Announcement: A few words on Operation Christmas Boxes & The Food and Blanket Drive from the Senior Warden



In late September, I provided the congregations with 25 Operation Christmas Child Boxes. After being blessed at the altar during the 11/13 10:30AM service, I delivered 15 boxes to the drop off trailer in front of the First Christian Church, Sierra Vista. There were 5 empty boxes in the entry way on Monday, leaving 5 still out.   I asked for those still out to be return to the drop off trailer before 3PM Monday November 21. One of those boxes appeared on the church pew sometime after that date. It will be held in storage to be delivered next year. Thank you to all who filled a box and ensured a child in one of the 3rd world countries will have a gift this year. The missionaries who deliver them report how excited both children their parents are when the truckload of Christmas boxes arrive. These are children of God who have not yet learned of their Savior, Jesus Christ. They are given simple, in their own language, books to learn about God and Jesus. Their “Sunday School” teaches them and in time they receive a diploma and are baptized. After that they go on to be confirmed and often bring their friends and more family members to attend the classes. Whole villages are receiving the Good News for the first time.

Please remember the world’s children when saying your daily prayers.

Blessings to all, Dottie Gutwein, Senior Warden


San Carlos Apache Food & Blanket Delivery – Bylas, AZ

November 18 & 19, 2016

With much gratitude to everyone who contributed to our Thanksgiving food and blanket drive, I offer the following information:

All Saints Episcopal Church, Safford, AZ, Mindy Weisser-Lee (director for the annual food drive for Bylas area) had obtained 35 family names from the Community Health Center staff. We set up tables and the cases of food outside the Thriftee Food Store in Safford. Boxes showing the areas of Bylas and family code #’s were carried along the tables by 6 packers. There were 3 young people and 2 members of All Saints Church and myself. Mindy and her husband, Ken, oversaw the production line. Rev. Allison Cornell, interim vicar for All Saints, and a visitor from California explained to shoppers who approached our work area asking questions. They also had a Donation Jar for folks to contribute toward the December Delivery. A reporter from the local newspaper, Northeast Courier, interviewed our group and took pictures for the next week’s edition. Through the generosity of St. Stephen’s Church, I delivered 50 blankets and 70 knit hats and scarfs. After all the vehicles making delivery on Saturday were loaded with grocery boxes, we all retired to All Saints church for a soup and salad supper provided by Mindy and Ken. The blankets and hats had been sorted into bags for delivery by name and area and stored in the church hall. On Saturday morning, all drivers arrived at church to pick up the frozen turkeys and bags of blankets/hats for each of the families on their delivery list.

In convoy, we headed to the Community Center at Bylas, met with our individual guides and took off to make deliveries. By noon everyone had finished, dropped off the guides and headed home. It is always such a pleasure to meet the families and see the faces of the children when they see their feast food and warm blankets/hats arrive. An extra blessing, on top of Rev. Allison’s prayer and blessing over the food boxes and blanket/hat bags, came as we were working in front of the store. A shopper recognized Ken from his “before retirement” job. She had connections to the local United Way foundation. Apparently, the organization had written a check for $2500.00 for another group in Safford who wanted to do a similar food delivery. The organization never picked it up and they were not able to reach them. The lady told us that she would drop off the form to request the grant and that if returned to her, signed by Rev. Allison, she would see to it that All Saints receive the $2500.00. It can then be used for the December food drive, along with individual monetary contributions.

The next delivery will be December 16/17. It would be wonderful to be able to include more used, clean blankets or sleeping bags with the already promised hats/scarfs when I leave early 12/16 to return to Safford. The thrift stores around town are a good place to shop for blankets. They may be left on the side pews and will be blessed at the altar Sunday December 11.

Thank you, Dottie Gutwein, Senior Warden


Announcement: Missing Christmas Child Shoe boxes

Urgent message to those who did not return their operation Christmas child shoe box

I have delivered 14 boxes.  There are 5 boxes missing.  Please take your box to the drop off trailer in front of First Church of Christ, corner of HWY90 and Kings Blvd.  (There are signs in front of the church and on the trailer.)  Just tell the folks there that you are with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.  They are accepting the boxes every day this week  until Monday 11/21.


Thank you, Dottie G.

Announcement: Post Election Message from Bishop Smith



Note: The following information is presented in English and Spanish
Aviso: La siguiente información se presenta en inglés y en español


November 9, 2016

Dear Colleagues in Ministry,
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” — 1 John 4:18
In the last few hours, we have all felt the ground shift beneath us with the results of the Presidential election. For about half our population, the unexpected results were greeted with jubilation, for the other half with dismay and disbelief. No matter what our position, we can all agree that this election has taken place against a background of fear. For many of those supporting Mr. Trump, there was much anxiety about being overwhelmed by outside forces threatening their families and way of life. Now after the election, supporters of Mrs. Clinton worry about the loss of gains they may have towards a more just society. And everyone, it seems, is anxious about what exactly is going to happen next!
Our faith, of course, has something to say about our fears. We remember first as Christians that our ultimate allegiance is not to any candidate or political party (none of whom can ultimately save us) but to Jesus. He is not president, but Lord. The perfect love he shows us means that we need to be especially aware of, and responsive to, the anxiety that is around us. We must face the fearfulness that is within us, remembering that God is always by our side, no matter what happens. We must also remember to reach out those who may be feeling especially vulnerable right now: Muslims, African-Americans, Hispanics, the LGBT community, women, and others.
I think we can all agree that during the past months, “our better angels” were not always at work. We all were swayed by rhetoric that had more to do with character assassination than with issues.
My prayer is that we begin to move on, not dismissing our fears, but not being overcome by them either, which will only leave us cynical, angry, and detached from the political process.
Whatever side we may be on, we now have the chance to prove to our divided nation that there is common ground to be found in our ministry! We do that through the simple, but courageous, acts of love and compassion that we show to our families, our congregations, and our neighborhoods.
Please know that my prayers continue for all of you, for our church, and for our country.

[I would also commend to you the video from our Presiding Bishop, which may be found here.]


Noviembre 9, 2016
Estimados colegas en el Ministerio,
“1Donde hay amor no hay miedo. Al contrario, el amor perfecto echa fuera el miedo.” – 1 Juan 4:18
En las últimas horas, todos hemos sentido el cambio de terreno bajo nuestros pies con los resultados de la elección presidencial. Para la mitad de nuestra población, los resultados inesperados fueron recibidos con júbilo, para la otra mitad con consternación e incredulidad. No importa cuál sea nuestra posición, todos podemos estar de acuerdo en que esta elección ha tenido lugar en un contexto de miedo. Para muchos de los que apoyaban al Sr. Trump, había mucha ansiedad por verse abrumados por fuerzas externas que amenazaban a sus familias y su modo de vida. Ahora, después de las elecciones, los partidarios de la Sra. Clinton se preocupan por la pérdida de ganancias que pudieron haber tenido para una sociedad más justa. Y todo el mundo, al parecer, está ansioso acerca de lo que exactamente va a suceder en el futuro!
Nuestra fe, por supuesto, tiene algo que decir acerca de nuestros miedos. Recordemos primero como cristianos que nuestra máxima lealtad no es a ningún candidato o partido político (ninguno de los cuales puede salvarnos en última instancia), sino a Jesús. No es presidente, sino Señor. El amor perfecto que nos muestra significa que necesitamos estar especialmente conscientes de la ansiedad que nos rodea y responder a ella. Debemos enfrentar el temor que hay dentro de nosotros, recordando que Dios está siempre a nuestro lado, pase lo que pase. También debemos recordar a quienes ahora se sienten especialmente vulnerables: los musulmanes, los afroamericanos, los hispanos, la comunidad LGBT, las mujeres y otros.
Creo que todos estamos de acuerdo en que durante los últimos meses, “nuestros mejores ángeles” no siempre estaban en el trabajo. Todos estábamos influenciados por la retórica que tenía más que ver con la difamación de personajes que discutir los problemas cotidianos.
Mi oración es que comencemos a seguir adelante, no descartando nuestros temores, pero sin ser vencido por ellos tampoco, lo que sólo nos dejará cínicos, enojados y separados del proceso político. Cualquiera que sea nuestro lado, ahora tenemos la oportunidad de probar a nuestra nación dividida que hay un terreno común que se encuentra en nuestro ministerio. Lo hacemos a través de los actos de amor y compasión, sencillos pero valiosos que mostramos a nuestras familias, a nuestras congregaciones y a nuestros vecindarios.
Por favor, sepan que mis oraciones continúan para todos ustedes, para nuestra iglesia y para nuestro país.

[También les recomiendo el video de nuestro Obispo Presidente, el cual puede encontrarse aquí.]



The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, 114 W. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003-1406
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News: ENS Video: Presiding Bishop calls for prayer for Standing Rock Sioux Nation / Episcopal congregations, community partners build affordable housing


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November 2, 2016


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Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has issued an invitation for prayers for the people of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and all those gathered in support of the advocacy efforts on Thursday, Nov. 3, at noon local time.

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