The Messenger
A few exceprts from "Summer 2000" Issue
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Introducing Our Almost Deacon

Lorraine (Laurie) Lyons will sooon join our family at St. Stephen's as Coordinator of Christian Education.  Laurie is completing her studies and, after her ordination in December, will assist Fr. James as Associate Rector of St. Stephen's.

Laurie was born in Baltimore, Maryland.  When she was twelve, her family moved to Delaware.  She is a graduate of the Universoity of Delaware with a degree in electrical engineering.  Her husband, Jin, and she met while they were working for General Electric.  After several moves with GE, the Lyons family settled in Niskayuna, where Jim works at the Research and Development Center.  They have three children:  Elizabeth Anastasia (called Stasia), who is 13 and attends Iriquois Middle School; Jim, Jr., who is 10 and attends Brown School; and Paul, 8, who also attends Brown School.

Lorrie felt God's call before Stasia was born, but recognizing exactly how He wanted her to use her education and talents took some time.  Her roles of wife and mother seemed to conflict with her desires to go to seminary.

In 1994, the Roman Catholic Pastoral Care Center offered courses at their discesan offices in Albany.  Lorrie took some courses there and was enthusiastic.  In January 1996, she started classes at St. Bernard's Institute in Albany.  Classes were offered three days a week in the evenings, allowing people who are employed or otherwise constrained for time to persue semoinary studied.  Bishop Herzog has recognized and approved this program.

Lorrie is presently in her last year of studies and will be ordained to the diaconate on June 11 at St. Stephen's.  She felt she would be able to work part time within the diocese this year.  How to do it and be a mom and wife was a big question.  God again showed his guiding hand.  Fr. James met Laurie and talked about the growth at St. Stephen's and the need for a part time coordinator of Christian Education.  A perfect solution!

Lorrie looks forward to getting to know us all and seeing where she can best use her God-given talents. We, in turn, welcome her with open arms!

From the Rector

Dear Friends,

You have read elsewhere in this newsletter about Lorrie Lyons becoming our Associate Rector for Christian Education.  I have known Lorrie for several years as I have followed her journey towards ordination.  I am convinced that she is a very good match to what we are doing here at St. Stephen's.  Christian education is her specialty.

The Episcopal Church has a tradition of ordaining a person to the deaconate before ordaining him/her to the priesthood.  There is a minimum of six months between the two ordinations.  On June 11th Bishop Herzog will ordain Lorrie  as deacon at the 10:15 am Eucharist at St. Stephen's Church.  Then on December 16th at a 10:30 am Ordination service Lorrie will be ordained a priest.  A luncheon reception at the Mohawk Golf Club will follow this second ordination.

During the six months between her two ordinations Lorrie will be assisting Pat and me in the Eucharist and will preach once a month.  Lorrie's primary responsibility will be overseeing our Christian Education program.  She will recruit, train, schedule and support our Church School teachers;  equip all teachers with materials needed for education, write articles pertinent to education for "The Messenger", teach adult education classes, and chair the Education Committee.

Lorrie's arrival will allow me to devote much more energy to evangelization:  home visits for those looking for a church home, non-stop teaching of new member classes on Sunday morning, concentrating on new member assimilation, and guiding new lay leadership into appropriate areas of  our church life.

St. Stephen's has been given a four year grant from the Diocese of Albany which allows us to hire an Associate Rector now, rather than wait the four years it willtake for us to manage on our own.  The diocese has invested in our congregation bevause of our demonstrated growth over the past ten years.  Lorrie will assist us in the growth for years to come.  We now have a full staff of devote and talented people:  Lorrie joins Deacon Pat, Tim, Kathy and me in our work to help each parishioner become a disciple of Christ.

Peace,  James+

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