vestments that were in the Office  got wet, but no damage was done.  They have been dried out, or laundered, and will be returned to the Office. 

    Although there is no question that the  unprecedented rainfall was responsible for the flooded basement,  we need to take steps to insure that we do not have another problem if there are more heavy rains this summer.  

    However, we should take immediate action to repair or replace the damaged downspouts on both the east and west sides of the building, and make sure that the gutters have not become clogged with debris.