March, 2016

Opportunities for Spiritual Growth in Lent

Wednesday Mornings:  For many, the Season of Lent is a period of healing -- spiritually, emotionally, relationally and physically.  The Sacrament of Healing is offered as a part of the Eucharist at 10:00 am.  It involves the Laying on of Hands and anointing with Holy Oil of Unction. 

Sunday Eucharists in Lent:  Throughout Lent we will continue using Rite I until Palm Sunday.

Sunday Evenings:  This study series continues on Sunday evenings at 5:00 in the Conference Room and Begley Hall on March 6th & 13th.  Fr. James leads the study on history of the Isrealites. 

Fridays in Lent - Stations of the Cross:  'Station' is any place in thaltar raile church where, during a solemn procession, there is pause for a prayer.   During Lent there is a practice in which fourteen 'stations' are visited in turn, with a pause for a reading, a versicle and response, a prayer, and a time for meditation.  In this case, the 'stations' are fourteen pictures depicting incidents in the narrative of Christ's passion, from Pilate's house to the entombment.  These pictures will be placed around the church on Fridays and booklets which lead the participant through each station can be found on the table in the back of the church.  Please call the parish office if you wish to experience this tradition.

Confession - Making a confession in preparation for Easter is a long-standing tradition form many in the Church.  This is an individual confession to a priest.  The service of Reconciliation of a Penitent in the Book of Common Prayer provides an excellent form for personal self-examination, confession and reception of God's forgiveness.  If anyone is interested in participating in this rite as we move toward Easter, please feel free to contact the parish clergy.  A short brochure describing this sacrament can be found on the Welcome Table in the Nave Extension.

Lent affords us a good opportunity to explore areas of our liturgical tradition that are not widely used in our church.

Contents of This Issue

Spiritual Growth Holy Week SICM
Fr. James Christian Education Messenger 1972
No confession?? Adult Education Calendar
ECW Sign-up Sheets Millie Gittinger
  Masthead  

Dear Friends,

Though the cold winds blow here and there, we have had a relatively mild winter this year.  We have, with our very own eyes, seen crocuses asserting themselves already.  Very soon it will be time to pack up our winter wools and retrieve things bright and cotton and cool to hang defiantly in our closet until the thermometer takes notice and begins to rise with some regularity.

Despite the lack of snow, winter's harshness has taken its toll within the hearts and spirits of many members at St. crocusStephen's Church.  Depression became more than a passing mood and deepened into a daily struggle for some to rise in the morning.  For some of our congregation sadness lingered longer than it was warranted.  For some the irritable escalated to irreconcilable anger.  I remember a winter in Chicago when city workers stood on top of their snowplows and went berserk and began crashing into parked cars.  Winter does this to people, sometimes.

I mention this for a couple reasons.  First to assure any of you who have kept to yourself during this winter that you may not be as alone as you assumed.  Second to remind all of us that for some people the only hope they have is the coming of spring daffodils.

During this month, no matter the weather, we will be reminding each other that, though we are eternally grateful for the coming of springtime, we are saved not from within ourselves or the earth, but we are saved from without by God who refuses to let anything separate us from the love which is for us forever.  So spend days listening again, in classes, in the liturgy, through music and with this congregation.  Listen again for a hope that does not depend on the weather or on our moods or on anything else less that the dependable, steadfast, unshakable love of God made known to us on Easter Day!

James+

WHAT? NO CONFESSION?Pat

“Did the deacon forget to lead us into it after the Prayers of the People? I feel like I really need to confess my sins and be forgiven.”

No, the deacon didn’t forget. There is a good reason for not including the Confession during “The Great 50 Days” of Easter. Our Prayer Book refers to the Season of Easter , along with the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, etc. Easter Day, or the Sunday of the Resurrection, begins the season, which will last until the Day of Pentecost. During this season we rejoice and give thanks for the victory of Jesus Christ over the forces of sin and death. Our sins pale by comparison with the grace and power of His resurrection. This is beautifully expressed in the second verse of “Come, ye faithful, raise the strain:”

‘Tis the spring of souls today: Christ hath burst his prison,
and from three days’ sleep in death as a sun hath risen;
all the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying
from his light, to whom we give laud and praise undying.

And once again we will say “Alleluia. Christ is risen.”
And the response will be “The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.”

Deacon Pat

Adaptive Skiing

As many of you know, I teach Adaptive Skiing at the Double H Hole in the Woods Ranch in Lake Luzerne.  if you are not aware, it is one of Paul Newman's camps for crippled and chronically ill children - and is the only one with a winter sports program.  March 19th will be the final day for this season and we are having the 2nd annual "Winter 500" - an event where we hope to have the kids ski 500 runs (last year they skied over 1000) and raise money for the Winter Program.  There is no cost to the children for this program.  It is paid for entirely by volunteer donations and there are more than 200 volunteer instructors and ski patrol who participate.  If any one would like to donate to this program, it would be most appreciated.  Make checks out to  Double H Ranch and put "Winter 500" in the memo line.  GE will double any donations over $25.  You can give the checks to me, or send them to Double H Ranch, 97 Hidden Valley Road, Lake Luzerne, NY 12846.  All donations will be greatly appreciated.  If you would like to find out more about Double H, you can check out their web site at www.doublehranch.org

Thank you. 
Millie Gittinger

Episcopal Church Women (ECW)

On Saturday, February 27, several women gathered in the parish hall to learn about lap quilting from Jean Versocki.  After she showed us the steps involved, we each chose fabric squares from her collection to get started on a nine-patch square.  Some of us may combine efforts to make lap quilts for the VA Medical Center.  Our next session will be Saturday, May 12. 

During Lent we focus on remembering others who are in need.  For the rest of Lent we will be raising money for NetsforLife, a program partnership of Episcopal Relief and Development that works across sub-Saharan Africa to fight malaria with mosquito nets and education.   Look in the nave extension for materials about the program and ways to donate.

At our March 22 meeting we hope to hear about senior health care from Vicki Hoshko.  Also, we will be setting up for the March 23 Seder dinner, which is described elsewhere in this issue of The Messenger, as well as making final arrangements for breakfast and lunch for the Butterfly Reunion to be put on at St. Stephen’s on Saturday, April 9.  

Our annual Ladies’ Luncheon at the Turf Tavern in Scotia will be at noon on Sunday May 1, with a guest speaker.   Tickets will be on sale during March.

Tentative Calendar for rest of year

Tuesday, Mar. 22, 7:00 PM – talk on senior health care (Vicki Hoshko?); set-up for Seder supper; arrangements for Butterfly Reunion
Saturday, Apr. 9 – Butterfly Reunion, run by Healing a Woman’s Soul
Tuesday, Apr. 26, 7:00 PM – candy making with Susan Feyrer
Sunday, May 1, Noon – Ladies’ Luncheon at Turf Tavern, Scotia
Tuesday, May 24, 5:30 PM – chair yoga with Nancy Tobiessen, $5 minimum donation,
followed by potluck supper

We welcome all women of the church to join us.  Come and bring a friend!

Richey Woodzell and Liz Varno

lap quilting

lap quilting

ECW lap quilting session

Worship During Holy Week

Beginning with the joyful acclamation marking Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the services of Holy Week reflect the events of the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. Worshipers are urged to attend the special liturgies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil, in order to experience more fully the foot washingmeaning of the paschal mystery.

Palm Sunday (March 20th) (8:00, 10:15) Branches of palm, honoring the King of kings, are blessed and distributed to the people. At the 10:15 service, an outdoor procession (weather permitting) leads the congregation into the church. This is a festive service, beginning with a parade and concluding with the Eucharist.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (March 21, 22, 23) at 12:00: Holy Eucharist each day.

Seder Supper (March 23rd ), 6:00 pm: We observe the Seder as Jesus might have at his last supper with his disciples. Jesus took some ofvigil the regular features of the Seder meal and gave them new significance. Jesus’ celebration of the meal seemed to say, “Israel’s story is now at last reaching its climax”; and Jesus’ own story was also reaching its climax. He was the bearer of Israel’s destiny. This Last Supper pointed to Jesus’ own imminent suffering and death - the end of our exile on Easter.  Tickets for the Passover meal are $7 per person and $25 per family.

Maundy Thursday (March 24th), 7:30pm: Following our Lord’s example of loving service, the liturgy will include a ceremony of foot washing. After the Holy Eucharist, during the reading of a Psalm, the altar and sanctuary will be stripped of all the usual furnishings and the altar will be scrubbed. An all-night vigil will be maintained in the church.

Good Friday (March 25th) 12:00, 5:00, 7:30. The Way (or Stations) of the Cross will be conducted in the traditional manner at noon. At 5:00 family-style Stations of the Cross will be observed in Begley Hall with supper provided. The liturgy for Good Friday will be held at 7:30.

Easter Vigil (March 26th) 7:30pm. This service is truly the centralflowers service of the church year. It moves from darkness to light, from the Old Covenant to the New, from death to life. After beginning in darkness, the New Light of Christ is brought into the church. Scripture readings sketch the history of God’s mighty acts. Baptism is celebrated. Then, accompanied by the ringing of bells, the candles are lighted and “Glory be to God” is sung. A joyful Celebration of Holy Eucharist welcomes the season of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Note: Worshipers are encouraged to bring bells to ring at the singing of the “Glory to God.” It really is a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Easter Day (March 27th), 8:00am & 10:15 am, Our traditional Flowering of the Cross will take place during the processional on Easter Sunday. Children may bring flowers. Flowers will also be available at the back of the church.

vigil
Easter Vigil

Christian Education

March puts us square in the middle of Lent. We look forward to Holy Week and Easter, and we look back to Ash Wednesday, the solemn imposition of ashes and our commitment to increased attention to our spiritual well-being.

At St. Stephen's we have been following the Lenten lectionary readings in church school in our younger kids’ classroom.  The children hear the scriptures read in church, hear Father James’ interpretation in the children’s message and come out to read one of the stories for themselves in child-friendly language and use the curriculum work sheets to further emphasize the theme.SICM food pantry

The Sunday Friends’ class has been alternating between service projects and formal instruction.  On February 17 we visited the SICM Food Pantry on Albany Street to help set up bags for clients to take home their groceries in, receive a tour of the pantry and learn about its operation. Each day that the pantry is open, deputy director Shelly Ford told us, 100 tickets are given out. First come, first served, one ticket per family. That family may consist of one or two people, or it may include a parent with four or five dependents. Recipients must be registered clients to receive groceries.  Feb 21 and 28 we had a baby-food drive for the pantry. Veggies, cereal or fruit were the preferred Items. I am grateful to all who helped the drive and especially to the ECW who helped by making the announcement at the 8:00am service and to Austin and Marti Spang who delivered our collection.  

Holy Week Schedule

Palm Sunday, March 20 -- classes as normal (congregation processes around building with palms at start of 10:15 service)
Holy Wednesday, March 23 – Seder Supper in Begley Hall (childcare provided)
Good Friday, March 25 – Family-style Stations of the Cross in Begley Hall 5:30 until 7:00 supper provided
Easter Sunday, March 27 – Flowering of the Cross at start of 10:15 service (children receive flowers to place in the cross and help finish decorating it)

I look forward to seeing children and families at as many of these activities as they can attend.

Miranda Rand
Christian Education Director

Adult Education

2016 Lenten Study: The Story of the Israelites

Persecuted and slaughtered for practicing monotheism at a time when the prevailing belief was in multiple gods, the Kingdom of David kept itself united and solvent by passing along the history and traditions of its elders in written form (the "religion of the book").

Among the subjects explored in this course are the formation of the laws of the Jews, the origins of their customs, and their strongly held and strictly enforced moral values. The video used was filmed on the exact locations where the historical events occurred.  Discussions will take place in the conference room and continue during a simple soup and bread supper.

Sunday Evenings, March 6 & 13 – 5-7pm in the Conference Room & Begley Hall

Wednesday Evening Bible Study: DISCOVERING THE BIBLE:  An Introduction to the Old and New Testaments

March 2 - Getting Acquainted
March 9- The Old Testament
March 16 - The New Testament

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: Faith Lessons

Filmed on location in Israel, Faith Lessons is a unique video series that brings God's Word to life with astounding relevance.  Teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan weaves together the Bible's fascinating historical, culture, religious, and geographical context, and reveals keen insights into the Scripture's significance for modern believers.  Lively discussions after the video each week help to make this a very popular course.

March 6                       First Fruits
March 13                     Confronting Evil
March 20                     “Iron” of Culture

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

Tuesday Seminars: The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World’s Great Intellectual Traditions
A Seminar of Theological Reflection on Philosophy & Religion in the West & East

March 1                      Taking Stock of the Classical World
March  8                      Hume’s Skepticism and the Place of God
March 15                     Hume’s Careless and Compassionate Vision
March 22                     Kant—Immaturity and the Challenge to Know
March 29                     Mill’s Call to Individuality and to Liberty

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

Sign-up sheets in the parish hall:

Help with the Seder Supper
Foot Washing on Maundy Thursday
All Night Prayer Vigil
Easter Vigil on Saturday night

If you are scheduled to serve in any capacity during this season (acolyte, chalice bearer, lector, usher), and cannot serve, please arrange for a substitute and let the office (346-6241) know.

SICM News                                                          

Summer Lunch time is months away, but we’re starting to prepare.  This year we’d like to help the children we serve keep up with reading during the summer.  Most of the children we see are in elementary or middle school, so we’re looking for books for that age group.  If you have any gently used books that your kids don’t read anymore we’d appreciate a donation, or if you’d like to buy and donate a favorite that would be a big help. 

Amy, Eunice and Marti

March, 1972

The Messenger sometime around 1970, when Joe Sitts came was rector. Here are a few excerpts from the March 1972 issue. Even if you haven't been around that long, you might recognize a name here and there. Some things don't change: that we need more singers in the choir, that the ECW is doing stuff, and that a Lenten study session is going on. But where's our basketball team these days?

These were mimeographed and mailed out to the congregation. Barbara Dobbins "did" the Messenger for quite a few years back in those days. Thanks, Barbara!

Mess heading 1972
cartoon choir
day care ECW
Endowment Lent
Warning Basketball team
clergy

 

March, 2016

Not a final schedule. Tune in Sunday mornings for the latest information in the announcements and the bulletin.

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat


1
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar
2
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing
7:30 Bible Study
7:30 Bells
3
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office


7:30 Choir
4
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
5
9:00 Morning Prayer 

6 Lent 4 / ERD
7:30 Morning prayer 
8:00 Communion
9:30 Nursery Care 
9:00 Adult Education
9:45 Choir rehearsal 
10:15 Communion
11:30 Coffee Hour 

5:00 Soup/Study

7
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office

8
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar




7:00 Book Club

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


7:30 Bible Study
7:30 Bells


10
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office


7:30 Choir
11
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
12
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Lap Quilting
13 Lent 5
Daylight Savings!
7:30 Morning prayer 
8:00 Communion
9:30 Nursery Care 
9:00 Adult Education
9:45 Choir rehearsal 
10:15 Communion
11:30 Coffee Hour

5:00 Soup/Study
14
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer


7:30 Vestry 
15
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar
16
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing
Noon: DOK 

5:00 Family Night 
7:30 Bible Study
7:30 Bells 
17
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Office


7:30 Choir
18
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
19
9:00 Morning Prayer

Holy Week

20 Palm Sunday
7:30 Morning prayer 
8:00 Communion
9:30 Nursery Care  
9:00 Adult Education
10:15 Communion & Kids class
21
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer 
Noon: Holy Communion 

22
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar

Noon: Holy Communion


7:00 ECW

23
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer

Noon: Holy Communion

6:00 Seder Meal

24 Maundy Thursday
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Eucharist & Healing



7:30 Eucharist of the Last Supper
25 Good Friday
9:00 Morning Prayer

Noon: Stations of the Cross

5:30 Way of the Cross for families

7:30 Prayers
26 Holy Saturday
9:00 Morning Prayer



7:30 Great Easter Vigil
27 Easter Day
7:30 Morning prayer 
8:00 Choral Eucharist
9:30 Nursery Care 
9:45 Choir rehearsal 
10:15 Choral Eucharist
28
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
29
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar
30
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing


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


7:30 Choir
   

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, Brian Riordon
Jr. Warden, Jim Syta
Clerk: Tracy Ormsbee
Treasurer: Denise Crates

Vestry Class of 2016
Travis Reedy
Richey Woodzell
Joe Palko

Vestry Class of 2017
Joanne Frank
Peter Nelson
Elissa Prout

Vestry  Class of 2018
Linda Emaelaf
Liz Varno
Mary Alexander

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.