The Messenger

Saint Stephen's, Schenectady May 2004

Church School Raises Over $1000 for the Heifer Project

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.


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

Meet the Canavans through an
Interview with Matthew Canavan

Question: How old are you and your brother and
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
A: Everyone is really nice
The Canavan's have been coming to St.
Stephen's since this spring.


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
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

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.
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,
If you think you might be interested in a teaching
ministry, please complete the form and give it to
Richey Woodzell or Barbara Adams.
I am interested in teaching the following ages or
____pre-Kindergarten / Kindergarten
____1st grade -2nd grade
____3rd grade -4th grade
____5th grade
____6th -7th grade

Ask the Rector
Dear 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.

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 )

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

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

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

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 

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

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: 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 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 .
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

1. COOK A DINNER for my family (and please
bring the food in disposable containers or marked

(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
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).
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
Church Staff
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 .
The rector's email is . Our
website address is 
The Messenger is published 10 times a year, September
through June.