Mother Donna's Sermon 5/10/2020
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Delivered By
The Reverend Donna Steckline
Delivered On
May 10, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Christ Church

Gilbertsville, New York



“We will demonstrate God’s unconditional love and forgiveness daily, following the example of His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

May 10, 2020

Fifth Sunday of Easter



You are invited to pray the following prayer for the presence of the Holy Spirit:


Come, Holy Spirit, fill the Hearts of Your faithful and kindle in us the Fire of

Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and we shall be recreated-And You will

renew the face of the earth.


O God, Who did instruct the hearts of Your faithful people by the Light of

Your Holy Spirit, grant that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever

rejoice in His consolation. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Our prayer today is that this special time of worship will be a time when you truly

feel closer to God and that through the experience of both Word and Sacrament

you will come into the presence of the saving love of Jesus Christ.







Opening Hymn: B 366 - Holy God We Praise Thy Name

Click on  to listen:


Celebrant Alleluia, Christ is risen!
People the Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!


The Celebrant says:


Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known,

and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our

hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may

perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name;

through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Hymn of Praise: B-S280 Gloria


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Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.


Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.


Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.


For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High,

Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Lord be with you

And also with you

Let us pray:

Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Please be seated for the reading of God’s word

The first reading is from the book of Acts 7:55-60

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”

Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul.

As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

Reader: The Word of the Lord

Response: Thanks be to God


Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16


1 In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;

let me never be put to shame; *

deliver me in your righteousness.


2 Incline your ear to me; *

make haste to deliver me.


3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,

for you are my crag and my stronghold; *

for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.


4 Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *

for you are my tower of strength.


5 Into your hands I commend my spirit, *

for you have redeemed me,

O Lord, O God of truth.

15 My times are in your hand; *

rescue me from the hand of my enemies,

and from those who persecute me.


16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *

and in your loving‑kindness save me.”

The second reading is from 1 Peter 2:2-10

Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. As the Scriptures say,

“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,

chosen for great honor,

and anyone who trusts in him

will never be disgraced.”

Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,

“The stone that the builders rejected

has now become the cornerstone.”


“He is the stone that makes people stumble,

the rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

“Once you had no identity as a people;

now you are God’s people.

Once you received no mercy;

now you have received God’s mercy.”


Reader: The Word of the Lord

Response: Thanks be to God


Sequence Hymn: G 665 - O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee

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The Lord be with you

And also with you

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 14:1-14.


Glory to you Lord Christ

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

Celebrant: The Gospel of the Lord.

People : Praise to you Lord Christ

The Homily : The Reverend Donna Steckline

A moment of silent reflection follows…


As the family of God, together let us profess our faith in the words of the Nicene Creed

(You’re invited to stand) BCP p.358

We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.


We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.



Prayers of the people Form VI


The Leader and People pray responsively

Leader: In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.




Leader: For all people in their daily life and work;

People: For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone.


Leader: For this community, the nation, and the world;

People: For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.


Leader: For the just and proper use of your creation;

People: For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.


Leader: For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;

People: For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy.


Leader: For the peace and unity of the Church of God;

People: For all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the Truth.

Leader: We pray for our Leaders: Michael our Presiding Bishop, William our Bishop, Donna our Priest; for Archbishop Justin and Bishop Moses in South Sudan; for all Bishops, Priests and Deacons and all who are called to your service.

People: For all who serve God in his Church.

Leader: Lord, Guide us at Christ Church as we discern our way forward in search of our new Shepherd. Give us your chosen person to move us forward and prepare the way for them to join in our fellowship.

People: That we may hear and follow your guidance.

Leader: Lord, we ask that you would stop the spread of the Corona virus. Protect all those who respond to the ill, and care for them. Keep us healthy and strong Lord as we follow you. Provide for the necessary equipment, medicines, and supplies to keep everyone safe and healthy. Lord we ask for patience and forbearance as we await the ‘all clear’ to join together again. Give our leaders your discernment in guiding our country.

People: We believe Lord, help our unbelief.


Leader: For the special needs and concerns of this congregation.




Leader: Hear us, Lord;

People: For your mercy is great.

Leader: We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life.




The People may add their own thanksgivings


Leader: We will exalt you, O God our King;

People: And praise your Name for ever and ever.


Leader: We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in

your eternal kingdom.


The People may add their own petitions

Leader: Lord, let your loving‑kindness be upon them;

People: Who put their trust in you.


Lord help us to boldly demonstrate Your unconditional love and forgiveness daily, following the example of Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN


The Celebrant: Almighty and eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully accept the prayers of your people, and strengthen us to do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you.


People And also with you.

The people may greet one another in the name of our Lord


Birthday and Anniversary Celebrations:


Offertory sentence: I appeal to you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)


Offertory Hymn: G 676 O Jesus I Have Promised


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Please remember to mail in your stewardship offerings.

The church needs to maintain our normal operations and without your offerings we will not be able to do so.

Please mail to: Christ Church Po Box 345 Gilbertsville, NY 13776

The celebrant receives the people’s offering as the doxology is sung:


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Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost



All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own have we given you. AMEN

(1 Chronicles 29:14)


And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to pray:


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come

thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty Father, Son and Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you forever. AMEN


Closing Hymn: B 492 - Sing, Ye Faithful, Sing With Gladness


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Celebrant: Alleluia! Alleluia! Let us go forth in the name of Christ.


People: Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!


Bulletin Notices:



May 10, 2020

Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 17, 2020

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Acts 7:55-60

Acts 17:22-31

Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16

Psalm 66:7-18

1 Peter 2:2-10

1 Peter 3:13-22

John 14:1-14

John 14:15-21





When God is with you, you are qualified for your call. When God calls us to go, He is with us, and He is all we need. This is something that we all need to keep in mind as we say farewell to Mother Donna, Kevin, and family. The Steckline’s will certainly be missed. They have devoted over 27 years to Christ Church Gilbertsville. The Holy Spirit led Mother Donna to the priesthood. We have had been blessed to a front row seat at seeing Mother Donna grow from a lay person into our spiritual leader. Kevin has served in many capacities at Christ Church from Vestry Member to providing loving tender care to God’s church through the building and grounds committee.


The Stecklines are answering the call that they received from God to relocate. One could say that they leave big shoes to fill and that Christ Church faces many tough challenges ahead. Again, we must focus on that “When God calls us to go, He is with us, and He is all we need”. On more than one Sunday morning, Mother Donna’s sermon focused on the truth that “The Church” is more than one person or building. We ALL are the church and must do our part as the family of God. Right now, we are not able to worship together due to the pandemic and it has made it difficult. I encourage you to reach out to fellow parishioners, a phone call, text, email or note in the mail can brighten someone’s day. And most importantly pray, God will provide. We are not alone; he is with us.


I know that I am not alone in feeling sad that we are unable to give the Stecklines the sendoff that us Episcopalians are so well known for. For now, I encourage you to drop them a line at their new address: 907 McElwee Rd. Rockbridge Baths VA 24473-2037.


Yes, we do face challenges, but remember: God was—and is and always will be—fully qualified. God is wise enough. Righteous enough. Brave enough. Be open to hear his words and plans for Christ Church Gilbertsville.


For his sake,

Gail Ashley

All Bible Studies, meetings and gatherings are postponed for the indefinite future. Please stay tuned in for further instructions. We will post as we have more information. As we go forward, we will continue to post bulletins with the portion of the service along with music and a sermon or meditation and announcements. Please continue to draw close to God and He will draw close to you. Any questions or needs contact mail Mtr. Donna or the vestry as printed in the bulletin.


Christ Church Weekly Homily and Bulletin:


Fill your spiritual cup - each Sunday morning, Mother Donna’s Homily and the weekly Bulletin will be sent via e-mail, posted to Christ Church website and announced with link on our Facebook page.


If you have trouble opening the attachments in the e-mail, to listen to Mother Donna's homily and view bulletin:

  1. Go to our website:
  2. Click on the Sermons tab
  3. Click on "Mother Donna's Homily for the appropriate date for the sermon you wish to hear.”
  4. Click on the attachment for bulletin



05-10-2020 at 9:37 AM
Carol Angelone
Great being able to worship on line. Thank you
05-10-2020 at 6:00 AM
Mtr. Donna+ & Kevin
Thank you, Gail and Molly, for your kind words. We continue in prayer for God's direction for Christ Church; for empowerment and discernment for the way forward. God Bless you all richly. We'll miss you!
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