Saint Stephens Episcopal Church
Schenectady, New York
January 20, 2008


1. Annual meeting agenda
II. Minutes of the 2007 annual meeting
III. Vestry committee reports
a. Nominations
IV. Taskforces
a. Architectural
b. Communications
V. Parish Council
a. Service
b. Worship
l. Altar Guild
c. Education
1. Youth Groups
VI Rector's Report
Deacon's Report
Senior Warden's Report
VII. Parish statistics
VIII. Financial statements for the year ending 2007
IX.. Budget Presentation
X. Commissioning of New Vestry


Minutes

St. Stephen's Annual Meeting
Call to order at 11 :48 a.m., January 21,2007

Report from Senior Warden: Dave Carroll
Summarized departing Wardens letter
The last couple of years have been tense and chaotic. He is hopeful for our future. We've had lots of activity with our larger endowment. For this we need to be good stewards. We've set up a Trustees group to handle the endowment We've set up a Communication Task Force and an Architectural Task Force. The endowment may help with our architectural plans. With our endowment we also plan to help meet various outside community needs. The Foundation Committee (includes Dave Carroll). There will be an application review for outside community needs. After review those of interest will be passed to vestry for yea or nay.

Report from nominating committee:

Committee nominated:
Ryan Davis as Junior Warden, Glenn Kaler as his replacement on Vestry for the remaining two years.
Tracy Ormsbee, Melinda Renken, and Barbara Wisnom to Vestry.
Susan Feyrer (1 year), Doreen May (2years) and K. Scott Kilbourn (3years) to the newly created Foundation Committee.
Norman Hofmann, J. Keith Nelson, and Dennis Wisnom as delegates to Diocesan Convention with David Carroll as the alternate.

Bruce Tatge moved that the slate be accepted as is. Keith Nelson seconded. Motion carried by unanimous consent.

Conversation:

Father James mentioned the report from the Architectural Task Force was last Sunday.
Barbara Wisnom asked if the meeting could be repeated on account that attendance was hindered by the ice storm. Susan Feyrer replied that a paper copy is available in the parish hall, will be in the February Messenger and is available online.

Financial report: Tim Olsen asked if the Meal Site departure will cause any financial differences. Father J ames replied that no rent was received and there should be a saving in energy costs. Austin Spang seconded the idea that energy cost should be reduced.
It was asked that there be an explanation for the line item of Outreach for 2006 011 the Budget Report. Line item 4007 Plate-Outreach. No dollar amount is budgeted because it is an unknown; but what we get we give out.

Barbara Wisnom noted the proposed pledge budget is $187,500. We are currently in at $185,149 with 112 pledges.
Personnel Committee: Susan Feyrer stated that the committee reviewed goals on January 8 for 2007. Thanks to Grant Jaquith, Norman Hoffman, Marilyn Dare and Steve Ross who served on the committee.

Endowment Trustees report: Dawn Tonneau

Members, Michael Bishop - Chair, Jack Feyrer- Vice Chair, Dawn Tonneau - Treasurer, Susan Townsend - Secretary, Diana Belardo, Michael DeBritz

Vestry has commissioned the Trustees to decide what to do with the money with regard to investing/saving the principle. The charter states specific goals to invest the money. Jack Feyrer compliments Dawn on her book-keeping. Dawn thanks those that came before her. The Trustees met with several financial advisors and chose Fennimore Asset Management Group for $1,000,000.00 of the endowment. They chose them on the basis of their past returns, investment philosophy, and their socially conscious investment strategies. The Trustees are currently discussing whether to hire an independent financial
advisor. The Trustees keep in constant communication with Vestry regarding the status of the endowment and their investment decisions.

Carole Merrill Mazurek asked how the parish can have a say in how the endowment will be spent. Susan Feyrer replied that the easiest way for the parish to have a say is the three parish members that they will vote in for the Foundation Committee. These three will recommend to Vestry how to disseminate the money to the poor and disenfranchised of the community.
The Trustees estimate that about $150,000.00 per year should be available from the endowment.
Mike DeBritz clarified that based on a four to five percent retum on investment, $120,000.00 to $150,000.00 per year should be available.

Chris Jones asked that for every dollar we spend on ourselves that we spend a dollar on the needs of the poor. He drew attention to the Presiding Bishop's letter, seen on-line, that this is our mission.

Susan Feyrer stated that is currently the goal ofthe Vestry. Chris Jones asked that the Vestry publicly (officially) state that as their goal. Dave Carroll stated whenever there is an exceptional need, for example this year $26,000.00 was needed for critical structural needs, the vestry must ask the Trustees for it. He agrees with Chris Jones, it is just a matter of practical considerations. Dave Carroll also stated the need for parishioners to continue their weekly contributions. Barbara Wisnom asked if the $26,000.00 requested could be considered a loan. She also asked how the representatives are to know the parishioner's desires if they don't get input from the congregation? What is the vehicle for communication?

Jack Feyrer stated that the goal should be one dollar to the church, one dollar to the community, however mandating such a ration could put us in a ditch we don't want to be in. On the financial side, the money is only just being invested so that any money eamed won't be available until the end of the year.

Father James noted that the Trustees have worked very hard to get this all together. Mike Bishop as well as the others, Dawn, etc., have put in a tremendous amount of work into arranging this. The Foundation is newer. They are at the beginning of the process. We just voted in the remainder of the committee and now they can get going.

Rosemarie Jaquith asked what the goveming document for the Foundation group is. Stacy DeBritz replied that we would like to do this as we did for the Trustees, a formal Charter. Rosemarie Jaquith comments that we could post this so that people will know what the roles of the Foundation Committee members are. Stacy DeBritz noted that people have passionate ideas of where the money should go in the community. She asks that parishioners write these ideas down and put them in the
Communications book. Carole Merrill Mazurek stated that she feels comfortable with coming together and getting ideas out. She agrees with Barbara Wisnom about the need for getting ideas across to the Foundation. Chris Jones remarked that we need more than just the Communication book to disseminate info!

Allison DeKanel questioned about the Budget Report Expense accounting for the budgeted Diocesan Assessment. Father James responded that it is $30,000. Vestry made a decision to pay to the Diocese only what percent the Diocese pays to the National Church. $7,000 was paid to Diocese, and $23,000 remains in Escrow. This $23,000 is what remains from previous years so that ifthis year the Bishop decides to pay the full assessment to the National Church we could then meet our obligation immediately. However next year's budget would have to increase by $23,000. Marilyn Dare asked where did we get the $10,000 for legal fees two years ago? Father James responded that it was from the Escrow account. This was replaced.

Carole MelTi11 Mazurek noted that the Outreach Committee delivered bags of essentials to the Avenue Nursing Home.
It was asked who is taking food to SICM food pantry? Richey Woodzel1 answered that Rick Morin has been doing this. She noted that we need more volunteers. We also need another delegate for SICM. There is a new bulletin board
in the parish hall devoted to SICM. Please read it over.

Worship Committee Report: Deacon Pat We are trying to make the new worship book user friendly. Our current booklet will be in use until Lent. At that time we will go back to the Prayer Book. A comment was made that we haven't prayed for those executed lately. Deacon Pat noted that there haven't been any executions since November. Marilyn Dare commented that Devon Dare wanted to know why we haven't prayed for the women in jail. Deacon Pat responded that we used to pray for all by name, now there are just too many.

Marilyn Causey asked why we haven't been singing the Irish Blessing. She'd like to see that come back again.
Eunice Chouffi requested that we verbally mention in whose memory the Altar flowers were donated. People want their loved ones remembered and not everyone reads the bulletin.

Librarv Report: Jane Tatge Jane Tatge would like to put library tidbits into the messenger. She wants people to know the dollar amount to replace books if they are lost. She asked for donations of books. These donations could be done commemorating birthdays, anniversaries etcetera.

Church School Report: Riche" WoodzeJ] Linda Emaelaftook this year off after 20 yrs of teaching. Diane Reed is covering for Dave Crates. Susan Townsend is taking the year off after giving so much of her time. Father James noted that when the Children's Sermon ends a great number of children come back to the Parish Hall where there are not just arts and crafts but Biblical teaching as well.

Tim Olsen gave Choir update.

Work Camp: George W'oodzell. If you have the opportunity to give towards Work Camp please do sol!l Super Bow I Subs
will be going on sale next week.Jane Tatge commented that she greatly enjoys the suppers that the kids put on. She noted
that you can't experience the kids through looking at a report, only through watching them.

Messenger Report: Ryan Davis The messenger is always looking for new articles. He noted that they have a group to
overview the layout. They are continually trying to make it better.

Deacon's Report: See handout

Rectors Report: Fro James With regard to the proposal to hire a Christian Ed Coordinator, the Vestry decided that the position should be supported by parishioner's pledges. A search committee has been formed to fill the position. The number of pledges is down but people have given more. Stewardship education should be a priority.
Fr. James commended Dave Carroll on his work.
Fr. James noted that he spends his time with the Trustees, teaching, preaching and in worship. He will attend a three day conference at the Trinity Institute next week as part of professional development. He will attend work camp again this year to connect with our youth. Allison DeKanel asked if the increase in "members in good standing" is noted in the handout.
Father James replied that it is under the "Baptized Member's" row. Father James remarked that the newspaper contacts him for comment regarding the issues with the National Church. He is hopeful for the future of our diocese with the coming of
Bishop Love. He said that there's still work to be done but he thinks 'we have modeled what it means to be a church. He feels very positive on the coming year, especially in regard to relations with the diocese.
The Vestry, Junior Warden, Foundation members and delegates to Diocesan Convention were commissioned.
Father James motioned to adjoum. All seconded the motion. The motion was carried.

The meeting was adjoumed at 1: 15 p.m.
In His servi ce,
Melinda Renken


Vestry Nominations for 2008

The Nominating Committee has presented the following slate of nominees to the Vestry:
Vestry

Rocky BonsaI - 11'. Warden
Peter Nelson
Amy Soule'
Susan Feyrer

Delegates to Diocesan Convention

Norman Hoffmann
Paul deKanel
Dennis Winsom

Alternates

Keith Nelson
Sidney Woodcock
KabbyLowe


Architecture Task Force 3

The third architectural task force (whose members are Michael Bishop, Ryan Davis,
Tracy Ormsbee, Steve Ras, Melinda Renken, and Austin Spang) have held meetings and
conducted site tours with five local architectural firms and received bids from three of the
firms to complete a Feasibility Study for renovating/rebuilding St. Stephen's properties.
We are currently reviewing their bids and hope to make a recommendation to the Vestry
in early 2008.

In addition, the task force has been evaluating the condition of Reid House to detennine
if asbestos is present. That information will be one of the factors in the Feasibility Study
to determine whether the house should repaired or removed.


St. Stephen's Episcopal Church Communications Task Force

Report to Congregation
Annual Meeting - 2008

A report was not submitted to the congregation last year. This is a brief summary of what
occurred in 2006.
The Communications Task Force was formed following the Annual Meeting in 2006.
During 2006, we identified the many ways in which communication is provided to St.
Stephen's members (Messenger, web site, Sunday bulletin, parish-wide emails & letters,
Sunday morning announcements, etc). We also looked at the ways in which
communication does, and does not work. We made a report to the Vestry in June, 2006.
These recommendations for further action came out of that meeting:

⦁ A way to incorporate newcomers
⦁ More coordination of activities
⦁ Leadership "Board" with pictures
⦁ Cottage meetings to share this info
⦁ Evaluate effectiveness of parish Fair
⦁ Planning ahead
⦁ Spread the work among many people

The Committee at that time worked on finding ways to improve communications at St.
Stephen's. At the beginning of2007, some members left the Task Force and others joined. A list of current
members is at the end of this report.

2007 GOALS

1. Increase Leadership Visibility, so that members of the congregation will know "who's who" in
the event they want information, or have a question or suggestion.

⦁ Vestry
⦁ Parish council
⦁ Trustees
⦁ Foundation
2. Increase congregational awareness of various programs & ministries at St. Stephen's
⦁ Verbal announcements to Congregation
⦁ Written & Electronic Announcements to Congregation .
⦁ Specific Projects
o Annual Picnic, Ministry Faire, Parish-wide Forums
3. Evaluate How We Communicate Electronically
o Are we leveraging the opportunities we have for keeping in touch with members of our
congregation via a variety of electronic means?
4. Find Ways to:
⦁ Determine the types and frequency of communication people want
⦁ Find ways to determine what kinds of communication are effective and have the desired
impact
5. Increase our Environmental Consciousness
⦁ How "Green" are our communications?
⦁ What are the ways we can improve?

2007 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

⦁ Parish Picnic - June, 2007
⦁ Updated and added new excitement to the Parish Picnic
⦁ Utilized new, more effective ways of communicating the event
⦁ Event was well attended and got good reviews
⦁ Parish Faire - September, 2007
⦁ Revamped the format & layout
⦁ Improved communication before the event
⦁ Worked closely with Ministry Chairs to ensure positive connection with each person, and
to ensure accurate information about each ministry was available at the Faire
⦁ Event was well attended and got good reviews
⦁ Followed up with each Ministry Chair to get current information, for eventual publication
in a Ministry Booklet for distribution to the congregation.
⦁ Hosted a "thank-you" dinner for people who participated in the Faire.
⦁ Messenger
⦁ Through promotion at the Parish Faire, identified a person to take over the Messenger
(our newsletter). His name is Larry Levine, and this will become effective with the
February, 2008 issue.
⦁ New Members
⦁ Again, through promotion at the Faire, three new members volunteered to join the
Communications Task Force.
⦁ Leadership Bulletin Board
⦁ Thanks to Chris Jones who took pictures, and to Stacy DeBritz & Melinda Renken who
did the art work, write up and mounting, we now have in the Parish Hall, pictures of the
Parish Leadership: Vestry, Parish Council, Endowment Trustees and Foundation.
⦁ Our goal is to have a way for members of the congregation to connect a name with a face,
to know who the Leadership is, and to be able to connect directly with one or more of
them to ask questions, make suggestions, or observations.

What's Next? We are meeting as a group on January 26,2008 to set our goals, action steps & timelines for this
year

COMMUNICATIONS TASK FORCE ~ Current Members (January, 2008)

Stacy DeBritz
Melinda Renken
Christian Renken
Debbie Trawick
Laura Davis
Linda Emaelaf
Richey Woodzell
Larry Levine
Chris Jones


Community Outreach Commutee
2007 Annual Report
December 30, 2007

DearMembas 0/& Stephen's,

The Communuy Ouueach Committee had many blessed opportunuies to help people in our
community this year. The commutee members included Carole Merrill-Mazurek Budd Mazurek,
Barbara Wisom, Meredith Osta; Richey Woodzell, Marti Sparng, Julie McDonald and my.self
Thanks to the help of the committee members and the wonderful support of each of you, we have
been able to put our Christian intentions into action in our community.

The commitee's main focus is to help individuals rather than organizations. We recognize, that
once established, the Foundation Commutee will fund organizations in a more meaninfful way
than we can with our small budget. However, since the Foundaaon Committee has been put on
hold temporarily, we did fund two organizaaons this season. The year began with a doruuion of
$100.00 to Home Furnishings. The donation was put toward the 'purchase of blankets, towels or
pots and pans for individuals in need. Secondly; we were able to donate $500.00 to Schenectady
Free Health Clinic. (The church. gave $250.00 and it was matched by an anonymous donor.)

We also sponsored the annual Easter Food Drive for SICM, and a very succesgul fchool supply
drive in September for Hamilton Elementary School in Scheneaady. In addition to the .supplis,
the school had asked for items they could use as incentives and the teachen: were thrilled with
what we found! We 'purchased three "treasure chests f full of rewards for the school chidren from
a company calied Smile Makers. The success of these efforts isdue to a wonderful response from
St. Stephen's parishoner's. We just wish that you could all be with us when me make the
deliveries... everyoone is always so grateful.

Once again, a highlight if the Christmas Season war the "Giving Tree "project: We had the
priviledge of delivering 39 joyful Christmas Christmas bags to elderly residents of The Avenue Nursing and
Rehab Center who have no-one to remember them at Ciuistmas. We also provided "Salon
Senuces "for the residents who could use them. This is the second year we have helped The
Avenue and their staff was overjoyed! Tlze bags were handed out on Christmas Eve!

As Chauperson of this committee, I war also pleased to arrange assistance for four families with
the commutee's approval. We donated $500.00 to the familyof a 14 year-old girl who had
three organ transplants. (St. Stephen'sr donated $250.00 and it war matched anonymously: The
family traveled back and forth to Pluladelpfu'a for months while she recovered and we
encouraged them to use the.fonds in anyway tharwould help. Sadly, she died a few months ofier
coming home. Another .family is currently battling cancerfor the second ame in their three year-
old son. The mother quite her job in order to be with her cluld and the family is suffering
financially. Sr. Stephen s donated $250.00. We also had the opportunity to donate $100.00 to
a freshman college student who needed some financial support wlule she secured a part time job.
This girl grew up in foster care and had no family to call for help. And finailly, we learned about
a woman in her early forties who is battling colon cancer for the second time. She cannot work
and her husband has beenunable to keep up his sales job fulltime because of his need to help his
wife. Sr. Stephen's donated $500.00 (.$250.000/ that was an anonymous match). Once again
we encouraged them to use tile money in any way that would make their lives easier: In cases like
the above the gratitude that is expressed is always one of appreciaton for the fact that someone
cares. The money helps, but the act of our expression of caring is far more important.

We work uud: a small budget of about $2000.00 and yet the impact of our efforts seems so much
greater. It is indeed a pleasure to be a part of this committee, as well as to be a member if Sr.
Stephen's Church where lhe generosity is inspiring!

Respectfully submited,
Cynde E. Schwartz


Worship Committee

The Worship Committee continues to look for ways to welcome newcomers and visitors to our worship,
while maintaining the rich liturgical traditions of our Anglican heritage. We are reading and discussing
Clayton Morris' Holy Hosp-italityas an aid to fulfilling the baptismal vows of all members of St.
Stephen's. This year we recommended to the Vestry that new copies of the Book of Common Prayer be
purchased to replace damaged old ones; they are now in use in the pews. We continue to alternate the
use of worship booklets and the Book of Common Prayer, season by season, in order to use the best
resources available, both old and new. Our thanks go to all who serve in any capacity in our worship:
Altar Guild, greeters, ushers, acolytes, musicians, lectors, chalicers, and especially to Kathy Miller and
Paul de Kane!

Deacon Pat


Church School, Nursery and Youth Group: a Year at a Glance

2007 was a full year for church school.
Thank you to the teachers. Their dedication to the children and youth made church school
possible.

Melinda Renken, Dawn Tonneau, and myself taught preschoolers & kindergarteners.
Dave Crates and Trudy North taught 1 st through 3rd graders.
Allison deKanel and Peter Nelson taught 4th through 6th graders.
George Woodzell, Tracy Ormsbee, and Laura DeNofio taught 7h through 12th graders.
Richey Woodzell and Trudy North led the music for the children.
Stacy DeBritz led special art projects.
Karen Smith and Karen Holcombe have been substitutes and regular helpers in the classroom.

Episcopal Children's Curriculum was the primary learning source for the children from
preschool age through 6th grade. The 7th - 12th graders use material from a variety of sources at
times focusing on CUITent events and culture of our time.

Church school is and was held at various times on Sunday moming. Preschoolers and
kindergarteners meet after the children's sermon during the 10: 15am service. 1 st_6th graders
meet at 9:00am. ill_1ih graders meet after the 10:15am service until 12:30pm.

We have enjoyed terrific attendance in 2007. There were approximately 30 families registered
for Church Schoo1. An average of 8-10 children attended each of the four classes every Sunday.
We couldn't have church school without them either!

The younger children enjoyed many special projects or activities in 2007.
-The calendar year started with Vicki Hoshko's Epiphany cakes that were enjoyed by all.
-Vicki Hoshko taught the kids how to make palm crosses for Palm Sunday.
~We had an evening program on Palm Sunday (3rd year) with 10 children in attendance and a
Stations of the Cross for children on Good Friday (4th year) put together by Allison deKanel,
Richey Woodzell and myself with approximately 20 participants.
~ The kids enjoyed an Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday coordinated by Melinda Renken.
-Vacation Bible School was held at Union Presbyterian Church (3rd year) the last week in June.
In 2007, we had 12 volunteers and 12 participants from St. Stephen's (35 participants in all).
~ The children created a stole for Deacon Pat's 25th anniversary as deacon with the help of Stacy
DeBritz and Karen Smith.
~ The Youth group and children presented a Christmas pageant written by Ben Boese and Tom
Casale. Thank you to Laura DeNofio, Allison deKanel and Richey Woodzell for your support
with the pageant.
=Cheryl Syta organized Christmas caroling at Sunny View Rehabilitation Hospital. Over 30
parishioners of all ages came to sing to the patients there.

Outreach Projects have been ongoing in 2007. For the most pari the children have assisted the
Outreach Committee during church wide projects.
~ The children put together Heart to Heart kits for Church World Service during the season after
Epiphany.
=Church school assisted with the food pantry drive during Lent.

~ During the week of Bible School the children and their families raised over $200 that was
donated to Heifer International, all through a penny jar fund drive.
-Church school assisted with school supply drive in September.

Nursery care started again in 2007. Thank you Richey Woodzel1 who organized the volunteer
help and made sure we had care providers in the nursery each week January 07 through June 07.
This fall we hired Pam Guthrie to serve regularly in the nursery. A different Youth Group
member has helped Pam each week, raising money for work camp in the process. We had an
average 3-4 children in the nursery each week. Thank you to the Griffin family for donating a
changing table to the Nursery. Thank you to Pam for being there for our little ones each week.

The Youth Group was and is led by George Woodzel1. Outside of Sunday school, the youth
group met approximately once a month for lock-ins. These activities were very well attended.
There was an average of 12 Youth Group members present for each lock-in. Thank you to
George Woodzell who organized these events and to Jim Ormsbee who stayed the night with
George and the group.

The Youth Group participated in many fund raising projects in order to go to Work Camp in the
summer.
~ They made Superbowl subs for the congregation the end of I anuary.
~ They held a Mother's day brunch in May.
~ They sold "shares" that invested in Work Camp. The retum rate was very positive.
~ They babysat at Congregation Gates of Heaven during the Jewish High Holy days.

Chris Jones made jams and jellies. He sold them at church and the proceeds went to the Work
Camp fund. Chris Jones, Mary Frances Hatfield, George Woodze11 and Tom Miller made cards
from photos they have taken. The proceeds from the card sales also went toward Work Camp.
Thank you to this group for supporting the youth.

Finally the 9th_1ih graders (and some college students) were ready togo to work camp. 13 youth
and 4 adults went to Weston, West Virginia for a week of serving, building, painting and
growing in their faith.

During the program year of2006-2007, Father lames held a confirmation class using a new
curriculum called "Confirm not Conform." Three participants completed the program. Thank
you to the adults that supported the group through mentoring the participants.
In November the Youth Group had the Work Camp thank you dinner that was attended by
approximately 50 parishioners.

That completes the year as I recall it. If you have questions or concerns, please let me know.
I look forward to 2008. It is a privilege for me to be writing this and to be working at St.
Stephen's. Thank you for the opportunity,
Laura Davis


RECTOR'S REPORT

This is now the nineteenth occasion on which it is my responsibility as your Rector to reflect on
the State of this parish. Once again that reflection has been my joy. As I prepared the parish
statistics this year I became aware as never before of the importance of our community life here
at Saint Stephen's.

Accomplishments of the parish council which oversees our areas of ministry:

First let me examine the area of our worship. For the most part, we have continued our
innovative worship which began many years ago. Dr. Tim Olsen, om Music Director, brought in
his Union College Jazz Ensemble for two "Jazz Sundays". In addition to the many small
liturgical innovations led by our worship committee, this year we continued to use one of the
authorized Alternative Eucharistic Prayers. As far as I know we are the only church in the
Diocese of Albany which is using the Alternative liturgy. We also continued with the traditional
Rite One Eucharist during Lent. This balance of innovation and tradition in om worship is a
mark of St. Stephen's congregation.

Evangelism should always be of the highest priority for Christians because Christianity is about
sharing what we have experienced with Christ and in his church. During the past year we have
welcomed new families and attempted to integrate all of om members into the life of the parish. I
especially want to thank Chris Jones for keeping up to date one of the best web sites I have seen
for any church in the area.

Our service committee continues to become stronger, with new members and new proj ects.
This year we gave hundreds of presents to the residents of a nursing home and we provided
stamped, blank Christmas cards for ALL prisoners in the jail! We gave Easter food baskets and
back packs filled with brand new school supplies to those who would not have had them
otherwise. Also, in a year dominated by natural disasters and our nation in war, our congregants
have given thousands of dollars to those in need. As individual Christians, I know that a large
number of om members do a great deal of individual volunteer work in the community. I
especially want to thank Cynde Schwrtz and her committee for all the work they have done.

The education program at St. Stephen's has continued to take into account diverse
understandings of issues within and without the church. Ambiguity and difference have been not
only tolerated but accepted, as long as issues andguestions were probed and insights gained.
This past year in om educational offerings for all ages we have continued to present the
questions, challenges, and understandings of the present without demanding a naITOW orthodoxy.
This has occurred within classrooms on Sunday morning as well as within experiences such as
workcamp for om youth, fellowship activities with our Sunday School, and simply watching a
movie together and discussing it. I give thanks to the congregation for pledging money to hire
Laura Davis, who has conducted a sterling ministry as Director of Christian Education. I also
thank Richey and George Woodzell, Stacy Delsritz and all the wonderful Sunday School

Another area of congregational life which seems so natural for this church is pastoral care -
caring for one another. This includes not only the distribution of altar flowers to the home bound
and to those in the hospital, but also birthday and anniversary cards, and dinners delivered at
home for the ill. New members have told me that one of the reasons they chose to be a part of St.
Stephen's is how the congregation demonstrates care for one another.

A major accomplishment of the Parish Council was working witb the vestry to form a parish
Foundation to solicit funding requests from non-profit groups in Schenectady County and to
distribute part of the Endowment earnings to needy groups. As you can read in their report, tbey
have worked diligently in creating procedures for this to happen.

Finally, all of these parish programs could not be possible without the work of our vestry.
Keeping the buildings and grounds in good order, and managing our finances well are essential
to our life together. The vestries have served the congregation well these past nineteen years.
They have been responsible for remodeling and rebuilding every room of the parish buildings.
New heating systems, new roofs, new buildings! And the Architectural Taskforce has been
very busy looking at architects to even further meet our building needs. The parish finances
have been consolidated, simplified and computerized. Perhaps the most work this past year has
been in conducting and implementing an detailed inspection of all our buildings. I especially
give thanks to Susan Feyer, our out-going senior warden for the many years she has served in the
vestry.

Saint Stephen's is a vital and growing parish. The reason for this is really quite simple. People
have a tremendous need to know God, and to know God'sson, Jesus Christ. In this place, Christ
is known and worshiped. There can be no doubt that, remaining true to Christ as guide of all that
we do as a community of Christians, the best is yet to come.

I give thanks for all of you who in life, and, yes, in death, are evangelists, bearers of the Good
News. At your best, you are the Body of Christ, the presence of the incarnate one in this place.
God Bless you all, and thanks be to God for you all.


Deacon's Report

The ministry of a deacon is "to represent Christ and his Church as a servant of those in need; and to
assist. .. in the proclamation of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments." (BCP 1987) In
2007 I continued my ministry in Schenectady County Correctional Facility: visiting women inmates
each week, providing undies, commissary funds (for toiletries, writing supplies, and snacks), greeting
cards, Bibles and "Forward Day by Day" devotional materials to them. Since the position ofInmate
Services Coordinator has been discontinued at the jail, I am also asked to make more phone calls, gather
information on rehabilitation sites and social services. Even with the able assistance of Robyn Stewart,
there is more than I can do. In addition, I provide both funds and transportation (over 3100 miles in
2007) for former inmates, to enable them to keep appointments, buy food, obtain social services, pick up
prescriptions, take children to and from school, etc.

In the parish I lead Bible studies from time to time, serve as Chair of the Worship Committee, and
participate in leading worship on a regular basis. Last winter I distributed over 100 coats from S1.
Stephen's to various agencies in Schenectady, with the help of parishioners; already this fall coats were
being contributed (see the "Second Coats" section of the Nave Extension closet), and we have begun
delivering them.

St. Stephen's supports this ministry by a budget appropriation for Jail Ministry, and by contributions
from individuals to the Clergy Discretionary Fund, which is shared equally by Father James and me. My
thanks to all who contribute so generously, in so many ways!

In December we had a beautiful celebration of our 25 years of life and ministry together: from the night
of my ordination to the present moment I have truly known that I am "at home with the holy" in this
congregation. Thank you.

Deacon Pat


Senior Warden's Report

January 2008

Although the Vestry did not ignore the unrest that has haunted our Diocese and National
Church since 2003, our focus in 2007 celebrated the blessings of St. Stephen's as we directed
much of our time and talent into our parish needs and those of our immediate community.
The Vestry was actively involved in overseeing the newly formed Endowment and Foundation
Committees as they successfully undertook the daunting task of getting their committees up and
running smoothly. We also monitored the progress of our parish's communication and
architectural task forces as they progressed toward the goals our parish has set for them. We
appreciate the effort all members of these groups put into these diverse committees/taskforces,
all with the similar objective of strengthening our parish for current and future generations.
(For more information, please see annual reports of these committees/task forces.)
Another highlight of the year was the hiring of Laura Davis as our Christian Education
Director. One needs to look no further than the excited and eager faces of our youth and
teachers to see proof of the enthusiasm and dedication she brings to our church.
In addition, I would like to recognize and thank the out-going members of Vestry - Dave
Caruso, Stacy DeBritz, and Paul de Kanel for the countless hours they have willingly given to
our church.

As in the past, St. Stephen's continues to be the vibrant, caring parish it is because of you.
Thank you for what you have brought to our parish this past year. Whether it was flipping
pancakes at the pancake supper, putting down mulch and pulling weeds, preparing a coffee
hour, attending an adult education class, caroling at Sunnyview, writing or performing in our
Christmas pageant, setting up for Deacon Pat's anniversary brunch, running the shop on a
Sunday morning, checking in library books, ushering, lecturing, supporting our Giving Tree,
maintaining our property, welcoming a new member, comforting an old member, or hosting a
Foyer group, we couldn't be who we are without you.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Feyrer, Senior Warden


From the Parish Records

Baptisms
Brooks Aidan Brennan
Cadence Claire Brennan
Chloe Marie Bristol
Greyson Terrell Buell
Jake Paulus Collen
Alyssa Marie Koreman
Alannah Jade Mykoo
Claire Elizabeth Syta

Weddings
Margaret Trawick and Jeffrey Rivenburg

Funerals
Dennis L. Moss
Helen Oyer
John H. Peatling
Alice R. Petter
W. David Stevens
Mary Jane Strong

Transfers Out
Earl J. Sianker


Parish Statistics

stats

 


St. Stephens Church Shop

Balance of Jan. 1 st 2007 $2119.91
----------------
TOTAL Credits $330.25
-----------------------
+
-----
$2450.16
TOTAL Debits $150.59
-----------------------
$2299.57
Balance of Jan. 1 st 2008 $2299.57
--~------------
TOTAL PROFIT for Jan. 2007 $179.66
------------


Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church - Endowment Trustees

Report to the Parish Annual Meeting January 20th 2008

Events during the Year
⦁ As reported last year, approximately a third of the Endowment has been turned
over to Fenimore Asset Management in Cobleskill, specializing in small and mid-
cap value funds.
⦁ Since then, most of the balance has been turned over to HFR investments of
Niskayuna. HFR specializes in handling funds across the market size spectrum
aimed at being secure while offering the prospect of achieving good returns in a
rising market. HFR's philosophy is quite similar to that of Fenimore, but generally in
a different market sector.
⦁ We have retained enough liquidity to be able to meet the church's perceived
needs for perhaps 2 or 3 years without broaching the invested funds.
⦁ In the past year (11/1/06-10/31/07) the Endowment's market value rose from
$3.059 million to $3.152 million.-
⦁ In addition to the above increase, during the year $59,000 was disbursed to the
Vestry, earmarked for rectory improvements and for charitable giving.
⦁ The committee has retained Nelson Beebe, CPA of Ballston Lake as auditor. He
has been instrumental in working with treasurer Dawn Tonneau to set up
accounting systems and procedures. He also conducts an annual audit of the
Endowment affairs.
⦁ Besides holding the unrestricted assets of the Endowment, the trustees also
manage the assets of the Altar Guild, Education and Music funds. These funds are
kept in a money fund to permit more ready availability.
⦁ In 2008 we will be filling one position on the Endowment Trustees.
⦁ The Trustees have created an Investment Policy Statement that serves as a
guideline to our investment managers. We have yet to put together an
Operations Manual to outline the conduct of the Endowment's everyday affairs.

Summary

As reported last year, your Trustees continue to work to provide good stewardship of
the church's endowment. We have created a fairly ambitious portfolio which is
aimed at producing good long term returns, though we are subject to market
volatility, and the present investment environment is of some concern. We have strict
proscriptions in our IPS against high risk investments, although the present sub-prime
mortgage crisis is cutting a surprisingly wide swath in the stock markets around the
world.

A huge debt of thanks is due to all my fellow Trustees for their commitment,
dedication and common sense, particularly treasurer Dawn Tonneau and secretary
Susan Townsend.

Respectfully Submitted - Michael Bishop


Pages and pages of financial stuff, not appropriate to the web edition of this annual report...


 

COMMISSIONING OF WARDENS AND VESTRY MEMBERS

Deacon: I present to you these persons to be admitted to the ministry of warden and member of the vestry in this congregation.

People: The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity.

Priest: I am your servant; grant me understanding;

People: That I may know your decrees.

Priest: Let us pray. O Eternal God, the foundation of all wisdom and the source of all courage: Enlighten with your grace the wardens and vestry of this congregation, and so rule their minds, and guide their counsels, that in all things they may seek your glory and promote the mission of your Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In the Name of God and of this congregation, I commission you [N] as warden/vestry member in this parish and I give you this pin as a token of your ministry.