The Messenger

April 2005


Louie Crew to Preach at St. Stephen’s


On Sunday, April 17th the preacher at St. Stephen’s will be Loui Crew. The day before, on Saturday, April 16th Albany Via Media will present a lecture by Louie Crew on “Asbestosware for Discipleship” at St. George’s Church, Schenectady. Dr. Crew, a member of ECUSA’s Executive Council and Board of Directors, will speak at 5:00 PM after Evensong at 4:30. He will also be a participant in an ecumenical panel discussion at Union College at 3 PM. on Sunday.


A native of Anniston, Alabama, Crew holds earned degrees from Baylor University (BA, 1958), Auburn (MA, 1959) and the University of Alabama (PhD, 1971) and honorary doctorates from three Episcopal seminaries: EDS (Cambridge, 1999), General (NYC, 2003), and EDS Pacific (Berkeley, 2004). He has held fellowships at UCal Berkeley, the University of Texas (Austin), and the University of Chicago. He is the author of more than 1620 publications.


An emeritus professor of English at Rutgers University, Crew taught there from 1989 to 2001 and served two terms as Chair of its Senate and a member of its Board of Governors. At other times during his 44 year career, he was a prep school master and a professor of black higher education in the rural south. He also taught for five years in rural Wisconsin and four years in Beijing and Hong Kong.


Dr. Crew’s contributions to the Church have been many. A five-time deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Newark, he will chair Newark’s deputation in 2006. He has served two terms on the Standing Committee of his Diocese, twice as its President, and is now clerk of the vestry at Grace Church, Newark.


Louie Crew and Ernest Clay entered a life partnership in February, 1974. Later that year, Dr. Crew founded Integrity, the justice ministry of lesbian and gay Episcopalians.



Choirs to perform at St. Stephen's


The Adult Choir of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Schenectady, will join the Choir of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Scotia, in a concert of choral classics. This event will take place on Sunday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Stephen's Church, located at 1935 The Plaza. Admission is free; a goodwill offering will be collected for a local charity. The program will include highlights of the sacred choral repertoire, including Randall Thompson's Alleluia, carols, spirituals, and selections from the Mozart Requiem, the Bach Magnificat, the Brahms German Requiem, and Handel's Messiah. The combined choirs will be led by Tim Olsen, Director of Music at St. Stephen's and Elizabeth MacFarland, Director of Music at Trinity, and will be accompanied by local organist Harriet Dearden. For more info contact Tim Olsen at 383-6101.



From the Rector


Dear Friends,


My favorite cartoon is of two Roman soldiers guarding Jesus' tomb on the first Easter morning. Each has a mug of tea in his hand, and the sun is just rising above the horizon. One is encouraging the other. "Cheer up, it's Sunday morning. As I see it, we have one more day of guarding the tomb. By Monday the whole thing will blow over."


The world is still astonished that millions of Christians celebrate Easter with such excitement. Like those guards at the tomb they assume that "By Monday the whole thing will blow over." But it doesn't. You see the more we enjoy this life the more we enjoy Easter. Christians already have much to rejoice about in this life. God loves us, we are forgiven, we find a strange power of the Holy Spirit that freed us to love others. Why make so much of Easter?


Look at it this way. The more we enjoy the love of God, the more we sense that his world cannot be all that God has in mind for us. We know we are loved, but all around us people are terribly unloving. There are wars, cruelty in families, injustice, people hating and despising one another. Not only is the world imperfect but our own bodies are frail, easily get sick and miserable. As we grow older we watch our loved ones one by one grow old and die and we know that our turn is coming. If God really loves us, he must have something better in mind for our bodies.


Even when we are healthy we are frustrated because we are not free to attain what we would love to achieve. We begin with great plans and aspirations, and we have some successes but even they turn sour, and slowly we find ourselves hemmed in. We know that in this life we can never be free to be what we would love to be.


Easter reminds me of a story: Once upon a time there were twins inside their mother's womb. Every day they argued about life after birth. One of them said "How could there be another life?"
There is nowhere to go. This world is all there is. Here in this womb we can hold each other's hand and kick our feet and turn around. But that's it. When we die that's the end of the road.
The other twin said "There must be more to life than the two of us kicking each other in this place which is too tight for us already. And can you hear that music and those noises from out there?" So they kept arguing about life after birth till the ninth month when the woman went into labor. Suddenly they started getting squashed and squeezed to death. They said "This is the end of the world." Then one of the twins disappeared, and the other said "He's gone. I'll be dead next."


Then he also was born, and the twins found themselves next to each other sucking at their mother's breast. And the world which they now began to discover was infinitely bigger and more wonderful than they could possibly have imagined. Eventually they would visit Toronto and the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, the Amazon, and a million other exciting places.


The interesting thing about this story is that in one sense the twins were as close as they could be to their mother. They were actually inside her, but they could never know her face to face till they were born. Although God is never more than an inch away from us we will never know the beautiful perfection of God’s love this side of life after death.


We should also remind ourselves that all of us have already made the transition from the world of our mother's womb to life after birth into this huge and marvelous world. Jesus' resurrection assures us that the next transition will be infinitely more wonderful.


On that first Easter day the disciples saw the resurrection of body of Jesus for the first time. And he showed himself to them in that form for forty days, so they could go out into all the world and proclaim that resurrection is not less but infinitely more than we can ever imagine. That is why we say "The Lord is risen" and Christians all over the world reply "The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia."


James+



Thank you….Thank you


...To all cooks who cooked and baked our suppers before the various Lenten studies.
...To the Alter Guild and to brass polishers par excellence who polished all the brass in the church, and made Easter Day beautiful with flower arrangements.
...To Tim Olsen, the adult and children’s choirs, and all instrumentalists who helped to make Easter Day joyous.
...To the lectors, chalice bearers and acolytes who made our worship possible.
...To all those who helped in the toddler and nursery rooms.
...To the ushers and to the offering counters.
...To our administrative assistant, Kathy, who worked so hard to prepare bulletins and make other arrangements.
...To Than, our sexton who made the church shine.
...To those who made our palm crosses.
...and the list goes on and on.



April Wedding Anniversaries*


Jack & Olive Carter Luczka 4/5
Sidney & Gillian Woodcock 4/5
Susan Townsend & Steven Koch 4/6
Omer & Pearl Burton 4/20
Peter & Josephina Nevius 4/29
Budd Mazurek &
Carole Merrill-Mazurek 4/29


April Birthdays*


Dennis Wisnom 4/1
Helen Begley 4/2
Janet Faubion 4/2
June Russell 4/3
Kira Dietz 4/5
Sarah Northup Huneau 4/6
Nathan Kaczka 4/7
Gerald Perregaux 4/9
Lucy Clark 4/10
Gordon Jaquith 4/10
Brendon McCarthy 4/10
Hiola Henry 4/11
Victoria Brooks-McDonald 4/11
Tanner MacIvor 4/11
Steven Ras 4/12
Bailey Mertz 4/12
Noreen Jurgensen 4/14
Katherine Miller 4/15
Donald Reid 4/16
Dave Crates 4/16
Jean Slanker 4/19
Dorothy Rigley 4/20
Elizabeth Varno 4/20
Dave Stevens 4/21
Rebecca Emaelaf 4/21
Cory McKeone 4/21
Dennis Holcombe 4/22
Cindy Marshall 4/23
Kathleen Small 4/28
Denis Manor 4/28


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



Mark your calendars!


St. Stephen’s Adult Choir will be joined by the Choir of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Scotia for a concert of choral classics. This event will take place Sunday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Stephen’s.



Are You Interested In Becoming A Member Of St. Stephen's?


THE ANGLICAN ETHOS is a series of four classes which are held in an informal atmosphere and taught by the rector. For those who are new to the Episcopal Church, or looking for a new spiritual home, this course will provide an introduction to the Church its history, beliefs, worship, and work in the world.


Or, if you were confirmed earlier in life, and wish to renew your commitment at an adult level, consider this course as a part of your continuing Christian education. The course is required for all who wish to be confirmed or received into the church.


These classes will be held on Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. beginning on
May 1st. New members will be welcomed on Sunday, May 22nd.



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.



City Proposes “Fair Share Campaign”


At the most recent Assembly, city council members Barbara Strangfeld, Cathy Lewis, and Mark Blanchfield explained the city’s proposed “Fair Share Campaign” which aims to have non-profit organizations (including churches) voluntarily pay in lieu of property taxes to help cover the expense of municipal services they receive. Reactions from attending churches was mixed.



SICM

CROP Walk Is Coming Soon


The 2005 CROP Walk will be held Sunday May 1. The 5-kilometer walk begins at 1:30 pm at St. Helen’s Church (1803 Union St) and follows a scenic route through parts of Central Park. Light refreshments will be served at the end. If you haven’t got your packet yet, stop by the SICM office or Emmanuel-Friedens Church weekdays between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.


We Make House Calls


SICM’s speakers’ bureau is up and running. Please consider inviting one of our trained individuals or teams to come to your church / group and present on SICM programs and related topics. To lineup a speaker, call Rev. Phil at 374-2683.


Advocate for the Hungry


A sample letter prepared by the Hunger Action Network of NYS to address proposed federal Food Stamp and Nutrition cuts is available at the SICM office. Please see if your congregation would distribute letter, or participate in the upcoming state lobby day, March 29 (see the “Calendar” below for details).
Summer is Coming!


This summer SICM is looking for churches to sponsor college-age or mature high school interns; we also need your help getting volunteer crews (3-5 people) to help serve at one of the summer lunch sites. New sites are available. Call Mary for details on either opportunity at 346-4445.


“Hunger No More” Video Available


“Hunger No More,” a CBS documentary featuring Elizabeth Dole, George McGovern and David Beckmann (from Bread for the World), is available to borrow from the SICM office. Call 374-2683.


Local Drop-off for Disaster Relief Kits

Church World Service disaster relief Health Kits and School Kits can be dropped off at Union Presbyterian Church, 1068 Park Avenue in Schenectady, Tuesday to Friday, 8 am to 3 pm, April 5 to 29. For more information about the kits call CWS toll-free at (888) 297-2767; for information about the drop-off location, call Debbie at 374-4464.


Volunteers Needed


* Food Shuttle Van Drivers/Coordinator: weekday, daytime; call Mary at 346-4445.
* Cocoa House Tutors: especially Monday and Wednesday after school; call Marvena Graham at 377-4977
* Registrars for CROP Walk: call Rev. Phil at 374-2683.
* Food Pantry: variety of positions open, some need to be filled urgently; call Mary or Gail at 346-4445.


CROP Walk, Sunday, May 1


Begins 1:30 p.m. St. Helen'sChurch
5k walk through Central Park
Refreshments afterward
For more information call SICM @ 374-2683



Church School News


The “Fill the Ark” project for Heifer International has raised over $765.00, more than enough to purchase a cow for a family in need. We will send the money into a matching gift program, so that the value of our contribution will be doubled. Thank you to all who helped to support this project.
On April 3, the students in grades 1-4 will go over the seasons of the church year and the Gloria in excelsis, which they have been learning during Lent. On the following week, grades 1-6 will go out for breakfast to celebrate Easter, recognize the accomplishment of their fund-raising goal, and enjoy each other’s fellowship in a different setting. Permission slips will be handed out on the 3rd. We will need parent chaperones/drivers.


During the school vacation week, interested children and parents are encouraged to see the exhibit of African art inspired by the Heifer Project on display in Glens Falls. The Center for Folk life, History and Cultural Programs at the Crandall Public Library is hosting this exhibition. Betty LaDuke’s photographs, drawings and paintings are based on a trip she took to Africa. Ms. LaDuke toured areas in Rwanda and Uganda that were helped by Heifer International.


There is a special, free program on April 18th from 10:00am-1:00pm at the library. Volunteers will lead the program from Heifer International. There will be a petting zoo, stories and games. Our plan is to meet at St. Stephen’s on the 18th at 9:15am and car pool to Glens Falls. This is a great chance for our kids to understand how the Heifer Project helps a world so different from ours. If you have questions or are interested in joining us, please contact Laura Davis 377-0626.


Calendar for Education Hour: Grades 1-6


4/3 9-10 regular classes. Memorizations reviewed
4/10 9-10 breakfast at local restaurant. Permissions and drivers needed
4/17 9-10 choir with Tim, regular classes
4/18 Mon. trip to Glens Falls Museum, meet at St. Stephen’s at 9:15am
4/24 9-10 regular classes
5/1 9-10 choir with Tim, regular classes. CROP Walk – afternoon



Great privileges...


Did you know that there are GREAT privileges that will accrue to you when you join the choir? How about guaranteed up-front seating, even on Christmas and Easter? How about the chance to sing stuff with a group of people who really enjoy singing several times each week? How about experiencing Tim's wry sense of humor? How about singing new compositions now and then written by our energetic choir director (and professor at Union College) just for the occasion?


All of this can be YOURS, and more, if you join the choir!


You'll discover that there are no professional singers in the choir. We're all amateurs. The main requirement for admission is that you need to enjoy singing. Being able to "read" music is not necessary; Tim gives us lots of time to learn, mark, and inwardly digest all the music he presents to us. If you happen to be one of those people who REALLY can't carry a tune in a bucket, then you're probably better off joining those grumpy old men who fix things around the church, or those good-natured people who help out with all those kids in the Sunday School.


But if you enjoy singing, and can find a little time on Thursday nights (7:30 to 9:00 pm), then how about joining up!


Chris Jones



Nursery News


Good news! The nursery is in its new location in the lower level of the church. Thank you Allison De Kanel, Peter Nelson, the fifth and sixth grade students, and all of the others who helped make this move happen.


Nursery care is available every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until the end of church. Each Sunday Margaret Trawick needs to have an assistant in the nursery with her. A list has been created using the family name of parents with current nursery school age children. When your name appears in the “A List”, please help Margaret in the nursery on that Sunday beginning at 10:00 a.m.. If you are in the “B List”, please check with Margaret Trawick to find out if your assistance is needed.




AGAPE for April


Our next program will be April 8th. Father James will be our guest speaker. We will meet at 6:00pm and start our pot luck supper at 6:30pm. Please bring a covered dish to share and also your own dishes and utensils. Please come and join us for fellowship and to hear the further adventures of Father James' sabbatical trip.



Episcopal Relief and Development


ERD Begins Long-Term Development Program In South India


Episcopal Relief and Development is working with local partners in South India to rebuild communities, restore livelihoods, and help children and families recover after the tsunami. Since the disaster in late December, ERD has provided emergency relief such as food, temporary shelter, and medicine in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Thailand.


ERD's long-term partnership with the Church of South India (CSI) will assist people in the nine dioceses affected by the tsunami, including the state of Tamil Nadu where over 27,000 were killed and 500 villages were devastated.


Please visit the "Crisis Center" at www.er-d.org/tsunami   for more information.


Savior on the Silver Screen for April 15th


The Last Temptation of Christ


Go ahead: mail-in your taxes and then treat yourself with our second in a series of movie showings at St. Stephen’s.


In 1955 a novel called The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis was published. In 1988 a film called The Last Temptation of Christ and directed by Martin Scorsese was first shown. When the film opened in selected cities on August 12, a pattern appeared that would repeat itself in other towns with theater operators willing to show the film. Local police often separated those attending from resident protesters who held Bibles and placards, and who prayed and sang. The protests had an impact. The protests and the continued calls for boycott reduced the number of theaters in which the film was screened nationwide and possibly made the film into a box office loser, at least according to the leaders of the boycott.9 Even when the film was released in video format the next summer, there were video chains and local stores that refused to stock it. Throughout the days of controversy, Scorsese submitted himself to a number of self-explanatory and promotional interviews. Among the interviewers was Richard Corliss for Film Comment (September/October 1988):


Corliss: Is this Jesus God, or a man who thinks he's God?
Scorsese: He's God. He's not deluded. I think Kazantzakis thought that, I think the movie says that, and I know that I believe that. . . .


Here in his conversation with Richard Corliss, and elsewhere, Scorsese identified himself as a believer and defended the film as an expression of faith, however unconventional its portrayal of Jesus. Scorsese discovered an admirer in Corliss who, in a brief review in Time (15 August 1988), had concluded that "those willing to accompany Scorsese on his dangerous ride through the
Gospels may believe that he has created his masterpiece."


Apart from Corliss, few reviewers in the secular press thought that Scorsese had created a masterpiece. The assessment of Scorsese's The Last Temptation was perhaps even more negative in the religious press than in the secular. This might have been expected in periodicals representing a conservative, or evangelical, Christian point of view; but it was no less so in liberally inclined Protestant publications. This is a very controversial film.


It will be shown on April 15th beginning at 7pm in our parish hall on the ‘big screen’.



WE'RE COMING TO YOUR HOME!

Yes, the St. Stephen's youth group is racing to your home. We're starting an exciting new service - the easiest, most convenient way for you to deal with those annoying piles of bottles and cans. Just call our courteous dispatcher (Zosia Borst at 374-8836) and before you can say "where did all of these #%$$%@& bottles and cans come from?" one of our highly trained used container collection specialists will arrive at your door and whisk away those troublesome piles. It's easy, it's free, it's fun! Proceeds from this activity will help pay for our workcamp this summer.


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


Vestry


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 ststeph@albany.net . The rector’s email is jbrooksm@nycap.rr.com. Our website address is http://www.albany.net/~ststeph/


The Messenger is published 10 times a year, September through June.