NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
A VERY SPECIAL “THANK YOU” TO ALL WHO MADE OUR HOLY WEEK SERVICES SO SPECIAL:
To Father Jesse for putting together the various services
To Milan Robbins and Deacon Beth for leading a service each
To Sara Regan and Marla Farrow for putting together the service presentations
To all the readers and to all who attended the services
To Peggy Yankee and Diana Michel for arranging for the distribution of the palms and the
AND “THANK YOU” TO ALL WHO DONATED TOWARDS OUR EASTER FLOWERS
Rick & Ginny Umiker in remembrance of The Reverend Henry Folsom & Phyllis Folsom;
Julius & Freda Umiker
Gale McKenzie in remembrance of Kim Bascom
Fred & Sharyn Philcox in remembrance of loved ones
Peter & Yvette Kite in remembrance of Winifred & George Kite and Denis Graves
Bob & Anne Deysher in remembrance of Lila & Paul Deysher; Marguerite & John Meyer
Greg & Diana Michel in remembrance of the Michel and Meek families
Cindy Day in remembrance of Amy Bartlett Hewitt
Fr. Jesse & Alison Abell in remembrance of Anthony & Pauline Martorano,
Helen Cosgrave Abell, Herman & Rose Abell, John & Anna McCullough,
Karen Catallozzi in remembrance of Caroline Labosky and Joseph Catallozzi
Frank Stille in remembrance of Franz & Marie Stille
Deane, Peggy & Kim Yankee in remembrance of George Bullard, Deane & Marie Yankee
PERSONAL PARISH EVENTS:
Please remember our parish members who are celebrating birthdays or an anniversary in the coming week:
Max Verheijen, Fran Sellar and Geoff and Linda Underwood
A LITTLE FOOD FOR THOUGHT
It has been very easy to recognize God at work in these past few weeks. Stories of folks critically ill and being in ICU units recovering and going home; the hard work of thousands of medical/emergency personnel risking their own lives in our hospitals and emergency rooms; the vast quantities of food that have been donated, packaged, and distributed to those in need. All of these examples are a dramatic and very visible display of God’s working in the world around us. But Anne Deysher reminds us that God is present in every aspect of our lives and makes himself visible to us in so many quiet ways, in the silence as well as the storms.
“…as part of my Lenten discipline I pledged to reach out to someone each day by email, note or call, starting with my siblings. Then came the pandemic and suddenly we were experiencing Lent on steroids! I keep thinking of and praying for those who are alone, lonely, vulnerable, brokenhearted, and those whom I miss as we engage in physical distancing.
I have asked God to let me know whom I should contact each day, and I have never been let down. Often by bedtime, names pop into my mind and heart, and I touch base with them the following day. Some people talk about being bored during our enforced isolation, but I am finding the days fly by as I keep in touch with folks I care about.
I think that I may carry on this Lenten discipline (but happily add back in the things I have given up) after Easter as we continue to live in isolation as my little way of helping during this distressing time. God is certainly at work.”
(Do you have a story of God working in your lives during this pandemic? Words of encouragement are always needed so please forward your stories along to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can all see and appreciate God’s powerful and infinite love working in the world.)
The use of virtual meeting apps may remain a part of our lives even when everything returns to normal. It certainly has been a tremendous help during these past few weeks to use here at St. Stephen’s as we have worshipped virtually, had vestry meetings and EFM meetings. Sara Regan, who has been putting together all of the Sunday morning service slides, could use a backup, however. She is very willing to help teach anyone who is interested in learning how to use Zoom and interested in helping the parish out during the remainder of the pandemic. Sara can be reached at email@example.com. Who knows, we may all be having family reunions via Zoom in the future and this would be a great tool to use!!!
VBS (Vacation Bible School) registration is now going on. If interested, an online registration form can be found on the VBS Facebook page: Westboro Ecumenical VBS or mail-in forms can be found by clicking:
‘Vacation Bible School’ at https://www.goodshepherdcares.org/education/
For questions, please contact Suzanne Gillam at firstname.lastname@example.org
HELP HUNGRY FAMILIES: A number of families in Westborough are food insecure and struggling at this time. You can help by donating Stop & Shop gift cards ($25 denomination, preferred) to the Church. Already over the past week, St. Stephen’s has distributed over $500 in gift cards to local families to help with groceries.
CHAPEL OPEN FOR PRAYER: The side chapel is open for prayer 24/7, although the doors to the nave and chancel are shut and locked. Please enter through the small exterior red door, found on the small walkway. Volunteers go in regularly throughout the week to clean and disinfect surfaces and doorways.
VIRTUAL EASTER BIBLE STUDY: During Easter season, we will gather on Zoom on Wednesday mornings at 10am, to study the Resurrection appearances of Jesus. Join us through Zoom (www.zoom.us), Meeting #431 816 9467 / Password: 5083664134. Contact Fr. Jesse (email@example.com) if you have questions.
FUNERALS DURING COVID EMERGENCY: New recommendations on funerals have come out from the Diocese and the Massachusetts Council of Churches following collaborative work with the Commonwealth’s Health Officials. Here are the highlights:
- Funeral planning will be done via phone (or Zoom, Facebook, etc.)
- Only a private, outdoor, graveside ceremony is possible during this health crisis. Only immediate family may attend, and family are limited to 10 persons, who are to observe social distancing space.
- A more public memorial service may be scheduled with the church for a time after the health emergency has ended.
NOTE FROM TREASURER: Our treasurers have encouraged us not to forget church contributions, as much as we are able. This time of home isolation will be economically challenging for many, including churches and nonprofits. You can give online at www.ststeph.com/give