The Messenger

News and happenings at St. Stephen's Church, Schenectady, NY

April, 2007

Back to St. Stephen's homepage     Back to Messenger

Worship During Holy Week

Beginning with the joyful acclamation marking Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the services of Holy Week reflect the events of the last week of Jesus’ earthly life.  Worshipers are urged to attend the special liturgies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil, in order to experience more fully the meaning of the paschal mystery.


Palm Sunday (8:00,10:15, 7:00): Branches of palm, honoring the King of kings, are blessed and distributed to the people.  At the 10:15 service, an outdoor procession (weather permitting) leads the congregation into the church.  The service then modulates into a more somber mood: the Passion Gospel is read, with individuals reading parts and the whole congregation representing the crowd. Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at all services. (5-7pm) Adult Lenten Study of Brahms’ “Requiem” will conclude. A program for children, including supper, will be presented. Parents will receive further information as needed.


Mon.-Tues.-Wed. (12:30): Holy Eucharist celebrated each day.


Maundy Thursday (7:30): Following our Lord’s example of loving service, the liturgy will include a ceremony of foot washing.  After the Holy Eucharist, during the reading of a Psalm, the altar and sanctuary will be stripped of all the usual furnishings and the altar will be scrubbed. An all night vigil will be maintained in the church.


Good Friday (12:00, 2:00, 7:30): The Way (or Stations) of the Cross will be conducted in the traditional manner at noon.  At 2:00 an interactive version of the Stations appropriate for children will be conducted. The liturgy for Good Friday will be held at 7:30 p.m.


Easter Vigil (7:30 pm) This service is truly the central service of the church year. It moves from darkness to light, from the Old Covenant to the New, from death to life. After beginning in darkness, the New Light of Christ is brought into the church. Scripture readings sketch the history of God’s mighty acts. Baptism is celebrated. Then accompanied by the ringing of bells, the candles are lighted and “Glory to God” is sung.  A joyful celebration of Holy Eucharist welcomes the season of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Note: Worshipers are encouraged to bring bells to ring at the singing of the “Glory to God.” It really is a joyful noise unto the Lord!


Easter Sunday (8:00,10:15, 7:00)


Sign-up sheets are available at the Church Shop for foot-washing and the all night vigil on Maundy Thursday, and for reading the Old Testament lessons at the Easter Vigil on Saturday.


If you are scheduled to serve in any capacity during this season (acolyte, chalice bearer, lector, usher), please check your schedule and arrange for a substitute if you are going to be absent.


From the Rector

Dear Friends in Christ:


We are now entering the last weeks of Lent and I urge you to follow the journey of these two weeks so that Good Friday and Easter may be for us all a deepening of our Christian understanding and commitment as a community. 


The Holy Week and Easter service schedule is printed in this newsletter.  Please pull it out and put it on your refrigerator or message board at home.  Why?  Because there is no greater journey than the spiritual journey of Holy Week, for it is the journey, which gives meaning to the whole of our lives.  Come to Jerusalem and see again the love of God and our salvation.


Finally, I commend to you one of the great prayers in our prayer book, the Collect for Monday in Holy Week, pp. 168 (Traditional) and 220 (Contemporary).  My experience affirms the profound truth of this prayer.  What is your cross?  What is your way of the cross?  We all have one or more crosses to bear.  And we cannot run away from or run around them.  We have to pick them up and carry them responsibly.  And the miracle is the Easter miracle:  that we discover that our cross is the way of life and peace, and I would add the way of true freedom.  It is through the repeated experience of this miracle that we grow and mature in our life's pilgrimage, with God's help.


May your Lent and Easter this year bring you life and peace and freedom.


Agape – Let’s Keep it Going!

When? 6:00 PM on the second Friday of the month!

April 13th – Pauline and Mike will help those having trouble sleeping by showing slides from their recent winter odyssey


Where? The Parish Room


Who? Anyone and Everyone!

(Sorry - no child care)


Please Bring

- Pot luck dish

- Own Plate

- Own Utensils


Questions? Call Pauline Holmes at 384-0904


Thank You

Millie and Clark Gittinger send a much belated "thank you" to everyone for all the prayers during and following Clark's surgery last October.  While he still isn't 100%, he continues to make progress and has been able to hike and go cross-country skiing - and basically resume "normal" activities.  Our most sincere thanks to all.


With love, Millie and Clark




Book Review
 Going to Heaven.  The Life and Election of Gene Robinson.
By Elizabeth Adams. 


It’s all there – how this son of a poor Kentucky tenant farmer was thrust into the center of a controversy that threatens to unhinge the whole Anglican Communion. How he was married, raised two daughters, had an amazingly amicable divorce (he still has solid relationships with his former wife and with both his children), how he met his present partner, his long history in the Diocese of New Hampshire, and his eventually election and consecration as Bishop of New Hampshire.



On a personal note, I had a colleague at the college who, after adopting two biracial children and then fathering a natural child, discovered that he was gay and left them all. I had a LOT of anger about that, but I’ve gotten over it, helped along by the process of discovering that one of my daughters was lesbian. So I found this book informative, engrossing, and often profoundly moving.

The road to the election and consecration of Bishop Robinson is beautifully chronicled. There was a meticulously organized election process, so that no-one could claim that there was anything irregular about it. The chapter about the actual ceremony makes fascinating reading, from the logistics of the large crowd, to the security arrangements, to the service itself. If you’d like a local take on that, talk to Fr. James or Barbara and Dennis Wisnom, who took the trouble to be there, as did my daughter Susan. Equally interesting was the chapter on the theological stuff: why some people are opposed to gay ordinations, and how Robinson responds to those critics.


If you’re open to change and the recognition that we’re ALL God’s well-loved children then you might want to read this book.

Chris Jones



Lenten Programs for Children

We will be having two programs for the children during Holy Week, aside from the regular Sunday school.  These programs are for kids in kindergarten through 6th grade.  Older siblings are welcomed.  They can help out our youngest.


On Palm Sunday (April 1, 2007), a Lenten program for kids is planned from 5:00-7:00.  This program will be at the same time as the adult Lenten study.  Dinner will be provided for the kids (we may ask you to bring something to share).  We will meet downstairs in the Community room at 5:00.  There will be a sign up sheet at the shop beginning this week.


On Good Friday (April 6, 2007), there will be a Lenten program for the kids from 2:00-3:00.  One on the things we will be doing is the Stations of the Cross.  You don’t need to sign up for this program.  We will meet in the Parish Hall at 2:00.  Hope you can come to one or both of the programs.



Let’s Get the Nursery Going Again

The Nursery is an important way we welcome families with young children.  We have had interest in the Nursery, but we need adults to volunteer.  It doesn’t need to be just the parents of the children.  Maybe someone with grandchildren would like to help out once in a while in the Nursery.  If you are interested in helping in the Nursery, please see Richey Woodzell.



A Visit to Bradenton

Following a chance encounter with Deacon Pat we learned that the Borrowmans who many will remember were long-time parishioners at St. Stephens were living in Bradenton, Florida where we were coincidentally going to be this March.


We spent a delightful afternoon with Jim and Sandy, who decided to move there a few years ago on the recommendation of some church friends who lived in nearby Palmetto. They have a house in a quiet older neighborhood within a couple of blocks of the Manatee river estuary. We were entertained to a strawberry tea in their new lanai surrounded by old oak trees hung with Spanish moss. Oranges from the trees also in their garden provided us with a lasting memory of our visit!


They are active members of a local church (we seem to remember it was St. Mary’s, Palmetto), and Sandy has reactivated the defunct bell choir there. Jim’s car was rear ended on his way home from services about three years ago and broke his back, but has now thankfully recovered. However, as Jim is an architect, he was also interested to learn of the activities of the St. Stephen’s architectural task force since he has an intimate knowledge of the church buildings in Schenectady.


On our return to Schenectady, there were still a couple of feet of snow on the ground so we can understand why they have no regrets on leaving this part of the world.

Christine and Keith Nelson




Maundy Thursday Foot Washing



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





Dennis Wisnom                              4/1      

Jennifer Bristol                                4/3

June Russell                                    4/3

Gerald Perregaux                            4/9      

Lucy Clark                                     4/10    

Gordon Jaquith                               4/10

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 a birthday or anniversary is missing

or incorrect for you or anyone in your family,

please contact the office (346-6241).



Home Furnishings Program

THANK YOU for the donations of blankets and towels for the Home Furnishings Program!  We contributed 8 blankets, 3 throws, 16 bath towels, 5 hand towels and 10 washcloths to help those in need in Schenectady. 


Please continue to keep this program in mind as you do your spring-cleaning.  Any small basic household items in good condition may be placed in the basket in the parish hall extension.  Needed are always:  towels and bed linens, pots and pans, and can openers.  Also needed urgently are beds, dressers and kitchen tables; to arrange to drop off or have picked up, call 346-2444.



Pastoral Care Workshop

There will be a workshop on visitation of the hospitalized/homebound or residents of nursing homes, Saturday, April 28, 9 AM - 2:30 PM at Ellis Hospital.  Led by the Pastoral Care Department, it will help people to make effective visits.  There is no charge.  Register by April 20th by calling 243-4158.



Episcopal Relief and Development


Remembering Katrina: A new Urban Ministry Center is dedicated


The bishop of Louisiana diocese joined hands with the president of Episcopal Relief and Development to open another new initiative in New Orleans on February 26 with the dedication of the Episcopal Urban Ministry Center adjacent to the diocesan offices.


The ministry center will be the new headquarters of the comprehensive humanitarian services for post-Katrina rebuilding programs.


"The Episcopal Urban Ministry Center is a wonderful testimony to the commitment of the Episcopal Church in Louisiana and the people of this city," Robert W. Radtke, ERD president, said. "This center will be a sanctuary to help people heal and access critical services such as pastoral care, counseling, housing and many others so they can rebuild their lives.


Response to Flooding in Southern Africa


Torrential rains have displaced thousands living in Mozambique, Malawi and Angola. Heavy flooding has destroyed homes and crops and damaged schools, public buildings and communications infrastructure. The floods have also caused an increase in the occurrence of cholera and malaria. ERD is partnering with affected dioceses to provide critical assistance to vulnerable people.


In Mozambique, ERD is partnering with the Anglican Dioceses of Lebombo and Niassa and HOPE Africa to provide emergency supplies such as food, blankets, basic building materials and seeds for replanting.  Working with the Anglican Diocese of Angola, ERD is supplying critical aid such as temporary shelter, hygiene products, water, mosquito nets and medicines.


“Extreme weather has severely affected our partners, especially people left most vulnerable,” said Janette O’Neill, ERD’s Senior Director for Africa Programs. “Through ERD’s response, we are helping to provide essential supplies and also guard against deadly diseases such as malaria,” continued O’Neill.


For the more on these and other stories visit the ERD Newsroom:


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:                     Susan Feyrer

 Warden:                     Ryan Davis

 Clerk:                         Peter Nelson

 Treasurer:                  Denise Crates

 Chancellor:                Rosemarie Jaquith


Class of 2007              Dave Caruso

                                    Paul deKanel

                                    Stacy DeBritz


Class of 2008              Austin Spang

                                    Sid Woodcock


Class of 2009              Melinda Renkin

                                    Tracy Ormsbee

                                    Barbara Wisnom


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.