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Faure’s Requiem Featured in All Saints Service

This year on November 6th, St. Stephen will commemorate its faithful departed at our annual service of remembrance. Services like these are held in Christian churches of varied denominations all around the world, typically occurring around the feast of All Saints, at the beginning of November. Halloween is indelibly linked to this feast, as its original monicker – All Hallows’ Eve – attests. In addition to the annual reading of the church necrology, the choir will this year present within the typical framework of the service Gabriel Fauré’s poignant Requiem in a “chamber” version for organ, harp, violin, and cello. I am excited by this for a number of reasons, but none more than the opportunity it affords us to experience a work most generally known through concerts and recordings in its original, liturgical, setting. Fauré composed the Requiem while the Master of Choirs at the Parisian Church of The Madeline – where, incidentally, the great virtuoso and composer Camille Saint-Saens was organist. In its earliest version, the work is very much on a small, “church service” scale, and Fauré was to considerably alter, expand, and orchestrate it over the decade which followed. Regardless of the version (which is somewhat remarkable, considering the grandeur of the version for full orchestra), the piece is imbued with a gentle quality not conventional for the time, but emulated by later disciples (most notably in the unsurpassable Requiem of 20th century organist and composer Maurice Duruflé). It will be a truly special service, and I commend it to you. Please do not miss this special day in the life of St. Stephen!

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Post-Election Prayer Service of Healing and Hope For Our Nation

St. Stephen invites you to join us after the polls close at 7 pm,  November 8, for a thirty minute service of meditation, prayers and music in our main sanctuary. We will thank God for the gift of citizenship and express our confidence that our nation’s future is in God’s hands; and we will pray for reconciliation and the welfare of this nation we cherish.  We hope that you will join us.

St. Stephen Hosts World AIDS Day Service

The United Nations has declared every December 1 as an international observance of World AIDS Day, to increase public awareness and action around this deadly disease. Last year, a consortium of local congregations and faith leaders hosted the first World AIDS Day service at Broadway Baptist Church. This year’s service will be at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church. The service will offer inspiring music and St. Stephen’s outstanding choir, led by Organist and Director of Music Ministries Mitchell Crawford. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Cheryl McDonald, a local physician who specialized in infectious diseases and is the current President of the Board of Directors at the AIDS Outreach Center.

Participating faith representatives include Broadway Baptist, Brite Divinity School, and several congregations representing many denominations. This year we are partnering with RESULTS (www.results.org), a bipartisan advocacy organization that has been combating the effects of global poverty for over 35 years.

Why Give to St. Stephen?

By: Fritz Ritsch

This time of year, St. Stephen’s grounds are blooming, and it’s not unusual to see some dedicated vol-unteers in sun-hats and gloves working away in the hot sun to take care of our beautiful plants. Many of those volunteers are actually master gardeners, and they have not only maintained our grounds but actually are responsible for many of the plants and flowers that grace our campus. Our neighbors consider St. Stephen’s grounds a place to rest and relax, to sit and have lunch, to walk their pets, or to walk our labyrinth.

Our nearly seven acres of property are valued by both our members, friends, and neighbors. But be-yond the visible work of volunteers and professionals who help maintain the yard, there are a lot of invisible ways we keep our campus beautiful. In 2016, the Property Committee budgeted $11,495 to grounds expense. That covers hiring greens-keepers, buying plants and equipment, and so on. How-ever, that’s just the beginning.

We have budgeted $4600 for lawn irrigation–essentially using and maintaining our sprinkler system–and $14,000 total water expenses for the year, which includes both indoor and outdoor water use. Your generous pledge is essential to keeping St. Stephen’s grounds a beautiful as our magnificent building deserves!

Making Acquaintance

By: Mitchell Crawford

How do you get to know someone? It occurs to me the vast majority of relationships we cultivate are interper-sonal in nature. We meet and get to know someone through conversation, through shared experiences. We find common ground. At the root of interpersonal relations is communication: when getting to know someone, we tell others about ourselves and they reciprocate. The experience is shared.

While this is perhaps the most common way to know someone, it’s not the only way. I recall a time when I read composer biography after composer biography in an attempt to assimilate as much knowledge of classical music as I could. It was fascinating. I loved learning about the impulses which ignited the creative process. I delighted in descriptions of places I’d never seen, and of times and conventions which seemed altogether to have vanished. This too, is a way to know someone: after reading a biography, I felt as though I had some small inkling of what Chopin or Beethoven or Liszt or Bach might have been like. We’d never met, but I felt as though the amalgamation of documents and contemporary sources – letters, newspaper articles, reminiscences – gave me some insight into who they were, what they were like.

This past month, I’ve been getting to know Mark Scott. Over the course of his career, Mark amassed a remarkable amount of music and books, a testament to his intellectual capacity and thirst for knowledge. Just here at the church, one can find books in the music office on subjects ranging from Gregorian Chant to African American Spirituals, from shape-note singing to Anglican psalmody, from Presbyterian history and polity to manuals on organ building and design. There are books on church architecture, theology, biographies of renowned composers and organists, reference books, and hymnals from every denomination. The collection is both substantial and impressive, a great literary edifice, built with books instead of bricks.

I never met Mark, but in some ways, I feel as though I have. Of course, it helps that so many of his friends and colleagues have graciously offered reminiscences and memories – everyone has a classic Mark Scott story, and I assure you he had no shortage of admirers! – but beyond these, I feel as though I’ve learned about him simply exploring his

library here at church, an enduring record of his remarkable tenure at St. Stephen. Two themes emerge: first, he was committed to the church. Second, he was devoted to music.

As I wind down my first month at St. Stephen, sitting in the office he occupied for decades, I am grateful for Mark Scott and his legacy. I am reminded of Jesus’ parable, found in the Gospels of both Matthew and Luke, about building on solid ground. Jesus says, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” [Matthew 7: 24–27]

Friends, the music program here at St. Stephen is built on solid ground. As I begin my tenure at this glorious church and with this loving congregation, my hope is to continue to build on that strong foundation. Praise be to God!

Eddie’s Picks-Kevin Durant

If there is one thing we know about Eddie Shaw, our Sexton, it is he is an expert in all sports. His opinion is always great and fun, so we figured why not share his wealth of knowledge with his own sports column, Eddie’s Picks! Don’t know much about sports? Don’t worry, Eddie always explains the basics before getting into the nitty gritty of things. This week he shared why people care so much about Kevin Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team for the Golden State Warriors.

 

Interviewer: I don’t know much about sports, but I have seen everywhere on social media people freaking out about Kevin Durant. Why is that?

 

Eddie Shaw (ES): Well, Kevin Durant was on the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team for about nine years. All of a sudden, he decides to switch to the Golden State Warriors. People are upset because they think he isn’t being faithful to his team and is kind of being a traitor.

 

Interviewer: Why do you think he switched?

 

ES: He said he did it because it was “a better opportunity” and he has a better chance at a [championship] ring. Personally, I think he did it for the money.

 

Interviewer: What do you think he should have done?

 

ES: I think he should have stayed. You have to be loyal to your town. That is why all my favorite sports teams are from Dallas or TCU.

 

Interviewer: The name Steph Curry comes up a lot when talking about basketball and he is on the Golden State Warriors too. Do you think together they will be unstoppable?

 

ES: I, for sure, think they are a good balance for each other. But I don’t think the team is guaranteed the championship this next season. It will still be anyone’s game to win the ring.

 

Interviewer: So, what team would you pick to win, the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Golden State Warriors?

 

ES: Neither because I pick the Dallas Mavericks. They aren’t going to win, but unlike Kevin Durant, I am faithful to my city!

STEPHEN MISSION TRIP CELEBRATION IN WORSHIP

STEPHEN MISSION TRIP

CELEBRATION IN WORSHIP

31 JULY 2016

COME, GATHER IN THE CROSSING

SEATED UNDER THE TOWER

11:00 A.M.

Give Thanks to God for

Memories, Insights, Contributions, Generosity, and Talents

Warner Bailey, preaching

(8:30 A.M. service in West Transept)

Youth Mission Trip Sentiments

The Youth and Sponsors of St. Stephen sincerely thank our many Mission Stockholders, Garage Sale helpers, and Vacation Bible School partakers.  Without you, we would not have the opportunity to go forth and do God’s work in the world!  This year in South Dakota at a Presbyterian Camp and in rural Whitewood where we’re hoping to transform lives in VBS.

 

We are humbled at your generosity and hope to make you proud of our work.

 

Thank you,

 

Youth Participants: Julie Grose
Mitch Overton
Nick Etheridge
Madie Russell
Jessica Grose
Sam Etheridge
Sam Ingram
Elise Harris
Hunter Foy
Landry Foy
Sydney Robertson
Aviana Staples
Joseph Lincoln
Trinity Hinckley
Savannah Keith
Alex Etheridge
Bonnie Chappell
 

Adults:

Todd Overton
Shari Lincoln
Eduardo Calderon
Wendy Larmour
Dan Fergus
Tommy Wadley
Kate Russell
Cynthia Etheridge
Sharon Curry
Beth Fultz