The Messenger
St. Stephen's Church
February, 2007


February 9th - Agape

Just a reminder that there will be an Agape on Friday February 9th  at St. Stephen’s church at 6.00 PM. Everyone is welcome. Come and enjoy the Fellowship and bring a dish to share and don't forget your plates and utensils.

                                      Christine Nelson


Valentine’s Cards for the Homebound

During coffee hour on February 4th and 11th, we will have materials for any or all of you to make Valentine’s Day cards for those in our parish who are ill or homebound.  Please take some time to extend our love to those who can’t be with us.


Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – February 20th

Don't miss the traditional Pancake Supper at St. Stephen's marking the last time for festivities before Lent begins, on Tuesday, February 20th!

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.


 Ash Wednesday Services

Ash Wednesday is February 21st with the Imposition of Ashes and Eucharist as follows:

7:00 a.m.
12:30 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:

The other day I was talking to one of our visitors when he asked me about the children in the pews coloring during the sermon.  I answered that they were probably coloring cartoons based on that days scripture reading or maybe drawing their own pictures on blank paper.

I continued that there is a widespread thought that the place for children at St. Stephen’s during the Eucharist is in church.  He mentioned that the atmosphere was a little noisy, but by-and-large the children were very well behaved.  I agreed and explained to him that children have to learn how to be in church, but that they cannot learn if they aren’t IN church.

Children are encouraged to attend the celebration of the Eucharist with the adults.  However, from time to time it seems impossible to deal with a cranky or crying child during the service.  For those too young to remain for the worship service (infants through kindergarten), nursery care will be provided from 10:00 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. beginning on February 11th. 

We will continue to have the 3year old through kindergarten class taking place after the children’s sermon.  We think that it is important that all the children be present throughout the Eucharistic Prayer because that is where the core of our theology is formed.  Teachers of that class will send the students back to church after the choir sings the anthem.

Our congregation at St. Stephen's Church includes an increasing number of families with young children.  Including these children in our lives is of great importance to all of us.




Architectural Task Force II

The presentation did go on that icy morning of January 14th.  The Architectural Task Force 2 presented their report to the brave, or crazy, parishioners that showed up.  For those of you who missed it, there is a paper copy of the Powerpoint available in the parish hall. Included here is part of the report many found particularly interesting.  Many thanks to Paul deKanel for the many hours he put into preparing the presentation.

 Bishop Love’s Visit

The editors’ apologize for neglecting to put this into the January Messenger:

Our thanks to all who contributed to the reception for Bishop Love on December 3rd: polishing, baking, brewing, steeping, stirring, serving, pouring, washing up and all the rest. It was a festive event, or as they say in the theater, "It was a real nice clambake, and we all had a real good time…"

The Worship Committee


Making a confession in preparation for Easter is a long standing tradition form 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.

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?

Childcare During Service

Are you interested in childcare at St. Stephen's on Sunday mornings?

We would like again to provide care for children up through kindergarten age during the 10:15 service.  We hope to schedule parents and high school students to staff the nursery on a rotating basis.   Many of our teenagers are experienced babysitters, and St. Stephen's would pay for their time with contributions toward their summer work camp.  When we know who will be participating we will work out the details.

If you are interested in using the nursery, let Richey Woodzell know, or call the church office, 346-6241.  In order for this to be feasible, we need at least 6 families to sign up so that each family would be "on" only once every 4- 6 weeks.  Our goal is to begin the nursery care again on Sunday, February 11, 2007 from 10:00-11:30.  Thank you.

 Photo Interest Group

The St. Stephen’s Photographic Interest Group is planning to meet in the second week in February. No, we don’t have any professionals coming. What we do have is a small group of people who are interested in things photographic. For me, the computer has replaced the darkroom as the main workplace. Digital technology is swiftly replacing the cellulose acetate based silver-halide gelatin emulsion (otherwise known as “film”) as the place where light gets converted into an image.

Here’s what will probably happen: six or seven people will gather in the evening for an hour or so of show-and-tell, sharing of experiences, coffee and cookies, conversation, asking questions, and talking about what they’re doing or what they’d like to be doing.  There will probably be many more questions than answers. We will also think about what we might like to learn about in a future meeting. Maybe we’ll organize a bulletin board in the parish hall.  If you’re interested in attending, let me know.

Chris Jones, Temporary convener of the Photographic Group

Vacation Bible School

Please mark your calendars for Vacation Bible School.  It will be held June 24th-June 30th this year.  Bible School is open for children from preschool through going into fifth grade.  There are many opportunities to volunteer not only for adults but also for older kids.  It’s a super week.  More information to follow in future Messengers and on line: 

If you have any questions please ask Laura Davis.

Heart to Heart

The Sunday school is doing an Epiphany out reach project.  We hope to put together 10 Heart to Heart kits in the next few weeks.  The kits have specific items and were designed by the Church World Service.  Once we put the kits together, we will take them to Union Presbyterian Church.  This church is a pick up point for the kits so there will be no shipping cost.  You can help us by taking a heart from the “heart to heart” box in the parish hall extension and purchase the items on the heart. Please bring your purchase to church by 2/11/07.  We will assemble the kits during coffee hour on February 18th.

 The kits are made up of the items listed below:

·        One Rubbermaid® Clear Impressions shoebox with lid, 6.5 qt., or other flexible clear plastic 6.5 qt. shoebox with lid

·        One small stuffed bear

·        One soft small ball

·        One harmonica, or other small musical instrument

·        One 6” x 9” non-spiral bound pad of regular or construction paper (60-100 sheets)

·        One slinky

·        One yo-yo

·        One 7-foot child’s jump rope

·        One comb

·        One toothbrush (in original packaging)

·        One tube of toothpaste (4-7 ounces)

·        One box of 24 crayons

·        One large eraser

·        Six new pencils with erasers

·        One pencil sharpener

·        One 30-centimeter ruler (12”)

·        One pair blunt child’s scissors

Any questions??  Please ask Laura Davis or Melinda Renkin.

Thoughts on Stewardship

We tend to think of stewardship at the time of the Every Member Canvass in the fall.  As the people of God, we are called to be His stewards all of our lives.  The following is offered to help you to continue to consider your vocation as a Christian Steward.

   What is Christian stewardship?

Stewardship is the offering one makes of one's self   time, abilities and resources, in free and thankful obedience to God.  God gives us our existence and all that goes with it   in an act of love, and for the sake of love.  Our offering is to grow up in him and work with him   using the gifts he has given us   so that we may follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.  (This is a paraphrase of a statement by the House of Bishops.)

     What should my offering be?

Myself.  I am an individual steward of my personal time and talents, and I should employ them freely for others. I am a steward of the material possessions and money that God has entrusted to my keeping, which I should use and distribute for the benefit of all.

Sunday Morning Adult Education: Secrets of the Koran

It is one of the most important works ever written. For some billion people worldwide, it is the holy scripture, the word of god and his prophet. For others, it is a historical artifact that has left an indelible imprint on the world. It is the Koran. SECRETS OF THE KORAN probes the heart of the work that many outside Islam find impenetrable and mysterious. Examine the history of the verses and their implications for modern times, as well as the striking similarities and differences between the Koran and the Bible--and the ways in which Muslims believe the Koran corrects some of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Trace the influence of the Koran from the Golden Age of Islam to the modern rise of jihadism. And hear from top Islamic scholars and holy men as they share their insights into the work that lies at the foundation of one of the world's great religions.  The class will meet on Sunday mornings from 9am to 10 am in the parish hall.


Opportunities for Spiritual Growth During Lent

Sunday evenings: We begin the evening with a Lenten study which follows the famous "German Requiem" on a tour of Biblical prompts about death, grief, the brevity of life, and faith for here and hereafter.  Through music and Scripture, we move from graveside to grieving, from the challenges of self-reflection to new perspectives and hope beyond. In the middle of the study we gather for a light supper: hot soup and beverages will be provided and can be supplemented with a sandwich from home.  During supper we discuss our study and conclude dinner with a brief conclusion.

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.

Sunday Eucharists in Lent: The Prayerbook gives many liturgical observances that are especially appropriate for Lent.  Each Sunday in Lent will be using Rite I, with tradition language and an emphasis on the penitential side of our worship.

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 5 pm to 9 pm.

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

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.

The Feasts of St. Stephen’s

Three cookbooks have been published by those great St. Stephen’s Church cooks: the first in 1970 chaired by Jane Tatge, the second in 1983 chaired by Susan Fryrer and Betsy Neal, and the third in about 1993 chaired by Janice Robinson, who was the church secretary at the time. There were nine people who contributed recipes to all three volumes, including Barbara Stratton, Olive Luczka, Jane Tatge, and Suzanne Taylor. In the “largest number of recipes” category, Betsy Neal wins at 38, but Marilyn Causey gets the blue ribbon at 32.

If you’re wondering what might possibly be in all those cookbooks, be informed that St. Stephen’s cooks like their sweets:  there were 81 cake, 58 cookie, and 54 pie recipes.  Of course there was lots of other stuff such as appetizers, main dishes, soups, salads, and breads.

Not too many of the 1970 cookbooks are still surviving. I borrowed Suzanne Taylor’s and Jane Tatge’s so that I could copy the recipes. These were well-used volumes. This “original” cookbook was typed manually on to mimeograph masters and then duplicated in the St. Stephen’s office. The 1983 and 1993 volumes were published by professional cookbook people.

Here’s a recipe from the 1983 cookbook that sounds good on a cold winter day:



2 lb. stewing beef, cut in 1 inch cubes
1/4 c. cooking oil
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1 (1 lb.) can tomatoes
3 Tbsp. quick cooking tapioca
1 (10 - 1/2 oz.) can condensed beef broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
2 - 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
6 medium carrots, pared and in strips
3 medium potatoes, pared and quartered
1/2 C. sliced celery 

Brown beef cubes on all sides in hot oil in large skillet. Add onion, tomatoes, tapioca, beef broth, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and bay leaf; bring mixture to a boil. Turn into 3 quart casserole; cover. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until meat is tender. Add carrots, potatoes and celery. Continue baking, covered, for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Makes 6-8 servings.

Transept Trivia for Lent - Answers

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.






Hector & Megan Dominguez    2/6
Paul & Allison deKanel 2/7
J. Keith & Christine Nelson      2/10





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
Sierra Renken                           2/18
Mary Alexander                       2/19
Richard Censullo                      2/19
Christine Nelson                       2/19
Dennis Moss                            2/20
Greg Varno                              2/21
Shari MacIvor                          2/21
Mitchell Rigley                          2/23
Pauline Northrop                      2/24
Elizabeth Practico                     2/28

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

Coats and Blanket Drive

Both are needed for the poor among us in this community.  You can put the coat or blanket you wish to donate on the coat rack in the parish hall extension.


SICM’s Food Pantry

SICM needs canned meats (beef stew, chili, Spam, etc.). And, as always, Enfamil with iron.  You can place these items in the “SICM basket” on the left of the parish hall extension as you are leave the sanctuary.


ERD News

Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is providing emergency assistance to people in Burundi following floods and those left displaced in Sudan after increasing unrest.

In Burundi, the government has declared a national disaster following prolonged, heavy rains and severe thunderstorms throughout the country. “Houses and other buildings, such as schools and churches, have been destroyed,” said the Rev. Pedaculi Birakengana, Provincial Secretary for the Anglican Church of Burundi. “Crops have been washed away or destroyed by flooding,” said Father Birakengana. “The conditions particularly impact the most vulnerable such as orphans, widows and those already suffering from HIV/AIDS.”

ERD is supporting the Anglican Church of Burundi to help them provide immediate aid such as food supplies and basic materials. The support will also provide seeds and tree seedlings. ERD has been working in partnership with the church on a long-term development program focusing on food security and primary health care.

The ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan, continues to affect hundreds of thousands.  People have been forced to flee their homes because of continued violence in the region. In the last six months alone, an estimated 250,000 have been displaced. More than 200,000 people have been killed and nearly two million have been displaced by rebel forces since early 2003.


In partnership with Action by Churches Together International (ACT), ERD is supplying critical assistance such as clean water, health care and other basic necessities. As the height of the winter season approaches, the most vulnerable populations, including women, children and the elderly, many of whom live in camps, are in need of vital aid. Over the past three years, ERD has supported people displaced by the conflict in Sudan as well as refugees in neighboring Chad. ERD is also working on a multi-year partnership with the Episcopal Church of Sudan’s Sudanese Development and Relief Agency on capacity building training and workshops.

To make a contribution to help people affected by the crisis in Burundi, donate to the Emergency Relief Fund. To help people affected by the genocide in Sudan, designate your gift to the Sudan Relief Fund.  Donations can be made online at, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.


Text Box: Read a good book lately???  Why not take a few minutes to tell us about it.  Simply write a short book review and send it along to Ryan and Laura Davis at and we will include it in the next Messenger.  If you would like to read a book and are not sure which to pick, Deacon Pat will be able to steer you in the right direction.