From the Rector.....
One of the great leaders of the Episcopal Church in the last generation, Bishop
Stephen Bayne, had some sage words on the month we are now entering: "January, I
have long felt, is a month without which life would be greatly improved. Annual reports,
final days of reckoning with postponed business, new budgets, clearing out of files...to
say nothing of Christmas bills and the like...it is a miserable, harassed, snivelling, crass,
overbearing, worldly wretch of a month."
That may be a little harsh, but I think Bishop Bayne has the right idea. Still, at least
around the parish, I see some redeeming signs of life in the depths of this winter.
For one thing, the bitter cold seems to bring out the best in people. Maybe because it's
harder to get out, and harder to get together, it seems better when we do. For all the
busy-ness of this month, and all the winter chill, I find the being with people on Sunday,
and other times, especially rich.
I am heartened, too, in preparing the Annual Report for the Annual Parish Meeting. I am
amazed by the amount of energy and activity going on in this place, and by the
remarkable generosity of spirit and time with which people give of themselves.
But maybe I value January most of all because it seems like a new beginning, and
that's something I can always use. I start into this new year resolved to be doing all that
I can to build us into a genuinely supportive family of Christians ---finding ways for us to
be together, challenging us to connect ourselves more deeply to Christ and to each
other, exploring together how best to minister to the world in Christ's name.
January permits such resolutions. I guess I'll be glad when the month is over, but I
hope that the good things --- the people, the community, the dreams of the year ---will
carry us on as we make the snowy trek toward spring.
As our numbers increase at St.
Stephen's there are more and more
people who are not very familiar with
our liturgy on Sunday mornings.
Others, who have attended services for
a considerable time still have questions
concerning the symbols in our worship.
Therefore, on Sunday, January 26th at
the 10:15 am Eucharist St. Stephen's
will have an Instructed Eucharist.
As you arrive, you will be given a
special bulletin. At various points during
the liturgy, the service will stop and an
explanation of that part of our worship
will be read. Then the service will
continue until another explanation is
read. In this way it is hoped that a better
understanding of our Anglican worship
will be given.
This 'Instructed Eucharist' would be an
excellent opportunity for our members to
invite a guest(s) to church. We all know
how confusing our worship can be, and
this would be a way of 'easing'
newcomers into St. Stephen's.
ADULT INQUIRER'S CLASS: EXPLORING THE ANGLICAN ETHOS This course begins on January 5th at 9 am in the rector's study and will meet each Sunday morning through February 9th. It is intended to introduce
prospective members of our parish to
the ethos of Anglicanism. It is also a
good 'refresher course' in our beliefs for
any member of the parish.
The study will explore our particular
ethos: Anglican traits rooted deeply in
the past (200 A.D.) of Britain's relatively
pragmatic and moderate peoples. It
explores why we Episcopalians do what
we do and how our church has been
shaped and is being shaped.
The course is required for all adults who
wish to be confirmed or received into
the Episcopal Church. Those who wish
to join the congregation will be
welcomed on February 9th.
In an attempt to be as inclusive as
possible in nominating parishioners for
elective offices, the vestry has
appointed the outgoing members of the
vestry as a nominating committee: Jed
Dare, Susan Feyrer, and Michael
DeBritz. They are securing the
nominations for the four positions
vacant for next year. In addition,
nominations will continue to be made
from the floor of the Annual Meeting of
the parish. The elected offices are:
3 - three year terms for 1997 Vestry
1 - Warden - two year term
REQUIREMENTS FOR VESTRY
Basically there are only three
requirements for vestry membership:
(1) be a confirmed member of the
This can be accomplished through
confirmation or reception by a bishop at
St. Stephen's or through a transfer from
another Episcopal Church.
(2) have been regular in attendance of
(3) have been faithful in working,
praying, and giving for the spread of the
Kingdom of God
This includes giving of Time
Talent and Treasure
WHAT IS THE 'VESTRY'?
The vestry is a group of eleven lay
representatives from the parish who are
charged with the temporal affairs of the
congregation. They meet monthly with
the rector presiding. The vestry spends
considerable time on income and
expenses and on writing the annual
budget. They set the salary scales and
are responsible for raising the money to
meet expenses. The vestry also has the
important job of finding a new rector
whenever a vacancy occurs. Three
representatives are elected at the
annual parish meeting for a term of
three years. In addition, a Warden
(vestry officer) is elected for a term of
THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD
The name "Epiphany" is derived from a
Greek word meaning "manifestation" or
"appearing." It is also called "The
Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles."
This phrase is a reference to the story of
the Wise Men from the East.
A Christian observance on January 6 is
found as early as the end of the second
century in Egypt. The feast combined
commemorations of the visit of the Magi,
led by the star of Bethlehem; the
Baptism of Jesus in the waters of the
River Jordan; and Jesus' first recorded
miracle, the changing of water into wine
at the marriage of Cana of Galilee -- all
thought of as manifestations of the
The Epiphany is still the primary Feast
of the Incarnation in Eastern Churches,
and the three fold emphasis is still
prominent. In the West, however,
including the Episcopal Church, the
story of the Wise Men has tended to
overshadow the other two events.
Modern lectionary reform, reflected in
the Book of Common Prayer, has
recovered the primitive trilogy, by setting
the event of Jesus' Baptism as the
theme of the First Sunday after January
Our celebration of Epiphany at St.
Stephen's will take place on Sunday,
January 5th at 8:00 am and 10:15 a.m.
with Eucharist and Baptism.
HOUSEHOLD BLESSING FOR
A custom from Eastern Europe that is
presently being recovered in North
America is the practice of blessing
homes on Epiphany. Members of the
household go from room to room
expressing thanks to God for each room
and asking God to bless the room and
its intended use. Some small symbol of
the blessing may be carried to leave in
each room: a candle, a cross, "gifts" of
The procession ends outside the front
door where the door's lintel is marked in
chalk with the year and the initials
C,M,B - each separated by a cross -
recalling the traditional names of the
Magi: Casper, Melchior and Balthasar.
The members of the household are then
invited to add their own initials. Also at
this time it is appropriate to pledge
volunteer time or other gifts for
Bethesda House or some local
homeless shelter as signs of our
thankfulness to God. The ritual ends
with a celebration of the Eucharist.
Talk to the rector if you would like to
have your home blessed.
....to the ICHTHUS, the high school
youth group who directed the Christmas
pageant and to the parents who helped
it all come together
....to June Russell who accompanied
the Christmas pageant and the
....to Vickie Hoshko and Sue Feyrer for
organizing the potluck after the
....to the Alter Guild and to brass
polishers par excellence who polished
all the brass in the church, and made
....to all who took time on a busy
Christmas eve of the Eve to help 'green'
...To Tim Olsen and the Choir members
who helped to make Advent and
...To the lectors, chalice bearers and
acolytes who made our worship
...To all those who helped in the toddler
and nursery rooms
...To the ushers and to the offering
...To our administrative assistant,
Janice, who worked so hard to prepare
bulletins and make other arrangements
...To Dave, our sexton who made the
church shine and kept the sidewalks
....to all of you who do quiet things in
quiet ways and help this parish to work.
EVERY MEMBER CANVASS
The Every Member Canvass for pledges
in 1997 is quickly drawing to a close.
So far we have received 124 pledges for $135,000.
If you have not returned your pledge card
to the parish office, please send it
into the church office.
The gratitude of the parish is extended
to those who have worked so diligently
on the canvas, especially to Norman
Hoffmann who served as Chairperson.
ICHTHUS TO SELL SUBS FOR WORK WEEK
ICHTHUS, Saint Stephen's high school youth group will again be selling submarine sandwiches for Super Bowl Sunday, January 26th. Support ICHTHUS as they raise money for their work week in Appalachia this summer.
Remember, no Super Bowl party is complete without ICHTHUS subs!
ANNOUNCING SAINT STEPHEN'S FIRST ANNUAL AUCTION
A service of goods auction is being planned for early April. All proceeds will be targeted for outreach, the senior high work week in Tennessee and local agencies. Start thinking about how you can contribute as an individual or a group. Some suggestions have already come in for service opportunities and/or items to be made:
Take time in Lent (or earlier) to prepare your contribution. Take time sooner to plan it! Gathering a group together for an auction project is a great way to get to know new people and strengthen old friendships.
There will also be a silent auction with area business and restaurant offerings.
A children's auction will begin the evening. Kid's think about donating toys for the auction!
If you are interested in working on the Auction Committee, please contact Jean Kolb at 456-6156 or Kim Chapman at 384-1261.
- hosting a dessert party
- hosting a dinner party
- hosting a tea party
- cleaning a house
- doing yard work
- flower bed planting
- jewelry items
- quilt making