From the Rector.....
Over the last month or so parish leaders have made many phone calls, asking you to think about
doing this task or that task at St. Stephen's. We try to consider carefully the gifts we know you
have and how those gifts might be used in our parish. I suppose you can say that when you are
called on the phone, the church is checking with you to examine whether you have a calling to a
particular ministry in some area of our life together. I believe that God calls everyone of us to
some ministry, the trouble for us is to be open to what that calling might be.
One of the most compelling sermons I've ever heard was given by the senior pastor at an
inner-city Gospel Church one cold January day. I arrived late with several friends; we were
ushered up to the front as the music began. Though it was cold outside, the building's interior
was filled with warmth and energy. I could feel it as the preacher invited us to stand and sing.
As he began to preach, a sense of anticipation filled the room. I had heard about this man and
this community of faith led by him. "The message I want to share is familiar to us," he said.
"Brothers and sisters, the theme for today's sermon has to do with selling out? Jesus says that if
we are going to be his followers, we need to sell out and go with him?"
was heard throughout the room.
The preacher continued, "Let each of you lead the life which the Lord has assigned to you, and in
which God has called you. Jesus has called us and wants everything from us. We know the
struggles. Yes, Lord, you are our only hope."
As I looked around, I became increasingly convinced of this community's complete trust in Jesus,
the one who saves. These people lived in very trying circumstances. Poverty, violence and
broken promises marked their days. But this Sunday - that reminder that Jesus calls us to do his
work - those words gave them food for their journey.
I hope this invitation to do God's work is also refreshing for us. So often it is just the opposite.
Let me make a few points to remember the next time a parish leader is on the phone asking you
to consider an activity of our congregation.
1. Nobody is called to do everything. God gives everyone gifts for building up the body of
Christ and God expects all of us to be responsive to that call. Just because some are not
responsive, doesn't mean a few of us are to do it all.
2. We, individually, are responsible to God for God's call in our lives. When something is
presented to us, it is up to us to decide with God (through prayer) if we have the gift for the
task, and if we will respond to God's call, or not. There should be no guilt trips, no coercing.
A "No" is as holy as a "Yes" if considered prayerfully.
3. Our community at St. Stephen's needs the creative use of our members gifts if we are to
follow our mission and to obtain our goals and objectives. To allow our gifts to go unused
would be disastrous - and maybe even death. Bonhoeffer said that the community that
exists with unemployed members, will die because of it.
The prayer for those of us seeking to follow the Lord, is this: Lord, help us to discern your will for
us, and when we are asked, help us to 'sell out' for the church's sake. AMEN.
EDUCATION FOR ADULTS
CHRISTIAN SECTS: WITHDRAWN
AND IN COMMUNITY
This course has been spending two weeks
on each of three Christian Sects, most of
whom live within a couple hours drive from
Schenectady. The aim of this course is to
help us understand the historical
background, the form of worship, the
organization, the basic doctrinal positions,
and distinctive features of the communities.
In turn it is hoped that we will become more
aware of our own beliefs as we explore
those of others. The remaining classes will
be held on Oct. 5 The Hutterites: To Care
and Not to Care and Oct. 12 & 19 The
Shakers. All classes meet in the pairsh hall
and are led by
THE SPIRITUALITY OF WORK
How do we carry the lessons and truths of
Sunday into the workday world of Monday
through Friday? For Christians interested in
bringing spiritual values into the workplace,
this question presents a creative challenge.
In this course you can discover how to bring
a true Christian ministry to your daily life by
infusing your work world with ethics and
competence. Classes will be held on
Sunday mornings, Oct. 26 - Nov. 16 in the
Parish Hall and will be led by Michael
EXPLORING THE ANGLICAN ETHOS
This course 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. It is required for all adults
who wish to be confirmed or received into the
church, but is open to all members of the
Parish Family. Classes are held on Sunday
mornings, Oct. 26 - Dec. 7
In the rector's study and led by the rector.
LECTIONARY BIBLE STUDY
The Episcopal Church uses a list of lessons
from the Bible which are read at the Sunday
eucharist. This 'lectionary' provided for
reading large sections of the Bible over a
three-year cycle. This weekly course is a
study based on the following Sunday's
scripture readings and is a good preparation
for Church School teachers or anybody who
wishes to enrich their Sunday worship
experience. The classes meet on Thursday
mornings at 10:45 in the rector's study and is
led by the rector.
The prayerbook stresses that baptism is the
beginning of full membership in the Church.
Since all baptized Christians are welcome
at the altar, discretion is left to parents as to
when they want their child to begin
receiving communion. Criteria for
Confirmation involve the moment when a
person is both old enough and prepared
enough to know the implications of making
a voluntary, public and personal
acceptance of the vows made earlier at
Baptism on his/her behalf.
Classes for parents and children who are
planning to prepare for reception to the
Holy Communion, and those who have
already begun receiving but who want
further preparation, will meet on two
Wednesdays: October 22 in the parish hall
from 4:45 pm to 6:15 pm and October 29 in
the church from 4:45 pm to 5:30 pm. .
Those parents wishing their children to take
communion for the first time could plan to
do so on All Saints Sunday, November 2nd
at the 10:15 am Eucharist.
"70 YEARS AS A CONGREGATION
50 YEARS AS A CHURCH"
Sunday, November 16th
3:00 pm. - Festive Eucharist at the church
5:30 pm. - Hors d'Oeuvres and Dinner at the Glen Sander's Mansion
- Premiere of the new video on Saint Stephen's:
"Remembering our Past,
Creating our Future"
WOULD ANYONE WHO HAS ANY
MEMORABILIA CONCERNING THE
HISTORY OF SAINT STEPHEN'S
PLEASE CONTACT THE RECTOR
SIGN UP TO HOST A COFFEE HOUR!!!
A sign-up sheet is located at the SHOP for anyone who would like to host a coffee hour
after the 8:00 and 10:15 am services. If you've never done it before, sign up with
someone who has. Directions follow below.
128th ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE DIOCESE OF ALBANY
The diocese is the most important unit of the Episcopal Church. It is based on
geography, generally, but also on Church population, so that dioceses may have borders
contingent with state boundaries, or there may be a number of dioceses in a state because of
population growth. Diocese are made up of parishes, which receive financial aid. It is in these
local congregations that most Episcopalians have their Church involvement.
It is likely, therefore, that most Episcopalians will know more about their local
communities than about the larger structures. Many will have no involvement beyond the local
boundaries. However, since they are Episcopalians they bear a share of the responsibility for
the support of the diocesan and national structures. This means that to be an Episcopalian is
to be something more than a member of a local group of Christians, and it demands a greater
awareness of larger responsibilities.
Once a year each diocese holds a convention to approve a budget, to elect officers, and
to conduct other business that pertains to diocesan life. The annual session of the 1997
Convention of the Diocese of Albany will be held on October 12-13at the Cathedral in Albany.
The Convention Delegates for St.
Election of the following offices will take
Ecclesiastical Trial Court
Provincial Synod Delegates
From this parish Norman Hoffman is on the
Ecclesiastical Trial Court, Kabby Lowe is
Coordinator for the Presiding Bishop's
Fund for World Relief, Al Lowe is
chairperson of the diocesan Hunger
Coordinating Committee, Michael Bishop
serves on the Salary & Benefits Committee
and James Brooks- McDonald is a delegate
to Province II Synod, a member of the
Standing Committee and serves on the
The delegates will vote on a new budget with
the following expenditures:
$93,365 - assistance to small congregations
$98,200 - to the National Church
$304,808 - diocesan staff salary and benefits
$85,440 - for the cathedral
$30,000 - for the "Albany Episcopalian"
$111,251 - for our retreat centers: Barry House and Beaver Cross
$40,000 - for the Counselling Center
This would require St. Stephen's assessment to
the diocese of over$25,000 for 1998.
KEEPING IN TOUCH
Service - Food collected in the basket on
Sunday morning will be taken up to the altar
with the collection plates at the Offertory. In
this way we will hold up to God more than
just our money.
Collected enough school materials for all the
children in the six families to attend the first
day of school with full backbacks.
Supported over twelve people from our
parish who helped repair mission churches
in the Adirondacks.
Worship - Tabulated the results from their
survey at the Parish Faire and is busy
revising the Instructed Eucharist for use in
Evangelism - Has submitted regular 'press
releases' to local newspapers concerning
activities at St. Stephen's. Has purchased
three new "The Episcopal Church Welcomes
You" signs to replace those on Union and
Garner and to add one on Balltown Road.
Education - The program year began with
over 35 children and 40 adults in classes.
Logos began on Sept. 23 with 15
Pastoral Care - Is organizing a committee
which will supplement the rector's visits to
those in hospitals, long-term care facilities,
and at home. Two team members would be
on-call each week to check hospital
admissions, infrom the parish office of
admissions and visit people in the hospital.
Finance - The Blessings 2000 Fund drive is
entering its final six months. The final
stained glasswindow was in installed in the
chapel. The remaining altar, lecturn,
credeance table and chapel chairs will be
available as memorial gifts. Twelve niches in
the columbarium remain to be sold to meet
Fund Raising - "Entertainment Books" are
available for sale. Cost is still $40 with the
congregation receiving $7 for each book
Building All boilers and furnaces have been prepared for winter,
the downstairs bathroom in the rectory has been remodelled, the exterior of the rectory will be painted this autumn, and a number of small repairs still
need to be done by volunteers
Grounds - After the tower spotlights were
destroyed by the oil tank removal, Sid
Woodcock has rewired and replaced them.
The Fall Ingathering of the United Thank Offering will be held on Sunday, October 5. Every
cent of Ingathering money is awarded in grants.
Please remember the good work of UTO!
EPISCOPAL CHURCH WOMEN
The guild met on Monday, September 15 at the church. The meeting
began with a social halfhour to give everyone a chance to get
Marysue Andrews and Liz Casale led a discussion about the guild
focusing on some type of community service project. They also had
spoken to Pat Jones, Sandy Borrowman and Carole Merrill-Mazurek in
regard to project concerning women's issues. A suggestion was made
to look into the issue of domestic violence. Being that this issue
is such a broad and far-reaching subject, the consensus of the
group was to briefly discuss and learn about many of the different
aspects of violence and abuse.
Upcoming events for the guild include: movie night, Christmas
party, cooking class, and a retreat. Suggestions as to the
structure of the meeting were discussed. A decision was made to
hold the topic discussion from 7:30 to 8:00 and activity from 8:00
to 9:00 pm giving members the option to attend the first half of
the meeting. A video on domestic violence was viewed and a
discussion was held on how in society boys and gids are raised in
terms of accepted behavior in school and in the family - then and
The next meeting will be held on Monday, October 20 at 7:30 pm at
the church. Melissa Ehier and Liz Varno are hostesses.
HOME FURNISHINGS PROGRAM
St. Stephen's turn with the new HFP truck, came during the
last two weeks of August. Thank you to Mike Bishop, John
Casale, Mike DeBritz, Charlie Mertz, Tom Miller, Rick
Morin, Austin Spang, Charles Trawick, Gregg Varno, Gillian
& Sid Woodcock and George Woodzell, who picked up donated
furniture and delivered it to families in need.
The Home Furnishings Program needs volunteer help in other areas
If you are interested in any of the above, call the HFP office, 924
Albany Street, 346-2444.
Items most needed are dressers, bed frames, mattresses and box
springs (not king size), kitchen sets, dish sets, flatware, pots &
pans, and utensils. Smaller items may be left in the marked basket
in the narthex. For larger items call 346-2444.
- White elephant sales in October and May
- truck runs
- supervision of clients' office visits
- general housework (sorting, ironing, cleaning items)
- becoming a member of the board of directors
The flowers on the altar in October are given to the Glory of God.
6 - In memory of Jeffrey Knight given by William
13 - In memory of the Loved Ones of Jesse & Betty Dipley
20 In memory of Lawrence Peterson, Mr. & Mrs. J.
- Mr. & Mrs. W. Earle and Elizabeth Card
Mrs. Lawrence Peterson
27 - In memory of Leigh & Dorothy Lydecker and Jennie &
Alfred Lowe Sr. given by Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Lowe Jr.
... October marks the beginning
of the 28th year of THE MESSENGER. We may have grown
a bit from the first issue of 1 -1/2 pages, but the
original intent remains the same: "a monthly
newsletter to be a means of communicating church news
and views between members of the parish - an open
forum to express ideas on various subjects."
We are grateful to Fr. Sitts for his leadership in
establishing this important parish tool, and hope it will
always continue to fill a needed place in the life of St.
ICHTHUS ANNOUNCES TWO EXCITING EVENTS FOR THE
FAMILY OF ST. STEPHEN'S
First, coming this fall, a dinner for the entire parish, to thank
you for your generous support of our work camp to Tennessee this
past summer. Wonderful food, fabulous live entertainment, and a
thrilling slide show - what more could you want!! Watch this space
- or some space - for more information.
Second, a non-stop bottle and can drive. To raise money for our
work camp next summer, we're going to begin collecting boftles and
cans regularly. You can drop your containers by the church if you
wish, or a crack team of Ichthus container specialists
will speed to your door, ready to whisk away those piles of bottles
and cans. Call any member of Ichthus - we're starting now!!
MIDDLE SCHOOL YOUTH
Calling all 6-8th graders!!! You are needed for a successful PIZZA
PARTY .... on Saturday, October 4th beginning at 6:00 pm in the
This will also be an organizational meeting for the All Hallow's
Eve party. Hope to see you there.
............. Mrs. Chapman &
Plans are underway for a November
2nd and November 30th intergenerational. Our sessions will focus
on All Saints' Day and Advent. All
parishioners are invited to the parish
hall at 9:00 am on these days to
participate in these programs. There
will be no church school on
PARISHIONERS ON THE MOVE!!
Senior Airman, George Robinson Jr. has been transferred back to
Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia. George started at
Stratton three years ago and was transferred to Griffiss Air
Base in Rome, NY working with the Northeast Air Defense Sector.
He is now with the Special Security Division and enjoys being
Jennifer C. Taylor, daughter of David and Suzanne Taylor, has
graduated with a master's degree in business administration and
a concentration in information systems from RPI. She completed an
internship with GE's Silicones Division in Waterford and now
works for American Management Systems in Fairfax, Virginia.
Welcome back to the Trawick Family Charles, Debbie, Margaret
and Taylor. They were deeply missed when they were at Maxwell
Air Force Base in Alabama for a year. Major Trawick is now
stationed at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia.
On Sunday, September 10th, children in the parish were
encouraged to sign out a church library book. Nine children
did so. Hiola Henry picked out a book card with the winner's
name. The winner of the children's "sign out a book" raffle
was Samantha Legere!
There are many wonderful books and videos available for
parishioners to borrow. Stop by and take a look! When you
choose a book to borrow, be sure to take out the book card and
print on it your name, phone number and the date you are
borrowing it. Then put the card in the file box on the shelf.
When you return the book, place it in the yellow box on the
bottom shelf marked "BOOK RETURN". If you would like to borrow
a video, please see one of the librarians.
The library loves to get donated books, but if you wish to
make a donation, please put your name on a piece of paper
inside the book so we know who its from. If you would like to
have a name plate put inside the book, indicate that also and
the wording you would like.
....................The Library Committee:
Jane Tatge, Marti Spang, Pat Borden, Eunice Chouffi, Sheela Premsagar
IN A JAM?????
Yes, there will be JAM at the Shop counter one of these
days. Chris Jones' basement shelves are so full that he
had to put his new peach jam someplace else. Something
new: the elderberry plants in his front yard grew like
gangbusters, so there will be elderberry jelly! But
please, bring back the old jars (both 8 and 12 oz. with
bands). A round of applause to Liz Stevens, who found
some canning jars at a garage sale and bought them for
So look for the jam soon to be appearing at you Shop
counter. Remember .... all the proceeds go the help the
BACK TO SCHOOL
Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the backpacks
for children belonging to "our families". A special
thank you to Martha Deschaine and Carey Tiftemore for
organizing this event.
..........Pauline Holmes fop the Service Committee
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