From the Rector.....
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Newark, NJ 07101
For credit card donations please call 1-800-334-7626 ext. 5129
American Express, Visa and
Master cards are accepted.
REMEMBER OUR VISITORS - PLEASE WEAR YOUR NAME TAG
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.
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
There are no words (that I can think of) to begin to thank you. I cherish the gift of love.
Our special thanks go to our delivery people:
Marty Deschaine and Carey Tittemore
Rick and Carolyn Morin
and a special vote of thanks to Bill and Louise Peake for the incomparable
chocolate rabbits in every basket.
The flowers on the altar in April are given to the Glory of God.
- In celebration of the first anniversary of Pamela and Brian Green by Mr. & Mrs.
- 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
May 11 - In memory of Gwen Robbins by David and Suzanne Taylor and Leonard and
May 18 - In memory of Owen Begley by Helen Begley
May 25 - In memory of Thomas Marks by Mildred Marks
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
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
- 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.
- Meet Naomi and Stewart Vanda
For fifty-five years the Vandas have been a vital part of the fabric and life of St.
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
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.
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.
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
NOTE -- These two books and the video are recent gifts to the library from
A MOMENT TO REJOICE AND BE GLAD
The Good Friday Offering collected for our Church in Jerusalem was $186.00. What a
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.