November, 2016

All Saints’ Intergenerational: November 6th @ 9am

What is intergenerational?

“One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4
Throughout biblical tradition and the majority of history, communities of faith included people of all ages together in corporate worship, education and ministry. The church was not just multigenerational; it was intergenerational, with the whole church together as one family and people of all ages learning from one another in common life. That is what we will do on Nov. 6th. It will be a combined coffee hour/group event.
How will it work?

  • On All Saints’ Sunday (Nov. 6th) all generations from both Sunday services will meet in Begley Hall from 9-10 am.
  • After getting coffee/tea and special refreshments, we will sit at a table – one younger family and other ‘older’ ones.
  • On each table will be everything needed to make a ‘Saint’s Shield’ for each child with the adults’ help. Very clear instruction will be provided.
  • After all shields are made, a group picture will be taken.
  • At 10am we will clean up and the 10:15 congregation will gather for our All Saints’ Sunday parade to begin the Eucharist.

All Saints’ Day invites us to look way back to the very early days of the Church and at people whose lives are an inspiration for us. It also invites us to remember those whom we love that have gone on through the gates of larger life. It calls us to notice those in our midst who show us a brighter way to live. In some mysterious way we are gathered, now, with all those who have gone before, with those we love who live in different parts of the world, as well as with those in the room with us. From the earliest days, the church has taken this opportunity to celebrate, and you are invited to join in this coffee hour/intergenerational group event. 

Dear Friends,

The wars in Syria and Iraq have been heavy on our hearts during the past months.  I have been reading accounts of people who were somehow able to escape the sieges of Aleppo and Mosul. What strikes me is how thankful people can be, even after undergoing such hardship.

It reminds me of another time in history. In 1637, in a place called Eilenberg, GFr. Jamesermany, there lived a pastor who has always been an inspiration for me.  His name was Martin Rinkard, the only pastor in that city.  All the rest of them had been killed, because, in 1637, Europe was at war, and three times in that year, the city had been assaulted by invaders.  From the fall through the next spring, through that long, hard winter, disease was rampant and food was scarce.  Over a one-year period they had over 4500 funerals, and Martin Rinkard did every one of them.  Local historians say he was the reason the small city survived.  He rallied the people.  He convinced them that they could go forward.  He convinced them that they would not be destroyed by all that was coming down upon them.  Because of his witness and faith, he brought them through the storm and Eilenberg, Germany, was reborn a year later, and went on to a new future.  I ask you, though, can you imagine what it was like for him to do 10 to 15 funerals a day, many of them for his own family and loved ones, and to try to remain constant, and strong himself in the face of all that was happening? 

I suggest to you, a clue to his power and ability to endure, is contained in a poem he wrote during the worst of that time.  It was really a prayer to God, and has since been put to music.  We sing it on Thanksgiving Day: “Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices,  Who wondrous things hath done, in Whom His world rejoices;  Who, from our mothers’ arms, hath blessed us on our way, with countless gifts of love...”--and this is the important line—“...and still is ours today.”

We can learn an important lesson from our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, and from history: to practice counting our blessings when they’re plentiful so that, when they don’t seem to be, we will remember that the One who gave them is still with us.

Peace,
James+

Election

Voting is the privilege of U.S. citizens and the duty of Christians living in a democracy.  Polls will be open Tuesday, Nov. 8th all day.

Christian Education November 2016

Sunday, October 16, saw a very successful mission project making bag lunches for the City Mission of Schenectady.

This became an amazing intergenerational and energy-filled event as nPacking Lunchesot just children and youth but members of the congregation spontaneously gathered to pack bags consisting of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a fruit cup and spoon, a snack bar and a love note in a decorated paper lunch sack. 

I delivered 45 bags to the City Mission Men’s Shelter on Hamilton Street in Schenectady and they were gratefully received. The bags are handed out when the dining room is closed and hungry men or women, many of them living in shelters or on the street, go to the shelter door asking for food. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all who participated. Thank you also to Chris Jones who took photos.

During November we will continue instruction in the Holy Spirit Kids’ classroom based on the lectionary texts and start to concentrate on the Christmas program (scheduled for December 18 during the 10:15 service).  On November 20 the script for the Holy Spirit Kids will be introduced; parts chosen, costumes selected. It makes a big difference if our children are thoroughly prepared, it adds greatly to their understanding and comfort level. Please help me help them by bringing your kids to class regularly.   

Sunday Friends students continue rehearsing and designing sets and costumes for their skit – it’ll be outstanding, I guarantee – they are putting a lot of energy into it!

A schedule of events and classroom activities has been developed and posted on both classroom doors in addition to being snail-mailed to all parents. Occasional reminders will be sent via email or text message.

A final dress rehearsal is scheduled in the church on Saturday, December 17, at 11:00am with lunch to follow. Please mark this date well!

Enjoy November with its crisp, hint-of-winter weather; remember to send your kids to church school. Happy Thanksgiving!

In peace,
Miranda

Miranda Rand, Education Director
(518) 393-5047; mirandarand411@gmail.com

EPISCOPAL THANKSGIVING SERVICE

 November 24th

Thursday morning at 10 am

St. Stephen's Church

Adult Education

Wednesday Evening Bible Study:

Discovering the Bible: Hebrew Scriptures Overview

This course is a survey of the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), while discussing some of the scholarly issues surrounding each part of the Old Testament (such as the JEDP theory). The videos take account of new research in the field of biblica studies.

These classes are presented as a survey, not a theology. So don't expect it to stand up for any particular theological perspective (you will be given the tools to do that on your own). It is a useful introductory-level course for students starting out in biblical study.

November 9 – From Abraham through Conquest of Canan
November 16 - From David through The Exile
November 30 – From the Return from Exile through  Alexander & Hellenism
December 7 - From The Apocrypha through  Maccabees

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 Forum:

God in America

This course will trace the sweeping and dramatic stAdultEdory of religious life in America examining more than 500 years of American religious history from the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the 2008 presidential election. It examines this history as it has played out in public life exploring the complex interaction between religion and democracy in the United States; the origins of the American concept of religious liberty; the dynamics of the ever-evolving American religious marketplace; and the vital role played by religious ideas and institutions in many social reform movements in the country's history.

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


Tuesday Morning Seminar:

A History of the Christian Tradition

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED:  What makes Catholics think differently from Protestants? How do different Christian denominations view the role of free will in salvation? Why did the Eastern Orthodox Church split off from the West? Are the divisions within Christian faith and worship inevitable or can they be mended in the future?
This year-long course is more of a spiritual journey than an academic endeavor.  As you take this journey through the development of Christian experience, you will meet the many faithful who have committed themselves to the teachings of Jesus and encountered the diverse ways faith shaped their lives.

It is not too late to join this seminar, but time is running out! We meet on Tuesday mornings from 10:30am to noon.  If you might be interested, or have any questions, please contact the rector at  james.ross.mcd@gmail.com

Topics for November are:

November 1               The Emergence of Christian Doctrine
November 8               Christian Reading
November 15             The Uses of Philosophy
November 22             The Doctrine of the Trinity
November 29             The Doctrine of the Incarnation

The Many Faces of Prayer

Saturday, November 12, 10:30 – 12 Noon

Different approaches to pray provide room for us to explore and discover our way to pray.  In prayer we invite God to walk with us and carry on a conversation about the daily stuff of life.  Prayer is a place to bring our doubts and complaints. God wants our authentic self.  Our image of God often shapes the degree of honesty in prayer. “Do I trust God with my naked self?”  Oftentimes we approach God with a set of preconceptions that come from many sources.  These are just a few of the thoughts we discussed at our first meeting!  

This time we will explore our personality types, based on how Myers-Briggs can inform our preferences for different types of prayer.  We’ll also discuss other types of prayer.  All are welcome!! If you would like more information, please contact me.  Dennie + 

Here’s another prayer resource if you would like one!

The Holiness of Everyday Tasks

If all of life is truly sacred, God, then help me see the holiness of the everyday tasks of life:  Cleaning house and laughing with friends and eating good food and sleeping through the night. Amen. 

(Prayers from the Heart by Richard J. Foster)

The Deacon’s BenchDeacon

Hello! This is the deacon speakin’. I need a little help. Our jail ministry, providing underwear for the women in the County Jail, is much appreciated by the recipients. But the shopping, making up packages and delivering them to the jail is becoming burdensome. I would like to have a helper for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, twice a month. I shop at KMart or Walmart, and deliver the packages to the front office at the jail--no contact with inmates. If you think you might be interested, let’s talk. This is a first step toward retirement for me--a little scary, but I hear that it can be good!

Deacon Pat

Shop
The Shop At St. Stephens

Sadly , the Shop will close Dec 1.  We are making mark downs on stock and the bargains are wonderful. 50% off on most items, what a bargain!!!  Stop by and shop, Claudia, June, Louise and Marilyn will be waiting for you.  Also thanks for all your support over these past 9 years. Marilyn

Parish Profiles

Doug and Susan Lohnas, Music Directors

(Parish Profiles is an occasional series edited by Miranda Rand)

Q: Tell us a little about yourselves:
A: Susan grew up in Brewerton, north of Syracuse on Oneida Lake.  Doug is from West Winfield near Utica.  We met at SUNY Oswego, earning bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and secondary education. 

Q: How long have you worked together? 
A: We started organist/choir director duties at about 1978 at Park United Methodist Church in Pulaski.  Susan was asked to substitute and volunteered Doug to direct the choir.  This worked out very well and has become a pattern.  We have done this for most of our 41 years of marriage.Lohnas

Q: Susan -- how do you pick preludes/postludes? Do you have a favorite composer?
A: I believe preludes and postludes are part of the worship experience.  I choose pieces that express the mood to enhance worship, depending on the season and the lessons.  Many of these are based on hymn tunes.  I draw from a wide range of musical styles which I believe helps the message to reach more people.
As an organist, of course my favorite composer is J. S. Bach.  I think I actually appreciate the beauty and genius of his music more when I’m playing it than when I’m listening, as I have more awareness of the 4-5 parts that are typically going on at the same time. 
My favorite 20th century composer is Raymond Haan. His pieces are simple and meaningful, with beautiful melodies.  One of my favorites is a piece he wrote for his daughter’s wedding.

Q: Doug – When you select anthems, besides the liturgical season and the voice range/capacity of the choir what specifically do you look for?
A: After reading the scripture for a particular worship service, I try to find anthems which reinforce the liturgy. I want the words and music to stir spiritual feelings in the congregation. I believe for every anthem sung, at least one person in the pews is moved.

Q: What is your all-time favorite piece of choral music (sacred or secular) and why?
A: (Doug): Easy. “It Is Well With My Soul” by Spafford/Bliss, which the choir sang on Oct 16th.
A: (Susan): I love the wonderful choruses from operas by Verdi, Puccini, Mascagni, and others.  Any one of them could be my favorite at a given point in time.

Q: Do you belong to professional music associations? Do you feel there is a benefit for you in this?
A: Susan is a Board member and past Dean of the Eastern NY Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.  Their workshops, concerts, and educational materials are very valuable for organists of all skill levels

Q: What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing together when you are not making music?
A: Traveling, gardening, and playing pool.

Giving tree
Holiday Giving

The ECW is offering two opportunities for giving this holiday season:  addressing basic needs of children in Schenectady City Schools and disaster relief in Haiti.  In Advent we will put up our Giving Tree in the nave extension with gift tags you may take to purchase items such as shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, body wash, candy and small gifts.  We will assemble gift bags to distribute to Schenectady children in need. To help those in Haiti we will collect money for Episcopal Relief and Development.  Look for more details later in November.

For more information, contact Erin Cohen cohenerine@gmail.com or Vicki Hoshko vshsox@yahoo.com.

ALL SAINT'S SUDAY

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 6th at both Eucharists. 

St. Francis' Day Celebration

doggies doggy
Blessing

November Calendar

Tune in Sunday mornings for the latest updates and information. The calendar below is a draft copy.

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1
9:00 Morning Prayer 
2
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer

7:30 Bells
7:30 Bible Study
3
9:00 Morning Prayer


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

6   All Saints
7:30 Morning Prayer
8:00 Communion
9:00 Intergenerational Program
9:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion
10:30 Holy Spirit Kids
11:30 Sunday Friends
7
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer

8
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar
9
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer




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




7:30 Choir
11
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
12
9:00 Morning Prayer|
9:00 Quilting
9:00 ECW Baking

10:30 Many Faces of Prayer
13
7:30 Morning Prayer
8:00 Communion
9:00 Adult education
9:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion
10:30 Holy Spirit Kids
11:30 Sunday Friends
14
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer


7:30 Vestry
15
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar



7:00 Book Club
16
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing
10:30 DOK


7:30 Bells
7:30 Bible Study
17
9:00 Morning Prayer




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

20
7:30 Morning Prayer
8:00 Communion
9:00 Adult education
9:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion
10:30 Holy Spirit Kids
11:30 Sunday Friends

21
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Parish Council
22
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar
23
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing


7:30 Bells
24 Thanksgiving Day
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Thanksgiving Day service
25
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer

26
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Quilting

27 Advent-1
7:30 Morning Prayer
8:00 Communion
9:00 Adult education
9:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion
10:30 Holy Spirit Kids
11:30 Sunday Friends
28
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
29
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar
30
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:00 Communion & Healing

7:30 Bells
7:30 Bible Study


 

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

Church Staff
The Rev. Dr. James R. McDonald, Rector, 
Rev. Dennie Bennett, Assisting Priest,
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.