10 Aug

Newsletter, August 10

Rev Sheelagh’s Sabbatical Notes
Wandering the Byways


There’s something about the English countryside where I come from that slows down my heart rate and releases my stress.  This precious time away has meant I can really slow down and enter a different rhythm of life.

Every day I have taken a walk. Out in the fields, through the wheat and hay fields – keeping to the marked public footpaths that cross the patchwork of crops, lanes, streams and railways. It’s bucolic, quiet, and just like the guidebooks and chocolate box pictures.  Church life is slower too.  In my dad’s village church there were 15 of us.  In my sister’s about 25, in my stepdad’s village church they have a service once a month.  In the rural country villages, the rector has a patch of about twenty miles.  All the churches fall under his (mostly) care.  Usually a team of retired priests, Methodist ministers, non-stipendiary priests, lay readers and sometimes a curate manage to bring worship to each village at least once a month.  Not much evidence of missional activity here.


That said, there is still life in
the communities. The parish hall
is used for mom and toddler
meetings, scouts, and most of
the community meetings.  Village
fetes and cream teas center around
the church, and in these celebration
years of the two world wars and the
Queen’s birthday, the church has
been filled to bursting.

It is a contrast to the very intentional missional things I have seen, but for those who live in these small places, the center of spiritual and communal life is still the local church.

For me it has been a place of stillness.  Of reflective walks and time to think – of life and death and everything in between.  


June 1 – Sep 1June 1-Sep 1Rev. Sheelagh’s Sabbatical
July 5 – August 197am-6pmPreschool Summer Camp
August 14, Sunday11am-12:30pmVestry Meeting
August 14, Sunday11amGrocery Gift Card Sunday
August 17, Wednesday7:30pm-10pmFinance Committee Meeting
August 23 – August 273:30pm-7:30pmDrumming Camp

Serving at the Altar  8/14 & 8/21

8am Preacher: Rev. C. McCloud
8am Reader: M. Walker
8am Preacher: Deacon K. Ballard
8am Reader: M. Ellingham
10am Preacher:
Rev. C. McCloud10am Readers
1. J. Herry
2. L. Owolabi
10am Preacher: Deacon
K. Ballard10am Readers
1. T. Scharff
2. F. Young
Chalicist: R. RiedelChalicist: E. Maurer
Ushers: S. & S. PolancoUshers: T. & K. Conway
Altar Guild: M. Walker, A. Cole & D. PriceAltar Guild: M. Walker, T & J Scharff
Coffee Hour:  E. FoleyCoffee Hour:  F. Taber & J. Hager
Altar Flowers:  M. Walker in loving memory of Special Agent Alvin HarrisAltar Flowers: Open


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.


Drumming camp is coming, and I want to share the details with you.  The children will be coming to St. Stephen’s from Tuesday 8/23 to Saturday 8/27 from 3:30 – 7:30 pm.  Here is a rough plan for the schedule:

  •    3:30PM vans arrive, children have a hearty snack (granola bars and fruit), children have free play time on the grounds
  •    4:00-5:00PM younger children drum and older children do arts and crafts (Drumming in parish hall)
  •    5:00-6:00PM older children drum and younger children to arts and crafts (Drumming in parish hall)
  •    6:00-6:30PM dinner (Meals in parish hall)
  •    6:30-7:15PM outdoor sports and games
  •    7:30PM vans leave to take the children home

We do not yet have a list of participating children, but once we have a clearer sense of the number of children and their ages we can make any necessary scheduling adjustments.

Reverend Sheelagh will not be at the helm this summer, but we have a core group of volunteers who will be present at the camp each evening.

  • Yah-yah Kamate will serve as the drumming instructor
  • Kim Williams will assist Yah-yah with the drummers
  • Gary Jones, Fran Taber, and Susan Dinan will serve as co-directors with clearly defined responsibilities, so we will not be getting into one another’s way.
  • Reverend Kathleen will provide her calming and inspired presence.
  • Sara Ruth Dorn will manage dinner and snacks.  She will need helpers each night.  If you want to help with food pick-up, preparation, and/or service please let Sara Ruth know which evenings you are available (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday) and the times you can assist. She can be reached at 973-467-9847 or Fdorn231@aol.com.
  • Gesine Ehlers will coordinate arts and crafts.  If you want to assist in the arts room please let Susan Dinan know by responding to this message.
  • Grace Savoia-Di Gregorio and Miles Ben-Egypt will serve as camp counselors, with Miles in charges of sports since he has experience as a soccer coach.  Elizabeth Hawk will serve as a junior counselor.

Would you like to help with the camp?  If you want to volunteer to work with the children, please let Susan Dinan know when you are available to do so, and what you would like to be involved in doing.  If you would like to contribute money to the food fund, please let us know.  If you would like to contribute food, please let Sara Ruth and Susan know so we can plan accordingly.  We will be ordering food from local restaurants (Peter’s, Millburn Diner, and Pizzeta) again this summer, and we will ask ShopRite and Trader Joes for snack donations, but as you know these children come from food insecure homes, and it is nice to provide them with substantial snacks and meals. Thank you for your support of our drummer!

Coffee hosting and flowers
Please sign up with Susan Dinan for coffee hour.  Please Let Eugene or Claire know if you would like to donate flowers, please consider taking ONE Sunday in memory of a loved one, or in thanksgiving for an event.  Flowers are priced at $40, $50 or $60 for the two vases.

Sabbatical Prayer
Gracious God, in you we live and move and have our being: We pray that you guide Rev. Sheelagh during this intentional Sabbath time.  May she return to St. Stephen’s restored in body, mind and spirit.  We also pray that you bless this parish and all who come here.  May we carry out with joy the ministries to which we are called.  May this also be a time of intentional prayer and reflection for us. By your Spirit, empower all to be strengthened by the gifts you give and to be renewed as servants of God.  Amen.