Tuesday, December 29, 2020

This week at St. Stephen's

 Wednesday, December 30

6:00 p.m. – Holy Eucharist

Fr. Jamie, celebrant/ preacher

Deacon John, assisting


Friday, January 1

Happy New Year 2021!

Fr. Jamie’s day off


 Sunday, January 3

11:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist

Fr. Jamie, celebrant/preacher

James Mackay, organist

Michelle Gelinske, cantor


Our Sunday and Wednesday Eucharist services are closed to public worship; however, our Masses will continue to be livestreamed.   


Livestream:  https://facebook.com/groups/52039214842


Or on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcdWKCnCHmviajkFX5p-xGg


Or posted to our webpage: https://ststephensfargo.org


Mark your calendars:

Jan. 6 – Epiphany – Proclamation of the date of Easter /Blessing of Chalk

Jan. 24 – Annual Meeting


Interesting Facts:

Epiphany is one of the Church's major and spectacular feasts. It occurs on January 6th, the final day of the 12 days of Christmas (in some locations it is transferred to the Sunday between January 2 - 8). In some places it is also called Twelfth night or Three Kings Day. This is the day the Church commemorates the Magi arriving to give homage to the newborn King of Kings with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, symbolic of all the Gentile nations coming into the Kingdom of God. In many places around the world, this was the traditional day of gift-giving in celebration of Christmas.


BLESSED CHALK: There is a long-standing Epiphany tradition of marking churches, homes, schools, and other buildings with a special 'holy formula' over the entryway using chalk that has been blessed for this purpose on Epiphany. This formula includes the current year along with the initials C, M, and B in the order shown below.


20 + C + M + B + 21 

The C, M, and B are placed in between the numbers of the current year, with crosses in between each symbol. The three letters have two significations: the invocation Christus Mansionem Benedicat (Christ bless this house), as well as the first initial of the names of the three Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Fr. Jamie's Christmas Letter


Advent-Christmas, 2020


My Friends at St. Stephen’s,

I think we all agree that this Christmas is not like any Christmas we have ever experienced. Most of us are physically separated from each other and from many of our loved ones. Of course, we gather virtually through Livestream and Zoom, but as we all know, these are sad replacements for real communion with one another.

As we near the birth of Jesus and prepare to celebrate all that that birth means to us,  we do so looking with hope to our future. The vaccine is now out, and will hopefully finally bring an end to this long and arduous journey we have been on for these last nine months.

I may be optimistic (I try to be anyway), but my hope is that we will be returning to “normal” worship possibly by the spring. By the latest, I hope we will be able to gather to worship, to have coffee hour, to actually greet each other in person by Pentecost. Don’t hold me to this. But it is a goal in which I am hoping

For now, however, we must simply do what is expected of us to make sure we keep one another safe. Sadly, St. Stephen’s remains closed to public worship for now. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses will be offered, as they have been, through Livestream. All our Masses will be uploaded to our website and to our YouTube pages. Please do join us for these masses. We now averaging about 77 people joining us for our virtual Masses. I am grateful for all those  who are joining us.

          For me, serving as St. Stephen’s continues to be one of the most fulfilling experiences of my priestly life even during these difficult times. I will admit: I despite preaching to an empty church. I miss your presence in the church. I miss our time of fellowship at coffee hour. I miss all of you, plain and simple.

As we move forward together into this future full of hope and potential reunion, I ask for your continued prayers for St. Stephen’s and your continued presence at our virtual liturgies.

Please know that I pray, as always, for each of you individually by name over the course of each week in my daily recitation of the Daily Office (Morning and Evening Prayer). Also know that I also remember all of you at the altar during celebration of the Mass. Above all, know that I give God thanks every day for the opportunity to serve such a wonderful, caring and loving congregation of people who are truly committed to loving God and others, to growth and to radical hospitality.

My sincerest Christmas blessings to all of you and to all those you love during this season of joy, love and HOPE.


      PEACE always,



Advent- Christmas, 2020  

at St. Stephen’s


Thursday December 24  - Christmas Eve

7:00 pm – Holy Eucharist


friday December 25    Nativity of Our Lord

10:00 am Holy Eucharist


Sunday December 27Transferred Feast of St. Stephen

11:00 am – Holy Eucharist


Sunday December 271 Christmas

11:00 am – Holy Eucharist


Wednesday December 30

6:00 pm - Mass of the New Year


All of our Masses are Livestreamed at our Facebook Group:


Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/52039214842

They are posted later to our Website: Ststephensfargo.org

And to our YouTube Channel; Youtube.com (“St. Stephen’s Fargo”)



Sunday, November 22, 2020


NOVEMBER 22, 2020


Dear St. Stephen’s members and friends,

As you all know, the cases of Covid infection in North Dakota have risen drastically within the last few days and weeks. There are now, as of today, over 10,000 active Covid cases in the state of North Dakota alone. As a result of this alarming and critical situation, I have decided, after consultation with the St. Stephen’s Wardens and Vestry, to once again suspend all in-person worship at St. Stephen’s, beginning immediately. 

          I understand that this situation is a disappointment to some of us who have enjoyed in-person worship. Those who have attended in-person worship have been very conscientious in wearing masks and keeping social distance. However, as I have said from the beginning of this pandemic, even with those precautions in place, I do not want St. Stephen’s to be the cause of anyone getting sick with this disease.

          This decision of course comes at a very inopportune time. We will begin the Season of Advent next Sunday. Christmas is a month away. We are also in the middle of our Pledge Drive. However,  it is important that parishioners’ health remains out highest priority during this time.

As a result of this decision, we will continue to do the following:

VIRTUAL WORSHIP: We will continue to provide all of our liturgies through our various online features. Our Sunday and Wednesday Masses will continue as always. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day masses will also be celebrated at our regular times. All of our liturgies will continue to be Livestreamed.



STAFF AND VESTRY: For the foreseeable future, I along with our parish staff of Deacon John Anderson and organist James Mackay, along with our wardens and select Vestry members, as well as Cantor Michelle Gelsinke and Matthew Patnode, will continue to help to provide regular online worship and music for you. All of these online liturgies will continue to be done by Facebook Livestream and will be uploaded, as usual, to our YouTube channel and our website. Links to these are included below.

PLEDGES: Because we are in the midst of Stewardship time and our annual pledge drive, please know that your pledges are more important than ever during this time. I ask you to please make sure to send in your pledge cards in a timely matter and to give generously for our congregation to continue to do the ministries we do and to provide the presence we have been during this difficult time. If you have not received a pledge card and would like one, please let me know. Or if you would like to pledge, or make a one-time pledge online, please feel free to do so through our Paypal account on our web page https://ststephensfargo.org

PRAY: Please PRAY! Pray for our congregation, for our members, your wardens, your vestry, your organist and musicians, and for me, your priest.

Pray for your neighbors, our country and all those affected by this crisis throughout the world.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Keep healthy and keep safe! Please continue to socially distance as best you can during this time and WEAR YOUR MASKS!

SOCIAL MEDIA: Please continue to join us for worship through these media.

Livestream:  https://facebook.com/groups/52039214842


Our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcdWKCnCHmviajkFX5p-xGg


Our webpage: https://ststephensfargo.org


You are all in my prayers, and be assured I pray for each of you by name throughout the course of each week. Please pray for me also during this time. And with you, I look forward to the day when this pandemic will be a distant, unpleasant dream and we can all gather together to worship, to share fellowship and to in each other’s physical company again.



Fr. Jamie Parsley