The Messenger

May 1997

From the Rector.....

Dear Friends,

As we approach May there are a few events which are on my mind.

First, if you haven't had a chance to attend the adult education hour with the Rev. Charlie Sheerin, it's not too late to catch the last half of the course. I have spoken to many who have attended the first two classes and all agree that Charlie is an amazing teacher. He loves the bible, he respects the bible and he wants us all to approach it with both seriousness and humor. Don't miss the last two classes this Sunday and the next.

Second, I ask your prayers and support for those who will walk in the Crop Walk on May 4th. This year for the first time all Schenectady Episcopal Churches will walk together all wearing red shirts that say Schenectady Episcopal Churches Walk for Hunger - over 75 of us. It should be quite a sight.

Third, I ask for your prayers (and attendance, if possible) for the joint Ascension Day Eucharist on May 8th at Christ Church. I will be preaching and some of the members of our choir will be singing in the choir. The liturgy should be....lively on this major feast day of the church year!

Fourth, I will be away May 1th through May 3rd attending the annual meeting of the Province II Synod. Province II is composed of the Dioceses of Western New York, Rochester, Central New York, Albany, New York, Long Island, Newark, New Jersey, Haiti, and the Virgin Islands. Once a year each diocese sends clergy and lay delegates to a gathering in which we hear about the actions of the national church and of what each of our dioceses is doing. This year we will focus on the General Convention which will be held in Philadelphia in July. This is an important convention for several reasons: votes will be taken on whether the Episcopal Church and the Lutheran Church can be "in communion" with one another (share clergy and worship as equals) , on whether gay and lesbian Episcopalians can be ordained and their unions be blessed by the Church, and a new Presiding Bishop will be elected by the House of Bishops. I will share with you information on all of these and more in the next Messenger. I do this in an attempt to keep our congregation informed and connected with the larger Episcopal Church structures.

Fourth, please plan to attend church on May 18th. At 9:00 am the adults will gather in the parish hall and view portions of a video tape in which each of the five candidates for Bishop of Albany have answered questions asked during the walk-about' held last month. After some discussion, those attending will have the opportunity to rank each of the candidates. The results will be published the following week and will be helpful to our delegates who will vote for a new bishop on May 31st.

Also on that day, Pentecost, we will be celebrating several baptisms. We will honor the newly baptized at a special reception following the service. Please wear something red to commemorated the coming of the Holy Spirit "in tongues of flame", and listen carefully as the gospel is read in over a dozen different languages!

May is by no means a quiet' month at Saint Stephen's!

....................James+

1997 Auction for Outreach

The auction committee wishes to again thank all who contributed to our event. The April auction was a community at work in its truest sense. Over 80 parishioners contributed to this evening through crafted goods, soliciting donations, preparing desserts, decorating, cleaning up, and working at the auction. Over 120 parishioners and friends attended and enjoyed a party many say the likes of which our parish hall has not seen in years.

It is very heartening for those of us on the planning committee to see our long hours and hard work so appreciated. It was truly a pleasure to work for this worthwhile end. While we raised $5,200 to be split between the lCHTHUS reach workcamp and Schenectady Inner City Ministry, we also brought our community together with strengthened and renewed bonds.

Thank you again and again. It was a great time. We can ALL be proud of ourselves.

...........The Auction Committee
Jean Kolb, Kim Chapman, Co-Chairs

FROM OUR ARCHIVES:

FROM MAY 1977

- The entire year of 1977 back issues of the Messenger is missing as is the year 1978.

MAY 1987

- John Peatling was rector, Pat Jones deacon, Janice Robinson secretary, Jack Feyrer and Bruce Tatge wardens...A woman's retreat was held at Barry House on Brant Lake May 5-6 ... The evening and day guilds met, the SHOP had a new shipment of prayer books, the mile-of-pennies stood at $408.38, and pies were needed for the upcoming famous chicken barbecue.

HOLY COMMUNION: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short-term basis, call the parish office. Communion will be brought to the home.

THE CHURCH SHOP

The Church Shop has recently restocked with major emphasis on religious items. Some old favorites are still available: dish clothes, knives, and handmade baby clothes. The Church Shop is open each Sunday after the 8 am and 10: 1 5 am services. Browsers welcome!!!

also, please note
Several serving dishes, plates, etc. which have been left in the church kitchen will be displayed by the Church Shop one Sunday in May and can be claimed by their owners. Those pieces not claimed will be put in the June 14 rummage sale.

Pentecost

Land of the winds
and fires of earth,
before we turn cold and hard

and blunt and brittle with apathy, agitate our spirits.
Feed us with the flames
of love and laughter
that burn for us in others. Surprise them again.
Surprise us again.
Surprise the earth again
by rising
and rising
and rising
within our bodies,
within our senses, within our faith.

MAY FELLOWSHIP DAY

May Fellowship Day of Church Women United will be held on Friday, May 2, at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 218 Nott Terrace, with registration at 9:30 am. The theme is "Growing Seeds in Prepared Soil." If you wish to stay for lunch please call Martha Neugebauer, 346-4591, or Kay Opdyke, 346-2088, by April 25. The cost is $5.00. Church Women United will collect for the Fellowship of the Least Coin at the May 2 meeting.

..........Lillian Peterson

Youth group

Can & Bottle Drive

Saturday May 17th

Bring empty, returnable cans & bottles to the Church, Or Call 377-1415 any time prior to that for pick up.

Proceeds go toward transportation costs for the ICHTHUS Tennessee Workcamp.

THE PRESIDING BISHOP'S FUND FOR WORLD RELIEF

The Episcopal Church
815 Second Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10017

FLOOD AND TORNADO VICTIMS NEED YOUR HELP

This has been a terrible winter for people in the Great Plains and in the Northwest. Now a devastating Spring has hit counties along the Ohio River and its tributaries, and frightening tornadoes have wrought havoc in Arkansas.

The Presiding Bishop's Fund asks you to help. The Fund has already distributed over $400,000 this year in disaster relief here and abroad, with two thirds of it spent in the United States. In order to continue sending emergency grants, we need your help.

Please note that the Fund is not in competition with other relief efforts and commends the church in Kinderhook for their support.

Please respond to our hurting brothers and sisters. One way to help is by writing a check to The Presiding Bishop's Fund. Designate it for: "Disaster Relief" and mail to:

The Presiding Bishop's Fund c/o Banker's Trust Co.
Box 12043
Newark, NJ 07101

For credit card donations please call 1-800-334-7626 ext. 5129
American Express, Visa and Master cards are accepted.

.........Kabby Lowe

REMEMBER OUR VISITORS - PLEASE WEAR YOUR NAME TAG

ASCENSION DAY

Continuing a tradition, the Schenectady area Episcopal churches will jointly celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord on May 8 at 7-30 pm. Father James will preach at the service to be held this year in Christ Church, 970 State Street. The evening offering will support a work day for church repair in the Adirondack missions.

SERVICE COMMITTEE

Thanks are once again in order for your generous giving to the Easter hampers to "our" families. We received the following letter from one of the families:

It is a true blessing that there are still people left in the world as kind as all of you are. When Christmas time came, and I didn't know where the money was going to come from, (after all, we all need to believe in Santa), for I am all alone here, with no family, few friends and no job. My faith was renewed when out of the blue, for no real reason, people who knew nothing of me, blessed my home with the spirit of Christmas. I know none of your names or what any of you look like, but I can tell you all, with true feelings, how a bunch of strangers to my face became friends in my heart. And now again, when money is down to almost none, on a day of true joy, you are still thinking of my family. There are no words (that I can think of) to begin to thank you. I cherish the gift of love. Thank you.

Our special thanks go to our delivery people:

Marty Deschaine and Carey Tittemore
Lisa Correa
Edith Lundquist
Linda Emaelaf
Robyn Stewart
Rick and Carolyn Morin
and a special vote of thanks to Bill and Louise Peake for the incomparable chocolate rabbits in every basket.

..........Pauline Holmes

The flowers on the altar in April are given to the Glory of God.

May 4 - In celebration of the first anniversary of Pamela and Brian Green by Mr. & Mrs. Donald Reid
- In memory of the loved ones of Bruce and Jane Tatge
- In memory of Mary E. Daly and Donald E. Atkinson by Mr. & Mrs. C.W. Daly
- In memory of Alexander M. Nicholson by Martha Nicholson
- In honor of the 99th birthday on May 7th of Ruth Merchant by her daughter, Eunice Chouffi

May 11 - In memory of Gwen Robbins by David and Suzanne Taylor and Leonard and Carolyn Montorio

May 18 - In memory of Owen Begley by Helen Begley

May 25 - In memory of Thomas Marks by Mildred Marks

CROP WALK FOR THE HUNGRY

It's not too late!

Join the 10 KM Schenectady

C R O P W A L K

FOR THE HUNGRY

Sunday, May 4, from City Hall on Jay Street, Schenectady

Registration begins at 12:30 in Center City

Opening Ceremony is at 1:15

Walk begins at 1:30

HELP TO FIGHT HUNGER!

If you can't walk with us, sponsor one of St. Stephen's walkers - choose a name from the footprints on the parish hall wall. As of April 20, we have a record 44 walkers signed up!

This year members of the five Schenectady Episcopal churches will be walking together, wearing identical T-shirts designed by Stacey DeBritz. These T-shirts will be available for purchase on Sunday mornings at the CROP Walk table next to the Shop.

Saint Stephen's RUMAGE SALE

June 14,1997

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

($1 bag sale at noon)

HOW TO DONATE.

Leave goods in the nave extension of the parish hall Wednesday through Friday. Doors will be open until 7:30 pm. Do not leave before Wednesday because other events are using the space.

Early storage is available from now until June 11. To arrange for it call Suzanne Coonradt, 377-1415, or Marilyn Causey, 372-2469.

If you need someone to pick up your donations call Marti Spang, 393-2859, or Marilyn Causey, 372-2469.

WHAT TO DONATE

- Almost anything except clothes - BUT, INFANT CLOTHING TO SIZE 2T IS ACCEPTABLE.

- Needed: dishes, bikes, tools, games, rollerblades, plants, knicknacks, linens, pots & pans, jewelry, spades, rakes, garden equipment, small appliances, furniture, lamps, skids, cribs, playpens, car seats........

Paper and plastic bags are urgently needed. They can be left anytime in marked boxes under the mail table in the nave extension.

HOW TO HELP

Sign up at the church SHOP or call Marilyn Cause, 372-2469.

- Sorting/pricing - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday day and evening.

- Selling - two shifts (8:00 am - 1 0:00 am and 1 0:00 am - 1:00 pm)

- Moving items to church during the week - your truck or van. - Moving left over to charity - packers, movers, truck or van - at 1:00 pm June 14.

ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE WILL PURCHASE SPECIAL PADDED TABLES FOR THE BELL CHOIR.

PARISH PERSONALITIES

- Meet Naomi and Stewart Vanda

For fifty-five years the Vandas have been a vital part of the fabric and life of St. Stephen's Church.

In 1936 Naomi came from Lockport, NY to visit her cousins in Schenectady, and she stayed on, living for five years at the YWCA. She was working at a stationery shop on Jay Street when a young man selling advertising for the Union Star came into the store. That young man was Stewart Vanda. Stewart and Naomi were married in 1941, moved to Niskayuna, and started attending St. George's Chapel, located where the rectory now stands.

Stewart has had two careers spanning fifty years. He worked in the advertising department of the Union Star and then for thirty years with the Schenectady Savings and Loan as secretary, senior vice president, and a member of the board of directors. Naomi began working for the American Locomotive Company in 1939, retiring from her position as a secretary in the engineering department in 1965. She witnessed the bustling days of steam locomotive production, the manufacture of tanks in WWII, and the change to diesels.

Naomi 's commitment to St. Stephen's has been as constant as any salaried position. She joined St. Agnes Guild and in 1943 became directoress of the altar guild, heading that work for ten years. She has always served as treasurer of the flower fund, and by its careful administration has made possible the procurement of the vestments, altar cloths, bursar and veil sets, lectern and pulpit hangings that add beauty and dignity to our worship service. Naomi personally embroidered the original red damask hangings, burse and veil using gold thread, extreme care and hours of patience. She was the first woman elected to St. Stephen's vestry. Today, men and women share equally in church offices, but in 1971 Naomi's milestone election made the papers. For many years she helped run the Church Shop only asking for a replacement in recent months. Proceeds from the Church Shop have made possible special purchases for the church and have paid St. Stephen's ECW diocesan assessment.

Stewart donated his skills to fixing, building and improving church property. The kitchen in the old church chapel building had a bare 60 waft hanging bulb - all the light the women had to work by. And work they did, for $100 a month had to be raised through dinners, lunches and card parties in order to build the church. Stewart installed decent lighting in that kitchen, and years later he and Bob Malmros added additional lighting to the nave extension.

Naomi's love of flowers makes her a natural gardener. Stewart is an avid reader of current events. Both have wonderful stories about St. Stephen's that demonstrate the love and determination felt by so many in the building of this church. Some of those stories will follow in future issues of the Messenger.

.......Marilyn Causey

CHURCH LIBRARY BOOKS:

HOME WITH A HEART by Dr. James Dobson

Short commentaries on Family life and Christian living -sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, but always worth reading.

PASSING ON THE GIFT by Glee Yoder

This is the story of Dan West, peace activist, educator and Founder of the "Heifers For Relief" international movement.

VIDEO: THE PROMISE A short children's video which illustrates the hunger, poverty, and dreams of two young children, one in India and the other in Uganda, who have never met. This moving video illustrates Heifer Project International's approach to improving the lives of children worldwide.

NOTE -- These two books and the video are recent gifts to the library from parishioners.

A MOMENT TO REJOICE AND BE GLAD

The Good Friday Offering collected for our Church in Jerusalem was $186.00. What a wonderful outpouring!

MAY

Called the month of Mary in the Roman calendar, the name is of doubtful origin. Ancient writers suggest it is derived from Maia, the mother of Mercury, to whom the Romans sacrificed on the first day of the month. The English called the first day, may day, and went out at dawn to welcome the advent of spring. May queens and maypoles were once general throughout the country. The last maypole erected in London was removed in 1717.