Festival of Lessons and Carols

St. Stephen’s Anglican Church Music Director, Jeffrey Jones produces amazing results by combining joyful voices, handbells, piano, organ and a variety of musical instruments.

Professional actor, Maureen Jones, brings the language of the nine lessons to life.

This really is the most wonderful time of year – all are welcome to join us in celebration of the Advent season with our annual Carol Service. This is a free event; people may choose to make a donation as they leave.

Newcomer Support Team (NeST) Update for Dec 2017

The refugee family we are sponsoring has now experienced a taste of Canadian winter! Walking on ice is taking some adjustment but they remain positive and open to new experiences. They really enjoyed attending their first live hockey game as part of a birthday celebration last month. We hope to plan skating, tobogganing and cross-country skiing outings with them once winter returns. Both adults continue to dedicate themselves to their full time English studies which are going very well. On his own initiative, last month Khalil started part-time weekend work at a restaurant.

There are some significant expenses on the horizon for the New Year, most notably urgent dental work for which we’ve been told there is no IRCC health plan funding. This has been a common experience for many Syrian refugees and their sponsors. Your ongoing donations to help cover such extraordinary costs are appreciated.

NeST is always happy to welcome new team members, and the family is open and eager to make social connections to practice their English and build vocabulary. Contact Barb Driftmier if you’d like to be a part of the adventure either as a team member or making a more casual connection with the family.

This Week: “There Is No Christmas Story” [December 17th, 2017]

Most people are now aware that there is no Christmas story. You knew this, right? There are only fragments drawn from various prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures, and unconnected stories pieced together from the gospels.

Those Hebrew prophecies were not actually referring to the birth of Jesus, and those gospel fragments contain details that differ wildly from each other. Not only that, but the earliest Christian witnesses-the apostle Paul and the author of the Gospel according to Mark-those closest to the time of Jesus’ birth-say nothing about it at all. So either they knew nothing about it, or they didn’t consider what they knew worth sharing.

But stitched together, these fragments create a grand myth we call the Christmas Story. Despite the unlikelihood that any of it actually happened, this story contains a deep and abiding truth, the hope of Christians throughout the ages: that God is born into our midst, and not as a powerful warlord; rather, as a defenseless baby.

Yet this changes everything, even the world itself. For this baby toppled the Roman Empire and, to this day, strikes fear in the hearts of despots and tyrants. We know that God resides in the corners of our own lives, requiring both our tender care of this divine presence, and also our strong reliance upon it in times of need.

Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players – Exultate! Rejoice!

Come and help us celebrate the light that shines in the darkness! Katie Partridge is a member of Luminous Voices and an early-music specialist. With this concert, she steps into the spotlight as a concert soloist, bringing to life the music of Hildegard von Bingen.and Monteverdi’s Laudate Dominum, perfect music for the beautiful sanctuary acoustic of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church. Accompaning by the brilliant Calgary organist Chellan Hoffman, and John van Leeuwen performing on Baroque oboe d’amore.

The Players, our core of early-music instrumentalists, will also be featured brightly in this concert. St. Stephen’s will ring with the sounds of recorders, shawms, harpsichord, bells, drums, and viol, enticing some Renaissance dancers to kick up their heels for a joyful moment or two