The Annual Report
Of Ministry & Administration
for 2009
Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church

Presented at the
Annual Meeting
Sunday, January 17,2010

1935 The Plaza, Schenectady, New York 12309

Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church
1935 The Plaza
Schenectady, New York 12309

Parish Staff

The Rev. Dr. James R. McDonald, Rector,
The Rev. Patricia L. Jones, Deacon,
Dr. Timothy Olsen, Director of Music
Mr. Dennis Wisnom, Parish Administrator (volunteer)
Ms. Donna White, Sexton

The Vestry

Mr. Rocky Bonsal, Senior Warden, Class of 2009
Ms. Barbara Wisnom, Junior Warden, Class of 2009
Ms. Elizabeth Levine, Clerk
Ms. Denise Crates, Treasurer
Ms. Rosemarie Jaquith, esq. Chancellor
Ms. Melinda Renkin, Class of 2009
Ms. Tracy Ormsbee, Class of 2009
Mr. Glenn Kaler, Class of 2009
Mr. Sid Woodcock, Class of2010
Ms. Susan Feyrer, Class of2010
Mr. Peter Nelson, Class of 2010
Mr. Austin Spang, Class of2011
Ms. Tracy Schierinbeck, Class of 2011
Ms. Carole Merrill-Mazurek, Class of2011

Table of Contents

Agenda 1

Minutes of the 2009 annual meeting 2


Lectors and Chalice Bearers' Ministry 3
Altar Guild 3
Flower Ministry/ Pastoral Care Teams 4

Christian Formation

Church School 4
Youth Group 5
Nursery 5
Library 6

Mission & Ministry

Deacon's Report 7
Schenectady Inner City Ministry 7
Funeral Receptions 8

Rector's Report

Administration & Finance

Report (from the Senior Warden) 10
Nominating Committee 10
Building Committee 11
Reid House Rehabilitation 12

Church Garden 13

Endowment Committee 14

Parish statistics 15

Financial statements of the year ending 2009 16

Budget for 2010 25

Commissioning Of Wardens and Vestry Members 27

Schenectady, New York
Annual Meeting of the Parish
Sunday, January 17, 2010


Call to Order
Opening Prayer
Verification of Quorum
Appointment of Clerk of the Meeting
Minutes of the 2009 Annual Meeting
Reports Received by Title
Report of the Nominating Committee
Candidates for Vestry & for Delegates to Diocesan Convention
Examination of Financial Statements for the year ending 2009
Examination of Budget for 2010
Acknow ledgements
Commissioning Of Wardens And Vestry Members

Minutes of the 2009 annual meeting


Lectors and Chalice Bearers' Ministry

Every service has a chalice bearer and two readers from the congregation. If you are interested in
becoming a chalice bearer and/or lecture, please contact the clergy.
Marilyn Causey, scheduler

Altar Guild

The Altar Guild faithfully undertakes the care of the altar ofthe church. The members prepare
for all services including baptisms, weddings, funerals, and other sevices. This includes
preparation for Holy Eucharist. The Guild also takes care of the laundering of the linens,
cleaning and polishing of all the silver and brass, and the ordering and arranging of flowers.
The Guild meets four tunes a year for polishing and decorating the church for Easter and
Christmas. All interested people are invited to be a member of the Altar Guild and share in the
privilege of serving at God's Altar. Please contact any member or Father James.

Everyone is invited to participate through the use of our special envelopes: Christmas greens,
Easter flowers, and All Saints' Day flowers. Parishioners may also choose a particular Sunday
to give the flowers on the altar, either as a memorial or hi thanksgiving. A calendar is on the
table in the back of the church with a sign up sheet. One, or two families can share a Sunday if
they wish.

The Altar Guild remembers and honors Joanne Bristol and Betty Dipley with love and respect
with their work on the guild and the church.

The Altar Guild wishes to thank all those who helped decorate the church for Christmas. We
appreciate all the many contributions and gifts of memorials and thanksgiving given to St.
Stephen's Church.

Altar Guild Members: Pauline Northrop , June Russell, Jean Versocki, Dennis Wisnom, Gillian Woodcock,
Liz Casale Levine, Charline Hoffinann, Josephine Jones, Katharine Lowe, Cindy Minkiewicz, Carolyn Morin

Respectfully submitted,
June Russell, Directress

Flower Ministry/ Pastoral Care Teams

Teams of two visit the ill and shut-ins every week. Most often, altar flowers are taken to those
visited. If you know of someone who would appreciate a brief visit from someone hi the church,
please notify the clergy or the church office. We could use more visitors. Pleases let Marilyn
Causey know if you are interested in this important way to keep the homebound connected to St.

Christian Formation

Church School

Thank you to the teachers.
From January 2009 through May 2009:

Melinda Renken, Brian Riordon, and Dawn Tonneau taught preschoolers & kindergarteners.
Dave Crates and Richey Woodzell taught 1 st through 3rd graders.
Peter Nelson and Allison deKanel taught 4th through 6th graders.
George Woodzell taught ih through 1 ih graders.
Richey Woodzell and Dawn Tonneau has brought the music to the children.

From September 2009 through December 2009, we changed the the format for the younger
children. We started have "Kids' Chapel" from 10:15 to the Offertory for ages in preschool
through 4th grade. We several volunteers for this program. Thank you to Dawn Tonneau,
Melinda Renken, Ryan Davis, Dave Crates, Diane Reed, Pam Guthrie, and Allison deKanel.
The 7th through 12th graders were taught by Gloria Kavanah and George Woodzell.
And Allison deKanel and Peter Nelson continued their work with the 4th through 6th

Episcopal Children's Curriculum was the primary learning source for the children from
preschool age through 6th grade. The ih_l ih graders use material from a variety of sources
focusing on current events and culture of our time and relating these events to readings from
the Bible.

There are approximately 25 families registered for Church School. An average of 4-6
children attended the 4th-6th grade and 7th-12th grade programs. An average of 10 children
attended the prek through 3rd grade programs.
The following is a list of special projects for church school in 2009:

~ All enjoyed Vicki Hoshko's Epiphany cakes.
-During Lent, we made Church World Service kits coordinated by Richey Woodzell.
-Vicki Hoshko taught the kids how to make palm crosses the Saturday before Palm Sunday.
~We had our first Resurrection Pageant during Easter Season.
~ The kids enjoyed an Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday.

-We made a Baptismal banner.
-Vacation Bible School was held at Union Presbyterian Church (5th year) the first full week
in July. In 2009, we had 15 volunteers and 15 participants from st. Stephen's (almost 40
participants in all).

Laura Davis

Youth Group

The Youth Group continues to be led by George Woodzell. Outside of Sunday school, the
youth group met about once a month for lockins (except this November and December
because of the weather). An average of 6-1 0 Youth Group members were present for each
lockin. Thank you to George Woodzell who organizes these events and to Jim Ormsbee who
stays the night with George and the group.

Beginning in September 2009, we have been combining our efforts with Union Presbyterian
youth group. An average of3-5 youth from St. Stephen's have attended these events.
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 January.
-They held a Mother's day brunch in May.
-They sold "shares" that invested in Work camp activities.
-They babysat at Congregation Gates of Heaven during the Jewish high Holy days.

Workcamp: 9 youth and 3 adults from st. Stephen's church and 3 youth from Union
Presbyterian church went to Peterstown, West Virginia for a week of serving, building,
painting and growing in their faith.

In December the Youth Group had the Work Camp thank you dinner that was attended by
approximately 25 parishioners.

Laura Davis


Nursery care continued in 2009. Pam Guthrie finished the program year last June. Britta
Kilbourn started serving in the nursery in September. Attendance has been 0-2 children in
the nursery each week. Thank you to Pam and Britta for being there for our little ones.
If you have questions or concerns, please let me know.

I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be a part ofSt. Stephen's community.

Laura Davis


The St. Stephen's library committee are Bruce and Jane Tatge, Marti Spang, Liz Varno and
Eunice Chouffi. They try to keep all the entries in the card catalogue up to date and in order;
process all new editions; and keep the non-fiction books in the proper Dewey Dec. order.
Bruce prints all the cards for the card catalogue and the shelf cards. Jane is the organizer of
the committee and keeps things running smoothly. What will happen to our wonderful book
collection when they decide to retire??

The budget for the year is $200.00. We order a magazine each year especially for church
libraries and are able to purchase 4-5 books with the rest of the money
The library has several new books this year- some of them purchased and some donated.
Please think about doing a book review on one of our books for the Messenger. Many thanks
to all of you who have done a review in the past. At Christmas time we purchased" The
History ofthe Snowman" and the beautifully illustrated book by Beatrice Potter, "A Winter

The Open Door Bookstore gives us a 20% discount on books for our library. If you would
like to purchase a book just let Jane know and she will order it for you for the library and get
the discount. If you would like to purchase a book for a special occasion such as a child's birthday or in
memory of someone, it would be greatly appreciated. A plaque will be placed in the book
with the honoree's name and the donor. A child loves to see hislher name in a book! Now if
you wish to buy a book on your own be sure to check the card catalogue to make sure we do
not already have it. Write all the information we need on a separate piece of paper, place it in
the book and then put it in the Return Box. PLEASE do not put donated books in the Return
Box with no information about it.

We do hope you will take out books and read them. Be sure to take the card out of the card
pocket, print your name, date and tel. no. and then put the card in the card box which is
located on one of the shelves on the left.

The inter-church library council meets twice a year at different church libraries in the
afternoon. The meetings are most informative and it is most interesting to see other libraries
and view their books. We would love to have you attend, Bring a friend or two!
We realize there is lots of activity by children and adults right in front of the book shelves
Please put all tables and Name Tag Monstrosity( I don't know what else to call it) away from
the book shelves, so that the parishioners can choose the book they want to take out. Please
keep crayons, toys etc. off of the book shelves.

The architectural plans for a new library are in the future, so let's all of us keep what we have
attractive now.

Respectively submitted, Eunice Chouffi

Deacon's Report

The year 2009 marked the 73rd anniversary of my baptism into the body of Christ's Church,
and the 27th anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate. On the former occasion I was
commissioned "manfully to fight under Christ's banner, against sin, the world, and the devil,
and to continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant until (my) life's end." And 46 years later, I
committed myself to "serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the
lonely, in the name of Christ." It has been my joy to serve at St. Stephen's Church in both

Since my retirement in 2001,1 have been especially grateful to be able to attend daily
Morning Prayer in the church, and there has been a noticeable increase in attendance during
the past year. I have continued to serve at Holy Eucharist on Sundays, preaching and leading
worship occasionally. And the Kerygma Bible Study classes have been a rich source of both
fellowship and growth in knowledge and love of the Bible.

The Jail Ministry continues to expand beyond our parish. Approximately 1000 Christmas
cards from St. George's, Trinity Presbyterian Church and Lynnwood Reformed Church and
St. Stephen's were distributed to inmates in the jail. And three members of Trinity
Presbyterian Church have joined me and Robyn Stewart in visiting the women in the jail on
Sunday afternoons. I look forward to their continuing presence in this ministry. I also
continue to help "my girls" who have been released from the jail and struggle to reestablish
themselves in the community. I drove 2900 miles in 2009, to doctors and hospitals, grocery
stores and food pantries, prison visits and job sites and training programs. And I am deeply
grateful to parishioners whose contributions to the Deacon's Discretionary Fund have enabled
me to help needy families pay bills and buy food and medicine in an economy of scarce jobs
and rising prices. (To contribute, use the yellow "Rector's • Discretionary" envelopes in the
pledge offering box, or mark your check "Deacon's Discretionary. ")

My thanks to all who share in any way in my ministry as servants of Christ. We will not run
out of work any time soon!

Deacon Pat

Schenectady Inner City Ministry

We had a variety of activities during the year and we thank you all for your support. The
Sunday School children and their parents were VERY generous with their donations to the food
pantry. The donations helped respond to the fast growing demand for food, and has helped the
pantry to be open for a fourth day each week. Anyone who has ever wondered what goes on at
the pantry is welcome to help us deliver the donated food each Monday morning; and they are
always looking for more volunteers to help out there.

You again came to Jerry Burrell Park for the first week of the Summer Lunch program
where we fed over 100 children each day. It is always amazing how the children suddenly appear

as the truck arrives to deliver the food.

We also had two fundraiser dinners. The first was at Applebees in the spring where a portion of
each persons check went to SICM. In November we had another Harvest For the Pantry dinner
and silent auction.

If you have any questions about these or any ofSICM's other programs please ask either of us, or
join us attending one of the monthly SICM assemblies. They are held at one of the member
churches on the first Wednesday of the month, except during Lent when the meetings are held on

Eunice Chouffi and Marti Spang

The Church Shop

Funeral Receptions

A new ministry for the bereaved began this past year. For families wishing a reception following
a funeral, St. Stephen's offers the use of the parish hall and a committee that will work with the
family to set-up an informal coffee-hour type of gathering, or a light luncheon. The family pays
for the food ordered, and the church supplies coffee, tea or punch, set-up and clean-up. We learn
as we go along, but so far this service has been well received by the families. Marilyn Causey
and Marilyn Humphrey


Rector's Report

This is now the twenty-first time I have to make a report to the annual meeting of St.
Stephen's congregation. Twenty years is a long time to have a ministry at any church and it
allows time for some examination of the parish and of my ministry.

In 1989 when the rector search committee of the vestry first met with me in the interviewing
process, they made clear two priorities of the congregation: spiritual nurture of all members,
but especially of young people and an increased presence in the outreach to the larger
community of Schenectady. Over the first five years young families began coming back to
the congregation. Both worship and Church School attendance increased. I instituted the
parish council to oversee the spiritual nurture of the congregation with leaders from service,
worship, evangelism/communication, education, pastoral care and fellowship.

In 1998 the vestry agreed to hire the services of Precept, a California-based organization
specializing in demographic and congregational studies. A detailed questionnaire was
completed by almost everyone in the congregation and then 'cottage meetings' were held in
parishioners' homes to study the results of the questionnaires and of the neighborhoods
surrounding St. Stephen's Church. After this nine month process a number of goals and
objectives were developed for the next five years. Most of these goals reflected the same
goals of the rector search committee ten years earlier: spiritual nurture of all members, but
especially of young people and an increased presence in the outreach to the larger community
of Schenectady.

During those five years the congregation called an assistant rector to minister to the
congregation, increased our presence in the larger community, and continued to grow. We
met most of our objectives and continued to work toward our goals.

In 2005 the congregation, once again, decided to look at who were and where we were going.
A detailed questionnaire was completed by most of the congregation and the results of the
study were not surprising: the highest priorities were in the area of education for all ages,
especially for young families. At the same time of this study two things happened in the
parish: first, we discovered that the moisture problem in the church school spaces in the
basement ofthe parish hall was creating a mold problem which we tried to solve,
unsuccessfully; and second, we received over two million dollar bequests. The former was
seen as detrimental to our goal of spiri tual nurture of all members, and especially of young
people. Over the past five years the congregation has been examining multiple suggestions
concerning a new educational building and payment for such a solution.

2010 will be a pivotal year in the history of the congregation as decisions must be made
concerning our 'sick' building. As your rector, I am committed to seeing to a completed
solution so that the congregation can resume its educational and community outreach goals.
Again, let me say that I have every intention of continuing as rector of St. Stephen's Church
for the foreseeable future. I am excited at the possibility of a new educational wing of the
church and of the continuation ofthe nursery school as part of our congregation's ministry to
the community. I am recommitting my ministry to the goals of this congregation: the
spiritual nurture of all members, especially of young people and an increased presence in the
outreach to the larger community of Schenectady. I look forward to continuing this ministry
with this congregation.


Administration &. Finance

Report (from the Senior Warden)

Nominating Committee

Sr. Warden - Carole Merrill-Mazurek
Jr. Warden - Tracy Ormsbee (for one year)

Vestry Positions: (for three years)

Greg Varno
Millie Gittenger
Matt Canavan
Linda Emalaef - (2 years, filling out Carole Merrill-Mazurek 's position)

Convention Delegates:

Peter Nelson
Dennis Wisnom
Allison DeKannel
Sid Woodcock - Alternate

Building Committee

In June, the Vestry hired John G Waite Associates. Architects PLLC to design a new parish hall.
The building committee has been meeting approximately every 2 weeks with the architects, Jack
Waite, Shannon Brown, and Dan Wilson. The resulting building was presented to the Vestry
January 4 and to the congregation on January 10. The building meets the goals set forth by the
previous Architectural Task Force studies. The new Parish Hall will be on one floor with
approximately 800 sq. ft. more space including a larger kitchen and 4 bathrooms. The building
is designed for the long term, requiring minimal maintenance. The architects have done an
excellent job to ensure the new parish hall does not overpower the church yet provides the
desired functionality. Of course, the design will take care of our current water and mold
problems and will be energy efficient.

I'd like to thank the dedication and hard work of the committee, Laura Davis, Jack and Sue
Feyrer, James McDonald, Greg Varno, and Bob Voelker. I would also like to thank the special
kitchen consultants, Marilyn Causey, Marilyn Humphrey, Chris Jones, Debbie Trawick, and Liz

Austin Spang

new building

Reid House Rehabilitation

As recommended by Architecture Task Force, we are undertaking to fix up Reid House so it can
be used by the Sunday School, Nursery School and other Church functions. The plan developed
by our architects is to remove walls and doors opening up the main floor, and install a handicap
bathroom and ramp. Last fall we started cleaning out the attic and basement and demolition of
interior walls. This year we built arches and had new electrical and plumbing service roughed in.
Unfortunately we were shut down from March to July due to problems with Schenectady City
permits. Once we could begin work again, the roof was replaced, chimney rebuild, the cellar
waterproofed and the house and garage repainted. Volunteers then build the handicap ramp. We
are currently applying sheetrock to the walls. The goal is to complete all work by June so it will
be available for use in the fall. Volunteers are needed and welcome.

My thanks to the many people who have worked hard on the building. I would especially like to
thank the faithful crew: Jack and Susan Feyrer, Bob Hagen, Jerry Perregaux and George
Woodzell, for their many hours of hard work.

Austin Spang

Church Garden

Believe it or not, spring will soon be here! With warm weather comes gardening! Please consider
hel ping out with weeding, planting or edging the gardens in the front of the church. You can
work by yourself or join Marilyn Causey and Debbie O'Connor in this very rewarding activity.
We meet once a week in the early evening to weed. If you can dig, plant or edge, name your own
tune, and we'll help!
Marilyn Causey

Statistics 2009

Parish Statistics


Sabrina Michelle Chambers
Addison Elizabeth Elsbree
Thomas Scott Soule
Matthew Hoyt Syta


Bonnie Lee Chambers


Susan C. Olsen
Timothy lOlsen
Katryn Mary Riordon
Brian Christopher Riordon


Joanne Bristol
Norman Hoffinann
Betty Dipley
Lillian Peterson

Transfers In

Lois Hoover
Stephen Elsbree
Michelle Crawford
Timothy Crawford
Samantha Crawford
Chase James Crawford

Transfers Out

Christina Coughlin
Norah King Tarantelli
Madeline Mae Tarantelli

Commissioning Of Wardens and Vestry Members


I present to you these persons to be admitted to the ministry of
warden and member of the vestry in this congregation.
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.
I am your servant; grant me understanding;
That I may know your decrees.
Let us pray. 0 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 comrmssion you [N] as
warden/vestry member in this parish and I give you this pin as a token of your