St. Stephen the First Martyr Orthodox Church

A growing community of Orthodox Christians

The Witness 10/17-10/25

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Services are live streamed at: and

Saturday, Oct. 17, 6:30pm Vespers

Sunday, Oct. 18, 10am Divine Liturgy (9:40am Hours)

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 7am Divine Liturgy

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 6:30pm Canon for Racial Reconciliation

Thursday, Oct. 22, 10am Divine Liturgy

Saturday, October 24, 6:30pm Vespers

Sunday, October 25, 10am Divine Liturgy (9:40am Hours)


Morning (Third Hour) Prayers offered by Fr. Joel on the livestream Monday-Friday 9am on the Facebook Livestream. A daily scripture reading, reflection, and special petitions are also offered.

Outdoor Fellowship Hour today following Liturgy (weather permitting)

Luke 8:5-15 (Gospel)

“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?” And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’ Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

2 Corinthians 11:31-12:9 (Epistle)

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands. It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows – such a one was caught up to the third heaven.

And I know such a man – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows – how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Tone 2 Troparion (Resurrection)

When You descended to death, O Life Immortal,

You destroyed hell with the splendor of Your Godhead.

And when from the depths You raised the dead,

all the powers of heaven cried out://

“O Giver of life, Christ our God, glory to You!”

Tone 5 Troparion (St. Luke)

Let us praise with sacred songs the holy Apostle Luke,

the recorder of the joyous Gospel of Christ

and the scribe of the Acts of the Apostles;

for his writings are a testimony of the Church of Christ.

He is the physician of human weaknesses and infirmities.

He heals the wounds of our souls,//

and constantly intercedes for our salvation.

Tone 2 Kontakion (Resurrection)

Hell became afraid, O almighty Savior,

seeing the miracle of Your Resurrection from the tomb!

The dead arose! Creation, with Adam, beheld this and rejoiced with You,//

and the world, my Savior, praises You forever.

Tone 2 Kontakion (St. Luke)

Let us praise the godly Luke;

he is the true preacher of piety,

the orator of ineffable mysteries

and the star of the Church,

for the Word, Who alone knows the hearts of men,//

chose him, with the wise Paul, to be a teacher of the Gentiles!