Sunday School activites... Photos by Chris Jones


Meet Lisa Zebrowski –
Nursery Care Manager


Lisa is employed full-time as a
teacher’s aide at Steinmetz
Career and Leadership Academy.
She has worked there for five
years and came to us very highly
recommended by the teachers
she works with, and by her
immediate supervisor.

Lisa has worked for the Schenectady
City School District for more than twelve years. She has also worked for Gold’s Gym, managing their nursery.

Lisa lives in Rotterdam and has three grown children – 2 daughters (25, and 23) and a son (18) who is currently working on his Bachelors’ degree. When she is not working Lisa enjoys camping, the ocean, and the summer months. She loves kids of all ages. She is especially skilled with the very young, and with middle school-aged children.

Lisa’s hours on Sunday mornings are 9am until 11:30. Our agreement with Lisa is that the nursery is her first priority. If there are no children requiring care during the 9-10 am class time frame, then she is assisting in the Sunday Friends classroom, where her skill set works particularly well. If you require child care during that time and there is no-one in the nursery, then please come and find her. The classroom is immediately adjacent to the choir room.

Greetings from Father James

Dear Friends,

Some of you came to me surprised to read this summer in the special edition of the Messenger that I wrote: “On a much smaller scale St. Stephen’s has also used endowment money to balance our annual budget through the Smith-Green Fund. However, if only one or two of our biggest givers could not make a pledge for next year, we would be in a dire financial situation!”

There seems to be questions about Saint Stephen’s finances and I hope to answer some of them. First, for this year
we had 67 households who pledged over $112,000 for the operation of the church. The good news is that the average pledge is over $1600 for 2013. Per capita, that is better than most other congregations in this region. However, of those 67 pledges, only 4 households pledge over $48,000 of the total. That means that only four families give almost 43% of the individual contributions! That is what I meant when I said that the loss of any one of those four pledges would result in severe hardship for the congregation.

This is a problem which would be solved in one of at least three ways: 1) that the other 63 pledges increase their 2014 pledge by ‘stepping-it-up’ one step on the chart on the next page; 2) that we merge with another congregation and share the operational costs of running the building and perhaps even staff; 3) that we increase our membership (and pledges) in order to spread the financial responsibilities over a greater number of people. Without one of these solutions, changes will have to be made in our budget.

Of course, growing the congregation is the best solution. We have a full staff in place, a wonderful building in which to work and a full schedule of programs of all sorts (including a restart of our bell choir!). We are poised to grow. In fact, we have added some new families to our numbers this fall. The way I see it, this congregation is at a tipping point and I ask your prayers that we continue to be a vibrant congregation in the future.

Until we grow sufficiently, the church must talk about money. That is why St. Stephen’s is asking you to increase your pledge of time, talent and treasure. And God knows, it will mean sacrifice. Some people give out of their abundance: they give stock, they take from their investments; and it has little effect on how they live from day to day. Jesus did not criticize that, for there are all sorts of ways to be a good steward. But some have no abundance. They give out of what they have to live on. Their giving to the church and other organizations affects what they have to spend on food, clothes, housing, and travel. They make a real sacrifice and they do it lovingly and thankfully.

St. Stephen's is trying to wrestle with the meaning of having and of giving. In the past the vestry adopted a statement on stewardship of money. In it we endorse proportionate giving -- that is, a set portion of our income, off the top, in gratitude and in the hope that giving in this way will help to make holy the rest of the money we spend during the year.

Please consider increasing your giving for next year.



Voting, the privilege of U.S. citizens & the duty of Christians living in a democracy.

Tuesday, Nov. 5th - all day.


It is time for another "Undies Sunday" at St. Stephen's!

Our church provides essential underwear for the women in the Schenectady County Jail. (Yes, the County provides underwear, but it is not always available, and often it disappears in the laundry.) We will have a collection basket at the back of the church on Nov. 10 and 17. The following are the most-needed items:

o men's plain white t-shirts, sizes L, XL, XXL
o white cotton socks
o panties, all cotton, all colors, sizes 5 through 9

I send the needed items in packages to individuals, who are very appreciative. Thank you for supporting our jail ministry. (If shopping is not your favorite thing, cash or check contributions for "Jail Ministry" are also gratefully received.)

Deacon Pat


All Saints’ Day is one of the seven principal feasts of the church. This day is a celebration of
Christ in His whole mystical body. We are reminded that the saints still support us by their witness and example and surround us with their love and prayers. All Saints’ Day is the one day set aside each year when our faithful departed are remembered. This year it will be observed on Sunday, November 3rd at the 8 & 10:15 Eucharists. The later service will include an outside procession, weather permitting!

Upcoming Events

Thanksgivimg Services & Prayers

Don't forget the annual


November 28th

Thursday morning at 10 am

here at
St. Stephen's Church

The Woman Behind Thanksgiving Day

Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, for 40 years the editor of "Godey's Lady's Book," the mother of all magazines for women, was responsible for our observance of Thanksgiving Day.

In 1846 Mrs. Hale, a widow with five children, began her campaign to have Thanksgiving Day established as a national holiday. Some individual states listened to her and acted, but the Federal Government ignored her pleas for 17 years.

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln heeded Mrs. Hale, and the result was the first Thanksgiving proclamation by a president since George Washington.

(Mrs. Hale not only edited a magazine, not only raised children as a single parent, not only was responsible for Thanksgiving being recognized as a national holiday, she also wrote the poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb!")

Youth Education at St. Stephen's

Fall 2013




Building with Faith

Seminar of Theological Reflection on the Great Ideas of the Western

Between Athens and Jerusalem

Based on “The Great Ideas of Philosophy” By Professor Daniel N. Robinson Tuesday Mornings 10:30 – Noon

November 5 Phrenology—A Science of the Mind. In founding the now-discredited theory of phrenology, Franz Gall nevertheless helped define today's brain sciences.

November 12 The Idea of Freedom. The idea of freedom developed by Goethe, Schiller, and other romantic idealists forms a central chapter in the Long Debate over whether or not science has overstepped its bounds.

November 19 The Hegelians and History. Hegel's Reason in History and other works inspired a transcendentalist movement that spanned Europe, Great Britain, and the United States.

November 26 The Aesthetic Movement—Genius By the second half of the 19th century, the House of Intellect was divided between two competing perspectives: the growing aesthetic concept of reality and the narrowing scientific view.

Sunday Morning Adult Education

9:00am – 10:00am in Conference Room

A Reformation Overview

The Reformation dramatically changed the course of Christian history and western civilization. The issues they faced then still confront us today. This course will bring the reformation alive and introduce the key reformers and major turning points. Of course, special emphasis will be on the Anglican and Lutheran reformations.

The six classes are based on dramatic footage edited into dynamic half hours with introductions and transitions added from the very places where the momentous events originally took place. Discussion after each video will explore how each reformer has affected our faith today.

Oct. 27 – Nov. 10 – Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation – Henry VIII’s often misunderstood break with papal authority initiates the shaping of classical Anglicanism.

Nov. 17 – Menno Simons and the Anabaptists. Called "the Radicals," they were opposed by just about everyone--Catholics, Protestants, and political leaders, but their legacy endures to this day.

Nov. 24 - William Tyndale. A hunted fugative, this humble, young scholar translated and circulated the bible in English.

Adult Education

read passages from the Bible and talked about them, created their own definition of beauty with collages, cartoons, and statements of faith. One week we discussed rules. There were an almost equal numbers of boys and girls that week, so the group split naturally along gender lines to create a name and set of rules for a kids’ club. Both the girls and the boys made it perfectly clear that their group was for their gender only and the opposite sex was not welcome!

Youth Group

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

YOUTH GROUP enjoyed a two- session yoga practice with GE attorney and certified yoga instructor, Karol Augpurger the last two weeks in September. Karol provided a nice blend of lively posture flows and cool spirituality and because the weather was mild, both sessions were held in the courtyard. The first few weeks in October the group discussed the concept of community – what it is, how it happens, what makes it work. On October 27, Kent Busman, pastor, naturalist, storyteller and camp director, will join the youth to discuss environmental issues at 9:00. Sunday Friends students may join this session or attend the 10:15 storytelling session with the Godly Play group.

Godly Play
(Grades Pre-K-3rd) -
Miranda Rand

GODLY PLAY studied the life of Moses with stories, rhymes, and action games, from the time he
led the Hebrew people out of Egypt to the time he put a serpent on a stake in the middle of camp to remind them that God had their interests in His heart. The highlight of the Moses adventures was recreating the Sukkoth as we celebrated the Jewish Festival of the Booths. Cardboard boxes, duct tape, and corn stalks were the construction materials; a green tarp covered the courtyard stone for flooring and after we’d decorated the inside walls with pictures of the story, we ate a traditional meal – dried fruit, apple juice and sweet pastries, seated around a small table. The dads did an awesome job of keeping our construction upright – it was a very windy day and the construction materials lacked an anchor! Thanks to Chris Jones for taking the pictures. On October 27, Kent Busman visited the classroom to tell stories wild and mild.

Sunday Friends
(Grades 4th-6th) -

SUNDAY FRIENDS, (Grades 4-6), studied beauty in its many forms. They looked at folk art (sawdust street-art from Guatemala), religious art and paintings of nature scenes;

Lutheran Book of Worship

- Mr, Bob Acosta




The Lutheran Book of Worship or the LBW has been used in the past few Sundays at St Stephen's as a source of hymns used in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). Some of the hymn tunes are new to St. Stephens, but other tunes are familiar; the words may be different, however.

The hymn board will indicate when the LBW is to be used with the letters LBW preceding the hymn number. When there is no LBW preceding a hymn number, then that number refers to our Episcopal 1982 hymnal.

The choir regularly rehearses the hymns for Sunday service and can be relied upon to provide musical leadership especially if the hymn tune from the LBW is unfamiliar. Since there are a limited number of copies for the LBW in our church currently, there may not have been sufficient copies in your pew on Sunday. This will be discussed at the upcoming Worship Committee meeting to see how this situation can be improved upon.

Just as our hymnal draws on a rich tradition for hymns, so too the LBW draws on that from the Lutheran tradition such as the Scandinavian countries which cannot but serve to enrich our hymn singing experience.

Thank You’s and Recognition





The Altar Guild salutes Lisa McDonald,
who has devoted her time and energy
in caring for the linen.
The linen is looking especially beautiful and
all the members appreciate
her work and commitment so much.
It is a noble and loving sacrifice for all of us
and for the Church.
We thank you, Lisa.
With deep appreciation,
June Russell,
Altar Guild Directress

Church World Service Kits

THANK YOU, thank you! To everyone who
contributed to our drive for school supplies. We have assembled 19 school kits for Church World Service, and have enough supplies for 9 more kits, except for the bags to put them in. We will deliver them to CWS for distribution around the globe – to children in poor communities, in refugee camps, or in areas affected by natural disasters.

If anyone would like to sew a school bag for a kit, please see Richey Woodzell or go to kits/school-kits.html and click on
School bag pattern. Thank you.

Ministry Updates



ECW Update

At our November meeting, we will explore the website to explore options for our involvement and to learn more about the issues before making decisions about what we will do. Additionally, we will look for ways to involve the youth group and Sunday school classes in this work and plan a women’s event as a fundraiser for our hunger project.

The ECW has a basket at the back of the church to collect feminine hygiene products not covered by food stamps. Carole and I look forward to your participation in this important project. And we invite all of the women in our church family – even if you’ve never made a meeting before – to become a part of ECW. We know we have the strength in the amazing, smart women of St. Stephen’s to make a real difference here.

The Daughters of the King

The Daughters of the King is an order for women who have taken a vow of prayer, service and evangelism. In the St. Clare Chapter of the DOK at St. Stephen’s, we meet monthly to share our concerns, to learn from the Bible and from our heritage, and to pray for our community, the parish and each other.

At our October meeting Louise Peake selected a few passages from each chapter of a small book of quotes from Women of Faith and Spirit: Their Words & Thoughts, edited by Mary Alice Warner and Dayna Beilenson. She recommended the book for keeping at hand for inspiration. There are gems of wit and wisdom from the Old and New Testaments and throughout the centuries up through the twentieth. One sample:

“I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.”

Emily Dickinson, poet

At our next meeting Kabby Lowe will tell us about Clare of Assisi. In future meetings we hope to learn more from and about our spiritual “foremothers.”

If you would like to join us, we gladly welcome you! We meet in the parish library on the third Wednesday of each month from 10:30 to noon. The next meeting is November 20. If you have questions speak to a member of the DOK: Eunice Chouffi, Marilyn Humphrey, Kabby Lowe, Louise Peake or Richey Woodzell.


“O blessed Jesus, whom to know is everlasting life and who did walk through the lanes and fields of Galilee with your disciples, go forth with us this day as we go about our tasks and duties. Go before us in welcome, be with us in fellowship along the way and as we pass by, remain in the hearts of those we touch, for you are the beginning and the end, the same yesterday, today and forever, our Lord and Savior. Amen.”

from the National Handbook of the DOK

Shop News

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Stop at the Shop for a nice selection of cards, Thanksgiving prayers and decorations.
Coming soon will be Advent,
we will have Advent calendars and Advent candles.
And a repeat of a sellout—
The Episcocats and Episcopups calendars are now available.
Happy Shopping and
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Claudia, Lily, Louise and Marilyn



Did you know that food stamps do not cover many of the essentials for daily living? It’s great to get food for those days that a paycheck doesn’t quite reach. But a household without toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, toothpaste, feminine products is still very much in need. Please consider adding these items to your very generous donations for the pantry.
Amy, Eunice and Marti

St. Stephen's Book Club

ST. STEPHEN’S BOOK CLUB, now in its third year, meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm in the Youth Lounge. At our October meeting, paring down a list of 30 books recommended the month before, we made the following schedule for the 2013-14 year.

Come join us for a lively book discussion!

November 12: Wool by Hugh Howey

December 10: Tell about a Christmas book (or other book) that you would recommend as a gift.

January 14: The Warmth of Other Suns:
The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
by Isabelle Wilkerson

February 11: Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

March 11: Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel by Jeanette Walls. This will also be a game night!

The Schenectady Home Furnishings Program

provides household furnishings in excellent usable condition to people and families in need residing in Schenectady County. At no charge to the donor or the recipient, we pick up and deliver donated furniture.

Truck run volunteers: we need drivers and helpers for pick-ups and deliveries!

Furniture: small dressers, kitchen tables/chairs
Furnishings: pots & pans, cooking utensils, can openers, juice glasses, small appliances

Call Jamie Doriguzzi, Program Coordinator, at 346-2444 to volunteer or to arrange for pick-up or drop-off of useful items.

At St. Stephen’s, small items may be left in the box in the nave extension, to be taken to the HFP warehouse.

November Birthdays and Wedding Anniversaries



November 2 Evan Love
  6 Priscilla Sprague
  8 Eric Kilbourn
  12 Josefina Nevius
  30 Mark Bayer
Liz Stevens
Carole Merrill-Mazurek
Travis Reedy
Wedding Anniversaries
November 13 George & Bonnie Chambers
  14 Jay & Cathleen Knauf
  23 Jim & Cheryl Syta
  25 Ralph & Doreen May

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

The Vestry

Sr. Warden, Scott Kilbourn
Jr. Warden, Carole Merrill-Mazurek

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

Class of 2014:
Joe Palko
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.
The Rector's email is:
Our website is
Facebook Page:
The Messenger is published September - June.
Please submit articles to Cathleen Knauf - by the 22nd of the Month before.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church