Messenger:  Feb. 2000

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From the Rector... Bethesda House Serves...
Cartoon, by Stephen Woodsell Flower Calendar for 2000
Annual Meeting SICM Highlights
Birthdays Welcome to the Family!
Projects for Hope Altar Flowers for February
Bits and Pieces

From the Rector...

Dear Friends,

"I would have joined this church years ago, if only I had known about
it."

This was a statement made to me recently by a new member. "If only I
had known....." There are many people living all around us who need the
caring and nurture of this wonderful congregation. Our neighborhoods
and workplaces are filled with confused, lost, yet seeking people. Many
of them have been "turned off" religion because they have had
unfortunate experiences with a kind of Christianity that is limited and
shallow. The solid Christian nurture given at Saint Stephen's is what
many people are seeking. Try to share this with them.

Episcopalians have our own way. We don't knock on doors the way the
Mormons do. We don't preach on the street corners as some
Fundamentalists do. Episcopalians live out the joy of Christ in their
daily life and then when someone asks us why we live the way we do, we
use that opportunity to share our faith and our church. But we need to
create that opportunity.

But how do you know what to say about Saint Stephen's? You could tell
them that our tradition provides a way to faith that embraces mind and
spirit, that affirms the goodness of the material world, that speaks to
the value of work and worth and community. Tell them that at Saint
Stephen's questions can be raised, concerns can be voiced, the
contradictions found in scripture can be confronted and engaged as we
read the story of faith in which we find our stories lifted up. You
could also tell them that Saint Stephen's is a community that embraces
newcomers. We possess a spiritual tradition that nurtures our members
and a liturgy that engages us. We respect individual freedom and the
right use of rational thought. We are like a broad sidewalk, not a
narrow sectarian path. See, you probably already know enough about our
congregation to talk about it.

As you talk to others about Saint Stephen's, please remember that it is
not just to build up the size of our parish. We talk to others because
we, ourselves, know God and love God and give thanks for the Good News
God has shared with us in Jesus Christ. We have accepted Jesus and we
know the joy of that relationship. We share that joy because we want to

bring it to as many people as possible for the Kingdom's sake and for
their sake.


This month's Cartoon....

Cartoon FEB 2000.jpg (20045 bytes)

Stephen Woodsell!


Annual Meeting

Elected at the Annual Meeting held January 23rd as wardens: Michael
Bishop and Denise Crates. Scott Kilbourn, Dick Causey , Sal Belardo, and
Charles Trawick were elected to the Vestry. Norman Hoffmann, Michael
Bishop, and Suzanne Coonradt are our delegates to the diocesan
convention, and Al Lowe, Pauline Holmes, and Charles Trawick are the
alternates.

Fr. James reported on the church statistics which show more people,
but a slightly smaller worship attendance. He announced progress in
calling an Associate Rector with initial funding from the diocese. And
he told all those present about the purchase of the property next to
the church on Garner Ave. That house will be occupied by the sexton.

Fr. James intends to reconvene the parish groups that we attended last
year to gather time and talent information .

Reports from the various committees were included in the Annual Report,
copies of which are available in the church office.

At the end of the meeting, Fr. James announced that there would be a
survey on the rearrangement of the sanctuary. All members will receive
a ballot in the mail and will be encouraged to make comments an d give
thoughtful critiques. Please return your ballot by the middle of
February.

KEEPING UP WITH OUR PARISH FAMILY...

BIRTHDAYS

February 1 Bill Walker
3 Nicolaus Brooks-McDonald, John Casale
5 Mildred Barber
6 Don Nelson
7 Naomi Vanda
8 Patricia Jones
9 Petrina Marx
11 Mark Pohl
13 Don Regula, Bob Doolittle
14 Marilyn Causey, Nan Blaufuss, Christopher Ehler, Daniel Koch
18 Jane Tatge
19 Helen Morris, Christine Nelson
20 Denny Moss
21 Gregg Varno, Shari MacIvor
23 George Robinson Sr.
24 Pauline Northrop
28 Elizabeth Pratico


ANNIVERSARIES

February 3 Lowell & Sheila Boyce
10 Keith & Christine Nelson


Projects for Hope - the new initiative of the Presiding Bishop's Fund of
the Episcopal Church - is being supported by 24 dioceses with $108,111.69 for 12
projects.

Three projects have been completed. Best of all, in Honduras, 20 families have moved into their new homes
built by U.S. Episcopal volunteers, in solidarity with their Honduran brothers and sisters. Church leaders from all over the US came to Honduras throughout October and November to move bricks, meet in fellowship and get to know the ministries of the Diocese. The Executive Council and then the Board of The Presiding Bishop's Fund formed work teams to work and laugh  together at the work site for Faith, Hope and Joy: A Project for Living.

If you need more information about this outreach, please contact Kabby Lowe,

The Diocese has been very generous and gave $39,374. as of June 30, 1999. And undoubtedly much more has been given by individuals for emergency relief  for the tragic disasters that continue. $25,000 was sent to the Episcopal Diocese of Venezuela after the massive mud slides there. In addition it approved 6 emergency grants in early December for people whose lives have been devastated by hurricanes, drought and war.

On-Line contributions may now be made by visiting www.pblwr.org and clicking on the "Give Now" section.



BETHESDA HOUSE SERVES THE HOMELESS

For over 8 years, Bethesda House has been a vital resource and asset to
our downtown community. Originally opened in response to a community
need identified by the former Human Services Planning Council of lack of

daytime shelter for the homeless, the demand for our services has grown
incredibly. We are a hospitality center whose purpose is to assist
persons in a manner that is dignified and respectful; to assist persons
to live as independently as they are able and to promote both personal
and communal responsibility to effect individual and systemic changes
aimed towards moving individuals and families out of poverty.

On average 120 guests visit Bethesda House day. Our guests share the
common bond of poverty and seek a place of safety at Bethesda House for
a variety of reasons ranging from the need for employment assistance to
simply needing to feel a sense of belonging. An increasing number of
guests are among the working poor. Their low-wage jobs are often
insufficient to support their basic needs for shelter, food and
clothing. They come seeking supportive services so they can afford to
keep working. They come seeking assistance in securing a living wage
job. They come seeking a strong shoulder to lean on.

On-site programs aimed at moving guests toward self-sufficiency include
a guest phone for housing and employment related calls, laundry and
shower facilities, on-site health clinics, clothing room, and programs
in parenting, conflict resolution, sewing, cooking, life skiffs, support
groups and dispute mediation. In an atmosphere of trust and acceptance a
great many of our guests want to "give something back" through
volunteering in a variety of ways at the center. In addition to programs
and services, staff and volunteers offer referrals to other community
resources and/or direct assistance to guests in need.


Flower Calendar for 2000

I would like to provide flowers on

Sunday __________________

In memory of

___________________________________

As a thank offering

_________________________________


JANUARY 2000 SICM HIGHLIGHTS

Dialogue Circles Recruitment Meeting Set

Representatives from congregations, community groups and workplaces are
invited to attend a breakfast meeting on Thursday, Feb. 17 to learn
about the community-wide dialogue groups (study circles) on race
relations to be launched in mid-March. Representatives will be asked to
recruit participants for the project, a collaborative effort between
SICK the YWCA, the Human Rights Commission and others. At the January
Assembly, delegates from 28 churches experienced some of the process.
The project features groups of 10 to 12 people of diverse backgrounds
meeting for two-hour sessions over five consecutive weeks to share
experiences, policy perspectives and action steps. A follow-up Action
Forum will address issues that emerged from the process and plan further
steps toward community change. Individuals or groups who want to
participate in dialogue groups or the breakfast should contact S1CM at
374-2683.

Holiday Lunches Serve More than 1,000 Youth

More than 100 volunteers coordinated by Food Program Director Patricia
Obrecht helped distribute bag lunches to more than 1,000 youth during
the holiday vacation in December. The lunches, prepared at the City
Mission, were distributed at five city sites. The meals consisted of
sandwiches, fruit, snacks and juice. The idea for the first-ever effort
came out of a SICM Assembly in the fall. Thanks to all who helpedl

Damien Center Seeks Volunteers for Monday Suppers in February, March

The Schenectady Damien Center seeks groups of volunteers to prepare
suppers to be served on Monday evenings. Volunteers are asked to cook a
full meal for 30 people and bring the dishes to the center by 5:30 p.m.,
ready to serve. For more information, call Donna Stovall at 374-0848.

Mayor to Speak at February Assembly

Mayor Albert Jurczynski will be speaking at the Wednesday, Feb. 2
Assembly at St. Helen's Church, 1803 Union St. Refreshments will be
served at 7 p.m.; the meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. The mayor will be
looking to dialogue with the church community on some city initiatives.
All are welcome to attend.

Training Set on Nonviolence in Police-Community Relations

Charles Alphin, a former police officer now a recognized expert in the
nonviolent strategies of Martin Luther King Jr., will be leading a
training for interested members of the community in February. The
workshops will focus on using King-style nonviolence in police-community
relations. Three choices of training sessions will be offered: Friday
evening Feb. 18 and all-day Saturday, Feb. 19; Monday through Tuesday,
Feb. 20 and 2 1; and Wednesday through Thursday, Feb. 22 and 23. To
register, contact Jim Murphy at 346-6848.

CROP Walk Total Continues to Rise, Recruiters' Workshops Set

The 1999 CROP Walk has brought in $66,389, far surpassing any previous
year's total. Two workshops have been scheduled to gear up recruiters
for the 2000 walk, scheduled for May 7. Recruiters for congregations,
community groups and workplaces are invited to attend either the
Tuesday, March 14 workshop at Emmanuel-Friedens Church, 218 Nott
Terrace, Schenectady, or the Tuesday, Feb. 29 workshop at Prince of
Peace Lutheran Church, Route 146, Clifton Park. Both start at 5:30 p.m.
and include a light supper. For more information, contact Marianne
Comfort at 374-2683.


Welcome to Our Family at St. Stephen’s
by Louise Peake

Rosemarie and Grant Jacquith and their family are new members or our
congregation. Formerly of Fayetteville (near Syracuse), they now
reside at 1475 Keyes Avenue.

Their two older children, Larene and Gordon, are presently attending
school in Fayetteville. Larene , 15, is a cheerleader, and Gordon, 12,
is a sports enthusiast. The two younger children are at home on Keyes
Avenue. Olivia, who is 4, takes ballet lessons and will attend Hillside
School in the fall. Isabelle , at just over 1, is a charming toddler.

Grant and Rosemarie are both attornies. Grant is with the Office of the
US Attorney General , and Rosemarie works at the New York State
Legislature.

They were very active in their former parish in Fayetteville; Grant
served on the Vestry and was also a Warden. Rosemarie was a choir
member and participated in the Sundan School Program.

Upon moving to Niskayuna , the Jacquiths looked for an Episcopal Church
close to home. They visited St. Stephen’s and looked no further. Grant
and Rosemarie have joined a Foyer Group, so they are well on their way
to becoming integrated into the St. Stephen’s Family.

The Jacquith’s attend the 10:15 service. Be sure to greet them!
(They’re the ones with the lively, curly haired redhead!)


Altar Flowers in February

February 6 In memory of Edna Phillips
Given by Howard & Margaret Phillips

February 13 In memory of the loved ones of
Jesse & Betty Dipley

February 20 In memory of Dawn Schlansker
Given by Ted Schlansker

February 27 In memory of Emilie & William Voelker
and Anna & Arthur Lindstrom
Given by Robert & Shirley Voelker


Bits and Pieces

Agape is February 11. The speaker will be James Daly on Estate Planning.

The Messenger deadline is February 20th.

If you have never filled out a Membership Profile, please use the form
included in the last Messenger. If there are any changes in the
information that you gave on a previous form, please use the form to
make those changes (you don’t need to fill out the entire form). If you
filled one out long ago and there are no changes, we still have your
original information, so you needn’t fill out another. Thanks for your
attention to this.

The new Parish Directory is out . Please let the office know of any
changes or corrections.
Please note that the e-mail for Deacon Pat and Chris Jones is
jonesc@union.edu. The “c” was inadvertantly omitted.