22 Feb

Newsletter, February 22

Rev. Sheelagh’s Thought For The Week
Tell no one about the vision…
The transfiguration of Jesus reads like a journalistic report.  It’s meant to.  There is so much in it that we can’t really get to grips with it.  Like the Resurrection, these events are beyond the scope of our understanding.  Last night I watched “Sully” the movie of the airplane crash onto the River Hudson.  What lingers, is the realization that 155 people, souls as Captain Sullenberger declared them, were rescued from the semi-submerged plane within 24 minutes.  24 minutes.  That is almost as near to a miracle as we come.  Even so, we can listen to the emergency responders moving into well rehearsed action and believe it.  After all, we saw it happening in real time with our own eyes.  Transfiguration is a tougher sell.  There has only been one.  Seen by very few.  But whatever happened up on that mountain, it has transformed the world we inhabit, and that alone is amazing.
Reminders
Date
Time
Event
February 22, Wednesday
7pm Lenten Pilgrim Program
February 26, Sunday
11:15am
Grocery Gift Card Sunday
February 26, Sunday
4pm-5pm Beckerath Organ Recital
February 28, Tuesday
6pm-8pm Pancake Supper
March 1, Wednesday
6:30am-7:30am Ashes to Go
Millburn Train Station
March 1, Wednesday
12pm-1pm & 7pm-8pm Ash Wednesday Services
March 8, Wednesday 7pm
Lenten Pilgrim Program
March 14, Tuesday 7:30pm-10pm Finance Committee Meeting
March 19, Sunday 11:30am-5pm
Vestry Meeting & Retreat
St. Stephen’s Rectory
 
Serving at the Altar  2/26 3/1 & 3/5
Feb 26, 2017
  8am Reader: A. Walker
Mar 1, 2017
Ash Wednesday Services
Mar 5, 2017
  8am Reader: C. Francis
10am Readers:
1. P. Wick
2. T. Scharff
3. K. Wade
12pm Reader:
D. Cole
7pm Reader:
K. Conway
10am Readers:
1. K. Hanson
2. M. Barakat
3. F. Young
Chalicist: R. Riedel N/A Chalicist: S. Clarke
Ushers: R. Riedel & M. Hirschfeld
N/A
Ushers: M.A. Chech & B. Riedel
Altar Guild: A. Walker & J. Dorn
Altar Guild:
12pm A. Cole
7pm C. Francis
Altar Guild: C. Francis & J. James
Coffee Hour: Open
N/A
Coffee Hour: M. Greenfield
Altar Flowers: Donated by S.R. Dorn
N/A
Altar Flowers: No Flowers During Lent
NOTICES
Volunteers needed for Sunday school!
We are changing the format of our Sunday school and need your help.  Instead of one person leading the children in the lesson each week, we’d like a group of volunteers to take turns on a rotating basis.  Reverend Sheelagh will provide a children’s message at the 10am service on the first Sunday of each month, so that just leaves three Sundays a month to cover.  Many hands make light work! Please contact Sarah Jeter if you’re interested in volunteering  by calling 917-673-4679 or sending email to scktrestrail@yahoo.com.
UPCOMING EVENTS
 

Lenten Pilgrim Program, February 22, at 7pm

Join us tonight at 7pm for our spring spiritual study group “Pilgrim.”  A study guide aimed at introducing our faith to newcomers and going deeper for those already on the journey.  Wednesdays every week in the Rectory, except ASH WEDNESDAY which is March 1st.

St. Stephen’s Grocery Gift Card Fundraiser This SUNDAY!
Orders for Shop Rite and Kings gift cards will be taken this Sunday to support our operating budget.  If you shop at either Shop Rite or Kings, please consider purchasing gift cards.  Order forms are available in church, on the website http://ststephensmillburn.org or can be emailed to you. Cash/checks (payable to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church) only, please.
Won’t be able to get to church? No problem, send me an email or call and I’ll place your order!
Forgot your checkbook?  Just drop a check in the mail (attn.: Grocery Cards c/o St. Stephen’s) or pop it through the mailbox slot at the rectory during the week.
If you haven’t considered using gift cards, ask how this easy and no-cost fundraiser may be right for you!  More info: Contact Blair Majtyka, 973-801-1471, blairmajtyka@me.com.
Get into the habit of shopping with gift cards!!
Sunday, February 26, at 4pm
Don’t miss the opportunity to hear British-born organist BENJAMIN SHEEN, prize-winning organist and widely traveled recitalist, play the 2nd recital of this 47th recital season on our beloved BECKERATH organ.  Hailed as “a brilliant organist” by the New York Times, Mr. Sheen’s musical education began early, and at 13 he became the  youngest person to give a full recital at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.  He now holds a BA from Oxford with 1st class honors and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in NYC.  At St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in NYC Mr. Sheen currently holds the position of Associate Organist, working with newly appointed Music Director Daniel Hyde (and earlier with John Scott prior to his untimely death a year and a half ago).  Mr. Sheen has chosen for us a program of some of the most inspirational works written through the centuries from Bach to Mozart, Schumann, and Brahms, plus a few surprises.   Don’t miss it!
Pancake Supper, Tuesday, February 28, 6pm-8pm
Pancake Supper February 28, from 6pm-8pm.  Join us as we prepare for Lent.  Helpers needed and welcome.  Please contact MaryAlice Chech or Carole Francis, or sign up on the notice board outside the Parish Hall.
Volunteers still needed for cooking and clean up.

 March 1, 2017
Ash Wednesday – Ashes to go will be offered at Millburn Train Station from
6:30 am.  We will have a noonday service and a 7pm service in the Church. Imposition of ashes is available on request all day.
Save The Date For A Wonderful Evening Of Song And Dance!
Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir
7:00pm, Sunday 23 April 2017
Tickets will go on sale in April,   $20 adult, $15 senior, $10 child
Please contact Susan Dinan with questions.
 
Dates & Deadlines
If you have any dates or events that need adding to the St. Stephen’s Calendar please send them to Claire, and all articles and e-mails for the newsletter by NOON on Tuesday to church@ststephensmillburn.org.
Thank You.
15 Feb

Newsletter, February 15

Rev. Sheelagh’s Thought For The Week

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others?” Matthew 5:38-48
It’s hard isn’t it to live those we don’t like, or don’t agree with, or who hurt us? But this Gospel calls us to do just that.  Walk the extra mile, turn the other cheek – and yes these were actions of passive resistance, but they are also filled with humility.  In a recent Ted Talk, Brene Brown talks about the authority of vulnerability.  Contrary to our perception that vulnerability signals weakness, there is something very powerful about vulnerability.  When we signal a willingness to be available, even to be hurt, we can invite others into real relationships.  It’s the stuff of love  – that’s the theological imperative of the Gospel, and it has always been so. +

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10 Feb

Newsletter, February 8

Rev. Sheelagh’s Thought For The Week
We held our first (experimental) family friendly service on Sunday with a children’s sermon.  It went well and everyone got a glow stick to demonstrate their inner light shining. The choir gave us a wonderful rendition of “This Little Light Of Mine.” As the kids commented, shining our light is as simple as a smile, a hug, being thoughtful, creative, sharing with others and welcoming others.+
Reminders
Date
Time
Event
February 12, Sunday
11:30am-1pm Vestry Meeting
February 15, Wednesday
7:30pm-10pm Finance Committee Meeting
February 15, Wednesday 7pm Lenten Pilgrim Program
February 26, Sunday
4pm-5pm Beckerath Organ Recital
February 28, Tuesday
6:30pm Pancake Supper
March 1, Wednesday
6:30am-7:30am Ashes to Go
Millburn Train Station
March 1 Wednesday
12pm-1pm and 7pm-8pm Ash Wednesday Services
  

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25 Jan

Newsletter, January 25

Rev. Sheelagh’s Thought For The Week

Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth,
states this week’s collect.  This is where the lines blur between the secular world and the religious world.  All day Friday and Saturday we have the Annual Convention of the Diocese, and on Sunday we have our own Annual Meeting here at St. Stephen’s.  We have to comply with both state laws for corporations and canon laws for churches.  Our meetings provide an opportunity to look back and take stock.  We get to elect new officers and members of our governing body, the Vestry.  We see the financials and are apprised of the Vestry planning for financing the next year.

What then is a Vestry and what are its responsibilities? Canon law states: “the Vestry, consisting of wardens and other members, is the legal representative of the parish “in all matters concerning its corporate property and the relations of the Parish to its clergy” (Canon 1.14.2).  The main responsibilities of the Vestry, like any other governing body of any organization, is to define and articulate the mission of the congregation; select the rector; ensure effective organization and planning; ensure adequate resources in leadership and in financial stewardship; manage resources effectively and determine appropriate programs, policies and procedures have been developed and are followed. The Annual Meeting is the moment when that all comes together and we all get to see the big picture.  Together we make a difference to many lives as you will hear this weekend, but leadership in our highly intense world is increasingly difficult, and there are many competing, diverse demands on us all.  Your Vestry is seeking to explore new ways to do things and share the load, and we need all of you to help.  Let’s strengthen ourselves by worshipping together and remembering that we rely above all on God’s guidance and power. 

Reminders

Date
Time
Event
Jan 27 & 28  Friday & Saturday
8am-10pm Diocesan Annual Convention
Jan 29, Sunday
10am St. Stephen’s Annual Meeting
February 12, Sunday
11:30am-1pm Vestry Meeting
February 15, Wednesday
7:30pm-10pm Finance Committee Meeting
February 26, Sunday
4pm-5pm Beckerath Organ Recital
February 28, Tuesday
TBD Pancake Supper
 
Serving at the Altar  1/29 & 2/5
Jan 29, 2017
8am Reader: A. Walker
Feb 5, 2017
8am Reader: C. Francis
10am Readers:
1. K. Conway
2. B. Churchill
3. T. Scharff
10am Readers:
1. M. Barakat
2. B. Riedel
3. K. Hanson
Chalicist: E. Maurer Chalicist: R. Riedel
Ushers: P. Boegershausen & M.A. Chech
Ushers: J. Hager & E. Maurer
Altar Guild: N. Sieffert & J. Dorn
Altar Guild: C. Francis & J. James
Coffee Hour: N. Sieffert & C. Francis
Coffee Hour: The Landers Family
Altar Flowers: N. Sieffert in celebration of M. Walker’s Ministry
Altar Flowers: Open
NOTICES
Next Steps In Marvin’s Discernment
As a Postulant (Deacon in training) I must now leave the comfort and familiarity of St. Stephen’s.  I bid my home parish a farewell and God Speed as I depart for a six month Postulant Apprenticeship at St. Alban’s in Oakland, New Jersey. As you may know, the process of spiritual development cannot take root if one seeks to remain among those whom they are most comfortable around.  In order to grow and develop, as well as more fully embrace the role of servant, we are charged with going out into the world, to explore, as well as seek to serve, unfamiliar venues.  I’m sure that you haven’t heard the last of me; many thanks for the fond memories, and the spiritual grounding which enabled me to discern, and answer God’s Call.
Everyone take good care, and be well!
 
Food Barrel 
Sunday, 29 January, is a great day to make sure that the FOOD BARREL has a good first month in 2017. Canned meats and canned vegetables, cereals, and other non-perishable food items are needed, AND remember that Sunday, 5 February, is S O U P E R  Sunday!  Please bring two or more cans of soup for our barrel that day!
St. Stephen’s Prayer List
Please note that in order to update and maintain our prayer list we will need to delete some names from the list.   Each week we will put the list on the eagle stand by the main entrance for you to add a name if you wish.  If you would like a name to stay on the list please put a check mark next to it.
Thank you.
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
United Thank Offering Collection at Diocesan Convention
The Diocesan Convention is being held on Friday January 27th and Saturday 28th at The Hilton Hotel in Parsippany. Registration for delegates is at 9:00am. Your delegates are Reverend Sheelagh, Reverend Kathleen, Oyin Owolabi and Sarah Jeter.  There will be a collection to support the United Thank Offering which is designated to support North Porch and Crossroads Camp this year.  Please mark any donations “United Way Offering.”  Your delegation will present the gift during the Eucharist at convention.
Parish Annual Meeting
Our Parish Annual Meeting will be the 29th of January, beginning with the Eucharist at 10am  This is when we elect our Vestry, Wardens and Leadership of the Church.  We also present our proposed budgets for 2017, and our annual reports of 2016.
Lenten Spirituality
What are you looking for?  Seems to be a repeating theme right now.  We will be offering an opportunity to go deeper into the meaning of our faith and grapple with some of the questions that arise around why and what we believe in a new program, recommended by our Presiding Bishop The Right Reverend Michael Curry, entitled “Pilgrim.”
We will offer this on six Wednesdays around and throughout  Lent from 7:30pm – 9:30pm. Please join us to delve more deeply into our Christian identity and spirituality.  It may answer some of those questions.  Open to all – seekers, believers, doubters alike – bring a friend.
Dates & Deadlines
If you have any dates or events that need adding to the St. Stephen’s Calendar please send them to Claire, and all articles and e-mails for the newsletter by NOON on Tuesday to church@ststephensmillburn.org.  Thank You.
11 Jan

Newsletter, January 11

 Rev. Sheelagh’s Thought For The Week
The Epiphany season is about Jesus as the “light of the world.”  In our everyday speech we use the idea of light and dark to convey deep meaning; some examples include “I’ve seen the light,” “enlightenment,” “you light up my life” and so on.  I wonder what we mean when we say these things?  And I wonder what we mean when we say Christ is the light of the world?  These things come from understandings that are born of myth, scripture and the passage of time – but they hold truth in and of themselves. As we go through the next few dark months of winter, let us rejoice in the places we see light.  Let us rejoice in the good things of our lives, and in the promise of God’s faithfulness throughout; “Happy are they who trust in the Lord!” says the psalmist.  I wonder in today’s world, just how much any of us really place our absolute trust in the Lord, and how much we really only trust in ourselves.  A lot of wondering on my part…What do you think?

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04 Jan

Newsletter, January 4

January 4, 2017
Happy New Year!
The new year brings us a moment to look back, let go and look forward, and it is fitting that we have the Baptism of Christ as our first service following the Epiphany.  Baptism is after all, a physical manifestation of looking back, letting go, being forgiven and moving on.
Let’s all take time this new year to let go of the negatives and forgive yourself the imperfect, judgemental and uncharitable things we all think, say and do. Let’s identify one or two key baptismal values we want to uphold and be faithful to our promises to Christ in them.  Let’s open our eyes to where God is at work in our neighborhood.  Blessings abound.  Count them.  And smile.  Everything looks and feels better when we smile, including us  +

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29 Dec

Newsletter, December 28

Happy New Year!
We had a beautiful Christmas here at St. Stephen’s attended by over two hundred people (189 last year).  The early service was well attended with many families and babes.  We had a charming rendition of the Christmas story with a little extra stage business and beautiful music and readings at the late service.  Our quieter Christmas Day service was attended by more people than usual this year.
As we continue to celebrate the glory of Christ’s birth we rejoice in the love and hope that we share together.  Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!

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