The Messenger

May, 2001


A child no longer.


When Mary and Joseph searched for Jesus and found him in the temple, talking with the elders, they realized that he was a child no longer -- these words begin the “Prayer for the Parents” in the Rite-13 liturgy that we will be celebrating on Sunday, May 13th.   Rite-13 marks the first stage in the Journey to Adulthood (J2A) program for young people age twelve up through high school graduation.  This liturgy allows us to celebrate together the transition from childhood to manhood or womanhood.  Our Jewish brothers and sisters have been doing this for centuries in the bar/bat mitzvah. For many cultures, turning thirteen marks the transition from being a child to being a man or a woman and is accompanied by various initiation rites.  Whatever the culture, the initiation of children into manhood and womanhood always contains three basic elements: instruction in the history and customs of the community, an initiation ceremony, and an encounter with the divine.


It is fair to ask, why do Christians need to do this?  After all, this transition from childhood to manhood or womanhood is happening already, and will continue to happen whether or not we celebrate any liturgy in church.  No rite or ceremony makes it happen.  But the same argument could be made for any of our liturgies: they can never make God more present than God would be without them.  But our liturgies can make us more present to God.  When we worship and celebrate, we open ourselves to the deep truth of what God is doing in our lives and in all of creation.  We name what is happening to us, we sing, mourn, repent, and rejoice.  We open our hands and arms and hearts and minds to receive our lives as Godís gift.


The Rite-13 liturgy is a celebration of a particular rite of passage, puberty, that happens to everyone.  Young men and women, as they reach sexual maturity, are given a share in God ís power of creation.  Human beings, because they are made in God ís image, are the only creatures on earth who can choose how to use their creative power ñ not only to create new life, but also to shape the world according to God ís purpose.  In our liturgy we will celebrate the upsurge of creative energy these young people experience as they prepare for adulthood.


The young people who have already turned thirteen will be celebrating the liturgy:  Gordon Jaquith, Stasia Lyons, Rob Manor, Chenoa Roseberry, Andrew Marshall, Emily Marshall, Nick Brooks-MacDonald, John Casale, and Chris Morin.  As a community of disciples, we will rejoice with the parents as their sons and daughters become men and women.  We will pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen them that they may support and comfort their sons and daughters, though they can neither walk their road for them nor shield them from pain.  The young people will vow their support for one another, to stand by one another knowing that there will be times when their support means more than any other.  The adults in the congregation will vow to share their knowledge and experience with these young people as they become men and women.


The Rite-13 liturgy will be celebrated at the 10:15 Eucharist, after the sermon and before the Peace.  The group leaders (George Woodzell and Elizabeth MacFarland), the parents and the young people will lead the congregation in celebrating this important transition in their lives.  Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for this important day.


Almighty God, giver of life and love, bless these young men and women and their mothers and fathers.  Grant us wisdom and devotion in the ordering of our lives, that we may be to this community of parents and the young people in our care a strength in need, wise counselors in perplexity, present comforters in sorrow, faithful companions in joy.  And so knit our wills together in your will and our spirits in your Spirit, that we may live together as the Body of Christ, in love and peace all the days of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Communion Class


        To help families prepare for the feast of Pentecost, we will be having communion class for children and their families on the last two Wednesdays of May.  We will make bread, and grape juice, and learn about how our Lord welcomes his people to his feast.


        First Session (parents attend)        Wednesday, May 23, 4:45 - 6:15

        Second Session           Wednesday, May 30, 4:45-5:30


Unplug the Christmas Machine


This past Lent, participants in our adult education hour were challenged by Tony Campolo’s series Curing Affluenza.  We have been discussing practical ways to simplify our lives to become more generous stewards of God’s gifts, and to claim freedom from the modern trap of overspending and overwork.

One of the most troubling areas Christians face is the Holiday Season.  We, and especially our children, are bombarded with messages that insist that Christmas joy consists of elaborate decorations, food, entertainment and gift giving.  What began in the Christian church as a celebration of the Incarnation of our Lord is transformed in our culture to an obscenity of overconsumption.


We hope to tackle this problem and make some preparatory changes in our own lives long before they start playing the Christmas carols again in the mall (in October!).  We are working with the book, Unplug the Christmas Machine; a complete guide to putting love and joy back into the season, by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli.  If you would like to participate, you may want to get a copy for your own use.  The workshop will be in four parts (April 22, 29, May 6 and 13).  Please join us, and let’s make Christmas a celebration we can anticipate without anxiety.


LOGOS is happening.


One of my favorite statements in the LOGOS program material is about what the church actually is: The community of the Church is a group of people who give themselves to one another to practice up on.  Itís a place where you can fall flat on your face and not be though of as a failure, but will be treated with love and kindness and gentleness.  This is certainly something worth practicing!  LOGOS is designed to give us and our whole families practice time.  This is time in which understanding the Way, the Truth and the Light is nurtured and experienced, “practiced up on” so that everyone in the LOGOS program grows in learning how to treat everyone else as a Child of God.


Our time simply cannot be spent in any better way than in practicing this.  At our recent presentation of the LOGOS program at the Adult Ed hour, everyone recognized how vital LOGOS will be for our parish.  We also recognized that the program requires an enormous commitment of time; effort and inconvenience on the part of families whose young people are involved; and faithfulness, diligence, and personal sacrifice on the part of the clergy, staff, and volunteers.  But we know what happens if we limit ourselves to doing only what is easy and convenient -- our “practice” becomes stale and irrelevant and finally dies of boredom.  If we want to grow in the Way we must risk the difficult things.


That is why we are committed to the LOGOS program at St. Stephen’s, beginning next September.  The program will be on Wednesdays, starting between 3:30 to 4:00 pm and ending between 7:00 and 7:30 pm.  Our practice time includes play, Bible study, study hall, family dinner, choir and worship.  There will be nursery care for children under five.  We realize that parents who work outside the home may have a hard time getting their children to St. Stephen’s in the mid-afternoon, so we hope to arrange carpools to pick up their children around 3:30 and bring them to St. Stephen’s.  Their parents can join us a little later to cook and serve dinner.  Parents who can be available earlier may consider a commitment to serving as playtime or study hall supervisor.  But LOGOS is by no means only for parents of young children.  When St. Stephen’s participated in LOGOS back in the early 90ís many of our most committed and enthusiastic volunteers were people whose children were already grown up.  The little kids they got to know back then are now young men and women (several are in the Rite-13 class) but they still remember their LOGOS table parents fondly.


We will be contacting many of you over the next few weeks to ask you to consider making a commitment to this important family ministry.  The 2001 Leadership Training Schools that will be offered in the Northeast are:

May 10-12 Caldwell, NJ

June 23-30 Sudbury, MA

July 12-14 Gibsonia, PA

Aug 9-11 Pottstown, PA.

We want as many volunteers as possible to attend the training school, and we hope to arrange a visit to a church in the area that is already offering LOGOS.  Please consider prayerfully your own time and commitments, and whether you may be called to serve God in this ministry.


Aslan is On the Move!

July 22 to July 28


We've already had some inquiries from people living in the neighborhood around our church asking if we will be offering a Vacation Bible school this summer.  Our summer camp will be the week of July 22 through July 28 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 am through 12:30 pm) for children from Kindergarten through 5th grade.  Aslan is On the Move! is a program based on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a children’s book by C.S. Lewis.  If you are familiar with the Narnia books, you can imagine how great it will be for children to spend time playing, feasting, and having adventures in Narnia.  Put the dates on your calendar, and join us for the journey through the back of the wardrobe!





The Kerygma Bible Study Class is currently studying the Book of Psalms. We are finding that this course is not only expanding our appreciation of the psalms but also strengthening our personal and corporate prayer life. As the ever-enthusiastic Louise says “This is the best course we’ve done yet!” The course will end May 29th; watch for another course to begin in the fall.


NAACP Membership Campaign


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, founded in 1909, is having a “92 New” Membership Campaign in recognition of the Association’s 92nd anniversary. Through the years the NAACP has advanced the civil and political rights of black citizens: voting rights, residential desegregation, access to government programs, and desegregation of schools (Brown vs Board of Education) are among the notable achievements of the Association.


The Schenectady Branch was formed in 1945, but did not receive its Charter until 1949 when it attained a membership of 50. Under the current president, Ms Olivia Adams, the Branch has been active in efforts to achieve an independent Police Oversight Board in Schenectady, and is involved in investigating alleged violations of human and civil rights in the Schenectady County Correctional Facility. In 2000 the local Branch received the Schenectady County Human Rights Award for Achievement by an Organization, and an Outstanding Service Award from the New York Civil Liberties Union.


New members are need to broaden community support for the goals of the NAACP and to fund proposed new programs for disadvantaged youth in Schenectady. Membership dues are $30 per year; a check payable to NAACP may be sent to NAACP, 955 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12307, attention Eugene Brown.


Our thanks to our Church School Teachers


On Sunday, May 6th we will celebrate our Church School teachers and thank them for their devotion and commitment to our young people.  Chris Jones has been taking pictures of the church school classes and of their teachers – check out the bulletin board in the parish hall!


So what is so great about teaching church school?  “Getting to know the kids real well,” according to George Woodzell (who teaches our Rite-13 class), “because they’re intelligent, insightful, ask excellent questions, they’re a lot of fun to be with!”  George adds that he’s learned a great deal from the students, and from preparing the lesson materials.


Kim Chapman (who teaches the 2nd-3rd grade class) says “I’m always amazed once I’m in there and teaching the lesson, how it all kind of falls into place and wonderful things happen!”  Even if, while she is preparing the lessons, she can’t quite imagine how it is all going to work, she knows from experience that it will come together. “I’ve learned to trust that the learning will happen,” Kim says.


Shari MacIvor (one of our 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teaching team) is teaching church school for this first time this year at St. Stephen’s.  She has been surprised at the energy that the students put into reinacting stories from the Bible, and their pride and care with their art projects.  One of her teaching team members, David Malcolm, has been putting together scripts that the students use to act out the Bible stories in the class.  He says that he has been surprised at how knowledgeable the students are.  “They really know a lot of this stuff well – about the Bible and what we are doing in church.”  He says that probably every teacher has days when they leave wondering if the children have actually learned anything. But he says that it’s clear they are learning: “everyone has contributed to teaching these kids and you can see that coming through. They really know this stuff.” 


We are blessed at St. Stephen’s with wonderful church school teachers, and lots of wonderful children.  Be with us on May 6th to help us celebrate the ministry of our teachers.


Plants for Sale

June 9th and 10th


The Youth Group seed starting project is well underway.  Perhaps you have see the glow of the grow-lights through the Garner Avenue house windows.  We are fertilizing, thinning, and re-potting seedlings as they grow.  Here is a partial list of the plants we will have for sale:





Cucumbers that look like lemons

Basil: Cinnamon Basil, Lemon Basil

Bachelor’s Buttons

Blue Flax

Hot Pepper that look like lemons

Chives, Garlic


Canterbury Bells (Biennial)

Tomato, Amish Paste


Bells of Ireland

English Daisy

Tomato, Black Krim


Browallia (Blue Bells)

Hollyhock, miniature pink

Tomato, Brandywine

Parsley, Italian leafed



Tomato, red currant














Marigolds (French Vanilla!)








Morning Glories




Pansies (black flowers!)












Sunflowers (five kinds)






We have started some seeds that are a bit unusual, and may not be available in your local garden center.  Proceeds from the sale will go to fund the youth group trip to work camp in July.


Pass It On!

by Louise Peake


As you may be aware, the US Postal Service recently released the new “Fund the Cure” stamp to help fund breast cancer research. The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD. It is important that we take a stand against this disease that kills and maims so many of our mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends.


Instead of the normal 34 cents for a stamp, this one costs 40 cents; a book is $8.00. It takes a few minutes in line at the Post Office but it means so much. The Post Officer will send $1.20 to the National Institute of Health and the Medical Research Program at the National Institute of Health and the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense for every book of these stamps sold.


Many of us know women and their families whose lives are turned upside-down by breast cancer. On your next trip to the Post Office, please help “Fund the Cure” for all women suffering from breast cancer.


Thank you


. . .to everyone who cooked soup for the Thursday Lent program

. . .to Tim Olsen and the choir for providing beautiful music for our Easter season services

. . . to the Altar Guild for their hard work of polishing, arranging, setting up and taking down so many times

. . .to Dave and Than our sextons for making the church shine

. . .to the lectors and chalice bearers who participated in the services

. . .to the next generation of palm cross makers and their wonderful teachers, Martha Nicholson and Honey Morris

. . .to the Over-the-Hill Gang for working so hard to completely removing the kitchen appliances and cabinets in the office kitchen and making it into a wonderful new workroom

. . .to those non-OTH Gang members, Bill Walker and Gregg Varno, who made big contributions to the workroom project

. . .to Hoagy Walker for slipcovering the chairs in the conference room upstairs in the Office

. . .to Tom Miller for refinishing the table in the conference room

. . .to all those unnamed contributors who make our church such  special place.


Lay Weeders


Gregg Varno is looking for teams of people to take a week during the summer to weed, fertilize, and/or plant the gardens around the church. Two or three people are needed for each week. Do sign up--you will find it quite rewarding and not too hard on your knees or your back!


May events


May 6 Teacher Recognition Sunday

May 13 Jazz Sunday


Worship Committee


The Day of Pentecost is one of the principal feast days of the church. It marks the occasion when the Holy Spirit came upon the followers of Jesus, empowering them to speak about God’s mighty acts in fresh ways. This year, Pentecost will be celebrated on June 3rd, and according to our custom at St. Stephen’s we will hear the gospel proclaimed in an many languages as possible. Members of the congregation, each with the same text in another language, will read the gospel all together. It is a very moving experience for readers and hearers alike. If you would like to participate, please sign up at the Church Shop and indicate which language you speak: the text will be provided for you.


Our thanks to all who participated I the observances of the Holy Week and Easter. Music, flowers, services of acolytes and usher, cooks and polisher, planners and cleaners-up and worshipers all contributed to the joy of this most holy season.




May Altar Flowers


6    In honor of the loved ones of

            Bruce and Jane Tatge

            In honor of the 103rd birthday of

            my mother,  Ruth Merchant

            given by Eunice Chouffi

13        In loving memory of

            Gwen Robbins

            given by David and Suzanne Taylor

            and Leonard and Carolyn Montorio

20        In loving memory of

            Thomas Marks

            given by Mildred Marks

27        In honor of the loved ones of

            Jesse and Betty Dipley



May Birthdays


4            Margaret Trawick

            Bruce Tatge

5          Ted Schlansker

            Omer Burton

            Belachew Emaelaf

            Isabella Varno

6          Rocky Bonsal

            Emalie Varno

7          Ryan Fast

9            Marilyn Dare

10            Stewart Vanda

            Robyn Stewart

12        Linda Roseberry

            Dan MacIvor

            Ayodele Jones

14        Carol Ras

15            Norman Hoffmann

            Charline Hoffmann

17        Cherie Downs

18        Ben Hoshko

19            Tyleigh Versocki

20        Liz Casale

21        Steven Koch

26        Allison de Kanel

            William Schlansker

29            William Smith, Jr.

30        Will Koch

31        Julie McDonald

            Dawn Kaler

            Susie Olsen

            MacKenzie Wilcox


May Anniversaries


3          Norma and Vincent Piscitelli

4          Vicki and Richard Hoshko

9          Tom and Ann Rigley

10        Carl and June Hatlee

15        Gloria Kavanah and David Goyette

23            Denise and Dave Crates

28            George and Richey Woodzell



The May schedule



May 6

May 13

May 20

May 27












Altar Guild*








Chalice 8 am

G. Woodzell

P. Holmes

C. Jones

M. Causey




Lector 8 am

L. Stevens

K. Miller

S. Ras

B. Stratton




Chalice 10:15

N. Hoffmann

O. Luczka

G. Jaquith

C. Jones




Lector 10:15

K. Lowe

M. Pasko

D. Manor

B. Mazurek




Lector 7:00pm

S. Coonradt

G. Woodzell

M. Pasko

R. Woodzel




Crucifer 10:15

P. Pratico

N. Stewart

J. Rizzo

T. Trawick




Server 10:15

J  Rizzo

M. Trawick

E. Chapman

C. Roseberry




Torch 10:15

P. So;mbor

S. Lyons

K. Gibbs

J. Casale




Torch 10:15

C. Roseberry

C. Morin

A. Rizzo

E. Marshall




















Care Team

C&D Trawick


G&R Woodzell

A&K Lowe




*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  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, Casale


D  A.Spang, Borrowman, Crates






E.  Peake, Small, Northrop




A  George and Melissa Ehler  

Substitutes: Holmes, Bishop



B A. Lowe and L. Varno






C G. Woodzell and S. Kilbourn 






D J. Dare and J. Jones