Not a final schedule. Tune in Sunday mornings for the latest information in the announcements and the bulletin.

December, 2017

Sun Mon Tue Wed Th Fri

Sat

   

 



1
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
2
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Fabricators & Yarners
10:00 Quiet Morning
3 Advent 1
7:30 Morning Prayer
8:00 Communion
9:00 Adult Class
9:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion
10:30 Holy Spirit Kids
11:30 Sunday Friends
4
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer




5
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar  



6
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer




7:30 Bells
7
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:30 DOK




7:30 Choir
8
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
9
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Fabricators & Yarners


6:00 Caroling
10 Advent 2
7:30 Morning Prayer
8:00 Communion
9:00 Adult Class
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion
10:30 Holy Spirit Kids
11:30 Sunday Friends
11
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer


7:30 Vestry
12
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:30 Seminar  


7:00 Book Club
13
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer



7:30 Bells
14
9:00 Morning Prayer



7:30 Choir
15
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer

16
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Fabricators & Yarners
11:00 Rehearsal, Pageant
17 Advent 3
7:30 Morning Prayer
8:00 Communion
9:00 Adult Class
9:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion &
Youth Pageant
11:30 Sunday Friends
11:30 Greening of the Church
18
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Parish Council
19
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:30 Seminar  

20
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer




7:30 Bells

21
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00
22
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
23
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Fabricators & Yarners
24 Advent 4
9:00 Communion, in the Parish Hall

Christmas Eve
3:30-5:00 Nursery
4:00 Family Eucharist
7:30 Festive Candlelight Eucharist
25 Christmas  
7:30 Morning Prayer
10:00. Communion
26
9:00 Morning Prayer 


27
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
28
9:00 Morning Prayer
29
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
30
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Fabricators & Yarner
31Christmas 1
7:30 Morning Prayer
8:00 Communion
9:00 Adult Class
9:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion
           

* Confirmation class meets on an irregular basis

 

Notes

EPISCOPAL THANKSGIVING SERVICE

 November 23rd, Thursday morning at 10 am, St. Stephen's Church

MULTI-FAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE

Sunday, Nov, 19th, 6pm, Sikh Temple on R t. 7

 

Note: We are on summer Schedule, meaning we have one service Sunday mornings at 9:00, followed by coffee hour. On September 17, we go back to two Sunday services, 8:00 and 10:15.

What to expect at St. Stephen's on a Sunday morning

A short visitor's guide to what happens, just so you won't be surprised!

Sunday morning, we always have the communion service, with distribution of bread and wine. You can stay in the pew if you don't wish to receive the bread and wine.

Kids are always welcome in church. Crayons and paper are available at the back of the church.

Some men wear suits and ties, some don't. The era of hats and white gloves has long since gone by, so dress is a bit less formal than it used to be.

The Sunday bulletin has announcements and a sort of "road map" through the service.It can be found on a table in the back of the church. Help yourself. The hymnals and prayer books are in the pews.

Nursery care for infants and toddlers is available from 9:00am to 11:30am in our nursery room, close by, behind the doors at the back of the church.

Bathrooms are also behind the doors at the back of the church.

Communion is distributed at the altar rail at the front of the church. You can stay in the pew if you don't wish to receive the bread and wine. At the altar rail, you can kneel or stand. If you don't want the elements, cross your arms in front of you to receive a blessing. If you remain at the altar rail after the elements have been passed, the priewinest will offer annointing with oil and ask for a healing blessing. Some people stay for this and some don't.

The bread is home made but the deacon also has the traditional wafers. Gluten free wafers are avcailable by prior arrangement with Deacon Pat.

The wine will be offered by the chalice bearer, usually a lay person. You can sip from the cup, or you can dip the bread into the wine (called intinction) when the cup is offered.

There's no rule about going to the altar rail for communion. Some people just remain in their pews.

The offering plate will be passed by the ushers. You may feel free to either make a contribution or not. First time visitors may want to fill out a "visitor's card" and place it in the plate as their offering. That's entirely optional.

We often have a "coffee hour" after the service. You and your family are welcome to participate and meet people.

Two services: 8:00am and 10:15am

8:00am Sunday mornings

Some have called this the "quiet" service, since we have no music and kids usually go to the later service.

10:15am Sunday mornings

There will be hymns (blue hymnal) supported by the choir. The hymn numbers are listed on the hymn boards on the wall of the church. There is usually a choir anthem, and there is organ music before and after the service.kids

There is often a short children's sermon following the invitation, "Will the children please come forward." Kids can come forward at that time if they wish to do so. They go out for a Church School lesson right after the kid's sermon. If your kids would like to go, we would be glad to have them.

Usually there is a "coffee hour" after the service back in the parish hall. It's easy to find past the doors at the back of the church and down a short hallway. You are most welcome to go there and meet a few people. Feel free to introduce yourself. Kids are welcome at the coffee hour, too.

Children’s Worship Papers:  There are small clipboards with a coloring page based on the lectionary gospel text and a few blank sheets of paper in a basket at the back of the church, crayons also.  Please help yourself if your child would like to use this resource. Please return the clipboard and crayons at the end of the service.

If you have questions or an idea on how this resource might be created differently, please talk to Miranda Rand at 229-5105 (cell w/voice mail). Thank you! Miranda Rand, Christian Education Director

 

Book Club

These are the books for the new cycle. Please come when you can!
2nd Tuesday of the month at 7pm at Church

Oct. 10th-Chilbury Ladies' Club by Jennifer Ryan

Nov 14th-The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Dec. 12- At Knits End-Meditations by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Jan 9, 2018- The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg

Feb. 13th- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

March 13th- The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

April 10th- Map of the World by Jane Hamilton

May 8th- Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

June 12th-Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that saved America by Timothy Ryan

Any questions contact Vicki Hoshko

Education for youth

Angels, announce with shouts of mirth 
Christ who brings new life to earth 
Set every peak and valley humming 
With the word, the Lord is coming 
People, look east and sing today 
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

(People Look East vs.4 – text Eleanor Farjeon 1928)

This is one of my favorite Advent hymns because for me it summarizes the reason we spend the four weeks of Advent talking about and making plans for the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child.

In the Holy Spirit Kids’ classroom we are preparing for Christ’s coming by rehearsing our annual pageant. This year we have a simple one-act play that incorporates all the elements of the biblical story and is acted out to narration. In addition to the regular lectionary-based Bible stories that we learn about each week we will spend time rehearsing so that we know exactly what we are doing and how!

The pageant is scheduled for the 3rd Sunday in Advent this year, December 17; the dress rehearsal will be on Saturday, December 16 at 11:00am.  This is the last day that anyone can be added. If your child has not been in class at least one of the preceding Sundays or is not at the rehearsal then they will be unable to participate. The day of the performance we will meet in the classroom at 10:00 to get costumed and line up to process into the church with the choir.

The older students will be acting as stage managers and overall helpers this year instead of doing a separate skit of their own. During Advent Sunday Friends will study the meaning of Advent. 

There is no instruction on December 24 and December 31.

May your Advent and Christmas celebrations be blessed with peace and joy!

Miranda Rand

 

 

Youth Confirmation Program Begins!

Confirm not Conform, or CnC, is a youth confirmation program that takes confirmation seriously. It exposes youth to a wide range of topics, including Scripture, sacraments, creeds, heresy, prayer, other religions, and serving others, and asks them to think through what they believe and why.

It is also a philosophy. Confirm not Conform emphasizes finding one’s own voice rather than simply conforming to an external standard. It is a program that respects the work youth and adults do as they explore their faith. We trust that when people put in the effort to articulate what they believe and why, they will make good choices about their next step in faith.

CnC is also a congregational development program. The entire church grows in faith by participating in Confirm not Conform, as mentors, parents, leaders, clergy, vestry, or supportive onlookers who all make the commitment to support participants in the program in their life in Christ.

We meet on some Sunday evenings from 6:30 – 8 in the Youth Lounge.

Note: Meets on a somewhat irregular basis. Check witrh Fr, James

Tuesday Morning Seminar:

Comparative Religions
systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world's religions.

When does the Jewish Sabbath begin? Who are Vishnu and Shiva? What are Buddhism's Four Noble Truths? What are the Five Pillars of Islam? These questions are more than an academic exercise. Religious belief has been innate to humans everywhere and in every age, from the time of the Neanderthals to the 21st century. It's also one of the strongest motivators of human behavior and has a profound impact on all aspects of our culture—our spiritual beliefs, our rituals, our politics, and the very foundations of our democracy. And it may strengthen your own faith!

Sept. 12 - Religion—Its Meaning and Importance – How do we attain the imaginative insider’s perspective when we study other religious traditions, and when we study our own tradition?

Sept. 19 - Facets of Religion—Divinity and Devotion - here is a wide range of conceptions of God, and we will explore some of the most commonly held beliefs.

Sept. 26 - What Was the Axial Age? - The Axial Age refers to the period of time from approximately 800-200 B.C.E., in which unprecedented developments occurred in four separate centers of civilization: West Asia, South Asia, East Asia, and the northeastern Mediterranean.           

Classes are held on Tuesday Mornings from 10:30 to noon in the Conference room.  If you would like to attend these classes, please email Fr. James james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Sunday Morning Adult Education Classes

This year we attempting a comparison of the main  religions of the world in an attempt to discern commonalities, general patterns, and associations with cultural and ecological features. This course is intended to help you better understand your neighbors AND to strengthen your own faith through viewing well-produced videos and participating in constructive conversation.  The first half of the month will be an examination of Buddhism, the second half of Confucianism. Classes are held on Sunday Mornings from 9-10 in the Conference Room.

Wednesday Bible Study: Hebrew Scriptures and the Story of the Israelites

Persecuted and slaughtered for practicing monotheism at a time when the prevailing belief was in multiple gods, the Kingdom of David kept itself united and solvent by passing along the history and traditions of its elders in written form (the "religion of the book").

Among the subjects explored in this course are the formation of the laws of the Jews, the origins of their customs, and their strongly held and strictly enforced moral values. The video used was filmed on the exact locations where the historical events occurred.

Classes are held on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30 in the Conference room.  If you would like to attend these classes please email Fr. James james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.


Tuesday Morning Seminar

This year-long seminar will attempt a systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world's religions. Religious belief has been innate to humans everywhere and in every age, from the time of the Neanderthals to the 21st century. It's also one of the strongest motivators of human behavior and has a profound impact on all aspects of our culture—our spiritual beliefs, our rituals, our politics, and the very foundations of our democracy.  Classes are held on Tuesday Mornings from 10:30 to noon in the Conference room.  If you would like to attend these classes, please email Fr. James james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

St. Stephen’s
CHRISTMAS CAROLING
SAT. DEC. 9TH at 6:00 PM
Kingsway Arms Nursing Center
323 Kings Road, Schenectady 12304
Carol sheets/booklets provided

Advent Quiet Morning, Saturday, December 2, 10 am – 12:30 pm. “Preparing our hearts for the birth of Jesus” This morning retreat will have meditative prayers and readings interspersed with solitude. It’s designed to quiet our minds, engage our imaginations and rest in the presence of God. Quiet day experience is not necessary!   Sign up at church or email Dennie Bennett, Assisting Priest, at denniebennett07@gmail.com.

 

 

 

The Bell Choir

"Come on, ring those bells!" The bells have been refurbished and are once again ready to ring out beautiful Bellsharmonies. Rehearsals will take place on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 - 8:30, and will begin on October 5, 2016.

This year, we need 5 new bell choir members. The ability to read music is helpful, but not necessary. The only qualifications are being able to count, knowing left from right, and having fun working as a member of a supportive team. It is important to commit to attending rehearsals on a regular basis, and participating in Sunday services throughout the church year. In late fall, we plan on welcoming the bells back home, and showing our appreciation to all those families who adopted a bell. There will be a rededication of the bells at both services. If you are interested, please contact me at lisamcd13@gmail.com.

In harmony,
Lisa McDonald