The Messenger

February 1998

From the Rector.....

Dear Friends,

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 universities.

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Second, the variety of skills that a rector is required to possess in some measure easily become outdated.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.

Thank you.
James

THANK YOU...... THANK YOU..... THANK YOU.....

....to ICHTHUS who made over 150 sub sandwiches for their fundraiser on January 26

....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

ADULT EDUCATION

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,
#2 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 programs,
#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 approach,
#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 first,
#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 done?

Discussion will involve several choices:

#1 plugging the leaks: waste, fraud, and excessive profits,
#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 morning.

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.

LOGOS

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.

Thank you.
Jean Kolb

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 God
that we would always know ourselves to be at home with the Holy.

Amen.

AMONG OURSELVES

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 John Rigley.

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 Road.

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 Virg

inia and Robert Malmros 22 - In memory of William McMahon by Margaret and Howard Phillips
A thankoffering for our deceased members by the ECW day guild

25 - From February 25, Ash Wednesday, until April 12, Easter Day, 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 December 13.

...........Naomi Vanda

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.

...........Pauline Holmes
for the Service Committee

ANNUAL MEETING

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
Bishop Coadjutor

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 and 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.

PARISH PROFILES

-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

OPPORTUNITIES 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 our church.

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 Lent begins!

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 clean up.

BRING YOUR PALMS FROM 1996 PALM SUNDAY TO BE BURNED FOR ASH WEDNESDAY.

THANK YOU......

ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICES

Ash Wednesday is February 25th with the Imposition of Ashes and Eucharist as follows:

7:00 a.m.
12:3 noon
7:30 p.m.

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.