31 Jul

Newsletter, July 29

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: July 29, 2015

We have some interesting themes developing in the scriptures over the next few weeks.  The Gospel is focused on nurturing the soul and spirit through “bread” in a variety of ways; the letter to the Ephesians, begins the “body” of Christ imagery that forms the early Christian identity, and we are still held in the throws of David’s horrible story in the Hebrew Scriptures. They all point to the love and mercy of God. Interestingly it is David, (yes this same David), who is reputed to have composed many of the psalms. The psalms are an interesting counterpoint to the events of David’s story, and one can imagine that he writes them as a reflection to what is happening to him. This coming Sunday offers us psalm 51.  Perhaps it reflects David’s journey to remorse and repentance.  I like to hear it that way, for it brings some redemption to the terrible happenings of life, not just in our Biblical tales, but in our own real stories. We all have moments when we also cry out,  “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” And through the witness of these stories, we know that we are held and loved through these moments. +


July 29, Wednesday6:30 pm -8:30 pmSummer Workshop, St. Agnes’s
August 16, Sunday11:30amVestry Meeting
 August 20, Thursday7:30pm – 10pmFinance Committee Meeting
August 23, Sunday12 noonSt. John’s Kitchen, Elizabeth
Week of August 24-2811:00 am – 3:30 pmDrumming Camp at St. Stephen’s
August 29, Saturday10.30am – 1pmChristine’s Kitchen
Serving at the Altar Sunday 8/2 & 8/9
8 am Reader: C. Francis
8 am Reader: M. Ellingham
10 am Readers:
1. E. Pluta
2. N/A
3. C. Ehlers
10 am Readers:
1. J. James
2. N/A
3. O. Owolabi
Chalicist: S. Macbeth
Chalicist: D. Price
Ushers: Claas Ehlers and Ellen PlutaUshers: Tim and Kathy Conway
Coffee Hour Host: Alex and Dick Cole
Flowers are given by: Marvin Walker
in memory of Alvin Harris.
Coffee Hour Host: Eugene Foley
Flowers are given by:

Coffee hosting and flowers

Please sign up with Susan Dinan for coffee hour.  Please let Eugene or Claire know if you want to donate flowers.


Summer Sharing
Over the summer we take a break from Sunday School and have informal sharing time with our youngest members. You can share an activity with the children that is close to your heart, brings you joy, or helps you feel the presence of God. The possibilities are endless: go for a walk in Taylor Park, play a game of soccer or cricket on the lawn, bake a treat, work on a craft, or teach a song. No experience is necessary and if you would like any assistance please contact Denise Price. 917-548-5520.

Summer Music
If you would like to make a musical contribution to our 10:00 a.m. services during the summer months, please contact Kim Williams at kkawe@optonline.net or see her at Coffee Hour.  Solos or small ensembles are welcome, vocal or instrumental.

What’s your favorite hymn?
Please submit your favorite hymn title(s) to Kim Williams (kkawe@optonline.net) or Rev. Sheelagh and we will do our best to include them in one of the summer services. If your favorite is from a source other than the 1982 Hymnal or St. Stephen’s Hymnal, please include the source.

Summer Reading with Rev. Sheelagh
Summer reading book group. You are invited to read along with me this summer. I intend to revisit C.S.Lewis “The Screwtape Letters” and we can meet on a balmy late summer evening to discuss it. More to come, but buy/ borrow the book. It’s a provocative read.

St John’s Kitchen
August is a five week month which means that St. Stephen’s will host the fourth Sunday, August 23, at noon.  Sam and Soraya Polanco will let us know what we need to bring shortly.

Summer Workshop

Liturgy: The Work of the People
Wednesday, July 29, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at St. Agnes’, Little Falls

In this summer evening workshop facilitated by the Rev. Audrey Hasselbrook, we will explore the various ways that lay people can participate more fully in the life of the church. Sponsored by the Empowering People Action Team of Diocesan Council (your very own rector is chair of this team), this is the fifth in a popular series of summer events for the laity of the diocese.
Cost: A minimum donation of $5 for a light supper. Registration deadline: Wednesday, July 22. The event announcement on the website is at this link, including a further link to the flyer for this event:

Drumming Camp Reminder!

Please sign up for the drumming camp as there is a lot of help needed
to make it a success!

The end of August will be ministry-palooza, as we will be serving at St John’s on Sunday, August 23, hosting the Drumming Camp the next week and culminating with Christine’s Kitchen on August 29th!
It happens because volunteers give of their time and talent to create a wonderful community for these children. There is a role for anyone who wants to spend a few hours changing children’s lives.
Blair has set up a sign-up genius so we can start securing volunteers. www.SignUpGenius.com/go/20F0845A4AC2BA02-ststephens/2019986
We need to be able to start planning staffing as this is a volunteer heavy effort. Please go to the sign up forms and pick jobs and times.  We need to know who is available and then we can finalize schedules and specific tasks.

Below is more info about timing:
Weekly Schedule
8/23 – after church we will do some of the set up
8/24 – in-service training for all camp staff and volunteers
8/25-8/28 – camp runs from 11-3; volunteers needed from 10:45-3:15
8/29-camp will start at 12 and culminate with a performance in Taylor Park at 2 (this will allow Christine’s Kitchen volunteers to see the performance)

This is the daily schedule for the 8/25-28 block:
11am                          Children arrive
11am-11:30am         Guided play
11:30am-12:15pm   Lunch
12:15pm-1:15pm     Group 1 drums, group 2 crafts
1:15pm-2:15pm       Group 2 drums, group 1 crafts
2:15pm-2:30pm       Circle time
2:30pm-3pm             Snack, guided play
3pm                            Children depart
Everything is subject to change, but we do expect to follow this plan for the most part.

Below is an outline of the various roles
Attentive Adults
These are volunteers who will be on-hand for the entire day.  They will serve as “grandparents on call,”  help with mediating disputes and provide a calming and encouraging presence for the children.  Some of these volunteers should be able to engage in the physical play to a degree as well.  It will be important to have several people in this role who can be present for all or nearly all of the days; others can opt for just a day or two or specific timeslots.
Food Service
Working under the direction of SaraRuth, these volunteers help with serving and preparing food, during the meal times (11:30-12:15 and 2:30-3).  There also need to be volunteers to help with the pick up of donated meals, which may occur at various times during the day.
Clean up Crew
People who will help with end of day clean up (around 3pm), including surveying the facilities to make sure that all spaces are in order (lights, condition of bathrooms etc.)
Arts and Crafts
Plan, organize and present arts/craft projects to the children.  Simpler, interactive and achievable are best bets.  Need both leaders and helpers.  This will be in two shifts, from about 12 to 2:30.
Bus Chaperones
Ride the bus with the children to and from.  Will need to meet the bus in Newark at about 10:30am and will ride back to Newark at about 3pm.  Role is being an adult presence on the bus, keeping order and good cheer among the children
Purchase of Needed Goods
People to procure all items other than food and drums; this would include inexpensive summer toys, chalk, arts supplies, towels, clean up goods.  Most of this would be done prior, but someone should be available to pick up items before the day’s program starts if a gap has been identified.
A counselor leads the children through all their activities.  She/he needs to be empathetic but also to maintain order and engage and interest the children. Calm and positive manner a must.
We need a person to make sure pictures are taken and to publicize, as is possible the program and the performance to media outlets.
Thank you so much.  Feel free to share this with others who might be interested.  For the volunteer roles that are interactive, it is strongly urged you attend the in-service training on the Monday and you may also be asked to complete an Episcopal program on safeguarding children.  More information will be shared soon.


The “Prayers for the Parish” list is getting rather long, we are going to renew the list in September. If you wish to keep a name on the list please let us know.

Summer Hours have started! We are closed on Mondays with extended hours Tuesdays through Thursdays. In an emergency call 973-376-0688 ext. 11 to get a number to call for immediate help.

Deadlines!  We need all items for the bulletin and the enews by NOON on Tuesday please, so Claire can get the work laid out and printed timely.  After that, whatever we have, errors and all, will be printed as is.  Thanks for your help.