The Feast of Pentecost marks the end of the Easter Festival in the Liturgical year. But it is not the end of anything, but the beginning of that new life in Christ. In our prayerbook Pentecost is properly designated as the fiftieth day of Easter the celebration begins with the day of Resurrection and ends with the gift of the spirit to the Church. That giving of the Spirit is to be understood as a resurrection appearance.
The import of Pentecost as the final Resurrection appearance is that through the gift of the Spirit, Christ's presence is forever insured for the community of the faithful. This we indeed celebrate!
We will celebrate the great Feast of Pentecost on Sunday, June 4th. This feast is as important as Christmas or Easter and St. Stephen's is hoping to have everyone present for the celebration. There will be Holy Baptism, especially appropriate on this day, and jazz music. The Interfaith Chaplain at Union College, Viki Brooks-McDonald, will preach. The gospel will be read in several different languages representing the many languages present on that first Pentecost. Red is the color associated with the Holy Spirit, so wear something red to church!
The annual June Parish picnic will be held after the 10:15 service on June 11th at the church. We will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, rolls and condiments, chips and lemonade. Please bring a salad, fruit or dessert to share. Bring your sneakers and Frisbee! Does someone have a volleyball and net?
A benefit fund raiser "KEEP THE HEAT ON" featured the movie "Millions.” WE RAISED OVER $16,000.00. The funds raised will benefit the Community Crisis Network Emergency Fund to help with heating emergencies for people in Schenectady County. This event was sponsored by SICM with in-kind support from Proctor's, MVP, ParcelPostPlus and The Daily Gazette. THANK YOU...THANK YOU... THANK YOU.
Episcopal Relief and Development
Dear Friends of ERD at St. Stephen’s:
Thank you very much for your generous gift to the work of ERD. There were so many disasters last year, as well as the continuing tragedies of poverty, orphaned children of HIV parents, refugees from terror and floods; the list goes on and on. Your gifts help in many ways.
In Kashmir, after emergency relief of food and shelter, ERD has been able to set up a health clinic with the Diocese of Sialkot. After Katrina, ERD help victims in four states. In Haiti, the Bishop Thorp Business and Technology Institute will open for its first class of students in September. Thank you for all your help.
Diocesan Coordinator Albany
I want to share with you several things that have been on my mind. The vestry has made progress concerning our parish endowment, and especially the Begley bequest.
Several months ago the vestry selected six members of Saint Stephen’s to be Trustees of our endowment. Their primary tasks are to invest the principle of the funds so that the principle at least keeps up with inflation and at best grows; and to provide the vestry with funds, mutually agreed upon, in order to benefit the work of the congregation. The Trustees have met and are in the process of organizing themselves as directed by a resolution of the vestry. A full copy of the resolution can be found in the orange and blue Communication Notebook in the parish hall extension.
The vestry also appointed an Architectural Taskforce to determine the building and ground needs of our congregation. They developed a survey and examined the survey that members took one year ago. The taskforce is in the process of writing a final report for the vestry meeting in June. That report will also be available in Communication Notebook.
Another Taskforce has been created to consider these needs and to examine the actual building and grounds changes that would be needed to meet them. They will be answering such questions as: how big a parish hall and kitchen; how many classrooms, bathrooms will we need in the future? What would a parking lot look like and how many cars would it accommodate?
The vestry is concerned that our congregation not only use the money for deferred maintenance and building, but also to share it with the many needs of our inner city neighbors and beyond. The parish council is working on a system whereby outside groups could apply for grants that would come from endowment income, of course with the vestry’s approval.
Further progress in these matters can be followed in the vestry minutes in the Communication Notebook.
Helen Begley and others have given very generous gifts to the congregation and your church leaders understand that good stewardship of these gifts is a great responsibility.
Sunday School Comes to a Close
Another church school year is coming to a finish. As I look back on our year, I see many things. Attendance was consistently terrific. It has been wonderful to have so many children in each Sunday school group every week. I feel like the kids had time to get to know one another as well as learning about the Bible and our faith during our Sunday school sessions.
I see a year filled with out reach projects. We put together school kits for the children displaced to Texas by hurricane Katrina. We filled our ERD boxes in January. We helped St. Stephen’s with a food drive for SICM over Lent. And now we are putting together house warming presents of the work camp residents. I believe that the out reach projects have helped our kids to realize that there is a big world out there that sometimes needs a little help.
We presented the Christmas story through the Putz for a second year. The kids really worked together with Allison deKanel and Stacy DeBritz to create a special presentation. I will never forget Andre Crates saying “Amen” at the end of the program.
The kids and adults who participated in the programs during Holy Week added to their understanding of the Last Supper and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. We also had some fun, too.
Teaching Sunday school is a wonderful experience. Not only working with the children is special but also getting to know the other teachers is just as special. A special thank you to all of the teachers.
Cheryl Stya and Tracy Schierenbeck who taught the prek- k group,
Linda Emaelaf and Stacy DeBritz who taught the 1st-3rd graders,
Peter Nelson and Allison deKanel who taught the 4th-6th graders,
George Woodzell and Shari MacIvor who taught the 7th-8th graders,
Susan Townsend and Dave Crates who taught the 9th-12th graders,
Richey Woodzell who is our organizer and who is always there to fill in where she is needed,
Dawn Tanneu for substituting the prek-k group whenever she was needed,
Vicki Hosko and Allison de Kanel who taught the Palm Sunday evening program,
To all the parents who chipped in and helped out throughout the year.
I look forward to the next program year. If you are interested in teaching Sunday school in September, please let Richey Woodzell know. Teaching Sunday school can be as flexible as you need it to be. If committing to the entire program year is too much, let her know what you would like to do and we can make it work. Our classes will continue to meet at 9:00-10:00 downstairs in the community room for 1st-6th grades and at Reid House next door to the church for 7th-12th grades. The preschoolers and kindergarteners will continue to meet in the parish hall just after the children’s sermon during the 10:15 service. Sunday school will continue through June 11th and will resume in mid September.
Vacation Bible School
Summer goes by so quickly most years. It’s hard for me to imagine that August will be arriving soon. August brings a great week of Vacation Bible School. The churches involved (St. Stephen’s, Union Presbyterian, and Westminster Presbyterian) have begun preparing for Bible School. Included later in The Messenger is a registration form for Bible School. If you would like your children to participate, you can give the filled out form to Laura Davis.
· Vacation Bible School is the week of August 7-11.
· There are two sessions (someone from St. Stephen’s will be present at both sessions). At Union Presbyterian Church, the program is 9:30-12:30 and at Westminster Presbyterian Church, the program is 6:00-8:00.
· On Saturday, August 12th, we will meet at St. Stephen’s Church to worship and celebrate the week.
· There are many ways to help out with Bible school this year:
· The creative design team will to create a “boat”, make signs for each center, develop a “ship’s log” for each child and add nautical decorations so that the kids really feel like they are going on a boat ride.
· The morning program provides lunch for the kids. A different group of volunteers make lunch each day. This is a big project, best done with a partner. The Lunch Coordinator will let you know what to bring.
· Homemade baked goods make the “Snacks and Games Galley” and dessert after lunch very special for the kids (and adults).
· We can never have enough travel guides. The guides take groups of children from station to station during the morning and evening programs. The travel guides can be ages from middle school and up. It’s great way to be involved with Bible school. There will be an adult and an older child with each group of 4-8 children.
There is a volunteer sign up sheet and registration forms at the Shop. If you have any questions, please ask Laura Davis.
Most of us are probably somewhere between silver halide emulsions on a cellulose acetate backing (that’s “film”, in case you didn’t recognize it) and the digital/computer revolution. At least that’s where I am. In spite of all this somewhat scary rapidly developing technology, photography is still a fascinating avocation for lots of people. How about you?
Here’s the question: are there people at St. Stephen’s who would like to get together now and then to talk about the artistic and technical aspects of photography, and share a few thoughts about this fascinating subject? I think the answer may very well be yes!
So here’s what I suggest: let’s get together for a few minutes after the 10:15am service on June 11, say in the basement “community” room. Bring some thoughts about what you’re doing these days, or some questions you’d like to be discussed, or some photographic problem that you’d like to solve, or some topics that might be suitable for a future meeting. If there is enough interest, we’ll set a time for another meeting, perhaps in someone’s home, where we can get into some directed discussions and perhaps share our latest snapshots, dessert, and coffee.
Wouldn’t it be great to mount a St. Stephen’s exhibit someplace?
St. Stephen’s to Serve Lunches –
As part of the SICM Summer Lunch program for children in Schenectady, St. Stephen’s will be serving lunches at Jerry Burrell Park on Hamilton Street the week of July 3 (excluding July 4). We need at least 4 volunteers each day to set up, serve and clean up, and to have fun with the kids in the park. The time commitment is about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, from about 11:30 to 1:00. We will post the exact hours and details by June 11. Please sign up at the shop.
This year St. Stephen's youth group returns to Appalachia to work on the homes of people who can't afford to do the work themselves. We're going back to Oceana, West Virginia, the area where we worked last year.
We'll leave Schenectady Saturday morning, July 22, spend the night with our friends at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Staunton, Virginia, and, after attending their church service, complete the journey Sunday. Workcamp ends on Saturday, July 29 and we'll head home, stopping for the night at Trinity Church in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. After attending church at Trinity Sunday morning, we'll complete our trip home; we should arrive late Sunday afternoon.
Workcamp is always unforgettable, and it's been a life-changing experience for many kids, but it's also expensive, so watch for our next fund-raiser the ever-popular, often imitated but never equaled, workcamper shares sale!
Robert Manor 6/1
Bill Frank 6/1
Robert Voelker 6/2
David Caruso 6/4
June Hatlee 6/5
Ellen Ormsbee 6/5
Barbara Adams 6/7
Charlotte Borst 6/7
Edith Lundquist 6/8
JP Murphy-Nolan 6/11
Phoebe Redmond 6/12
Charles Mertz 6/13
Stephen Gray 6/14
Bonita Bailey 6/14
Madeline Olberg 6/14
Carsten Renken 6/14
Josephine Jones 6/18
Karen Smith 6/18
Alfred Lowe 6/20
Earl Slanker 6/20
Britta Kilbourn 6/22
Joseph Tonneau 6/22
Chris Murphy 6/23
Ann Walraven 6/25
Darcy Pratt 6/25
Salvatore Belardo 6/27
Helen Oyer 6/29
Charles Trawick 6/30
Laura Davis 6/30
Florence Walker 7/1
Shannon Trant 7/2
Carrie Trant 7/2
Keith Nelson 7/3
Vaughan Woodzell 7/5
Richard Downs 7/8
Dawn Tonneau 7/9
Mary Davis 7/9
Doreen May 7/10
Judith Versocki 7/10
Gillian Woodcock 7/12
James Brooks-McDonald 7/13
Andrea Worthington 7/15
William Smith 7/15
Michael Bishop 7/16
Austin Spang 7/16
Gaye Mertz 7/16
Jean Versocki 7/17
Julie Steele 7/19
Christopher Jones 7/21
Oto Jones 7/25
George Woodzell 7/25
Garret Pierce 7/26
Ryan Huneau 7/28
Connor Wolff 7/29
Craig Marshall 7/29
Logan Phillips 7/29
Molly Ormsbee 7/31
Cynthia Reedy 8/5
Peter Sombor 8/5
Pauline Holmes 8/6
Robert Chapman 8/6
Suzanne Taylor 8/7
Sydney Bailey 8/7
Lynn Ann Kelly 8/7
Robert Petito 8/12
Julia Smith 8/14
John Goldthwaite 8/15
Yvonne Masse 8/15
Daniel Emaelaf 8/16
Mildred Santer 8/18
Elizabeth Dipley 8/19
Angela Strong 8/19
Stacy DeBritz 8/20
Emily Mertz 8/20
Janine Phillips 8/22
David Dare 8/22
Melinda Renken 8/23
Daniel Koch 8/24
Richey Woodzell 8/26
Clark Whitney 8/28
Glenn Kaler 8/29
Wendy Koreman 8/29
Mary Whitney 8/30
Summer Wedding Anniversaries
Stephen Sombor & Lucy Clark 6/1
James & Victoria Brooks-McDonald 6/9
Salvatore & Diana Belardo 6/12
Christopher & Pat Jones 6/12
Earl & Jean Slanker 6/13
K. Scott & Diane Kilbourn 6/15
Emil & Ann Walraven 6/15
William & Janet Schlansker 6/19
Michael & Stacy DeBritz 6/20
Norman & Mildred Gittinger 6/20
Glenn & Dawn Kaler 6/20
"Belachew & Linda Emaelaf 6/22
Austin & Martha Spang 6/22
Jack & Susan Feyrer 6./22
Jim & Tracy Ormsbee 6/26
Roy Stratton & Barbara Dobbins 6/27
Gene & Wendy Koreman 6/29
Robert & Anita McCalley 7/4
Scott & Amy Soule 7/5
Richard & Cherie Downs 7/8
Robert & Shirley Voelker 7/10
Charles & Gaye Mertz 7/16
Julie Steele 7/18
Richard & Carolyn Morin 7/19
Brian & Julie Bailey 7/21
James & Marilyn Dare 7/28
David & Lorie Keller 7/30
Ben & Dawn Tonneau 8/1
Timothy & Susan Olsen 8/2
Chris Murphy & Kelly Nolan 8/3
Owen & Jean Greenspan 8/5
Alton & Cynthia Reedy 8/6
William & Karen Smith 8/9
Eber & Mary Davis 8/9
Charles & Carmella Vedder 8/13
Dick & Polly Mathews 8/18
Ron & Mary Michelson 8/25
Charles & Deborah Trawick 8/25
Bill & Joanne Frank 8/26
David & Suzanne Taylor 8/28
Tom & Kathy Miller 8/31
June 4: In memory of Anne Latham Dare and William Jones, given by Jed, Marilyn, Devon and David Dare
June 11: Thank offering for the 40th wedding anniversary of Diana and Sal Belardo
June 18: In memory of Stewart Vanda, given by the Altar Guild
June 25: In honor of the marriage of Katherin Cyr Hoshko and Joseph Andrew Faust, given by Vicki Hoshko. In memory of Robert Malmros, given by his children
July 2: Available
July 9: In memory of Aldeen and Roger Williams, given by June Russell
July 16: Available
July 23: In memory of John & Joyce Nelson, given by Christine& Keith Nelson. In memory of Sidney and Lydia Woodcock, William and Marjorie Nicholson
July 30: In memory of Joanne J. Molino, given by Donald Molino
August 6: Available
August 13: In memory of Justin Northrop, given by Pauline Northrop
August 20: In memory of Louise Mary Lowe, given by her parents
August 27: In memory of Henry & Frances Baumis, given by the Taylor & Montorio families
Work Camp Resident
The children of St. Stephen’s are organizing house-warming gifts to be presented to the residents in West Virginia. We are well on the way to collecting the items that we need. The Youth Group will be going to West Virginia the last week in July. The kids will be working on getting the packages together over the beginning of the summer.
They have already started making note cards. Each resident will get a bundle of hand made note cards along with stamps. The gift bags will also include two mugs with a tea or coffee sample and a tie-dyed pillowcase for the children of the residents. The children are asking for donations in order to make these gifts complete:
- New or gently used coffee mugs
- Coffee samples or individually wrapped teas bags
- Gift bags – not Christmas or birthday related
- New or gently used plain white pillow cases for tie dying
- Tissue paper for wrapping the mugs
- Books of stamps
We have scheduled two get togethers to work on our packages. We will meet in the Parish Hall. Everyone is invited to come and help and enjoy some conversation and pizza. We ask that those who come bring a small donation for the pizza or a salad / dessert to share.
On Friday, June 16th, beginning at 5:30 will be the “Pillowcase and Pizza Party”. We will be tie dying pillowcases and finishing the note cards.
The second get together is scheduled for Friday, July 14th, beginning at 5:30 will be the “Package and Pizza Party”. We will be putting together the presents on this evening (i.e. wrapping mugs in tissue paper, folding the pillowcases, and putting all of the items in the gift bags).
hope to see you there. Everyone is welcomed. If you have any questions,
please ask any of the Sunday school teachers. Thanks.
Home Furnishings Program (HFP) – We need moving crews!
The Home Furnishings Program is an independent organization begun by Church Women United and funded by churches and individuals in the area. It donates basic household furnishings in good repair to people in Schenectady County on the basis of referrals from churches and social agencies. It accomplishes this partly with volunteer crews from area churches who drive the HFP truck for scheduled pickups and deliveries.
St. Stephen’s turn to “man the van” this year is July 9-16, so please set aside an evening or afternoon now to help. Anyone aged 16 or older, who can help to carry furniture, is more than welcome. If you would like to help, please call me. And find a friend or two to be part of your crew!
If you would like to help the HFP in another way, you may donate items, either by placing them in the basket in the parish hall, or by calling the program administrator at 346-2444 and arranging for pickup. Or you may make a monetary contribution and send it to Home Furnishings Program, 603 State Street, Sch’dy NY 12305.
We are also looking for volunteers! Ages 16 to ?? – 1 morning, afternoon or evening for 2 hours