14 Jan

Newsletter, January 13

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: January 13, 2016

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord…To each is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” 1Cor. 12:6

This passage from Paul’s letter to the church he founded in Corinth is one of my favorites. First it is a church experiencing problems, and when has that never been the case! And, second, it is about the mysterious way that faith in action happens. Each of us is given gifts and skills which are for the common good. For each of us there is a time for discernment of what gifts we have and what the Spirit is calling forth from us in time and talent for the work of God in the community. For us, that work emanates from the parish we call St Stephen’s. Theologically we call this the “body” of Christ, and we know we are all a part of it, bringing what we have to God’s use. In our parish “body” we have lawyers, teachers, designers, cooks, “people” people and gardeners. Right now, we badly need a person who has some accounting skills and financial experience to be our treasurer. This is a Vestry appointed parishioner position. We have a paid bookkeeper, and a very engaged finance committee, so this is not managing the day-to-day accounting, but rather to overview what takes place, and take on the strategic planning aspects of our financial health. Maybe this is in your backpack of experience and skill, just as dealing with problems was part of my skill set when I was in educational administration? God gives us the capabilities and passion we have for what we are good at; the discerning part, is knowing when to step forward and offer them for the good of God’s kingdom and work. If you feel a flutter within your heart, consider and pray on whether you have gifts that your parish needs at this time? I am available and happy to outline what is needed at any time. Call me…maybe God is calling you? +
Lifetouch Parish Directory – LAST CALL!
Please, please, please sign up on the website for the last available slots on Monday January 18 – this is a school holiday. The photo session can be for your whole family, and anyone signing up (even neighbors and friends) will receive a complimentary 10X8 to keep. Can’t do that date? – contact Heather Webster for details on how to be included!

Sign up for Saint Stephen’s Photo Directory!

Already signed up? Don’t forget to BRING a CAN or two to support the Food Barrel. Lifetouch will give a $5 discount for every donation to our food barrel ministry.


Jan 17, Sunday11amVestry Forum
Jan 17, Sunday11:45am-1:115pmVestry Meeting
Jan 17, Sunday11am-6pmLifetouch Photography
Jan18, Monday2pm-9pmLifetouch Photography
Jan 24, Monday12pm-3pmSt. John’s Elizabeth
Jan 31, Sunday9:30amAnnual Meeting

Serving at the Altar 1/17 & 1/24

8am Reader:   C. Francis
8am Reader :  M. Ellingham
10am Readers:
1. E. Pluta
2. S. Polanco
3. P. Wick
10am Readers:
1. L. Owolabi
2. K. Wade
3. T. Scharff
Chalicists: D. Cole
Chalicists: D. Price
Ushers:  M. Walker, T & J. Scharff
Ushers:   M. Walker & A. Cole
Coffee hour: Vestry
Coffee hour: S. Dinan
Altar flowers: S. R. Dorn
Altar flowers: E. Pluta

Coffee Hosting And Flowers
Please sign up for coffee hour 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.

Vestry Forum

Our next vestry forum will be on January 17th. The vestry will discuss efforts to streamline various aspects of church operations. They will also share a summary of church activities and outreaches that has been compiled, in part to make the parish aware of the range of opportunities and determine areas of interest moving forward. Join us for a thoughtful conversation.

St. John’s Luncheon Sunday, January 24th
61 Broad Street Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Departure Time: 12PM from St. Stephen’s

Thank so much in advance for your help. It is because of our caring and giving community that we are able to bring smiles and full stomachs to the St. John’s community. Below is a list of what we will need. The number in parenthesis indicates approximately how many of each item we need.

*Items in red have been taken.
1. Pre-made Turkey & Cheese Sandwiches (20)
2. Pre-made Turkey Sandwiches (10)
3. Pre-made Ham & Cheese Sandwiches (20)
4. Pre-made Ham Sandwiches (20)
5. Pre-made American Cheese Sandwiches (10)
6. Pre-made Meat Deli & Cheese Sandwiches (20) e.g. Salami, etc
7. Chicken Soup (feeds 10)
8 Chicken Noodle Soup (feeds 10)
9. Hearty Veggie Soup (feeds 10)
10. Mom’s Specialty Soup (feeds 10)
11. Spicy Gumbo Soup (feeds 10)
12. Soup bowls
13. Hard boiled eggs (6 dozen)
14. Fruits (Apples and/or Oranges)
15. Condiments
16. 10 Volunteers

If you prefer to make a different type of sandwich, Vegetarian or PB&J or different soup, just send us a quick note and we will include it. Please label your type of sandwiches and soup prior to delivery, for better distribution.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact via us email at
ssguillenpolanco@gmail.com or give us a call directly.
Soraya at (201) 779-6852 or Sam at (646) 805-8682
Have a lovely week ahead! 🙂
With Much Love & Appreciation,
Sam + Soraya Polanco

CEMETERY TOUR: Reminder Date

Parishioners are reminded that the date of the 2016 tour of St. Stephen’s Cemetery will be Sunday, 16 October, with a rain date of 23 October. Please keep those dates on your calendar. Having friends or family for a fall visit? Excellent! Just bring them to the tour.

Sunday January 31, 2016 at 10:00am

Commences in Sanctuary with Worship then continues in Parish Hall.

  • Elections of officers
  • Reports of parish activities
  • Financial reports and budgets for 2016.All parishioners are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.