The Messenger

St. Stephen's Church

October, 2009: All Saints Issue

Dear Friends,

 When a church is blessed with wonderful resources, as Saint Stephen's is, teaching good stewardship is a challenge. Many people are not aware that our day-to-day parish programs depend on pledges and the need for giving is often not self-evident to parishioners. As a consequence, those of us at Saint Stephen's must consciously and deliberately learn stewardship, and we are perhaps challenged more than others to introduce our people to the theology of what it is to be a good steward of God's creation.
In my 20 years as rector of Saint Stephen's, this challenge has forced us to discern the difference between three concepts of giving: charity, fund-raising, and pledging.  Behind all of these can be an attitude of entitlement or of stewardship.

Charity is profoundly experienced by those of us at Saint Stephen's.  Whenever a need beyond the congregation is presented to us, we give very generously.  Charity is a response to a crisis or an immediate need. It sees the victims and their needs and responds with gift-giving. The heroic efforts of  Schenectady Inner City Ministry speak volumes about this form of giving.

Fund-raising asks us to give to a project such as a building or a capital investment, but rarely to an annual budget. The average parish is some­times tempted to teach fund-raising rather than stewardship. It is a necessary procedure for developing hospitals, schools, and the arts. But if it becomes the norm for raising the annual parish budget, it profoundly diminishes the theology of the old liturgical words at the offertory, "All things come of thee O Lord and of thine own have we given thee."  Our endowment is the result of individuals who have given bequests as an investment in the future of our congregation. 

Over the past year, several people have voiced their opinion to me that it seems imprudent to eliminate the positions of secretary and sexton due to budget constraints, and yet to proceed with plans for an expensive building program. Our budget constraints were due solely to lost pledge revenue, and had nothing to do with fund-raising or our endowment.  With one small exception, St. Stephen's does not use endowment money to pay the annual expenses of church: salaries, energy, programs, etc. Those expenses come from the money that is pledged during our annual pledge drive; to keep activities in our parish going.

And there are two attitudes toward giving.  Entitlement treats the individual as the owner of the money; believing that h/she has a right to everything.  This is the attitude that says, "I worked hard for this money and I will decide how to spend it."
Stewardship in our culture is a radically different way of thinking about giving. Stewardship on the other hand treats God as the owner, and the giver as one who simply returns a portion of what God has given. The Church in its theology offers each of us an opportunity to give out of gratitude. Stewardship is giving with no strings attached. It is related to creation and my place in it. The church says to its people: "God is giving you a chance to give God a gift because you delight in God's very existence and the blessings in your life." The need to give is not a result of the church's need for money. It is rather our need to give. And we call it stewardship!


Becoming a Member at Saint Stephen's
On Sunday, October 11th the rector will begin a series of four Inquirers' classes.  Participants would not be making a commitment of any sort by attending the classes.  They are intended to give you an overview of how Episcopalians fit into the complex of protestant and catholic churches.  Fr. James will be talking about the National Episcopal Church, our own Diocese of Albany, our own parish of St. Stephen's and the relationship among all three. 
Fr. James takes the decision to join a church very seriously.  Therefore he feels that it is incumbent upon him to let visitors know the truth: both what he thinks are wonderful things about our church, and also some not-so-wonderful things.  There is always candid and open discussion.
The classes will be held in an informal atmosphere.  It is required for all adults who wish to be confirmed or received into the church, but is open to all members of the Parish Family.  We will meet on Sunday mornings between Noon and 1:00 p.m. Participants will meet in the parish office, the aluminum sided house on Baker Avenue.  There is limited parking in the office driveway.
Most people who attended the classes have enjoyed them, even if they did not decide to take the important step into formal membership into the congregation.

Confirmation or Reception???
When a new person comes to Saint Stephen's and decides to become a member, s/he usually attends a series of four inquirers' classes.  The purpose of these classes is to talk about what the Episcopal Church in general and Saint Stephen's congregation in particular is like and how it compares to other churches. 
After attending the classes the person has a choice to join the church, or to remain an active supporter.  If the person had been confirmed in another non-Episcopal church, s/he would be 'received' by the Bishop with a laying-on of hands and a prayer.  If the person has never been confirmed in any church, then s/he would be 'confirmed' by the Bishop with a laying-on of hands and a slightly different prayer.  Either way, the person now is considered a member in the Episcopal Church and of Saint Stephen's congregation.  If s/he wishes to change membership to another Episcopal church, a letter will be sent from Saint Stephen's to the other church and the person now would be considered a member of that church.  No confirmation or reception is necessary. 
The next opportunity for reception/confirmation will be at the Cathedral of All Saints on Saturday, October 31. The service begins at 11 AM. Bishop Love will meet with those to be confirmed/received at 10 AM in Pedersen Hall. Since the names of individuals to be confirmed/received are due at the Diocesan Office by October 16, please see Fr. James as soon as possible if you are interested. He will be your sponsor. Those in the current Inquirers' Classes may attend.

Blessing of the Animals and St. Francis of Assisi
On October 4th we celebrate the life and work of St. Francis.  He is probably better known for preaching to birds than for the poverty he embraced in his passion to be like Christ.  Yet, Francis' love of God's creation has given his statue a place in many church and home gardens.
No mere nature lover, Francis saw in nature's paradoxes and mysteries a revelation of the presence of God.  He marveled at the simplicity and obedience of the birds, fishes, rabbits, doves, the falcon who wakened him for Matins, the famous wolf of Gubbio who gave his pledge of peace to Francis and kept it.
Because of St. Francis' connection to God's creation, and especially to animals, a tradition arose in England whereby the parish priest would bless the villagers' animals on St. Francis' Day.  Since Fr. James will be out of town on Oct. 3rd, the parish council thought that the next Saturday would be a good time for St. Stephen's to continual our annual tradition.  Here's how it will work:
On October 10th the congregation and any animals (on leashes!) will gather next to the church behind the parish hall at 10am. WE WILL REMAIN OUTSIDE DURING THE ENTIRE SERVICE.  The rector will begin a brief worship service and then will bless each animal saying:  "O God, who has made all things for yourself, bless, we pray you, this animal; that it may be a source of love and joy to those with whom it dwells."
It's quite a sight!


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.


Sunday Morning Adult Education
Faith & Reason

In this series of classes participants will watch videos in which Bill Moyers explores the complex region between faith and reason, engaging in thoughtful conversations with some of the world's noted writers and thinkers.  The insights that emerge, about the creative process, the importance of myths and stories, and the human condition will afford a lively conversation and inquiry with those who attend.

The month of October will include the following interviews:

10/4  -  No Class - (Fr. James is out of town.)
10/11 - Anne Provoost - Ms. Provoost's interpretive novel In the Shadow of the Ark tells the story of Noah from the perspective of those who aren't chosen to go aboard.  She talks with Moyers about using ancient narratives to find new insight into the human experience.
10/18 - David Grossman - In works such as Someone to Run With and Death as a Way of Life, Grossman has movingly depicted the realities of living in the Holy Land.  Bill Moyers converses with Grossman about his most recent work, The Lion's Honey - a retelling of the Biblical story of Samson with parallels to today's turbulent Middle East conflict.
10/25 - Mary Gordon - Moyers talks with Gordon, author of Final Payments, The Company of Women, and Pearl, about the concept of martyrdom and its connection to rage and despair.  Gordon also explores the negative implications of what she sees as two converging influences in modern society: fundamentalism and consumerism.

All classes are held on Sunday mornings between 9 and 10am beginning on September 20th in the Parish Hall.  The rector will be the discussion leader.


Thursday Morning Bible Study 

Disciple Two - Into The Word Into the World

Into The Word Into The World encourages persons to open themselves to hearing what God has to say to them through the Bible and to be guided into service in the world by Scripture and their study of it.

This thirty-two-week study selects specific portions of Scripture and delves deeper into them. Depth study of Scripture will be the work both of individual members and of the group in its weekly meeting. Equal attention is given to both the Old and New Testament with concentration on four books: Genesis, Exodus, Luke, and Acts (eight lessons on each book). Appropriate connections are made to other parts of Scripture both through reading and study assignments and through commentary in the study manual. Participants will read familiar passages, see them in fresh ways, and anticipate that God will speak through them.

Classes are held on Thursdays from 10:45am to noon in the rector's office.


Extension program -School of Theology, U.of the South in Sewanee, TN.

Those of us called upon to live in a complex world which demands a sophisticated education should expect to receive a proportional preparation in those matters of greatest importance, the faith by which we live. For the church to provide less is to fail in its mission to proclaim the Good News.

Those who embark upon a method of theological reflection find new questions are raised.  Some are surprised, upset and dismayed when they discover that a simple faith may be questioned by complex reasoning..... a questioned and reasoned faith can make us feel uncomfortable, especially when some of our youthful assumptions are questioned.  But this is what illumination and enlightenment are about.

The Education for Ministry (EFM) Program is the theological education extension program of the School of Theology of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.  Completion of the program takes four years, during which participants study the Old and New Testaments, church history, and twentieth century theology.  The purpose is to provide lay members of the church with a comprehensive foundation for understanding and experiencing Christian faith.  Students meet regularly in seminars led by a trained mentor.  Tuition is $ 340 annually.

What can you expect from EFM?  Those enrolled in the program report that EFM has helped them to think theologically, increase their understanding of the Christian heritage, deepen their faith and provide them with a new confidence in their ministry.

EFM will be held on Sunday afternoons from 2pm to 4:30.  An evening or morning class could be organized with a minimum of six participants for the year.  Please see call the parish office if you would like further information about EFM. 

For additional information you might want to talk to current participants: Chris Jones, Diane Reed, Laura Davis, Dennis Wisnom, Jo Adams, or Turdy North.

CRTC logo 




CRTC 7th Anniversary Celebration
Monday, October 5, 2009 · 6 - 9 p.m.
Glen Sanders Mansion, Scotia, NY

"Religious and Theological Dimensions
of Community Service Initiatives

by The Rev. Kevin J. Mullen, O.F.M.
President of Siena College, Franciscan Friar, historian, pastor, chaplain

silent auction & dinner

call: 462-2470

Helping Children Listen to God
 Saturday, October 17, 9a - 4p

 Westminster Presbyterian Church, Albany
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. Reg. deadline: September 30

Introduction to the New Testament
 Tuesdays, October 13 - December 15, 7p - 9p
 Emmanuel-Friedens Church, Schenectady
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
 Carondelet Hospitality Center, Latham
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
 Islamic Center of the Capital District
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
~Sponsored by the Golub Foundation~

 Saturday, October 31, 12:30p - 5p
 Congregation Gates of Heaven, Schenectady
Fr. 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 thereafter  Registration deadline: October 15

Boundary Awareness
 Thursday, November 5, 9a - 4p

  Lynnwood Reformed Church, Schenectady
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:


B. School Days


Church and Children
KIDS' CHAPEL:  Kids' Chapel begins at 10:15 and ends at the Offertory each Sunday.  Kids' Chapel is for children in preschool through 4th grade (older kids are welcomed - they can be helpers!)  We are holding Kids' Chapel in the Parish Hall.  It begins with a short service (a prayer, the Gospel, a Homily, a song and the Peace).  After this the children will divide into groups for a lesson and a simple craft.  We need leaders for the lesson time (3 for each unit).  Thank you to Dawn, Melinda and Dave who have volunteered to serve during the first unit.  Please look at the unit schedule below.  If you can volunteer during any of these units, please let me know.  Very little preparation is required, come and be with our children! 

Unit 1:  Creating Our Chapel (9/27-10/18)
            prek-k  Dawn Tonneau
            1st-2nd  Melinda Renken
            3rd-4th  Dave Crates
Unit 2:  Saints (10/25-11/15)
Unit 3:  Pageant and Christmas (11/22-12/13)
Unit 4:  Old Testament - the focus of this unit will be in the Nov. Messenger (1/10-1/31)
Unit 5:  Serving (2/7-2/28)
Unit 6:  Holy Week and Easter (3/7-3/28)
Unit 7:  Parables  (4/11-5/2)
Unit 8:  Eucharist  (5/9-5/30)
If you have questions, please ask.  Thanks, Laura Davis

Christian Education

All 4th Through 12th Graders! 

Now that Acolyte training is completed, the learning can begin!  Please come to church from 9:00 - 10:00 each Sunday for an hour filled with good conversation, fun and learning.  We are starting our education hour on October 4th.
4th-6th graders' Allison de Kanel and Peter Nelson will be leading the 4th through 6th graders.  Meet in the Parish Hall extension.   Once your group is together, you'll go up to the tower.
7th- 12th graders' George Woodzell and Gloria Kavanah will be leading the 7th through 12th graders.  Your group will meet in the Chapel.
Thank you to Allison, Peter, George and Gloria!
You and your children are always welcome to come to Sunday school.

Please contact me if you have any concerns or questions.

 Laura Davis


Youth Group News

Joining together with Union Presbyterian for our youth group activities is working out very well.  About 30 youth attended our first meeting at Union.  I think we are off to a great start.   If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to myself or George Woodzell.
Laura Davis

Youth Group Schedule
October and November 

Saturday, 10/3/09:  Help out at Union Presbyterian's Bargain Sale, 8:30-2:30 (come when you can)
Tuesday, 10/6/09: Senior high meets at Union at 6:00pm to go to hear Father Joseph Gizone speak at Joshua Mountain (eat dinner at home before).
Sunday, 10/11/09: We'll meet at Union from 5:00-7:00.  The youth have dinner together (provided by a volunteer) and then divide into groups for an activity.
Friday-Saturday, 10/16-17/09: Lockin at Union Pres. - for middle school only
Sunday, 10/25/09: We'll meet at Union from 5:00-7:00.  The youth have dinner together (provided by a volunteer) and then divide into groups for an activity.
Friday, 10/30/09: We'll meet at Union at 6:00pm to go on a haunted hay ride.
Sunday, 11/8/09: We're going bowling.  Details coming soon!
Sunday, 11/15/09, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.: Thanksgiving Basket Preparation at Union
Sunday, 11/22/09: Regular meeting at Union from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  
Sunday 11/29/09: Advent Breakfast & Wreath making at Union from 8:00am until 10:00am. (Thanksgiving Weekend) No Meeting at 5p.m.



A Belated Hang Ten Thank You! 

Vacation Bible School was held the first week of July this summer.  33 kids attended and about thirty youth and adults volunteered.  This was a joint effort with St. Stephen's and Union Presbyterian Churches.  We had a great week with lots of sun, fun and surfing through the Scriptures.  Thank you to everyone to who helped to bring VBS together.  We are already looking forward to next year!

C. More  News
  Jump Back to B. School Days
  Jump Ahead to D. Activities & Dates 



Come together as a community to make St. Stephen's
Families and/or groups of individuals wanted to
"Adopt A Spot" to clean.
Sign up sheets are in the Parish Hall Extension
The Church supplies
equipment & cleaning supplies
Sign up for as few or as many spots as you want to and have time for.
Saturday mornings
Sundays after Coffee Hour.
If neither of these times work for you,

contact Barbara Wisnom or Rocky Bonsal
to make arrangements for the church to be open.




VESTRY MEETING UPDATE -September 14, 2009

Financial Reports

Denise Crates presented the financial reports for July & August, 2009.  
The Vestry discussed a number of the line items in detail.  Overall income and expenses are in line with budgeted projections.  Certain items, such as utilities and office expenses have exceeded what was budgeted, while other items are under budget.
Members of the congregation are encouraged to direct any questions regarding our financial situation to either of the Wardens or any Vestry member.

The audit of our financial statements is almost complete.  Bill Frank has been the main auditor, with help from members of the congregation.  The completed audit will be discussed at the October Vestry meeting.
A meeting of the Finance Committee will be held September 14th.  The purpose of the meeting is to review the status of the 2009 income & expenses and make adjustments to the budget where indicated.  The Committee will report back to the Vestry at the October meeting.
Norman Hoffmann, who recently died, was the longtime Chair of the Finance Committee.  The Vestry acknowledged that his shoes will be hard to fill.  Fr. James announced that Bill Frank has agreed to chair the Finance Committee, and given Bill's background and education, the Vestry feels he is an excellent choice.
The Vestry acknowledged the resignation of Mike Bishop as Chair of the Endowment Committee, as well as that of Dawn Tonneau and Susan Townsend.  Dawn has agreed to stay on until a replacement can be found.
Jack Feyrer, who as Vice-Chair, will step into the role of Chair.  The Committee is being reconstituted and will be meeting soon.
Reid House

The City Planning Commission approved the plans that were resubmitted for the renovation of Reid House.  Certain conditions were imposed (residential appearances) which can easily be met.  We now have a building permit and work is progressing.  The painters have started, and the Over-the-Hill Gang and other church volunteers are working on both inside and outdoor projects.  Preparations are going on for the erection of a handicap ramp at the rear of the house.  Volunteers work on Tuesdays and Saturday mornings. 
Building Project
A Building Committee has been formed consisting of Austin Spang, Laura Davis, Sue & Jack Feyrer, Greg Varno and Bob Voelker.  The Committee has met twice with the architects.
The Vestry commits to keeping the congregation informed as both of these projects progress.
Adopt A Spot
This initiative floundered during the summer months.  New sign up sheets are in the Parish Hall, and articles will appear in upcoming issues of the Messenger.  It is hoped that with renewed publicity, more volunteers will sign up to clean an area of the church and/or Parish Hall.
Parish Hall floors
Fr. James reported that the upstairs and downstairs floors in the Parish Hall were recently stripped and waxed.
Front Steps
Fr. James reported that he is still awaiting bids for repair.  Austin Spang asked that the Building Committee be consulted prior to any repairs being done.
Barbara Wisnom reported that the Nominations Committee will be meeting within the next few weeks.  In addition to Barbara, the Committee consists of Sue Feyrer, Peter Nelson, and Sid Woodcock.
Glen Kaler indicated his interest in running for another term.
This Task Force was formed at the June Vestry meeting.  Rocky Bonsal, Barbara Wisnom & Tracy Schierenbeck presented their report. 
A series of Cottage Meetings and a parish-wide survey will take place during October & early November.  The purpose is to provide opportunities for all members of the congregation to have input in terms of where they see St. Stephen's going over the next 3 years.  We will also be discerning what is really important to us as a congregation and how we define our purpose.  We are calling this initiative "Faith in Our Future - Grow with Our Church" and see this as the first phase.  Once the information has been gathered, it will be summarized and reported back to the Vestry and congregation.  Ultimately, the information will be used to help the Vestry formulate plans and goals for the next 3 years.  Phase II and beyond will be seen as how the goals are rolled out and how they impact our growth.
Vestry members were asked to host a Cottage Meeting.
Look for on-going communication about this is future issues of the Messenger.
1.  Spiritual Leadership
Meeting/Counseling (office or phone) with Parishioners - 11 meetings for 16 hours
Morning Prayer - 10 hours   ++++++     Eucharist (1 baptism) - 14.5 hours
Hospital/Nursing /Home visits - 9 for 10.5 hours
2. Christian Education/Study
Educational Planning for coming Program year - 20 hours
Reading/ Study/ Writing - 30 hours
3. Administrative
Staff meetings - 6 for 9 hours
Correspondence/ Email - 20 hours
Board mtgs. - 4 for 6 hours
Calls on all new members - 1 for 2 hours

Fr. James announced he will be having regular office hours going forward.  He would appreciate it if people made appointments to see him, but that is not a requirement.
Fr. James office hours are
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday - 9:30 - noon
Thursday - 2:00 - 5:00
Fridays are Fr. James day off.
Fr. James reported that the meeting with the Garner and Baker Ave., and Plaza neighbors back in June was very well attended and received.  The neighbors were glad to have been invited, pleased to receive an update on the building plans and to be asked for their input.  We committed to keeping them informed and will have another meeting once plans are more clear.  In addition, one of the neighbors attended a meeting about the moving of the power pole.  Again, this neighbor was appreciative of the opportunity to be included.
Austin Spang has also been keeping the neighbors informed about the on-going projects at Reid House and what the potential impact will be on them.
Capital Campaign
Fr. James and the Wardens are looking at possible chairs or co-chairs.  The thought is to appoint one or two people who would spearhead a Capital Campaign.  During the time the Cottage Meetings are taking place, a committee would then be formed and would engage in the necessary preparations for such a campaign.  Tentative launch for a Capital Campaign would be at the Annual Meeting in January.
Since the Zoning laws in Schenectady preclude having a for-profit Nursery, and since there seems to be a desire to continue this service, the Vestry agreed to evaluate other options.  This will be discussed in more detail at future Vestry meetings.
That's it for the September meeting.  "See" you next month. the next Vestry Meeting is MONDAY, OCTOBER 12th. Contact Barbara Wisnom for questions, feedback or suggestions.



As reported in the September issue of the Messenger, we as a congregation are embarking on a discernment process called "Faith in Our Future - Grow with Our Church".
Although this article may be somewhat repetitive, we feel it is important to remind everyone about what is going on 
The reason for doing this is to:

*  have a clear vision of where we want to go over the next couple of years as a congregation; 
*  be clear about what is important to us;
* collectively understand and be aligned with our purpose as a people who come together to serve and worship God;
* provide a platform from which the current and future Vestries can develop goals and actions that will support us as we move forward, continuing to become the people God is calling us to be.

It has been almost 10 years since we have experienced something like this.  Newer members of St. Stephen's have never had the opportunity.  We believe it's time ~ and timely.  

Starting in October, every member of the congregation will be invited to take part in groups of 8 or less who will meet in homes or at church.  Our focus is to look at where we've been, where we find ourselves today and where we want to go as a congregation.  We'll be celebrating our successes and accomplishments and finding out what we need to change to learn from our mistakes.  Together we will be looking for ways in which we can all have FAITH IN OUR FUTURE and GROW WITH OUR CHURCH 

What we need from you at this point are your prayers for the success of this, your willingness to participate, and your trust in the process.  For that we thank you.

Feel free to speak to Rocky Bonsal, Barbara Wisnom or Tracy Schierenbeck if you want to know more.                    

The New Parish Directory
We have now published a new Paris Directory. If you don't have one, there is a sign-up list in the nave extension (behind the green curtains). Sign you name, and check it off as you pick up your copy so we know you've gotten it.

In the meantime, we're already thinking about keeping it up-to-date. Over the next week or so, directory pages will be laid out on a table in the nave extension so that you can check your family's information. If it's all OK, please initial it. If it needs a correction or two, write in the corrections (clearly, please). If we've neglected you and you're not listed, we have sheets on which you can enter your information. If you know of someone who has left the parish, we would like to know that too, so that we can eliminate their names from future editions. We would be glad to take a new photograph for the directory, or use a photograph which you supply for that purpose.

Please be sure to include your e-mail address, since we are making increasing us of internet services. While we're there, have a peek at our on-line directory.

Chris Jones

This News Letter is E-mailed: St. Stephen's is no longer mass mailing copies.

If possible, the preferred way to get the Messenger to you is by e-mail.

Paper copies are for anyone who needs a paper copy.  If you can manage with e-mail Messengers, please send your e-mail address to

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.
If you have changed your email address, or wish to add an address for someone, please feel free to send aditional e-mail addresses.

Your assistance and understanding are appreciated.

Larry Levine


Book Review -   "The Healing of Amnerica: A global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care." by  T.R. Reid, Penquin Press, 2009. 256 pages plus notes and index. 

A few months ago I watched Charlie Rose interview T.R. Reid about his new book. A startling fact emerged: all of the industrialized countries of the world except U.S.A. cover the health care of all their citizens for less money, and they do a better job of it. I had to get this book...

There are several messages in this little book, and several are summarized in the title. Compared to the couple of dozen industrialized "wealthy" nations, America delivers poor quality, more expensive, and unfair health care. The quality of our healthcare is poorer by almost any measure such as life expectancy at age sixty, infant mortality, or deaths due to curable diseases. It's more expensive in terms of cost per person or overall healthcare cost as a fraction of GNP. It's unfair because we're the only industrialized country which does not guarantee all its citizens the health care they need.

Reid's research included traveling to many countries to see the local systems. He visited not only Canada, France, and Germany, but also Japan, India, and Cuba.  There are four basic systems in place which he calls the Bismark model (Germany, France, Japan), the Beveridge model (England), the National Health Insurance model (Canada), and the Out of Pocket model. There are significant differences within each class. Indeed, all of the health systems he studied are different and are constantly being reevaluated in the face of developing and expensive medical technology. However, to say that they're all "socialized" systems is false.  Private enterprise is alive and well in many of these systems.

Reid points out that we are familiar with all of these systems. We treat our veterans (and military personnel and Native Americans) kind of as if they were in the British system. Our seniors (under Medicare) are dealt with in a manner similar to the Canadian system. Our working people are treated as if they lived in Germany (or France or Japan), and the millions of Americans who can't afford or can't get medical insurance are in the Out-of-pocket system. Yet for many reasons which the author shows, Americans are in none of these systems. There are many aspects if those systems that make them very different from our systems of health care. France's carte vitale (each person's medical records on a plastic card), England's "no bills" principle, Japan's  (and England's) almost total lack of medical lawsuits (the malpractice insurance premiums in many of these countries are way smaller the in the U.S.), drugs costs  substantially less than ours, and doctors who settle for salaries only half or a third of what U.S. doctors take home.

The basic question we face as a nation is a moral one.

"Which inequalities will society tolerate? Is it acceptable that some people are left to die because they can't see a doctor when they get sick? That question encompasses a more basic question: Is health care a human right?

...the creation of a national health care system involves political, economic, and medical decisions, but the primary decision to be made is a moral one."

Is there a Christian answer to all of this? I think there is. How do we respond to Jesus' words as reported in the Gospel of John: "But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?" (John 3:17)  And again, we all know the story of the Good Samaritan; you can find it on our stained glass windows. We need to remember the last words of that story:  "Go and do likewise" (Luke 10:37). "
Chris Jones


D. More Activities and Dates

Our calendar is on line.  Click here:
 Link to the Saint Stephen's Calendar 
 Jump ahead to Anniversaries and Birthdays


It is back to school time! Put away those buckets and shovels, and get out your Bible and hi-liter and Resource Book and get better acquainted with "Parables: Stories for Life in God's World." This 7-week course is one of many fine courses published by the Kerygma Program. We will meet on 7 Wednesday evenings in October and November, beginning October 7th. Classes meet from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. in the Parish Hall. You needn't have any prior Bible study experience: we are all engaged in learning more about the rich gifts to be found in our Scriptures. Come and learn with us!

Deacon Pat 

The Cathedral of All Saints
invites everyone to

Medieval Faire
Saturday, October 24, 2009
10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Admission: Adults $10
Seniors/Students: $8
Children ages 4 to 12 $5
Children under 4 FREE!
The Cathedral of All Saints is located at
62 South Swan Street
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 465-1342
Be entertained by madrigal singers, harpists and jugglers
Join knights, nobles, serfs and other characters
Choose from handmade goods, food & beverages sold by costumed vendor


Coming in early November - another fabulous evening of good food and a silent auction!

Yes there will be another Harvest For the Pantry event.  We'll gather Sunday  November 8, from 4 on at Bellevue Reformed Church, 2020 Broadway for a chicken dinner with additions from various area restaurants.  Before or after you enjoy a delicious meal you can browse the silent auction items offered and place your bids.  Details about the auction items will be coming soon.

Tickets are now available at $25 from either Eunice or Marti.


The next meeting will be Friday October 9th at 6PM. 
 Where? The Parish Room
 Who? Anyone and Everyone!
(Sorry - no child care, but children are, as always, very welcome)

 Please Bring             
- Pot luck dish
- Own Plate
- Own Utensils


Call Pauline Holmes

"Coffee Brewers"

Thanks so much to our Volunteers for October Coffee Hours!

Sunday, October 4th: Gillian Woodcock
Sunday, October 11th: Susan Feyrer
Sunday, October 18th: Linda Perregaux
Sunday, October 25th: Suzanne Taylor
Volunteers are always needed.  If you would please consider volunteering, please contact me.

Thanks so much. 
Suzanne Taylor

Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church
October 2009











9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Holy Communion
10:45 Bible Study

9:00 Morning Prayer

8:30-2:30 Youth Group
9:00 Morning Prayer

8:00 Eucharist

9:00-10:00  Grades 4-12Youth Education

10:15-11:15 Kids Chapel
10:15 Eucharist

9:00 Morning Prayer
7:30 Parish Council

9:00 Morning Prayer
6:00 Youth Group Joshua Mt.

9:00 Morning Prayer
6:30 SICM Meeting
 7:30-9:00 Kerygma

9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Eucharist
& Healing

10:45 Bible Study
7:30 Choir Practice

9:00 Morning Prayer
6:00 Agape Meal

9:00 Morning Prayer

10:00 Blessing of Animals

8:00 Eucharist
9:00-10:00  Grades 4-12Youth Education
10:15-11:15 Kids Chapel
10:15 Eucharist
12:00-1:00 Member Meeting with Fr. James
5:00-7:00 Youth Group Dinner

9:00 Morning Prayer
7:30 Vestry

9:00 Morning Prayer

9:00 Morning Prayer
5:00-7:00 Youth Group
 7:30-9:00 Kerygma

9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Eucharist
& Healing

10:45 Bible Study
7:30 Choir Practicel

9:00 Morning Prayer
 5:00 Youth Group Lock In

9:00 Morning Prayer

8:00 Eucharist

9:00 Education Hour
9:00-10:00  Grades 4-12Youth Education
10:15-11:15 Kids Chapel
10:15 Eucharist
Nursery Care
12:00-1:00 Member Meeting with Fr. James

9:00 Morning Prayer

9:00 Morning Prayer

92:00 Morning Prayer
 7:30-9:00 Kerygma

9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Eucharist & Healing
10:45 Bible Study

7:30 Choir Practice

9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00-5:00 Medieval Faire -All Saints Cathedral
5:00 Youth Group: lock-in

9:00 Morning Prayer

8:00 Eucharist
9:00-10:00  Grades 4-12Youth Education
10:15-11:15 Kids Chapel
9:00 Education Hour
10:15 Eucharist
Nursery Care
5:00-7:00 Youth Group Dinner

9:00 Morning Prayer
7:30 Worship Committee

9:00 Morning Prayer

92:00 Morning Prayer

 7:30-9:00 Kerygma

9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Eucharist & Healing
10:45 Bible Study
7:30 Choir Practice

9:00 Morning Prayer
6:00 youth Group Hay Ride

9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Confirmation Albany
5:00-7:00 Youth Group


                      AniversariesNBirthdays   Wedding Anniversaries and Birthdays

Natalie Claus                       10/1
Kabby Lowe                        10/3
Alex Rizzo                           10/3
Eugene Whitney                   10/5
Susan Liberis                       10/7
Grant Jaquith                       10/8
Erik Chambers                      10/8
Jacob Davey DeNofio             10/9
Herbert Gretz                       10/11
Janet Schlansker                  10/11
Donald Molino                       10/12
Diana Belardo                       10/14
Cameron Pierce                     10/14
Polly Mathews                      10/15
Susan Feyrer                        10/15
Rosemarie Jaquith                  10/16
George Chambers                   10/8
Norma Flora                          10/19
Katherine Casale                    10/20
Suzanne Wolff                       10/20
Tom Miller                             10/21
Dante Anthony                      10/21
Spencer Scardino                   10/21
Karen Holcombe                     10/22
Alice Petter                           10/23
Peter Nelson                          10/23
Michael DeBritz                       10/24
Larene Jaquith                        10/24
Allie Strong                            10/25
Colton Jaquith                        10/26
Sabrina Chambers                   10/26
Eunice Chouffi                        10/28
Samuel Holcombe                    10/30
Matthew Canavan                   10/30
Christopher Morin                    10/31
Vera Crates                           10/31
Emily Riordan,                        10/31



Bonita & Robert Bailey               10/9
Angela & Bob Strong                  10/14
Shirley & Herbert Gretz              10/19




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.
The Messenger is published September - June.
Please submit articles to Larry Levine