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Our four-week adult education series "On Justice" was thought provoking, and prompted many of us to deeper prayer and reflection. For those who are looking for ways to take action for justice, here are some people and agencies you can contact:
Albany Community Restorative Justice Project
(works on issues such as those described by Susan Spang in her
"Restorative Justice" presentation)
Phone: (518) 433-1755 Website: www.social-capital.org
Law, Order & Justice Center (offers conflict esolution,
alternative sentencing and
community stabilization services for Schenectady County)
144 Barrett St. Schenectady, NY 12304
YWCA of Schenectady (services to women and families)
44 Washington Ave. Schenectady, NY 12305
Study Circles: Contact Jim Murphy: 346-6848
Or through the Capital Region Eumenical
rganization Jim Murphy,
Coordinator Box 2199 Scotia, NY 12303 (518)
Pat Jones and Lorrie Lyons have copies of notes from Susan Spang’s presentation on restorative justice, handouts from Jim Murphy’s briefing paper on the"NYS Self-Sufficiency Standard," as well as an outline and bibliography from
Judge Jeff Stockholm’s "Jubilee Justice" resentation. If you would like copies let us know.
2 Kelly Palmer
9 David Taylor
12 Laura Pratico
13 Susan Goldthwaite
14 Emery Chapman
16 Nancy Bernard
17 Pearl Burton
23 Deborah Trawick
26 Scott Kilbourn
27 Carolyn Morin
Leroy and Jacqueline Tomlinson
25 Susan and John Goldthwaite
31 Bob and Virginia Malmros
Jane and Bruce Tatge
Bits and Pieces
The next meeting of the Women’s Group is January 15 at
7:30. Mary Whitney, who lives at 2217 Grand Blvd. is the hostess.
Many thanks to White’s Homecare for fixing our wheelchair
on the day it was brought in and for charging us so little.
Allison deKanel feels a great debt of gratitude to all
those who participated, either on stage or behind the scenes on the wonderfully
successful Christmas Pageant. Even the Bishop was there for the performance!
The next Messenger deadline is January 21.St. Stephen’s notes with sorrow the death of former organist, Roger Hannahs. We extend our sympathy to his daughter, Cynthia Reedy, and his granddaughter, Jeanine Phillips. Roger died on Christmas Day. Burial will be in the spring in Potsdam.
I am writing this column during that wonderful time between
Christmas Day and Holy Name Day (better known as New Years Day).
I am reflecting on the wonderful events of the past month and also
looking back at the entire year. It
has been amazing.
We began the year needing to decide whether we, as a
congregation, wanted to make permanent changes to the sanctuary and chancel in
the front of the church, or whether we wanted to go back to the way it was
originally designed. Though more
than twice our members voted to make the change, all were sensitive to how that
change would effect the other third of the congregation.
The most amazing thing to me was not the changes made, but the way I saw
us treat one another with love and understanding during difficult times.
That is the mark of a truly healthy church!
Another highlight of the year is welcoming our new
Associate Rector, Mother Lorrie and her family into our community.
This year marked a first at Saint Stephen's:
two ordinations! Ordained a
Deacon in June and a Priest in December, Lorrie shared two very important events
in her life with us. She jumped
right into our congregational activities when she began her ministry in
Christian Education and I cannot imagine life in the parish without her.
We ended the year with the most creative Christmas pageant
I have ever seen. More parishioners
were involved with that production than in any event I can remember.
It reminded me of the days when we had the Logos program.
On that one Sunday in December almost 400 people attended church services
and that is a record for at least the last twenty-five years.
The congregation is growing both in numbers and in what it means to be disciples of Christ. At the Annual Meeting (January 21st) we will look to the future of the congregation, but during this holiday week I am looking back and am very grateful that I am your rector.
WHEN TO CALL YOUR CLERGY
Many people have the idea that the only time they should call their priest or deacon is when someone is critically ill or when there is a death in the family, and some don't even do that. Here are ten occasions when you should have no hesitation in picking up the phone to call James or Lorrie or Pat:
going to the hospital: it makes no difference whether you are going to the
hospital for major surgery or for a routine checkup - call before you go.
alcohol or drugs become a problem for you or for someone you love: the alcoholic
or drug dependent person is not a hopeless sinner - he or she is a person with a
disease who needs treatment. There
are no easy answers to chemical dependency, but the clergy can help you to
understand these problems or to assist families and individuals in locating
3. Before you
engage a lawyer: this does not mean before you get an attorney for any purpose,
but before engaging one when a husband and wife are considering separation.
If you take the Christian view of marriage seriously, you will wish to
talk through your situation with clergy or other pastoral counselor before
matters proceed to the point of seeking legal counsel.
4. When a baby
is born: when a new member of our family is born, James or Pat would like to
call while the mother is still in the hospital.
This is a good opportunity to rejoice with the family and to ask God's
blessing upon the child.
5. When you
would like to talk or pray about a difficult decision: the big decisions in life
are so important that they should be "talked out and prayed through".
Your work, perhaps getting married, a change in jobs - are all included.
6. When you
know someone in need of spiritual help: it is part of our Christian
responsibility to be alert to the needs of others.
If you know of someone who needs help, do not hesitate to call.
Together, we may be able to find a way to minister to those in need.
7. When there
is a death in the family: no matter what the hour of day or night the clergy
should be called at once. Their task is
to bring you to strong consolation of our Christian faith and to counsel with
you concerning arrangements for the funeral.
8. When you
are spiritually depressed: remember, help is available! The finest Christians have all gone through their dark night
of the soul. Don't try to fight it
through alone. If God seems far off and religion has lost its reality, you
are not the first person to feel that way.
Don't struggle with spiritual depression by yourself.
anyone enters the armed forces or leaves for college: Not only will the clergy
want to know their address away from home, but would like to opportunity to make
a personal visit to assure them of the concern of their home parish while they
10. When you want to share a thanksgiving: when a
parishioner wants to share a thanksgiving for all God's gracious gifts, the
clergy will be delighted to share this with you.
Parish office - 346-6241
Father. James - 370-3573
Mother Lorrie - 370-2793
Deacon Pat - 372-5836
NOMINATING COMMITTEE APPOINTED
In an attempt to be as inclusive as possible in nominating parishioners for elective offices, the vestry has appointed the outgoing members of the vestry as a nominating committee. They are securing the nominations for six positions vacant for next year. In addition, nominations will continue to be made from the floor of the Annual Meeting of the parish.
The elected offices are:
3 - three year terms for 2001 Vestry
1 - Warden - two year term
REQUIREMENTS FOR VESTRY MEMBERSHIP
there are only three requirements
for vestry membership:
be a confirmed member of the parish
church. This can be accomplished through
confirmation or reception by a bishop or
through a transfer from another
(2) have been
regular in attendance of
(3) have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God. This includes giving of Time,Talent and Treasure
WHAT IS THE 'VESTRY'?
The vestry is a group of eleven lay representatives from the parish who are charged with the temporal affairs of the congregation. They meet monthly with the rector presiding. The vestry spends considerable time on income and expenses and on writing the annual budget. They set the salary scales and are responsible for raising the money to meet expenses. The vestry also has the important job of finding a new rector whenever a vacancy occurs. Three representatives are elected at the annual parish meeting for a term of three years. In addition, a Warden (vestry officer) is elected for a term of two years.
THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD
The name "Epiphany" is derived from a Greek word
meaning "manifestation" or "appearing." It is also called
"The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles." This
phrase is a reference to the story of the Wise Men from the East.
A Christian observance on January 6 is found as early as
the end of the second century in Egypt. The
feast combined commemorations of the visit of the Magi, led by the star of
Bethlehem; the Baptism of Jesus in the waters of the River Jordan; and Jesus'
first recorded miracle, the changing of water into wine at the marriage of Cana
of Galilee -- all thought of as manifestations of the incarnate Lord.
The Epiphany is still the primary Feast of the Incarnation
in Eastern Churches, and the three fold emphasis is still prominent.
In the West, however, including the Episcopal Church, the story of the
Wise Men has tended to overshadow the other two events.
Modern lectionary reform, reflected in the Book of Common Prayer, has
recovered the primitive trilogy, by setting the event of the Baptism as the
theme of the First Sunday after January 6th.
Our celebration of Epiphany at St. Stephen's will take place on Sunday, January 7th at 8:00 am and 10:15 a.m. with Eucharist, Baptism and a welcoming of new members since last summer.
The Giving Tree
Thank you, thank you , thank you to everyone who
participated in buying and beautifully wrapping the 105 presents for
"our" six families. You have made such a difference to their
Christmas. A special thank you to Liz Stevens for rounding up the stocking stuffers, and to Louise Peake for help with buying
supplementary gifts and preparing
the stockings. A very special thanks to our "Santa" families, the
Trawicks, Mertz's, Malcolms, Stewarts, Ehlers and Woodzells for taking time out
from their hectic Christmas Eve to
deliver the presents.
As our numbers increase at St. Stephen's there are more and more people who are not very familiar with our liturgy on Sunday mornings. Others, who have attended services for a considerable time still have questions concerning the symbols in our worship. Therefore, on Sunday, January 28th at the 10:15 am Eucharist St. Stephen's will have an Instructed Eucharist.
As you arrive, you will be given a special bulletin.
At various points during the liturgy, the service will stop and an
explanation of that part of our worship will be read.
Then the service will continue until another explanation is read.
In this way it is hoped that a better understanding of our Anglican
worship will be given.
This 'Instructed Eucharist' has been revised by the Worship Committee so that it is easier to understand and more informative. It would be an excellent opportunity for our members to invite a guest(s) to church. We all know how confusing our worship can be, and this would be a way of 'easing' newcomers into St. Stephen's.
Christmas Cards Go to Jail
by Deacon Pat
I wish you could have been there, to see the women’s
faces and hear their words of thanks. Carole Merrill-Mazurek and I were the
messengers, but the Christmas cards came from many at St. Stephen’s. The work
of preparing them for delivery was shared by many, including Jean Versocki’s
grandchildren, who tied bows and applied stamps with enthusiasm. Our gift of
love fro the people of St. Stephen’s to the women in the Schenectady County
Correctional Facility was returned in the calls that followed Carole and me down
the tiers. “Thank you! God bless you!”
For several years, St. Stephen’s members have donated
their unused Christmas cards--the last few cards in the box, the extra box, the
unsolicited ones from various charities--so that the women in the jail can send
out cards to their loved ones. This year we gave each female inmate ten cards,
already stamped: 540 cards, plus some extras in case there are new inmates
during the week before Christmas. We have just about used up our supply: We
need more Christmas cards before next Christmas. So, as you put away
Christmas this year, think about dropping your unused cards in the big white box
atop the mail boxes in the nave extension, or in the “Jail Ministry” mailbox
any time of the year. The church provides the stamps.
“Thank you. God bless you!”
Those who serve...
|Jan 7||Jan 14||Jan 21||Jan 28|
|Chalice 8 am||P. Holmes||C. Jones||M. Causey||G. Woodzell|
|Lector 8 am||D. Molino||P. Nevius||S. Coonradt||K. Miller|
|Chalice 10:15||C. Jones||N. Hoffmann||P. Holmes||O. Luczka|
|Lector 10:15||K. Chapman||B. Mazurek||M. Bishop||K. Lowe|
|Crucifer 10:15||T. Trawick||M. Trawick||E. Chapman||P. Pratico|
|Server 10:15||C. Morin||N. Stewart||R. Manor||J. Rizzo|
|Torch 10:15||T. Pierce||A. Gibbs||P. Sombor||T. Pierce|
|Torch 10:15||J. Casale||C. Whitney||A. Rizzo||K. Gibbs|
|Care Team||R&D May||G&S Woodcock||Bishop/Holme||D.&M Causey|
|*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||Counters|
|A Hoffmann, Northrop, Peake||A M.Spang, D.May, R. May|
|B Morin, Reid, Russell, Ras, Casale,||B Ackner, Gittinger, Molino|
|Varno, Woodcock||C D.Belardo,Vanda,Voelker|
|C Dipley, Lowe, Tomlinson||D A.Spang, Borrowman, Crates|
|Ushers||E. Peake, Small, Northrop|
|A J. Dare, P. Nevius||Substitutes: Holmes, Bishop|
|B S. Kilbourn, M. Ehler|
|C A. Lowe, L. Varno|
|D G. Woodzel, G. Ehler|
|E D. Causey, J. Jones|
I am so thankful to be called to serve such wonderful
people. The love you all have shown me at the time of my ordination has been a
rich blessing to me and to my family. The gift of the home communion set is
perfect, and I hope to use it often. So many of you prayed for me, and worked
very hard to get the church ready in time, and helped with invitations and
planning, music and flowers, the reception in the church and the wonderful
luncheon. It was a beautiful, worshipful ordination.
Somewhere I read that the whole essence of sacramental
priesthood is expressed in the ancient exchange of the Sursum Corda: "The
Lord be with you" and the response, "and also with you." Because,
in that exchange, the priest is upheld and recognized by the body of Christ, to
be a person for the body of Christ. I want you to know that all the care and
gifts you have given me make a resounding "and also with you." This is
greater than anything I could have imagined. Thank you.
Epiphany Lessons and Carols
The Cathedral of All Saints will be offering a celebration of Epiphany again this year, following the English tradition Lessons and Carols.
Choirs from churches all over our diocese will be participating, including our own wonderful choir under the direction of Tim Olsen. Usually the final hymn is sung by all the choirs together – the stones reverberate with the sound! Please come and enjoy this beautiful time of reflection and celebration January 14 at 5:15pm.
...To all who helped to get the front of the church ready
for Mother Lorrie's ordination
....To Carol Ras and Debbie Trawick who made preparations
for the luncheon and reception after the ordination
Miller, our office manager, who pulled together so much at 1229 Baker to make
happen the ordination, the pageant and Christmas Eve - all within one week!
...To Dave, our sexton, who took off time at his job at
Union College so that our floors would shine for all our festivities
....to all who made this the most memorable Christmas
...to the Altar Guild and to brass polishers par excellence
who polished all the brass in the church, and made Christmas beautiful
....to all who took time on a busy
Saturday-before-Christmas eve to help 'green' the church
...To Tim Olsen, Nan Blaufuss, the choir members and all
the instrumentalists who helped to make Christmas beautiful
...To the lectors, chalice bearers and acolytes who made
our worship possible
...To all those who helped in the toddler and nursery rooms.
...To the ushers and to the offering counters
and everyone else who helped in some small or large way....
Worship in January
by Pat Jones for the Worship Committee
Epiphany, which commemorates the showing forth of Jesus
Christ to all the world, is symbolized by the arrival of the three “Wise Men
from the East” in Bethlehem. It is celebrated
on January 6, and the following Sunday, this year January 7, is when we
will observe both Epiphany and the Baptism of Our Lord.
The Gospel according to Luke, which we will hear in church
throughout the coming year, repeatedly emphasizes that Jesus came for the sake
of all the world. This gospel also stresses the importance of the Holy Spirit,
which came upon Jesus at his
baptism, and whose presence we invoke at every baptism. So this is a significant
and very joyful celebration in the church.
Sunday, January 14, will be College Sunday, and we will welcome the Rev. Victoria Brooks-McDonald as our preacher. Viki is the Protestant Chaplain at Union College, as well as being “Mrs. James.” Regular services will be held on January 21, followed by brunch and the Annual Meeting. On January 28 we will have an instructed Eucharist. In this service, we will stop at several points so that an explanation can be given about what we are doing and why; this is not only of benefit to new worshipers but also provides reminders for others of how our worship helps to form and strengthen our relationship with God.
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