Happy New Year Issue 
January 2011


in this issue

A. From Father James

B. School Days

C. More News

D. More Activities and Dates


Shield 
Dear Friends,

One of the great leaders of the Episcopal Church in the last generation, Bishop Stephen Bayne, had some sage words on the month we are now entering: "January, I have long felt, is a month without which life would be greatly improved.  Annual reports, final days of reckoning with postponed business, new budgets, clearing out of files...to say nothing of Christmas bills and the like...it is a miserable, harassed, sniveling, crass, overbearing, worldly wretch of a month."

That may be a little harsh, but I think Bishop Bayne has the right idea.  Still, at least around the parish, I see some redeeming signs of life in the depths of this winter.

For one thing, the bitter cold seems to bring out the best in people.  Maybe because it's harder to get out, and harder to get together, it seems better when we do.  For all the busy-ness of this month, and all the winter chill, I find the being with people on Sunday, and other times, especially rich.

I am heartened, too, in preparing the Annual Report for the Annual Parish Meeting. I am amazed by the amount of energy and activity going on in this place, and by the remarkable generosity of spirit and time with which people give of themselves.

But maybe I value January most of all because it seems like a new beginning, and that's something I can always use.  I start into this new year resolved to be doing all that I can to build us into a genuinely supportive family of Christians ---finding ways for us to be together, challenging us to connect ourselves more deeply to Christ and to each other, exploring together how best to minister to the world in Christ's name.

January permits such resolutions.  I guess I'll be glad when the month is over, but I hope that the good things --- the people, the community, the dreams of the year ---will carry us on as we make the snowy trek toward spring.

                                           Peace,

                                           Fr. James+


The Epiphany of Our Lord

The name "Epiphany" is derived from a Greek word meaning "manifestation" or "appearing." It is also called "The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles."  This phrase is a reference to the story of the Wise Men from the East.

A Christian observance on January 6 is found as early as the end of the second century in Egypt.  The feast combined commemorations of the visit of the Magi, led by the star of Bethlehem; the Baptism of Jesus in the waters of the River Jordan; and Jesus' first recorded miracle, the changing of water into wine at the marriage of Cana of Galilee    all thought of as manifestations of the incarnate Lord.

The Epiphany is still the primary Feast of the Incarnation in Eastern Churches, and the three-fold emphasis is still prominent.  In the West, however, including the Episcopal Church, the story of the Wise Men has tended to overshadow the other two events.  Modern lectionary reform, reflected in the Book of Common Prayer, has recovered the primitive trilogy, by setting the event of the Baptism as the theme of the First Sunday after January 6th.

Our celebration of Epiphany at St. Stephen's will take place on Sunday, January 9th at 8:00am and 10:15 a.m. with Eucharist. 


Household Blessing for Epiphany

A custom from Eastern Europe that is presently being recovered in North America is the practice of blessing homes on Epiphany.  Members of the household go from room to room expressing thanks to God for each room and asking God to bless the room and its intended use.  Some small symbol of the blessing may be carried to leave in each room: a candle, a cross, "gifts" of the Magi.

The procession ends outside the front door where the door's lintel is marked in chalk with the year and the initials C,M,B each separated by a cross recalling the traditional names of the Magi: Casper, Melchior and Balthazar.  The members of the household are then invited to add their own initials.  Also, at this time it is appropriate to pledge volunteer time or other gifts for Bethesda House or some local homeless shelter as signs of our thankfulness to God.  The ritual ends with a celebration of the Eucharist.

Talk to the rector if you would like to have your home blessed.



Annual Meeting Called for January 16th

Each year on the third Sunday in January, our congregation holds its Annual Meeting.  The purposes of the meeting are to elect representatives to the vestry, to review finances of the parish for the past year and to examine the budget of the current year, to hear brief reports from parish leaders and the clergy, and to discuss other issues which affect the congregation.


  
INSTRUCTED EUCHARIST

January 30th

As our numbers increase at St. Stephen's there are more and more people who are not very familiar with our liturgy on Sunday mornings.
Others, who have attended services for a considerable time still, have questions concerning the symbols in our worship.  Therefore, on Sunday, January 30th at the 10:15 am Eucharist St. Stephen's will have an Instructed Eucharist.
As you arrive, you will be given a special bulletin.  At various points during the liturgy, the service will stop and an explanation of that part of our worship will be read.  Then the service will continue until another explanation is read.  In this way it is hoped that a better understanding of our Anglican worship will be given.
This 'Instructed Eucharist' would be an excellent opportunity for our members to invite a guest(s) to church.  We all know how confusing our worship can be, and this would be a way of 'easing' newcomers into St.  Stephen's.


Are You Interested in Becoming a Member of St. Stephen's?

INQUIRE'S CLASSES are a basic four week course which is 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 are held on Sunday at noon in the rector's office beginning January 9th.
Fr. James


Altar Flowers

Consider taking part in donating flowers for the Altar.  There are many reasons for donating flowers for Sunday morning.  One is in remembrance of someone, or to say thank you to  someone or a group of people.  If you would like, you may find someone who would like to donate flowers with you on the same Sunday, and you may split the cost ($40). Both names will be recognized.     ---------------------------------------------
                   2011 Altar Flower Calendar
I would like to have the altar flowers given in my name
On (date)_______________________
In honor of______________________
Or
In memory of____________________
I've enclosed a check for $40.

Please mail to the Parish Office, 1229 Baker Ave.  Schenectady, NY  12309
Or place this coupon and your check in the collection plate.


 
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.

 Fr.  James Office: 346-6241
 
 Deacon Pat


Sunday school 2011 

Sunday school times and places:

Babies through 3 have Nursery in the Chapel.

Preschool through 4th graders meet in the Reid House from 10:15 until the Offertory.

Fourth, fifth and sixth gradersmeet from 9:00-10:00am. This group meets in the tower.
7th - 12th graders meet from 9:00-10:00am. This group meets in the Church Office.

 

Carolers



                           Nursery School

The nursery is open with a child care provider mid September until the beginning of June during the 10:15 service.

Volunteering in the nursery is an important ministry. Sometimes the nursery has many little ones that need attention. High school aged youth and adults are always welcomed. If you are interested in helping in the nursery or if you are willing to substitute, please let us know. Having help always makes the nursery run smoothly which is so important for the littlest in our congregation.
Questions?  Call Amy SoulĂ© 


Annual Meeting is on January 16th

Each year on the third Sunday in January, our congregation holds its Annual Meeting.  The purposes of the meeting are to elect representatives to the vestry, to review finances of the parish for the past year and to examine the budget of the current year, to hear brief reports from parish leaders and the clergy, and to discuss other issues which affect the congregation.


Contract for the New Building Signed
Austin Spang

At the regular Vestry meeting, December 13th, after much discussion, prayer and an assessment of the previous Sunday morning's Congregational Meeting, the vestry voted to sign a contract with Allegrone Construction to build our new parish hall and classrooms.  After some final negotiations on the bid price, the contract has been signed.  The first task will be to remove the asbestos which should begin in the last couple of weeks of January as soon as the required permit can be obtained from the state.  The actual demolition and start of construction will start at the end of March or beginning of April depending on the winter weather.  Construction will take about 14 months. 

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who served on the 3 Architectural Task forces and especially those that served on the building committee.  All their long hours and diligence is finally coming to fruition. Much thanks.

If you have any questions or concerns during the construction, you can contact me by e-mail at spang@nycap.rr.com or by phone, 518-573-9522.
 Parish Hall Plan

                     What Is The 'Vestry'?
The Vestry is the body within our congregation that, with the clergy, leads the parish.

What are the responsibilities of the Vestry?
The Vestry is responsible for personnel management and the stewardship of our money and property. The Vestry has a legal and moral responsibility to manage our congregation's resources, including operating funds, investment, furnishing, buildings and grounds. As well as insuring the care of paid and volunteer personnel, so that they receive adequate compensation, benefits, equipment, resources, training, and support.

How does the Vestry accomplish this goal?
The Vestry engages in short and long range planning, both directly and through committees of the parish. We review our parish's mission, our current programs, staff and facilities, and plan for the future. A strategic plan can be delegated to a subgroup, but it is the Vestry's responsibility to make sure that such planning occurs, is formally adopted, and is supported.
 
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.


Our congregation needs resources to accomplish our mission. Vestry members play a key role in gathering these resources. They actively give of their time, talent and treasure.

What is the time commitment of Vestry members?
The Vestry meets on the second Monday of each month beginning at 7:30. Each Vestry member is also assigned to a subcommittee of the Vestry. Much of the communication between meetings is completed via e-mail. Vestry members serve three year terms.

Vestry meetings are open to members of the parish. Please drop by sometime and see how the vestry works.

When are Vestry Meetings?
Vestry meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30pm in the Chapel of the Resurrection.

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.


Please note the Vestry does not meet in July or August


                          Nominating Committee Appointed
In an attempt to be as inclusive as possible in nominating parishioners for elective offices, the vestry has appointed the outgoing members of the vestry as a nominating committee:

Tracy Ormsbee, 346-5357, jormsbee@nycap.rr.com,
Austin Sprang, 393-2859, spang@nycap.rr.com,
Tracy Schierenbeck, 280-0694, schiet@rpi.ed,
Linda Emaelaf, 372-8834, linda.emaelaf@ge.com.


They are securing the nominations for the seven positions vacant for next year.  In addition, nominations will continue to be made from the floor of the Annual Meeting of the parish. 

The elected offices are: 3 - three-year terms, 2 - two-year terms, 2 - Warden - two-year terms.


StStCarolers

  2011 March & Program
                                                               honoring
               DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
                     SUNDAY, JANUARY 16th
 
                                     zzsteelers
 
The March:  ASSEMBLE AT VETERAN'S PARK, SCHENECTADY - 2:00 P.M.
 
The Program:  FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 603 STATE STREET, APPROXIMATELY 2:30 P.M.
 
The Choir:  FEATURING SINGERS FROM THROUGHOUT SCHENECTADY COUNTY
 
Sponsored by The Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition of the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission
 
                                      **********

 

 

           Books all the time: Whatcha Reading?  books                                 
On Tuesday, January 11, at 7:00 there will be an organizational meeting for a St. Stephen's Book Club.  Please join us if you would like to be part of a group that reads, discusses, and  enjoys a little social time, well maybe a lot of social time.  We'll look forward to seeing you at the Feyrer's home, 1198 Lowell Rd., Schenectady.  Any questions, or if you are interested and cannot attend the meeting,

call Susan Feyrer or Vicki Hoshko.



 


    SICM Food Pantry
        Every Sunday

 Thank you to all who have brought donations of food to church each Sunday!  There is a constantly growing need in our Schenectady community; baby food, especially Enfamil and Stage 1 are urgently needed.   Given the nature of the economy, government realities and individual situations, the outreach program for Schenectady Inner City Ministry needs more help.
Please consider bringing something every week for the Pantry.  If you add one item to your weekly grocery list and bring it to St. Stephens every Sunday it will make a difference to so many people.
Thank you.
Amy, Eunice and Marti 

 



Special Work Camp Church Service
                    on Jan. 2nd
         for the 10:15 am service

We will have a special service on Sunday January 2nd at 10:15.  The Work Camp crew would like to extend their thanks to all their supporters by conducting the service for everyone at St. Stephen's. 

The Work Camp helped needy residents of Windsor, Maine last July, with the help of friends and family at St. Stephen's, and they will share experiences and reflections on their experiences. 

We hope to see you there.



 ERD Logo 

           

Episcopal Relief & Development saves lives; promoting health and fighting diseases that kill millions each year.

We recommend the following books to help raise awareness about the importance of development in addressing poverty and disease worldwide:

An American Awakening: From Ground Zero to Katrina the People We Are Free to Be by Courtney Cowart
Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire by William T. Cavanaugh
Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande
The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier
Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen
Food and Faith: Justice, Joy, and Daily Bread edited by Michael Schut
Lifting Women's Voices edited by Margaret Rose, Jenny Te Paa, Jeanne Person and Abagail Nelson
Micah's Challenge: The Church's Responsibility to the Global Poor by Marijke Hoek and Justin Thacker.
Money & Faith: The Search for Enough edited by Michael Schut
Simpler Living, Compassionate Life: A Christian Perspective edited by Michael Schut
The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly.

To support Episcopal Relief & Development's work, please visit: 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.
 




                          BETHESDA HOUSE DINNER

 Mark your calendars now and plan to take part in providing a delicious Sunday dinner for the clients of Bethesda House on January 30th. Once again we will be joined by members of St. George's Church.  The dinner we served last year was enthusiastically received, and this year there are likely to be even more people present. We will need cooks and servers and helpers of all ages. Watch for further notices in January.
 Deacon Pat  


CAPITAL REGION THEOLOGICAL CENTER CLASSES

It's gift-giving time, but don't we all have enough STUFF?  Why not try a CRTC Gift Certificate for your favorite church school teacher, pastor or that budding theologian in your household?  Call or email our office now! 

"Old Testament I: History, Israel's Faith and Our Future"w/ Rev, Dr. Johan Bosman,
 20 hours: 4 Thursday eves beginning 1/17, and 2 Saturdays; Christ Community Church, Clifton Park
A course in our Lay Theological Educational Program, open to all.
$250.00; $200.00  to audit.  Reg. deadline: 12/17.

JUST ADDED!- Interactive Webcast Event w/ Brueggemann!
"Reading Scripture Through Other Eyes,"w/  Reknowned Internat'l Panel of Speakers-
Thur-Fri, Jan20-21, 9am -4pm, St. John's Lutheran Church, 160 Central Ave, Albany,
Join us for Keynote Speakers (via webcast), panel discussion, reflection groups, and study materials!  How does our Understanding of Scripture change: by culture?  in groups? when we share?
Cost: $125 by Dec. 21; $140 thereafter.  Reg. deadline: Jan. 10.

"Which Way Do We Go?  Charting Paths for Today's Youth Ministry",
 w/ Revs. Christy Lang & Blair Bertrand, (Doctoral Students of Kenda Creasy Dean),
 Sat., Jan. 22, 9am-3pm at Delmar Reformed Church, Creative ways to approach youth ministry.
Cost: $75 by Dec. 23., $95 thereafter; Reg. deadline: Jan. 7, 2011.

"Connecting with Calvin: Restoring Unity to the Church",
w/ Dr.Randall Zachman, Sat, Mar. 26, 9am-12pm, Siena College
This Calvin scholar shows us how historic issues from the Reformation inform our current situation.
Sponsored by Siena College, Franciscan Center for Catholic Studies, and Westminster Presbyterian (Albany). No course fee; Free-will offering for CRTC. Reg. deadline: Mar. 18.

"Sunday is Fun Day! Church School Rotation Model Workshop"
 w/ Rev. Dr. Miriam Lawrence Leupold,
April 2, 2011, 9am - 4pm, at First Presbyterian in Albany,
Come discover why Rotation Model works for all learning styles and may size churches.  
See it set up and take home
Lots of resources.  Bring a team to maximize the learning!
$65 by Mar. 3, $75 thereafter; Reg. deadline: Mar. 17, 2011.

It's gift-giving time, but don't we all have enough STUFF?
Why not try a CRTC Gift Certificate for your favorite church school teacher, pastor or that budding theologian in your
ousehold?  Call or email our office now!  Look at all of the courses coming up:

Register online at www.capitalrtc.org or by phone at 518-462-2470. Watch our website for information on these and many ther courses available in 2010. 
Scholarships and group discounts available for most classes;
please contact us for an application.



Birthday

          Birthdays:   

Jacob Price........................1/2
Emerson Mykoo..................1/3
Sam Boese.........................1/5
Robert Bailey......................1/7
Audrey DeBritz....................1/7
Emma Koch.........................1/7
Barbara Dobbins Stratton.....1/7
Luke DeBritz........................1/8
Laura Manor........................1/8
Chelsea Trant......................1/8
David Taylor........................1/9
Kayla Gibbs........................1/11
Laura Pratico......................1/12
Susan Goldthwaite..............1/13
Akash Prasad.....................1/13
Pearl Burton.......................1/17
Andrei Crates.....................1/18
Marshall Cohen...................1/22
Megan Norris-Dominguez.....1/22
Debbie Trawick....................1/23
Scott Kilbourn......................1/26
Thomas Soulé......................1/26
Carolyn Morin......................1/27
Adam Boese........................1/29

Anniversary

  
      Anniversaries:
Michael Bishop & Pauline Holmes........1/6
John & Susan Goldthwaite.................1/25
Harvey & Mary Alexander.................1/31
Bruce & Jane Tatge...........................1/31


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, Carole Merrill-Mazurek
Jr Warden, Tracy Ormsbee

Class of 2010:
Sid Woodcock
Susan Feyrer
Peter Nelson

Class of 2011:
Austin Spang
Tracy Schierenbeck
Linda Emaelaf

Class of 2012:
Deborah O'Connor
 Millie Gittinger
Matt Canavan

Serving without Vote:
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:  james.ross.mcd@gmail.com
Our website is www.saintstephenschenectady.org
 
The Messenger is published September - June.
Please submit articles to Larry Levine