24 Feb

Newsletter, February 24

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: February 24, 2016

Before every vestry meeting, your vestry spends fifteen minutes “Dwelling in the Word.” This is a practice of holy listening.  We listen to the same scripture passage read by two readers, paying attention to where we stop listening, or where an image pops up, or our mind wanders into the imaginative realm.  When we have listened, we listen to a partner, share our thoughts as they listen, then offer our partners thoughts to the group.  Going local is about listening.  Finding the people outside our walls and just listening.  Even in our family lives, how often does someone really listen to us? Our passage is this week’s Hebrew scripture, Moses and the Burning bush.  God appears to Moses in the burning bush.  Moses notices.  God speaks.  Moses listens.  God tells Moses he has been listening and has heard the cries of the people.  In our vestry meeting this past week, those who listened heard God say, “I hear you.”  “I understand.”  “Get on and do something about it.”  “I will be with you.”  And when you are done “come here to give thanks and worship.”  This holy listening gave us the chills.  I think we listened and heard what God wanted us to notice. After Church on Sunday, join me in the Common Room, to listen and dwell with the word. What do you hear the Spirit of God saying to you?


Feb 28, Sunday9:15am-10amSpirituality Group
Feb 28, Sunday4pm-5pmBeckerath Organ Recital
Mar 3, Thursday7pm-9:30pmPreschool Committee Meeting
Mar 8, Tuesday11am-2pmSenior Luncheon
Mar 11&12, Fri & Sat6:30pm-9pm & 8:30am-3pmVestry Retreat
Mar 13, Sunday11am-12pmVestry Updates
Mar 16, Wednesday7:30pm-10pmFinance Committee Meeting

Serving at the Altar 2/28  & 3/6

8am Reader:  E. Maurer8am Reader:  C. Francis
10am Readers:
1. J. Herry
2. O. Owolabi
3. C. Ehlers
10am Readers:
1. J. James
2. F. Dorn
3. K. Hanson
Chalicist: R. RiedelChalicist: S. Clarke
Ushers: T. & K. ConwayUshers: J. & K.  Wade
Coffee hour: OpenCoffee hour: S. & S. Polanco


Please send all articles and e-mails for the newsletter to Claire by NOON on Tuesday at church@st.stephensmillburn.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

Going Deeper this Lent: 

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

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

Sunday, February 28 –
9:15 –  Spirituality in the second half of life  – Theresa Scharff
11:30   Dwelling in the Word – Rev. Sheelagh+

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.

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.

Palm Sunday Readings
Please let Rev. Sheelagh know immediately if you would like to be a reader in our Passion Gospel reading on Palm Sunday – March 20. We will have a run thru on March 13.

Sacred Art workshop
Join us on Holy Wednesday to create a personal piece of beautiful mosaic art, led by sacred artist – Debra Cook.  Nominal fee to cover materials.   Please Sign up with Rev. Sheelagh+

When Rev.  Sheelagh is away on her Sabbatical it will be “church as usual.”  St. Stephen’s will continue with Sunday services and ongoing programs.  Sabbatical time is an opportunity to focus on the ministry of the laity.  It is a time for the congregation to assess where it believes God may be calling them to be.

At the Diocesan Convention, Bishop Beckwith stressed the theme “Who is My Neighbor?”  Rev. Sheelagh’s primary focus of her Sabbatical is to further explore the “going local” missional network activities and program.  She will be traveling to different parts of the country and abroad where churches are actively engaged in this missional project.  Further information will be provided as she maps out the specifics of her itinerary.

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.