The Messenger
January, 2001

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Adult Education Series

"On Justice"

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  (518) 346-1281

YWCA of Schenectady (services to women and families)  44 Washington Ave. Schenectady, NY 12305  (518) 374-3394

Study Circles: Contact Jim Murphy: 346-6848  Or through the Capital Region  Eumenical rganization   Jim Murphy, Coordinator   Box 2199  Scotia, NY 12303  (518) 382-7505

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.


Birthdays

 

1          Carol Molino
2          Kelly Palmer
            Jacob Price

7            Barbara Stratton
            Robert Bailey
            Helene Daly
            Audrey DeBritz
            Emma Koch
9          David Taylor
12        Laura Pratico
13        Susan Goldthwaite
14        Emery Chapman
            Lillian Peterson
16        Nancy Bernard
17        Pearl Burton
            Daniel Lundquist
23            Deborah Trawick
26        Scott Kilbourn
27        Carolyn Morin
            John Rigley

Anniversaries

21        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.

Dear Friends,

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:

1.  Before 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.  

2.  When 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 help.

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.

9.  Before 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 are away.

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

  Basically there are only three    requirements for vestry membership:

  (1)  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    Episcopal Church.

  (2) have been  regular in attendance of    Sunday Eucharists  

  (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.

       Pauline Holmes

       Service Committee


INSTRUCTED EUCHARIST
January 28th

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    
Altar Guild* C A B** C    
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    
Ushers E A B C    
Counters A B C D    
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   
 
 
             

Dear Friends,

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.

Peace,   Lorrie+


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.


THANK YOU......

THANK YOU.....

THANK YOU.....

...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

...To  Kathy 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 pageant ever! 

...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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