The Messenger

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

November, 2007

All Saint’s Day: November 4th


All Saint's Day is one of the seven principal feasts of the church.  This day is a celebration of Christ in His whole mystical body.  We are reminded that the saints still support us by their witness and example and surround us with their love and prayers.  All Saint's Day is the one day set aside each year when our faithful departed are remembered.  If you would like to have a particular person remembered by name, it is not too late. Please call the parish office as soon as you receive this newsletter.  We will remember them on Thursday, November 1st at 10 am Eucharist, and on Sunday, November 4th at the 8 & 10:15 Eucharists.  The later service will include first communion for some of our young people! 


Multi-Faith THANKSGIVING Celebration


This traditional service will be held at Memorial Chapel at Union College 3pm, Sunday, November 18th.


The Church recognizes the traditional Thanksgiving Holiday as a holy day for our land, life, and heritage.  It finds its roots in observances begun by colonists in Massachusetts and Virginia, a tradition later taken up and extended to the whole of the New American nation by action of the Continental Congress.


Our celebration of Thanksgiving stems from our many blessings of God's good creation.  As Children of God we are to live our lives in a spirit of thanksgiving.  We are to be faithful stewards of the earth as God's creation, given to us as a sacred trust.


Thank You, Thank You…


To everyone who helped make the Parish Faire such a wonderful event in the life of the Parish!  Without the time and dedication of quite a few volunteers, the Faire would not have been such a festive affair.


It was a great opportunity to see how active this parish is.  Hopefully we all have found a place where we can offer our time and talent for ministry as well as a place to grow in your faith commitment.


From the Rector


As you know, prayer is the center of our congregation, however some clarification is necessary to understand for whom we pray and when we pray for them. 


There are three avenues to our prayer.  The most obvious are the intercessions on Sunday morning.  At that time we pray for those who are or have been members of our congregation: those who are ill or recovering from surgery; those who celebrate birthdays or wedding anniversaries; and those who have died.  We get most of this information from our data bank, so it is very important that your anniversary dates are accurate.  If we pray for you on the wrong date, please call the parish office so that we can correct this. 


A second avenue is the prayer sheet on the table in the back of the church.  While it is too long to include all those names in our Sunday morning prayers, Deacon Pat, any one else who comes, and I pray those prayer requests every weekday at Morning Prayer.  So if you have someone for whom you want the church’s prayers, kept writing their first name on that prayer list each week.  If possible, it is also nice to let that person know that we are praying for him/her.  It makes a big difference to many people.


Finally, there is a group in our congregation who has formed a ‘prayer chain’.  When you or someone you care for needs prayer, please call the parish office with the name of the person, and the reason for your request.  From that point a large chain of people will be notified and that person will be included in their individual prayers.  This is a powerful activity and I commend all those involved with this group.  I especially want to thank Suzanne Taylor for keeping this prayer list up to date.  If you wish to become part of this prayer chain, please call the parish office.


I have experienced the power of prayer in my own life and in the life of others.  Please keep our congregation and our community in your prayers.



 The Woman behind Thanksgiving Day


Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, for 40 years the editor of "Godey's Lady's Book," the mother of all magazines for women, was responsible for our observance of Thanksgiving Day.


In 1846 Mrs. Hale, a widow with five children, began her campaign to have Thanksgiving Day established as a national holiday.  Some individual states listened to her and acted, but the Federal Government ignored her pleas for 17 years.


In 1863 Abraham Lincoln heeded Mrs. Hale, and the result was the first Thanksgiving proclamation by a president since George Washington.


(Mrs. Hale not only edited a magazine, not only raised children as a single parent, not only was responsible for Thanksgiving's being recognized as a national holiday, she also wrote the poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb!")



A Collect For Thanksgiving


Almighty and gracious Father, we give thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them.


Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



Sunday School at St. Stephen’s


It’s hard to believe that the kids meet just one time a week for an hour or less.  Many, many things are happening, many stories are being told, many crafts are being made and many songs are being sung.  For preschoolers through 6th grade, our focus is on the Old Testament, the foundation of our faith.  We will soon move to the New Testament as we learn about Advent and celebrate Christmas.  The Youth Group (middle school and high school) has been discussing symbols and icons.  They went to Mark Bayer’s studio where he creates icons.  Mark is an iconographer.  He took the time to describe the symbolism in icons and how they are painted.  We thank Mark and his wife, Galina, for welcoming the Youth Group into their home!


The 4th-6th graders were helping with the stole that we are making for Deacon Pat the last weeks of October.  In November, it will be time for the preschool, kindergarteners and 1st-3rd graders to make their contribution.  The end of November all of the children will be learning about deacons and how they can be “a deacon for a day.”  Thank you to Karen Smith and Stacy DeBritz who are working with the kids and the sewing machine to create the Deacon’s stole.


The Youth Group is planning their Work Camp Thank You dinner, which will be held on November 17th at 6 PM.   There's always good food and great entertainment!!


Dates to mark on the calendar:


11/4/07:  Our church will be celebrating All Saints’ Day.

11/11/07: The preschool and kindergarten group will be meeting from 9:00-10:00am for a special class.  During the 10:15 service, we will enjoy Jazz Sunday.


11/17/07:  Work Camp Thank You Dinner at 6:00 PM in the Parish Hall.


12/9/07:  We will be celebrating Deacon Pat’s 25 years as Deacon!


Future activities will include practice and presentation of the Christmas Program.  The program is being created by Ben Boese and Tom Casale with Allison de Kanel and Peter Nelson as coaches.  We will have more details in mid-November.


Church school continues every Sunday.  It is never too late to join us.  1st-6th grade meet in the Community Room at 9:00am.  Preschool and kindergarten meet after the Children’s Sermon during the 10:15 service in the basement classroom.  The Youth Group meets after the 10:15 service at Reid House (next door to the church on Garner Ave).  If you have any questions or concerns, please ask.  My church email is  The church number is 346-6241.  My home phone is 377-0626.

            Laura Davis



Why did I get two copies?


If you receive duplicate mailings from the church, it is because we need 200 pieces

to qualify for bulk rate mailing which is much cheaper than first class. Contrary to

public opinion, these doubles and triples are not because I have entirely lost it.

Kathy Miller


 Memorial Book Update


A Memorials Committee has been formed.  The first item on their agenda is to update the Memorial Book.  Fr. James, will lead this group and he requests that anyone having information about 'memorials' to the church call him as soon as possible.  The committee is updating the information so that names can be entered into the Memorial Book in the case located in the Narthex.


If someone is a calligrapher, your skill is needed in entering new names into the Memorial Book.  This will be your chance to make a lasting mark on St. Stephen's.


The committee is also taking suggestions for memorials to the church.  If you have ideas on how we might commemorate the contributions of those who have died from our parish, please see Fr. James.  A list of appropriate memorials and a policy concerning the giving of memorials is being developed.



AGAPE - Let’s Keep it Going


When? November 9th, 6:00 PM Rocky Bonsal will show us (some of) the 900 slides he took on his trip on the schooner Sea Cloud II


Where? The Parish Room


Who? Anyone and Everyone!

(Sorry - no child care, but children are, as always, welcome)


Please Bring      

- Pot luck dish

- Own Plate

- Own Utensils


Questions? Call Pauline Holmes




Leading Restaurants Fear Lost Business


Yes, believe it! Each year at this time, when the area’s finer restaurants learn that the St. Stephen’s youth group is preparing to serve another of their 5.5 star meals, these eating establishments begin planning to lay off staff and serve only water and crackers – the competition is simply too fierce!


So mark your calendars, sharpen your appetites, and plan to arrive early to beat the crowds and the traffic – Saturday night, November 17, at 6 PM, the youth group will hold a dinner to thanks the parish for helping pay for last summer’s workcamp trip.


Amazing food! Luscious desserts! Thrilling stories! Heart-stopping suspense! What more could an evening provide?




MISSION is the work of God.  The words "whole" and "holy" share a common root -- and both have to do with being in synch with God, with one another and with all creation. This is what St. Paul said God's work was -- wooing us to want to be in synch... Paul called God's work (God's mission) a work of reconciliation... getting back in synch. God invites us to be partners with God in this work/mission.


 MINISTRY is the work of men and women.  Whatever work or service we undertake in God's name to heal broken relationships, to get God's creation in synch, is called ministry.  The Greek root means "service."


 Ministry happens, for example...


...when a child is helped to understand she is lovable...

...when a person is shown how his story connects with God's Story...

...when a person praises God...

...when a hungry person is fed...

...when a thirsty person is given a drink...

...when a powerless person is empowered...

...when a person's dignity is restored...

...when God's Word is proclaimed...

...when people meet to study God's word and to reflect on their lives...

...when a parish addresses a community problem...


STEWARDSHIP is a way of life.  When mission (God's work) and ministry (our works) get more and more in synch, we *get a life* wherein not 10%, not 50%, but 100% of our time, talent, and resources at the service of God's mission. We begin to live consciously and intentionally in the really real world.


THE REAL WORLD is home.  In the course of our life's journey, before we discover where home is, most of us live in and between two worlds.  One is the real world in which God is making us whole.  The other is a counterfeit ruled by our economy rather than God's. During life's journey, we wrestles with which world to choose as *our* real world.


What we have been conditioned to consider the real world, however, is a world of delusion.  That is the world in which we have been conditioned to invest so much of our time, energy, talent, and resources.


The depth of our stewardship depends upon which world we choose to live in. If we choose the world of delusion, our stewardship will be limited to what is left over after our time, talent, energy and resources have been sacrificed to strange gods.  If we choose the world where God wants to make us whole, then our whole selves -- 100% of our time, talent, energy and resources -- will be devoted to our partnership with God in mission and ministry.


 The difference between being in one world or the other may be likened to the difference between "believing that" and "believing in."  Picture someone pushing a wheelbarrow across a tightrope, high above.  If you "believe that," you watch from below and perhaps bet $10 -- some small percentage -- that the person will make it across.  If you "believe in," you put yourself in the wheelbarrow.  Stewardship is the spiritual discipline, which determines whether "I believe" means "I believe in" or "I believe that."



Nursery News


We are so excited to have Pam Guthrie serve in the Nursery each week.  The children are getting to know her and seem to feel very comfortable in the Nursery.  Whenever I walk by, I see smiling faces look up from drawing or playing or snacking.  Thank you to Pam and to the Youth Group members and parents who have been helping Pam each week.


The Nursery is open for care from 10:00-11:30 and is for children up to 5 years.  If you have any questions about the Nursery, please ask me.

                                             Laura Davis



Nursery Needs


Are your children all grown up?  Do you have baby things just hanging around?  If you do please read on…


The Nursery would like two items:


A “newer” baby swing

A changing table


If you are interested in making a donation, please contact Laura Davis.



Calling All Chalice Bearers and Lectors


There will be important training on Saturday, December 1st at the church for all who serve as chalice bearers and lectors.


Chalice bearers will meet promptly at 10AM.  This training is especially important for those who serve at the 8 o’clock service. 


Lectors will meet at 11AM.  Those who are both lectors and chalice bearers will need to attend both sessions.  The training will end at noon.


Preparations, procedures and available resources will be explained.  This is also an opportunity for raising any questions you may have.


Please contact Fr. James via email or call the church office to indicate if you will attend.  Your participation is important.  Many thanks for arranging your schedules to attend.



Albany Damien Center – Thank You


We received a thank you letter from Albany Damien Center for our recent contribution to support their work.  Thank you for helping to support the good works in our community.






Advent Quiet Morning


At the beginning of the season of waiting and preparation in Advent, please consider spending a few hours in meditation and prayer.  The Rev. Delos Wampler will be leading a "Quiet Morning" focusing on prayer in our lives.  Fr. Wampler is retired from twenty years of ministry to the Adirondack Missions, and while there conducted the Barry House Retreat Center.  He now assists with services at St. George's Church in the Stockade.  A few years ago he conducted a series of classes on prayer for our adult education class.


The Quiet Morning will be Saturday, December 1, from 9 to 11 at St. Stephen's, for all parishioners.  At 11 AM Fr. Wampler will celebrate the Eucharist, followed by refreshments.


The St. Clare Chapter of the Daughters of the King will be hosting the quiet morning.   If you have questions, speak with Marilyn Humphrey or Richey Woodzell.  Please sign up at the shop if you plan to come.





The following poem was written by a woman in the Schenectady County Jail. It is printed here by permission of the author.


I swear it could be four-thirty somewhere

On this planet of mine“Elsewhere”

I’m presently stuck here-existing somewhere

Enveloped in this lair so rare I am afraid yet I show no fear

In this world of mine-“Elsewhere”


Relocated from my family; my mother and the six she bear

Spiritually my soul holds them here; truthfully they are distant

However, emotionally they’re so near-right here

Do you hear? I am locked in another reality, an unusual entity

Where wormholes of darkness enlightens various undiscovered mysteries

Those theories that only I and I can share

Everywhere out there: in this realm of mine “Elsewhere”


Lost and alone; trooping this bid on my own

I am the heiress to the throne of despair;

Where my inheritance of pain: generated by generations

Causes, souls, mates, and streams of burning tears

That presents a bloodline of rain, sorrows of washed-up cheers

Relating to the dry promise of knowing all fears

My wits are dehydrated, deprived beyond my ambience so sincere

My heaven is out there-out there somewhere

Floating adrift to nowhere: in this galaxy of mine “Elsewhere”


This dead veracity is linked sadistically to depths of hell’s sear

Unbelievably, this dominion is way too much for me to bear

I am sightless yet some how I stare: I am driverless yet still I steer

I am utterly focused nevertheless it is all unclear

I am gentle; nonetheless I am harsh so please beware

Stand clear of my presence with its artic air

32 degrees below zero my heart’s temperature killed, chilled in my icy atmosphere

Cold hearted, ice aged, freedom where? In this world of mine “Elsewhere”


I feel I am here somewhere, but where?

Strangers, lovers, familiars, la familia-certainly no one cares

Living a beginning end’s in a snare, for unknown reasons of me being here

Why am I here? Enigmatic questions with no answers to share

I am the epitome of stupidity-criticized by my mirrors glare

Mesmerized by the latest fashion wears, vanity, drugs, and beer

Nowhere is everywhere, basking in shadows flare

I’m violated, and vaporized, cause from radiated tears

Did I not pay my fare? Do I actually exist here-somewhere?

Or am I just a speck of dust, a mite so mere?

Somewhere on this planet of mine elsewhere…










     Gregg & Elizabeth Varno                 11/3

     Norman & Charline Hoffmann         11/4

     F. William & Florence Walker         11/5

     Jim & Cheryl Syta                           11/23

     Alfred & Katharine Lowe                11/24

     Ralph & Doreen May                      11/25

     Eugene & Mary Whitney                 11/28

     Scott & Noreen Jurgensen               11/28




     Nicholas Stewart                             11/2

     Zachary Price                                  11/6

     Eric Kilbourn                                   11/8

     Wayne Reedy                                  11/9

     Rebecca Dominguez                        11/12

     Olivia Jaquith                                   11/13

     Meghan Bauer                                 11/14

     Emily Marshall                                 11/17

     Andrew Marshall                             11/17

     James Pierce                                   11/18

     Jesse Dipley                                    11/19

     Deborah O’Connor                         11/19

     Jonathan Rizzo                                 11/19

     Isabella Dewhurst                            11/25

     Margaret Elizabeth Lundquist           11/28

     Liz Stevens                                      11/30

     Carole Merrill-Mazurek                   11/30

   Travis Reedy                                   11/30


If a birthday or anniversary is missing or incorrect

for you or anyone in your family, please contact

the office (346-6241).



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

 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

                                    Glenn Kaler


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.