The Messenger

April, 2006

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Schenectady, NY

To download the April Messenger in PDF form, click here.
To download the April calendar in PDF form, click here.



On Palm Sunday, April 9th, we enter the most significant eight days in the Church’s calendar. It is of the greatest importance that we participate in the experiences described in the church calendar, because living through them, walking the way Christ walked, we uncover the core of Christian Belief and living.

We invite all members and friends of St. Stephen’s to be present at these services. If you are infirm, please call the office to arrange for communion to be brought to you at home by one of the clergy.


FOOT WASHING.   On Maundy Thursday, April 13th, at the 7:30 p.m. Eucharist we would like to have volunteers from the congregation for foot washing by the clergy. If you would like to be one of these representatives of the congregation, please sign up at the parish shop.

MAUNDY THURSDAY.  PRAYER WATCH.  There is a sign-up sheet on the shop counter for the Maundy Thursday Vigil. It is suggested that two or more persons sign up for each one-hour segment.

GOOD FRIDAY OFFERING.   On Good Friday we remember in a unique way the witness that Jesus gave to us on the cross. Through his obedience and through his suffering -- through the fateful steps he took each day of Holy Week -- he showed the world just how much God loves us. Jesus' entire life was a witness to that love and the cross continues to be a sign of that reality. In the midst of religious tensions, historic animosities and political unrest, the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East stands witness to the people of our Lord's homeland, proclaiming and serving the same message that Jesus brought to that land almost 2,000 years ago.

On Good Friday we stand with the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem as it witnesses to the love of God in a strife-filled part of the world through our prayers and financial support. Please be generous in your support of the continuing ministry of our sisters and brothers in the Middle East.

EASTER EVEN VIGIL TO BEGIN THE EASTER CELEBRATION.  The Church will be in darkness. Into that darkness will be brought the new light of Easter and carried through the Nave to the altar where the Paschal Candle will be placed in its stand to burn through the fifty days of Easter till the Ascension of our Lord.

We will rehearse our history as a people of God from creation through the Red Sea out of bondage with God's promises for his people culminating in the story of the Resurrection. Easter is the festival of Baptism and we shall celebrate that sacrament as well as have the opportunity to renew our own baptismal vows. And then the shout be raised


and so begins the first Eucharist of Easter, 2006. The service begins at 7:30 p.m.



**Palm Sunday – April 9, 2006

8:00 am & 10:15 am Procession with Palms & Eucharist

Holy Monday - April 10, 2006

12:30 pm Eucharist

Holy Tuesday - April 11, 2006

12:30 pm Eucharist

Holy Wednesday - April 12, 2006

12:30 pm Eucharist
6 pm Seder Meal

**Maundy Thursday - April 13, 2006

10:00 am Eucharist & Healing
7:30 pm Eucharist & Stripping of the Altar
9:00 pm Prayer Vigil through the night

**Good Friday - April 14, 2006

12:00 Noon Stations of the Cross
7:30 pm Lessons & Prayers

Easter Vigil – April 15, 2006

7:30 pm Lighting of the first fire; Nine lessons and musical responses; Baptism; Eucharist

**Easter Day – April 16, 2006

8:00 am Choral Eucharist
10:15 am Choral Eucharist
7:00 pm Eucharist

** Child Care available

From the Rector

Dear Friends:
In a way, I suppose almost everything in our lives is optional. There really is very little that we just have to do -- only death and taxes, some have said. Otherwise, things are pretty much a matter of work or not to live, what to do with our time, our money. We have only to be willing to live with the consequences of our decisions.

It's especially true of our spiritual life that everything is optional. We don't have even to have one, or at least to pay attention to the one we do have. We certainly don't have to believe anything in particular, or go to church at all.

But we do. We do believe, in one way or another; we do come to church for one reason or another -- because even though we don't have to, it matters.

The old Catholic tradition once talked about "holy days of obligation", day when we were expected to be in church, when it wasn't optional. A phrase like that gets my good Protestant hackles up, but I think it has a point. There are days, there are times, when we have an obligation to be in church --if we want our faith to matter; if we want to be discovering what it can mean for us. I think we too have "holy days of obligation." Let me tell you what I think they are.

(1) Every Sunday.

(2) Our "high holy days." These are the few special days in the year when we celebrate the great events of our faith. Nothing is "higher" than the events of Holy Week. Easter cannot have its meaning if we haven't made the journey to the Cross that begins on Palm Sunday and goes through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (both of which come during the week, yet are essential for us). On Maundy Thursday we remember Christ's last supper with his disciples and the beginnings of our Eucharist. On Good Friday Christ hung on the Cross for us all. It should not be a day for business as usual for any of us. It's a day to be in church. It's a day even to follow the lead of our Jewish friends and stay home and be still on our most holy days.

As I said, most things are optional. But anything that matters takes time, and commitment and seriousness. Anything that really matters brings with it obligation.


Adult Education on Sunday Mornings:

The Execution of Jesus

No death in all of history has had a greater impact on mankind than the Biblical account of the death of Jesus Christ. And while his life is cloaked in mystery, the details of his death remain even more veiled. Could events have occurred as written in the Bible?

Join scholars and archaeologists on a historic inquiry into the Biblical account of the last days of Jesus. Follow Him from His Passover entry into the Temple to the Last Supper; from trial to execution and miraculous resurrection. Walk the streets of Jerusalem's Old City in His footsteps, and explore a tomb in a cave near Mount Zion that dramatically alters our understanding of the greatest story ever told.

Classes will be held on Sunday mornings at 9am in the parish hall.

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
Jennifer Bristol 4/3
June Russell 4/3
Gerald Perregaux 4/9
Lucy Clark 4/10
Gordon Jaquith 4/10
Hiola Henry 4/11
Victoria Brooks-McDonald 4/11
Tanner MacIvor 4/11
Steven Ras 4/12
Bailey Mertz 4/12
Katherine Miller 4/15
Donald Reid 4/16
Dave Crates 4/16
Jean Slanker 4/19
Elizabeth Varno 4/20
Dave Stevens 4/21
Saphirah Mykoo 4/21
Rebecca Emaelaf 4/21
Cindy Marshall 4/23
Denis Manor 4/28

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

We’ve Moved (the Website that is)

We have a new Internet Service Provider now, hence a new address on the Internet. You can find us at

On the downside, people will have to change a few things. For example, you might want to go to  and then enter that web site among your "favorites", so that it's easy to find again. Or, you might want to have that address be your own "home page", so that it comes up initially whenever you call up your Internet explorer (or whatever internet access program you use). For me, I go to "tools", then to "internet options", and then click on "Use current". For about a month or so, we'll also be keeping the old Internet address, but it's going to go away after that.

On the upside, its going to cost less than half of what the old service cost us, and it has some up-to-date features that make it even better than the old service.

The church office e-mail address will also change to:

Yes, that's a lot to type, but it is descriptive and easy to remember, and you don't have to figure out what a "tilda" is. You might want to make notations in your St. Stephen's directory, both the URL change (address on the internet) and the e-mail change.

Need a New Email Address?

Is your old address getting clogged up with spam? Want to start over? We can provide you with new e-mail addresses through our new ISP (Internet Service Provider). They will look like:

and you will be provided with some directions for setting it up and your password. If you're interested, let me know and we'll do it.

Chris Jones



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.


Correction:   Ted Conwell's name was inadvertently omitted from the list of members of the Worship Committee in March. The Deacon apologizes for the omission.

Thanks. Pat


Easter Food Drive

The children visited SICM Food Pantry on March 25th. They learned about how important the Food Pantry is to our community. They were taught about how the whole system works, where the food comes from and how it is given out. The kids learn many facts about the Food Pantry.

 Here is what they learned:

People in need of food can visit the SICM pantry just four times a year. The pantry is always in need of diapers, toilet paper, shampoo, soap and especially feminine products. Specialty foods for people with health problems are appreciated. For example, donating low salt items and no sugar added foods. The pantry receives cereal from the regional food bank at very low rates. If you are specifically shopping for the pantry, spend your money on other items. The greatest needs for food are in the months of July and August. These are the months that the pantry receives the least donations and have the greatest demand. Recycle your grocery bags. Put them right into the pantry baskets. Children who come to the pantry love to read. Please send in a gently used children’s book or two from your home. SICM receives about 500 banana boxes of food every time the post office does a food drive. It is an excellent time to share your food. SICM loves volunteers. Even mature kids may come with a parent or a friend and help out during a school break. You may volunteer in the mornings from the hours of 9 – 12.

The Outreach Committee is hoping we can fill up the baskets in the Parish Hall Extension with food for the of the Easter Food Drive. These donations are going to the SICM Food Pantry. Along with any of the above items, please bring in one or more of the following so that we can help those in need have a complete Easter dinner.

Canned ham
Boxed potato mixes
Hamburger and / or Tuna Helper
Small jars of mayo and jams / jellies
Jello and pudding mixes
Enfamil with iron

Please bring in your contribution by Palm Sunday, April 9th. Thanks again for your help feeding Schenectady’s hungry.

The Sunday school and the Outreach Committee

The Kids Prepare for Easter

As I write this article, we are in the middle of Lent. Children are in the middle of many different things. The children visited SICM food pantry. They brought the food collected at St. Stephen’s to the food pantry. They shelved the food and then put the food in bags for families who need it. The children are involving the whole congregation with the awareness that there are many in our area that are hungry. They do this with their weekly announcements during the 10:15 service encouraging parishioners to buy food for the pantry and to participate in the Easter Food Drive. They are learning prayers. The kids are in the middle of memorizing prayers and psalms and blessings.

They have learned about Zimbabwe and how unique this country is. After Easter, we will learn more about Zimbabwe and what we can do to help the people in need there.

They are learning about Baptism. They are beginning to understand that we are a part of a large family of Christians, “marked as Christ’s own forever”.

As we approach Holy Week, in addition to Sunday school, we are planning two programs for the children. On Palm Sunday, in the evening, we will be meeting to remember some of the Old Testament stories that have made us, spiritually, what we are today. And we will begin to experience Holy Week through bread making and crafts. On Good Friday, we will continue the journey with the Stations of the Cross and Foot Washing.

Laura Davis

Lenten Program for Children

The Palm Sunday Lenten program for kids from 5:00-7:00 (the date is April 9th). Dinner will be provided for the kids (we may ask you to bring something to share). There will be a sign up sheet at the shop.

As we have done in past years, we will be having a Good Friday program for the kids from 2:00- 3:00 (the date is April 14th). Hope you can come to one or both of the programs.

Vacation Bible School

This summer, we will be involved with Vacation Bible School (VBS) as we did last summer. This program is a joint effort with Union Presbyterian and Westminster Presbyterian churches. VBS is for kids entering kindergarten through entering 6th grade. It is a special week not only for the kids, but also for the volunteers. This year, VBS will be the week of 8/14-8/18. It is held twice each day 9:30-12:30pm and 6:00-8:00pm. Believe it or not, we are beginning to ask people to volunteer. There are many different opportunities available to help with Vacation Bible School. If you are interested in finding out more, please see Laura Davis.


May 7th CROP Walk sponsorship forms are here!

The annual Schenectady CROP Walk for the Hungry will be held on Sunday, May 7th, beginning at St. Helen’s School on Upper Union Street, looping through Central Park and back.

 Registration is at 12:30 PM, with the walk/run starting at 1:30.

CROP is the arm of Church World Service, which offers relief to the hungry. Funds raised by CROP walks all over the U.S. helped to provide food for the survivors of the 2004 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. In addition, 25% of the money raised stays in the local area to support food pantries, the Senior Meals programs, and agencies that provide meals for those in need.

Please sign up to walk – individually, as a family, or with friends! We walk one day each year because others, here and overseas, walk every day for water, food, shelter, or survival as refugees. The walk itself is a living symbol and witness for those who walk every day. We walk in solidarity.

The CROP walk is 5 kilometers, or about 3.1 miles, which should take about an hour – or much less, if you choose to run the route. There will also be a “Golden Mile” for those who would like a shorter path. Take a registration/sponsorship form to sign up sponsors who pledge money to CROP, and bring your form with you to the walk. We will provide St. Stephen’s CROP Walk T- hirts for all participants.

For those of you unable to walk with us, please sponsor one of our walkers. Check the sign-up list near the sponsorship forms.

If you have questions, please talk to Richey Woodzell.

Communication -- It’s A-happenin’ Thing at St. Stephen’s

On two Sundays recently (1/29 and 2/5) parish wide meetings were held to discuss our life at St. Stephen’s. Specifically, issues that we are concerned about and things we care about were the topics.

The short version of concerns could probably be listed as “Communication and Confirmation”. Much, if not all, of what was expressed was in one way or another connected to these two topics. As a result of these two meetings, a time-limited Task Force was formed. The job of the Task Force is to come up with recommendations for the Vestry that will address many of the items discussed; at least, those within the purview of St. Stephen’s.

The Task Force had its first meeting February 15, and met again March 5. Among other things, one of our biggest goals is to keep the entire congregation abreast of what we are doing, every step of the way.

At the March 5 meeting, we chose to break into 3 smaller groups. We will come together March 19th to put together a report, which will contain specific recommendations for the Vestry to review at their April meeting.

So look for regular updates in the Messenger. Watch your email for meeting notes. And, for those who do not have access to email, a binder is on the table at the rear of the church and it contains notes from each of the meetings.

If you have anything you wish to express, share, or otherwise comment on, talk to one of these Task Force members: David Carroll, Ted Conwell, Marilyn Dare, Mike DeBritz, Shari MacIvor, Carole Merrill-Mazurek, Carolyn Morin, Rosemarie Perez-Jaquith, Christian Renken, Barbara Wisnom

Pancake Supper

A GREAT BBBIIIIIIIGGGG THANK YOU!!!!!! To everyone who came to eat the best pancakes in the world and wear the festive masks and jewelry. I applaud all of our cooks: the famous pancake mixer – Dave Crates, the best sausage cook in town – Jed Dare, the fastest flippers on the East Coast – John Casale (HAPPY 18th Birthday), Norm Hoffman, Paul De Kanel, & Charles Trawick, the newest addition who had the dishwasher blasting – Garry and to clean-up help from Mike DeBritz and Vicki Hosko. SPECIAL THANKS also go out to our Youth Group volunteers who served everyone who joined us with plenty to eat and drink and best of all they did it with a smile – Nick & Ethan Brooks-McDonald, Tom Casale and Chris Morin. Other servers were Devin Dare and Katie Casale, thank you, and to Susan Townsend for table decorations and miscellaneous jobs. To all the ticket salespersons – Charles Trawick, Olive & Jack Luczka, and Vicki Hoshko and also to Paul De Kanel who faithfully ensures the pancake supper sign is visible in the front lawn – muchos gracias!!!

It is a wonderful time for all and I am glad everyone enjoyed themselves. Great food and exceptionally good fellowship- where else can you go and get such wonderful service – thank you all for fabulous memories.

FHS - Debbie Trawick

Spring Cleaning?

Please remember the Home Furnishings Program when you decide to get rid of your household items and furniture. HFP is always in need of linens and towels, pots and pans, beds and mattresses, and dressers - clean and in good condition. If you have smaller items to donate, put them in the basket in the parish hall extension. For furniture, please call the Home Furnishings Program coordinator at 346-2444.


Episcopal Relief and Development

ERD President Briefs Archbishop Of Canterbury On Erd's Programs; Paricipates In Microfinance Roundtable At Lambeth Palace Dr. Robert W. Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief and Development, is meeting with the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace in London on today, March 10. Radtke is briefing Archbishop Williams on ERD's work combating hunger, poverty, and disease around the world. This year, ERD has long- erm development programs that are active in 33 countries. ERD's emergency relief and rebuilding program is working with Gulf Coast communities following Hurricane Katrina. ERD and diocesan partners have developed a multi-year recovery program which is restoring lives and communities  devastated by the disaster. In the areas of food security and primary health care, ERD's programs are helping communities produce healthy food, generate income, reduce the incidence of illness, including HIV/AIDS and malaria, and increase access to clean water sources.

Hope Chests from St..Stephen’s Church  Go to ERD

We have sent the money from our ERD Hope Chests to ERD. We raised over $140.00. It's amazing how putting some coins into a box each week can add up to a sizeable contribution. Thank you to all that participated.

Campus Protestant Ministry at Union College

In the yearlong spirit of our ministry anniversary, you are invited to a dinner that will honor three very special people who have contributed their gifts to the spiritual life at Union College:

The Dr. Rev. Dan C. West
Former Vice President for College Relations

Mr. George Woodzell
Community and College volunteer

Ms. Erin Kane, class of 2005
Former President of the Campus Protestant Ministry

When: April 28th 2006 6:00 p.m.
Where: College Park Hall (450 Nott Street)
Cost: $60 per person ($30 is tax deductible) due by April 17

Dinner Choices:
____ Braised Boneless Short Ribs with Fontinelli Garlic Potatoes
____ Blackened Red Snapper with Cajun Shrimp Etoufee
____ Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Portobellas with
____ Tomato Basil Concasse (vegan)
_____I would like to pay for a college student to join us, please include an additional $30.

Send check made out to Union College and reservation form above to

25th Anniversary celebration
Union College, Silliman Hall
Schenectady, NY 12308

Think Gardens !

Think about those perennials you really ought to divide. We'll be holding the St. Stephen's Annual Plant Sale on Sunday May 14th. It's a wonderful opportunity to share some of your garden wealth with your friends, pick up a few new plants for your garden, AND make a financial contribution to the youth summer work week. More information in the next Messenger!


St. Stephen’s Parish Facility Survey

As you know, facility maintenance and improvement is an ongoing concern of the Vestry. The recently-completed Parish Survey and a separate Energy Audit suggested a number of repairs that should be made. Naturally, the Vestry does not want to complete repairs that will be undone at a later time. In trying to decide just what to do, it became apparent that we should have an overall long-range plan for the site. This survey is designed to find out how the congregation sees things and we desperately need your ideas. This should be your wish list! Feel free to use the back side of the paper. Surveys should be returned to the church by “Survey Sunday,” April 30th or mailed to the office at 1229 Baker Ave., Schdy. 12309. Thanks!

1. What do you like best about the facilities we have at St. Stephen’s Church?

2. What do you like the least about the facilities at St. Stephen’s Church?

3. Which facilities would you like most to fix-up, rebuild or tear down and start over?

4. What opinions and creative ideas do you have regarding the following:

a. the chancel (where we worship on Sundays) f. the office on Baker Ave.
b. the Parish Hall g. Reid House on Garner Ave.
c. the basement (Sunday school, nursery...)
d. kitchen
e. nave extension (area where mailboxes, library & loft are located)
f. walks & driveways
g. yard, planting, trees
h. parking

5. What specific space additions would you like to see on our site?

Name: (optional)_____________________


                                                     APRIL SCHEDULE


April 2

April 9

April 16

April 23

April 30


8:00 Service


T. Miller

G. Woodzell

N. Hoffmann

C. M-M

D. Carroll

1st Lesson

P. Nevius

A. Walraven

B. Stratton

B. Mazurek

S. Ras

2nd Lesson

K. Miller

S. Ras

G. Woodcock

L. Stevens

K. Miller

10:15 Service


N. Hoffmann

V. Hoshko

D. Carroll

G. Woodzell

O. Luczka

1st Lesson

B. Wisnom

T. Conwell

C. Canavan

N. Hoffmann

G. Jaquith

2nd Lesson

L. Pratico

M. Gittinger

G. Jaquith

L. Emaelaf

M. Dare


C. Mertz, A. Lowe

N. Hoffmann, J. Jones

R. Davis, S. Sombor

S. Kilbourn, D. Caruso

R. Davis, S. Sombor



M. Causey, D. Crates, A. Spang

P. Northop,

 L. Peake

D. May, R. May, B. Strangfeld

M. Gittinger, D. Molino, S. Grady

J. Versocki, D. Belardo, B. Voelker



M. Causey

E. Chouffi

M. & D. Dare

M. Gittinger

S. Goldthwaite


No flowers

No flowers




LEM and Care Givers

C. Mertz, A & K Lowe

M. Alexander & J. Russell

S & G Woodcock

L. Perregaux & M. Causey

G & R Woodzell



4/1-4/7: Morin, Russell, Wisnom, Woodcock


 all teams


all teams

4/22-4/28: Hoffmann, Northrop, Versocki


Morin, Russell, Wisnom, Woodcock



Chalice Bearers and Lectors for Holy Week



1st Lesson

2nd Lesson

April 13: Maundy Thursday

B. Frank

S. Woodcock

D. Reed

April 14th:  Good Friday


O. Jones

B. Strangefeld

April 15:  Easter Vigil

M. Causey

Volunteer needed

Volunteer needed



St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
1935 The Plaza
dy, 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: Dave Carroll
Warden: Susan Feyrer
Clerk: Melinda Renken
Treasurer: Denise Crates
Chancellor: Rosemarie Jaquith

Class of 2006

Marilyn Dare
Budd Mazurek
Keith Nelson

Class of 2007

Dave Caruso
Paul deKanel
Stacy DeBritz

Class of 2008

Ryan Davis
Austin Spang
Sid Woodcock

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.