Rev. Sheelagh’s Thought For The Week
It’s quickly coming time to say goodbye and I hope that you will join me on August 6 to celebrate the work we have shared together in the name of Jesus Christ. Leave-taking is hard on both sides. What makes it especially hard are the strict boundaries that clergy are required to observe post leaving. We are to have no contact with any parishioner for pastoral care of any kind for three years, and then only at the invitation of the new rector or priest in charge.
So, after August 31, I can’t be with you to celebrate communion, baptisms, weddings or funerals. “Why not?” we may ask. Best I understand, is that our faith relationship is primarily with God, not the pastor. Priests are always temporary shepherds, and when they are called to minister to a different flock, the other flock does not go with them. That would be a cult of personality, not a right relationship of faith in God. So we won’t see each other again in that relationship but because I’m here in the Diocese, we will most likely see one another in different contexts, and I believe we can do that with grace and love.
My part is to let you go, treasuring and cherishing the good things we have done together; holding out the olive branch of reconciliation for the places and moments where we have hurt or misunderstood one another; and looking forward in hope and faith to seeing where God will lead you next.
Right now, your next shepherd is preparing to hear the call – please be a part of that call and make it loud and clear. This is the “little church that does.” So – do it again, in the faith, trust and hope that is and always has been St. Stephen’s.
God is with you, always. +
July 26, Wednesday
Diocesan Annual Spirituality Evening
Grace Church, Madison NJ
|July 26, Wednesday||7:30pm-10pm||Finance Committee Meeting|
|August 6, Sunday||11:15am||Farewell Tea for Rev. Sheelagh|
|August 27, Sunday||11:30am-1pm||Vestry Meeting|
Serving at the Altar 7/30 & 8/6
July 30, 2017
8am Reader: M. Ellingham
August 6, 2017
*** No 8am Service ***
1. K. Conway
2. K. Hanson
1. J. James
2. F. Young
|Chalicist: D. Cole||Chalicist: J. Scharff|
Ushers: E. Maurer & M. Hirschfeld
Ushers: T. & K. Conway
Altar Guild: M. Nazareth & A. Cole
Altar Guild: C. Francis & J. Dorn
Coffee Hour: L. Rugbeer, C. Francis & H. Rooney
|Coffee Hour: C. Francis|
Altar Flowers: Open
|Altar Flowers: The Dorn Family|
Please Join Us In Prayer As We Search For Our Next Bishop
We, your people in the Diocese of Newark, give you thanks and praise for your work among us and through us, generation to generation. Lead us in the months ahead as we prayerfully search for our next Bishop. Raise up for us a steadfast steward who will embrace our broad and blessed diversity and uphold the apostolic heritage of your Church. Guide us to a faithful witness who speaks the Gospel truth in love and joy, and intimately knows your Word and world. Direct us, your disciples, in our discernment so our faith may increase and our works glorify your Name. All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
With the coming departure of our rector, the Vestry would like to share regular updates on transition progress as we say farewell to Reverend Sheelagh and welcome a new priest into our St. Stephen’s family.
The Vestry of St. Stephen’s Church is hosting a Farewell Tea to thank Reverend Sheelagh and say goodbye on Sunday, August 6th following the 10am service. All are welcome and encouraged to join! If you haven’t RSVP’d either through e-vite or in person at church, please e-mail Carole Francis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visiting Priests (supply clergy) will join us on Sundays throughout August to lead the 10:00 am service, which will be the only Sunday service during that month. There will be no 8:00 am service.
North Porch Christmas In July!
HO, HO, HO !! Huh???
Yes, it is that time again when North Porch Center for Women and Infants needs our help – it’s Christmas in July! Summer months are typically the time when donations run low and St. Stephen’s has annually participated in a collection to alleviate this situation.
From now until Sunday, July 30, collection boxes will be in the narthex. Donations of diapers (sizes 3, 4, 5), baby food and formula (Enfamil powdered), baby wipes, and baby toiletries such as shampoo, wash, and diaper cream are needed.
Thank you for your generosity.
Any questions? contact Theresa at 908 686 5489
For years Jane Rossiter has decorated empty coffee cans for delivery of altar flowers following church services. If you use coffee cans, please save them and bring them to church. Thank you so much!
Alex Cole, Altar Guild Director
Resources you may like to try this summer: iphone and Android apps for iphone for the Daily Office, and The Book of common Prayer (look in your online app store,) and Echo a daily prayer and blessing app. You can also find text Daily prayers at www.missionstclare.com following the Episcopal Church lectionary, and a variety of other traditions.
What’s Your Favorite Hymn?
Summertime and the livin’ is easy . . . and we’d like the music to be, as well! Submit the name and source of your favorite hymn or gospel song and we’ll try to include it in one of our summer services. You can email your choice(s) directly to email@example.com or write it on a piece of paper and drop it in the offering plate. Then come to church this summer and sing!!!
And, Speaking of Singing
Anyone who would like to present a special musical offering during the choir’s summer break should contact Kim Williams (see email address above) or John Schucker. Singers and instrumentalists are welcome.
Do You Enjoy Gardening?
Would you like to spend some time sprucing up the flower beds around the church? If you answered “Yes!” Please join the newly forming, “Garden Club” of St. Stephen’s. Let Theresa or Sue know if you are interested. We will plan an organization meeting before September.
Summer Coffee hour:
During the summer, sign up to bring iced tea, fruit punch or lemonade and a seasonal fruit offering or light snack to share at coffee hour. Keep it simple and easy. See Heloisa Rooney for more information. Sign up sheet is on the bulletin board.
Diocesan Annual Spirituality Evening
Wednesday July 26
Join Theresa and John Scharff, and Rev. Sheelagh at the Diocesan annual Spirituality evening entitled ” Ditch your Devices, and feed your soul,” Wednesday July 26th at Grace Church, Madison, at 6:00pm 9:00pm. Ditch your device for a summer evening. Taste and see, awaken your senses to walking the labyrinth, creating art, mindfulness, spiritual breathing, and more. Dwell in the word with us as we prayerfully listen to the Holy Spirit within and begin to let go.
Registration here – small charge (scholarships available)
28 August – 1 September
Once again St. Stephen’s Church will host a week-long summer drumming camp for children in the PATCH program (these are children with incarcerated parents.) The camp will take place from 28 August to 1 September, from 3:30pm -7:30pm. The camp is staffed by volunteers who help to coordinate snacks and dinner, arts and crafts, sports and games, and we leave the drumming instructions to a pro, Ya-yah Kamete who has worked with us for many years. If you are interested in volunteering at the camp please contact Susan Dinan at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to hear a lovely concert from some very enthusiastic drummers please join us on Friday evening of 1 September. Thank you!
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 email@example.com.
Parish Office hours are as follows:
To conserve the air conditioning in the Rectory please use the kitchen door for entry.