The Messenger

November 1998

From the Rector.....

Dear Friends,

Last month Bishop Herzog called all clergy in the Diocese to gather for a three day convocation. Bishop Payne of Texas was the keynote speaker. He began his talks by making a distinction between maintenace churches and missionary churches. Maintenance churches spend most of their time, energy and resources in maintaining the church building and their programs (Sunday school, worship, social activities, etc.) Missionary churches direct all they do toward attracting and assimilating those who have no church home into a welcoming congregation. While they do maintain their buildings and programs, that is not their primary focus.

Bishop Payne said that the Diocese of Texas has moved from being a maintenance diocese to one focused on missionary work. Each parish is seen as a missionary outpost within one large church called the diocese. This vision has sparked a wonderful feeling of cooperation and collaboration among the different churches. Individual congregations no longer feel isolated, but understand themselves working together in helping the unchurched people in their communities to discover the love of Christ.

Bishop Payne's strongest suggestion was that churches who emphasize only maintanence, no matter how strong they may appear today, will not continue to flourish in the 21st century. I have read many studies and reports which point to this, but it has never affected me as strongly as when Bishop Payne said it to us last month.

Saint Stephen's is seen by many people in the Diocese as one of the strongest congregations in terms of attendance, budget, programs, and good fellowship. However, Bishop Payne leaves me with a nagging question: How many of the many unchurched people who live all around us have we brought to Christ? Most of the people who join our congregation are already committed Christians. Most all our new members have come from some other church, whether Episcopalian or some othe denomination. On of our distinguishing features is how we welcomed visitors genuinely and warmly. However, I would suggest that this is still within the maintenance of the church and not missionary activity.

Demographic studies in the Capital District show that Schenectady County is not a growing area. Some have even called it stagnant'. If Bishop Payne is right, Saint Stephen's cannot afford to wait for Christians to move into the area and find us. We need to bring the unchurched into our church.



Hermits, Monks and Madmen

This class will attempt to show how achieving "holiness" has taken devotees on some very unusual roads. Ranging from prayerful solitude to extreme self-denial, follow the lengths human beings have gone to in their search for spiritual peace and growth. Make this your follow-up All Saints study, Sunday, Nov. 8th at 9:00 am. in the Parish Hall.

Between Two Altars

This course will examine issues that Christians must deal with in their everyday lives. Each class begins with a video presentation by Dr. Martin Marty, a world renowned authority on religion and ethics in America and is followed by a discussion led by Deacon Jones.

Nov. 15 - The Mind: Conformed or Transformed? Are we to be conformed to the values and morals of culture? Or are we to be transformed by our faith?

Nov. 22 - The Body: Idol or Temple? Is the physical body an idol to be worshiped? Or is the body like a temple meant to reflect our worship of God?

Nov. 29 - Work: Calling or Curse? Is work...everyday secular work...a calling. Or is work...menial, mindless, one-thing-after-another work...a curse?

All classes are held on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am in the Parish Hall.

Thinking about joining the Episcopal Church???

EXPLORING THE ANGLICAN ETHOS course is intended to introduce prospective members of our parish to the ethos of Anglicanism. It is also a good 'refresher course' in our beliefs for any member of the parish. It is offered to prospective members twice a year on Sunday mornings between 9 - 10 am in the rector's study. This year the course begins on November 15 and ends on December 20th. The course is required for all adults who wish to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church. Those who wish to join the congregation will be welcomed on January 10th


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 1st at the 8 & 10:15 Eucharists. The later service will include first communion for some of our young people and two baptisms!


Nov. 1st. All Saints' Intergenerational

Nov. 8th. regular classes

Nov. 15th. regular classes

Nov. 22nd. regular classes - after church Thanksgiving food drive at the IUE hall

Nov. 29th. Advent Intergenerational in the parish hall


YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO THE ICHTUS SHAREHOLDERS' THANK YOU DINNER, next Saturday, November 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the parish hall. This will be a sit-down dinner and a sharing of the pictures, slides and experiences of the Reach Workcamp the youth group attended in Lititz, Pennsylvania, this past summer.


If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short-term basis, please call the parish office if you would like to have communion brought to you.

Bishop Ottley to Preach

Bishop Ottley, Anglican Observer at the United Nations, will be our guest preacher at the 10:15 am. Eucharist next Sunday. Later that day he will preach at Evensong, 3:00 pm at the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany.

Bishop Ottley was elected in 1984 to serve as the Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Panama. Two years later, simultaneously, he was appointed Bishop-in-charge of El Salvador and continued to serve the dioceses of Panama and El Salvador until 1992. He remained Bishop of Panama until he was called as Anglican Observer in 1994. Bishop Ottley's visit is sponsored by the Metropolitan Deanery.

Acts of Kindness for Thanksgiving

Acts of kindness, a group of volunteers who sponsor an annual Thanksgiving feast for over 1000 Schenectady friends in need at the Glen Sanders Mansion, is looking for donations of Toiletries and other health items. Your donations will be packed into health-kits and given to those who attend this year's Thanksgiving celebration on Tuesday, November 24th. Please give to those who are homeless, lonely or forgotten. Your donation will make a difference in another's life.

Please put the following toiletries in the basket in the tower entrance: shampoo, powder, toothpaste and brushes, dental floss and soap. Band-Aids, wet-wipes, after shave or other health items are good choices. Donations must be made by next Sunday.


This traditional service will be held at Stanford United Methodist Church at 4:00 pm on Sunday, November 22nd. /P> The Church recognizes the traditional Thanksgiving Holiday as a holy day for our land, life, and heritage. It finds its roots in observances begun by colonists in Massachusetts and Virginia, a tradition later taken up and extended to the whole of the New American nation by action of the Continental Congress.

Our celebration of Thanksgiving stems from our many blessings of God's good creation. As Children of God we are to live our lives in a spirit of thanksgiving. We are to be faithful stewards of the earth as God's creation, given to us as a sacred trust.


Almighty and gracious Father, we give thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them.

Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN.

Also, don't forget the annual


November 266th

Thursday morning at 10 am

here at

St. Stephen's Church

The Woman Behind Thanksgiving Day

Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, for 40 years the editor of "Godey's Lady's Book," the mother of all magazines for women, was responsible for our observance of Thanksgiving Day.

In 1846 Mrs. Hale, a widow with five children, began her campaign to have Thanksgiving Day established as a national holiday. Some individual states listened to her and acted, but the Federal Government ignored her pleas for 17 years. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln heeded Mrs. Hale, and the result was the first Thanksgiving proclamation by a president since George Washington. (Mrs. Hale not only edited a magazine, not only raised children as a single parent, not only was responsible for Thanksgiving's being recognized as a national holiday, she also wrote the poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb!")

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

1 - All Saints Day Sunday
8 - In memory of Ernest J. Salisbury by Blanche Salisbury.
15 - In memory of Porter Dobbins, Jr. by Barbara Dobbins.

22 - In memory of Dawn Schlansker by Ted Schlansker.
29 - In memory of Marilyn Regula by Donald Regula.


Plans are underway for a November 1nd and November 29th intergenerational.
Our sessions will focus on All Saints' Day and Advent.
All parishioners are invited to the parish hall at 9:00 am on these days to participate in these programs.
There will be no church school on these mornings.


Persons interested in singing at the 11:00 pm Christmas Eve service should contact Tim Olsen at 383-6101 for more information.


Dr. Tim Olsen will conduct the Union College orchestra in the premiere of his Trumpet Concerto on Saturday, November 7 at 8:00 pm in Memorial Chapel on the Union campus.

Dr. Olsen will also lead the Union College Jazz Ensemble in concert on Wednesday, October 30 at 8.-OO pm in the Reamer Campus Center Auditorium.


A Message from out Retiring Secretary

As many of you already know, I have resigned my position as administrative assistant of St. Stephen's Church and have accepted a full-time position at Sunnyview Hospital as a medical secretary. I have been working at Sunnyview part-time in the afternoons for the past year, and because the office has become very busy, it was decided to make my parttime position a full-time position.

Before I end this segment of my life, I want to thank everyone who helped me in the office throughout my 20 years. I especially want to thank Barbara Dobbins for her diligent work and many volunteer hours as editor of The Messenger. Also to Marti Spang and Suzanne Taylor who have collated many pages of the Messenger, parish directory and anything else that came along. Many to the senior meal program who collated the bulletin every week and stamped and labeled mailing envelopes.

There is a lot of history of St. St ien's stored in my mind, and I will treasure those memories forever. Thank you to all of you who put it there! Also, I want to thank everyone for the beautiful reception on October 25th and the generous monetary gift.

And to Fr. James....... thank you!!

Janice Robinson

A Note from the Messenger Editor

Over 15 years ago Janice Robinson and I began working together to produce the monthly Messenger. It has been a path of mutual respect, great ease in understanding and communicating with each other and a very happy friendship. I am grateful for all her efforts and wonderful efficiency, and will miss the intuitiveness that made the job such a pleasure. Thank you, Jan, and every best wish for the future.

Barbara Dobbins

Thank you to.....

...Ted Schlansker for fixing the phone system

...John Goldthwaite for assembling the new and very complicated desk for our treasurer Pauline Northrup

...the altar guild who did much tivertime work preparing four baptisms in four weeks

... George Woodzell, Stephen Woodzell, John Petito and Jim Borrowman who moved the contents of a woman's apartment into a storage facility. Using the Home Furnishings truck, a morning's hard work by the crew was topped off by lunch at McDonald's. Efforts were coordinated by Deacon Pat and Love, Inc.

Interested in becoming a lector?

One way that people at St. Stephen's can serve in the Sunday Eucharist is to read from the Bible in front of the congregation. Lectors read the first lesson, lead the congregation in saying the Psalm and also read the second lesson. The readings are sent to the lector in advance so that she or he can practice it before Sunday morning. A rotation schedule is used, and if lectors cannot be present for their Sunday, they are expected to trade with someone else on the schedule.

If you enjoy reading aloud, please consider becoming a lector at either the 8:00 am or 10:15 am Eucharist. You may contact Marilyn Causey, 372-2469, who does all the scheduling.

Jr. High Youth Group

The Halloween party sponsored by the middle school youth group was a great success. Thank you to all the spooky trick and treaters and to those who worked hard to make it such fun. The next service project will be November 22 at the IUE Hall supporting the Thanksgiving food drive by helping to pack boxes.

New Members baptized into the Christian Community

Nicholas William Leach son of Lesa and David

Audrey Angela DeBritz daughter of Stacy and Michael and sister of Allison and Joseph

Alexandra Patrice von Friedeburg, daughter of Stephanie and Arnim of Washington, D.C.and first cousin of Allison, Angela Joseph DeBritz

Devon Elizabeth Hall, daughter of Elizabeth and Lyle of Richmond, Maine, sister of Galen Scott, and granddaughter of Deacon Pat and Chris Jones

From Our Archives

NOVEMBER 1978 - Walt Harris was rector, John Peatling assistant, Marilyn Riddle secretary, Norman Hoffmann and Barbara Dobbins were the wardens..; Plans were complete for the Sunday, November 19 celebration of St. Stephen's 50th anniversary ... The first "early morning Eucharist" was held at 6:45 am - an informal service followed by a light breakfast...Grace Lutheran Church hosted the ecumenical Thanksgiving service with Father Harris as guest preacher ... A very successful craft fair, co-chaired by Bessie and Don Nelson and Donna and Larry Newton, had been held in October and an advent brunch was planned for December under the culinary talents of the ECW evening guild ... The ECW day guild, Ruth Lighthall president, had a silver tea November 28 commemorating that organizations own 50th anniversary.

NOVEMBER 1988 - William Martin was interim rector, Pat Jones deacon, Janice Robinson, secretary, George Woodzell and Bruce Tatge were the wardens... The vestry adopted a program called Parish Visitors, aiming to engage the entire parish in mutual support through personal visitation and telephoning...Agape' sponsored a hymn sing and there was a prayer workshop led by Carolyn Parker, diocesan liaison to the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer.