Messenger,  Feb. 2001

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Rector's Letter

Dear Friends, 

      Lent is a time to look again, look at and participate in God's saving grace, look intentionally at the profusion of means God uses to call us into a right relationship with God.  The church has great traditions to help us.

Prayer:  Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter, these are traditions we will all participate in.  But there are others which we may choose to contemplate individually.  I suggest that for each Sunday Eucharist we enter the church fifteen minutes early, and refraining from any talking, we take our seat for a period of silent meditation.  Use this time as preparation for entering into The Great Thanksgiving, the Eucharist.  Each Thursday evening we will pray Evening Prayer.  On Maundy Thursday evening I ask you to watch one hour with Jesus in an night-long prayer vigil.  Confession -- taking a serious inventory of your Christian life and receiving absolution and spiritual counsel.  And, most importantly, daily prayer.  Use the the "Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families" in the prayerbook or on the cards which I will be happy to provide for you.  Offer up to God your thanksgivings and your personal needs as well as the needs of the world.  Pray for the people of Rwanda, the Middle East, Bosnia, and our own country.

Study:  Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find a listing of the many opportunities for nurturing our spiritual lives. 

 The practice of taking on a special Lenten study has a long and venerated tradition among Christians.

Fasting:  The time?honored tradition of fasting during Lent is as valid today as it has ever been.  Fasting, is the act of putting nothing -- not even food  --  between yourself and God.  You may eat simpler meals on Thursdays and Fridays during Lent, and families could instruct children of the reasons for the simpler food.  The hunger we may feel will remind us of those millions throughout the world who go hungry every day.  The money we save by fasting may be collected and given to a worthy outreach effort like the SICM food pantry, the national relief fund of the Episcopal Church, or the United Thank Offering.  This hunger also reminds us of our hunger for God.

These are only three of the traditions of the Church.  There are many others that you may wish to pause and contemplate.  They can show us many things about life.  They can work many changes in our understanding and  vision if we allow them to. Lent is a time to look again at the works of God's saving Grace, and in that looking, be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Wishing you a holy Lent,

Fr. James

 

Opportunities for spiritual growth in Lent

Thursday Evenings:  We begin the evening with Evening Prayer in the church at 5:30.  After the service we gather in the Parish Hall for a light supper: hot soup and beverages will be provided and can be supplemented with a sandwich from home.  Finally, at around 6:45 we gather in the Library for our Lenten Study series

Lenten Study series:  Our study this year ……

Thursday Mornings:  For many, the Season of Lent is a period of healing ? ? spiritually, emotionally, relationally and physically.  The Sacrament of Healing is offered as a part of the Eucharist at 10:00 am. It involves the Laying on of Hands and anointing with Holy Oil of Unction.  After the service we gather in the rector's study for a Bible Study based on the following Sunday's scripture readings.

Sunday Eucharists in Lent: The Prayerbook gives many liturgical observances that are especially appropriate for Lent.  Each Sunday in Lent will begin with the "Penitential Order" (p.  319) with includes a confession of sin.  Throughout Lent we will be using Rite I.

Fridays in Lent - Stations of the Cross:  'Station' is any place in the church where, during a solemn procession, there is pause for a prayer.

During Lent there is a practice in which fourteen 'stations' are visited in turn, with a pause for a reading, a versicle and response, a prayer, and a time for meditation.  In this case, the 'stations' are fourteen pictures depicting incidents in the narrative of Christ's passion, from Pilate's house to the entombment.  These pictures will be placed around the church on Fridays and booklets which lead the participant through each station can be found on the table in the back of the church. Please call the parish office if you wish to experience this tradition.

Lent affords us a good opportunity to explore areas of our liturgical tradition that not widely used in our church.


Educational Happenings....

A new teacher

We are happy to welcome David Crates as a newest teacher in the church school.  He is joining Shari MacIver, Liz Casale, and John Casale to teach the Intermediate (4th, 5th and 6th grade).  David is filling in for David Malcolm, who is taking some time to teach handicapped kids to ski.

Large Group Session February 25

On the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, our Pre-schoolers, K-1st class, and 2nd-3rd grade class will be joining together to prepare for Lent.  We simply open the classroom dividers and enjoy a special celebration and activities to mark the change of liturgical seasons.  This is a great opportunity for anyone who would like to help out and enjoy our wonderful kids.  If want to join us on the 25th, please let Mtr. Lorrie know.

What is Journey to Adulthood?

      Our middle and high-school members are in the first full year of the Journey to Adulthood program.  The program began at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Durham, NC, about a decade ago.  They wanted to address the fact that our churches are usually light on teenagers.  They asked, “Why, if every young man and young woman needs a place to stay, to consider God’s action in the world, as well as the very particular calling God has for their lives – why aren’t they in church with us, week after week?” 

The reality is that young people have tended to make their exit after confirmation, especially when confirmation takes place at the age of thirteen or fourteen.  There are exceptions, of course, especially those young people who are active as acolytes.  But most of our young people go to high school, choose colleges and careers, fall in love for the first and second and third time, live and learn and struggle with life’s lessons for years and years outside the community of faith. .  Popular culture shouts that joy and satisfaction come from the acquisition of goods and experiences: “Buy more! Be more! Do more! Live more!”  There is nothing out there to speak to them the words of faith, humility and obedience.  No one out there will tell them that a life lived in response to God’s call to holiness and responsibility is a life of joy and satisfaction.

We, as God’s Church, the Body of Christ in the world, have a moral responsibility to change this situation.  The most important work we can do in the world is to entrust to others the faith which has been entrusted to us.  We must do this work.  Not only do we have to, but we are remarkably well equipped for it.  The church is the last intergenerational institution in America.  We come together every week, young and old, to be the Body of Christ.  Like the elders who listened to the young Jesus in the temple, we can be astonished by the wisdom of young people.  And the elders, in turn, have the richness of experience to offer guidance and encouragement to the young.  Journey to Adulthood is powerful guide for doing this work of entrusting faith and hope to young men and young women.

On Sunday, February 11, during the 9 a.m.- 10 a.m. Education Hour, the Journey to Adulthood leaders and the students will be introducing the program.  We will have a chance to participate in a sample exercise from the program, and to ask and answer questions.  We need the prayers, support and encouragement of everyone for this important work.  Please join us.

J2A Parent’s Meeting

 The parents of participants in the J2A class (9th, 10th, and 11th grades) are invited to a meeting on Sunday, February 18 after the 10:15 service.  We will be meeting from 12:00 to 1:30, while the young people serve a light lunch for their parents.  We will be doing some important planning for the coming months (including the J2A retreat Mar31-Apr1), so if you are unable to attend, please let Mtr. Lorrie know.

Rite-13 Retreat

The Rite-13 class (the 7th and 8th grade Church School) will be going on a winter retreat at Beaver Cross near Cooperstown on Feb 9 through the 11th.  We will have the big house all to ourselves, with our host Matt Baker (youth ministries coordinator for the diocese).  It will be a weekend of fun and worship, and they have a great sledding hill too.  If you are the parent of a student, and have not already been contacted and signed a permission slip, please call the church office.  Please note that parents of the students cannot be chaperones – it’s not a retreat if their parents are there.  However, if you are not a parent of a Rite-13 student, and you would like to spend the weekend with some really great people, please talk to Mtr. Lorrie


The Amazing Acolyte Precision Drill Team

We have a new acolyte manual!  Because of the changes in the chancel furniture arrangement, we have had to choreograph the acolytes all over again.  We had a training session in January, and by the next Sunday the acolytes were amazing.  There may still be a few wrinkles to iron out – we’ll continue to strive for precision.  We will have regular training sessions every quarter so that we can bring along new acolytes and adapt smoothly to any liturgical changes. 

One thing we do need is some new cassocks.  Many of our young people are growing too broad-shouldered for the youth sized cassocks, and some are faded and deteriorated (the cassocks, not the acolytes).  If you would like to help with the purchase of cassocks (they cost around $80.00 each) please let one of the clergy know.

Annual Meeting

St. Stephen's held its Annual Meeting on January 21st. Over a lovely
catered brunch arranged for by Debbie Trawick, we approved the minutes
of last year, heard reports by various committees, listened to Mother
Lorrie tell of her plans for education in the coming year, and watched
and heard Fr. James' statement of the health of the church.

Mother Lorrie is interested in re-introducing LOGOS next year, but she
stated that the program requires lots of help from adults--even those
without children in the program. She extolled the benefits of the
program and strongly feels that it could be quite successful at St.
Stephen's, as well as being an important part of the Christian Education
program. Mtr. Lorrie also discussed plans for Vacation Bible Schools
during school vacations. These would be offered to people residing in
the neighborhood of the church as well as to church members.

Fr. James, fascinated as ever in technology, gave a Power Point©
presentation. His data showed growth in the church, both in numbers of
members and in attendance. The Sunday School has also seen growth. Fr.
James' goals include 30 more children enrolled in the Sunday School, and
a significant increase in the average weekly attendance at services. To
that end, he announced the beginning of Sunday evening on the first
Sunday in February (the fourth). This service is particularly aimed at
those people who go away for the weekend and do not attend a church
elsewhere. He plans that the evening service will be quite different
from the regular morning services.

Fr. James conducted the election of vestry members. Unanimously elected
were Denise Crates for Senior Warden, Murray Roseberry for Junior
Warden, Liz Casale, Louise Peake, Grant Jaquith, Jesse Dipley, and Gregg
Varno as Vestry members. Ralph May will be Clerk of the Vestry. The next
meeting of the Vestry is February 13.

Outreach

The Damien Center needs help providing light suppers for 15 to 20 guests
on Monday evenings. The food is dropped off at the center by 5:30; other
volunteers serve the meal. Call Donna Stovall at 370-0929 if you can
help and to schedule a date.

Maple Ridge is offering a discounted ticket ($5) for ski and tubing on
Feb. 14 to anyone bringing three food items for the SICM Food Program.
Call Pat Obrect (346-4445) for more information.

SICM members and the Committee for Social Justice joined more than 25
people who spoke at a Jan. 8 public hearing to show support for a new
mechanism to provide oversight of the police. Additional meetings are
being planned. Copies of the proposed legislation are available at the
City Clerk's Office or at SICM.

The Winter Holiday Lunch Program was quite successful. Forty volunteers
distributed 593 lunches to youth at six sites over the December school
vacation. The program was coordinated by Rachel Graham in partnership
with the City Mission. Thanks to all who participated.

The 2001 CROP Walk will be Sunday, May 6 at St. Luke's School, 1252 Nott
Terrace. Call Marianne Comfort at 374-2683 if you would like to take the
training to be a recruiter.

Episcopal Relief and Development

Episcopal Relief and Development is assisting the church in El Salvador
following the recent earthquake. We immedi

ately wired $25,000 in relief funds to assist with the immediate relief
need includng food, water, and basic shelter for those affected.

Once Diocesan officials in El Salvador have time to discuss needs with
us, we can better assess how to further assist survivors. Depending upon
what the Diocese tells us, we may send additional emergency funds. It is
important to remember that in disasters such as this one, ER-D does not
undertake emergency "search and rescue" operations, leaving those
activities to agencies such as the Red Cross or Action by Churches
Together (ACT), of which we are a member, who have the expertise and
appropriate staff to mount such efforts.

The strength and nature of our response will depend on the support of
Episcopalians across the United States. We hope to be able to mount an
extensive program of reconstruction similar to what we have done in
Honduras. We ask the Episcopal Church to support us in this effort, as
we support all those who are suffering in El Salvador.

Service Committee

There  will be a Service Committee meeting on Sunday, February 11th after the 10:15 service. It is planned to hold the meeting will be held in the Yellow Room. All members of the congregation are welcome and are urged to attend.

Endowment Committee

There  will be an Endowment Committee meeting on Sunday, February 11th after the 10:15 service. It is planned to hold the meeting will be held in the Parish Office. Members of the congregation are welcome at this meeting also.

Funeral Reception

In typical St. Stephen's fashion, we held two well-received and quite
elegant receptions following the funeral services for two of our
members. And we called on many people to help, everyone of whom agreed
to do the task assigned. Thank you for that outpouring of love and
generosity. The families in both cases were very grateful.



Hymn to the Choir

by Pauline Northrop

I am sure there are others like me who enjoy listening to our choir sing their anthems every Sunday and have every intention of complimenting the choir members after the service, but are remiss in doing so. We are so easily distracted.  So, I’d like to say, “Thank you, Tim and choir members, for your beautiful music.”

Schedule:  Of all kinds of people doing all kinds of stuff.....

  Feb. 4 Feb. 11 Feb. 18 Feb. 25 Feb. 28 (Ash Wed)
Altar Guild* A B C A  
Chalice 8 am N. Hoffmann C. Jones G. Woodzell M. Causey  
Lector 8 am G. Woodcock L. Stevens D. Stevens S. Woodcock N. Hoffmann
Chalice 10:15 G. Jaquith G. Woodzell M. Causey C. Jones V. Hoshko
Lector 10:15 L. Varno D. Crates L. Emaelaf M. Gittinger  
Crucifer 10:15 T. Trawick N. Stewart R. Manor J. Rizzo C.Roseberry
Server 10:15 C. Morin M. Trawick E. Chapman C. Morin E. Chapman
Torch 10:15 N. BMcD J. Casale K. Gibbs T. Pierce A. Rizzo
Torch 10:15 P. Sombor A. Gibbs C. Whitney P. Sombor N. BMcD
Ushers D E A B  
Counters E A B C  
Care Team G&R Woodzell R&D May A&M Spang G&S Woodcock  
*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  J. Jones 

February Flowers

4          In loving memory of Emilie and William Voelker and Anna and Arthur Lindstrom given by Shirley and Robert Voelker 

11        In honor of the loved ones of Robert and Virginia Malmros 

18        In loving memory of Henry and Francis Baumis  given by David and Suzanne Taylor Leonard and Carolyn Montorio 

25        In loving memory of William McMahon given by Howard and Margaret Phillips  

 

Birthdays

1          Bill Walker

3          John Casale,  Nicolaus Brooks-McDonald, Megan Price

5          Mildred Barber, Charles Ackner

6          Donald Nelson, Alexxis Gibbs

7          Naomi Vanda

8          Patricia Jones, Drew Prescott

9          Petrina Marx, Jesse Moss

10        David Goyette

11        Mark Pohl

12        Donald Regula

13        Samuel Koch

14        Nan Blaufuss, Marilyn Causey, Taylor Trawick, Carolyn Manor, Christopher Ehler

15        Hugh Campbell, Jr.

18        Jane Tatge

19        Christine Nelson

20        Dennis Moss

21        Gregg Varno, Shari MacIvor

23        Mitchell Rigley, Rebecca Sheppard

24        Pauline Northrop

26        Christy Buell

28        Elizabeth Pratico

 

Anniversaries

7          Allison and Paul deKanel

10        Christine and Keith Nelson


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