24 Dec

Newsletter, December 23

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: December 23, 2015
Come as you are – wherever you find yourself.


So where do you find yourself this Christmas?  Every year, it feels different to me.  Some years it is filled with joy at the birth of a child, or grandchild; we are filled with expectancy and the vicarious joy of watching our children and grandchildren enjoy the gifts they receive. Other years, we approach with a more subdued nuance.  Perhaps it is a year when we have lost a loved one, a job, or a relationship.  The invitation though is always “Come”- and the hope is we will say “let us go and see this thing that has come to pass.”  When we get there, nothing is demanded of us, remember that.   All we are asked to do is to come, and to see, and to marvel at the mystery.  To simply be present is enough.  Utterly.  So be at ease, wherever you are standing this year.  God’s gift to you is that God loves us just as we are, wherever we find ourselves. Shepherd or king – Come as you are.+
Merry Christmas to you and yours from the Rector, Vestry and staff of St. Stephen’s.

Thank you to all of you who have pledged your support to God’s ministry here at St Stephen’s.  Your gift, no matter how great or small, allows us to plan a budget that will take us into 2016.  Of course – it is never too late.  If this slipped your mind, or is buried under the end of year pile, take heart.  We are always grateful to receive news of your giving intentions at any time.

As of today 65% of the parish has pledged.  Can we add you to that number?


 Dec 24, Thursday5pmChristmas Eve Family Service
 Dec 24, Thursday10:30pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
 Dec 25, Friday10amChristmas Day Service
Jan 9, Saturday5:30pm-8:00pmTwelfth Night Party
Jan 10, Sunday11:15amCemetery Meeting
Jan 17, Sunday11amVestry Forum
Jan 17, Sunday11am-6pmLifetouch Photography
Jan18, Monday2pm-9pmLifetouch Photography

Serving at the Altar Sunday 12/24 & 12/25 & 12/27

12/2412/25 and 12/27  Lessons & Carols
Christmas Eve5pm Service
Reader:          O. Owolabi
Chalicists:      E. Maurer & S. Macbeth
Ushers:          B. & J. Majtyka
Christmas Day  10am Service
Reader: D. Cole
Christmas Eve 10:30pm Service
1. T. Scharff
2. P.Wick
J. Scharff & D. Price
P. Boegershausen & T. Conway
Sunday Dec 27 
8am Morning Prayer
M. WalkerLessons & Carols
10am Readers:
1. F. Dorn       5. K. Hanson
2. F. Taber      6. C. Francis
3. J. Scharff    7. E. Maurer
4. S. Clarke     8. J. Herry
E. Maurer & M. Hirshfeld

The Annual Meeting Will  be held on January 31, 2016

Coffee Hosting And Flowers
Please sign up for coffee hour with Susan Dinan!  Please let Eugene or Claire know if you want 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.

Heads up for Holiday Giving!
While St. Stephen’s is focusing seasonal activities on turkey baskets and Angel Tree, we wanted to share this message from IHN:

Help to Make the Season Bright for Interfaith Hospitality Network Families.
Purchasing gift cards to local grocery and department stores is a graceful way to enable our guests to provide gifts and food for their own families over the holidays or send a check to Interfaith Hospitality Network (memo:  Family Gift Fund) 46 Park Street Montclair, NJ  07042.

Thank you, angels!!!
Thank you, angels!!! Because of your extraordinary generosity, today I will drop off about 100 presents for the PATCH children in Newark. Yesterday I was able to deliver toys, clothing and food to one of the families that graduated from our IHN program earlier this year. This mom and her two children are living in their own apartment but had no money for gifts. Thanks to you, their first Christmas in their new home will be abundant and joyful. Every year our church family opens its hearts so wide to bring the true meaning of Christmas to so many. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!


Save the Dates January 17 & 18 2016!
Lifetouch Photography
We are getting ready to create a new photo directory and we need you to help make it complete! By participating you will receive a printed directory.  More information to come in the following weeks.  Questions see Susan Dinan.  sdinan@pace.edu

The end of the year approaches rapidly. Please be sure to get checks into Dominic by year end to meet charitable donation deadline for tax year 2015.

The Church Office will be closed Monday December 28, Thursday December 31 and Friday January 1, 2016.