The Messenger

February, 2005

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Opportunities For Spiritual Growth In Lent  

Lenten Study To Begin Early This Year.

St. Stephen’s will us for our Lenten Study this year, a new contemporary series of faith-based classes starting January 30th.  In recent months, the Episcopal Church has been making headlines globally and locally.  The increasing amount of tension in relation to the prophetic actions of The General Convention and the newly consecrated gay Bishop, Gene Robinson, has created a buzz within the Church, as well as in the larger community.

 In response to the attention, we are offering a series of eight Christian education courses called Via Media.  The program is focused on continuing the conversation, and it's open to anyone who has ever been curious or interested in the Episcopal/Anglican tradition.  Our objective is to create an open and inclusive environment that appeals to people wondering about The Episcopal Church, as well as our existing congregation members.  We encourage people to bring their ideas and questions, and we'll provide the informational resources and a place to exchange your thoughts and voice your opinions.  

 Over a period of eight weeks, we invite those seeking a deeper spiritual community to enter both the journey and the conversation.

 Using a combination of learning styles that includes video, written materials, small group discussion, and large group forum, participants encounter the basic principles of Christianity through the Anglican approach of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason.  All people are encouraged to ask questions, and to learn how to answer their own questions of faith.

 We will meet on Sunday evenings at 5pm in the parish hall for our study and a simple soup and bread supper, from Jan. 30th to March 20th.

 Thursday Mornings:  For many, the Season of Lent is a period of healing --- spiritually, emotionally, relationally and physically.  The Sacrament of Healing is offered as a part of the Eucharist at 10:00.  Persons wishing to receive this Sacrament are invited to stay at the altar rail after receiving the wine.  It involves the Laying on of Hands and Anointing with Holy Oil of Unction.  After the service we will gather in the rector’s study for a Bible Study from the Disciple curriculum.

 Sunday Eucharists in Lent: The Prayerbook gives many liturgical observances that are especially appropriate for Lent.  Watch for these.

 Fridays in Lent - Stations of the Cross:  'Station' is any place in the church where, during a solemn procession, there is pause for a prayer.   During Lent there is a practice in which fourteen 'stations' are visited in turn, with a pause for a reading, a versicle and response, a prayer, and a time for meditation.  In this case, the 'stations' are fourteen pictures depicting incidents in the narrative of Christ's passion, from Pilate's house to the entombment.  These pictures will be placed around the church on Fridays and booklets which lead the participant through each station can be found on the table in the back of the church.  The church and chapel will be open each Friday from 4 pm to 9 pm.

 Lent affords us a good opportunity to explore areas of our liturgical tradition that not widely used in our church.

Ash Wednesday Services

Ash Wednesday is February 9th with the Imposition of Ashes and Eucharist as follows:

7:00 a.m.
12:00 noon
7:30 p.m.

Services will be held at various times so that each Christian can observe the beginning of this penitential period which leads us into our celebration on Easter Day.  Barring illness, every Christian certainly will be in church on Ash Wednesday to begin his/her disciplined preparation for a meaningful celebration of Easter.

From the Rector

Dear Friends,

“I would have joined this church years ago, if only I had known about it.”

This was a statement made to me recently by a new member.  “If only I had known....”  There are many people living all around us who need the caring and nurture of this wonderful congregation.  Our neighborhoods and workplaces are filled with confused, lost, yet seeking people.  Many of them have been ‘turned off’ religion because they have had unfortunate experiences with a kind of Christianity and even a form of the Episcopal Church that is limited and shallow.  The solid Christian nurture given at Saint Stephen’s is what many people are seeking.   Try to share this with them. 

Episcopalians have our own way.  We don’t knock on doors the way the Mormons do.  We don’t preach on the street corners as some Fundamentalists do.  Episcopalians live out the joy of Christ in their daily life and then when someone asks us why we live the way we do, we use that opportunity to share our faith and our church.  But we need to create that opportunity. 

But how do you know what to say about Saint Stephen’s?  You could tell them that our tradition provides a way to faith that embraces mind and spirit, that affirms the goodness of the material world, that speaks to the value of work and worth and community.  Tell them that at Saint Stephen’s questions can be raised, concerns can be voiced, the contradictions found in scripture can be confronted and engaged as we read the story of faith in which we find our stories lifted up.  You could also tell them that Saint Stephen’s is a community that embraces newcomers.  We possess a spiritual tradition that nurtures our members and a liturgy that engages us.  We respect individual freedom and the right use of rational thought and we fully accept a person regardless of his/her race, gender or sexual orientation.  We are like a broad sidewalk, not a narrow sectarian path.  See, you probably already know enough about our congregation to talk about it. 

As you talk to others about Saint Stephen’s, please remember that it is not just to build up the size of our parish.  We talk to others because we, ourselves, know God and love God and give thanks for the Good News God has shared with us in Jesus Christ.  We have accepted Jesus and we know the joy of that relationship.  We share that joy because we want to bring it to as many people as possible for the Kingdom’s sake and for their sake. 




Making a confession in preparation for Easter is a long-standing tradition for many in the Church.  This is an individual confession to a priest.  The service of Reconciliation of a Penitent in the Book of Common Prayer provides an excellent form for personal self-examination, confession and reception of God's forgiveness.  If anyone is interested in participating in this rite as we move toward Easter, please feel free to contact the rector.  A short brochure describing this sacrament can be found on the Welcome Table in the parish hall.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Don't miss the traditional Pancake Supper at St. Stephen's marking the last time for festivities before Lent begins, on Tuesday, February 8th!

Menu includes pancakes, sausages and a beverage.  The price includes all you can eat!

Bring your family, your friends and your appetite!  Volunteers are needed to help cook, serve and clean up.


Sunday Morning Adult Education

The Power of Myth is a sort of campfire dialogue between Campbell and writer/journalist Bill Moyers, covering the stories and symbols of civilization.

Campbell was essentially a storyteller, spending his days uncovering and telling old stories that he felt had the power to soak up the alienation of technological society.

Campbell's big question was: `How can myth be powerful for a person living today?' Are our lives really comparable to the amazing characters that appear in these old stories? He believed that mythical characters act as archetypes of human possibility; they are confronted with problems, and their ensuing action gives us an idea about how life might be handled. To identify ourselves with, for instance, the young warrior Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita, is not an inflation of our ego, but is an acceptance that this figure has something to teach us. In mythology we could never really feel

alone, for within it were guides for the human spirit belonging to everyone, providing a map for every cycle of life or experience we may go through. He called mythology `the song of the universe', put into tune by a thousand different cultures and peoples. With myth, all experience can be empowering; without it, life can seem just a meaningless series of ups and downs.

Join us for what is bound to be lively discussions throughout the month of February at 9:00 am in the parish hall.

      Valentine's Day

The custom of giving and receiving 'valentines' began as a pagan practice in ancient Rome when boys drew girl's names from a love urn on February 15th. The early Christian Church transferred the popular custom to Feb. 14th.  St. Valentine was a Roman priest and martyr and current valentine customs have no connection with his life.

Transept Trivia For Lent

1.  There are only two fast days in our Church Calendar.  What are they?

2.  Why do we call Sundays following Ash Wednesday Sundays in Lent rather than Sundays of Lent?

3.  In addition to replacing the Gloria in excelsis with the Kyrie during Lent, there is a word noticeably absent from hymns and the liturgy during Lent.  What is it?

4.  Satan presents Our Lord with three temptations in the wilderness.  What are they?

5.  What did the word Lent originally mean?

6.  The Prayer Book forbids the celebration of the Eucharist on what days?

7.  How many churches in our diocese are named for the "red‑letter" saint whose feast day falls in March?  

Work Camp Thank You Dinner


One of the deserts that the high school youth made for their work camp thank you dinner was an apple cake.  They made it with the help of Chris Jones.   Chris has shared the recipe…it was delicious!  

Apple Cake With Cream-Cheese Frosting

Source: Womans Day Book of Baking
Yield: 1 cake, 13x9"
Details: 1 greased 13x9x2" baking pan 


2 eggs
2 cups sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups diced peeled apples
1 cup chopped walnuts 

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Grease a 13x9x2" baking pan.  Beat the eggs until they are light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, oil, and vanilla to the eggs.  Sift together the flour, salt, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the batter. Stir the apples and walnuts into the batter. Put the batter in the baking pan. Bake the cake for about one hour.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1  3-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar


Mix the cream cheese, butter or margarine, salt, vanilla, and sugar together until they are smooth.  Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Spread the cake with the frosting.




Don’t forget to buy your Super bowl Subs to raise money for workcamp:  Sunday, February 6th.  And please contribute to the “Souper-bowl” fund for the SICM Food Pantry that day; the collection can will be on the kitchen counter.

A Reminder

When you return your cans and bottles at the Niskayuna Co-op, you can turn in the receipt to a cashier and make a donation to SICM.

February Wedding Anniversaries*


Hector & Megan Dominguez                2/6

Paul & Allison DeKanel                        2/7

J. Keith & Christine Nelson                  2/10


February Birthdays*


Charlotte Soule                         2/1

William Walker                         2/1

Suzanne Davis                                      2/2

Nicolaus Brooks-McDonald                 2/3

Megan Price                                         2/3

Ryan Davis                                           2/4

Millard Barber                                      2/5

Alexxis Gibbs                                       2/6

Patricia Jones                                       2/8

Drew Prescott                                      2/8

Chelsea Trant                                       2/8

Patrina Marx                                        2/9

David Goyette                                      2/10

Grace Strong                                        2/10

Donald Regula                          2/12

Samuel Koch                                        2/13

Nan Blaufuss                                        2/14

Marilyn Causey                                    2/14

Carolyn Manor                         2/14

Hugh Campbell                         2/15

Olivia Canavan                         2/15

Jane Tatge                                            2/18

Mary Alexander                                   2/19

Richard Censullo                                  2/19

Christine Nelson                                   2/19

Dennis Moss                                        2/20

Shari MacIvor                                      2/21

Mitchell Rigley                          2/23

Pauline Northrop                                  2/24

Dawn McCarthy                                   2/25

Elizabeth Practico                                 2/28


* If your (or anyone in your family) birthdate or anniversary is missing or incorrect, please contact the office (346-6241).

The Book

 St. Stephen’s has an important “Book” other than the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer.  This Book contains names of parishioners who have volunteered to help other members of our church who are temporarily in need of meals and/or transportation.  Examples of this need maybe following an operation, recovering from an illness, when a family is blessed with a new member, or when there is a serious family situation.

Before any help can be provided, the Clergy or church secretary, Kathy Miller, (346-6241) needs be called.  The “Keeper of the Book” for that week will be contacted and will coordinate meals or transportation for the individual or family by calling on the volunteers in the Book.  PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK FOR HELP.   Many of us have had times when knowing that dinner would be provided meant that energies could be used for more important tasks.  For those who live alone, a ride to the doctor’s or to church could be a great help.

Currently, more volunteer drivers are needed to bring people to the 10:15 service.  If you could do this on an occasional basis, please give that information to the church secretary.  Many thanks.

As a relatively new member of St. Stephen’s with family far away, I was comforted to know that there are many members of St. Stephen’s willing to help when called, just the way family would do.


Episcopal Relief and Development Assists Families After Tsunamis in South Asia

1. ERD Donated USD$100,000 to Church World Services as part of CWS's regional response to this disaster - which focuses initial support for emergency response efforts in at least three of the most affected areas - CWS is sending initial emergency material assistance with a value of more than $900,000. CWS is immediately providing 500 family shelter kits from its regional warehouse in Pakistan to Sri Lanka at the request of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL).  Each shelter kit contains a family tent, a ground sheet, and a plastic tarp, and is valued at $108.

CWS is also sending to Sri Lanka 75 Emergency Medicine boxes, which will provide basic medicines and antibiotics to 75,000 persons for a period of three months. Also being sent are 9,000 CWS "Gift of the Heart" Health kits.  A CWS Emergency Response team from Pakistan will assist the NCCSL in distributing emergency supplies and further emergency assessment. CWS is sending 5,000 lightweight CWS Blankets and 35,000 CWS "Gift of the Heart" Health Kits to Indonesia for distribution in Aceh province.

CWS is also undertaking the regional deployment of rapid response support and emergency material airlifts of additional shelter and hygiene materials. Further support and assistance from CWS will be provided.  Substantial financial assistance will be needed to support country specific emergency appeals. 

2. Church of North India:

ERD has provided USD$50,000 in emergency assistance to the Church of North India to work in the heavily affected Nicobar and Andaman Islands which are under the auspices of the Church of North India. 

3. Church of South India:

ERD has provided USD$50,000 in emergency assistance to the Church of South India to respond to the disaster in Chennai/Madras. 

4. Church of Ceylon, Diocese of Colombo:

ERD has provided USD$50,000 in emergency assistance to the Diocese of Colombo.  ERD has been in direct communication with the Bishop of Colombo, Duleep da Chickera.  In addition to the initial emergency assistance, ERD has coordinated a shipment of 1,000 Zero-Fly Temporary shelters that have been impregnated with malaria and housefly insecticide directly to the Diocese of Colombo to be used by displaced families. 

5. Christ Church Bangkok, Thailand:

In response to the heavily affected areas in southern Thailand, ERD is partnering with Christ Church Bangkok to provide USD$25,000 for affected peoples.  Christ Church has been formulating a Housing Program to work with this affected population.  ERD is envisioning a volunteer program to help with this effort.

Church School News

We have combined grades 1-4 into one class for the winter months, due to absences of children and teachers.  The four teachers for these two classes, Laura Davis, Linda Emaelaf, Robin Kaczka and Carolina Lucchini, will work together on a rotating basis. 

During Lent, in addition to the regular curriculum, we will focus on prayer, with memorization of prayers or psalms.  Grades 1-4 will learn the Gloria in excelsis from the beginning of the Eucharist.  They will also learn about the seasons of the church year.

Also during Lent, we invite families (and others!) to participate in the Heifer Project International “Fill the Ark” program.  (See the article about Heifer.)  Last year we set a goal of $120 to purchase a goat, and we raised almost $1000!  This year, we would like to mark contributions for the area affected by the December earthquake and tsunamis.  Heifer is raising money to help provide training, livestock and related help toward long-term recovery in Sumatra and elsewhere in the region.  Let’s see if we can match last year’s total!  On February 6th we will watch a short video about Heifer and distribute ark banks and calendars.  If you have a calendar from last year, please use it, as Heifer is a little short of them right now.

February Schedule:

2/6       Heifer Project introduction, regular classes

2/13     Music with Tim Olsen, regular classes

2/20     Regular classes

2/27     Music with Tim Olsen, regular classes

Heifer Project International

 “In 1944, Heifer Project International sent Faith, Hope and Charity and 15 other heifers by ship to struggling families in Puerto Rico.  That voyage marked the start of a new life for those families and for others like them around the world.  Since then, Heifer Project has helped more than 4 million families in need. Today HPI provides more than 20 types for food and income-producing animals and intensive training in animal management, environmentally sound farming and community development in 118 countries.”             Heifer Project International

 An Ark for Today’s World

 Recall the story of Noah’s ark and God’s rainbow, with God’s covenant and promise of a new beginning, renewing the blessing given at creation.  During Lent, we will be using the HPI “Fill the Ark” program.  This is a four-week global education and fundraising project that families and individuals can use at home.  On

February 6 we will distribute 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, March 20, we will present all our contributions during the 10:15 service.  The money will be sent to HPI as a way that we can share God’s love.

 “ As it was for Noah, so for today:  the ark is about hope, about a new beginning.  For HPI families, farm animals can provide:

  • nutritious food for children through milk, eggs or meat
  • income for housing, health care, school fees and other needs
  • motivation to plant trees and grasses and make other environmental improvements
  • a catalyst for community development.”             Heifer Project International, 

 HPI works in partnership with many agencies, including Episcopal Relief and Development.




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.


Answers for

Transept Trivia For Lent

1.  Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (BCP p. 17).

2.  All Sundays are celebrations of the Resurrection and cannot be penitential days.  They are not part of the "40 Days of Lent".

3.  Alleluia

4.  to make stones into bread; to throw Himself from the pinnacle of the temple and be saved by angels; and to rule over the kingdoms of this world.

5.  Spring; the verb 'lengthen' also comes from the same root, since in Spring, the days lengthen once again.

6.  Good Friday and Holy Saturday (BCP pp. 275, 282, 283).

7.  None; there are no churches named after 'Saint Joseph' in the Diocese of Albany.

 February 9th, 2005


February 9 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

February 9, at sundown, is also the beginning of the Islamic New Year, Ra’s al-Sanat al-Hijriyah.  It commemorates the nascent Muslim community’s migration from Mecca to Medina in the year 622 to escape persecution, marking Year One of the Islamic Calendar.

From the 2005 Interfaith Calendar, National  Conference for Community and Justice

Lenten Quiet Day


Saint George's in Clifton Park will host a Daughters of the King Lenten Quiet Day on February 12th from 9 AM to noon.

 Theme: Baptized into the death of Christ ˆ Raised into Life with Christ.  Lent prepares us for our baptism into Christ‚s death and our sharing in his resurrection.  What does it mean to die with Christ and to live to him?

 While the Quiet Day is geared primarily to members of the Daughters' of the King, it is open to anyone.

The Rev. William R. Hinrichs, D.Min.
St. George's Episcopal Church
912 Route 146
Clifton Park, NY 12065

 Home Furnishings Program

We need a few crews to pick up and deliver furniture during February.  If you are available during a weekday or on a Saturday, and would like to be part of a crew for a couple hours, please call Richey Woodzell, 372-9398.  Otherwise, we’ll try to schedule some evening runs.  Anyone aged 16 or older is welcome.




February 6

February 13

February 20

February 27


8:00 Service


N. Hoffmann

T. Miller

B. Frank

DD Crates

1st Lesson

K. Miller

L. Stevens

S. Woodcock

DC Crates

2nd Lesson

M. Causey

G. Woodcock

T. Miller

D. Stevens

10:15 Service


C. Jones


C. M-M

G. Jaquith

1st Lesson

B. Frank

M. Dare

B. Mazurek

L. Emaelaf

2nd Lesson

C. M-M

R. Caurso

M. Causey

C. Trant


C. Mertz, S. Kilbourn

J. & C. Trant,

D. Caruso

S. Sombor, L. Kelly

J. Jones, R. Davis



M. Causey, D. Crates, A. Spang

P. Northop,

 L. Peacke,

 K. Small

D. May,

 R. May,

 B. Strangfeld

M. Gittinger,

 D. Molino, S. Grady



M. Causey

D. Belardo

C. & N. Hoffmann

M. Stang


In honor of their loved ones given by Sid & Gill Woodcock

No flowers- Lent

No flowers- Lent

No flowers- Lent

LEM and Care Givers

S. & C. Trant

P. Holmes & M. Bishop

M. Alexander& J. Russell

G. & S. Woodcock



2/5-8: Morin, Russell, Wisnom, Woodcock

2/12:  Casale, Jones, Lowe

2/19:  Hoffmann, Northrop, Versocki

2/26:  Morin, Russell, Wisnom, Woodcock



Altar Guild Schedule for Ash Wednesday Services


Wednesday 7:00am               Morin, Russell, Wisnom, Woodcock

Wednesday 12:00 noon         Casale, Jones, Lowe

Wednesday 7:30 pm              Hoffmann, Northrop, Versocki

Thursday 10:00 am                Morin, Russell, Wisnom, Woodcock



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 MacIvor

 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.




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