13 Mar

Newsletter March 4, 2015

Newsletter March 4, 2015


Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week:

Jesus overturning the tables in John’s Gospel is one of those rare glimpses of Jesus when he is feeling frustrated and succumbs to the reactive emotion of the moment. It brings out Jesus’ human side, and we recognize both his frustration and irritation that the secular money changers have profaned the Holy. By any measure, this is both a courageous and radical action. One that could not be ignored by the authorities, and it will set off the beginning of the journey to the cross. Jesus calls on us to be courageous – sometimes dangerously so. It is not enough to be a passive bystander, especially when we see injustice and oppression. We are called out this week – where is our integrity? Where is the place where our passion burns zealously? What are the forces that threaten to consume us? Being witness to Christ is to stand up and be counted for our faith, even when it may have costs. Where do the secular forces of our time (sports, overwork, buildings, boilers and budgets) threaten the integrity of our faith relationship? What tables do we need to overturn?

Call – going local in the Missional Project.


There is a lot in scripture about Call, and our response to call. Clearly one of those “calls” is the call to ordained ministry. I shared with those in church this past week, that I am experiencing a renewed sense of my call in relation to the “missional” project we are involved in. As I have become more aware of what this is about, I feel a renewed sense of passion and purpose in my leadership and ministry. Put simply, I feel the joy of being freed to listen to the Spirit as it calls us to new things and new ways of being in our community. We are all partners in this, and there is no road map or GPS. It’s rather like “parenting” – in that we have ideas, but we will need to be open to what comes along and be creative with it. And, yes, the ordinary business of the Church needs, and will be attended to. The lay team here, Janet, Matthew, Nancy, Paul and Claas are also exploring with us what we may be called to do. I urge you to be prayerful and open to the prompting of the Spirit, as I have a hunch that if we let go of the fears and trust God, we will all experience the joy of God’s call to be the face of St Stephen’s in Millburn.

MARCH 4, Wednesday
Lenten Drumming Circle
March 5, Thursday
7:00 PM
Preschool Committee
March 6, Friday
7:30 -9:30 PM
Vestry Retreat
March 7, Saturday
9:00 AM-3:00PM
Vestry Retreat
March 8, Sunday
11:15 AM
Lenten Series
March 11, Wednesday
7:30 PM
Lenten Drumming Circle
March 14, Saturday
9:30 AM
Lenten Retreat
March 15, Sunday
10:00 AM
IHN Forum
March 15, Sunday
11:15 AM
Vestry Meeting
March 18, Wednesday
7:30 PM
Lenten Drumming Circle
March 22, Sunday
10:00 AM
North Shore Baby Shower
March 22, Sunday11:15AMLenten Series
March 22, Sunday
1:00PM – 3:00PM
St John’s Soup Kitchen
March 25, Wednesday
7:30 PM
Lenten Drumming Circle
26, Thursday
8:30 PM
Finance Committee
March 29, Sunday
11:15 AM
Lenten Series





In 1987 St. Stephens became one of a few dozen congregations involved with a new ministry to homeless families-IHN – the Interfaith Hospitality Network for the Homeless. Since then, another 6,000 congregations have done the same, involving more than 160,000 volunteers and collectively serving more than 600,000 children and adults.  Alex Cole has led the efforts here since day one and this ministry has helped define us as a church and a community.  This year, Alex has had to step aside.  So-how do you replace Alex Cole?  It takes a village!

We host next from April 5 (Easter) to April 12. We will be holding a forum after 10am services on Sunday, March 15, to share more about IHN, family homelessness and how small acts of kindness can support families in distress and enrich our own. If you are newer to the church and the program, come to learn how simple things like cooking a lasagna, reading to a 3 year old and sleeping overnight help families stay together at a time of crisis and move into sustainable housing-changing the course of their, and their children’s lives.  If you are an old hand at IHN, come and share you experiences and expertise.

To learn more talk to Margo Greenfield or Claas Ehlers. Sign up opportunities will be coming soon.


The Lenten retreat on March 14th will be held at:

 St. John Baptist convent in Mendham, NJ.

The schedule will loosely follow this timeline:

Arrival: 9:30: coffee/introductions

First conference with Sr. Barbara Jean: 10:00

Quiet time for reflection/prayer/reading/walking

Midday prayer with the community in chapel: 12:15

Lunch: in silence with the community

Quiet time : reflection/prayer/reading/walking

Second conference with Sr. Barbara Jean: 1:30

Quiet time: all of above/Labyrinth

Conclusion: 3:15

Liturgy of the Eucharist: 3:30

Donation: 35.00 per person -Please give a check made out to Srs. of St. John Baptist to Theresa Scharff by March 8 or send to me at 2020 Ostwood Terrace, Union 07083 by March  11.

Interested  parishioners can make car pool arrangements or  meet at the convent on March 14 ; 9:30 – 10:00 or when you are able to arrive.


Listening to the Rhythm of the Spirit: A Lenten Drumming Circle


On Wednesday evenings in March, join us for a drumming circle that will provide opportunities for reflection, for making connections with others, and for listening to the spirit within. Participants will be guided to explore rhythms on drums and other hand percussion. NO previous musical experience or talent is required. If you have a heartbeat, you have all the rhythm you need to participate!  Instruments will be provided by the church, but if you have your own drum or other percussion instrument, feel free to bring it. The sessions will be led by Kim Williams, St. Stephen’s Music Director and trained  facilitator. Assisting her will be Karen Eberhardt, deacon and hospice chaplain who is an experienced group facilitator. For more information, contact Kim at
kkawe@optonline.net or 973-997-2723. We will meet in the choir loft from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. on March, 4, 11, 18 and 25.

St. Stephen’s Eleventh Auction May 16th at 7:00 PM.

We are getting ready for Spring even though it is still chilly outside, our Spring Auction is right around the corner. We are still looking for donations to make this a success and are looking to you, our parishioners, to make this happen. Please drop off items after services or in the church office during hours. NOTE: tickets now available. Why not plan to make a night of it with friends or neighbors? We promise an evening of laughter and excitement. You may contact Joan Shuss with any questions at joangshuss@aol.com



March 22 Welcome Spring!  North Porch Baby Shower at Coffee Hour. Gwyn Munn, a representative for North Porch, will speak at the 10:00 service on March 22.


Please donate emergency items for  Moms and their infants: diapers, baby wipes, baby formula (Enfamil), baby toiletries. You can also donate by check.



Email: rector@ststephensmillburn.org

Tel.: 973-376-0688 Ext. 11

Emergency number: 908-456-3290

For St. Stephen’s  FACEBOOK PAGE click here. We use Face Book at the moment as a sort of website. Do you have something to share and do you have an account? Please visit and write on our Wall!