Anamchara Fellowship

On September 23 and 24, 2017, St. Stephens had the pleasure of receiving a visit from Sister Amelie Jeanine as part of the Anamchara Fellowship. She says:

Ever wonder about how a Celtic monastic order blends in with the Episcopal Church in Montana.  I wondered just that 5 years ago when I went to convention and learned of the Anamchara Fellowship.  Since then I chose to explore more and in June of 2013 chose to begin the journey of reflection, devotion and education to became a novice in the order.  I completed the requirements to be professed and celebrated this during our annual gathering in May of 2015.  I am presently the Prior of the Killeedy Priory here in Montana.  There are currently 9 Priories that reach from Southern California to Lewis Isles Scotland.  The house of Bishops recognizes our dispersed order and a visiting Bishop guides us in our fellowship.  I encourage anyone in our diocese who is interested in furthering their faithful walk to join me.  You can find more information on our website http://www.anamcharafellowship.org

Sincerely,
Sister Amelie Jeanine Lee
Saint Pauls of the Stillwater
Absarokee Montana

It was a pleasure having Sister Amelie Jeanine preach during our services!

Episcopalians and Baseball

On Tuesday, August 8, members of our St. Stephens community attended a Billings Mustangs game at Dehler Park in Billings. Joan Yetter, our interim rector, has a particular interest in the Mustangs. She serves as the “host mom” for two Mustang players from the Dominican Republic!

Children’s Movie Night

On Friday, July 14, St. Stephens hosted a movie night for children. Six kids and four adults gathered to eat pizza and popcorn, and to watch The Incredibles. A good time was had by all!

Visit from Bishop Gallagher

On Father’s Day, June 18 (Pentecost 2), St. Stephens was pleased to welcome The Rt. Rev. Carol Gallagher, Assistant Bishop from the Dioceses of Montana and The Episcopal Church’s Bishop for Native American Ministries. After presiding at our 5:00 p.m. service on Saturday, and the 9:15 service on Sunday, Bishop Gallagher blogged about the Gospel lesson in the lectionary (Luke 20:9-19):

Jesus began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another slave; that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. And he sent still a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Heaven forbid!” But he looked at them and said, “What then does this text mean: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people. Luke 20:9-19

I am always amazed when people who been entrusted with the care of people, decide that they are going to take the place of family. That they deserve to be family even when they are not. Maybe, we in the church are in danger of this, since we like to refer to clergy as father and mother. Many of us have needed foster Moms and Dad, as well as grandparents. But boundaries are important, and knowing to whom we belong is essential. Religious leaders, all of us, lay and ordained alike, are workers in the fields, servants of the people.

In our gospel today Jesus angers the religious authority by telling a tale, a story about greed and hubris. Two things we humans are too easily persuaded by. We easily think we are better than others and more deserving. We imagine ourselves kings and queens. We are invited today to remember that we are mere servants, workers in the vineyard of the Lord.

Today, I ask God to help me remember the many blessings I have received and be humble and grateful in all that I do. May our hearts be so moved by love and compassion, that we might know our roles and be grateful for the blessings in the vineyard.