28 Jan

Newsletter, January 27

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: January 27, 2016

And the snow came…and thankfully we are all alright! Sometimes Mother Nature throws us a challenge, and this weekend was certainly a challenge. We did have a small service, attended by 6 sturdy souls, who put up prayers for everyone who couldn’t make it. Most of us spent part of our week shovelling snow, and finding ways to deal with frayed tempers and excessive impatience about the inconvenience. I think it bears some thought. Have we become so used to the primacy of our own right to happiness, that we can’t exercise simple values of patience and courtesy? Of course there were examples where people went out of their way to help the elderly, the shut-ins and even my own neighbor stopped by to see if I needed help shovelling (do I look that old already?); but there were also examples (yes, we all know this) of people cutting in front of others who were driving slowly, complaining about their road, yard, path, that was not yet plowed, and walking, running, snowboarding and other things, in the way of the emergency services and maintenance crews. Paul speaks to us of not being a clanging gong, and that for me, has meant taking a deep breath to avoid saying the things I have felt in the face of others’ sense of entitlement. “Love is gentle, love is kind…love is not arrogant or rude” Let’s not forget it!


Jan 31, Sunday9:30amAnnual Meeting
Feb 4, Thursday7pm-9:30pmPreschool Committee Meeting
Feb 9, Tuesday11am-2pmSenior Luncheon
Feb 10, Wednesday6:30am-7:30amMillburn Station, Providing Ashes
Feb 10, Wednesday12pm & 8pmAsh Wednesday Service
Feb 17, Wednesday7:30pm-10pmFinance Committee Meeting
Feb 20, Saturday10:30am-1pmChristine’s Kitchen
Feb 21, Sunday11:30am-1pmVestry Meeting
Feb 28, Sunday4pm-5pmBeckerath Organ Recital

Serving at the Altar 1/31 & 2/7

8am Reader :  E. Maurer
8am Reader : C. Francis
10am Readers:
1. F. Taber
2. J. Herry
3. K. Hanson
10am Readers:
1. J. James
2. K. Conway
3. F. Young
Chalicist: T. ScharffChalicist: J. Soughan
Ushers:  R. & B. ReidelUshers: S & S Polanco
Coffee hour: Vestry & Matthew Price
Coffee hour: Open
Altar flowers:J & L Soughan
Altar flowers: Open



St. Stephen’s Bylaws were last revised in 2003. The Vestry appointed a committee to review our current practices and needs, diocesan recommendations and best practices in nonprofit governance. The Vestry recommends the following changes.

1. Reducing the size of vestry by attrition from nine to six members. The ASPIRE, Nominating and Outreach Committees have reported concerns with staffing and administering church governance given our smaller core congregation. Current trends in the organizational development world suggest that boards are most efficient at five to seven persons. The proposal calls for staggered elections of three classes of two elected vestry members.

2. Modifying the Nominating Committee to three elected members and the two wardens. The Vestry concluded that committee with three elected representatives was consistent with the size of our congregation and current non-profit governance practices recognizing that smaller committees can be more effective.

3. Modifying the number of alternate delegates to the convention from three to two. This is the common practice in the diocese.

4. Modification of notice requirements and process changes. The changes require posting advance notice of proposed bylaw amendments, allowing electronic voting on vestry matters and electronic participation for vestry meetings so that members can participate remotely. This is a diocesan recommendation to allow the work of the church to be accomplished when groups or individuals cannot meet.

5. Clarifying duties of officers and committees. The Treasurer shall be elected by the Vestry and the duties of the Treasurer are more carefully defined. To insure knowledgeable guidance of the Cemetery, instead of a warden and two vestry members, the Cemetery Trustees are defined to include the Warden for Property, one member of the Vestry, and one member of the Finance Committee.

6. All members of Cemetery committee must be bonded. We will retain the title of cemetery superintendent in the bylaws although the position is currently vacant.

7. Minor changes in language, format or order for clarity.
An e-mail version of the proposed amended bylaws is available upon request from Margo Greenfield. greenfieldmargo@gmail.com.

Thank-you to Margo Greenfield, Susan Dinan and Suzanne Holt, our out-going Warden and Vestry members. Well done! Good and faithful servants!


Poems & Reflections

Writers-Please consider writing a short meditation, poem or reflection during Lent. Everyone can participate, at any level. Interested? Curious? Please contact Rev. Sheelagh for more information.


United Thank Offering
A collection will be taken up at the Diocesan Convention for the UTO on Friday 29th January. I invite you to add any donations you wish to that fund (please mark checks UTO in the memo line), and one of our lay delegates to Convention will take them up and announce our parish name.

The Diocesan Convention will be held this weekend Friday at 9 am through Saturday at 4pm at The Hilton Hotel in Parsippany.
This is the Annual Meeting of the Diocese and your clergy and delegates; Patti Moore, MaryAlice Chech and Barbara Reidel will be in attendance. It is where the budgets are discussed and voted in, resolutions are heard and debated and the successes of our parishes are celebrated. Please keep us in your prayers.

THIS SUNDAY – The Annual Meeting at 10:00am – Don’t miss it!
You all had this past week off – so join us for brunch at St Stephen’s. While you enjoy a Great British Breakfast, we will share the news of the parish this past year, and highlight where our energy needs to go in 2016.

Sunday, 7 February, is the day of the Super Bowl, but it also is SOUPER SUNDAY. Please bring cans of soup that day for our food barrel; all varieties are welcome!

Beckerath Organ Recital
The current 46th season will continue with recitals by our own John Charles Schucker on Feb 28 at 4pm, and by Ian Tomesch on April 24. We hope you can join us, especially for John’s recital on Feb 28, which will include his guided introduction to the workings of our own “King of Instruments.” For more information pick up a season brochure at the table by the church entrance-or speak to John or to Peggy and other Friends of Music.

Coffee Hosting And Flowers
All of February is open for coffee and flowers. You can sign up for coffee with Susan Dinan, and let Eugene or Claire know if you would like to donate flowers. Flowers are priced at $40, $50 or $60 for the two vases.