Saint Stephen's, Schenectady May 2004
They set their goal for $120 to buy a goat, but after all the coins were counted, the Church was told that they had raised over a thousand dollars. "Gee, maybe now we can get a water buffalo!" one of the students was heard to respond. They ended up raising enough money for a goat, a heifer, a water buffalo and a sheep. When our church school teachers were looking for a way to teach the students about personal sacrifice as a Lenten project, they chose the Heifer Project because of its excellent record of helping others. On February 29 the teachers distributed to each household a calendar with daily facts about how animals are used in other parts of the world, as well as a small ark in which to save donations. On Palm Sunday, April 4, the students presented all their contributions.
The children's positive and hopeful attitude seemed to spread through the church. From buying baked goods to putting money in the Arks, the adults on the church were as much a part of this project as the children. And the children thank everyone. The success of the Heifer Project was celebrated on the 25th of April with a pinata in the shape of a goat that Stacy Debritz designed. It was a yarn goat that everyone worked on over many coffee hours in the last months. Without Stacy's finishing touches, it may have been June before it was finished! The candy will be eaten but the goat will be saved for another time, a symbol of hope, giving and hard work.
Workcamp On July 11th members of St. Stephen's high school youth group, travel to Pennsylvania for a week- long work camp. Bringing together high- schoolers from allover the country, these camps combine work, play, and a religious framework into an unforgettable experience, for the young people and the adults who come with them. What happens at workcamp? Starting each day at six in the morning, we work on a variety of projects to help poor and elderly people have better homes in which to live. The work might include replacing a roof, building a new room, replacing floors or stairs, repainting, or building a wheel-chair ramp. The work is hard, challenging, and very rewarding. In the late afternoon everyone returns to the school that houses the camp, to shower, socialize, and relax until supper. In the evening, we take part in programs that explore the spiritual side of our lives, focusing on the connection between the work we do for others at workcamp and the work God does in and through us. We close each day with a meeting, of our church group to talk about our experiences that day and to see what lessons we can draw from them. What can you do to help? The youth group needs to raise approximately $5000 for this summer's camp; you can help by buying shares in a workcamper -you'll hear how in the next few weeks.
Meet the Canavans through an Interview with Matthew Canavan Question: How old are you and your brother and sisters? Answer: I'm nine. My younger brother, Julian, is eight, my younger sister, Olivia is six and Elizabeth is four. Q: Where do you go to school? What do you like about school? A: I go to Howe Magnet School and am in 4th grade. I like really like my teacher at school. Olivia (kindergarten) and Julian (2nd) go to the same school. Elizabeth goes to Park Avenue Nursery school. Q: What are your hobbies and what are the hobbies of you brother and sisters? A: My favorite hobbies are building stuff and playing educational games on the computer. Julian's favorite hobby is playing with the scorpion fish. Olivia and Elizabeth like pretending they are fairy princesses. Q: Do you have pets? A: Yes. We have two dogs and 18 fresh water fish. My favorite is Bella, our puppy. Q: What do your Mom (Catherine) and Dad (Matthew) do for work? A: My Dad works at Veterans Health Administration in Albany. He uses the computer a lot. My Mom works at home. She's been using the computer a lot lately, too. Q: What do you like best about St. Stephen's so far? A: Everyone is really nice The Canavan's have been coming to St. Stephen's since this spring.
EDUCATION CORNER Adult Education on Sunday Mornings: The Evangelical Movement: This three session series will examine the diversity and energy of the evangelical movement and Christian fundamentalism that is growing quickly in this country. Each session will begin with a video program hosted by Randall Balmer who traveled throughout the u.s. to uncover what this movement believes and what difference their faith makes in their lives. It also shows how they are trying to change local, state and federal government. Emerging forms of evangelicalism will also be examined. The rector will lead a discussion following each video. May 2 -Diversity of Evangelical Expression: A look at four churches: Illinois, Mississippi, California & W. Virginia May 9 -History: Whitefield camp meetings; Bible/Conversion, biblical fundamentalism & the end times, the Scopes trial/fortress mentality - Word of Life Camp, Schroon Lake.
May 23 -Big business - tele-evangelists, book sales; political issues, Prosperity gospel, cultural captivity, sacrament.
Pre K through 6th grade Sunday school schedule for May and June including plans for summer
May 2 regular classes May 9 No Sunday school: May 16 regular classes, Jazz Sunday, Mother's Day brunch May 23 regular classes May 30 Pentecost intergenerational (parents please come) June 6 "Bring a Friend to Sunday school", regular classes June 13 Last day of Sunday school 8/30-9/3 Vacation Bible School
Summer ROssibilities: June 25th: Talent show and potluck dinner (Are you interested?) A trip to a petting zoo is being considered for the summer.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL HAS BEEN SCHEDULED Mark your calendars for Vacation Bible School. It is planned for the last week of the summer (August 30-September 3). The curriculum will be based on Noah's Ark. Many things need to happen before we have a Bible School this year. First: KIDS ARE ESSENTIAL!! Second, volunteers are required to assist in the preparations before and during the week of Bible School. Someone who would be willing to take the lead for this special week would be appreciated. Please contact Richey Woodzell or Laura Davis if you think your kids can come and / or you are interested in helping out.
lave You Ever Considered Teaching Church School? Teachers work in teams. Teachers can teach for 3-,6- or 9- month periods. We use a prepared curriculum that is very "teacher-friendly." You do not need to be a theologian or a Professional teacher in order to be a successful church schoolteacher. The most important qualifications include love, enthusiasm, and a willingness to share your faith with the children of the parish. There is perhaps, no more important ministry we share as a parish family than the ministry we have to our parish children. Much of their view of the Christian Faith will come from the modeling we do in our lives. We have all taken a vow at their Baptism that we will, "Do all in our power to support these persons in their life in Christ." (BCP, 303)
If you think you might be interested in a teaching ministry, please complete the form and give it to Richey Woodzell or Barbara Adams.
Name______________________________ I am interested in teaching the following ages or grades: ____pre-Kindergarten / Kindergarten ____1st grade -2nd grade ____3rd grade -4th grade ____5th grade ____6th -7th grade
Ask the Rector
I need to understand the giving of communion to very small children. As I understand it, in the early Church there was a long period of teaching before people were admitted to the Holy Eucharist. I understand the principle of inclusion and the sense of awe in children, but I would need to know how much preparation parents and clergy give before children receive the sacrament. It may well be that my culture and my deep sense of tradition prevents me from accepting this practice fully but in honesty, I must at least state my problem with it. Wondering
Dear Wondering, I give the children of St. Stephen's Communion bread when their parents agree to it. My reasons for this are several: My theology of Eucharist was shaped by a man named Aiden Kavanaugh who took the Eastern Church as his model where babies are literally "spoon fed" the Eucharist from a chalice where the bread and wine are mushed together. 2) Theologically I think in somewhat of an Old Testament way--newbom (boys) were circumcised and made an immediate part of Israel (on the 8th day). Baptism is our equivalent in that through the waters of baptism we are made part of the "new Israel," the Body of Christ. The Holy Eucharist is the meal which symbolizes our full inclusion in Christ. I was raised in an Episcopal Church that taught and practiced that children do not receive Communion until they were Confirmed (about 11 or 12 years old). But the net effect of this was that I was raised as "Pagan" with "Christian" parents. I sat in my pew while they went up to receive the bread and wine, or I went up and watched the rector pass me by. I suppose I relish the idea that the children of St. Stephen's will never know a time when they were not nourished by the sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood. As to their understanding it--l'm not sure we ever grasp the mystery of this sacranlent. I dare say that I don't even to this day--it is beyond the intellect and into that mysterious realm of sharing and partaking in a community ritual. Fr. Jamees
Diocesan Convention to Decide to Join 'The Network'
The Albany Diocesan Convention will be held June 11-13 at the Canlp-of -the-Woods in Speculator, New York. The highlight of this meeting will be the debate and vote on whether the Diocese should join the Network of Anglican Dioceses and Parishes. Albany Via Media believes that joining the Network would impair the mission of the church. Here are their reasons: 1. Network governance reduces the role of laity in decision-making and is not democratic. 2. It does not promise obedience to the canons of the Episcopal Church, USA. 3. It encourages those who do not accept women's ordination and gives them a guaranteed voice in Network decision-making. 4. It requires people to accept a belief statement beyond the Creeds. (see http://www.anglicancommunionnetwork.org/home/index.cfm ) 5. It makes church teachings about marriage as important as teachings about God, the Creeds, and Sacranlents, and imposes a particular inter- pretation of marriage. 6. It tries to replace the Episcopal Church, USA, by dealing directly with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other provinces.
7. It encourages parishes to have nothing to do with their diocesan bishop and to cut themselves off from the rest of their diocese. 8. It advocates a form of Episcopal oversight in conflict with ECUSA constitution and canons. 9. It requires signers to "submit" to the authority of foreign primates, something no participating province (regional or national church) currently does. 10. It requires submission to the Bible rather than to God. The Bible contains all things necessary for salvation and can guide us (with tradition and reason) in discerning God's will, but God is in charge, not the Bible. A petition that urges deputies to the convention to defeat any resolution/proposal that may connect the Diocese of Albany and the Network can be found in the parish hall. The delegates from Saint Stephen's Church are Norman Hoffmann, Dennis Wisnom and Denise Crates. Fr. James and Deacon Pat are also delegates. Fr. James is seeking re-election for a position on the Standing Committee of the Diocese. Most Episcopalians know more about their local communities than about the larger structures. Many have no involvement beyond the local boundaries. However, since we are Episcopalians we bear a share of the responsibility for the support of the diocesan and national structures.
From the Rector Dear Friends, On June 1 st I will begin a sabbatical that will last through the end of August. The word 'sabbath' comes from the Hebrew shabbat which means "to cease or desist." The Sabbath is a weekly day of rest. The tradition of abstaining from work on the Sabbath comes from the creation story in Genesis 2: 1-3 in which God rested on the seventh day after the work of creation. God blessed that day and called it holy. In the time of Moses, this day was set aside not only as a day of rest, but as a day on which to honor God and the creation. Thus in the 1 0 commandments we are asked to "remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8) There is also the tradition of the Sabbatical Year, in which fields were to lie fallow every seventh year. This too was about rest: rest of those who work the land, and rest of the land itself. My family and I will be in Spain from June 13th to July 11 tho I, alone, will fly to Israel and study at St. George's College. I will be in Israel from August 3rd to the 20th. Viki, the boys and I are looking forward to a different rhythm of prayer and reflection and Sabbath keeping in our life in Christ. I ask for your prayers and support during my time away and I look forward to the experiences I will bring back with me in August. I will give you more details about who will celebrate and preach on Sunday mornings in the next Messenger. I would like to invite all members of the congregation to a catered brunch on Sunday, May 30th as a way to say good bye for the summer. Please mark that date. James +
Farm-Fresh Produce Available Through SICM SICM once again is administering a loan fund for individuals and families who would like to participate in Roxbury Community-Supported Agriculture Fann. Participants receive a weekly share in the fann's harvest (7 to 12 varieties of vegetables) from early June through mid- December, and a cookbook featuring fann produce. Participants pay a $48 deposit, and then $50 monthly payments from June through December. Discounted shares are available for those with low incomes. Consider becoming a member, splitting a membership with a neighbor or friend, or donating a membership. Call Marianne Comfort at 374-2683 or email email@example.com Summer Lunch Volunteers Sought The Summer Lunch program for youth will run from June 24 through Aug. 6 this year at 9 sites. Congregations are asked to "adopt a site" for one of the weeks, which involves recruiting volunteers to serve the noontime meals each day of that week. Call Mary Rainey at 346-4445 to volunteer and for more information.
Congregations Asked to Sponsor Student Interns for Summer SICM relies on upper-high school and college students to work as interns during the summer with the Food Pantry, Damien Center, JOBS etc. and Summer Lunch. Sponsoring congregations pay an intern's salary at $6 per hour for a minimum of six weeks. There are both part-time and full-time positions available. For more information, contact Mary Rainey at 346-4445. SICM Seeks Gardeners to Maintain Plots for Pantry. The SICM Food Program has two plots in a garden on Hetcheltown Road in Glenville in which to grow fresh produce for individuals and families seeking grocery assistance. Volunteers are needed to help maintain the plots. Contact Mary Rainey at 346-4445. Weed and Seed Begins to Organize Schenectady's Weed and Seed project has begun organizing with the help of a $100,000 grant from the city through the Community Development Block Grant program. Weed and Seed is a federal Justice Department initiative that is a strategy to "weed" out criminal elements and "seed" new initiatives. For information, contact Chauncey Williams at the Hamilton Hill Neighborhood Association or Assistant Police Chief Mark Chaires. Food Program Installs New Freezer The Food Program has installed a walk-in freezer with funds from the Indirect Vitamins Purchasers Antitrust Litigation Settlement administered by the New York State Attorney General. The freezer is allowing the food pantry to stock up on low- priced bulk orders of hot dogs, cheese and margarine from the Regional Food Bank and free commodities such as turkey breasts and frozen fruit. This is a tremendous benefit in providing food to individuals and families in need at the lowest costs.
SICM Food Program Requests Letters to Legislators The SICM Food Program is projecting a $50,000 budget deficit by the end of this year due to increasing demand. To help offset this, supporters are asked to send letters to state legislators requesting a special grant for purchases of food. A sample letter may be found on the SICM website: www.timesunion.com/communitiesisicm For information on the causes of this, contact Pat Obrecht or Mary Rainey at 346-4445. COCOA House to Benefit from Golf Tournament The COCOA House afterschool program has been designated the beneficiary of the annual Sunmark Federal Credit Union golf tournament. The tournament is scheduled for Friday, July 23 at Van Patten Golf Course in Clifton Park. For information, contact Bill Jenkins at Sunmark (382-2597 ext. 149), or more details will be coming soon and available on the SICM website. Schenectady Food Providers to Host Benefit at Proctor's on May 16 Mark your calendars for 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16 for a showing of the movie "Grapes of Wrath" and a reception to benefit Schenectady County Food Providers, a coalition of food pantries and soup kitchens. The event will mark the 30th anniversary of the SICM Food Program. Tickets for the film are $5; for both the film and a reception afterwards, $25. Contact Ruth or Marianne at 374-2683 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Foreclosed City Properties Available The City has announced another round of proposals for city-owned foreclosed properties. Purchase proposals on the 47 available properties will be accepted through 1 p.m. Friday, May 14. Priority is given to owner occupants. A proposal process infonnational meeting is scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 5 at the Department of Neighborhood Revitalization, 901-A Crane St., Schenectady. A listing of the properties is available at the SICM office and on the website www.collarcitYauctions.com .
SICM food program Please put baby food, baby cereal, and Enfamil with iron on your shopping list for the month of May. If you prefer to donate something else it will, as always, be much appreciated by the SICM Emergency Food Pantry. Thank you for your continued support of our program.
Home Communion If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long, or short-tenn basis, please call the parish office if you would like to have communion brought to you.
Mom Is Very Sick -Here's How To Help A young wife struggling to live with cancer, with three pre-school children, shares these practical suggestions for helping anyone who is seriously ill. 1. COOK A DINNER for my family (and please bring the food in disposable containers or marked pots). 2. BAKE HOMEMADE COOKIES or brownies (and bring them frozen so I can have the delight of sending off fresh goodies in a lunchbox the next morning. This will give me the fun of feeling like a mama.) 3. MAKE YOUR OFFER specific (say, "I want to come over Monday at three to bake cookies or clean your pantry shelf, or whatever." If you say, "Call me anytime for anything," I won't know what you want to do, or when you are free, so I probably won't ask.) 4. OFFER TO BABYSIT (even if my husband and I are home and alone, this gives us the freedom of a private adult life in a place my illness can cope). 5. HELP WITH HOLIDAYS, birthdays, and anniversaries (ask if there are any special gifts or cards or wrapping papers you could pick up for me. How many times I have wanted to give my husband a special card or put up a holiday decoration, but have been unable). 6. HELP MY CHILDREN attend birthday parties (perhaps by bringing pre- wrapped children's gifts to our home for future use; or you might offer transportation to a party.) 7. CALL BEFORE you visit, but drop by for twenty minutes when you can (don't assume sickness requires rest at the expense of communications. Loneliness is the greatest interrupter of sleep.)
8. ASK ME whom you know that I might like to see, and bring them by (often I am too shy to approach a friend on my own. My whole life consists of asking favors, and I may just be too tired to make special requests).
9. TAKE SNAPSHOTS of my children over the months (this gives me a feeling that there are permanent records of the temporary happenings I may miss).
10. OFFER TO RUN two meaningless errands a week for our family (the small stuff --like hair ribbons, or cologne, or clean suits --falls by the wayside otherwise).
11. ALLOW ME to feel sad (or please prepare for the worst. One of the most difficult problems of serious illness is that everyone wants to encourage the patient. But sometimes having a good cry with a friend who allows it will let the tension escape. Sometimes the greater part of the cure is the release of fear).
12. EVEN IF THE JOKE is terrible, tell it! (Share your humor. Read aloud. Describe what is funny out there. It may not tickle my ribs today, but tomorrow I may relish it! Speak to the part of me that is more alive than dead, for that is the real me).
13. TOUCH ME (the isolation of being an invalid makes the power of love sweeter).
14. OFFER TO WATCH TV with me some afternoon when an old movie is on.
15. SAY THE WORD "CANCER" around me and talk about the real life you are living. (This helps me feel less like an untouchable and more like I am still involved with the world of normality. One of the hardest things for me as an invalid is the problem of conversation with my husband, I am left with only illness and TV to talk about with him, and this is hard).
16. TELL ME HOW GREAT 1 look considering what I'm going through (I know 1 look sick, but 1 still need to feel honestly attractive).
17. PRAY FOR ME.
18. REMIND ME of the abundant life that awaits me and is promised to me. Also recall that there is comfort to be had here and now, in the midst of my illness. The Bible tells us that Christ is the healer, the comforter, the understanding sufferer. He brings cure and respite, not illness; and he holds me in his hand. Offer to be here with me forever. The fact that you could care so much in the moment tells me how much he cares for me in all moments.
Anniversaries to Keep in Mind
May Birthdays Edward Walther 5/1 Margaret Trawick 5/4 Bruce Tatge 5/4 Theodore Schlansker 5/5 Orner Burton 5/5 Belachew Emaelaf 5/5 Isabella Varno 5/5 Emalie Varno 5/6 Rocky BonsaI 5/7 Robert Strangfeld 5/8 Marilyn Dare 5/9 Stewart Vanda 5/10 Robyn Stewart 5/10 Scott Soule 5/11 Ayodele Jones 5/12 Norman Hoffmann 5/15 Charline Hoffmann 5/15 Amy Soule 5/15 Cherie Downs 5/17 Benjamin Hoshko 5/18 Elizabeth Casale 5/20 Steven Koch 5/21 Allison deKanel 5/26 William Schlansker 5/26 Phyllis Chapman 5/26 William Smith, Jr. 5/29 David Carroll 5/29 William Koch 5/30 Andrew Riordan 5/30 Julie McDonald 5/31 Dawn Kaler 5/31 Susan Olsen 5/31
May Wedding Anniversaries
Carl & June Hatlee 5/10 David Goyette & Gloria Kavanah 5/15 Robert & Barbara Strangfeld 5/20 Dave & Denise Crates 5/23 David & Robin Kaczka 5/25 George & Richey Woodzell 5/28 Robert & Phyllis Chapman 5/30
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church 1935 The Plaza Schenectady, New York 12309
The Rev. Dr. James R. Brooks-McDonald, Rector The Rev. Patricia L. Jones, Deacon The Rev. John H. Peatling, Rector Emeritus Dr. Timothy Olsen, Director of Music Ms Katherine Miller, Office Manager
Warden: Grant Jaquith Warden: Shari Maclvor Clerk: David Caruso Treasurer: Denise Crates Chancellor: Rosemarie Jaquith
Class of 2004 Dave Carroll Liz Casale Denise Crates
Class of 2005 Steve Ras Sondra Grady Vicki Hoshko Class of 2006 Marilyn Dare Budd Mazurek Keith Nelson
THE CHURCH OFFICE, located at 1229 Baker Avenue, is open every weekday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
TELEPHONE/FAX: The office telephone number is 518/346-6241 and the office fax number is 518/346- 6242. Please leave a message if no one answers and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Our email address is ststeRh@alban~.net . The rector's email is jbrooksm@n~caR.rr.com . Our website address is http://www.albany.net/~ststeph/ The Messenger is published 10 times a year, September through June.