June 2012

Until September!

As the Messenger comes to a close for the Summer, we look forward to what will be happening in the next few months as we prepare for the opening of our new Parish Hall in Sept/Oct.

 The new parish hall is almost done.  We expect to have our occupancy permit by mid-June.  Rob and his crew are working feverishly to make it happen.  Mostly small stuff.   The last of the kitchen equipment will be delivered Monday.  Two items are on the critical path.  The doors from the church to the nave extension which are due this week.  The second is the remaining door hardware which is late.  
~ Austin Spang 


I will be working over the summer on a new format for the Messenger that will be more efficient and a lot more flexible. I look forward to providing you with pertinent monthly information as well as an insight into St. Stephen's and its members. Have a Great Summer!
~ Cathy Knauf  

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
St. Stephen's now has a Facebook Page where you can see photos, look at upcoming events, and more. 
Click the link and "Like" Saint Stephen's on Facebook.

The Early Church author, Tertullian, said, "Christians are made,
not born" - if we were born Christians, there would be no need
for formation. Thus an active, informed Christian may be
considered to:

A question to ponder upon this summer is: how well am I equipped as a Christian? Being again this fall Saint Stephen's will offer you abundant resources for Christian formation - but only you can choose to take advantage of them. If you already are well-equipped, it is your responsibility to help equip others - children, youth and adults inside and beyond the church. You don't have to be an expert, just a well-informed, prayerful and committed disciple of Jesus active in a community of fellow-disciples.

Consider making time in your life for being a participant in one or more of the educational opportunities this fall. It could change your life!



Summer Reminders


Once again the summer vacation season begins. Our congregants travel all over the country and the world! When you worship elsewhere this summer, please save the bulletin (or anything else you think might be of interest) and hand it to the rector after the Eucharist. He loves to receive bulletins and newsletters from other churches.

The Finance Committee sends a gentle summer reminder that our financial commitments do not go on vacation. If you plan to be away, please update your pledge before you leave
   Thank you.    


A couple was arranging for their wedding, and asked the bakery to inscribe the wedding cake with 1 John 4:18 which reads "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear."

The bakery evidently lost, smudged or otherwise misread the noted reference, and beautifully inscribed on the cake John 4:18 ... "for you have had five husbands, and the man you have now is not your husband."

Saint Stephen's Summer Picnic
Sunday, June 3,
immediately following the 10:15am service
River Road Park, Niskayuna

The main dish, dessert and drinks will be provided.
Please bring a covered dish to

If you would like to help or have questions,
call Erin Cohen 346-9377 or cohenerine@gmail.com

Directions to River Road Park:
The park is located on River Road
near the intersection with Rosendale Road.
From Saint Stephen's:
head north on Baker Ave toward Nott Street. Turn right on Nott. Turn left onto Van Antwerp Rd.
Take a slight right onto Research circle. Continue onto river road. River Road Park is about 1.5 miles on the right.

Amenities include tot lot; pavilion with bathrooms; softball fields; basketball court; large, open area and natural walking area.

St. Stephen's Garage Sale
Is stuff piling up around your house,
piles here, piles there, piles everywhere? 
Do not despair . . . the St. Stephen's Garage Sale
will beheld on September 29th
and we need all your old stuff. 
If you are saying to yourself, that's fine,
but what do I do with it until then? 
There is asolution for that, too. 
The new Parish Hall will have storage space in
the basement and as soon as we get our
certificate of occupancy things can be stored there. (Please no adult clothes, textbooks or electronics). 
If you need help moving larger items,
please contact Vicki Hoshko or Susan Feyrer.
We not only need your rummage,
we will also need your help organizing,
pricing, sorting and selling the week of the sale. 
Sign up sheets andmore information to follow
in September's Messenger.
The proceeds from the sale will go toward furnishing
our new nursery.
So don't throw it, stow it until September 29. 
Thank you, Vicki and Susan

Facebook IPO flops as St. Stephen's workcamp shares go on sale!

 On Sunday, June 3, St. Stephen's youth group will begin selling their coveted workcamp shares - only a week or so after the sale of Facebook shares flopped. Coincidence, or an instance of savvy investors foregoing a risky investment and instead saving their money for a safe one? Well, those unfortunate folks who spent their money on Facebook shares can only wonder; you, though, have an opportunity this Sunday to invest in a project that never flops - workcamp!
Unlike facebooks's grumpy Mark Zuckerberg, St. Stephen's youth group members are always smiling and happy, eager to sell shares and prepare for workcamp. This year they go to Eleanor, West Virginia, where they'll help repair homes for folks who are unable to do the work themselves. You can help them, and be smiling yourself - buy your workcamp shares starting this Sunday! See George Woodzell or any smiling youth group member.

Ecumenical Witness of Baptism

On Sunday, June 17, there will be a baptism at St. Stephen's. Furthermore, this baptism will be witnessed by not only the immediate family of the children being baptized and the congregation of St. Stephen's Episcopal, it will be witnessed by members of the Capital Area Council of Churches Ecumenical Witness of Baptism program.

The Ecumenical Witness program, in existence since1995, gathers people of various Christian faith traditions to witness the baptism of infants and children in churches across the Capital region. When a church schedules a baptism they call the witness coordinator with the date and time, and the coordinator in turn calls witnesses to be present. The witnesses sit together as a group at the service of worship, read a brief statement of welcome to the newly baptized child and greets the family. Generally there are four or five participants.
The group meets each year around the time of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord to renew their commitment, pray together, and exchange news and information.

I have been a member of the Witness group for about a year-- (I found out about it through the Capital Area Council of Churches newsletter) and have been privileged to witness four baptisms - two at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic church in Albany, one at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church on Central Ave in Albany, and one at First Church (Reformed) in Albany. There are opportunities to witness throughout the Capital area, but I am limited in my availability since most baptisms take place on Sunday mornings.

Father James enthusiastically supported the concept when I asked if I might broadcast the June 17 event to the Witness coordinator. I will be a proud member of the group, and also a proud St. Stephen's employee - it is good to work and witness among such supportive and open minded congregants.

Blessings, Miranda Rand

Between Athens...and Jerusalem:
A Theological "Great Books" Discussion

What is the meaning of life? How do you define a just society? How
should political systems work in order to best serve the will of the people? Can humans know whether the claim "God exists" is true or not? If so, how? If not, why not? Are these questions actually useful?
This course is intended to introduce participants to theological reflection on the Great Ideas of the Western World from ancient Greece to more contemporary studies. Each class will begin with a lecture from "The Great Courses" series by Daniel Robinson via a video. Discussion will be focused on his topic for that week. Handouts, including some of the readings will be given out to participants in advance for preparation.

Dr. Robinson is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University and a member of the philosophy faculty at Oxford University. His doctorate was earned in neuropsychology! He is a fascinating speaker.

Classes will begin this fall and a sign-up sheet will be available at the Parish Faire. 

Bob Acosta - The Packard Grand Piano

piano "Unless there is harmony on the shop floor, there will be no harmony in the pianos." This was the motto of the Packard Piano Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana indicative of the view for the need of workers to be happy. The Packard Company had its beginnings in the 19th century when the business centered on reed organs for the home, parlor, or chapel. By the 20th century, the primary business was piano manufacture. However, the Packard Company failed as a business around 1930 due to the Great Depression. At the time, the company was filling an order for a large number of wooden cabinets for radios, but the firm which placed this order folded, leaving the Packard Company with that additional liability.

The living room sized grand pianos made by Packard inn the 1920's are fine instruments. I am the owner of one of these grand pianos (example photo attached). My dad purchased this piano for me in 1967, being referred to a dealer in Albany, which dealer also ran a funeral business. Bob Acosta

We were ushered past the new Mason & Hamlin pianos in the front showroom; the dealer felt I was not quite ready for these models.

The Packard grand in the dealer's bargain room purchased that day,

continues to serve me well. The piano's action has always been nice to play, not too heavy or stiff, which if you play the piano you would appreciate. Above all, it is fun to imagine the history of this piano and to appreciate how well it represents a fine musical instrument.

Youth Education

  Spring 2012 

MirandaChristianEd@ St. Stephen's from Ms.Miranda

Train a child in the way he should go.
When he is old, he will not turn away from it.

Proverbs 22:6 (NIRV)


Our Group's Guiding Principles
With open arms we welcome everyone to our group
With open hearts we seek the good in everyone
With open minds we welcome everyone's thoughts and ideas
Through love we honor the individual spirit in each person
Through service we seek to better the lives of others
Through discussion we seek to grow in mind and spirit
Through sharing we encourage and support each other


Godly Play (Grades Pre-K-6 @ 10:15 in the Tower) -
Miranda Rand
(This group leaves with their teachers after the Rector's children's message, and return to participate in the sacrament with their families.)
During the month of May our students worked with several different "Upper Room" stories, explored Jesus' Good Shepherd image, and experienced the excitement of Pentecost.

Our program year ends on June 10. We will use these last two Sundays(June 3rd and June 10th) to learn about two very important apostles - St. Peter and St. Paul. Without Peter's impetuous desire to tell the stories Jesus told, to heal and to help, and Paul's elegant prose and passionate evangelism, Christianity might not have survived the first century. Thanks to them, two millennia afterwards, we are still listening and learning.

My grateful appreciation to Brian Riordon, Allison deKanel, and Ann Rigley who acted as wonderful story tellers on those Sundays when I was not available, and to Denise Crates who came up with the children almost every week to be my helper.

        p     p     p     p     p     p
 Godly Play with Miranda's Jesus Doll

George Woodzell & Peter Nelson
Grades 7-12 @ 9:00am in the Chapel- 

Under the remarkable care of George Woodzell, with some help from Peter Nelson, this group has been exploring what it looks like to write their own worship service. The idea of a teen worship time, separate and entirely different in word and sequence from the service outlined in The Book of Common Prayer, has taken form over the course of the past few months, following a visit to the youth worship service at the Unitarian church on Wendell Avenue.

Our students have wrestled with such deep topics as what is spirituality, what constitutes a person's soul, and what ideals would they like to see expressed in their statement of purpose. By the time the Sunday School season wraps up on June 10, the expectation is that this statement will be completed and an outline for their worship format will have been agreed to.

Adult Education

Sunday Morning Adult Education:  "Living the Questions"

Facilitated by Fr. James, this year-long course will come to an end this month. For the first two weeks we will continue our conversation about how we live out our faith in the world. We will have a conversation about these questions and more, supplemented by video clips of leading theologians and spiritual thinkers discussing their thoughts on being faithful Christians in a 21st century society.


Father James,

June 3- Creative Transformation
June 10 - Embracing Mystery
 Class sessions are held in Fr. James' office
on Sunday mornings at 9am. 


Elie Wiesel's Great Figures of the Bible:

Thursday Morning Community of Friends

Great Figures of the Bible: Legends and Legacies of our Biblical Heroes with human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel DVD series. Throughout the series Elie Wiesel will be our guide as we examine the complex and challenging characters from the Hebrew Bible from the first apple.
A sign-up sheet will be available at the Parish Faire.

Education for Ministry

The Education Ministry (EFM) Program is the theological education extension program of the School of Theology of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee designed for the laity. The course requires a one-year commitment and can be taken for 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. A special emphasis is on doing theological reflection on daily life issues. Students meet weekly in seminars led by trained mentors.

Classes will begin this fall and a sign-up sheet will be available at the Parish Faire.

Tributes, Thank You's and Recognition

Our Congregation is a Huge Success !
Thank you to all of the congregation here at St. Stephen's. 
Lots of you walked.  Lots of you contributed.  Lots of you prayed. 
The congregation benefited as do the hungry people in Schenectady
and the larger world. 
We are all better for this outpouring of yours.  This is great!
Our next feeding challenge is the children's summer lunch program. 
It is bound to be warmer and we actually see the recipients of our giving.  Keep praying for more meal successes!

Ministry Updates

St. Stephen's Book Club

Over the past year we have shared good books, good laughs, good cries, and most of all, good times.  We hope you can join us for our June meeting. If not, we will be taking the summer off, but we have listed the September book as well. We will be meeting on June 12th at the Feyrers, 1198 Lowell Rd., Schenectady from 7:00 - 9:00.

         June book: "The Great Emergence"
         by Phyllis Tickle


September book: " 11/22/63 A Novel"
by Stephen King

St. Stephen's Shop News

The Shop has many interesting gifts for Dad,
Flashlights, Mini tool kits, key chains, pens and bookmarks
and Dad's pocket size devotional books.
Stop by and see them and also we have lovely items for your garden
featuring mobiles, garden plaques and Prayer Stones. 
We are very happy to announce that the Shop will be giving $500.00
to the Church to be used for Scholarships
for our young people to go to Work Camp. 
Thanks so much for all your support this year,
without you we would not be able to make this donation.
A huge pat on the back to all of you.
Many Blessings to all,
Lily, Louise, Claudia & Marilyn



Yes it's almost time for Summer Lunch. We'll be at Jerry Burrell Park again for the week of July 2 - 6. Since the holiday is on Wednesday we'll be serving lunch for just four days this year. There will be a signup sheet on the table in the back of the church. I would love to have 4 volunteers to help me each day from 11:30 to about 1:00pm.
If you have helped in the past you'll remember how quickly the hungry kids line up as soon as the food delivered.
If you haven't helped in the past please consider joining us, the smiles on the kids faces is why we do this.

Happy Birthday Wishes and Blessings Go out to:

06/01 - William FrankBirthday
06/02 - Robert Voelker
06/04 - David Caruso   
06/05 - Ellen Ormsbee
06/07 - Barbara Adams
06/14 - Bonita Bailey
         - Stephen Gray
         - Laura Huggett
06/18 - Josephine Jones
06/19 - Stan Jakubowski
06/20 - Alfred Lowe
         - Matthew Syta
06/22 - Donald Humphrey
         - Britta Kilbourn
06/25 - Ann Walraven
06/27 - Sal Belardo
         Happy Wedding Anniversaries to: 
06/12 - Sal & Diana Belardo
         - Chris & Pat Jones
06/15 - Scott & Diane Kilbourn
         - Emile & Ann Walraven 
06/19 - William & Janet Schlansker
           06/20 - Clark & Millie Gittingerl
     06/22 - Belachew & Linda Emaelaf
              - Jack & Susan Feyrer
              - Austin & Marti Spang
     06/26 - Jim & Tracy Ormsbee

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

Miranda Rand, Christian Education Direcor

Robert Acosta, Director of Music
Cathleen Knauf, Administrative Assistant

The Vestry
Sr. Warden, Linda Emaelaf
Jr. Warden, Scott Kilbourn

Class of 2012:
Michael Dixon
Jim Ormsbee

Peter Nelson

Class of 2013:
Erin Cohen

Brian Riordon
 Treasurer: Denise Crates

Class of 2014
Carole Merrill Mazurek
Joe Palko
Stan Jakubowski

The Parish Office:
Our office is located at 1229 Baker Avenue.
The telephone number is (518) 346-6241
If we are unable to answer your call, please leave a message.
We will call you back as soon as possible.
Our email is:  ssec.cathleen@gmail.com
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 Cathleen Knauf at