Upcoming Congregational Activities
Holy Week Service Schedule:
Thursday, March 24 -7:00pm Maundy Thursday with Washing of Feet and Stripping of the Altar
Friday, March 25– 12:30pm and 7:00pm Stations of the Cross, at the evening service, there will follow communion from the reserved sacrament
Saturday, March 26-9:00pm The Great Vigil of Easter
Sunday, March 27– 10:30am Easter Sunday service (there is no 8:30am service on this date) followed by an Easter Egg Hunt for the children!
Parish Office Closed
The Parish Office will be closed on Easter Monday. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, March 29.
Did you happen to walk through the office area over the last couple of weeks and notice a projection screen set up in the nursery? No, we’re not starting a film series for the little ones – the Search Committee was doing Skype interviews! These were our very first conversations with the candidates, and we set up in the nursery because it was the only place that had both a strong internet connection (a must for Skype) and a door that closes (a must for confidentiality). We scheduled the interviews over a week and a half, and we had between 5 and 9 committee members there for each one. If you’re trying to picture it, we had Skype running on a laptop, with two committee members in front of it, talking to the candidate. The candidate was projected onto the screen so that the rest of the room could see them. (We may have made some candidates a little seasick, turning the laptop around so they could meet everyone, but they were all very gracious about it.) We had a set of questions that we asked all of the candidates, and then answered their initial questions about St. Stephen’s and our search process. It was an exhausting week and a half, but the interviews were fascinating, and we continue to be thrilled with our pool of candidates.
This week the committee met to discuss the interviews and make some decisions about who we want to move forward with to our next round. Given the strength of our pool, this was a lengthy and challenging conversation, but we have discerned a set of candidates who we are very excited to learn more about. Next week we will begin our reference checking, and our planning for the following step, which involves pairs of search committee members visiting the candidates in their home parishes. We expect those visits to happen throughout April.
As you move through Holy Week and celebrate Easter, please keep the search committee in your prayers, and remember to give thanks for the amazing opportunities ahead of us!
-Melanie Schlosser, Search Co-Chair
Ponderings of the Interim Rector
Over the course of the past year, several members of the congregation have lost loved ones, myself included. Over the past ten years, almost everyone has lost a friend or family member. As we walk through Holy Week this year, I am quite aware of how important it is to grieve, to allow ourselves to go through our times of sadness, and loneliness, and anger, and joy and remembering.
It is no accident that we do not skip from the wilderness of Lent—Jesus’ journey into the desert– to the events of Easter. During Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday, we remember the events that led up to the death of Jesus. We tell the story, just as we recount the story of how our loved ones died during the days leading up to the funeral. We remember the last times we shared a meal with those we love, just as we remember the last supper Jesus had with the disciples. We remember the times that our loved ones bewildered us (why did he turn the tables in the Temple over or break the Sabbath laws?), and times of great intimacy ( Jesus’ act of kindness in washing the disciple’s feet after a long dusty walk to Jerusalem). We laugh and cry together.
It is by going through the fullness of the reality of death and loss that we begin to see the Truth of Easter, that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ, nothing can separate us from the gift God gave us in the ability we have to love one another, a love that continues beyond the grave, a love that triumphs over death. Although it is most often, these days, used at wedding ceremonies, I Corinthians 13: 1-8 is really an Easter hymn: “ Love is patient, love is kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure what comes. Love never comes to an end.” As we are called to die in Christ and be reborn again, we bring before God our human grief for healing and renewal, and our spiritual grief as we let go of those things that do not bring us life and try, once again, to live the life of love to which Jesus calls us. Alleluia, Christ is Risen ! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Pastoral Care Coverage
Now that we are coming to the end of the time we have an Interim Rector with us, we are planning liturgical and pastoral care coverage for the next few months. In a separate article, the Sr. Warden has outlined who will be with us on Sundays. In addition, we have arranged for pastoral coverage in emergencies, and for times we need to struggle –through a personal issue that can’t really wait a few months for the new rector to be on board. Deacon Pam Elwell has graciously agreed to be the coordinator for pastoral care calls. Several clergy will be available for pastoral care: The Rev. Bruce Smith, the Rev Deacon Sherm Everett, the Rev. Karl Stevens, and the Rev. Deacon Pam Elwell. Please call Pam first—she will know who is on call at any particular time. Pam’s contact information is: 614-736-1204 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Please do not call Pam before March 30th. Until then, the Interim Rector is still the pastoral care contact.
AWAKE, AWARE, ALIVE
- The traditional St. Stephens Children’s Easter Egg hunt will be held in the church courtyard following the 10:30 am worship service. All children are invited to attend.
- AWAKE will meet, with Rachael Smith leading. There will be crafts and stories. AWAKE is the St. Stephen’s children’s program for children ages 4-12 (well, we do allow some who are younger, and this Easter Sunday we will NOT be having AWARE, the teen/ youth group meeting, so any teen/ youth person may come to AWAKE).
- NEXT SUNDAY, APRIL 3; following the 10:30 am service, we will have PIZZA and ART; all children and teens/ youth are invited to have pizza. Parents are invited as well. In fact, parents, we need for you to come and accompany your children, as we go and visit the Wexner Center for Art. The art that is being displayed is composed of old items that are put together for new artistic expressions. We will walk from St. Stephen’s to the Wexner Center. and should be done by around 1:30 pm. We will also compile old stuff, whether from or homes and from the church (upstairs), and ‘resurrect’ some new art in AWAKE/ MAKE on Sunday, April 17.
Celebrating Faith’s Ministry
Faith’s last Sunday with us as Interim Rector will be Easter. She will be returning to worship with us Sunday, April 17th, and we will be hosting a party for her after the 10:30 service. The plan is for a buffet of finger foods with accompanying beverages. If you can help by providing a dish, setting up or cleaning up afterwards, please contact Lorraine Deal, email@example.com, or 614-291-6096.
Clergy Schedule for April-June
Here is the clergy schedule for April-June for Sunday worship. I’m personally excited about all the great folks that will be coming to be with us and hope all of you can turn out for as many Sundays as possible for some great preaching.
April 3: Karl Stevens, Preacher and Celebrant
April 10: Cam Miller, Preacher and Celebrant
April 17: Bruce Smith, Preacher and Celebrant
April 24: Maia Kotrosits, Guest Preacher; Hanci Newberry, Celebrant
May 1: Pam Elwell, Preacher; Marjorie Menaul, Celebrant
May 8: Bruce Smith, Preacher and Celebrant
May 15, Sherm Everett, Preacher; Hanci Newberry, Celebrant
May 22, Karl Stevens, Preacher and Celebrant
May 29, David McCoy, Preacher and Celebrant
June 5, Sherm Everett, Preacher; Hanci Newberry, Celebrant
June 12, Susan Beem Beery, Preacher and Celebrant
June 19, Bruce Smith, Preacher and Celebrant
June 26, Karl Stevens, Preacher and Celebrant
You all know Karl, Hanci, Pam and Sherm. Bruce Smith has supplied for St. Stephen’s many times and his sense of humor always has me chuckling. Cam Miller was the Rector of St. Stephen’s in the 1990s. There will also be the opportunity on Saturday, April 9 to attend a book reading and signing for Cam’s newly published book. Maia Kotrosits is a professor of religion at Dennison University; it will be great to have her as our guest preacher, as well as have her speaking on Saturday, April 23. Publicity on both those Saturday events is forthcoming. You’ll remember Marjorie Menaul who supplied with us twice in December 2014. David McCoy was the Rector of St. Stephen’s in the 1980s and is our official Rector Emeritus. Susan Been (now Beery) was an assistant at St. Stephen’s in the late 1980s. It will be a delight to welcome all of these folks to our parish and will, I hope, be thought provoking and fun.
Cynthia Whitacre, Senior Warden
NSI Donations for April
The item for the rest of March and all of April is any kind of pasta.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS AND THE REFUGEE’S JOURNEY
Explore the Stations of the Cross through the voices of refugees.
Friday, March 25, 2016
Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS)
1925 E. Dublin Granville Road, Suite 102
1:00 and 7:00
Art provided by The Rev. Karl Stevens. Narratives and stories provided by refugees from around the world. Sponsored by St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Westerville, OH
Kitchen Donations Needed!
Thanks to the Kitchen Krew for all their hard work on cleaning up, organizing, and planning for the future! We discovered that the following items are needed:
Small Bowls for Mixing
Large Cutting Board
Donations of these items would be appreciated: we are asking for new items and not something that folks have used and want to get rid of. Monetary donations are also accepted toward purchase of these items; please make a notation of “Kitchen needs” in your memo line.
-Faith Perrizo, Jen Schmeid (Kitchen Koordinator)
A Note from the Sexton
Please note that there are several dishes, pans, etc. in the kitchen that have been leftover from previous potluck dinners, etc. They are located on the rear counter of the kitchen.
Religionless Christianity: A Reflection on Christian Spirituality In Our Time
With a reading from “The Steam Room Diaries” and an opportunity for conversation and book signing: Cameron Miller, a former rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, will be on campus for a public conversation about Christian spirituality and reading from his new novel in the genre of spiritual fiction. Saturday, April 9th from 2:00 – 4:00 PM at St. Stephen’s. Cam will also be the preacher and celebrant on Sunday, April 10th at 8:30 & 10:30 AM.
For more information contact: Shelley Boales at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-327-4682
Special Speaker Maia Kotrosits, April 23&24
April 23 and 24; special speaker Maia Kotrosits, from Denison University, will be speaking on Saturday at 10:30 am, and in both services on Sunday morning at 8:30 am and 10:30 am.
Book Club News
The April book is Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. The book is available for free download to lots of electronic devices if you have trouble obtaining it from a library. The April meeting will be on Wednesday, April 12 at 6:30 PM at Julia and Wayne Sheppard’s home (5055 Riverside Drive, Delaware, OH 43015 614-286-2826, email@example.com). We’ll share a meal, followed by book discussion. Please bring food and/or beverage to share. Kindly let Julia and Wayne know in advance if you plan to attend. Everyone is welcome. If you want to get a head start on the book for May, it is Wolf in White Van by John Darnelle.
Reminder: If you’re mailing something to the church, especially time-sensitive materials, we recommend using the PO Box! St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 82263
Columbus, OH 43202