12 Mar

Newsletter March 11, 2015

Newsletter March 4, 2015


Spring on the Banks of the River JordanReverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week:

John 3:14 is a bumper sticker message; “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” Generations of children have memorized the verse and we too find it easy to recall. On this Laetere Sunday, the fourth in Lent, we are called to lighten up a bit. Just like Advent we can wear rose colored vestments, and just like Advent, it marks the coming joy of the resurrection. Out of the darkness comes light – hope and faith allow us to believe that darkness, evil and sin, will not have the last word.   If we allow ourselves to, we can see the light of Christ in the renewal of all things, even out of the darkest moments of our own lives. +

Sad News in our Parish family:


Eleanor Wisner Gural, Ellie, passed from this life on Sunday March 8, 2015. She was a wonderful strong woman, who adored her gardens and her dogs. She will be fondly remembered here at St Stephen’s for the plantings and two Rain trees outside the Preschool building.


Ellie spoke with me at length after her terminal diagnosis in the late fall, and asked me to explain that her funeral would be held at Calvary Church, Summit, because her family and her late husband’s family have long associations there.


The Memorial Service will be held at Calvary Episcopal Church, 31 Woodland Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901 on Friday 20, at 11:00am. A reception will follow and all St Stephen’s family are cordially invited. Inquiries: 973 376 0688 ext. 10 

March 11, Wednesday
Lenten Drumming Circle
March 14, Saturday
9:30 AM
Lenten Retreat
March 15, Sunday
10:00 AM
IHN Forum
March 15, Sunday
11:15 AM
Vestry Meeting
March 18, Wednesday
7:30 PM
Lenten Drumming Circle
March 19, Thursday
7:00 PM
Finance Committee
March 21, Saturday
9:00 AM
Going Local
March 22, Sunday
10:00 AM
North Shore Baby Shower
March 22, Sunday11:15AMLenten Series
March 22, Sunday
12:00PM – 3:00PM
St John’s Soup Kitchen
March 25, Wednesday
7:30 PM
Lenten Drumming Circle
March 29 , Sunday
10:00 AM
Palm Sunday
March 29, Sunday
11:15 AM
Lenten Series





In 1987 St. Stephens became one of a few dozen congregations involved with a new ministry to homeless families-IHN – the Interfaith Hospitality Network for the Homeless. Since then, another 6,000 congregations have done the same, involving more than 160,000 volunteers and collectively serving more than 600,000 children and adults.  Alex Cole has led the efforts here since day one and this ministry has helped define us as a church and a community.  This year, Alex has had to step aside.  So-how do you replace Alex Cole?  It takes a village!

We host next from April 5 (Easter) to April 12. We will be holding a forum after 10am services on Sunday, March 15, to share more about IHN, family homelessness and how small acts of kindness can support families in distress and enrich our own. If you are newer to the church and the program, come to learn how simple things like cooking a lasagna, reading to a 3 year old and sleeping overnight help families stay together at a time of crisis and move into sustainable housing-changing the course of their, and their children’s lives.  If you are an old hand at IHN, come and share you experiences and expertise.

To learn more talk to Margo Greenfield or Claas Ehlers. To sign up, click this link: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/20F0845A4AC2BA02-ihnapril


The Lenten retreat on March 14th will be held at:

 St. John Baptist convent in Mendham, NJ.

The schedule will loosely follow this timeline:

Arrival: 9:30: coffee/introductions

First conference with Sr. Barbara Jean: 10:00

Quiet time for reflection/prayer/reading/walking

Midday prayer with the community in chapel: 12:15

Lunch: in silence with the community

Quiet time : reflection/prayer/reading/walking

Second conference with Sr. Barbara Jean: 1:30

Quiet time: all of above/Labyrinth

Conclusion: 3:15

Liturgy of the Eucharist: 3:30

Donation: 35.00 per person -Please give a check made out to Srs. of St. John Baptist to Theresa Scharff by March 8 or send to me at 2020 Ostwood Terrace, Union 07083 by March  11.

Interested  parishioners can make car pool arrangements or  meet at the convent on March 14 ; 9:30 – 10:00 or when you are able to arrive.

** NEXT WEEK MARCH 18, 2015**
Listening to the Rhythm of the Spirit: A Lenten Drumming Circle


On Wednesday evenings in March, join us for a drumming circle that will provide opportunities for reflection, for making connections with others, and for listening to the spirit within. Participants will be guided to explore rhythms on drums and other hand percussion. NO previous musical experience or talent is required. If you have a heartbeat, you have all the rhythm you need to participate!  Instruments will be provided by the church, but if you have your own drum or other percussion instrument, feel free to bring it. The sessions will be led by Kim Williams, St. Stephen’s Music Director and trained  facilitator. Assisting her will be Karen Eberhardt, deacon and hospice chaplain who is an experienced group facilitator. For more information, contact Kim at
kkawe@optonline.net or 973-997-2723. We will meet in the choir loft from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. on March, 4, 11, 18 and 25.


You will find small envelopes in the pews which can be used to make donations for the flowers with which we will be decorating the church. These may be made in memory of someone. Please print legibly the names on the envelopes. The names will be included in the EASTER bulletin. Place the envelopes in the collection plate or turn them in to the office.  

Thank you for your assistance,  


Alex Cole, Altar Guild Directress


March 22 Welcome Spring!  North Porch Baby Shower at Coffee Hour. Gwyn Munn, a representative for North Porch, will speak at the 10:00 service on March 22.


Please donate emergency items for  Moms and their infants: diapers, baby wipes, baby formula (Enfamil), baby toiletries. You can also donate by check.


 Spring Auction May 16th  

We are busy working towards our Spring Auction. This one is number 11 for us and it does not seem possible. Each time we strive to make it better than the last. Greg has agreed to fly up from Florida and once again take over duties as auctioneer. However we will sorely miss some of our mainstays who so generously donated and supported this event.


We are fortunate to have the support of so many of our local merchants. However, the items that you donate make up most of the auction.  We believe that with your help we can once again, make this a huge success. We need your support..


It is important that we receive your donations early on so as to categorize the items and add them to our program. We are looking for new and next to new gift items, jewelry (costume, retro, vintage and antique) small pieces of furniture, collectibles, prints, paintings, small rugs, etc. Please drop items on Sunday after services or in the church office during hours.





Email: rector@ststephensmillburn.org

Tel.: 973-376-0688 Ext. 11

Emergency number: 908-456-3290

For St. Stephen’s  FACEBOOK PAGE click here. We use Face Book at the moment as a sort of website. Do you have something to share and do you have an account? Please visit and write on our Wall!