First Monday healing services

St. Stephen’s is now holding a monthly healing service, with Holy Eucharist, on the first Monday evening of every month at 6:30 p.m.

Our next healing service will be held July 3. Fr. Dave is available to hear private confessions either before or after the service.

All residents of the McKeesport area are welcome to celebrate with us, and all baptized Christians are invited to take holy communion.

For more information about the services or about becoming a Christian or an Episcopalian, call the church office at 412-664-9379 or email ststephenschurch@gmail.com.

Holy Week services 2017

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Maundy Thursday services will be held at 6:30 p.m. with an agape meal, followed by the liturgy and the stripping of the altar.

It is part of the Triduum, or three holy days before Easter. It comes from the Latin mandatum novum, “new commandment,” from Jn 13:34. The ceremony of washing feet was also referred to as “the Maundy.” Maundy Thursday celebrations also commemorate the institution of the eucharist by Jesus “on the night he was betrayed.” Source

Good Friday liturgy will be at 12 noon.

The Friday before Easter Day, on which the church commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. It is a day of fasting and special acts of discipline and self-denial. The liturgy of the day includes John’s account of the Passion gospel, a solemn form of intercession known as the solemn collects (dating from ancient Rome), and optional devotions before the cross (commonly known as the veneration of the cross). Source

Easter Sunday celebrations will be at 8 and 10 a.m.

The feast of Christ’s resurrection. According to Bede, the word derives from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess Eostre. Christians in England applied the word to the principal festival of the church year, both day and season. Easter Day is the annual feast of the resurrection, the pascha or Christian Passover, and the eighth day of cosmic creation. Faith in Jesus’ resurrection on the Sunday or third day following his crucifixion is at the heart of Christian belief. Source

Please join us downstairs in the undercroft following the 10 a.m. Easter Sunday service for tea and cookies!

God is ready for resurrection — are you?

Excerpted from Father Dave’s sermon on Feb. 26, 2017, the last Sunday of Epiphany:

At the end of Black History Month, I was watching a program which traced some of the evolution — to date — of the lie and sin which is racism, and the very slow healing of that sin.

One aspect of that sin of which I am aware, but have become more deeply aware, is the ironic presence of that sin within the Church.

I’ve always been fascinated by our history. We brought men and women from Africa almost as if we were herding cattle. Yet the black persons we treated so cruelly found within the faith we proclaimed a liberating faith of their own, and celebrated it — often in secret — with a joy and strength that, at times, embarrasses me.

Perhaps that’s why Christianity came to bring faith and healing to those we treated as less than God’s children. We preached it, they lived it! Continue reading