Messenger  Oct. 2000
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Worship Committee

by Scott Kilbourn

The Worship Committee held its first meeting after a summer break on August 28. The vibrancy of the St. Stephen’s community was evident in the discussions over the events ahead of us in the next few months.

While maintaining our worship foundations, the Committee has sought to focus on certain issues or groups in our services. Please do your part by completing the Time and Talent survey and returning it by Outreach Sunday, October 1. We are also currently planning for Justice Sunday and All Saints’ Day.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please contact any member of the Worship Committee regarding your worship experience here at St. Stephen’s.

SAFE House

SAFE House is a temporary 30-day shelter serving homeless/ runaway youth between the ages of 16 and 20. A youth may come to SAFE House through self-referral or through referral sources. Admission to SAFE House is solely voluntary. Limited space is also available for youth under age 16.

SAFE house has asked us if we can furnish deodorants and toothpaste this month: can you help? Please put your donations in the basket in the narthex.

Service Committee

Thanks very much to the four crews who picked up and delivered donated furniture for the Home Furnishings Program last month: Mike DeBritz, Bill Healy, Greg Phillips, John Casale, Paul de Kanel, Ralph May, Scott Kilbourn,  Tom Miller, Bill Walker, Dave & Denise Crates and George Ehler.

...teach these things to your children, and to your children's children


Last month, I attended a Christian Education Conference and Eucharist for church school leaders in our diocese. In his sermon, Bishop Herzog asked us to remember our own teachers, and to realize that we almost never remember a particular teacher because of what he or she may have taught us (if we remember that at all!). Rather, we remember our teachers because of how they behaved. A teacher's generosity, love and knowledge of their subject, and kindness, or the lack of these things, are what make a teacher memorable. A great teacher has the gift of deeply seeing a person, so that the learner discovers his or her own goodness and competence reflected in the teacher's eyes. I keep remembering our Bishop's words are we're working hard to prepare for our Church School year.

Being a teacher is such an awesome privilege that probably most of us have paused at the classroom door wondering, "what on earth am I doing here?" The truest answer to "what am I doing here?" has to be something like "This is how I am saying 'yes' to our Lord's command to preach, to teach, and to heal in His name." This may be the truest answer, but its not all that reassuring. I mean, it hardly makes it all seem easier or less risky, does it? We're going to worry that God needs better material to work with than us. But the fact is, the only way anyone can share this good news is by virtue of having received it. No matter how experienced, or well-trained, or capable, or saintly (or not), we can only teach the gospel of Christ as we ourselves receive and are transformed by it.

We are blessed that St. Stephen's has a strong commitment to Christian education for learners of all ages. There are many here who have received richly, and who are committed to sharing what they have received. Their enthusiasm and creativity is inspiring, and contageous, and I'm sure their learners will 'catch' it. So far, our Church school teachers include:  

K/1st Grade: Linda Emaelaf, Dawn Rizzo, and Karen Malcolm
2nd/3rd Grade: Kim Chapman, Janine Philips
4th/5th/6th Grade: John Casale, Liz Casale, David Malcolm, Shari MacIvor
7th/8th Grade: George Woodzell
9th/10th Grade: Michael DeBritz
12th Grade: Gloria Kavanah and David Goyette

These teachers have committed to the first half of our program year, from September 2000 through January 2001. Also, Stacey DeBritz and Liz Varno will be helping with some special programs for large groups. And Alison De Kanel has something amazing and wonderful in the works for our Christmas pageant. I want to especially thank Stacey DeBritz for helping to prepare the elementary and pre-school classrooms -- she's been cleaning, organizing, redecorating, as well as buying and preparing supplies and crafts. Some of the other parents are joining her to form a 'clean team' so that the rooms and supplies will be ready for our Church School. Richey Woodsell has been helping to inventory curricula materials and get me organized.

One of Stacey's many great ideas was a 'family night' to kickoff the Church School year. This was a chance for the teachers and parents and children to meet one another and their families, to play some games and share a meal. Our Church School Family Night was held on Saturday, September 16, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Adult Education at St.Stephen's

Most of us already know that Jesus's mandate to go into the world preaching, teaching and healing in His name is not fulfilled by listening to (or preparing) a sermon every week. We all need teaching until we die, because there no end to learning the way of Christ. One of the joyful things about joining the ministry at St.Stephen's is our commitment to rich and varied adult education. The only real difficulty has been in trying to figure out "what next?".

This fall Deacon Pat and I have planned a series of courses about what it means to be a just Christian. We're going to bring in outside speakers and invite everyone to come and be involved in a discussion about what justice looks like for followers of Jesus. Before our discussions on justice, I'm going to teach a five-week course  on the characters from the book of Genesis.

Deacon Pat will continuing her bible study group as well, using the Kerygma study series on the Gospel according to Luke. Scheduled times will be announced.

Wellness Sunday:  October 22

On October 18th the church celebrates the commemoration of the life and work of Saint Luke the Evangelist, both as Physician and as Evangelist. St. Luke’s vocation was to medicine and healing; he was educated and trained as a doctor. Within the healing profession and with the tools of that calling, Luke worked to spread the gospel. In fact, some think that his Gospel has such power because he was a doctor first and because he was able to deploy all the learning and habits of that profession in service to the gospel and its dissemination. In this light on October 22nd at both the 8:00 am and the 10:15 am Eucharists our congregation will celebrate Wellness Sunday. We will not only hold up Saint Luke’s life and work, but that of all health care workers in our church. All nurses, physicians, mental health workers, medical clerics – everyone who relates their daily work with health care is asked to call the office in the next week so that their names can be included in the bulletin.

Flowers:  October

    1 In loving memory of Jeffery L.Knight given by William R. Bonsal
    8 In memory of the loved ones of Jesse and Betty Dipley  
    15 In loving memory of Lawrence G. Peterson, William and Johanna Earle, Elizabeth Card, Justus and Anna Peterson given by Mrs. Lawrence G. Peterson
    22 In loving memory of Richard James Belardo, given by Sal and Diana Belardo; In loving memory of Caitlin Olberg, given by Andrea and Rob Olberg
    29 In thanksgiving for the marriage of Maureen Kelly and Brian Taylor given by David and Suzanne Taylor

October Schedule of .....

Oct. 1

Oct. 8

Oct. 15

Oct. 22

Oct. 29

Altar Guild*






Chalice 8 am

G. Woodzell

M. Causey

P. Holmes

C. Jones

M. Causey

Lector 8 am

K. Miller

L. Stevens

M. Bishop

S. Woodcock

O. Jones

Chalice 10:15

P. Holmes

C. Jones

M. Causey

O. Luczka

N. Hoffmann

Lector 10:15

G. Jaquith

K. Chapman

M. Gittinger

L. Emaelaf

M. Dare

Crucifer 10:15

N. Stewart

R. Manor

J. Rizzo

C. Roseberry

C. Morin

Server 10:15

M. Trawick

E. Chapman

P. Pratico

T. Trawick

N. Stewart

Torch 10:15


T. Pierce

A. Gibbs

K. Gibbs


Torch 10:15

J. Casale

C. Whitney

A. Rizzo

P. Sombor

T. Pierce














Care Team

A&M Spang

D&M Causey


A&K Lowe

G&R Woodzell

*Altar Guild: Your duty week begins the Saturday before the above date.

**Altar Guild: Includes Sunday service at 7 pm in chapel (Eucharist)

Acolytes: Please find a substitute if you cannot serve or call Deacon Pat.

You need to arrive in the Choir Room at least 15 minutes before the service begins.

Lectors: Read the First Lesson and lead the Psalm

Altar Guild Teams


A Hoffman, Northrop

A M.Spang, D.May, R. May

B Peake, Morin, Reid, Russell

B Ackner, Gittinger, Molino

C Dipley, Lowe, Tomlinson

C D.Belardo,Vanda,Voelker

D A.Spang, Borrowman, Crates


E. Peake, Small, Northrop

A Jed Dare, Peter Nevius

Sustitutes: Holmes, Bishop

B Scott Kilbourn, Melissa Ehler

C Al Lowe, Liz Varno

D George Woodzel, George Ehlerl

E Dick Causey, Josephine Jones


3 Katharine Lowe, Alex Rizzo, Andrew Novak
5 Eugene Whitney
7 Susan Liberis, Stephen Pohl
8 Grant Jaquith, Bobby Chapman  
9     Dorothea Ham
10 Herbert Gretz, Janet Schlansker
12 Don Molino
14 Diana Belardo, Careron Pierce, Kristen Pohl
15 Polly Mathers
16 Rosemarie Jaquith
17 Melissa Ehler
19 Norma Flora, Tamara Glass
20 Katherine Casale
21 Tom Miller
22 Karen Holcombe
23 Alice Petter
24 Michael DeBritz, Larene Jaquith
25 Lorrie Lyons
28 Ruth Cotton, Eunice Chouffi, Julia Ehler, T.J. Wilcox
31 Justin Phillips, Christoper Morin


7 Dan and Shari MacIvor
9 Jesse and Betty Dipley; Robert and Bonita Bailey
19 Herbert and Shirley Gretz
27 John and Elizabeth Casale

Several years ago, Gloria Lukas and I attended a funeral at which there was a moving eulogy. As we rode home, Gloria asked, "Will you do that for me when I die? You can say it however you want-but please do it." So this is…

For Gloria

I can't remember meeting Gloria for the first time. When I returned home from seminary in 1990 she was already well-established at St. Stephen's; it felt as if I were the newcomer and she was the old-timer. Gloria could always be found where the action was at church. In addition to attending every possible service, she worked in the kitchen, on the Vestry, in Sunday school classrooms and at Logos, ECW, EFM, Worship Committee, Damien Dinners, Foyers, Agape, Bell-ringers, jail ministry-she never missed an opportunity to learn, to serve, or to offer an opinion. It was Gloria who always knew what was going on, who was ill or missing from church. Her blindness only served to sharpen her perception: she could "read" a footstep or a tone of voice better than most of us, and she was seldom wrong in her interpretation. I remember one occasion when someone hesitated before giving a negative reply to a question, and Gloria spoke up first: "Why not?" she demanded. The rest of us were dumbfounded.

"Pinkies up!" was her instruction as we'd set off for some social event. She loved parties, and could serve a 5-course Italian dinner to 8 guests without missing a beat. But not without a qualm-she would be anxious beforehand, and exhausted afterward, but that didn't stop her from venturing into new or difficult activities. She rode on her son-in-law's motorcycle on her 70something birthday, and was delighted to receive a computer on her 75th.

After she had a debilitating stroke in the winter of 1999, Gloria was confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home. It was difficult to see her there, and to know that there would be no more phone calls, no more coffee at Friendly's after a meeting, or lunch at "the Queen." But even then she continued to teach me how to grow old, how to live with courage and grace.

When Gloria died at the beginning of August, I was glad for her sake that her suffering was over, and I realized again how much she had given to me as a mentor, a dear friend, and a sister in Christ. I picture her now, enjoying the heavenly banquet, rejoicing in the fellowship of the saints.

Pinkies up, Gloria!

Episcopal Relief and Development

by Kabby Lowe

Episcopal Relief and Development is the new name of the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief. Presiding Bishop Griswold announced the change at the Convention in July. this new name better describes the ministry of the Episcopal Church of providing both short term relief and planting seeds for long-term sustainable development.

Though the fund’s name has changed, the mission has not. the church will continue to strive to fulfill the baptismal covenant to serve Christ in all persons, to love neighbors, to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being,

As of June 30, generous members of our Albany Diocese have contributed $20,312.99 in gifts to Episcopal Relief and Development.

As of May 2000, $891m796 had been granted all over the United States. During the summer, $190,000 in grants were made: $25,000 to the Diocese of Newark for flood relief in Sparta, N, $25,000 to the Diocese of Idaho for relief from wildfires, and $25,000 to the Diocese of North Dakota for relief from the aftermath of heavy rains and flooding. Grants totaling $55,000 were made to the Dioceses of Kinkiizi in Uganda and Yambio in Sudan and the Province of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. $60,000 was given to Action by Churches Together for the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

In celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief (now Episcopal Relief and Development), we will hold a Tea at St. Stephen’s Parish Hall on Saturday, September 30th at 2:30 pm.

Please call Kabby Lowe (346-8879) for information about Episcopal Relief and Development, which still has the same address for donations : Box 12043, Newark, NJ 07101-5043..

The Inaugural Annual Bishop’s Appeal of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, Trinity 2000

"Equipping Disciples to Realize the Vision"

Bishop Herzog is inviting Episcopalians diocese-wide to join in supporting the Diocese’s Vision through a gift to The Bishop’s Appeal. The Diocesan Vision is "The Diocese of Albany as One Church: organized around the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, moving from membership to discipleship, rooted I the catholic structures of Anglicanism, and equipping every disciple to make disciples."

The them for this inaugural Bishop’s Appeal is "Equipping Disciples to Realize the Vision." Gifts given to the appeal will go to support current or implement new initiatives in the following areas: Youth Ministry, Lay Leadership Development, New Church Planting, Spiritual Life Center, and the Bishop’s Purse. The Bishop’s Purse (discretionary fund) is included since the Bishop has announced that a collection for the Bishop’s Purse will no longer by taken during parish visitations.

Invitations to participate in the Bishop’s Appeal will be sent to all households on The Albany Episcopalian mailing list and should arrive during the first week of November. If you do not receive one, please contact Jerry Carroll, Legacy Stewardship Officer, at or (518)465-4737 x208 to have one sent to you.

The Albany Episcopalian is carrying stories of transformational change in people’s lives as a result of the programs supported by this Bishop’s Appeal. Please take a minute to read these articles and consider how your gift can create a similar opportunity in the future. You can support the Diocesan Vision through your regular prayer and the following prayer is offered for your use:

"LORD JESUS, fill us with such gratitude for your redeeming love that we may be disciples who make disciples. Grant to the Church in the Diocese of Albany a generosity to serve you. Bless our bishops, priests, deacons, an laypersons with the fruitfulness you desire. We ask this through your tender mercy sake."

Parish Profile

by Louise Peake

David and Robin Kaczka and six-month old Nathan reside on Regent St. in Niskayuna. The Kaczkas moved to Niskayuna last year from Washington, DC. Robin attended Christ Church in Chevy Chase. She is a native of Virginia. David made many moves in his growing up years as a result of his father’s profession.

David and Robin both worked in Washington, which is where they met. They married four and a half years ago. They are the proud and loving parents of Nathan, born last April. Nathan will be baptized on October 1 at the 10:15 service.

The Kaczkas enjoy the outdoors and like to hike. Nathan is included in their activities. Robin would like to get involved in church activities when Nathan is a little older.

I asked Robin the question I ask in all interviews: "What brought you to St. Stephen’s?"

We all know the answer, but God gives us choices: our friendly parishioners, Fr. James’ inspiring sermons, and all our lovely children are the usual answers. Robin’s was typical, How wonderful to share in Nathan’s religious upbringing.

Rector's Letter

Dear Friends,

In 1970 the vestry of Saint Stephen’s established an endowment fund to
ensure the long term viability of the parish. For over 25 years many
faithful people have left some of their possessions to the church
through that fund. In this way they were assured that part of their
material assets would continue to work for the perpetuation of the Body
of Christ here on earth. They believed in and supported the church
during their lifetime. and they wanted it to prosper and grow and carry
the gospel to succeeding generations.

A few years ago the vestry and the endowment committee closely examined
the fund. They agreed that the current balance in St. Stephen’s
endowment fund could not ensure the continuing viability of the parish’s
physical plant. Therefore, they developed a strategy by which the fund
would grow through donations and earnings until it is worth one-half of
the replacement cost of the parish’s property. At this time that goal
would be one and a half million dollars. Currently the fund is a little
less than 1/5th that! We have a way to go.

Of course, a church that fully understands its responsibility fors
preading the gospel and attracting others to the church, will never
have enough money for its work. There can never be enough to implement
properly Saint Stephen’s ministry and mission to the world - any more
than there can be a limit on how much we should give to further the
advancement of God’s kingdom.

The old adage is true: "You can't take it with you." For the future of
our congregation, please remember Saint Stephen’s in your will. 

How to Perpetuate a Weekly Pledge

$1,000 endowed by will to a trust will equal a pledge of $ 1.20 a week.
$5,000 endowed by will to a trust will equal a pledge of $ 6.00 a week.
$10,000 endowed by will to a trust will equal a pledge of $12.00 a week.
$20,000 endowed by will to a trust will equal a pledge of $ 24.00 a week.

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