The Messenger

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
April 2013

In This Issue

A Blast from the Past
Letter from
Father James
Youth Education
Adult Education
Thank You’s
Local Opportunities
Mr. Bob Acosta
Ministry Updates
Article on Labyrinths

Greetings from Father James!

Dear Parish Family,

A friend shared a prayer with me last week that hit close to home. It goes, "Lord, help me to be the man my dog thinks I am."

I got Maddie as a 2 year old rescue dog many years ago. She has graced Lisa’s and my life in so many ways by her playfulness, affection, love and devotion. From the beginning she was our youngest son’s dog - but I admit, she and I have developed a strong bond between us. She greets me at the door when I come home in the afternoon. She sits by my side when I read the newspaper. She studies my face when I am worried. On more than one occasion she has
licked the tears from my eyes when I was sad. She looks up to me as if I could do no wrong.

Now, I know better. I'm aware of my sinfulness as the next person. Somehow, though, relating to Maddie brings out the best in me. I don't want to let her down. Consequently, when I'm with her I make an intentional effort to curb my anger, to exercise patience and restraint, to express words of affirmation and praise.

Now, if all this seems silly - my relationship to a dog - just think how much more powerfu our relationship with each other can be. As people of faith we have the opportunity to see each other as children of God, brothers and sisters in Christ. The world may be quick to point out our faults, but through the eyes of faith, we are able to recognize each other's potential. Put into practice, this has a transforming quality. When you treat others with reverence and
respect, they tend to respond in kind. And when others see in you the image of God, it can't help but affect how you think and act.

"Lord, help me to be the man my dog thinks I am." For what it's worth, I'm going to let this be my prayer for the seven weeks of Easter; only I'm going to expand it to include my wife and our, parents, friends and anyone else who is able to see the Presence of the resurrected Christ in me. My hunch is, it'll help me recognize the goodness in them as well. After all the celebration, that’s what Easter can do!


Youth Education at St. Stephen’s

Spring 2013

Train a child in the way he should go. When he is old, he will not turn away from it.
~~Proverbs 22:6 (NIRV)

Godly Play
(Grades Pre-K-6) -
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.) Following on our successful Lenten series and a time of fun and instruction on Good Friday, we will return to learning more stories of Jesus life and ministry. The month of April starts with a lesson on the Twelve Disciples, their backgrounds and attributes, then continues with us learning the story of the Good Shepherd and World Communion. The story of St. Teresa of Calcutta and a celebration of Earth Day will conclude the month. We will celebrate Cinco de Mayo the first Sunday in May.
Miranda Rand
George Woodzell
Peter Nelson

Youth Group
(Grades 7-12 @ 9:00am) -
George Woodzell & Peter Nelson

A tour of the Hindu Temple on Albany Shaker Road and a time of instruction on Hindu beliefs was followed by a discussion on the diverse nature of worship. Together the group explored the cultural and spiritual differences between Hindu and Christian celebrations. A Friday night lock-in and movie-watching session was held and at the request of Deacon Pat, the group participated in the traditional Maundy Thursday Stripping of the Altar following the evening worship service, and in the Easter Vigil—keeping watch in the church between 5AM and 6AM on Friday morning.

A two-session yoga practice has been rescheduled to two consecutive Sundays in May. The instructor cancelled at the last minute due to a death in the family.

Adult Education

Sunday Morning Adult Education:

The Kingdom of David. The Saga of the Israelites

This course tells the epic story of the Jews and the creation of the world's first and most profoundly influential monotheistic religion. The stories of the patriarch Abraham, the liberator Moses, the poet-king David and his son Solomon all come to life in the dramatic tale of loss and triumph that shaped humanity's basic moral struggle for more than three millennia.

April 7 – This class deals with the first writing of the Hebrew Bible, stories of Abraham believing in one god, Moses and the freeing of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, and the Ten Commandments.
April 14 - This class suggests that the Israelites did not invade Canaan, but were really the lower classes within Canaanite society that inhabited the countryside. We will also deal with the Story of King David and the later reform of the Book of Deuteronomy that God could only be worshiped at one spot only - the Temple in Jerusalem and concluding with Jeremiah and the Babylonian Exile.
April 21 - This class deals with a time when the second temple was completed and became the central focus of Jewish life. It also includes an exploration of the Book of Job and Greek culture with its emphasis on mind and body.
April 28 - This class deals with the tradition of study and debate of the Bible and Maccabeean victory over the Hellenistic Jews.

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

Between Athens…….and Jerusalem

A Seminar of Theological Reflection on the Great Ideas of the Western World
Tuesday Mornings 10:30-Noon

April 2 Scholasticism and the Theory of Natural Law
Thomas Aquinas's treatises on law would stand for centuries as the foundation of critical inquiry in jurisprudence.
April 9 The Renaissance—Was There One?
From Petrarch in the south to Erasmus in the north, Humanistic thought collided with those seeking to defend faith.
April 16 Let Us Burn the Witches to Save Them
Even in the time we honor with the title of Renaissance ran an undercurrent of a heady and ominous mixture of natural magic, natural science, and cruel superstition.
April 23 Francis Bacon and the Authority of Experience
Francis Bacon would come to be regarded as the prophet of Newton and originator of modern experimental science.

All classes are held on Tuesday Mornings from 10:30 to noon in the Conference Room.

Father James, Rector

Thank you......Thank you

.....To all cooks who cooked and baked our suppers before the Sunday Lenten studies.
.....To all those who set up, cooked and cleaned up for the Seder Supper
.....To the Altar Guild and to brass polishers par excellence who polished all the brass in the church, and made Easter Day beautiful with flower arrangements.
.....To Bob Acosta and the Choir members; to our brass instrumentalists who helped to make Easter Day joyous.
.....To the lectors, chalice bearers and acolytes who made our worship possible.
.....To all those who helped in the nursery room.
.....To the ushers and to the offering counters.
.....To our Cathy Knauf, our Office Administrator, who worked so hard to prepare bulletins and make other arrangements.
.....To Donna and Joe, our Sextons, who made the church shine again
.....To the Church women who made our palm crosses.
.....and the list goes on and on!


CRTC: ecumenical theological education, support for clergy, training for ministry, and resourcing services for congregations.

Do you know about CRTC scholarships? In partnership with your church board or denomination, we could pay up to half the cost of your next CRTC course! Contact us to apply today!

Social Media for Churches: The Why & How, Rev. Dr. Tim Coombs & Rev. Dr. Michelle Bogue-Trost, Apr. 12, 9am-3pm, Liverpool United Methodist, Apr.13, 9am-3pm;April 13, 9am-3pm, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Loudonville,. Does social media ever seem like a different world? Why does the church need Facebook, Pinterest, texting and Twitter to communicate in today's digital age? Beginner and advanced level learning in this workshop. $90; Registration deadline: Mar. 27.

DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER MATTHEW FOX, Occupy Christianity: A New Reformation, Apr. 19, 7-8:30 pm, First Unitarian Society, Sch'dy; Apr. 20, 9am-3pm, St. George's Episcopal Ch., Sch'dy, Come hear Fox's call to reawaken the biblically-rooted tradition we now call Creation Spirituality; learn how study of St. Hildegard can help to guide us to an authentic Christianity in today's world. $125; Registration deadline: Apr. 3.

From Creation to Re-Creation: An Indoor-Outdoor Retreat, Rev. Kent Busman & Rev. John Paarlberg, Apr. 29 - May 1, Fowler Camp & Retreat Center. Spend 3 days and 2 nights exploring scripture and the beauty of the Adirondacks; hike, canoe and kayak during the days; in the evenings, reflect on humanity's role in creation while enjoying the comfort and amenities of Chi Rho House. $395 per person. breakfast and lunch served at Chi Rho. Limited registration. Reg. deadline: Apr. 15.

All's Well That Ends Well: The Transformative Work of Retirement, Alban consultant Larry Peers, May 8 & 9, St. Edward the Confessor, Clifton Park, This workshop will provide pastors with tools for practical and spiritual questions that lead 2-10 years into retirement; prepare your congregation and yourself. $165 by April 10; $190 thereafter; Reg. deadline: April 22.

SAVE THE DATE! CRTC 2013 Spring Event aboard the Captain JP Cruise Line-- Monday, May 20, 2013, 6-9 pm. Bring a team from your church and join the fun when CRTC casts off on the Captain JP Cruise Line in Troy. Find "The Hidden Treasures of Resourcing!" $225 for your team of four; Ticket deadline: May 1.

Faith Seeking Understanding- Introduction to Theology, Rev. Dr. Gregg Mast, Saturdays July 13 and 20, 9am - 3:30pm; Sundays July 14 and 21, 1- 5pm. This course will be an introduction for those who want to learn more about the central theological tenets of the Christian Church. A Lay Theological Education Program 20-hour core course. $275 ($225 to audit); Reg. deadline June 27.

Register online at or by phone at 518-462-2470. Watch our website and our Facebook page for information on these and many other courses available in 2013. Scholarships and group discounts available for most classes.

Local Opportunities

Mr. Bob Acosta – St. Stephen’s Organ – Part 1

The various tones heard from the St. Stephens Organ are controlled from the console which contains two keyboards (manuals) of 61 notes each and a pedalboard (notes played with the feet) of 32 notes. Also there are three sets of stop tabs corresponding to the three divisions of the organ, the Pedal, Swell, and Great divisions. A view of the swell divisional stop tabs is given here:

These can be selected individually or in combination. Each selection will allow the keyboard to play a set of 61 pipes each made of a unique material which, depending on the tab or stop selected, may be metal (tin/lead alloy), wood, or a metal reed which consist of a brass tongue, metal resonator, and a specially designed slotted brass tube. These different materials for the pipes of a given stop give a unique characteristic tone for the 61 notes. The tin/lead alloy pipes gives a characteristic “organ” sound, the reed pipes give a sound much like a trumpet, and the wooden pipes, a flute like tone.

The dimensions of the pipes range from approximately 16 feet in height for the lowest note to less than one inch for the highest note. Accordingly, the stops are indicated by the numerical designation corresponding to the approximate height of the lowest of the notes, for example, 8’ for 8 feet, 2’ for 2 feet, or 1 3/5’ for a fractional length; in all about 750 pipes. Some of these stops are indicated below.

Baby Care Kits

At the April 23 ECW meeting we will be assembling Baby Care Kits for Church World Service (CWS), to help in areas of extreme poverty or following a natural disaster. Our goal is to complete 20 kits.

I will display cards of the items needed in the nave extension. If you would like help, take a card and bring in the item(s) by Sunday April 21. All items must be NEW and under 12 months in size; some may be hand-made. If you wish to make a sweater or gown, patterns are also available, or you may search for “CWS Kits” online.

If you prefer to make a contribution instead, that will be a great help. The value of a kit is about $40, and there is also a processing and shipping cost of $2 per kit. Please put your donation in the container in the cradle. Make checks out to St. Stephen’s. Thank you! Richey Woodzell

Next Assembly for SICM

is Tuesday, April 9th at FIRST REFORMED CHURCH
Superintendent, Larry Spring of the SCSD will be the guest speaker.
He brings many fresh perspectives on equity and excellence to our challenged district.
The Schenectady County Coalition for a Healthy Community wants to learn more about the needs that exist in each neighborhood so they can better serve Schenectary residents better.
They are surveying residents age 18 and older. It is being done on weekends only.
It has already been started and will continue to May 19th.
They are doing the neighborhoods of just the city right now.
Your participation in the survey will help us learn what we as a community need
to do to make Schenectady a healthy place for all.
The survey takes 30 to 40 minutes. You do not have to give your name.
Your SICM delagate, Eunice Chouffi

Ministry Updates

Spring Ladies' Luncheon

To All women of St. Stephen's Church:
Save the date!! The Spring Ladies' Luncheon will be held on Sunday, April 28th
at 12:15 at the Turf Restaurant on Mohawk Avenue in Scotia.
Mark your calendars now!
Entree choices are:
Baked Scrod, Chicken Florentine, Roast Top Sirloin of Beef
Each meal includes a salad, rolls, dessert as well as coffee or tea.
Thanks to the support of the church, the cost of the luncheon is just $10.00!
There will be a sign-up table in the Nave Extension next to The Shop. Payment is due at sign-up.
If paying by check, it should be made out to St. Stephen's Church.
Sign up after church or contact Sara Palko at 372-9898.

We are very fortunate to have Doreen May, Physician's Assistant, as our speaker. She will be speaking on women's health issues. If you need a ride to the Turf, please indicate that when you sign up. If you are available to drive one or two women to the restaurant, please let either Linda Perregaux or Sara Palko know. Please come and share this special time. It's a great time to get together with old friends and to meet new ones!


Join the Hunger Fighters! When: Sunday, May 5, 2013 Registration: 12:30-1:20 Walk begins at 1:30 (after brief opening) Rain/Snow Date: None, collecting funds “upfront” is “rain insurance” Where: Emmanuel Friedens Church 218 Nott Terrace Start and end Route loops up State Street, then downtown to return. One rest stop approximately half way - 5 K Walk - Optional “Golden Mile” available - Runners welcome but not an official race Why: -to witness/celebrate and to raise money for hunger-fighting efforts in Schenectady and around the world. -25% of funds will go to local Food pantries, Community Crisis Network, and Senior Meals -remainder will go to hunger-fighting relief, self-help development and refugee resettlement needs in the US and around the world. -special Africa and AIDS Initiative -at work whenever the next emergency/disaster happens How: -walkers get Sponsor Records from Priscilla Sprague 393-9262 or SICM office at 1055 Wendell Avenue, 374-2683 or Email – SO! We can all join in by walking, supporting the walkers with a contribution, and praying for the success of the walk. Let’s all join in making this 32nd anniversary walk the BEST YET!

St. Stephen’s Book Club

Book Club will be meeting Tuesday,
April 9th in the teen lounge at 7 PM

The April book is: “Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad” by Waris Dirie The May book is: “The Night Circus” By Erin Morgenstern

Are you interested in fresh, local produce delivered weekly?

Consider enrolling in
2013 Memberships available at all delivery sites

This Community Supported Farm (CSA) in Kinderhook grows all its produce without the use of any synthetic or artificial fertilizers or pesticides, using practices to maintain the health of the soil and the ecosystem. The farmers have signed the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York's “Farmer’s Pledge,” which reflects their commitment to treat the people who grow the food, the customers who eat the food, and the land and animals that produce the food with dignity and respect. Their beef, lamb and pork products are certified Animal Welfare Approved, guaranteeing that they are raised and slaughtered as humanely as possible. They strive to provide the animals with environments that best suit their instinctual needs. The lamb and beef are all grassfed and the pigs are pastured and fed organic grain.

Membership enrollment forms are available in the nave extension and on the farm’s website >CSA Membership>Capital District> 2013 Enrollment Form (in large blue letters). The second page of the form explains a lot of the specifics.

To participate, you buy a membership in the farm at $557 for 23 weeks of vegetables delivered to Union Presbyterian Church, 1068 Park Ave., Sch'dy, which you pick up between 4:30 and 6:30 PM. (You may choose instead one of their other delivery sites, whatever is more convenient for you.) The amount is usually paid up front, although they have an arrangement

for three partial payments. You may also split a share with someone, if you prefer. That sometimes is a good way to start out. Then you can alternate weeks or split the share each week. The amount in one share is enough for a vegetarian couple to live on each week.

Each week the farm delivers crates of 8-14 different types of vegetables and herbs (depending on what's available at that time of the season). In addition to the fresh vegetables, you can choose to purchase seasonal fruit, root (“storage”) vegetables, and beef, lamb, and pork.
The CSA expects members to work 3-4 hours during the season, usually in two 1 3/4 hour shifts, but you can also work at the farm, make calls, or help in other ways.
Roxbury farm has a commitment to the hungry in the communities they serve. They pack an extra 10% in their weekly deliveries for local food pantries, and any leftover produce goes to the pantries as well. Last year the SICM food pantry received over 4400 pounds of Roxbury Farm produce from the Schenectady and Glenville delivery sites.

We've been members for over 10 years and are very happy with the produce. If the farm is having a good year, as in 2012, you will receive LOTS of vegetables. If not (in 2011 they lost an estimated 60,000 pounds of produce due to Hurricane Irene), you don't get as much. In this way, everyone shares in the risks as well as the benefits of the farm.
If you have questions, ask Richey Woodzell, 372-9398.

Parish Information Form

Us Old folks…

Yes, I am one of the “old folks”. You can call me a “senior citizen” if you prefer, but it won’t change the fact that I’m in my eighth decade. At this stage, we all think a bit more seriously about getting things into order. One of the most important documents we create is, of course, a will. But there are other papers that will help those who survive us.
The “Parish Information Form”, actually three documents, is designed to make things easier for those who survive us. One part consists of information which can be helpful in writing an obituary. Another part lists people who are important to you, who should be notified. The third section has to do with funeral arrangements. It won’t really matter to me how my funeral is worked out ( I won’t be there!), but it can make life easier for my surviving kids and/or spouse if some simple decisions have been specified: what kind of a service will there be, who will do it, where will it be done, what the music will be, and so forth.

You can find the “Parish Information Form” on the St. Stephen’s website. Look under the “Information” tab for “Forms”. Once downloaded, you can fill it out on line, and then print it out. If you make several copies, one can go to your church, and another to those people who are likely to be making those arrangements. You will also find information about the Health Care Proxy form. Documents such as Power of Attorney and a Will should probably be drawn up in consultation with an attorney.

Fr. James probably has a few copies around the office if you aren’t into “downloading”. It might be a good idea to do some of these forms even if you’re not yet into your eighth decade. I promise to complete mine before I get into the ninth!

~ Chris Jones

"Gallery"– Fine Art Photography of Ann Norsworthy-Rigley

“Traditions & Foundations" a collection of works reflecting historic sites, and unique views of local landmarks, as presented in a contemplative and dynamic photographic style.

All works on display are available in print format, and various sizes. Comprehensive catalog of prior works
and collections also on view.

EXHIBIT HELD OVER!! Ann Norsworthy-Rigley's Fine Art Photography in Begley Hall is being extended through April 29th. Be sure to view the prints int he racks, and tour the hallways for other pieces of art and slices of Springtime! Hours Wednesday thru Friday, 11 am - 2 pm, Saturday NOON to 3 pm.
Contact the church office, or Ann, at 225-4440,


A sure path to amazement By Pat McCaughan and Sharon Sheridan | March 20, 2013

David Joyal and his son, Aidan, stamp patterns on the path of a labyrinth as part of an intergenerational project at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Morristown, New Jersey. Photo/Sharon Sheridan [Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Robert Wyatt has “never met a labyrinth he hasn’t walked,” and each “metaphorical journey” brings deeper, sometimes surprising, revelations. “When I first walked it, it occurred to me that it never helped to look more than one step [ahead],” recalled Wyatt, rector of St. Helena’s Episcopal Church in Burr Ridge, Illinois, which boasts a 30- by 30-foot square labyrinth. He had another realization: Two people on the path at the same time can offer an important point of reference. And a third: “If you just stay on the path you’ll always get to the center. It’s not a maze, it’s a path to the center and back out to the world.” Labyrinths may be located indoors or outside and vary in size and shape; besides the prayer paths that people walk, virtual and hand-held versions are available for mini spiritual rejuvenations. The ancient tradition of labyrinths predates Christianity but is enjoying a revived popularity within the Episcopal Church. They mean various things to different people, and each encounter almost always is an intensely personal experience, Wyatt said. “One way to understand the labyrinth is as a metaphorical journey to the Holy Land,” said Wyatt, who aims to walk one in Wales and another at Our Lady of Reims Cathedral in Reims, France. “Their origins are lost in the mist of the human past, but it can be seen as a pilgrimage, as a spiritual journey,” he said. “You can walk it to unburden yourself, for purgation, to get to the middle, pause, stand, meditate, so at that point you can unburden yourself and pray for illumination. And, as you walk out, you might pray for unification with God and God’s purpose for you.” Or, you can do it for fun. Like Lauren Watson, 8, of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown, New Jersey, in the Diocese of Newark, where on March 10 families decorated two labyrinths on 11- by 14-foot canvases. Church members and visitors will be invited to walk the prayer paths on Maundy Thursday as part of their Holy Week journey. “I think it’s really good, so fun with all the stars and the crazy stuff like the cactus,” said Watson, who helped decorate the labyrinth pathways using acrylic paints and foam stamps in shapes ranging from angels and stars to lions, fish, ladybugs and coyotes. A large A was painted in the center of one, an O in the middle of the other, symbolizing God the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end. Gabrielle Seib-Napolitan, 8, said she thought walking the labyrinth would “feel like a rainbow” in her heart.

During Lent, members of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown, New Jersey, drew two labyrinths on 11- by 14-foot canvas drop cloths, then used foam stamps and acrylic paints to decorate the pathways with images of everything from angels and stars to lions, fish, ladybugs and coyotes. A large A was painted in the center of one, an O in the middle of the other, symbolizing God the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end. On Maundy Thursday, parishioners will have the opportunity to walk the labyrinths as part of their Holy Week journey. Photo/Sharon Sheridan The Rev. Melissa Hall, St. Peter’s assistant rector and director of youth education, said teaching children about labyrinths gives them a new way to experience and think about prayer. “We are very hierarchical in our prayer and how we teach children to pray. We always pray up … It’s very reserved. It’s a transcendent God.” But walking the labyrinth “is very present, internal, personal between you and God,” she said. “You’re looking down as your pray … The words don’t matter. You’re praying with your body.” It helps adults, too. When adults first approach a labyrinth and ask what to do, Hall tells them to say the familiar Lord’s Prayer while they’re walking. Invariably, as they move along the path, “they get lost in it,” she said. “They all of a sudden realize they’re not saying anything at all.” Finding inner peace Sandy DeGraff had never seen, much less walked, a labyrinth until she left a church office in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, years ago after making burial arrangements for her mother, who had died after a long illness. DeGraff was grief-stricken and paperwork-weary when she saw the labyrinth. She did what just seemed natural: She stepped out onto its path. “Ever since, I’ve been a strong labyrinth advocate,” said DeGraff, 67, chair of a committee to build a labyrinth in front of Holy Family Episcopal Church in Fresno, California, in the Diocese of San Joaquin. “As I started around the labyrinth, I thought about my mother and what we’d just gone through and how important she was to my little family … and about the funeral and everything leading up to this moment,” she said, breaking into tears. “She was a wonderful mother, a wonderful grandmother to my two sons.” She discovered she was at the labyrinth’s center. “I said a prayer for my mother and a sense of peace washed over me,” she recalled. “It started at the top of my head and came down on me like a shower. I felt it from head to toe, and I knew that it was going to be OK. I said another prayer to God, thanking him for giving her to us.”

On her way out, an idea occurred to her to preserve her mother’s memory by writing a book for subsequent generations. “By the time I finished the labyrinth, I was totally at peace, totally fine,” she said. “It had been difficult, but we made it through. I knew we’d go on, that Mother was still a part of us, and I’ve never stopped having that sense of peace.” Now she hopes to offer to others similar “pleasant walks with God.” DeGraff regards creating the labyrinth at her church “more for people outside Holy Family than people who are in Holy Family.” A January fundraiser jump-started the process of raising the $45,000 needed. When completed, the labyrinth will resemble the 11-circuit rosette design of the Chartres Cathedral in France “because it’s so well-known,” said the Rev. Michele Racusin, rector. “It will be grey and a reddish color. We see it as a tool for evangelism and welcome and prayer,” she said, adding that she hopes to break ground within a few months. Both Racusin and DeGraff said they believed the labyrinth’s presence would telegraph an invitation to community members to take their own metaphorical journeys. They hope to convey that, while “the church is a sacred space, [it also is] a place of prayer open to the entire community, to anyone who needs it,” DeGraff said. Personalized construction Jay and Connie Moody also used the Chartres Cathedral design when they built a labyrinth last September at St. Thomas the Apostle Center in Cody in the Diocese of Wyoming. They added a personal touch to the construction. “We invited everyone in the diocese to bring rocks for it, so we have a good representation from across the diocese with the stones,” said Jay Moody, 62, resident manager of the 300-acre year-round retreat center. The result was more than 1,800 stones – each roughly 10 inches wide, a foot high and three inches thick – arranged vertically to form the six-petal rose center design and surrounding circular paths. Gravel fills the areas between the lines. “We wanted to be able to place the stones deeply enough so they wouldn’t fall over,” Moody said. “We have a great mix here – sandstones in various colors and also volcanic rock,” said Moody, who walks the labyrinth regularly, weather permitting. Building the labyrinth was meaningful, he said. “When you’re doing a project like this, it’s a silent time. It gave me an opportunity to connect with this place in a more spiritual way.” After a contractor leveled the area, approximately 70 feet in diameter, the couple laid the stones. “We felt the labyrinth would add to the depth of the experience of having a retreat here,” Moody said, “because it really represents what we try to do at the center,” located a short distance from Yellowstone National Park. “It is really our goal when folks come here that they can leave the busy-ness of their everyday lives behind and are able to quiet their minds and to leave here with more open hearts and a bit more insightful about their own spirituality and a little bit more at peace with their relationship with the world,” he said. “We really feel the labyrinth embodies that.” It also became an intensely personal experience for him. “As I laid the stones, I thought about what the pathways really meant as I was building them,” he recalled. “Essentially, you walk the path and are trying to move away, to free yourself from the trials and tribulations and influences of daily life. Many times, I was literally on my hands and knees, praying and placing the rocks.” – The Rev. Pat McCaughan and Sharon Sheridan are Episcopal News Service correspondents.


Apr. 1 Paul de Kanel
Apr. 3 June Russell
Apr. 5 Jack Feyrer; Mary Francis Hatfield; Marsh Kimmer
Apr. 9 Gerald Perregaux
Apr. 14 Cynthia Love
Apr. 16 Dave Crates; Aralyn Riordon
Apr. 21 Abigail Cohen
Apr. 24 Galina Bayer
Apr. 25 Veronica Cohen
Apr. 27 Christopher Kirby
Apr. 29 Adonis Antoine


Apr. 2 Adonis & Darlene Antoine
Apr. 5 Sidney & Gillian Woodcock
Apr. 6 Steven Koch & Susan Townsend
Apr. 21 Joe & Sara Palko
Apr. 29 Budd Mazurek & Carole Merrill-Mazurek

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 Director
Robert Acosta, Director of Music
Cathleen Knauf, Administrative Assistant

The Vestry

Sr. Warden, Scott Kilbourn

Class of 2013:
Erin Cohen
Brian Riordon
Treasurer: Denise Crates

Class of 2014:
Joe Palko
Carole Merrill-Mazurek
Stan Jakubowski

Class of 2015:
Jack Feyrer
Bill Frank
Jim Syta

The Church 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:
The Rector's email is:
Our website is
Facebook Page:!/pages/St-Stephens-Episcopal-Church-Schenectady-NY/239025559532317?fref=ts
The Messenger is published September - June.
Please submit articles to Cathleen Knauf -