November, 2015

Contents
All Saints
Founder's Day
Fr. James
Education
Christmas
Adult Education
Thanksgiving
Ann Rigley
Tag Sale
ECW
The Band
The Shop
Election
Home Communion
Calendar
Anniversaries
Masthead

All Saint's Sunday

All Saint's 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 Saint's Day is the one day set aside each year when our faithful departed are remembered.  If you would like to have a particular person remembered by name, it is not too late. Please call the parish office as soon as you receive this newsletter.  We will remember them on Sunday, November 1st at both Eucharists.  Weather permitting, we will have a procession around the church at the 10:15 Eucharist. 

Founder's Day: November 22nd

In 1927 Fr. Bambach, rector of St. George's Church, Schenectady, called a meeting to consider beginning a chapel. Over the next year a house-to-house canvas of the Upper-Union area was made by Union College students. By October 22, 1928 there were 120 interested families, and an empty store on 1734 Union Street near Palmer Avenue was rented and prepared for the first service held on November 18, 1928. That first service marks our beginning.

On November 22nd we will remember that beginning with Morning Prayer and Holy Communion from the 1928 prayer book, singing Canticles that were sung at the Dedication Service November 20, 1949. Also on Founder's Day, we will honor all those who have been members for forty years or longer.

JamesFrom the Rector

Dear Friends,

This year the first Sunday of Advent is Thanksgiving weekend.  This is a time when we remember that God has set out to look for us, rather than we looking for God.  We are hiding: God is seeking ‑ a reversal of the game we are accustomed to play.  This is the season when we are particularly aware that God goes the Second Mile, and comes to meet us and all the human race at the point which is beyond what is reasonable to demand from God.  And therefore, we seek to extend our lives in a reflected generosity.

When a church is blessed with wonderful resources, as Saint Stephen’s is, teaching good stewardship is a challenge. Many people are not aware that our day-to-day parish programs depend on pledges and the need for giving is often not self-evident to parishioners. As a consequence, those of us at Saint Stephen’s must consciously and deliberately learn stewardship, and we are perhaps challenged more than others to intro­duce our people to the theology of what it is to be a good steward of God's creation.

In my 26 years as rector of Saint Stephen’s, this challenge has forced us to discern the differ­ence between four concepts of giving: charity, philanthropy, fund-raising, and stewardship.

Charity is a response to a crisis or an immediate need. It sees the victims and their needs and responds with gift-giving. The heroic efforts of Episcopal Relief and Development speak volumes about this form of giving.

Philanthropy, on the other hand, is like an investment. It is the act of giving money for a specific reason with the intention of improving the welfare of a community or an organization over the long term. The recipient is obliged to show results. It has some of the characteristics of an investment, as if it were a loan from a bank officer. Reports are required on how the money was spent, including periodic progress reports so additional grants might be made.

stepsFund-raising asks us to give to a project such as a building or a capital investment, but rarely to an annual budget. The average parish is some­times tempted to teach fund-raising rather than stewardship. It is a necessary procedure for developing hospitals, schools, and the arts. But if it becomes the norm for raising the annual parish budget, it profoundly diminishes the theology of the old liturgical words at the offertory, "All things come of thee O Lord and of thine own have we given thee."

Stewardship in our culture is a radically different way of thinking about giving. Charity, philanthropy, and fund-raising all treat the individual as the owner of the money. Stewardship, on the other hand, treats God as the owner, and the giver as one who simply returns a portion of what God has given. Stewardship has more to do with the WHY we are thankful on Thanksgiving Day. The Church in its theology offers each of us an opportunity to give out of gratitude.

Stewardship is giving with no strings attached. It is related to creation and my place in it. The church says to its people: "God is giving you a chance to give God a gift because you delight in God's very existence and the blessings in your life. " The need to give is not a result of the church's need for money. It is rather our need to give. And we call it stewardship!

James+

Christian EducationMiranda

During the month of October our classes have settled into a rhythm. The students all know each other and are comfortable, and in the younger ones’ class I am getting to know some new children as well as some returning students.

This year we are using curricula published by Augsburg Fortress Press. The younger students work with a lectionary-based story each week, taking turns reading the bible story from a child-friendly version augmented with colorful illustrations. Each week there is a verse of the day – a quotation from the story that captures the essence of the story and the children’s imagination. They also work on age-appropriate work sheets which contain a contemporary companion story, world puzzles, mazes, and quizzes. This seems to be working well. The majority of the children can read, relate to the stories and do the puzzles in the work sheets; those that cannot read or follow written directions have the opportunity to create their own art work or color story-related pictures. The new name for this class is Children of the Holy Spirit. The children all came up with very good titles and a couple of members of the congregation helped make the final decision.

The older students' class (Sunday Friends) is learning to look stuff up in the bible for themselves. Each student has their own workbook and bible (after some inquiries we chose the CEV [Contemporary English Version] translation published by the American Bible Society in a paperback edition with student helps). The modest cost was underwritten by two people interested in promoting biblical literacy.

The curriculum uses the formative stories from the Old and New Testaments. So far we have studied the Genesis 1 & 2 Creation stories alongside a chart of the Ancient World View of how the world came into being and with an understanding that there is also a scientific (contemporary) version. Students are learning that when the bible describes a person as being of great age, or a passage of time in a 100s of years’ time-span, this is not a literal account of what happened. The stories were formulated in the oral tradition and should be understood in that context.  We have also studied and discussed Noah and the Great Flood and the story of Abraham and Sarah and how they came to have a child after years of childlessness (at the grand ages of 90 and 100 respectively)!

The Children of the Holy Spirit class meets in the library during the 10:15 service, leaving after the children’s message and returning in time to participate in the Eucharist with their parents. The Sunday Friends class meets in the Sunday Friends designated classroom (4th door on the right, as you come through the door from the parking lot) during coffee hour.

Each week I am in the church building by 9:30 and available for conversation until 10:15 – my church office is the classroom between the nursery and the conference room. At any other time I may be reached via a message left on my home machine (393-5047) or on email (mirandarand411@gmail.com).

Miranda Rand, Education Director

Christmas Planning

Over the years, St. Stephen’s has reached out in various ways at Christmas, to share our joy at the birth of the Christ Child. We have adopted families, sent packages to military personnel, supported Episcopal Relief and Development (the national church’s outreach), and local organizations such as SICM and the Free Clinic. And every year we provide Christmas cards for the inmates at the Schenectady County Jail to send to their loved ones. 

What shall we do this year? The Giving Tree, with envelopes containing gift suggestions, is one good way for us to share God’s gift of love. Residents in various housing facilities: Safe House, YWCA, YMCA, the Domestic Violence Shelter, are some possibilities. What do YOU think? We need your suggestions--quickly. We will put suggestion sheets on a table in the Nave Extension. We don’t need your names, just your ideas or preferences for where we should send our gifts. And then, of course, your participation.

And please plan to stay after services on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13th, to prepare Christmas cards for the jail.

Thanks for sharing in this happy endeavor.

Deacon Pat

Adult Education

Wednesday Evening Bible Study: New Testament Overview

November 4 - Roman Rule in Galilee and Judea 
November 11 - John the Baptist & Jesus of Nazareth 
November 18 - Paul & his ministry in the Aegean Basin 
December 2 - The Gospels  

Classes are held on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 in the Conference room.  If you would like to attend these classes please email Fr. James james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Sunday Morning Adult Education Classes

November 1 – Painting the Stars: Celebrating the communion of science and faith
November 8- Painting the Stars: Celebrating the communion of science and faith
November 15 – Painting the Stars: Celebrating the communion of science and faith
November 22 - Joseph Campbell & the Power of Myth

Classes are held on Susymbolnday Mornings from 9-10 in the Conference Room.

The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World’s Great Intellectual Traditions

A Seminar of Theological Reflection on Philosophy & Religion in the West & East

November 3 - Job’s Predicament - Life Is So Unfair
November 10 - Job’s Challenge - Who Are We?
November 17 - Stoicism - - Rationality and Acceptance
November 24 - Human Finitude - The Epicurean Synthesis

The seminar takes place on Tuesday Mornings  from 10:30 – noon in the Conference Room .

Thanksgiving Day

The Woman behind Thanksgiving Day Hale

Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, for 40 years the editor of "Godey's Lady's Book," the mother of all magazines for women, was responsible forour 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's being recognized as a national holiday, she also wrote the poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb!")

 

A Collect for Thanksgiving

Almighty and gracious Father, we give thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them.

Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

AMEN.


Don't forget the annual

EPISCOPAL THANKSGIVING SERVICE

 November 26th

Thursday morning at 10 am

here at

St. Stephen's Church

Parish Profiles

Conversation with Members of the Congregation edited by Miranda Rand

This month’s conversation is with Ann Rigley

Tell us a little about yourself – where did you grow up, what is your best memory from childhood?

Growing up I moved around more than most resulting in an appreciation for different cultures and a fascination with architecture. My father’s work took us to Philadelphia when I was two. As a tween and teen I lived in Northern Virginia and enjoyed Washington D.C.’s many attractions and sense of history. After graduating high school I moved to Virginia Beach where I worked, played, and went to college.

My favorite memories from childhood all have a thread of art.  In Montessori School while learning to draw I shared crayons with John McWhorter, now an important writer. At age seven, at an arts center end-of-session festival someone offered my mother real money for some pottery I built. What a thrill! My mother refused and still has the terrain and several other pieces. In high school I learned to take pictures. I also learned about composition and how to develop film and prints.

You are a photographer and an artist – when did you first get the inspiration to pursue that vocation and what was your training?

My first real camera was my high school graduation present. My mother gave me a Nikon EM. I still have that camera! In college I studied design, studio arts and art history. I was seeking a career tied to art; I wanted to be in advertising and graphic design. My family steered me toward business and a more practical career, but my drive for art kept me restless. After Mitchell was born I thought to myself, “If I am going to suggest he follow his dreams and aptitude then I should set the example.” My first New York exhibit was at the 1999 Stockade Villager’s Outdoor Art Show.

You have been working with the Stockade Station arts venue for several years – tell us something about the Station. What is its main purpose? How did you get involved? And what is your function within the organization?

The Stockade Station arts venue is located in the big yellow building on Erie Blvd, close to the Stockade. In a former life it has served as a railway station and a warehouse. I am the founder and Coordinating Volunteer. When I wanted to exhibit in local venues and find group shows there wasn’t one source. Everything I found was because I talked about art with friends and other artists. The station is an all volunteer organization that participates in community events, especially arts events, helps artists find exhibition space, and encourages self-promotion and expansion of skills. Stockade Station’s plans are to offer gallery space, art camp, and traditional and digital arts for all ages and abilities, including people with special needs.

You recently chose to run for a seat on the Schenectady City Council—what prompted your decision to become involved in local politics and how has the campaign experience affected you?

Politics does not interest me. Serving the people does. There is much wrong with the administration of our local government that is hurting the residents and the city. Essential and simple solutions are left undone. When the Alliance Party, a group that I believe genuinely serves the purpose of elected office and more democratic representation of the people asked me to consider running for City Council I agreed. Most surprising to me in this process is that I am not getting more nervous; I am calmer and feel a deeper sense of purpose. I am delighted to meet people and get to know them a little.  I am heartbroken by the apathy and distress people express about their situations and that no one seems to really care. The more I see of the corrupt underbelly of politics, the stronger my resolve to serve and help my fellow residents and business owners.

Tell us a little about your son, Mitchell – the St. Stephen’s community remembers him as an acolyte and a member of the youth group. What grade is he in now? What are his interests, his talents and Ann Rigleyambitions? Is he looking at colleges locally or does he want to be further away?

Mitchell is now a junior in high school. He has worked part time at Head to Tail Pet Wellness Center in their doggie day care department for almost a year now, and this summer took driver education classes. His interests seem to lean toward engineering and biological study. Mitchell was selected to participate in the HOBY Leadership program last June and finds friends wherever he goes. He recently visited Boston College and Notre Dame. We will visit colleges in the Mid-Atlantic states this spring. He is still very community minded and volunteers his time regularly. He plays guitar to relax. Since I drive him daily from school to work we stay connected – discussing school, friends and his future plans. I am not looking forward to his leaving, but I am looking forward to his continued growth with less “Mom.”

Tag Sale Success!

The Annual Tag Sale was again a booming success and I can't thank everyone enough for their participation and great effort including Marilyn, Louise, Marilyn, Linda, George, Richey, Sid and Gillian, Judy, Jean, Will, Jim, Cheryl, Juliette, Claire, Matthew, Priscilla, Marti and Austin, Kate and Brian, Sara and Joe, Linda and Gerald, Peter, Rick and Carolyn, Carole and Budd, James and Lisa, Erin, Scott, Dawn, Stan and Claudia, Vicki, Jack and Susan, Abigail, Diana and Sal, Mary, Doug and Susan, Theresa, Paloma and Vincent.  GRATITUDE! ! ! Doreen May

Final dollar amount:   $2,158

ECW

Episcopal Church Women

The ECW meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm.   Nine women attended our planning meeting on October 27, at which we came up with the following:            

  • The ECW has been asked to take over the fellowship events of the church.
  • Tues. Nov. 24 - hosting a MoonCatchers sewing bee, to make re-useable menstrual pads for girls in Third World countries, and to bring in sanitary supplies for local women and girls.  See the description below.
  • Suggestion for Advent outreach – supporting Episcopal Relief & Development by raising money to purchase a cow for a family, as well as donating postage stamps for Christmas cards for those in the Schenectady County Jail.  
  • Sat. Dec. 12 or 19 – Caroling at a nursing home or Sunnyview, combined with a Family Night potluck at the church afterward.   We need someone to make the arrangements for caroling and someone to coordinate the potluck, and even someone to plan games or lead dancing afterward.
  • Sat. Jan. 16 - Clothing swap event, with leftover clothes donated to Bethesda House’s clothing room, coordinated by Claudia Jakubowski.  Look for details in the weekly emails and bulletins.
  • A Saturday in February - hosting a Healing a Woman’s Soul reunion, providing breakfast and lunch for domestic violence victims.
  • A Sunday in April - Ladies’ Luncheon, coordinated by Carole Merrill-Mazurek and Tracy Ormsbee.

Still to be discussed are a Lenten outreach project, planning and carrying out the Seder supper the Wednesday before Easter, an evening of chair yoga, attending a matinee, or any other ideas for fellowship or service to the parish or community that you might have.
 
If you would like to be take part in any of these activities, or have any suggestions, please get in contact with Liz Varno gvarno@nycap.rr.com  or Richey Woodzell erwoodzell@verizon.net.

             
MOONCATCHERS SEWING BEE
(http://mooncatchers.weebly.com .)

Save this date:  November 24, 7-9 PM in the parish hall led by Ellie von Wellsheim, one of the organizers of the MoonCatcher Project. MoonCatchers are re-useable, washable menstrual pads that enable girls to stay in school during their cycle.  One of the easiest and least expensive ways to help girls get an education is to make it possible for them to attend school during their menstrual periods. Educating girls is the most effective means of economic development in Third World countries. We will appreciate it if you can bring any of the following:  straight pins, ironing boards, irons, sewing machines, scissors, sewing needles.You don't need to be able to sew. There are jobs for everyone, and everyone is welcome!

**CONTINUING EFFORT**
Please bring disposable menstrual supplies for LOCAL girls and women (the lives of whom are affected by the inability to afford these expensive items), and put them in the collection area. Thank you!

Strike up the Band

Do you play an instrument?  What better way to practice your instrument than to play in an all-congregational ensemble?  On Christmas Eve, at the Family Service, our ensemble will play a variety of Christmas Hymns.  We have parts for many instruments and will begin practicing after the 10:15 Eucharist on November 15th. Please bring your instrument and meet in the church.  Music will be distributed and we will decide which pieces we want to play.  Additional practices will be held after church each Sunday until Christmas.  Even if you can’t be at the November 15th practice, please consider being a part of the group.  Please contact Lisa McDonald at lisamcd13@gmail.com if you are interested.   

Let’s make a joyful noise to the Lord!

The Shop

The Shop At St. Stephen's-----November is a busy month, Thanksgiving is Nov. 26th and Advent starts on Sun. Nov. 29th.  For Thanksgiving the shop has greeting cards, fall arrangements, "Bless this Bread" bowls, Blessing plaques and candles.  For Advent we will be featuring Advent Calendars and Advent candles.  The pocket calendars are available as well as the Episcocats and Episcodog calendars.  Chuckle thru the new year with these furry friends.  Christmas cards will be available in mid November.  Stop by, check out our weekly features and say hello to Louise, June, Claudia, and Marilyn.  Thanksgiving Blessings to all from the Shop Staff. 

ELECTION

Voting is the privilege of U.S. citizens and the duty of Christians living in a democracy.  Tuesday, Nov.  3 - all day.

 

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.


November Calendar

Draft copy of the calendar. Se the webpage calendar
or hear the Sunday morning announcements for the latest!

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 All Saints Day
7:30 Morning prayer 
8:00 Communion
9:00 Nursery Care 
9:00 Adult Education
10:15 Communion & Kids Class
11:30 Kids class
2
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office
3
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar

4
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing
7:30 Bible Study
7:30 Bells
5
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office



7:30 Choir

6
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
7
9:00 Morning Prayer



7:30 Labyrinth
8 Bishop Love
7:30 Morning prayer 
8:00 Communion
9:00 Nursery Care 
9:00 Adult Education
10:15 Communion & Kids Class
11:30 Kids class
9
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office

7:30 Vestry
10
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar

7:00 Book Club
11
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing
7:30 Bible Study
7:30 Bells
12
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office


7:30 Choir
13
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
14
9:00 Morning Prayer
15
7:30 Morning prayer 
8:00 Communion
9:00 Nursery Care 
9:00 Adult Education
10:15 Communion & Kids Class
11:30 Kids class
16
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Parish Council


17
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar
18
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing
Noon: DOK
7:30 Bible Stiudy
7:30 Bells
19
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office


7:30 Choir
20
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
21
9:00 Morning Prayer
22 Founder's Day
7:30 Morning prayer 
8:00 Communion
9:00 Nursery Care 
9:00 Adult Education
10:15 Communion & Kids Class
11:30 Kids class
23
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office

24
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar

7:00 MoonBee, ECW

25
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing

26 Thanksgiving Day
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Thanksgiving Day Service
27
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
28
9:00 Morning Prayer
29
7:30 Morning prayer 
8:00 Communion
9:00 Nursery Care 
9:00 Adult Education
10:15 Communion & Kids Class
11:30 Kids class
30
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office
1
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar
2
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing
10:30 DOK

7:30 Bible Study
7:230 Bells
3
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office


7:30 Choir
4
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
28
9:00 Morning Prayer

Anniversaries to Keep in Mind

Birth Date  
Evan Love 11/02  
Priscilla Sprague 11/06  
Eric Kilbourn 11/08
Rebecca Norris 11/12
Mark Bayer 11/30  
Carole Merrill-Mazurek 11/30
Liz Stevens 11/30
Travis Reedy 11/30
   
Marriage:  
Jim & Cheryl Syta 11/23 
Doreen & Ralph May 11/25

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

Church Staff
The Rev. Dr. James R. McDonald, Rector,
The Rev. Patricia L. Jones, Deacon,
Miranda Rand, Christian Education Director,
Susan Lohnas, Organist,
Douglas Lohnas, Choir Director,
Lisa Zebrowski, Nursery Manager,
Laura Bynon and Chris Quinn, Nursery School
Joe and Donna White, Custodians

The Vestry
Sr. Warden, Erin Cohen
Jr. Warden, Brian Riordon
Clerk, Tracy Ormsbee
Treasurer, Denise Crates

Class of 2015:
Jack Feyrer
Bill Frank
Jim Syta

Class of 2016:

Travis Reedy 

Class of 2017

Joanne Frank
Peter Nelson
Elissa Prout

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com
Our website is http://www.saintstephenschenectady.org/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady
The Messenger is published September - June. 
Please submit articles to editor Chris Jones by the 25th of the Month before.