05 Nov

Newsletter, November 4

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: November 4, 2015

Yes, it’s stewardship time again.  The NPR experience is good at making it clear what our sustaining donations “purchase.” They make it clear that to support National Public Radio is about values, and quality; choice and decision. They like to make us feel special because we are choosing to support and fund our choices. In our spiritual lives, our church life, we make those choices too.  To look through an NPR lens, could be to ask the question, “How much value do we place on God’s presence in our lives?” So, how much value do we place on the gift of life, and children and family?  What is the beauty of the earth, sea, sky, mountain and valley worth? How do we price the wonder of the universe, stars and planets?  The diversity of the Creation?  What take away do we get from the comfort hope and joy of God’s unconditional love for us?  Where else can we turn in times of stress, illness, grief and sorrow?  What value the gift of fellowship and hospitality to one another, as well as the lonely, hungry, homeless and incarcerated?  What price the opportunities to share the values of service and outreach with others and our children?

“A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins”…The widow gives all that she has, her two copper coins, out of her poverty; not because she wants to be a sustaining member with her recycled tote bag; but because her gift comes from the deepest place in her heart for the things that have most meaning for her.  She gives her all out of her gratitude for all she has been given.  There is no price tag on what God has given each of us;  God’s gifts are simply priceless.  And all God asks of us, is to give as generously as we can, from the bottom of our hearts.  Only you know what that means for you+

Stewardship in-gathering will be on the two Sundays following Thanksgiving. Please be thoughtful and prayerful about what you can give this year in gratitude for all that God and your church means to you.


Nov 10, Tuesday11amSenior Luncheon
Nov 12, Thursday7:30pmFinance Committee Meeting
Nov 14, Saturday10:30amChristine’s Kitchen
Nov 15, Sunday11:30amVestry Meeting
Nov 18, Wednesday7:30pmSocial Justice Book Discussion Group
Nov 22, Sunday12pmSt John’s Elizabeth

Serving at the Altar Sunday 11/1 & 11/8

8 am Reader: A. Walker8 am Reader: M. Walker
10 am Readers:
1. K. Conway
2. K. Hanson
3. K. McClellan
10 am Readers:
1. J. Herry
2. C. Ehlers
3. L. Owolabi
Chalicists: S. Clarke & R. RiedelChalicists: D. Price & E. Maurer
Ushers: J. Herry & J P. SoughanUshers: S. & S. Polanco
Coffee hour: Open
Flowers are given by:  Mary Stack in loving memory of
Mary and Norman Morrison.
Coffee hour: Open
Flowers are given by:  Open

Coffee hosting and flowers

There is only one date left for coffee hour this month, November 15. Please sign up with Susan Dinan!  Please let Eugene or Claire know if you want to donate flowers.   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.

OAR 2015 PATCH Award
(Offender Aid and Restoration 2015 Parents and Their Children Award)
OAR Awards

On Thursday October 29, Rev.  Sheelagh was presented with the OAR 2015 PATCH Award.  Our rector was in good company as other recipients that evening included Star Ledger Columnist Barry Carter and NJ Assemblyman Thomas Giblin.
The program was emceed by WABC morning anchor Ken Rosado who spoke about what a wonderful organization OAR is. Rev Sheelagh thanked the care givers and shared what a blessing the drumming camp is to our congregation. The profound and long- lasting impact it has on the participants as well as the level of dedication and commitment St. Stephen’s has shown to this program. She spoke about how much work it is for all involved including the volunteers and the community members who provide an outpouring of donations.  Driving home the point that it truly does take a village.

OAR Podium

St. Stephen’s proudly filled a table as Deacon Kathleen, Sue Macbeth, Margo Greenfield, Blair and Jeff Majtyka, Julia, Felder, and Sara Ruth Dorn, Susan Dinan, and Denise Price all attended. It was a wonderful evening with interesting speakers, great conversation, food, and fellowship. It was such a nice way for our Drumming Camp to be recognized and we were very proud to support Reverend Sheelagh as she accepted the award on behalf of the whole congregation!!


Please join us in congratulating James and Katie Wade for the birth of their new baby girl. Clara Margaret Wade, born Saturday October 26, 2015 at 11.58am, 7lb, 5oz.  All are doing well!


Christine’s Kitchen
November 14, from 10:30am-1:15pm

We serve neighbors in need at Christine’s Kitchen at Holy Trinity in West Orange.  Holy Trinity is located at Washington and Main Streets in West Orange. Parking is on the street.  We can use entrees, fruit, and other foods, as well as volunteers.   If you feel like bringing something additional, do so!  Food will not go to waste.
if you want to volunteer or contribute call Claas at 908 451-0426, or email him at cehlers@familypromise.org.

Social Justice Book Discussion Group
November 18 at 7:30pm in the Rectory

Thirteen of us gathered last week to discuss Michelle Alexander’s book  The New Jim Crow, examining mass incarceration of young black and Hispanic men as a result of the “war on drugs.” (See NYT book review below).  Join us as we continue the conversation on these uncomfortable, but urgent issues. Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30pm in the Rectory.  Reading the book is not necessary.

Heads up for Holiday Giving!

This Thanksgiving we will be supporting our Patch and I.H.N. families with holiday box dinners. The Moore family will enlist sign ups in the coming weeks. Ellen Pluta will coordinate collections of Angel Tree gifts for our Patch families right after Thanksgiving. With a need for fewer holiday dinners than previous years, feel free to donate at Thanksgiving or at Christmas for Angel Tree gifts.

St. John Baptist on December 5, 2015

The retreat at the convent of St. John Baptist is planned for December 5, with an Advent theme. Time frame: 10:00am – 5:00pm. In addition to opportunities for prayer with the community, there will be sessions led by Sr. Suzanne Elizabeth. Lunch is provided and Eucharist will take place near the end of the day with Sr. Barbara Jean as presider. Donation: $35.00. Please  give or send checks by November 15 to Theresa Scharff.  These should be made out to Srs. of St. John Baptist.  Any questions: 908 686 5489.


We now have an active online giving button on our website.  You can use this to make a one time donation (in case you are away from church), or set up your regular contributions.  See Rev Derek for more information.

If you would like an article put in the e-news, please e-mail Claire in the office atchurch@ststephensmillburn.org