March 2017


Lent, the annual celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ, is an intense period of Christian teaching and training.  In earlier centuries, the season provided the background for the preparation of the catechumen (new converts) for baptism on Easter morning.

The catechumens were later joined in their studies by professional Christians seeking continued study and spiritual renewal.  By the third century, Lent also was a time when Christians who had lapsed in the faith could prepare for reuniting with the body of Christ on Maundy Thursday (Great Thursday).  Their journey began on Ash Wednesday when ashes gathered from the burnt palms of the previous year’s Palm Sunday were placed on the confessor’s forehead as a sign of repentance and total dependence on God.  Thus, Lent has become a time for all Christians - new converts, committed followers, and renewed believers, to reflect on their baptism in the light of Christ’s baptism and temptation. 

Lent is a time for spiritual preparation; a time for discipline; a time to ‘repent’ or ‘turn around’ as the Greek words “metanoia” implies.  The spirit of Lent is to take on anew all that it means to belong to Christ.

Lent is a way of growing into Easter.

Ash Wednesday Services

Ash Wednesday is March 1st with the Imposition of Ashes and Eucharist as follows:

7:00 a.m.
12:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.

Services will be held at various times so that each Christian can observe the beginning of this penitential period which leads us into our celebration on Easter Day.  Barring illness, every Christian certainly will be in church on Ash Wednesday to begin his/her disciplined preparation for a meaningful celebration of Easter.

From the Rector

Dear Friends,

Recently I was reading about how Islamic State jihadists are forcing children and disabled people into explosives-laden trucks and making them drive at Iraqi security forces in Mosul.  And then I read about Jesus withdrawing to the wilderness for forty days where he met the devil and the devil's temptations.

Now, I know there are many people who do not believe in the devil.  Christians have argued for a long time about what the devil is.  If you go back to the year 800 BC, some of the leaders in the synagogue argued that the idea of the devil, as an angel rebelling against God, was a poetic way of talking about the force of evil in our world.  Others, synagogue and church leaders, have said Satan is a fallen angel, rebelling against God.  There are some references in the Bible, but many are rather oblique.  I find interesting one idea of the devil that came up in the middle ages: that all human beings, with our rebelliousness against God, our selfishness, and our easy self-justification, have set loose in the atmosphere, so to speak, waves of sin and ripples of rebellion.  These rise up, coalesce, take on a life of their own, and come back to attack us.

In Jewish thought, Satan is often identified as a person’s evil inclination -- an internal counterbalance to one’s good inclination, both of which are under a person’s control. This idea of Satan, as the Evil Inclination, is found in many of the works of Isaac Singer, a favorite modern Jewish writer of mine.  Luckily, Satan in his guise as the evil inclination is not always successful in getting people to sin. In fact, some Jewish writings teach that overcoming the temptations of the evil inclination may be viewed as either incredibly difficult or incredibly easy, depending on one’s point of view.  Our outlook on the magnitude of the evil inclination depends on whether we have overcome it or not, whether we are looking forward or looking back. One Jewish sage stated: "First, the Evil Inclination is called a passerby, then he is called a guest, and ultimately he is called Master".  In other words, Satan, in the persona of the Evil Inclination, starts small, promoting the commission of small sins, then gathers strength until finally the individual is completely overwhelmed.

For twenty-eight hundred years people have argued about what the devil is, but one thing is very clear -  that evil exists!  As I read about what is going on in the world, such as forcing children and disabled people into explosives-laden trucks, I believe evil exists, and I take it seriously.  For evil is real, and if we will not take it seriously, we will make our lives enormously vulnerable to it.

In ancient Christian legend, Satan's original name was "Lucifer".  That literally means, the "bringer of light".  When God got the whole world going, God sent angels to bring gifts to humans down here on earth.  Since Lucifer was the highest and greatest angel, God sent him to bring the highest and greatest gift to us: doubt.  Surprised?  The ancient Christians taught that the first, and most important gift, God gave us was doubt, because the first requirement of living well and effectively on this planet, is to learn to doubt what is only on the surface.

If you and I cannot learn to doubt this world, we will never learn to look beyond this world.  If you and I cannot learn to doubt the feeling of the moment, we cannot learn to look beyond the feelings. 

Lent is a time for us, as the Body of Christ, to examine the very heart of who we are.  The process of introspection can be painful, for we often doubt our identity as individuals and as the church, and we often put up defensive walls which protect us from the assaults of the world, but also keep us from facing who we are.   Know today that because of God's love for us in Jesus Christ, because Jesus himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help us, who are being tested every day.  We are not only human.  We are the children of God, born to a living hope through the resurrection from the dead.  Know that because Jesus Christ resisted that evil inclination, we can claim to be children of grace, free to love and free to live in God's love. We can claim our humanity because through baptism, it has been raised to the divine and gives us the ability to resist evil in our lives and in the world around us.                                                                                                                                                             James+

Stations of the Cross

A 'Station' is any place in the church where, during a solemn procession, there is pause for a prayer.  At St. Stephen's these include the creche at Christmas, the entrance to the church on Palm Sunday and the baptismal font on the day of Pentecost (when there are no actual baptisms!)   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.  If you would like to use this spiritual tool privately, arrangements to unlock the church can be made at  522-3906.


Making a confession in preparation for Easter is a long-standing tradition for 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 rector.  A short brochure describing this sacrament can be found on the Welcome Table in the Nave Extension.

Adult EducationLenten Study


Lenten Study:  The Story of Music in Christian Worship

Music has been central to Christian worship since its beginning.  We inherit a great wealth of hymns, anthems, oratorios and other sacred music, from the direct and simple to the most ornate and complex. This course will attempt to show the relationship between Christian music and the beliefs which shape it.

March 5           The Birth of Christian Music:  Gregorian Chant & Polyphony
March 12         Renaissance & Reformation: Luther, Calvin, England
March 19         The Flowering of Church Music – 17th Century
March 26         The Birth of the English Hymn - 18th Century
April 2             American Hymns and The Gospel Tradition – 19th – 20th Century

All classes are held on Sunday evenings between 5 and 6:30 pm in the Conference Room.

* * * * *

Episcopal Church Women – Lenten Bible Study (with supper)
Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:20 p.m.

Beginning March 2, Deacon Pat will lead us in a Bible Study based on:
Six New Gospels: New Testament Women Tell Their Stories by Margaret Hebblethwaite.  

Books and a study guide are available on the table in the nave extension.  If  there are no books left, call Richey Woodzell, 518-852-6796.

The schedule of classes and reading assignments is as follows:

March 2           Introduction and “Mary of Nazareth” pp. 1-4, 22-53
March 9           “Martha and Mary of Bethany” pp. 78-114
March 16         “Mary of Magdala”  pp. 115-149                
March 23         “Photina of Samaria” and Conclusion  pp. 54-77, 150-151

Supper:  Bring a sandwich or whatever you want to eat as well as your own place setting; we’ll provide beverages.  
Childcare:  We have hoped to provide childcare if needed.  If you need childcare, call Richey right away and we will try to arrange for it.

* * * * *

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

March 8 - Getting Acquainted
March 15 - The Old Testament
March 22 - The New Testament
March 29 - Survival, Spread, and Influence

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

* * * * *

Sunday Morning Adult Education:  Living The QuestionsLiving the questions

By living the questions — and simply paying attention — we open ourselves to a perspective on life that prepares us to embrace mystery...Isn’t that what it’s all about? When mystery is embraced, freedom is embraced. Openness is embraced. The journey is embraced. Far from being cast adrift, those who embrace mystery are set on a lifelong path of discovery, growth, and gratitude for the wonder of it all.  This course consists of viewing a video featuring thirty acclaimed scholars, theologians and other experts and then having a class discussion about that week’s theme.

This course brings together the voices of top Bible scholars and church leaders —including Marcus Borg, Diana Butler Bass, John Dominic Crossan, Helen Prejean, and John Shelby Spong.

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

Education for YouthMiranda

This month we will focus on Lent. One of the traditions of the liturgical practice of Lent is personal sacrifice. Our children will be encouraged to think of ways they can help others that are less fortunate than themselves, to make little sacrifices and to account for those sacrifices.

In addition to the learning that they will do in the classroom there will be two extra service projects for them to participate in.

The first is Saturday, March 4, when we will gather at the Regional Food Bank, 965 Albany Shaker Road, Latham, to sort and bag food or OTC medicine from 1-3pm. This is an all-ages activity, suitable for families with children ages 6 and up. Parents of elementary-age children must accompany their child. Hats (for anyone with hair that is collar-length or longer) and closed-toe shoes are required.

The second is a personal-care item collection for the SICM Food Pantry in Schenectady. There will be a specially marked box in the Nave Extension during the month of March. The collection will be dedicated on Sunday, March 26.

Below is a partial list of items that cannot be purchased with Food Stamps; items that are always in high demand at the Pantry. If each family brings just one item per member from the list it will brighten the life of someone who is living at or below the Federal determination of poverty and help make them feel as if they are a functioning member of society.

  • Toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental floss
  • Toilet Paper or Paper Towels
  • Bar Soap, Dishwashing Liquid, Laundry Detergent
  • Deodorant
  • Hair-care products (shampoo, conditioner, styling gel, combs and brushes)
  • Lotion, Powder, Sunscreen, Lip Balm etc.
  • Diapers

May your Lenten journey be marked by the practice of personal devotions, family prayers and a small step toward making someone-else’s life more productive and fruitful.

Miranda Rand
Christian Education Director
229-5105 cell – text or voice mail
393-5047 home

A Lenten Prayer

FAST from judging others; FEAST on Christ dwelling in them
FAST from fear of illness; FEAST on the healing power of God
FAST from words that pollute;  FEAST on speech that purifies
FAST from discontent; FEAST on gratitude
FAST from anger; FEAST on patience
FAST from pessimism; FEAST on optimism
FAST from negatives; FEAST on optimism.
FAST from bitterness; FEAST on forgiveness
FAST from self-concern; FEAST on compassion.
FAST from suspicion; FEAST on truth.
FAST from gossip; FEAST on purposeful silence.
FAST from problems that overwhelm; FEAST on prayer that sustains.
FAST from worry; FEAST on faith.

                                                                      Source unknown

This monthly prayer is offered by St. Stephen's Spirituality Committee.

Parish Profiles

Parish Profiles is a series of brief introductions to various members of the congregation. It is edited by Miranda Rand and appears four times a year in The Messenger.

This month we feature Stephanie Grimason.Stephanie

Q: You are a relative new comer to St. Stephen’s, yet you have jumped in with energy and enthusiasm -- what attracted you to the congregation and how does it sustain your faith?

A: Like many others I grew up in a Catholic family. I remember my Memere coming to our house every Sunday, me still in my pajamas, and she would put me in a new dress and then drive us to church. As I grew older I wanted to know more about religion and why we attended church. Unfortunately no one really wanted to provide answers, it was just understood that it was to be done. I stepped away from the church for awhile but never away from my faith. While meeting with Father James for the first time he was not only welcoming but also a great teacher. I have found what was missing for me previously within the church and St. Steven's allows me to ask questions and grow as a mom, wife and as a person.

Q: Did you grow up worshipping in an Episcopal church or are you a transplant from another denomination/faith tradition?

A: I grew up in family who had different beliefs. My father never attended church but my mother’s side of the family went every Sunday. We held hands every time during the Our Father and I loved that feeling of faith and family.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself: Where did you grow up and go to school? Do you have siblings? If so, where are you in the birth order? Where did you meet your husband and how long have you been married?

A: I grew up in Waterville, Maine which is located just about in the center of the state. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine. I have an older half sister and a younger brother. I met my husband while working at Hannaford in Portland, ME. We have been married for 8 years.

Q: You have three young children and you work part-time, yet you volunteer your time for various non-profits – what is meaningful to you in doing this?

A: I grew up in a challenging family. We did not have much and were not really taught about what community meant. My parents worked hard but were not able to expose us to volunteering or anything much outside our family unit. As I got older I knew that I wanted to be a part of the community and help others as much as I could and to teach my children these values. As many members of the parish know, my eldest son, Jack, has autism. Spreading awareness and understanding of autism is my truest passion and I hope to be able to do more of that in the future.

Q: What is the most challenging thing for you about balancing a career and a family? What gives you pleasure, what frustrates you?

A: Right now I am watching another child during the week while doing payroll at Hannaford on the weekends. The biggest challenge is keeping it all straight! Between the various organizations that I am involved in, the kids’ activities, Jack’s doctor’s appointments and life in general it can be a bit much at times!

Q: In a perfect world how do you see your children growing into young adults? What are your dreams and aspirations for them?

A: I have many hopes for my children. I hope that they never let anything or anyone make them feel that they cannot achieve whatever they want. I want them to help others as much as they can whether it is easy or whether it is hard. I want them to have a sense of community and close friends who support them. Most of all I want them to have love. I want them to love as hard as they can and be loved just as much back. I want them to not be afraid of love because at the end of the day their family, friends and loved ones will be there for them. And really, this is what matters the most.

Q: What else would you like to tell us about yourself and your family?

A: I want to take this opportunity to thank St. Steven's for accepting us even when we are loud or fussing in the back pew! We never feel judged even when we are having the hardest Sunday. We feel so lucky to part of such an amazing community of faith!

Lent Madness 2017

The Saintly Smackdown Returns!

Are you looking for something fun to focus on? Are you longing for inspiration and joy? FoMadnessr the eighth year running, people of faith are gearing up for Lent Madness, the “saintly smackdown” in which thirty-two saints do battle to win the coveted Golden Halo during the season of Lent.
With its unique blend of competition, learning, and humor, Lent Madness allows participants to be inspired by the ways in which God has worked through the lives of saintly souls across generations and cultures.

Based loosely on the NCAA basketball tournament, this online devotion pits saints against one another in a bracket as voters choose their favorites throughout the penitential season of Lent. This year’s competition begins on “Ash Thursday,” March 2.
Here’s how to participate: on the weekdays of Lent, information is posted at about two different saints. Each pairing remains open for 24 hours as participants read about and then vote to determine which saint moves on to the next round. Sixteen saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo.

The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move into the area of saintly kitsch.

This year Lent Madness features an intriguing slate of saints ancient and modern, Biblical and ecclesiastical. 2017 heavyweights include Joan of Arc, Martin Luther, Florence Nightingale, Stephen the Martyr, and Sarah the Matriarch. It also includes several intriguing matchups including Augustine of Hippo vs. Augustine of Canterbury (All-Augustine Anarchy); Fanny Crosby vs. G.F. Handel (Battle of the Bands); and Joseph Schereschewsky vs. Nikolaus von Zinzendorf (Clash of the Consonants).

The full bracket is online at the Lent Madness website and, while not necessary to participate, you can order the Saintly Scorecard: The Definitive Guide to Lent Madness 2017 at This companion guide includes biographies of all 32 saints, a full-color bracket, information about how to fully participate, and a series of Pocket Lent trading cards.  Again, NOT necessary to order this.  Some will be available - FOR FREE - in the Nave Extension and/or one can just look at the information online.   Location of the bracket poster to be determined!

Lent Madness began in 2010 as the brainchild of the Rev. Tim Schenck, an Episcopal priest and rector of St. John’s Church in Hingham, MasMadnesssachusetts. In seeking a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women who make up the church’s calendar of saints, Schenck devised this devotion. Combining his love of sports with his passion for the lives of the saints, Lent Madness was born.

Starting in 2012, Schenck partnered with Forward Movement (the same folks that publish Forward Day by Day) executive director Scott Gunn, to bring Lent Madness to the masses. Schenck and Gunn form the self-appointed Supreme Executive Committee, a more-or-less benevolent dictatorship that runs the entire operation.
The formula has worked as this online devotional has been featured in media outlets all over the country including national television, the Washington Post, NPR, USAToday, and even Sports Illustrated (seriously). More importantly thousands of people have been inspired by the saintly stories of those who have come before us in the faith.

Eleven “celebrity bloggers” from across the country have been tapped to write for the project: the Rev. Amber Belldene of San Francisco, CA; the Rev. Laurie Brock of Lexington, KY; Anna Fitch Courie of Ft. Leavenworth, KS; Dr. David Creech of Morehead, MN; the Rev. Megan Castellan of Kansas City, MO; Neva Rae Fox of Somerville, NJ; the Rev. David Hansen of Woodlands, TX; Beth Lewis of Minneapolis, MN; Hugo Olaiz of Cincinnati, OH; Dr. Derek Olsen of Baltimore, MD; and the Rev. David Sibley of Manhasset, NY. Information about each of the celebrity bloggers and the rest of the team is available on the Lent Madness website.
If you’re looking for a Lenten discipline that is fun, educational, occasionally goofy, and always joyful, join the Lent Madness journey. Lent needn’t be all doom and gloom. After all, what could be more joyful than a season specifically set aside to get closer to Jesus Christ?

Questions? See Mary Alexander!

Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday

At St. Stephen’s we will designate March 5, the first Sunday in Lent, as Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday: an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to care for people who are hungry, sick, or living in extreme poverty - to “support the Episcopal Church’s mission to heal a hurting world.“

“On Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday, we focus on how we engage life and the world more deeply, to truly heal a hurting world, to truly pray and work for social, economic and environmental justice and to truly respond to acute human suffering,” said The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.  “I invite everyone across our Church, as our Prayer Book says, to the observance ‘of a holy Lent by prayer, fasting and self denial,’ and by works of compassion, justice and mercy, like those carried out through Episcopal Relief & Development.”

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has served as a compassionate response to human suffering in the world.  The agency works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease.


The following article has been prepared for the welcome folders which we make available to visitors to St. Stephen’s Church. But maybe us "old folks" could use a shot of this too. So here it is, for your consideration. Here's the call to seriously consider stepping up your worship and prayer experience.

Opportunities for Serving through Worship and Prayer

MbellsUSIC… Our Choir provides the support for congregational singing in our worship services from September to June.  We include a variety of music:  traditional, classical, spirituals, etc.  While we have some very exceptional voices in our group, we also have people who are there because they love music and like to express their love of the Lord through that medium.  From September through May we have choir practice on Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. and before church at 9:45 a.m. each Sunday.

In addition to our vocal choir we also have a Handbell Choir which meets from September through May on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m.

During July and August, music is provided by smaller groups and individuals.  Contact Music Directors
Dr. Douglas Lohnas and Ms. Susan Lohnas through the parish office (518-346-6241).

USHERS… are St. Stephen’s experts at making a good first impression.  Ushers welcome worshippers at the front doors, giving special attention to first-time guests.  Visitors are encouraged to sign the guest register and to ask ushers questions about the church.  Finally, ushers are the liaisons between the nursery and parents at worship.

ACOLYTES… The acolytes assist the priest at the altar by lighting and extinguishing the candles, assisting with the preparation of the Holy Table for the Eucharist, helping with the offertory and standing ready to assist the priest in any other way he/she may require.  They serve at regular Sunday services and at special services including Christmas, Easter, weddings, funerals and baptisms.

Boys and girls who have reached the 4th grade may ask to serve in this position.  They usually continue to serve until they have graduated from high school.  St. Stephen’s also has adult acolytes.

The acolytes at St. Stephen’s are fortunate to have a director who wants them to have fun along with their work.  If you have been an acolyte or would like to train for this service, please call the church office, 518-346-6241, or the Director and Trainer of acolytes:  Allison de Kanel – (H) 518-346-0529 or (C) 518-339-5000.

LAY EUCHARISTIC VISITORS… This is a group of dedicated people that makes possible the sharing of communion with the homebound of our parish.  They have been trained by the rector to administer communion to those unable to attend the church services.

During the week after the Sunday Eucharist, the consecrated bread and wine are taken directly from the altar of St. Stephen’s to those unable to attend because of illness or infirmity, so that they can participate in our communion service as a part of the body of our church.  See the rector if you wish to serve in this area.

LECTORS AND CHALICE BEARERS…  We have approximately 25 peoChalicerple serving as Lectors or Chalice Bearers.  They are commissioned to read God’s word and to serve at the altar whenever there is a service of Holy Communion.  Those who serve in this capacity find a special joy in the work.

Jesus himself filled the office of lector.  It was his custom both to attend the synagogue services and to participate actively as a layperson.  The most familiar case in point is the one in which he read aloud from the prophecy of Isaiah to the synagogue congregation at Nazareth.

The function of the lectors is to read the scriptures to the congregation.  The chalice bearers administer the chalice during the Eucharist and assist the priest in whatever ways he/she might request.  Licensed lay readers are authorized by the bishop to lead certain services of worship or certain parts of a service.

If you wish to become a licensed lay reader or a chalice bearer, speak to the rector.  If you wish to become a lay reader contact Doreen May at 518-505-1913. 

ALTAR GUILD… As their service to our Lord, the congregation and the priest, these lay people wash and iron the altar linens; polish the brass, silver and wood; see that the priest’s vestments are cleaned and pressed; set up the altar for the Eucharist; arrange the altar flowers, and make sure that everything necessary is available for regular services, weddings, funerals, etc.  The members serve in teams on a scheduled rotating basis.  If interested, contact the rector.

PRAYER FOR OTHERS… There are three prayer lists that the congregation uses on a daily basis, as well as a group that meets monthly for prayer.

Prayer Chain:  Names are placed on the list in times of crisis, decision, thanksgiving, etc.  All members of the chain pray daily for everyone on the list.  Each name remains on the list for three months unless notified otherwise.  To put a friend, loved one or yourself on the prayer chain, or to be a member of the prayer chain, please contact Suzanne Taylor at 518-393-9035 or Louise Peake at 518-374-0480. (See Prayer Chain on the website.)

Church Intercessory List:  is found on the stand at the back of the church.  Members put on the list those for whom they wish prayers said each morning during Morning Prayer in the chapel.  A fresh list is put out each Sunday morning.

Prayers of the People:  members of the congregation are included in the yellow bulletin insert for prayer during the Sunday morning Eucharists.  Anniversaries of birthdays, weddings, baptisms and deaths are taken from parish records as well as the Personal Information Form each family completes.

Daughters of the King (DOK):  This group meets once a month for bible study, prayer and service, and also maintains an intercessory prayer list.   If you are interested, contact Richey Woodzell at 518-852-6796 or for the next meeting time.

Excepts from Church Bulletins

(a little levity during Lent)

The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday " I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours"

Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist Hall. Come and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

The cost for attending the Prayer and Fasting Conference includes meals.

The Low Esteem Support Group will meet next Thursday at 7pm. Please use the back door.

The sermon this morning: "Jesus walks on water". The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus"

Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands.

The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members, and to the deterioration of some older ones.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy."

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.


Things you NEED to know - maybe even stuff you can't do without.
We welcome YOUR ads for this space in future Messengers.

Pancakes etcetera! All you can eat. And the MEN (!!) are doing it all. Serving from 5 to 7 P.M. Bring the family. Reasonable rates.

We're all supposed to be there on Ash Wednesday to jump-start Lent. Three services for your convenience: 7:00am, noon, and 7:30pm. Be there!

Admit it - you enjoy singing in the shower. So why singingnot take one more step and sing with the choir. Requirements: it helps to like singing, and you have to be able to carry a tune in a bucket. Buckets not supplied, bring your own.

I am looking for a bunch of buttons that I can use as drawer pulls for a sewing chest I’ve made for Richey. Since the chest has lots of drawers (33), I think a different button for each drawer might help in associating particular drawers with their contents. George Woodzell 527-9468 or

You don't have to be a boy to be an acolyte. That was settled a long time ago. Men, women, and girls are now accepted. See Allison de Kanel.

Saved your palms from last year? Bring them in at the pancake supper. They will be burned to provide the ashes used on Ash Wednesday.


Years ago Steve Woodzell used to do cartoons for the Messenger.
I found this one in the files. It seemed seasonal! Thanks, Steve!


Brody Riordon 3/1 Amanda Guiles  3/19
Brynn Grimason 3/4 Joanne Frank 3/22
Hannah Cestaro 3/5 Marti Spang  3/23
Paul Pratico 3/6 Madison Dominguez 3/26
Thomas Cooke  3/8 Linda Emaelaf   3/27
Diane Bengston Kilbourn 3/10 Diane Reed 3/27
Kathryn Hoffmann 3/12 Tracy Ormsbee 3/29
Shirley Voelker  3/13 Kerri Ann Santiago  3/29
Roseann Caruso 3/15 Ralph May 
Budd Mazurek 3/16    

Wedding Anniversaries

Ronald & Jean Stefanski   3/8

Please let us know if we've left someone out. It was not intentional!

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

March, 2017
In the Season of Lent

Sun Mon Tue Wed Th Fri



Feb. 28

5:00 Pancakes

1 Ash Wednesday
7:00 Communion
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer
12:00 Communion

7:30 Communion
9:00 Morning Prayer

6:00 ECW Studty
7:30 Choir
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Quilts

1:00 Food Bank
7:30 Morning Prayer
9:00 Adult Class
10:15 Communion
10:30 Holy Spirit Kids
11:30 Sunday Friends
5:00 Soup/Study

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

8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer

7:30 Bells
7:30 Bible Class
9:00 Morning Prayer

6:00 ECW Studty
7:30 Choir
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Quilts
7:30 Morning Prayer
9:00 Adult Class
9:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion
10:30 Holy Spirit Kids
11:30 Sunday Friends
5:00 Soup/Study
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer

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

7:00 Book Club
8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer

7:30 Bells
7:30 Bible Class
9:00 Morning Prayer

6:00 ECW Studty
7:30 Choir
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Quilts
7:30 Morning Prayer
9:00 Adult Class
9:30 Bells Rehearsal
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion
Bell Choir Performs
10:30 Holy Spirit Kids
11:30 Sunday Friends
5:00 Soup/Study
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Morning Prayer
10:30 Seminar 

8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer

7:30 Bells
7:30 Bible Class
9:00 Morning Prayer

6:00 ECW Studty
7:30 Choir
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Quilts
7:30 Morning Prayer
9:00 Adult Class
9:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Nursery Care
10:15 Communion
10:30 Holy Spirit Kids
11:30 Sunday Friends
5:00 Soup/Study
8:30 Osteo Exercise 
9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Morning Prayer 
10:30 Seminar

8:30 Osteo Exercise
9:00 Morning Prayer

7:30 Bells
7:30 Bible Class

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

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, Jim Syta
Jr. Warden, Claudia Jakubowski
Clerk: to be appointed
Treasurer: Denise Crates

Vestry Class of 2017
Joanne Frank
Peter Nelson
Elissa Prout

Vestry  Class of 2018
Linda Emaelaf
Liz Varno
Mary Alexander

Vestry Class of 2019
Stephanie Grimason
Mary Ann Harrington
Daniel Ruscitto

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 editor Chris Jones by the 25th of the Month before.