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|Rector's Letter||Union College Event|
|All Saint's Day||The Deacon's Bench|
|Interfaith Thanksgiving Service||Jazz returns to St. Stephen's Church|
|On Waging Reconciliation: House of Bishops||Founder's Day: Nov. 18|
|Education Porgrams||Kerygma Bible Study|
|SICM News||NY State Chaplain's Meeting|
|Thanks-you!||The November Schedule of who's doing what...|
|Votive candles||Parish Profile|
|Garner Avenue House Painting Party||Birthdays, Flowers, Anniversaries, ...|
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The other day a woman came
to me asking for assistance in helping her leave
her husband who has been
abusive for many years. She has two
and needs a security
deposit on an apartment before she can leave home.
Usually I would turn to my
'discretionary fund' to help, but just days
before I had helped another
young mother with her winter fuel bill. Both
needs were quite
legitimate, but I did not have money to help the abused
Also this past year I have used the fund for scholarship
housing, gasoline for a person who was stranded, and
many meals at Friendly's.
The needs of the poor and
marginalized in Schenectady have always been high.
This year I have seen that
need rise much higher. Some
have reached the
limit of their lifetime
welfare payments, others were the first to be
laid-off from work in a
worsening economy. The Schenectady
Ministry (SICM) has
confirmed that what I am experiencing is happening all
over the city.
The churches have a small but very important role to play in
helping those who need the
St. Stephen's is one of the
larger contributors to SICM and our congregation
has taken the lead in other
organizations and programs to help those in
An important way our church helps is by contributing to the
Actually, any money in that fund is equally divided
and distributed to Deacon
Pat, Mtr. Lorrie and me. All three
of us use it
carefully and fully.
So the next time you come
across those little yellow envelopes marked
Discretionary Fund" please be generous.
Or you can write a check
Discretionary Fund" in the memo. You
can be assured that it
will go to those who truly
All Saint's Day is one of
the seven principal feasts of the church. This
day is a celebration of
Christ in His whole mystical body. We
that the saints still
support us by their witness and example and surround
us with their love and
prayers. All Saint's Day is the one
day set aside
each year when our faithful
departed are remembered. If you
would like to
have a particular person
remembered by name, it is not too late. Please call
the parish office as soon
as you receive this newsletter. We
them on Sunday, November
4th at the 8 & 10:15 Eucharists. The
will include a celebration
This traditional service
(since 1955!) will be held at the Korean Methodist
Church on Balltown Road
beginning at 4pm, Sunday, November 18th.
The Church recognizes the
traditional Thanksgiving Holiday as a holy day for
our land, life, and
heritage. It finds its roots in
observances begun by
colonists in Massachusetts
and Virginia, a tradition later taken up and
extended to the whole of
the New American nation by action of the
Our celebration of
Thanksgiving stems from our many blessings of God's good
As Children of God we are to live our lives in a spirit of
We are to be faithful stewards of the earth as God's
creation, given to us as a
forget the annual
morning at 10 am
From: The House of Bishops
your bishops, have come together in the shadow of the shattering events
September 11. We in the United States now join that company of nations
which ideology disguised as true religion wreaks havoc and sudden death.
this suffering, we have come into a new solidarity with those in
parts of the world for whom the evil forces of terrorism are a
continuing fear and reality.
grieve with those who have lost companions and loved ones, and pray for
who have so tragically died. We pray for the President of the United
his advisors, and for the members of Congress that they may be given
and prudence for their deliberations and measured patience in their
We pray for our military chaplains, and for those serving in the
Forces along with their families in these anxious and uncertain days.
pray "for our enemies, and those who wish us harm; and for all whom
we have injured or offended." (BCP, page 391)
same time we give thanks for the rescue workers and volunteers, and
those persons whose courageous efforts demonstrated a generosity and
that bears witness to the spirit of our nation at its best. We
thanks too for all those who are reaching out to our Muslim brothers
sisters and others who are rendered vulnerable in this time of fear and
together also in the shadow of the cross: that unequivocal sign that
and death are never the end but the way along which we pass into a
in which all things will be healed and reconciled. Through Christ
was pleased to reconcile to himself all things whether on earth or in
by making peace through the blood of his cross." (Col. 1:20) This
act of peace-making is nothing less than the right ordering of all
according to God's passionate desire for justness, for the full
flourishing of humankind and all creation.
peace has already been achieved in Christ, but it has yet to be
in our relationships with one another and the world around us. As
of a global community and the worldwide Anglican Communion, we are
to bear one another's burdens across the divides of culture,
and differing views of the world. The affluence of nations such
own stands in stark contrast to other parts of the world wracked by
crushing poverty which causes the death of 6,000 children in the course
of a morning.
called to self-examination and repentance: the willingness to change
to open our hearts and give room to God's compassion as it seeks
up, to heal, and to make all things new and whole. God's project, in
we participate by virtue of our baptism, is the ongoing work of
and transforming the patterns of our common life so they may
God's justness - not as an abstraction but in bread for the hungry
clothing for the naked. The mission of the Church is to participate in
God's work in the world. We claim that mission.
have set before you life and death...choose life so that you and your
may live," declares Moses to the children to Israel. We choose
and immediately set ourselves to the task of developing clear steps
will take personally and as a community of faith, to give substance
resolve and embodiment to our hope. We do so not alone but trusting
own faithfulness and your desire to be instruments of peace.
therefore wage reconciliation. Let us offer our gifts for the
out of God's ongoing work of reconciliation, healing and making all
new. To this we pledge ourselves and call our church.
forth sober in the knowledge of the magnitude of the task to which we
all been called, yet confident and grounded in hope. "And hope does not
us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through
Holy Spirit that has been given to us." (Romans 5:5)
the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the
of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)
of Bishops of the Episcopal Church
Our Confirmation Mentoring Program is underway. Each of our young people in grades 10 through 12 have been matched with a confirmation mentor. They will meet regularly, once a week or so, to study together scripture, basic Christian doctrine, and the life of Christian spiritual disciplines. The mentors and confirmands will meet at a mutually convenient time and place, which for many of them will be during the education hour on Sunday morning. Because there are nine pairs of confirmands and mentors, meeting spaces will be at a premium. So if you see a couple of people with their yellow notebooks in a corner of the church, or in the chapel or library area, please give them a wide berth and allow them some privacy for their conversation.
The mentors and confirmands will
also meet regularly as a large group for a presentation and discussion led by
Mtr. Lorrie. These classes will
meet on Sundays from 5:00 pm – 6:45 pm, on the following dates.
Class 1. October 14
What is virtue? Is it really necessary?
Class 2. December 9
What is Christian spirituality? Can I be ‘spiritual’ without being ‘religious’?
Class 3. January 13
Does God have a purpose for me, and can I know what it is?
Class 4. February 17
What about my love life? Is there any good news about dating and romance?
Class 5. April 7
How can I life a life for God in the world?
In addition, we will be meeting as a large group with Bishop Bena after the 10:15 am Eucharist on Sunday October 28th. The bishop is looking forward to talking with our young people and their mentors.
Adult Education Hour
October 21st Intergenerational presentation downstairs in the church school classrooms, on Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. Operation Christmas Child collects and distributes Christmas gift boxes for children in war-torn areas of the world. If you can remember, bring a shoebox and some Christmas wrapping paper.
October 28th Bishop Bena will speak about his vision of our diocese – the challenges and tasks before us and the signs of hope. There will time for questions and discussion.
November 4th All Saint’s Sunday. We will continue with our series Wrestling with Angels, with a presentation and discussion on prayer, “Why aren’t my prayers answered?” by Richard Foster.
November 11th “What can I do to help?” The upcoming holidays can be difficult times for those of us who are grieving the loss of loved ones. Pauline Holmes will present information that can help us understand and support one another in bereavement.
November 18th We will continue with our series Wrestling with Angels, with a presentation and discussion on
November 25th Wrestling with Angels,
Halloween party for the children
The youth of St. Stephen’s will host a Halloween
party for the children, on October 28th (Sunday afternoon) 4:00 pm -
6:00 pm. We will have games
and creepy snacks and explore a mysterious spooky house. Wear your costume if you can.
Christmas Pageant Preparations
Yes, it is time already to begin
thinking about our Christmas Pageant. We
will mount a revival of last year’s amazing play, A
Christmas Gift, with an all new cast (actors from our church school, 12th
grade and younger). As is our
custom, the pageant will be performed on the last Sunday of Advent, which this
year is December 23rd. We
will hold readings for parts on two Sundays, November 18th and
December 2nd, in the church after the 10:15 Eucharist.
We had such fun last year! If
you love pretending and costumes and sets and all, please let Mtr. Lorrie know
and you can come play with us.
How are we going to celebrate Christmas this year?
What is really most meaningful?
Who's going to do what? Are we willing to spend less on ourselves and help the
needy? Ask questions like these. At a family meeting write down your decisions.
Then post them.
At Christmas time so many
peoples' brains seem to get disconnected. For whatever reason -- habit, family
pressure, guilt about being a bad Dad, whatever -- people put themselves through
incredible stress and end up in big debt.
Instead of assuming that
everything will be just the same this year and that everybody will be happy
about it, talk to those who will be involved. Instead of gritting your teeth
when you see Christmas decorations going up before Halloween, sit down with your
family, contact your relatives and friends -- those you normally celebrate with
-- and talk. Talk about what each of you really wants at Christmas, talk about
expectations, talk about who is going to do what. Maybe the person -- usually
Mom -- who is assumed to do most of the work, wants more help.
Maybe there's something else that folks really want to do but are afraid
to rock the boat. Their humble idea may become a great new family tradition.
Write down your ideas and post your plan in a central place.
Mark your calendar for your own "Let's Talk
About Christmas!" Day. Beat
the rush after Thanksgiving. Talk early.
Contact Alternatives for Simple Living at www.simpleliving.org for a "Let's Talk About Christmas!" Worksheet, part of Alternatives' Christmas Campaign Kit.
Thank you for the
We want to thank David and Denise Crates will all our hearts, and Charles and Debbie Trawick as well, for taking some young people from St. Stephen’s on an overnight camping/canoe trip on Indian Lake. They returned home on October 14th, having had a great time and more of an adventure than anyone had planned to have! High winds made their trip home a challenge, but David and Denise got them home safe and sound. We’re thankful that such wonderful people belong to St. Stephen’s.
The October SICM Assembly meeting was held at the
Altamont Reformed Church in Altamont. Several
new grants were announced for the hunger programs, the Damien Center, and a
large grant for rehabilitation of the COCOA House, the after-school tutoring
program in Schenectady.
Much of the regular agenda was suspended for
discussion of recent world events. A
work-group discussion was held to focus on what church congregations can do to
promote harmonious interactions with those of other faiths, especially Islam, in
our community. It was felt that more education is needed regarding the
practices and beliefs of Muslims, particularly since the cities of Schenectady
and Utica have the fastest-growing Afghani populations in New York State.
SICM is considering providing a monthly listing of
programs, speakers, inter-faith services, and inter-faith forums in the
Projects that congregations may want to consider in
the future include "adopting" or sponsoring a needy Afghani or
Pakistani family in the area, educational programs aimed at church youth,
visiting a local Mosque or Islamic center, or initiating a two-way dialogue
between Christian church leaders and those at local Islamic centers or places of
The November meeting will return to issues of
welfare reform as it impacts food and employment needs in Schenectady, and
police and social justice issues in Schenectady.
the people of Saint Stephen’s,
How can I ever thank you for the most comforting,
inspiring funeral service I have ever attended! We are so fortunate to have
Father James and all his staff, who give so much of themselves, their time, and
such thoughtfulness to all.
Saint Stephen’s cngregation is the most caring,
friendly and sincere of ny I have met in all my 76 years of life.
The hymns and the bell choir added just the right
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Union College Event
Please take note of the panel discussion on the 6th
of November. This event is being
jointly sponsored by the Capital Region Theological Center and Campus Protestant
Ministry at Union College. It will
involve well known scholars Farid Esack and Walter Wink.
The Deacon's Bench
I read the following story in the newsletter of St.
Peter’s Church, Pittsburg, KS:
THE ANT AND THE CONTACT LENS
A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona
Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock
climbing. Although she was scared
to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff.
In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and
started up the face of that rock. Well,
she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there,
the safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact lens.
Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and
hundreds of feet above her. Of
course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but
it just wasn’t there.
Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry.
She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to
help her to find it. When she got
to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there
was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting
for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains,
thinking of that Bible verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro
throughout the whole earth.” She
thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and
leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is.
Please help me.”
Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom.
At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face
of the cliff. One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys!
Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well,
that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it?
An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it.
Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist.
When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the
contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the
words, “Lord, I don’t know why You want me to carry this thing.
I can’t eat it, and it’s awfully heavy.
But if this is what You want me to do, I’ll carry it for you.”
I think it would probably do some of us good to
occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why you want me to carry this load. I
can see no good in it and it’s awfully heavy.
But, if you want me to carry it, I will.”
GOD DOESN’T CALL THE QUALIFIED, HE QUALIFIES THE CALLED.
Returns to St. Stephen's
Twice a year at the 10:15 Eucharist this
congregation is pleased to welcome
the Union College Jazz Ensemble to lead us in
"making a joyful noise to the
will be here on November 11th. Led
by Dr. Tim Olsen, music
director for St. Stephen's, the group will play a
Ray Charles arrangement of
"America" and a variety of Spirituals and
other songs. This would be a good
Sunday to invite a friend to come to church with
Day: November 18th
1927 Fr. Bambach, rector of St. George's Church, Schenectady, called a
meeting to consider beginning a chapel.
Over the next year a house to house
canvas of the Upper-Union area was made Union
College students. By October
22, 1928 there were 120 interested families and an
empty store on 1734 Union
Street near Palmer Avenue was rented and prepared
for the first service held
on November 18, 1928.
That first service marks our beginning.
18, 2001 we will remember that beginning with a
Eucharist from the 1928
prayerbook, singing hymns that were sung at the
Dedication Service November
20, 1949. Also
on Founder's Day we will honor all those who have been
members for forty years or longer.
Kerygma Bible Study
The fall Kerygma Bible Study is well under way, with a
class of over 20 enthusiastic members present every Tuesday evening.
The course is “Exodus,” and we will be accompanying the Israelites as
they journey through the wilderness, on the way to the Promised Land.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Moses and the Israelites
will be accompanying us as we find our way through the sometimes harsh and
frightening landscape of our lives, both public and private.
We share our own experiences and understandings in small groups as well
as large, we laugh a lot (and disagree on occasion) as we learn from our texts
and from each other. We are sharing
a great journey.
I have just returned from the annual retreat of the New
York State Association of Protestant Chaplains.
The chaplains are mostly prison chaplains, with a few who work for the
Office of Mental Health or the Division for Youth. These are some of the most dedicated, spiritually grounded
men and women I have ever met, and I look forward each year to their annual
retreat at the Conference Center of the Diocese of Central New York near
Cazenovia. The speaker this year,
Rudy Gonzalez, is a Southern Baptist minister who talked about the great changes
in American society and the churches that we can expect in the “Postmodern
Age” that we have entered. He
predicts that there soon will be no racial majority in the US, rather a
collection of minorities, so that no one group will establish the “norm.”
The churches may become unrecognizable as they adapt to the new needs and
expectations and technologies that spring up.
There will be greater understanding between faith groups—and, one would
hope, less sense of competition and divisiveness between denominations of the
Christian faith. He used the image
of the storm to depict the times ahead: in Scripture, God uses storms to get our
attention, to strengthen our trust, to show power—(and, I would add, to make a
way where there was no way, as at the Red Sea when the east wind blew the water
aside in the Exodus event). He
describes chaplains as “riders of the storm,” who interpret and guide the
people through difficult times. We
all came away with a lot to think about—and I, at least, gained an awareness
that not all Southern Baptists are “hardshell” and narrow in their
understanding! And now I want to read Michel Foucault and Jacques Derida, to
learn more about the Postmodern Age. Stay
The November Schedule of who's doing what...
All Saints' Sun.
Chalice 8 am
Lector 8 am
*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
D A.Spang, Borrowman, Crates
E. Peake, Small, Northrop
Sustitutes: Holmes, Bishop
From the earliest time in Christian history, candles have
been used to
symbolize the faith that Christians have in From the
earliest time in
Christian history, candles have been used to symbolize the
Christians have in Christ, the light of the world and the
promise of the
candles are used in churches and home to express living
literally means "given by a vow or promise".
candles are a renewal of our baptismal promise of
ill you seeking and
serving Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as
yourself, striving for
justice and peace among all people, and respecting the
dignity of every
Many churches have votive candles placed before an icon
where the faithful
can light a candle and pledge their love for the Lord and
to participate in his saving mission on earth.
A new "peace votive" can now
be found in the tower entrance of the church.
The congregation is invited
to light a candle any time of day, vowing to live our lives
faithful to the
Gospel and thus dispel the darkness of the age.
by Louise Peake
Jean Versocki and her daughter Judy have really found a
home at St. Stephen’s. They attend the 10:15 service and Kerygma classes.
Jean’s grandchildren, Tyleigh and Alik, attend Sunday school, and Tyleigh is a
A year ago, Jean purchased a home on Sumner Avenue and
Judy, an accomplished gardener, went
to work on the “virgin garden” and established a lovely flower garden.
Jean works for the City School District, and Judy works at
Schenectady City Hall for the Water Department. Their interests and hobbies are
wide and various. Judy is musically talented; she play the guitar and some
keyboard. She has a lovely voice and has been soloist at weddings. (Tim Olsen,
take note!) Jean likes to quilt, embroider, and do crafts. She made costumes for
last year’s Christmas Pageant. Jean has recently joined the Altar Guild.
Jean felt a “strong sense of family” when she first
visited St. Stephen’s. Now that we know them a little better, we’ll be
finding outlets for the talents of both these clever women.
Avenue House Painting Party
to all those who painted and all those who provided lunch for the painters:
hands made the job go by quickly! If you haven’t seen the results, do stop by
the Garner Avenue House on a Sunday morning. It’s lookin’ gooood!
All Saints’s Day
All Saints’ Day Sunday
In loving memory of William Peake, given
by Louise Peake
In loving memory of Agnes F. Toomey given
by Liz Varno
Thanksgiving Day; In loving memory of Porter Dobbins, Jr.
In loving memory of Dawn Schlansker
given by Ted Schlansker
Eric Kilbourn, Alexis McCrea
Emily Marshall. Andrew Marshall
James Pierce, Allison Pierce
Jesse Dipley, Debbie O’Connor, Jon Rizzo
Shane Phillips, Mary Frances Barlow
Isabella Dewhurst, Charlie Vedder, Carmella Vedder
28 Molly Lundquist, Jackie Tomlinson,
Liz Stevens, Carole Merrill-Mazurek, Travis Reedy
Hoagy and Bill Walker
Liz and Gregg Varno
Charline and Norman Hoffmann
Carol and Steve Ras
Mary Frances and George Barlow
Kabby and Al Lowe
Doreen and Ralph May
Kathy and Mark Pohl
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