The Messenger


November, 2002


All Saint's Day

 

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 are reminded 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 will remember them on Sunday, November 3rd at all three Eucharists.

 

The Woman Behind Thanksgiving Day

 

Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, for 40 years the editor of "Godey's Lady's Book," the mother of all magazines for women, was responsible for our observance of Thanksgiving Day.

 In 1846 Mrs. Hale, a widow with five children, began her campaign to have Thanksgiving Day established as a national holiday.  Some individual states listened to her and acted, but the Federal Government ignored her pleas for 17 years.

   

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln heeded Mrs. Hale, and the result was the first Thanksgiving proclamation by a president since George Washington. (Mrs. Hale not only edited a magazine, not only raised children as a single parent, not only was responsible for Thanksgiving's being recognized as a national holiday, she also wrote the poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb!")

 
Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service

 This traditional service will be held at Congregation Agudat Achim, 2117 Union Street, at 3pm, Sunday, November 24th.   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 Continental Congress.

 Our celebration of Thanksgiving stems from our many blessings of God's good creation.  As Children of God we are to live our lives in a spirit of thanksgiving.  We are to be faithful stewards of the earth as God's creation, given to us as a sacred trust.

   

Home Communion

 If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short-term basis, please call the parish office if you would like to have communion brought to you. 

 

Rector's Letter

Dear Friends,

      There's something about money that really gets to people.  Why does the church talk so frequently about money?

      The answer, I believe, is because Jesus frequently talked about money. Sixteen of his 38 parables were about money or possessions; one tenth of all gospel verses are about money or possessions.  There are 500 verses in Scripture that deal with prayer, and a few less that deal with faith, yet more than 1,000 verses deal with money and material goods.  Therefore, the article concludes, it is no wonder that the church, when it is faithful to the gospel, follows in that tradition and talks about money.

      I believe that Jesus was right when he said: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

      Most of you have received a summary of next year's budget.  The annual budget is not great mystery.  We spend much of our money each year on staff, on people who work with people.  This is not 'overhead'.  You cannot run a church with an office, a computer and a copy machine.  As our church grows, one of the most crucial things we can do is to provide people in education, music, pastoral care, administration, and worship leadership, to build, nurture and lead the church of Jesus Christ.

      In addition, we spend money on space, the maintenance and upkeep of buildings to house the activities of the church.  We spend a relatively small amount on the tools of ministry:  scissors and paste, choir robes, and Church School material.  And we give some of our money away to ministries near and far so that we may join with others in support of such things as a Jail Ministry, the Schenectady Inner City Ministry, and the outreach of our denomination in every part of the world through the Diocesan Quota.

      We project a need for a $22,000 increase in the budget for next year. That increase is totally due to our congregation's growth, both in programs and people.  As we grow, we count on the stewardship of our new members as well as that of those who have undergirded the work of the church in the past, to help us be the church we need, want, and can be.

      That's why the church talks about money.  That is why your church is asking you to increase your pledge of time, talent and treasure.  And God knows, it will mean sacrifice.  Some people give out of their abundance: they give stock, they take from their investments; and it has no affect whatsoever on how they live from day to day.  Jesus did not criticize that, for there are all sorts of ways to be a good steward.  But some have no abundance.  They give out of what they have to live on.  Their giving to the church and other organizations affects what they have to spend on food, clothes, housing, and travel.  They make a real sacrifice and they do it lovingly and thankfully.

      St. Stephen's is trying to wrestle with the meaning of having and of giving.  The Church has adopted a statement on stewardship of money.  In it we endorse proportionate giving -- that is, a set portion of our income, off the top, in gratitude and in the hope that giving in this way will help to make holy the rest of the money we spend during the year. 

      Proportionate giving is our sacrifice of thanksgiving.

   

Also, don't forget the annual

 EPISCOPAL THANKSGIVING SERVICE

  November 28th

 Thursday morning at 10 am

 here at

 St. Stephen's Church

 

Memorial Book Update

 A Memorials Committee has been formed.  The committee is updating the information so that names can be entered into the Memorial Book in the case located in the Narthex.  If someone is a calligrapher, your skill is needed in entering new names into the Memorial Book.  This will be your chance to make a lasting mark on St. Stephen's.

 

Educator’s retreat

The Diocesan Committee for Christian Education wants to offer a time of respite and refreshment for women and men who are church school teachers. 

This is a demanding ministry in many ways.  It only begins with your time and your physical presence.  Teaching the gospel demands a lot more: faithfulness even when surrounded by doubt, serenity in the midst of chaos, clear thinking when faced with confusion, and constant prayer in a whirl of busy-ness.  This retreat is meant to allow God to ‘refill the vessel’ of church school teachers’ spirits - to give back some time and energy to those who give so much to others.  Mother Lorrie, Mother Ellen Neufeld (Ascension Church in Troy), and Laurie Rohr (Diocesan Christian Education) will be leading this retreat.  Please let Mother Lorrie know if you can join us.

 

“Godly Boundaries” Nov. 9 12:30 - 5:00 at Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills

Men and women who serve the church as leaders and teachers bear a particular responsibility to pattern their lives according to Jesus’ example.  This is especially true when we are entrusted with the care of children and young people.  That is why St. Stephen’s “Safe Church” policy requires that all those who work with children and youth at St. Stephen’s attend training that will help them understand issues of sexual abuse and misconduct.  Our diocesan Christian Education staff has developed an excellent workshop entitled “Godly Boundaries.”  If you have not already attended this training, and you are in a position of parish leadership (such as the vestry) or intend to work with children or youth, place make plans to attend the training on Nov. 9.  You will need to call Joan Ecker at the diocesan office to make your reservation (465-4737 ext. 206, or jecker@global2000.net).  Please also let Mother Lorrie know that you are coming, and we can carpool together from St. Stephen’s.

   

Cathedral Lock-In for Youth (6th - 12th grade) Nov. 15-16.

This is the 4th (or so) Cathedral Lock-In offered by the staff of Beaver Cross at All Saint’s Cathedral in Albany.  Each year it gets bigger and better.  Youth groups from all over the diocese fill up the cathedral for a night. ‘Old’ friends from Youth Rally and Happening get to see one another again.  People make new friends too.  There is great live music, God is praised, and everyone gets to sleep on the floor, or stay up all night talking.  Join us!  If you or someone you want to know (invite a friend!) wants to come, please let Mother Lorrie know.  We will be carpooling from St. Stephen’s on Friday evening, November 15.

 

Friday-Nite Off ! Night, Nov. 22: Advent wreaths

Are the kids finally settled into the school routine?  Have you finally got the Halloween costumes put away?  Did you find the last of the candy wrappers hidden under the sofa cushions?  Are you now trying to ignore the Next Big Thing (coming up the end of December) because you just want a minute to breathe?  Yes?  Then you are ready for a Friday-Nite Off Night! You won’t have to cook.  You won’t have to find a babysitter.  You only have to bring the family and be ready to relax and have some fun together.  We will be making Advent wreaths, so if you want to and it won’t stress you out, you can bring some evergreens along.  We will go Dutch for take-out dinner from Subway.  Please let Karen Malcolm (370-8779) know if you can join us.

 

K-5 Church School teacher’s meeting Monday, 11/18 7:15 pm - 9pm

The really wonderful church school teachers of St. Stephen’s will be meeting again in November to hatch some more elaborate plots and never-been-done-before ideas to make Sunday School fun.  You should receive an agenda via email from Mthr. Lorrie prior to the meeting.  If you are a leader for the K-5 church school, please plan to attend.

 Our last meeting in October was exciting - everyone had so many good ideas we were all amazed with ourselves.  One of the good ideas that we’re going to implement as soon as possible is to have a Sunday School class for our pre-schoolers.  This group has grown, and they really need their own space and activities.  As soon as we have two teams of two adults in place, we will begin the pre-school class.  We hope to do this before Christmas.

   

Christmas Pageant Time

Yes, it is time already!  St. Stephen’s Christmas Pageant is traditionally presented on the last Sunday of Advent (this year, Dec. 22) in the place of the sermon at the 10:15 Holy Eucharist.  We will be staging an all-new production of “A Christmas Gift”with a slightly revised script, new staging, and of course, a new cast.  We encourage any child or youth (k-12) at St. Stephen’s to read for a part.  Readings will be scheduled in early November, and the cast will be called to the first rehearsal by November 24th.  Last year, even before their costumes were unpinned, the children were looking forward to the parts they wanted to play ‘next year’.  We’ve had a wonderful time with this unique pageant, and we’re looking forward to enjoying it again.

 

Sunday Education Hour 9- 10 am

We continue our study with Faith Lessons, a unique video series that brings God’s Word to life with astounding relevance.  The illuminating “faith lessons” in this series affords a new understanding of the Bible that will ground your convictions and transform your life. 

        November 3              Faith Lesson 5: “Iron” of Culture

            Read 1 Samuel 17:1-54, 1 Samuel 13:19-22

        November 10

        November 17

        November 24

 

Advent Quiet Day

     The Daughters of the King are planning to offer an Advent Quiet Day for the women of St. Stephen's.  The nature of a quiet day is spending time in prayer and silence, structured by readings and meditations.  We will hold it on a Saturday, December 7th or 14th, for about four hours, the exact time and other details to be announced later.  As part of your preparation for Christmas, consider setting aside those few hours for a period of silent waiting upon God.  If you are interested or have questions, please call Richey Woodzell, 372-9398.

 

Christmas gifts for local families:

This year, the St. Stephen's Outreach Committee is continuing the tradition of coordinating donations of Christmas gifts to local families.  Committee members have set a goal of expanding our outreach from 5 to 6 families this year based upon the Church's overwhelming past response.  Many parishioners have commented on the way that this project helps them and their children to get in touch with the true spirit of Christmas by giving to others!  Here's how you can become involved:  

Take a request letter from the Christmas tree located in the back of the church.  This will tell the type of gift needed by whom. 

 Purchase and wrap your gift.  Please tag the gift with the label attached to your letter.

 Place the gift under the tree as soon as possible, but no later than before the 10:15 service on December 22nd.

 We will also be seeking volunteers to sort gifts on the 22nd and to deliver the gifts that day.

 Contact person:  Dawn Tonneau, Phone 370-5681

 

From the Social Justice Committee

Thanksgiving is coming! Time to help others with little to count on.

 What can one person do? This is a question often asked by people as they contemplate their role in making the world a better place. What can one person do? He or she can join with other like-minded people and have an impact on people at home and at great distances.

             “Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world.
           
 Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  -- Margaret Mead

 This Thanksgiving, the Social Justice Committee at St. Stephen’s is hoping you will join us in taking on the challenge of hunger and truly making a difference locally, regionally, and globally--three chances to help someone. Three chances to put our gratitude into action. Three chances to do “for the least of these.” as we are commanded to do.  

“How?” you ask. “Simple.” we answer! Locally you can help fill our Thanksgiving baskets by bringing in some food items and leaving them in the collection boxes in the extension. Regionally, you can save your change for the month of November and bring it to church on Sunday, November 25th to be collected and sent to the Regional Food Pantry. Globally, you can help to buy a heifer, a goat, or a pig for a family in need somewhere I the world. Check out one of the Heifer Project catalogues on the Shop counter and send in your contribution or make a donation to our youth group  as they raise the money to buy one heifer for someone far away who desperately needs our help

 On holiday- three ways to demonstrate your gratitude. Ways that truly pass along God’s love to others. One word says it all: Thanks-giving! Join us.

                         All Sundays in November - Bring food items

                        November 25th -Change collection for Regional Food Pantry

                        November - Contributions to the Heifer Project

 We who have been so richly blessed have so very much to share.

                                                            Peace,
                                                           
Carole Merrill-Mazurek and Gail Smith

Want to do more: Join this busy and fast-growing committee. Pick one item to work on or work with us to develop our involvement on a who program of initiatives. Lend your voice, lend a hand, make a difference--for yourself, St. Stephen’s, and the people of our community and the wider world.

 The committee will meet on Sunday, November 10th after the 10:15 service. Be a part of St. Stephen’s outreach for peace and justice.

 

Thanks

 After 10 years I have resigned from the chair of the Service Committee to make room for younger members and fresh ideas. I would like to thank everyone who worked to bring so many good ideas to fruition. The work of this committee goes right to the heart of what we set out to do as a Christian community, and I would urge everyone in the parish to continue supporting its activities.

 Pauline Holmes

 

 SICM

The speaker and guest of honor at the October SICM Assembly meeting was the new Public Safety Commissioner for Schenectady, Dan Boyle.  His presentation included an honest assessment of the past and present problems in the City, as well as specific plans and changes for the future.  He described the implementation of the "Weed and Seed" program, whose aim is to remove bad elements from City neighborhoods and replace them with positive programs for growth and reform.

 Grants were announced for Damien Center, Save & Share Food Co-op, Jobs, Etc., COCOA House, and the Emmett Street project.  Better Neighborhoods also announced a new housing assistance program called HARP - Homebuyer Acquisition and Renovation Program - for income qualified households.

 The Concerned for the Hungry annual Thanksgiving food drive will again prepare Thanksgiving baskets for the needy this November.  The needs in the community seem to be greater than ever.  Basket preparation is done at the IUE Hall on Erie Boulevard the week-end of November 23-24; basket deliveries will be made Tuesday, November 26.  Volunteers are needed for all aspects of this activity.  Anyone wishing to help with this meaningful program can contact Cindy Reedy.

 

Week by Week

 

November 1 - 2

Birthdays:  Nick Stewart (2nd)

 November 3- 9

 

Flowers: All Saints’ Day

Acolytes: Nick Brooks-McDonald  (crucifer), Jon Rizzo (server), Tyleigh Versocki (torch), Laura Pratico (torch)

Chalice Bearers: Charles Trawick (8:00), Dave Crates (10:15)

1st Lesson Lectors: Kathy Miller (8:00), Denis Manor (10:15)

2nd Lesson Lectors: George Woodzell (8:00), Marilyn Causey (10:15)

Altar Guild: Liz Casale, Kabby Lowe, Liz Varno

Counters: Marti Spang, Doreen May, Ralph May

Care Team: Charles and Debbie Trawick

LEMs: Debbie and Charles Trawick

Birthdays

Zachary Price (6th)
Jim Lyons (7th)
Eric Kilbourn (8th)
Alton Reedy (9th)

Anniversaries

Bill and Hoagy Walker (3rd)

Gregg and Liz Varno (3rd)

Norman and Charline Hoffman (4th)

Steve and Carol Ras (7th)

 

November 10-16

Flowers: In memory of William Peake, given by Louise Peake

Acolytes: Taylor Trawick  (crucifer), Chenoa Roseberry (server), Megan Price (torch),Tom Casale (torch)

Chalice Bearers: Denise Crates (8:00), Grant Jaquith (10:15)

1st Lesson Lectors: Peter Nevius (8:00), Carole Merrill-Mazurek (10:15)

2nd Lesson Lectors:George Woodzell (8:00), Marilyn Causey (10:15)

Altar Guild: Charline Hoffmann, Louise Peake,  Jean Versocki

Counters: Jeanette Sckner, Millie Gittinger, Don Molino

Care Team: George and Richey Woodzell

LEMs: Richey an George Woodzell

Birthdays

Olivia Jaquith (13th)

 

November 17-23

Flowers: In memory of Agnes Toomey, given by Liz Varno

Acolytes: Paul Pratico  (crucifer), Andy Marshall (server), Anne Sombor (torch), Paul Lyons (torch)

Altar Guild: Josephine Jones, Carolyn Morin, Helen Reid, June Russell, Gill Woodcock

Chalice Bearers: Chris Jones (8:00), Denise Crates (10:15)

1st Lesson Lectors: Carole Merrrill-Mazurek (8:00), George Woodzell (10:15)

2nd Lesson Lectors: Bud Mazurek (8:00), Dave Crates (10:15)

Counters: Diana Belardo, Sondra Grady, Bob Voelker

Care Team: Al and Kabby Lowe

LEMs: Jeanette Ackner and Cherie Downs

Birthdays

Emily Marshall (17th)

Andrew Marshall (17t)

Jamie Pierce (18th)

Jesse Dipley (19th)

Debbie O’Connor (19th)

Jonathan Rizzo (19th)

Tim Molino (20th)

Charlie Vedder (20th)

Shane Phillips (23rd)

 

 

 

November 24-30

Flowers: In memory of Dawn Schlansker, given by Ted Schlansker

Acolytes: Stasia Lyons  (crucifer), John Casale (server), Kayla Gibbs (torch), Ethan Brooks-McDonald (torch)

Altar Guild: Liz Casale, Kabby Lowe, Liz Varno

Chalice Bearers: Marilyn Causey (8:00), Debbie Trawick (10:15)

1st Lesson Lectors: Liz Stevens (8:00), Oto Jones (10:15)

2nd Lesson Lectors: Dave Stevens (8:00), Liz Varno (10:15)

Counters: Austin Spang, Denise Crates

Care Team: Mike Bishop and Pauline Holmes

LEMs: Debbie and Charles Trawick

Birthdays

Isabella Dewhurst (25th)

Carmella Vedder (25th)

Molly Lundquist (28th)

Liz Stevens (30th)

Carole Merrill-Mazurek (30th)

Travis Reedy (30th)

Anniversaries

Al and Kabby Lowe (24th)

Ralph and Doreen May (25th)

Gene and Mary Whitney (28th)

Scott and Noreen Jurgensen (28th)


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