St Stephens Anglican Church, Fillmore, California

News from St. Stephens

"I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." Luke 15:18,19

Quinquagesima, the Sunday next before Lent

Sunday February 26, 2017 is Quinquagesima
Wednesday March 1, 2017 is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent

Services are held: Sunday, at 9:30 a.m.

(Please Call (805) 524-1697 or e-mail for further information and location.

The Collect for Sexagesima

O Lord God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 13:1, page 122
Gospel: St. Luke 18:31, page 123

You will find the text of these lessions as well as the Collect of the Day, the minor propers and sermons at Lectionary Central.

Church Terminology


The Sunday next before Lent, the name meaning "fiftieth" because it is the fiftieth day before Easter. It is sometimes called "Charity Sunday" because the Epistle is 1st Corinthians 13 and the Collect Prays for "Charity".

Ash Wednesday

The shelf or table made of wood or stone at the side of the Sanctuary upon (Color, Violet) - The first day of Lent recalling our Lord's victorious overcoming of temptation in the wilderness.are placed the Elements of the Holy Communion preparatory to their Consecration.

Crosier or Crozier

Image result for metropolotian cross(Old French for "Cross-bearer) -The person who carries the Archbishop's Cross (in the Church of England); The official Staff itself, carried by a "chaplain" before an archbishop, terminating in a cross with two horizontal bars, to be distinguished from the Pastoral Staff of a bishop, although both are emblematic of pastoral authority.

Pastoral Staff

The official Staff, carried on or before a bishop, terminating in a shepherd's crook, in token of his pastoral authoriy, for the Bishop by his Consecration is to "be a Shepherd of the flock of Christ, not a wolf," he is to feed them and devour them not." (Prayer Book Page 558)




Facebook Page For St. Stephens

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ACA Web Site

Anglican Church in AmericaThe Anglican Church in America, the ACA, has a new web address: If you have bookmarked the ACA web site in your web browser, you should consider updating it to this address.

Be a beacon of His love and redeeming power, to a world dark and in pain.


"Small numbers make no difference to God. There is nothing small if God is in it."

Your prayers are important and do make a difference. If you know of anybody who is interested in being part of building Christ's Body, within a traditional Anglican Church, please tell them about St.Stephens and ask them to contact me. I would be pleased to call on anyone who might be interested.

If you have any pastoral requests or needs, please contact me, at (805) 524-1697 or at

Your Servant in Christ

Fr. Bob Hammond

Food for Thought

"I'm not a man who constantly thinks up jokes. But I think it's very important to be able to see the funny side of life and its joyful dimension and not to take everything too tragically. I'd also say it's necessary for my ministry. A writer once said that angels can fly because they don't take themselves too seriously. Maybe we could also fly a bit if we didn't think we were so important."

— Pope Benedict XVI


The film Chocolat is based on the book of the same name. The film relates the story of a small French town during Lent. Everyone is trying hard to avoid rich foods but what should open at the same time? A chocolate shop. It is agony to walk past the shop with its velvety chocolate smells. You can’t help but think that the townsfolk had missed the point – especially when one of the most self-righteous characters breaks into the shop and gorges on the chocolates inside.

Lent is not about that kind of ‘self-denial.’ There is very little value in simply giving up stuff! It's about giving stuff. Namely, the giving of your life to Christ. Giving up stuff for Lent, as the rest of the New Testament reminds us, does not really achieve anything.

— John Woods, Adapted from “Tests of Life”

Our Everyday Life Isn’t Everyday

When middle C is struck on the piano the piston of bones in your inner ear vibrates exactly 256 times a second. Each day you think about 50,000 different thoughts. When you flex your hand you are using seventy different muscles. On the surface of your body there are as many bacteria as there are people on the surface of the earth. (I should have skipped that one.) The mystery of your birth, the mystery of the love you feel, the mystery of the deepest part of you are all most improbable. You are an incredible contingency.

Sam Keen wrote, "I suspect that we are all recipients of cosmic love notes. Messages, omens, voices, revelations, and appeals are all part of each day’s events. If only we know how to listen, to read the signs." Our everyday life isn’t every day. The surface of what we see and hear isn’t all there is. When you laugh, when you cry, when you feel something happening inside, open yourself to the possibilities. The potential of the life that we have been given is breathtaking. Open your eyes. Listen carefully. Pay attention.

— Brett Younger, Glimpses of Glory

A Walking Children's Sermon

The Rev. Timothy J. Kennedy tells a wonderful true story that is perfect for Ash Wednesday. It was told to him by a colleague, Pastor Chris Mietlowski. It concerned a baptism that Mietlowski once performed on an infant named Eric. Mietlowski took Eric in his arms and traced the cross of Christ on Eric's forehead using a special anointing oil.

Following worship, Eric's family celebrated with a big backyard party. Family and friends ate burgers and chips and played volleyball under a summer sun. Eric, being only six months old, was left to nap in his backyard stroller. When Mom got him up, whoops. Basted on Eric's forehead was the image of the cross. Mom had forgotten to wash Eric's face following his baptism, and the oil that the pastor had traced onto his forehead acted the opposite of a sun screen. The Cross of Christ was imprinted on Eric's forehead. "For several weeks until it completely disappeared," says Rev. Kennedy, "that cross was a wonderful reminder as to the meaning of Baptism and a reminder that the Cross of Jesus was 'written' upon Eric's forehead."

And what a powerful witness it was, says Rev. Kennedy. "Eric's Mom and Dad had to explain the cross to the pediatrician, to the neighbors, to the stranger in the grocery store. For a few weeks, Eric was nothing less than a [living] children's sermon. It was only a bit of a sunburn to be sure, but [it was] the best basting a child can have to be marked with the cross of Christ! And why not? That cross is to be the foundation of that child's life."

If I read the little book of Joel right, God's desire is not that we wear a cross on our forehead, but that it be basted on our hearts. "Rend your heart and not your garments," says Joel 2:23. That's much harder to do, isn't it? It's much easier to rend your clothes than to rend your heart. It's much easier to wear a cross around your neck than it is to bear it daily in everything you do.

— Timothy J. Kennedy, adapted by King Duncan

Posted  25 February 2017 at 1137 PST