From the Rector.....
At the Annual Meeting I announced that this summer I will be going on a sabbatical. Since
then a number of parishioners have had questions about what that means and how it will
work. Let me explain a little further.
The sabbatical tradition began in the university at the time when the university was part of the
church. The idea then was that the Doctors of the church, who were the university
professors, needed one year in every seven to become students again and to refresh their
spiritual calling. That tradition is alive and well in secular as well as church-related
The idea that professional clergy need to become simply students and worshipers every
seven years is gaining influence in the local churches. A sabbatical is simply a time given
every seven years during which the Priest/Teacher/Minister is required to become a student
and worshiper for the purpose of refining and updating professional skills and refreshing
his/her spiritual life and calling.
When I first came to Saint Stephen's I asked that a sabbatical be a part of my ministry for two
reasons. First, studies have shown that a fatigue sets in with rectors of active churches at
about six years of parish ministry. Unconsciously, the rectors know they need a change and
renewal and so most rectors decide that the way to get those needs met is to change
churches! I planned to be at Saint Stephen's for more than six years and I did not want this
"fatigue factor" to adversely affect my performance and attitudes.
Second, the variety of skills that a rector is required to possess in some measure easily
become outdated. Teaching, counseling, preaching, organizing, administrating, supervising,
and writing can become stale because it is very difficult to upgrade these skills during the
normal routine of parish ministry. It is not because I am busier than anybody else, but
because parish ministry is a most irregular profession. For these reasons I think it is
necessary for the rector and his/her congregation that there be a hiatus if we are to efficiently
carry out the work God has given us to do.
I am now in the process of putting together a sabbatical with the Personnel Committee of the
vestry. We aim to achieve an equilibrium of study, spirituality and relaxation. It will take place
this summer (June 9th - Sept. 8th) and will include writing a paper based on my doctoral
project and presenting it at a conference in Wales, UK. I am now working to make sure that
the liturgical and pastoral needs of the congregation will be met by local clergy over the
summer. Though I will be at the rectory for part of this time, for all intents and purposes I will
not be your priest over these summer months, I will be on sabbatical. I do look forward to
sharing with you the fruits of this time during the next year.
The sabbatical is an important event in the life of the rector and the parish. It is one of the
most effective ways for us to develop and maintain a long-term relationship.
....to ICHTHUS who made over 150 sub sandwiches for their fundraiser on
....to all who submitted reports for the Annual Meeting
...to our sexton, Dave, who keeps digging us out of the snow
...to Pauline Northrop who plowed through so many numbers in preparing
our Parochial Report for the national church
....to the Adult Choir who not only make beautiful music for us, but also
made us proud in representing us at the choir festival at the Cathedral
PUBLIC POLICY AND OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH
There is a strong emphasis in our Anglican tradition in which each believer is called to
improve the future by searching for solutions to today's problems. This series of forums will
present valuable information on today's national issues. The discussions will attempt to allow
participants to form their own conclusions (very Anglican!)
Feb. 1 Immigration: Should Immigration Be Restricted?
Discussion will involve several choices: #1 Historically we are a nation of immigrants so let us
be true to our heritage,
#2 This issue is a matter of priorities and so we must consider the
costs and consequences, and
#3 America is changing and we must define our limits. How
does our faith inform these three approaches?
Feb. 8 Politics: How Do We Want to Govern America?
Our discussion will center on the public and private role in doing America's work. Discussion
will involve several choices: #1 we must de-invent government by removing its power and
responsibility and by placing it in the hands of private entities,
#2 we need to re-invent
government by shifting more authority to state and local govemments,
#3 people need to
reclaim authority and develop the skills that will help them address these problems rather than
endow other entities - govemment agencies, congress, corporation - with that task
Feb. 22 Affirmative Action: How Can We Be Fair?
Discussion will involve several choices: #1 people, not government, can ensure fairness,
level the playing field, but don't fix the game,
#3 we need to finish the job we started.
March 1 The Economy: The $4 trillion debt: tough choices about soaring federal deficits.
Discussion will involve several choices: #1 discretionary spending: a guided tour of federal
#2 defense decisions: how much more can be cut?
#3 the uncontrollables:
putting a lid on entitlements,
#4 revenue solution: no such thing as a free lunch.
March 8 Education: How do we got the results we want?
Discussion will involve several choices: who should call the shots? #1 a business
#2 professional educators,
#3 market forces,
#4 a community approach/making a
choice about leadership.
March 15 Foreign policy: Should we reassess America's global role?
Discussion will involve several choices: #1 give up global leadership: put domestic needs
#2 exercise global leadership: promote stability, avert chaos,
#3 exercise global
leadership: promote democracy, protect human rights.
March 22 Health care: The health care cost explosion: why it's so serious, what should be
Discussion will involve several choices: #1 plugging the leaks: waste, fraud, and excessive
#2 medical marketplace: incentives to economize,
#3 drawing the line: medical
miracles that we cannot afford: what we want, what we're willing to pay.
The rector will lead the discussions in the Parish Hall from 9:00 am to 10:00 am each Sunday
HOLY COMMUNION: If you or someone you know is unable to unableattend church on either a long
or short term basis, please call the parish office.
The LOGOS Program has entered it's second semester for this year. We are planning
exciting activities to take us into April when the session will end. We invite everyone in the
congregation to join us in April for our year's end production.
Under the guidance of Bill Peakes we are constructing marionettes for a show entitled "Dry
Bones, a comedy", (see Ezekiel 37 for the real story). This project promises to be great fun,
with a little learning and mutual cooperation thrown in for added measure. Don't miss it!
More details to follow at a later date.
We welcome some new staff members to our group, Murray Roseberry and Bill Peakes, and
say goodbye to a 5th grade student, Kevin Bryant. We also welcome a newly expanded youth
bell choir (4th grade and up). Anyone and everyone is always welcome to join us on
Wednesday afternoons, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. We have a full afternoon of
singing, bells, bible study, activities, dinner and games.
Reminder: Second half of tuition is due for those who have not yet paid.
On our heads and on our homes, the blessings of God;
In our coming and in our going, the peace of God',
In our faith and in our living of it, the love of God;
At our endings and at our new beginnings, the arms of
that we would always know ourselves to
be at home with the Holy. Amen.
Kathryn Rose and Alexandra Mae,
daughters of Jennifer and Richard
Rigley, granddaughters of Dot and Sunday, February 1, after the 1 0: 1 5 service
There will be a farewell brunch for the
Feyrer family on Feb. 1st. after the 10:15 Eucharist. With great reluctance we
see them leave. Do come and add your
voice to others letting them know what
their years in the St. Stephen's parish
have meant to us all.
We note with sadness the death of Gertrude Welter in December, and extend sympathy to
her family. She was a long time devoted member of the ECW and will be deeply missed.
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR RECTOR?
Father James' contributions to our Saint Stephen's parish are well documented, but did you
realize how much he serves in other areas. On the diocesan level he has been elected to the
provincial synod-clerical and the standing committee-clerical, and appointed to the
communications committee. In this latter capacity he served as narrator during Bishop
Herzog's consecration ceremony.
In Schenectady outreach Father James is on the steering
committee of S(CM, chairs a Damien Center task force, and every third Tuesday, with June
Russell pianist and Norman Hoffmann lay reader, takes communion to Clare Bridge on Troy
We are deeply grateful, Father James, for your meaningful presence in
our city and diocese.
Dying and Behold we Live
Iasked for strength that I might achieve,
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do great things,
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy,
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for but everything that I hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.
(Written by a Confederate soldier who fought in the Civil War. It is embossed in bronze in the hall of the
"Institute of Rehabilitation" in New York. The patients call it 'the
prayer for those who have suffered."
The flowers on the altar in February are Given to the GLORY OF GOD......
1 - In memory of Emilie and William Voelker and Anna and
Arthur Lindstrom by Shirley and Robert Voelker
8 - In memory of Edna Phillips by Margaret and Howard Phillips
15 - The loved ones of Betty and Jesse Dipley
The loved ones of Virginia and Robert Malmros
22 - In memory of William McMahon by Margaret and Howard
A thankoffering for our deceased members by the ECW
25 - From February 25, Ash Wednesday, until April 12, Easter
plants will be on the altar - a gift of the altar guild
Thank you for all parish members who have signed up for flowers on the altar during
1998. Please note that there are still three dates open: July 12, November 8 and
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's
Christmas Tree project; 134 beautifully wrapped presents were delivered to "our"
families. Particular thanks are due to our "Santas" for delivering the presents:
Robyn Stuart and John Jankowski, the Trawicks, the Jones and Borrowmans, the
Ehlers, the Manors and the Morins.
for the Service Committee
At the annual meeting on January 18 Suzanne Coonradt and Al Lowe were elected
churchwardens. Pauline Northrop, Rocky Bonsai and Helen Reid were elected to the
vestry. Michael Bishop, Suzanne Coonradt and Norman Hoffmann will be
representatives to the diocesan convention with Pauline Holmes and Al Lowe
serving as alternates.
Congratulations to all who were elected and deep appreciation from the St. Stephen's
family for their willingness to accept these responsibilities.
FROM OUR BISHOP COADJUTOR
13 January 1998
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Chirst:
The churches in the northern part of our Diocese have/are enduring major pressures from
the devastating ice storm of last week.
Several have opened their buildings to serve as shelters and some have been damaged by
the loss of heat and lights. Many of our priests and people have labored to help both
neighbors and strangers in this time of need.
We are writing to ask vou to assist them as they minister in Christ's Name. Specifically, we
are asking each parish to take a collection (or use some other means) to receive any offerings
which will be made available to our brothers and sisters in the North.
Please make checks payable to: "Diocese of Albany" and mark them "ice storm".
We will be working with the Deans and parish clergy to distribute the funds.
Please be generous.
In Christ Jesus,
(The Rt. Revd) Daniel W. Herzog
EARLY 1998 Schenectady Inner City Ministry HIGHLIGHTS
St. Luke's Covenants with SICM
St. Luke's Catholic Church on State, Street. Schenectady, became SICM's 55th member
congregation. The SICM Assembly welcomed the new member congregation during a covenanting ceremony at the annual meeting Dec. 3. Representing the parish was the Rev.
Dominic Isopo, pastor, James Dixon, parish council president; and Frank Thomas and Victoria Onderdonk-Milne, the parish's SICM delegates.
Bethesda House Broken Into
Thieves gained entry to Bethesda House during the Christmas holidays, stealing a color TV,
VCR and small equipment. The loss was below the, insurance threshold. We seek a
donation of a color TV and VCR. To help, call Bethesda House at 374- 7402 or 374-7873.
AMERICORPS Members Named
SICM welcomes Scott Corley (JOBS etc.), Joyce Gordon (Bethesda House), Pat Peebles
Wayne Trottie (each half-time at Damien Center/SClTT), Oron Tucker (Shalom Zone, Albany Street United Methodist Church) and Bernadette Carter (Shalom Zone, Faith United Methodist Church). They all will serve until August.
Concerns Expressed about Police Review Committee The
Committee for Social Justice expressed concerns that vacancies remained on the city's Police Review Committee and that the Review Committee itself is up for renewal. Subsequent to the December Assembly, the mayor apointed 3 members (including
SICM's,- Jim Nelligan) to fill vacancies. The Council acted upon recommendations to make
the Objective Review Committee permanent. Now the next step for the Social Justice
Committee is to plan for improvements to the Review Commitee's polices and precedures. For more information, contact the Rev. Phil Grigsby at 374-2683.
-meet some of our newest members...
Paul and Nancy Cuddihy. Nancy and Paul both grew up in Buffalo
and did their undergraduate studies at Alfred Universiry. Paul completed his graduate degree
at RIT and works at the General Electric Research and Development Center.
Nancy, a counseling psychologist, finished her PhD at SUNYA just in time to start a family.
Meredith, 2 1/2, and Christopher, 16 months, keep the household busy. Living just down the
street from the rectory, Nancy and Paul started walking to St. Stephen's and now lend their
support to LOGOS as table parents, and Paul also helps in the nursery. They enjoy hiking.
Denise Strauss. Denise comes from Norwich, New York and
graduated from SUNY-Binghamton. She works as a program representative for anti-crime programs within the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. A lifelong
Episcopalian, Denise is glad to be part of a parish community again and has recently joined
our hand bell choir. She and Dave Crates are planning a spring wedding and enjoy skiing.
Shirley Tinney. Shirley and her husband moved to Schenectady after
living for 35 years in Scotia. Their five children and twelve grandchildren all live in the area.
Shirley retired in April from Union College Campus Operations. Raised as an Episcopalian,
she attended St. Andrews in Scotia, but finds St. Stephen's closer to her Schenectady home.
........... Marilyn Causey
FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN LENT
Thursday Evenings: We begin the evening with Evening Prayer in the church at 5:30. After the
service we gather in the Parish Hall for a light supper: hot soup and beverages will be provided and
can be supplemented with a sandwich from home. Finally, at around 6:45 we gather in the Library
for our Lenten Study series
Lenten Study series:
Our study this year centers around interviews that Bill Moyers conducted with Huston Smith about his experiences with the world's great religions. Smith is a Methodist but practices yoga, prays five times daily as Muslims do, has endured the rigors of a Zem monastery, and has joined his daughter and her Jewish husband at a Seder. His book, The World's Religions has been a bestseller since 1959 and has been translated into 14 languages. Smith is a pilgrim who has experienced the religions that he studies. In this Lenten series he shares with us how all "wisdom traditions" share fundamental truths.
Thursday Mornings: For many, the Season of Lent is a period of healing - -spiritually, emotionally,
relationally and physically. The Sacrament of Healing is offered as a part of the Eucharist at 10:00.
Persons wishing to receive this Sacrament are invited to stay at the altar rail after receiving the wine.
It involves the Laying on of Hands and Anointing with Holy Oil of Unction. After the service we will
gather in the rector's study for a Bible Study based on the following Sunday's scripture readings.
Sunday Eucharists in Lent: The Prayerbook gives many liturgical observances that are especially
appropriate for Lent. Each Sunday in Lent will begin with the "Penitential Order" (p. 319) wihich
includes a confession of sin.
Fridays in Lent - Stations of the Cross: 'Station' is any place in the church where, during a
solemn procession, there is pause for a prayer. During Lent there is a practice in which fourteen
'stations' are visited in turn, with a pause for a reading, a versicle and response, a prayer, and a time
for meditation. In this case, the 'stations' are fourteen pictures depicting incidents in the narrative of
Christ's passion, from Pilate's house to the entombment. These pictures will be placed around the
church on Fridays and booklets which lead the participant through each station can be found on the
table in the back of the church. The church and chapel will be open each Friday from 9 am to 9 pm.
Lent affords us a good opportunity to explore areas of our liturgical tradition that not widely used in
SHROVE TUESDAY PANCAKE SUPPER
Don't miss the traditional Pancake Supper at St. Stephen's on Tuesday, February 24th, marking the last time for festivities before
Menu includes pancakes, sausages and a beverage. The price includes all you can eat!
Bring your family, your friends and your appetite! Volunteers are needed to help cook, serve and
BRING YOUR PALMS FROM 1996 PALM SUNDAY TO BE BURNED FOR ASH WEDNESDAY.
ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICES
Ash Wednesday is February 25th with the Imposition of Ashes and Eucharist as follows:
Services will be held at various times so that each Christian can observe the beginning of this
penitential period which leads us into our celebration on Easter Day. Barring illness, every Christian
certainly will be in church on Ash Wednesday to begin his/her disciplined preparation for a
meaningful celebration of Easter.