Christmas Issue
December 2009

From The Rector

Dear Friends in Christ

As I write to you Thanksgiving has not yet arrived, so I will save any Christmas greetings for next month. Meanwhile I would like to share with you a couple of things on my mind and on my agenda.

First, let me tell you about a possible new arrangement for the nursery school which has had a 34 year tradition of uninterrupted service to our community. Last year we learned from the Schenectady City Zoning Commission that it is not legal to run a 'for-profit' business in our church. They informed us that even if we do not build a new building, the nursery school would have to leave or discontinue.

It is legal for a church to run a not-for-profit nursery school on its property. Currently the vestry is considering a plan whereby our congregation will 'take-over' the nursery school as a ministry of our parish. This would mean that we would employ the same teachers, using the same philosophy of teaching, but in a new building: Reid House. There would be more of an emphasis on 'multi-faith' experiences such as the celebrations of the many faiths that the students bring to the class, and even additional religious celebrations. I think that this would fit into our congregation's emphasis on religious inclusion of all people and I hope that by next fall, all this will be in place. I am very excited about the possibilities.

Second, on a different but related topic I want to thank you for your gifts to the Rector's Discretionary Fund. I do not know each individual contribution, so I want to express my appreciation in a public way. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity. In addition to these gifts you all make, I also add those honorariums that I receive from services of burial, marriage, baptism.

Deacon Pat and I divide your gifts in half, since she also sees great financial needs with her work with the women in the county jail. Together, we have been able to assist individuals and families in need. We have been able to fund several scholarships, provide a safety net in several cases of emergency, provide extra gifts to specific projects of SICM, etc. I try to make most gifts personal ones. From time to time, however, this fund has also been a way to provide needed supplies for St. Stephen's outreach to the community.

It says: "discretionary." I hope that I am faithful with the gifts which I make and in the spirit with which each of you have given. They are more needed than ever in this holiday season.

Thank you.


Christmas Services

5:00 p.m. Family Eucharist
10:45 p.m. Christmas Carols
11:00 p.m. Festive Candlelight Eucharist

10:00 a.m. Eucharist

Saturday, December 26th
10:00 a.m. Eucharist

December 27th
8:00 a.m. Eucharist
10:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist
7:00 p.m. Evening Prayer

New Year's Day
10:00 a.m. Eucharist

January 3rd
8:00 a.m. Eucharist
10:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist
7:00 p.m. Eucharis

January 10th
8:00 a.m. Eucharist
10:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist


Advent begins on Sunday, November 29th. It is a time to prepare for Christ's birth as well as for His second coming to judge the world. It is a time of watching and waiting and great expectation. Purple, the color of thoughtfulness and penitence, is the color of the season. The Greek letters, Alpha (the first of the alphabet) and Omega (the last letter) combine to make the symbol for this season of the year signifying that God is Eternal the beginning and the end. Come and worship during Advent in joyful anticipation of the birth of our Lord.

Gathering Straws

A tradition at Saint Stephen's is the "Gathering Straws" to soften the waiting manger bed in your household crèche. It is just helpful in reminding children about the season of Advent. For every good deed a straw is placed in the manger as a graphic sign of growth and preparation for the Christ Child we await. On Christmas Eve, the little manger, now soft with straw, is brought in procession to the waiting stable where the figure of the Child is placed during the night. Small bags of straw can be found on a table in the Parish Hall Extension beginning next week.


An Advent Calendar can help us count the days. "We await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ". Making the calendar is a project for the family to undertake. A card board cut to a house shape is the general idea. It has a window cut in for each Sunday in Advent and a door for Christmas. Shutters close over the window and keep secret the picture or message hidden inside. With the passage of each Sunday and additional window is opened and the contents revealed. On the window's shutters one can write a prayer chosen from the text of that Sunday's readings at church. Inside will be a corresponding drawing in bright colors. Each family member can be responsible for a certain window, pasting it in place on the back behind the shutter doors and keeping its content a surprise until the day of its opening. Hung against the window, the light shines through the picture emphasizing how darkness gives way as time passes. OF COURSE, IF YOU WISH TO PURCHASE AN ADVENT CALENDAR WITH WINDOWS FOR ALL DAYS OF ADVENT they are available in the church shop.



Prayer begins with family gathered around the tree.

Lord of the Forest, Maker of Trees,
we honor You as we dedicate this tree,
that it be a sign of Christmas in our home.
Green as life are its needled leaves;
open and inviting are its outstretched branches;
strong as love is its trunk.
May the blessing of this tree
call forth from within us
the memory of our ancient parents
who worshipped trees as godly.
May we show reverence and care
toward all the brother and sister trees
of this our Christmas tree.
May we speak to them and sing them songs,
enjoy their shade and eat their fruit.
May we learn wisdom from their stories
and faithfulness from their ever-greenness.
May all trees be for us Christmas trees
and trees of Life
as they become incarnations of God
in our own. Garden of Eden.
As Christ died upon the tree of the Cross
that we might be gifted with Life,
may we then remember
that the gifts soon to be placed about this tree
are but reflections of the gifts that came
at the foot of the tree of the Cross.
As sons and daughters of Adam and Eve,
let us rejoice in this tree of Life;
may the spirits of kindness and love
rest upon it.
May the spirit of Christmas
ride in its branches,
this season and for all seasons.


A reading from the prophet Isaiah:A member of the family reads Chapter 9, verses 1-2, 5,

Let us pray in silence
for the coming of peace into the world
and into our home.

pause for silent prayer

as we pray before this our Christmas crib-shrine
and await the feast of the Birth of the Holy Child,
call forth the dormant child from within each of us;
cause us to wonder and to rejoice again
in this most ancient feast.
As the magi came bearing gifts,
may we, this Christmas, gift one another
with the gold of charity,
the myrrh of kindness
and the incense of prayer.
With the shepherds,
we come to the birth of Christ
seeking a simple celebration,
where the greatest gift will be ourselves
given to You, our God,
and to each other.
May the star of Bethlehem
which shone brightly over the first crib
stand guard over our home,
filling it and all the earth with light and peace.

All present may sing Silent Night or another Christmas carol.

We adore You, 0 Christ, and we bless You
because by Your holy birth
You give hope to all the world.



St. Nicholas, holy patron of children,
Bishop of the East,
we invite you to come among us
and to grant us your holy blessing.
Help us in this busy, busy season
not to miss the miracle of the coming of Emmanuel
in the days of preparation
as well as on the feast itself.
Help us not to be blind
to the gifts of getting ready.
Protect us from insincerity.
May every greeting we send
be signed with love, friendship and prayer.
May our greetings, so written,
be fun to open and treasures to keep.
Kind St. Nicholas,
protect us from shopper's fatigue.
Show us how to take delight in the marketplace,
now transformed in beauty, lights and music.
Save us all from anxiety over what to give
so that we may concentrate on how to give.
Stand by the stepladder
as we decorate our homes and trees and lives.
May our decorations not be mute
but rather singing symbols,
sacred signs of the evergreen coming of the Lord of Life.
Help us to remember that mistletoe, holly
and all other ornaments of the season,
were sacred signs to ancient believers.
But, most of all, jolly saint of toys and sweets,
help us stay youthful, humorous, playful and dream-filled
as we prepare together for the coming of Christ
with Advent lon


Lord, Source of All Energy and Light,
the ancients saw the sun
as a great fire wheel rolling across the sky.
May our Advent wreath, this small wheel of green,
be for us a symbol of the sun
and of the Son of God.
May its ever-greenness
be a sign of life and of light
in the midst of the darkness of winter.
May the candles that burn brightly upon it
remind us of Your Son, Jesus,
who was the light of the world.
Grant, Lord, that this our Advent wreath
may be for us and for all who visit our home
a sign of faith in a world grown cold with disbelief,
a symbol of hope in a time of gloom and despair
and a flaming image of love
in a winter of mistrust and hate.
May all who look upon this symbol of Advent
be encouraged to prepare their hearts
for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
May this green wreath with its bright candles
help us to prepare for the real Christmas
which happens within our hearts.
May, then, Your blessing - Father of Light,
Son of Glory and Spirit of Love -
be upon this Advent wreath and upon our home.


The traditional Advent wreath consists of evergreen branches formed into a circle with four candles representing the four Sundays of Advent. By custom, the candles are purple, and often the candle for the third Sunday is pink as a sign of rejoicing; however, any colored candles may be used. Purple or other colored ribbons may also adorn the wreath. This prayer is intended for a blessing of the Advent wreath itself, and the following prayer may be used when lighting each of the candles.

One candle is to be lighted at the beginning of each of the four weeks of Advent. A child may well be allowed to light the candle while the prayer is being recited:


Lord God,
You who sent into the world Your Beloved Son
as a light that shines in the darkness,
invest this wreath, our Advent symbol,
with the power of Your energy and light.
With each of these candles that is lighted,
may we rekindle within ourselves the desire
to prepare a way for the birth of Christ.
With each new candle that is lighted,
may the flame of Christ's coming
grow brighter and brighter
so that this Christmas may see
a fresh and ever-green coming of the Lord of Light
into each of our hearts
and into our whole world.

candle is lighted

We pray, then, that the richness of God's blessing
rest upon this Advent wreath,
upon our home and upon each of us
as we light this candle
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.


(Sunday, Dec. 6)

O you who love festivals,
Come gather and sing the praises
of the fair beauty of bishops,
The glory of the fathers,
The fountain of wonders and great protector of the faithful.

Let us all say: Rejoice, O guardian of the people of Myra,
Their head and honored counselor,
The pillar of the church which cannot be shaken.

Rejoice, O light full of brightness
That makes the ends of the world shine with wonders.

Rejoice, O divine delight of the afflicted,
The fervent advocate of those who suffer from injustice.

And now, O all blessed Nicolaus,
Never cease praying to Christ our God
For those who honor the festival of your memory
With faith and with love.

....Orthodox liturgy

Preventing Flue at Home and Church

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat, in a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with the flu in spite of all precautions. Contact with the flu is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of flu infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
2. Use hand sanitizer often. A bottle can be found on the table in the back of the church. Ask an usher for assistance.
3. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe, etc.).
4. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). The flu takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
5. Similar to 4 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.
6. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (especially citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with itamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
7. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.


November 26th

Thursday Morning at 10 am !


at St. Stephen's Church



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.

"With the buzz around the book and then the film version of THE DA VINCI CODE reaching a fever pitch and The PASSION OF THE CHRIST ranked among the 10 highest-grossing movies ever, what is it about religion that's got America hooked? It's an old debate between absolutes, the contrasting viewpoints of belief and disbelief that stirs the passions. From the popular to the public square-79% of self-identified evangelical Christians cast ballots for President Bush in 2004-the tug of war between reason and faith is the undercurrent of our society in what some see as a fundamentalist era. On one end of the spectrum people say, "Only religion counts." On the other end, "Only reason counts." How do we keep the public space between reason and faith, where most of us spend our lives, from becoming a no-man's land of constant warfare?" Bill Moyers

The month of December will include interviews with Jeanette Winterson, Mil Power, Richard Rodriguez and Sir John Houghton.

December 6 - Jeanette Winterson. As a teenager, Jeanette Winterson smuggled forbidden books into her bedroom-an act of defiance that began a profound journey of self-discovery. In this conversation with Bill Movers, the author of Sexing the Cherry, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, and Lighthousekeeping talks about Weight, her new version of the story of Atlas and Hercules. She also discusses the power of art to build a 'fulfilling inner life.

December 13 - Mil Power. Writer, actor, and rapper Mil Power brings unique characters and thought-provoking scenarios to life in his vividly-staged performances-including The Seven, his hip-hop adaptation of Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes. Bill Movers interviews Power about the challenges of "flipping" an ancient Greek drama into a highly-charged, completely contemporary work.

December 20 - Richard Rodriguez-the author of Hunger of Memory and Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father-has expressed provocative views on diversity and its relationship to identity. Bill Moyers speaks with Rodriguez about spirituality, mortality, and growing up in a Catholic family and community that were often at odds with Protestant-dominated America.

December 27 - Sir John Houghton. An atmospheric physicist and a leading expert on global warming, Sir John Houghton speaks as a scientist and evangelical Christian. The author of Does God Play Dice? A Look At The Story of the Universe and The Search for God: Can Science Help? explains his belief that science and religion can both work towards improving the human condition.

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

School Days

Keeping It Simple This Year: Pageant Update

Since November's Messenger came out, we've had changed our plans for the service on December 20th. We will not be doing the People, Look East service. However, the children will still be a special part of the 10:15 service. If your child or children are interested in participating in creating a tableau of the manger scene and singing on the 20th, please let me know. Thanks.

If you have questions, please ask. Thanks, Laura Davis

Christian Education Update!

Intermediate group - 4th through 6th graders: while Peter and Allison are teaching the kids about Advent, they are in the middle of an ongoing Jesse Tree project. It has been several years since we created the Jesse Tree banner that is displayed in the front of the church. This group is involved in coloring in a beautiful Jesse Tree. As they color, they are learning about the Old Testament events that lead us to Jesus' birth. They meet in the tower from 9:00-10:00 each Sunday.

Kids' Chapel - prek through 4th grade: after a short service of the collect, Gospel, homily, singing and passing the Peace, each child in this group is creating his or her own Jesse tree. This Jesse Tree is a little different in that they are decorating it with symbols that remind them of some of the readings the children will hear on December 20th. This group meets at 10:15 in the parish hall and comes into church during the Offertory, We are in the middle of our 3rd Unit. Thank you to Allison de Kanel and Dawn Tonneau who are the adult leaders for this unit.

Thank you.

Laura Davis
Church phone: 346-6241


Youth Group Schedule


Saturday, 12/5/09: Workcamp Thank You dinner at St. Stephen's.

Sunday, 12/6/09: YOUTH GROUP MEETING. 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. Thank you to the Canavan's who are providing dinner for the group.

Sunday, 12/13/09: YOUTH GROUP MEETING. Ginger Bread House decorating project for 4th-12th grade. We will meet in the parish hall at St. Stephen's at a special time: 4:00pm. We will be finished at 7:00pm. We will enjoy dinner together provided by the Feyrer's. If you would like to join in the fun, WE NEED TO KNOW!!! So that we have enough supplies. Please let Laura Davis or Kathy Warlow know if you plan to attend.

Sunday, 12/20/09: CHRISTMAS PARTY!!! We'll meet at Union from 5:00-7:00 for some holiday fun organized by Mr. Mahlmann!

Work camp thank you dinner at St. Stephen's.
Saturday December 5th at 6:00 pm

Work Camp Dinner "will undoubtedly be a unique opportunity to experience an evening of epicurean pleasures in the sheer, unadulterated luxury . . ."

That's the way someone describes a dinner at the palace at Versailles, but it could just as easily be describing the dinner St. Stephen's youth group will prepare and serve to thank everyone who helped make possible our workcamp trip to Peterstown, West Virginia this past July.

Come join us for a delicious meal, hear stories of daring-do by the campers, and help celebrate an important ministry of our church.

Please see the bulletin board in the hallway that goes into the parish hall for updates

Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights please...

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them,
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling
clothes,lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

(Luke 2:8-14)
That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.

Directory Corrections

Directories are never exactly up-to-date. We've found a few corrections and additions to the directory which we recently published. Some of them might already be in your book. To check, visit our website "corrections" page at

The Saint Stephen's Church Website

People looking for churches these days often don't use the yellow pages; they go to the web. That's one reason we have a website. Another reason is that we can keep lots of information up there, just in case you need it. We have a monthly calendar. We list our staff and vestry on the "Leadership" page. We have the proposal for our new parish hall right on the homepage. Under "Ministry", you'll find lots of information about things going on right here at St. Stephens and around the community. Be sure to take a look at our "Members" pages, where we keep our on-line directory, among other things.

There are a few people at St. Stephens who have personal web sites. You can find them in the "Links" page. If you have a personal website and are not listed there, please let us know. Your friends at st. Stephens would probably like to know also.

If you have problems using the website or questions or comments, I'd really like to hear them. Our website is

See you online! Chris Jones


Rehabilitating Reid House

Volunteers Needed

If you have looked you'll see that considerable progress has been made on rehabilitating Reid House. Despite several rainouts, the ramp framing has been completed and approved by the city. By the time you read this, we will certainly have completed the ramp decking and possibly the entire ramp. We will then be moving inside.

Volunteers are needed to complete the interior rehabilitation The city inspector has approved the interior framing. We need to install insulation and then sheet rock the arches, bathroom and back wall. With enough volunteers this will go quickly.

If you have a spare Saturday morning, just come and join the fun. We work Tuesday afternoon, 1-4p and Saturday morning, 9a-12p. Other times can be arranged. If you have questions, contact Austin Spang.


Financial Reports
Denise Crates presented the financial reports for November, 2009.
Income and expenses, including pledges, continue to be in line with budgeted projections. As has been mentioned in past updates, specific items such as utilities and office expenses have exceeded what was budgeted. Expenses continue to be closely monitored.

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 has been completed and will be reviewed by the Finance Committee prior to being reviewed by the Vestry.

Fr. James reported that 63 pledges have been received for a total of $119,987. A second letter will be sent to people who have not turned in their pledge cards. Pledge cards are also available in the back of the Church.

Austin Spang reported that he sent the architect's proposed payment schedule to Jack Feyrer.

Fr. James will contact Jack Feyrer to discuss both chairmanship and membership of the Endowment Committee. The need for a Treasurer will also be discussed.

The issue of the Endowment Charter and Vestry bylaws will be addressed at a later time.

Reid House

Renovation work continues. Volunteers typically meet on Saturday mornings and Tuesday afternoons. There is a sign up sheet in the Parish Hall if you are interested in volunteering. Alternatively, contact Austin Spang directly.

Building Project
The Building Committee continues to meet regularly with the architects.

The Vestry will hold a Special Meeting on January 4th to hear the latest proposal from the architects.

The Vestry commits to keeping the congregation informed as both of these projects progress.

Adopt A Spot
The Vestry decided to formally 'retire' Adopt-A-Spot. We want to thank each of the people who faithfully volunteered cleaning the various areas.

The Vestry approved the services of a contracted cleaning person. She comes in approximately every two weeks and has been doing a very thorough job. The proposed 2010 budget contains a provision for contracted cleaning.

Front Steps
Fr. James reported that since he has not yet received any bids for repair, and since the winter is approaching, this project will be on hold till spring.

Parish-wide Cleaning Day.
The turn out was very low. Five people came to clean. The windows, tables and chairs in the parish hall were washed, the narthex was thoroughly cleaned and the Chapel was cleaned.

Barbara Wisnom reported that the Nominations Committee met but does not yet have a complete slate. The Committee anticipates that we will have a full slate for the Vestry at the December meeting. Anyone interested in learning more about being a Vestry person is encouraged to speak to any current Vestry member.

Members not returning include Rocky Bonsal, Barbara Wisnom, Melinda Renken, and Glen Kaler.

The Personnel Committee reported that 2 recommendations were made to Fr. James. One is that a new Letter of Agreement will be co-developed with him. This will outline responsibilities. The second recommendation is to secure the services of an outside consultant with expertise is addiction recovery and how it affects a parish. Tracy Ormsbee, Chair of the Personnel Committee, reported that she has spoke to one consultant who evidently is very well qualified in this area. We will ask him to submit a formal proposal and also seek a 2nd proposal from one more consultant for comparison.


Austin Spang and Fr. James presented two documents regarding the First Friends Nursery School. As reported in the last update, the Vestry is evaluating the option of operating the Nursery.

The first document outlined the proposed purpose, payment, staff and finance management of the Nursery. The second document gave income, expense and enrollment information from 2004-2008.

Questions still remain about various aspects of St. Stephen's operating a Nursery School. The Vestry deferred a vote until these questions can be addressed. Individual Vestry members were asked to submit their questions to Austin as soon as possible.

The questions include but are not limited to financing, administrative/operational support, insurance, and cleaning and maintenance.

Barbara Wisnom's resignation letter was inserted into the official record.

That's it for the November meeting. "See" you next month. the next Vestry Meeting is MONDAY, DECEMBER14th. Contact Barbara Wisnom for questions, feedback or suggestions at 371-6187 or

More Activities and Dates

Our calendar is on line. Click here: Link to the Saint Stephen's Calendar


Saturday, December 5th - 6 PM

Our Campers will narrate a slide show and share their experiences from their trip. It is a wonderful evening; different every time.
Come join us for a delicious meal, hear the stories of daring-do by the campers,
and help celebrate an important ministry of our church. Saturday December 5th at 6:00.

Craft Night

Please join us in making decorative certificates to distribute for our upcoming Christmas outreach project. We will meet on Tuesday, December 1, @ 7:00 in the Parish Hall. Materials will be provided, but feel free to bring your own holiday scrapbooking supplies. No talent necessary, come for the fun. Refreshments provided.

Questions, call Erin Cohen

Christmas Outreach

Looking for the perfect gift for those who have everything?

The Outreach Committee is excited to announce our Christmas project to replace our Giving Tree. We will be selling certificates to be used as stocking stuffers in denominations of $5.00 to support either the Schenectady Free Health Clinic or the Episcopal Relief and Development for Dafur, Sudan. The decorative certificates will be available after both services starting in December. Please buy soon and buy often!

Susan Feyrer


On Friday December 11, 2009 please join us for an evening of food, fun and fellowship. We will be having as our guest speaker, Fr. David Plank, now retired and living in Palatine Bridge, NY. Fr. Plank was ordained in the Diocese of Albany and after ministering to churches in the North Country moved to Long Island where he completed his active vocation.

Fr. Plank volunteers with the Seamen's Institute of the Port of Albany. This group helps the foreign sailors when they are at dockage. With transportation to Drs., dentists and shopping and they operate a social lunge for them. This lounge provides space away from their quarters, light refreshments and an area of donated gifts. We will be making a Christmas box to give to them. The request are many, here are few- Shoelaces (long-sturdy), fingernail clippers, pens, paper hats, mittens, scarves, socks, phone cards, microwave popcorn, tooth-paste, tooth brushes, had lotion, lip balm, brain teaser puzzles (no crosswords puzzles- language barrier.) The list is wide open, use your imagination and join us. Pleas bring your gift, table service and silverware.

Thank for supporting another outreach ministry. ST. Stephens's people are the best. For more information please call Pauline Holmes or Marilyn Humphrey. And, thanks in advance for your generosity.


CRTC: Capitol Region Theological Center

Introduction to New Testament Part II

Tuesdays, January 19 - February 23, 2010
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: January 4
The Art of Leading Change
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Rev. Dr. David Olsen, Ph.D., CSW-R, BCD
This unique course, designed specifically for leaders of congregations, will teach participants the principles of both leading congregational change and providing non-reactive leadership.
Cost: $75 by December 30, $85 thereafter Registration deadline: January 12

Biblical Resources for Peacemaking
Monday, February 8, 2010
Yahezkel Landau
This seminar in "applied exegesis" will focus on passages in the Book of Genesis that can serve as resources for healing conflict and building peace. The Creation story and episodes in the lives of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs will be examined for practical lessons that can help us wage peace in a culture of violence.
Cost: $155 by January 11, $165 thereafter Registration deadline: January 22

The Church and Its Money
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Rev. Norman Tellier, CFPTM
All those who deal with money in the church, whether it is organizing the annual stewardship campaign, church accounting, filing IRS paperwork, setting up pastor's annual pay package, or whether you are the pastor who needs to be more informed, this seminar is for you!
Cost: $65 by January 20, $75 thereafter Registration deadline: February 5

Rev. Dr. Peter Steinke - March 12 & 13

Backpacking Retreat
with Rev. Kent Busman April 30 to May 2

Social Media for Churches: Web 2.0
with Valerie Venezia May 15

"Come Alive and Thrive" conference
with Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo
Co-sponsored event, with the Capital Area Baptist Association
and FOCUS Churches May 21-23

Scholarships are available for all classes; please contact us for an application.

Register online or by phone: 518-462-2470

Episcopal Relief & Development

Responds to Natural Disaster in El Salvador

On November 7th and 8th, El Salvador was hit by severe weather caused by a low-pressure system in the Atlantic Ocean related to Hurricane Ida. Receiving nearly 12 inches of rain in six hours, the nation was affected by widespread flooding and mudslides. The death toll currently stands at 194, with 80 people still missing. Damage to El Salvador's infrastructure has been extensive. A total of 223 dwellings have been destroyed and 630 are still at risk of collapse. As a result, nearly 14,300 people are living in 118 temporary shelters across the country. In addition, the floods damaged 34 bridges and 93 roads, 12 of which are still in the process of being reopened.

In response to the crisis, Episcopal Relief & Development is working with two partners, the Episcopal Church of El Salvador and the Asociacion CREDHO, to provide immediate relief. Both organizations have conducted needs assessments, evaluated capacity gaps and considered coordination opportunities in order to utilize funds to the fullest.

The support will help to provide food, potable water, basic medical supplies, hygiene kits, clothing and assistance for shelters, reaching approximately 2,200 people living in the six communities hit hardest by the storm, including San Salvador and SanVincente.

"While our assistance will aid those suffering in the wake of the storm, the needs of the people impacted are tremendous," said St. John. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Salvadoran people."

To support those in El Salvador impacted by the crisis, please donate to Episcopal Relief & Development's "Hurricane Relief" fund online at, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.


Here are some suggestions for good reading in front of the fireplace on a cold evening; all are new acquisitions of the church library. Use the included Dewey Decimal number below to find the book on the shelf. Please be sure to fill in your name and phone number on the circulation card in the back of the book and place it in the grey metal box.

Chodron, Pima. WHEN THINGS FALL APART. Heartfelt advice for difficult times from a Buddhist prospective. 394.3

Healy, Dr. Bernadine, M.D. LIVING TIME. Inspiring and beautifully written by a former director of the NIH, herself a cancer survivor. 616.99

Obama, Barack. DREAMS FROM MY FATHER. Moving biography of our President. 92

Pausch, Randy. THE LAST LECTURE. Biography of a computer scientist with terminal cancer. 92

Picoult, Jodi. CHANGE OF HEART. A novel about redemption, justice and love; number one NY Times best seller. 813.54

Pratt, Rupert. TOUCHING THE ANCIENT ONE. A true story of tragedy and reunion by a local author and survivor of an airforce C-47 plane crash in S. central Alaska. 613.6

Sullenberger, Capt. Chesley (Sully). HIGHEST DUTY. Inspirational autobiography by the hero of US Airways Flight 1549 which crashed in the Hudson River in January 2009. 629.13

Wedding Anniversaries and Birthdays


Peter Nevius 12/01
Louise Peake 12/05
Mildred Gittinger 12/07
Vicki HoshkooshkoHosk 12/08
Jim Ormsbee 12/09
Claudia Ashelman 12/12
John Liberis 12/12
John Howe 12/14
Robert McCalley 12/17
Jed Dare 12/18
Jacqueline Shaw 12/19
Shirley Gretz 12/20
Jean Greenspan 12/21
Jim Syta 12/21
Stephen Sombor 12/23
Robert Olberg 12/25
Isabelle Jaquith 12/27
Ronald Michelson 12/27
Elizabeth Canavan 12/28
Christian Renken 12/28
Anne Sombor 12/28
Carl Hatlee II 12/29
Denise Crates 12/31


Robert Olberg & Andrea Worthington 12/10
Gerald & Linda Perregaux 12/22
Jeffrey & Margaret Rivenburg 12/27
Grant & Rosemarie Jaquith 12/30

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
1935 The Plaza

Schenectady, New York 12309
Church Staff
The Rev. Dr. James R. McDonald, Rector, 370-3573,
The Rev. Patricia L. Jones, Deacon, 372-5836,
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:
The Rector's email is:
Our website is

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