17 Feb

Newsletter, February 17

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: February 17, 2016

“What if I had not believed that I should see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!”

I have just returned from a clergy meeting, where much of the talk was about the church becoming relevant to young people.  Surprise!  The truth is pretty stark; only 25% of 18-33 year olds have ever attended church.  I would say even less of the Y generation have attended church.  We have, it seems, been asleep at the switch for the last 25 years. The conversation turned slowly, away from realization and blame, towards the questions we need to be asking.  At that point, I felt my heart fillip.  For here is the way we the messages of our faith can become meaningful in the community.  We know that we are loved by God, “just as we are,” but our young people don’t!   In fact, most are not aware of what “just as they are” is.  So much of the world they inhabit is governed by judgment and fear. My sabbatical time will be designed to explore, visit and see experiments that church communities have begun to develop following conversation and listening to youth and young adults.  I am excited to see what  the Holy Spirit is up to, and where my travels take me.


Feb 17, Wednesday7:30pm-10pmFinance Committee Meeting
Feb 18, Thursday12pm-1pmStations of the Cross
Feb 20, Saturday10:30am-1pmChristine’s Kitchen
Feb 21, Sunday11:30am-1pmVestry Meeting
Feb 21, Sunday11:30am-12pmJustice & Dignity – Rev Deacon Barbara Harriman, Prison Chaplain
Feb 28, Sunday9:15am-10amSpirituality Group
Feb 28, Sunday4pm-5pmBeckerath Organ Recital

Serving at the Altar 2/21  & 2/28

8am Reader:  M. Walker8am Reader:  E. Maurer
10am Readers:
1. S. Polanco
2. B. Churchill
3. F. Taber
10am Readers:
1. J. Herry
2. O. Owolabi
3. C. Ehlers
Chalicists: D. PriceChalicists: R. Riedel
Ushers: J. Herry & J. SoughanUshers: T. & K. Conway
Coffee hour: OpenCoffee hour: Open


Please send all articles and e-mails for the newsletter to Claire at church@st.stephensmillburn.org.

In the Family
Sarah Ruth would like everyone to know that she is recovering nicely at home.  Thank you for all your prayers, keep them coming!

St Stephen’s Church List of Activities
The Aspire Committee of The Vestry have created a list of activities undertaken regularly by our Congregation.  This has a green cover and is available for you to pick up from the table in the Church.  If you are interested in participating in any of the activities (or even all of them!), please contact the person listed.


Going Deeper this Lent:
Thursdays  at noon in the Church.
Stations of the Cross and meditations – Join us for this spiritual prayer walk.  We will look at the art from great artists that depict the “stations” and discuss what they reveal to us.

February 11, 18, 25, March 3, 10, 17 and 24.

Sunday Lenten Series: Common Room 11:30 – 12:00

Sunday, February  21 – Justice and Dignity – Rev Dcn Barbara Harriman, Prison Chaplain

Sunday, February 28 – Spirituality in the second half of life  – Theresa Scharff

Sunday, March 6 – Seek and Serve Christ in all Persons –  IHN representatives

Sunday, March 13 – Proclaiming by Word and Example – Vestry Forum

Online resources: Daily meditations delivered to your email
box: www.dioceseofnewark.org  click on Online Meditations to read, and to subscribe.

Christine’s Kitchen

February 20, 10:30am – 1pm
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.

Spirituality for the Second Half of Life
The introductory meeting of the Spirituality for the Second Half of Life group has been moved to Sunday, February 28 at 9:15 in the Common Room.  In this way all who are interested from both the 8:00am and 10: 00am services will be able to learn and decide about participation.

Group details will be shared at the introductory meeting but basically, the group theme is that of spirituality in the second part of life – the time after children have grown, jobs are coming to an end or have ended, losses in life have been experienced due to aging and life’s BIG questions are faced more fully.

This group will meet for approximately six weeks; the day and time of meetings will be based on members. If you have any questions/concerns please call Theresa Scharff at 908 686 5489.

Beckerath Organ Recital by our own John Schucker!
Sunday, February 28 at 4 pm
Coming up soon on Sunday, February 28 at 4 pm—a concert not to be missed! John has selected a variety of works from the  great wealth of organ repertoire to illustrate the exceptional quality of St. Stephen’s 1970 Beckerath.   He will also provide a “hands-on” explanation of the basics of how a pipe organ works as well as the various stops available which make this instrument truly sing.  And be sure to stop by to greet John at the reception afterwards.   If you would like to help support St. Stephen’s recital series and its musical outreach to the community, be sure to pick up a 2015-16 recital brochure at the church door.

PLEASE NOTE: My email address has changed AGAIN to:marganneth2@yahoo.com

At the Annual Meeting on February 7th, it was announced that Rev. Sheelagh will be taking a Sabbatical in the summer.   Each week there will be information in the Enews to provide the congregation with a thorough understanding of this wonderful opportunity for Rev. Sheelagh and St. Stephen’s Church.

The Diocese of Newark defines a Sabbatical as a time for clergy to be released from regular ministries for the purpose of spiritual renewal, study, theological reflection, and strengthening of skills and ministries, according to a well-defined plan developed by the clergy person taking leave in concert with her vestry or executive committee.  It is a time for “opening one’s self to the working of the Holy Spirit and for renewal of one’s sense of vocation.”

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.