23 Mar

Newsletter, March 22

Rev. Sheelagh’s Thought For The Week
“Live as children of the Light” Ephesians 5:8-14
What does it mean to be a child of the light?  Light imagery is very much a part of our theological vocabulary.  “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them,” continues the letter to the Ephesians, “For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly, but everything exposed by the light becomes visible…”  This part we know, right?  We all have things that we would rather not have brought out into the light.  This is about our own dealings with our hidden desires and temptations; not the outing of others’ failures and faults.  God knows our faults and our failures.  God knows our sinful shame and our desire to self justify only too well.  But this is the same God who loves us, and is swift to forgive.  It seems no accident to me that the psalm for Sunday is the beloved 23rd Psalm, where we are consoled by a loving shepherd who leads us and provides for us, even when we do the hardest work of all, and face our own secret stuff and bring it to light.  That light heals, takes away the fear, softens the shame and allows us to be absolved and freed from its hold over us.  It’s a process of admission, naming and wherever possible seeking reconciliation and forgiveness. Just doing that begins a journey to wholeness.+

March 22,
Lenten Pilgrim Program
March 25, Saturday9am-3:15pm
Vestry University
St. Elizabeth’s Church
169 Fairmount Road, Ridgewood, NJ
March 26 & April 2, Sunday11:15am
Cake & Conversation
Parish Hall
April 2, Sunday11:15am
Grocery Gift Card Sunday
April 8 – 14
IHN Week
Interfaith Hospitality Network
April 9, Sunday8am & 10am
Palm Sunday Services
April 13, Thursday6.30pm-9:30pm
Maundy Thursday Supper & Service
April 14, Friday
Good Friday Services
April 16, Sunday8am & 10amEaster Sunday Services
April 16, Sunday11:30amEaster Egg Hunt
April 23, Sunday7pm
Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir
Serving at the Altar  3/26 & 4/2
Mar 26, 2017
8am Reader: A. Walker
Apr 2, 2017
8am Reader: C. Francis
10am Readers:
1. J. James
2. F. Taber
3. O. Owolabi
10am Readers:
1. F. Taber
2. K. Conway
3. F. Young
Chalicist: J. SoughanChalicist: D. Cole
Ushers: O. & P. Moore
Ushers: P. Boegershausen & J. Hager
Altar Guild: A. Walker & J. James
Altar Guild: C. Francis & J. Dorn
Coffee Hour: S. Clarke
Coffee Hour: J. Dorn & H. Rooney
Altar Flowers: No Flowers During Lent
Altar Flowers: No Flowers During Lent
There are a number of scholarships available to college bound students.  See link below.  Deadlines are approaching fast.  Please contact Rev.  Sheelagh if you need a letter of support.
Celebrating Easter
How wonderful it will be to celebrate Easter with beautiful Spring flowers!  You will find small envelopes in the pews which can be used to make donations to be used to purchase them for decorating the church.  These may be made in memory of someone.
Please print legibly the names on the envelopes.  The names will be included in the Easter Sunday bulletin.  Place the envelopes in the collection plate or turn them into the office.  In order to get the names in the bulletin, please return the envelopes by Sunday, April 2. Thank you for your assistance.
Alex Cole, Altar Guild Directress
Food Barrel
A meaningful project for the season of Lent for families and individuals is ready and waiting right outside the church door that opens into the narthex.  It is our FOOD BARREL, waiting to be filled with nonperishable food that will be distributed by Apostles’ House in Newark to help alleviate hunger in our county.
Lenten Pilgrim Program Tonight, March 22, at 7pm
Join us for our final spring spiritual study group “Pilgrim.”  A study guide aimed at introducing our faith to newcomers and going deeper for those already on the journey.
Cake & Conversation!
March 26 & April 2.
It’s Lent – so no cake, except that every Sunday in Lent is a feast day.  So we will celebrate it by having cake and conversation at coffee hour, where we listen for what God has been up to; is up to; and is calling us to become as St Stephen’s.  The children’s table will do this too – in their way. The questions and the emerging thoughts will be shared each week – so don’t worry if you miss a Sunday.  Join us on March 26 and April 2.  Where? After church in the Parish Hall.
Vestry University, Saturday, March 25, 2017
Vestry University
Join us in our 29th year of offering hospitality to homeless families supported by the Interfaith Hospitality Network for the Homeless.
In 1987 St. Stephens became one of a few dozen congregations involved with a new ministry to homeless families – IHN – the Interfaith Hospitality Network for the Homeless.  Since then, another 6,000 congregations have done the same, involving more than 160,000 volunteers and collectively serving more than 600,000 children and adults.  Volunteer congregations host families for a week offering food and shelter while the case management team helps them move toward permanent housing and self-sufficiency.
We host next from April 8 to 14.  This year we will vary our normal hosting schedule.  With Passover and Holy Week only days apart and in partnership with Temple B’nai Jeshurun,  we will host from Saturday morning April 8 to Friday morning, April 14 – Good Friday.
Volunteers are needed to stay overnight, to cook and serve meals, to entertain children, to run errands and for the set up and take down work to convert classrooms to bedrooms.  To learn more, talk to Margo Greenfield or Blair Majtyka.
As always, Meal Coordinator Sara Ruth Dorn will conduct signups during coffee hour for volunteers to prepare and serve dinners and purchase the necessary breakfast and snack staples.
Meal Plans for IHN Guests
When we host the guests from the Interfaith Hospitality Network in April, we have the following opportunities  for this special  ministry:
       1.  Donate food items and supplies
       2.  Cook a meal at home or at the church
       3.  Serve a meal to the guests, the overnight hosts and to you the server(s).
A server for the dinner hour needs to arrive to set the tables at 5:30 p.m. to be ready to serve the meal at 6. We learn the number of guests with the ages of the children usually the week before their arrival.  The network staff has been helpful in letting me know of any food allergies.  I pass this information to anyone who cooks.
Sign-up sheets for donations will be available during coffee hours.
Questions?  Telephone Sara Ruth Dorn (973-467-9847) or email fdorn231@aol.com
Save The Date For A Wonderful Evening Of Song And Dance!
“The Papermill Broadway Show Choir will perform a benefit concert at St. Stephen’s Church on Sunday April, 23 at 7pm.  Tickets will go on sale April 2, and will be sold after church during coffee hour, and also available at the door.  The congregation provides snacks (savory and sweet) during the intermission.  If you would like to contribute food or drink please let Susan know.
Please Note:
Next Sunday, April 2, will be a family friendly service
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.