Summer Issue 
June 2009

in this issue

A. From Father James

B. School Days

C. More News

D. More Activities and Dates

Shield Dear Friends,

Measuring growth; door jambs have done a pretty good job of marking growth when my kids were little.  We would stand against the woodwork balancing a measuring stick against the top of the head and notch the molding with a pencil.
Then there's the growth of the spirit; it's not so easily charted, but it is still visible from the first weeks of bible study, through the many occasions of worship, to the fellowship activities that mark the beginning of summer.
In the fifty days that followed the Resurrection of Jesus, the community that had gathered around him had plenty of time to reflect upon its life.  On several occasions Jesus is reported to have appeared to them and to have taken part in the events of the moment.  It is difficult to determine just how literally we are to read these accounts, though there can be no doubt that we are to accept them as the reality of those who reported them.  One thing is clear: in each of those post-Resurrection appearances the community learns something about itself and marks its growth in a significant way.  If we focus too closely upon the person of Jesus, and the miraculous supernatural dimensions of his appearing, we miss the equally important and miraculous evidence of the community's growth.
The evidence around Saint Stephen's, while less dramatic, is no less impressive.  We continue to grow in so many ways.  This summer, as we reflect upon what we have shared, take a moment to chart your own growth.  Look for the marks that our life has made upon you and know that you have made your mark here.




Are You Interested In Becoming A Member Of St. Stephen's?

THE ANGLICAN ETHOS is a series of four classes that are held in an informal atmosphere and taught by the rector.  For those who are new to the Episcopal Church, or looking for a new spiritual home, this course will provide an introduction to the Church its history, beliefs, worship, and work in the world.
Or, if you were confirmed earlier in life, and wish to renew your commitment at an adult level, consider this course as a part of your continuing Christian education.  The course is required for all who wish to be confirmed or received into the church.
These classes will be held on Sunday afternoons at 12:00 p.m. beginning on May 3rd.  New members will be welcomed on Sunday, May 24th. 

                            HOME COMMUNION
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.

                              ADULT EDUCATION

                                    Bible Study Continues
                                         June, July and August 2009

For the months of June through August the rector will lead a Bible Study after the Thursday morning service of Eucharist and Healing, beginning at 10:45 a.m.  The study focuses upon the second half of the New Testament, including the Book of Revelation. Everyone is most welcome to join this study.

CRTC logo  



Stewardship and Fundraising
in Tough Economic Times

 Thursday, June 24, 9a - 4p   Stewardship in Tough Economic Times
      Friday, June 25, 9a - 4p   Fundraising in Tough Economic Times
Timothy L. Seiler, Ph.D., CFRE and Rev. William Enright, Ph.D.
Don't miss this incredible opportunity to learn from two of the leading voices of faith and giving.  Thursday will be spent exploring the many facets of stewardship and developing a culture of giving.  Friday will be spent exploring more specifics of fund raising for special projects and capital campaigns. 
Cost: $150 per day or $250 for both days         Registration deadline:  June 10

Canoeing Through Creation
 Monday September 14, 10:00am - Thursday September 17, 5:00pm
 Camp Fowler

Rev. Kent Busman, Director of Camp Fowler
Renew your spirit with as you contemplate God's good creation on this four-day, three-night wildernedd trip along the Long Lake- Tupper Lake Canoe Route with a small group of others.
Cosr: $300 includes gear and food, limited space
       Registration deadline: August 27 (Space limited)

Safe Talk
 Saturday, September 19, 9a - 1p
Melanie Puorto
, NYS Office of Mental Health
This timely and important introductory suicide prevention workshop will explore warning signs and early intervention techniques.
Cost: $50 by August 14; $60 thereafter
       Registration deadline: September 3
Generational Dynamics
 Saturday, September 26, 9a - 4p
Andy Chestnut, MSW, MBA, BS
See beyond today's meltdown and connect your church to the future by exploring generations; what they are, why they matter, and why you should care.
Cost: $75 by August 28; $85 thereafter  Registration deadline: September 10

Helping Children Listen to God
 Saturday, October 17, 9a - 4p
 Westminster Presbyterian Church
Barbara Cullum,
Christian Educator & trainer
Use the best of the Godly Play as well as Children and Worship models to grow the spirits of your youngsters.
Cost: $75 by September 18; $85 thereafter  Registration deadline: September 30

Introduction to the New Testament
 Tuesdays, October 13 - December 15, 7p - 9p
Dr. Peter Bedford,
Union College
Explore the unity and diversity of structure, composition, theology as well as historical, social, religious contexts and value in everyday life of New Testament texts.Cost: $225 ($175 audit)       Registration deadline: September 28

Freedom and Responsibility:
Preaching Galatians and 1 Corinthians
 Thursday & Friday, October 22 & 23, 9a - 3p
Rev. Dr. Richard Carlson

, LTS Gettysburgh
Explore the Christian freedomw and Responsibility empowered by the Holy Spirit in lectionary epistle texts. Cost: $155 by September 24; $175 thereafter
       Registration deadline: October 8

Introduction to World Religions: Islam
 Saturday, October 31, 9a - 12p
A unique experience to learn first hand from a faith leader, tour the religious space, and dialogue.
Cost: $45      Registration deadline: October 15

Overview of World Religions
 Saturday, October 31, 12:30p - 5p
Br. Linh Hoang, OFM, PhD, Siena College
Gain an understading of your neighbors and the world wit hthis comprehensive overview.
Cost: $50 by October 2, $60 therea       Registration deadline: October 15

Boundary Awareness
 Thursday, November 5, 9a - 4p
This popular workshop is required by numerous denominations.  It explores role relationship tensions inherent in any form of ministry and the setting of healthy boundaries. 
Cost: $80       Registration deadline: November 20

Watch our website and newsletter for information on these and
many other courses coming in 2009.

Scholarships are available for all classes; please contact us for an application.
Register online or by phone:   www.capitalrtc.org

                          SAY IT WITH A BOOK
You are invited to express yourself by donating a new book to the Church Libraries.  Each donated book will display a label with the donor's name and personal message.

This is the perfect opportunity to....

  > celebrate your child or grandchild's birthday
  > show appreciation for a job well done
  > say thank you to a church school teacher or other parish leader
  > share an interest
  > remember a loved one
  > celebrate a holiday
  > make sure a favorite book is in the library

All friends members of Saint Stephen's congregation are welcome to become involved in this venture.  It's a great way to help our library grow.

                   The next time you have something to say....
                                SAY IT WITH A BOOK.

             General information contact the parish office 346-6241.
                                      THANK YOU!


  Sunday school update

Thank you to all of the families that have participated in Sunday school this year.  I am looking forward to a fun end of the program year. 
On June 7th we will have regular Sunday school. 
Our last day of Sunday school is June 14th.  Preschoolers through 6th graders will meet in the community room at 9:00am for an end of the year celebration.  On the 14th, we will have a short Sunday school class during the 10:15 service.
A great big thank you goes to the teachers who are working (and playing) with our children and youth throughout the year:
Melinda Renken, Brian Riordon, and Dawn Tonneau are helping each other teach the prek-k group.
Dave Crates and Richey Woodzell teach the 1st-3rd graders.
Allison de Kanel and Peter Nelson teach the 4th-6th graders.
George Woodzell teaches the youth group.
Many, many others help with "behind the scenes" parts of Sunday school.  That is also very important and appreciated.
Being involved in the Sunday school program is a great way to to experience our church community first hand.  We can't have a program without volunteer teachers.  If you are interested in helping out with the Sunday school program in any way next year, please let me know.  We can find a place where you will fit. 

You and your children are always welcome to come to Sunday school.

Here are Sunday school times and places:

Preschool / kindergarten group meets after the children's sermon during the 10:15 service in the basement nursery school rooms for about ½ hour. 

First, second and third grade group meets from 9:00-10:00am in the basement nursery school rooms.

Fourth, fifth and sixth grade group meets from 9:00-10:00am.  This group will begin in the basement and then go to the tower after the opening activities.

Youth group (7th-12th grade) meet the younger ones in the basement at 9:00.  We would love the help.

Please contact me if you have any concerns or questions.

 Laura Davis


Help Wanted:  Nursery Care Provider on Sunday Mornings

We have not heard from anyone within our parish that might be interested in Nursery Care.  Our next step is to go outside our church in the hopes of finding a care provider on Sunday mornings during the 10:15 service. 
If you know of anyone that may be interested in this paid ministry, please let Laura Davis know.
Pam Guthrie has been serving in the nursery for 2 years and can not continue because of her work hours.  We will miss Pam in the nursery.  Thank you Pam!

We're Surfin' Through the Scriptures!!

 It's a beach party this year at Bible school and you are all invited.   
     Vacation Bible School (VBS) is the week of July 6th to July 10th.  The program is 9:15-noon at Union Presbyterian Church.  Friday evening, July 10th at 6:30pm, we will meet at St. Stephen's Church to share dinner, worship and celebrate the week.  

If your children would like to participate, you can fill out a registration form which is at the "shop" and put it in the VBS basket. To participate in VBS, it's best to be between 3 years and 11 years of age.  Anyone 11 years through 99 years is welcomed to join in the fun by volunteering.

     We need "lifeguards" to guide the children during the week of VBS.  No advanced prep is needed.  Youth or adults can sign up.

     We also would love a few youth to help out in the Bible study room to act out the Bible stories for the kids.  The children are a great audience.  It's a fun experience.

     If you would like to help with Bible school this year, please sign up at the shop or see Laura Davis about specifics.

Thank you.

* * * Resurrection Pageant - A Success!!* * *

On May 17th, the Sunday school children and many of their teachers presented a resurrection pageant to the church during the 10:15 service.  We had fun and learned a thing or two as well.  Because we tried to keep it simple, no program was created acknowledging those who participated.  It's never too late for acknowledgment! 

Thank you to all that participated and to the parents that brought their children to the rehearsal the Saturday before.
Pageant narrator:  Melinda Renken
Curtain People:  Izzy Varno and Andrei Crates
Dove Dude:  Sam Holcombe
Marys:  Izzy Varno and Lily Holcombe
Angel:  Suzie Davis
Jesus:  Clark Davis
Walking Disciples:  Peter Nelson and Andrei Crates
All of the Disciples:  Ganon Riordon, Brody Riordon, Chloe Tonneau, Juliette Syta, Sierra Renken, Brett Howe, Suzie Davis, Eric Kilbourn, Izzy Varno, Sam Holcombe, Clark Davis, Andrei Crates, Lily Holcombe, Peter Nelson, Richey Woodzell, and Allison de Kanel
Helping Friends:  Sierra Renken, Andrei Crates, and Sam Holcombe
Sharing Friends:  Izzy Varno, Clark Davis, and Juliette Syta
Gospel Holder:  Brett Howe
Easter Garden presenters:  Sierra Renken - Reader
                                              Sam Holcombe and Andrei  - Holders
Baptismal symbol presenters:  Lily Holcombe - reader
                                         Izzy Varno - holder
Banner presenters:
       Narrator:  Dave Crates
       Readers:  Chloe Tonneau, Juliette Syta, Suzie Davis, Sam Holcombe
                          Andrei  Crates, Lily Holcombe,
and Sierra Renken.
       Pointers:  Izzy Varno and Clark Davis
Behind the scenes help was provided by Paul de Kanel who set up the microphones, Richey Woodzell and MaryFrances Hatfield who helped to write the scripts, and Ellen Ormsbee and John Howe who helped the kids before and during the presentation.



Change in Messenger Distribution!
No longer a USPS mailing list.

Messenger paper copies will be available in church for people without email.

In order to save on postage, and printing, and the environment, we will only mail the Messenger to people who are homebound, or otherwise unable to make it to church.
Each month, electronic copies of the Messenger are emailed to everyone who has given us an email address. 

                Please send us your email address if you haven't yet!
If you have changed your email address, or wish to add an address for someone, please contact Chris Jones. (chris@saintstephenschenectady.org)
This step is meant as responsible financial and environmental stewardship.
                  Your assistance and understanding are appreciated.

   We will be sending the Sunday Bible readings by email
             on Wednesday or Thursday each week.

We recently started to send email notices to our lectors: those lay persons who read the lessons and lead the reading of the psalm, and to our chalice bearers: those who distribute the wine at the altar rail.  We reminded them of their assignments, and provided copies of the Sunday lessons.
It occurred to us that it might be helpful for everyone at St. Stephen's Church to get a preview of the Bible readings.  So that's what we're going to do. We hope you can take a few minutes each week to read the Biblical passages, and look forward to participating in the service on Sunday morning. 

Chris Jones

    VESTRY MEETING UPDATE - May 11, 2009
Financial Reports
Denise Crates presented the financial reports for April, 2009.  Utilities and office expenses remain a concern.  However we are now in the warm weather months and it is hoped that the utilities will begin to even themselves out over the remainder of the year. A significant portion of the office expense has had to do with computer repairs, renewal of the copier lease, and bulk purchases (paper, etc).  Since these are not regularly recurring expenses, this category should stabilize as the year progresses.
Sid Woodcock proposed an expenditure for outside flowers which was approved.  The Vestry continues to be aware of the our financial situation and closely monitors income and expense each month.  It is likely that the Finance Committee will do a mid-year in-depth review and possible modification of our budget.
Members of the congregation are encouraged to direct any questions regarding our financial situation to either of the Wardens or any Vestry member.
Buildings and Grounds
Reid House

The Zoning Board of Appeals turned down our request to make Reid House into a Nursery.  Currently, the property is zoned residential and we were seeking a variance from the zoning ordinance.  Various options are being explored.  These include among others developing other uses for Reid House that would comply with the current zoning laws and/or appealing the Zoning Board's decision.  The Vestry commits to keeping the congregation informed
Adopt A Spot
There continues to be a positive response to the Adopt-A-Spot program.  Volunteers have signed up to clean many of the areas in the church, thru the end of June.  Please check the sign up sheets in the Parish Hall extension to "adopt" your own spot".  Cleaning supplies and equipment are available in the janitor's closet, next to the bathroom nearest to the kitchen.  The church is open Saturday mornings from 9:30 - 11:30 for cleaning, and Sundays after the 10:15am service.
Please contact the Parish Office M-F between 9-1 (346-6241) or Barbara Wisnom (371-6187) if you need access to the church at other than the regularly scheduled times.
Front Steps
It was brought to the attention of the Vestry that the concrete steps at the front entrance of the church are crumbling and in need of repair.  In addition to this being an aesthetical issues, it also presents a safety hazard.  Fr. James will contact the individual that has done concrete repair for us in the past, so the situation may be rectified as soon as possible.
Building Project
The Vestry will meet on June 2nd to review the status of the building project.  Possible options for building and the financial situation will be a part of the discussion.  As soon as the Vestry reaches a conclusion about this project, the congregation will be informed.  We ask your prayers as we continue with this.
A proposal was put forth to change the process of nominations for Vestry.  The proposal was agreed to and, in accordance with our recently passed Bylaws, will be voted on at the June Vestry Meeting.
At the present time, the "outgoing" class of 3 Vestry members constitutes the Nominations Committee.  However, if one of these three individuals decides s/he wants to run for a 2nd term, then they would have to step down as a member of the committee (one cannot nominate oneself).
The proposed change simply changes the make-up of the Committee to the "middle" class, which is made of the three Vestry members who are completing the end of the their 2nd year on the Vestry.
If anyone has a question about this change, speak to one of the Wardens or any Vestry member.
New Business
As Norman Hoffmann recently had surgery, an alternate delegate to the Diocesan Convention was appointed by the Vestry to take Norman's place in the event he has not recovered sufficiently to attend.  The alternate is Peter Nelson.  Thank you, Peter, for being willing to serve.
That's it for the April meeting.  "See" you next month.
Contact Barbara Wisnom for questions, feedback or suggestions at 371-6187
or bwisnom@nycap.rr.com

                                     VESTRY MEETINGS
Vestry meetings are open to all members of the congregation.  Vestry meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30pm in the basement of the Parish Hall.
On very rare occasion, the Vestry may need to meet in "Executive Session" to discuss a confidential matter, and the congregation is not able to be.
Feel free to contact any member of Vestry at any time if you have questions about what goes on at Vestry meetings, or if you have something you would like to bring before the Vestry for discussion.
Please note the Vestry does not meet in July or August.


                               ADOPT A SPOT

        We do not have the services of a Sexton (janitor) at St. Stephen's.
                             We all want a clean Church.
                              When we share the work
                              things go more smoothly
                            things seem more effortless
                                     we have fun
                                we build community
             Come together as a community to make St. Stephen's
                  the cleanest church in Schenectady!
       Families and/or groups of individuals "Adopt A Spot" to clean.
                              The Church supplies
                       equipment & cleaning supplies.
           list of what needs to be done (dust, sweep, mop, etc.)
Families and/or individuals sign up to clean their "favorite" spot so it "sparkles".
   Sign up for as few or as many spots as you want to and have time for.
                      a one-time "sparkling spot" event
                                a 2 week period
                                     a month
                                     a quarter
                         whatever fits your schedule
                                    CLEANING TIMES
                                   Saturday mornings
                             Sundays after Coffee Hour.
 If neither of these times work for you, contact Barbara Wisnomor Rocky Bonsal
                to make arrangements for the church to be open.
                                    HOW TO SIGN UP
Sign up sheets are in the Parish Hall Extension right next to the poster describing
                                      Adopt A Spot

               Addiction & Alcoholism Program
A special thanks go out to Tricia Stampfli, Executive Director of the New Choices Recovery Center (formerly the Schenectady County Council on Alcoholism) and Father Michael Hogan, a New Choices Board member, for an extremely informative talk on addiction and alcohol.
The format was an informal question and answer session.  Member s of the congregation who were able to join us had many questions, ranging from "can this be cured" to "what are the warning signs of addiction".  We learned that addiction to anything, be it alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, or anything similar is a disease.  Ms. Stampfli & Father Hogan spoke of the recent research in addiction and how it has helped to work in more positive ways with people who have addictions.  They stressed that a person must have a desire to change their behavior and must learn new ways of living and of making different choices.  In spite of the research that points to the fact that addiction is actually a brain chemistry issue, people with addiction still face a great deal of challenges with those who feel they are weak or immoral.  We learned that what works best is compassion and non-judgment.  The addicted person must learn to take a hard look at him or her self and commit to changing.  The people around them must also learn new, healthier ways of living and dealing with the person in recovery.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to Ms. Stampfli and Fr. Hogan for so generously giving us their time and educating us about this critical issue affecting our society.
As an interesting side note, at the triennial convention of the national Episcopal church this year in July, one of the resolutions before the delegates is a proposal for each diocese to have a "Recovery Sunday" in which special prayers are offered for those in recovery and those whose lives have been affected by addiction; and a time to present educational offerings on the subject of addiction.  Go to www.episcopalchurch.org/gc2009 for more details.
For more information about addiction, go to the New Choices Recovery Center website - www.newchoicesrecovery.org.  Another informative website set up by the national Episcopal Church is www.episcopalrecovery.org. Barbara Wisnom



Yes, it's that time of year again - workcamp shares go on sale soon, so be prepared!This year we have shares in exciting new colors and thrilling denominations. Be the first in your neighborhood to own some of these coveted shares, and you'll receive a prize - you'll be the first owner of some shares . . . in your neighborhood.
Remember: all proceeds from the sale of these shares helps pay for the youth group trip to workcamp this summer.

              END OF YEAR PICNIC - June 14th - 11:30am

In the Episcopal church (and probably in other churches as well), our "year" ends in June.  And of course, we have to celebrate.  One of the ways we do that at St. Stephen's is to party!  And at this time of year there is no better way to do that than with a picnic.
Plan to be a part of the fun on Sunday, June 13 immediately following the 10:15am service.  We provide the hot dogs, burgers, buns, condiments and drinks.  You provide your favorite salad, munchie or dessert.  We'll have games for the kids and promise good fellowship and good food.
Questions:  Contact Liz Varno at
gvarno@nycap.rr.com  or  346-5370.

                Counters' Schedule

               July - December 2009
         Date     Group               Date          Group
         July                          October
              5........B                         4........E
             12........C                       11........A
             19........D                       18........B
             26........E                        25.......C

      August                        November
               2........A                          1.......D
               9........B                          8........E
              16.......C                         15........A
              23.......D                         22........B
              30.......E                          29.......C

   September                       December
                6........A                         6........D
               13........B                        13.......E
               20........C                        20.......A
               27........D                        27........B

  Group A                   Group B                          Group C
Doreen May          Millie Gittinger              Judy Versocki
Ralph May            Don Molino                   Diana Belardo
Joan Halstead        Sondra Grady              Bob Voelker

    Group D                  Group E                         Substitute
Marilyn Causey      Pauline Northrop             Marti Spang
Denise Crates        Louise Peake
Austin Spang         Deborah O'Connor

Belardo....783-9730            Molino........372-7149
Causey....372-2469            Northrop.....785-9465
Crates......373-9657           O'Connor.....374-6641
Gittinger...377-0671            Peake........374-0480
Grady.......393-5803           Spang........393-2859
Halstead...346-8160            Versocki.....393-0783
May.........346-2818            Voelker.......877-0816

If you are a Counter, and you cannot count on your scheduled Sunday, please find your own substitute.


                                    USHERS NEEDED

We're looking to expand our Ushers group for the 10:15am service.  And we'd like you to pray about volunteering for this ministry. Ushering is an easy yet fulfilling way to be a good Steward, as you give back to St. Stephen's of your time.
It only involves your time during the service.  No extra meetings or activities.  And we'll schedule you with an experienced Usher who will show you the ropes.  You can volunteer once a week, once a month or once a year.  It's up to you.
Oh, and by the way, this is an "all gender" ministry - not just limited to the men!
                                       Curious?  Interested? 

Contact either Norman Hoffmann (377-5851) or Barbara Wisnom (371-6187; bwisnom@nycap.rr.com


                Graduating and Beginnin Anew!
Gordon Jaquith is graduating from the University of Rochester.  He'll be working as a contract negotiator at the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, VA.

Linah Rusere is graduating from Union College.  After a summer internship with Bristol-Myers Squibb in NJ, she'll be entering a doctoral program in organic chemistry at Purdue University.
Nick Reed is graduating from Niskayuna HS and will attend Marymount College in Palos Verdes, CA, majoring in history.  He hopes to join the Peace Corps and teach.

Ethan Brooks-McDonald is graduating from Schenectady HS and will attend Bates College in Lewiston, ME.

Tom Casale is graduating from Schenectady HS and will attend Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY.

Ben Boese is graduating from Schenectady HS and will attend Schenectady Community College.

Lea Scafidi is graduating Niskayuna HS and hopes to go to Univ. California at Santa Cruz, if she can manage scholarships etc

Laura Pratico is graduating from Niskayuna HS and will be attending Clarkson University.

Our heart felt congratulations go out to each of you!

Richey Woodzell

                    ADOPT A SPOT


Below are the areas that still need to be adopted:
 > the Parish Hall extension (needs a good sweeping weekly; dusting every
     couple of weeks)
 > the Nave of the Church (needs general straightening and pick up; carpet
     needs vacuuming; window sills need periodic dusting)
> Garner Ave Entrance & Stairs (need sweeping every couple of weeks;
      mopping about once a month, depending on weather)
> the Narthex & stairs at the main entrance (needs sweeping every couple of
     weeks; dusting every couple of weeks; mopping about once a month weather
     depending; throwing away dead flowers)
> Girls & Boys bathrooms downstairs
> Community Room, downstairs (vacuuming, sweeping the floor, some dusting)
> Parish Hall (sweeping weekly, especially after Coffee Hour; mopping once a
     month or so; general pick up)
> Downstairs Hallway (sweeping at least weekly; mopping every couple of
     weeks, depending on the weather)
> Choir Room (vacuuming, general straightening)
> Kitchen (sweeping after Coffee Hour each week; mopping about once a month;
     Coffee Hour host/hostesses do thorough clean up each Sunday)
> Parish Office (vacuum weekly; clean bathroom about every other week; keep
     floor in work room clean)
Barbara Wisnom - 371-6187; bwisnom@nycap.rr.com


ERD Logo May Edition of The Power of Partnerships and Friends of Episcopal Relief & Development Web Series

The current hostilities in Sri Lanka between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have intensified the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the country.  Reports continue of death and injury to civilians trapped in the main conflict zone in the northeast of the country while the humanitarian resources other areas are being strained by the high number of people fleeing the hostilities.

As a result of the fighting, local infrastructure and communication systems have been destroyed. Initial reports indicate an urgent need for basic items to assist Internally Displaced People (IDP), which number at least 230,000 according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. 

Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Diocese of Colombo in response to the IDP emergency.  Both entities are providing shelter, bedding, food, water and medical assistance to displaced people in camps and a hospital. Episcopal Relief & Development will strengthen its response as the situation unfolds.

"Our local partners are continuing to provide invaluable relief services in very difficult circumstances as the humanitarian crisis deepens in the conflict-affected regions," said Nagulan Nesiah, Episcopal Relief & Development Program Officer for Asia.  "We are moved by the commitment and stand in solidarity with their efforts."

To make a contribution to help people worldwide, please donate to Episcopal Relief & Development online at www.er-d.org , or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.

                      Book Review by Allison de Kanel
Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief, by Rowan Williams
This year's Sunday evening Lenten Study was based on Marianne H. Mick's Book, Loving the Questions, which explores the Nicene Creed, the history of its development, how it was understood in its original context, and how we are to understand it today.
The discussion was lively. As the weeks went on, it seemed to me that there were at least two different approaches to the Nicene Creed: one that was analytical and logical, and another that was more meditative and poetic. I would summarize the first approach as wondering, "how much of the Creed can I say without crossing my fingers behind my back?" and the second approach as wondering, "God is big, I'm not, it's a mystery, so why couldn't this be true?" Full disclosure here: I fall into the second set.
The experience of this study inspired me to go back and reread Tokens of Trust, a book on Christian belief by Rowan Williams. Dr. Williams is the current archbishop of Canterbury, and his speeches and his writings can be rather dense. But this book is based on a series of talks presented in Canterbury Cathedral during Holy Week, 2005, so the content is fairly accessible.
Dr. Williams' book fits neither of the two approaches I described above. He uses the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed to structure his book, discussing God, creation, Jesus, and so on, but his approach considers the very word "belief" as meaning something other than pure intellectual assent. He points out that the words "I believe in one God" might remind us of questions like "Do you believe in ghosts?" or UFO's, or the Loch Ness monster, but that isn't what they originally meant or should mean to us. The meaning is closer to what I mean when I say I believe in my husband. I have confidence in him. I trust him. For Dr. Williams, the Creed is "a series of statements about where I find the anchorage of my life, where I find solid ground, home."
Dr. Williams discusses why we might consider God trustworthy before he even approaches the question, is any of this is actually true? Does God exist? He admits that he doesn't have the decisive argument to prove the existence of God: instead, he points to the examples of believing people who are themselves trustworthy. Indeed, as his discussion proceeds, he makes the point that Jesus himself "is supremely the one who makes God credible, trustworthy."
The book is enriched throughout by a carefully selected series of illustrations: some works of art by the Welsh artist David Jones, and various other photographs that support the text. The images are striking.
Rather than quoting half the book, I encourage you to read it. A copy has been donated to the church library.



Wedding Anniversaries and Birthdays


Bill Frank........... 6/1
Robert Manor..... 6/1
Chloe Tonneau... 6/2
Robert Voelker.... 6/2
David Caruso...... 6/4
June Hatlee........ 6/5
Ellen Ormsbee..... 6/5
Barbara Adams.... 6/7
Joseph Beardsley. 6/10
JP Murphy-Nolan.. 6/11
Phoebe Redmond.. 6/12
Charlie Mertz....... 6/13
Bonita Bailey....... 6/14
Stephen Gray...... 6/14
Madeline Olberg.... 6/14
Carsten Renken.... 6/14
Diana Belardo....... 6/12
Josephine Jones.... 6/18
Karen Smith......... 6/18
Meghan Bauer....... 6/18
Al Lowe............... 6/20
Benjamin Claus...... 6/22
Donald Humphrey... 6/22
Britta Kilbourn....... 6/22
Joseph Tonneau.... 6/22
Chris Murphy......... 6/23
Darcy Pratt........... 6/25
Ann Walraven........ 6/25
Salvatore Belardo... 6/27
Jack Luczka.......... 6/27
Laura Davis........... 6/30
Alyssa Koreman...... 6/30
Charles Trawick...... 6/30
Scott Moss............ 6/30
Patrick Trant...........  7/1
Hoagy Walker........... 7/1
Carrie Trant ............ 7/2
J. Keith Nelson.........  7/3
Everett Schierenbeck. 7/8
Mary Davis..............  7/9
Joan Moss...............  7/9
Marian Sevinsky........  7/9
Dawn Tonneau..........  7/9
Doreen May.............  7/10
Judith Versocki ......... 7/10
Gillian Woodcock........ 7/12
James McDonald......... 7/13
William Smith.............. 7/15
Andrea Worthington..... 7/15
Michael Bishop............ 7/16
Gaye Mertz................ 7/16
Austin Spang.............. 7/16
Jean Versocki............. 7/17
Larry Levine............... 7/19
Jean Hadley................ 7/21
Christopher Jones........ 7/21
Oto Jones.................. 7/25
George Woodzell.......... 7/25
Garret Pierce.............. 7/26
Ryan Huneau............. 7/28
Connor Wolff............. 7/29
Molly Ormsbee............ 7/31
Jeanette Claus............. 8/1
Brody Riordan..............  8/1
Kieran Templeton.......... 8/1
Cindy Reedy.................. 8/5
Jean Greenspan............. 8/5
Peter Sombor................. 8/5
Robert Chapman............. 8/6
Pauline Holmes............... 8/6
Sydney Bailey................. 8/7
Suzanne Taylor............... 8/7
Julia Smith.................... 8/14
John Goldthwaite............ 8/15
Daniel Emaelaf................ 8/16
Ganon Riordan................. 8/16
Mildred Santer................. 8/18
Polly Mathews................. 8/18
Brandon Anthony.............. 8/19
Angela Strong.................. 8/19
Stacy DeBritz................... 8/20
Emily Mertz...................... 8/20
David Dare....................... 8/22
Melinda Renken................. 8/23
Daniel Koch...................... 8/24
Alannah Mykoo.................. 8/24
Richey Woodzell................. 8/26
Cadence Brennan............... 8/27
Madeline Denofio................ 8/28
Glenn Kaler........................ 8/29
Wendy Koreman.................. 8/29
Mary Whitney..................... 8/30
Lucy Clark & Stephen Sombor.... 6/1
Diana & Salvatore Belardo........ 6/12
Patricia & Christopher Jones...... 6/12
Diane & K.Scott Kilbourn........... 6/15
Ann & A. Emile Walraven........... 6/15
Janet & William Schlansker........ 6/19
Michael & Stacy DeBritz........... 6/20
Mildred & Clark Gittinger........... 6/20
Dawn & Glenn Kaler................. 6/20
Linda & Belachew Emaelaf......... 6/22
Susan & Jack Feyrer................ 6/22
Marti & Austin Spang............... 6/22
Wendy & Gene Koreman............ 6/26
Tracy & Jim Ormsbee................ 6/26
Pat & Bob Hagen..................... 6/28
Amy & Scott Soulé.................... 7/5
Shirley & Robert Voelker............ 7/10
Gaye & Charlie Mertz................ 7/16
Carolyn & Richard Morin............ 7/19
Julie & Brian Bailey.................... 7/21
Marilyn & James Dare................ 7/28
Lorie & David Kelley.................. 7/30
Dawn & Benoit Tonneau.............. 8/1
Susie & Tim Olsen...................... 8/2
Chris Murphy & Kelly Nolan.......... 8/3
Jean & Owen Greenspan............. 8/5
Cindy & Wayne Reedy................ 8/6
Mary & Eber Davis..................... 8/9
Karen & William Smith................. 8/9
Marilyn & Donald Humphrey........ 8/13
Polly & Richard Mathews............ 8/18
Mary & Ronald Michelson............ 8/25
Deborah & Charles Trawick......... 8/25
Joanne & Bill Frank.................... 8/26
Suzanne & David Taylor............. 8/28
Kathy & Tom Miller.................... 8/31

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
1935 The Plaza
Schenectady, New York   12309

Church Staff 
The Rev. Dr. James R. McDonald, Rector
The Rev. Patricia L. Jones, Deacon
Dr. Timothy Olsen, Director of Music
The Vestry
Sr Warden, Rocky Bonsal
Jr Warden, Barbara Wisnom
Class of 2009:
Melinda Renkin
Tracy Ormsbee
Glenn Kaler
Class of 2010:
Sid Woodcock
Susan Feyrer
Peter Nelson
Class of 2011:
Austin Spang
Tracy Schierinbeck
Carole Merrill-Mazurek
Serving without Vote:
Clerk: Elizabeth Levine
Treasurer: Denise Crates
 Chancellor: Rosemarie Jaquith
The Church Office
Our office is located at 1229 Baker Avenue.
The telephone number is (518) 346-6241
The office fax number is (518) 346-6242
If we are unable to answer your call, please leave a message.
We will call you back as soon as possible.
Our email is:  office@saintstephenschenectady.org
The Rector's email is:  jbrooksm@nycap.rr.com
Our website is www.saintstephenschenectady.org
The Messenger is published September - June.
Please submit articles to Larry Levine, at messenger@saintstephenschenectady.org