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. 


Jan 27 & 28  Friday & Saturday
8am-10pmDiocesan Annual Convention
Jan 29, Sunday
10amSt. Stephen’s Annual Meeting
February 12, Sunday
11:30am-1pmVestry Meeting
February 15, Wednesday
7:30pm-10pmFinance Committee Meeting
February 26, Sunday
4pm-5pmBeckerath Organ Recital
February 28, Tuesday
TBDPancake 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. MaurerChalicist: 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
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.
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.