29 Jun

Newsletter, June 29

Rev Sheelagh’s Sabbatical Notes – June 29, 2016

Reaping the harvest – Ten years on in the Diocese of Toronto.


Faced with declining numbers, and churches in the wrong places for urban regeneration, the Diocese of Toronto entered the Missional field about ten years ago.  It has been a fascinating journey, one of ups and downs, successes and challenges.  My visit there as part of my sabbatical time, was to listen and observe what is happening in the kingdom now.

Over the next few weeks I will share some of the treasures I discovered there.


Today I introduce the Church of the  Resurrection – known as “The Rez.”

Missional coach and rector, Duke  Vipperman has spent the past  fourteen years cultivating a missional  culture with the merged  congregations of two churches.

One of the most visible features is  the community garden.  Designed  with laity and local neighbors it  stretches one side of the church.  A  nominal fee is charged and gardeners  share ideas and expertise. Community pot lucks take place on the picnic tables and  the Sunday school kids have a plot.

So how does this become Church?


Well at Christmas the garden became  the center of midnight mass worship.  Meals take place on the picnic tables  formally and informally.  Relationships have been made and  pastoral care and prayers take place  in this community and space.  It  begins with trust, hospitality and  generosity…the rest follows.

Here in the garden, I learned a new  way to think of church.  Where there  is welcome, word, worship and  witness to the presence of Christ and God – Church happens.

Check out The Rez.  It’s exciting and I have more of their stories to share next week. www.therez.ca


June 1-Sep 1June 1-Sep 1Rev. Sheelagh’s Sabbatical
July 2016All of JulyNorth Porch Christmas in July
July 5, Tuesday7am-6pmPreschool Summer Camp Begins
July 20, Wednesday6pmSummer Workshop Grace Episcopal Church Nutley
July 24, Sunday12pm-3pmSt. John’s Luncheon

Serving at the Altar  7/3 & 7/10

8am Preacher: Deacon K. Ballard
8am Reader: C. Francis
8am Preacher: Rev. C. McCloud
8am Reader: A. Walker
10am Preacher: M. Walker

10am Readers
1. S. Polanco
2. F. Taber

10am Preacher: Rev. W. Smith

10am Readers
1. F. Young
2. J. Herry

Chalicist: J. ScharffChalicist: R. Riedel
Ushers: C. & S. JeterUshers: B. Riedel & M.A. Chech
Altar Guild: C. Francis & N. SieffertAltar Guild: M. Walker, J. Dorn & D. Price
Coffee Hour:  A. & D. ColeCoffee Hour:  S. & S. Polanco
Altar Flowers: E. Foley Jr. in loving memory of E. Foley Sr.Altar 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.


Summer Workshop At Grace Episcopal Church in Nutley (200 Highfield Lane)
A $5 per person donation is requested to cover the cost of a light dinner. For further information or to reserve a spot (so we’ll know how much food is needed) please email Sue Morgan at sue.morgan1066@gmail.com

Time 6 p.m on Wednesday, July 20 or call her at (917) 517-4024.

Christmas In July
Christmas in July is almost upon us!!  All through July you can contribute once again to North Porch by bringing baby needs each Sunday of the month and placing these in the decorated boxes in the Narthex.  North Porch requests specific items such as diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby food, and toiletries for babies.  Clothing, shoes, and toys are not part of this collection.  You can also make a monetary donation and I can purchase the items for you.

Theresa Scharff

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!

Shakespeare In The Park
This August we hope to continue the “tradition” (started last Summer) of gathering on a balmy Summer’s eve in Garrison New York, on the lawn of an historic house across from West Point Academy.  Here we enjoy a picnic and then the most entertaining words of the Bard!  This year we hope to gather a group to enjoy “As You Like It” on Saturday, August 27.  If you are interested please contact Theresa Scharff for details.

Men Of St. Stephen’s Retreat
Calling all Men of St.Stephens!  A retreat “just for men” is in the process of being planned in late Summer (September).  We hope to use the Convent of St. John Baptist in Mendham for the day.  Please consider spending some time alone and with other men of the parish  for a day of spiritual renewal and growth.  Contact Paul Boegershausen or Theresa Scharff  for more information.

Thought For The Week
Thinkers.  Writers.  Please consider writing a brief  “thought for the week” on anything at all for the weekly e-news during the sabbatical period.  Let Claire or Janet Hager know you are interested.

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.  All of July is available so 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.