Announcements for the Week of February 7 2016

Upcoming Congregational Activities

Tuesday, February 9: 5:30pm – 7:00pm Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Wednesday, February 10: Ash Wednesday  services at 7am, 12:30pm, and 7pm

Saturday, February 13: 9:00am – 4:00pm Anti-Racism Training

Sunday, February 14: Trade-in Bake Sale begins!

Sunday, February 14: Voting for Vestry/Convention Delegates begins

Sunday, February 21: after the 10:30am service –BREAD network meeting

Sunday, February 28: After the 10:30am service –Annual Meeting


Transition News

We have some more transitions coming up with the Annual meeting on February 28 (mark your calendars!).  Four folks will be rotating off the Vestry and four new folks will be elected.  The folks completing their terms are Mignonne Whitlow, Thomas Clark, Mike Harbin, and me (Cynthia Whitacre).  Mignonne has served as Clerk for the past 2 years, and I thank her for that service.  Thomas has been an excellent Vestry member, actively contributing to all the discussions (as has Mignonne), and his service is much appreciated.   Mike and I remain as wardens until new Wardens are elected at the Vestry meeting on March 28.  And, I must say, it has been a pleasure to serve with Mike these past two years.  We haven’t always agreed on everything, but we respect each other and work very well together.  At that March 28 Vestry meeting, new wardens, along with a new vestry clerk will be elected.

The slate this year for both Vestry and Convention Delegate is exceptional.  The folks running for Vestry are: Agnes Burris, Edward Lasseigne, Kaitlyn Raver, Joe Rutter, Norm Wernet, Wayne Sheppard and Rob Wood.  Selecting only four of them will be difficult, but what a nice challenge to have!  The slate for Diocesan Convention Delegates is:  Rae Fellows, Edward Lasseigne, Janet McNaughton, Norm Wernet, and Mignonne Whitlow.  We will elect four as delegates and the remaining person will be our alternate.  The ballots will be available starting on Sunday, February 14.

-Cynthia Whitacre, Senior Warden


Ponderings of the Interim Rector

Highlighted in your Parish Profile are both your desire for increasing the diversity of your congregation and continuing to work for social justice. This coming Sat., several parishioners will be attending a conference on racial justice issues, held at St. Philip, and including a celebratory Eucharist honoring the Rev. Absalom Jones, the first African-American priest ordained in the Episcopal church. This follows on the heels of a conference sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall Street at the end of January, entitled Listening for a Change. Listening to the voices of our brothers & sisters who do not have the power of White Privilege working for them.


Having grown up in the 60’s & ’70’s, I have seen many changes in the area of Civil Rights–voting rights for all citizens, including African -Americans, job equality a standard regardless of gender, age, or race, as well as integrated schools and public places. All this has lulled the general public, me included, into a false sense of mission accomplished.


During the Trinity Wall Street conference we heard from many voices sharing stories of how far we still need to go to realize the dream of equality and justice for all. Most stark is the reality that nearly 70% of the male prison population is African-American. The presenters of the conference gave compelling argumentation that the new Jim Crow can be found in our criminal justice system and that slavery has not disappeared, just morphed into a largely unjust legal system.


Those who attended the Trinity Institute from St. Stephen’s & St. Philip are hoping to expand conversation over the next year about how we might raise awareness of the continuing issues faced by people of color in the U.S. Although I have mentioned this before, I believe it is important to keep before you the opportunities that are available for members of St. Stephen’s to walk the walk. In addition to the workshops on Sat., Feb. 6th at St. Philip, St. Stephen’s will host the diocesan Anti-Racism training on Feb. 13th. I urge each of you to attend one or both opportunities. Detailed information can be found in links included elsewhere in the Announcements.




will be held from 5:30-7 pm on Tues., Feb. 9th.  Shrove Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday.  The word “shrove” comes from an old English word shriven, which means “to dry up”.  Shrove Tuesday is the last celebration of Epiphany, which is the season that follows the visit of the Three Kings/Magi to the baby Jesus and symbolizes that Jesus’ coming among us was for all people of the world, not just the Jews.  Because Lent is a time of fasting and prayer to prepare for Good Friday and Easter, all the fats and sugars in the pantries were to be used up by Shrove Tuesday.  Different countries and cultures have various traditions around using up their fats and sugars.  In some European countries they began to have pancake suppers with sausage or bacon.  Some made cakes and sweetbreads, some made donuts.  The Germans make a donut called a “fastnacht”, or fast night—indicating the night before the fast begins.  In France the celebration was called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday.  Join us for fun and food! Gluten-Free pancakes will also be available!



The ninth annual AWAKE Trade-In Bake Sale starts next Sunday, February 14. During the 10:30 am service, the children will be collecting non-food items (soap, paper products, shampoo, etc.) to donate to Neighborhood Services, Inc., which St. Stephen’s supports in many ways, as people in need are helped every week. Everyone who brings a non-food item will get a ticket for getting baked ‘goodies’ after the service. These will be in the back of the sanctuary.


Neighborhood Services, Inc. relies on the AWAKE Bake Sale for such much needed items. We ask that you bring what you can give. The AWAKE Trade-In Bake Sale lasts for five Sundays, February 14 through Sunday, March 13. No one has to give every Sunday. Know that whatever you contribute helps someone, or a family in need. Plus, when you give, you get a baked goodie!


In fact, AWAKE will spend February 14 in the kitchen, making baked goodies! So, we need all children there, helping to make and bake! Chef Jen Schmeid will lead the effort.


Absalom Jones Celebration: Symposium on Social Justice and Reconciliation

Saturday February 6

9:30am – 5:00pm

The Diocese of Southern Ohio, the Herbert Thompson Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians of the Diocese of Southern Ohio and Christ Church Cathedral will present a second annual Symposium on Social Justice and Reconciliation.  The daylong event will be held at St. Philip’s, Columbus, located at 166 Woodland Ave.


Schedule for the day:

9:30am Registration

10:00am – 3:00pm Symposium and Workshops w/Lunch

3:30pm – 5:00pm Festive Eucharist celebrating the life of Absalom Jones

Reception to follow


There is no cost for the event, but pre-registration is encouraged. Register here or visit


NSI Donations for Easter

St. Stephen’s has been asked to collect cans or plastic bottles (no glass bottles) of fruit for the Easter baskets.  Our goal is 400 cans/bottles of any kind of fruit.  Bring the fruit to church by Sunday, March 13.


Volunteers needed for Greeting/Ushering

Help St. Stephen’s present a welcoming face!  We are looking for a few friendly faces to join the ranks of the Greeters.  Greeters arrive at the front of the church by10:10am to pass our bulletins and ensure that Arps parking passes are available.  Greeters also facilitate the Offertory.  Please speak to Faith or contact the Parish Office ( ) if you are interested in signing up!


Diversity Training

In support of St. Stephen’s commitment to diversity, the Diocese has agreed to sponsor an Anti-Racism workshop at St. Stephen’s on Sat., Feb. 13th, from 9am-4 pm.  The workshop will be facilitated by Debby Stokes (St. Philip’s) and Faith Perrizo.  Registration for the event can be found at :


Swap Shop for our Sisters

‘Women’s Swap for our Sisters’ will be held in Hobson Hall on Saturday, February 27. This is sponsored by Women Have Options-Ohio, and it raises money for women’s reproductive health services. From 11:00 am until 6:00 pm that day, people can come and get donated clothing for LOW Prices!  NOTE; if anyone would like to volunteer, we could use some help on Friday evening, from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm, sorting and setting up. We could also use help on Saturday the 27th as well. If you are available to help, contact Jeff Watters. This is a great cause!



PIMIL – Partners-in-Ministry-in-Liberia announces the 7TH Annual International Luncheon and Silent Auction Fundraising on Saturday, July 23, 2016 with the vision: A Decade of Expansion.  The vision is to provide opportunity to respond to the educational needs of the Ebola orphans of which there are over 2000, and to the students in the program.  The theme is “Seeking, Caring and Belonging”, based on John 10:16.  The event will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Worthington, Ohio from 12:30-3:30 pm. The event offers educational and cultural engaging activities for the family! Delicious food!  The goal is to raise $10,000.  More information later!

Thank you!


Harold Patrick, PIMIL Chair

Abby Flemister, PIMIL Director


House of Bishops Theology Committee Offers Free Online Daily Meditations for Lent 

This Lent, the theology committee of the House of Bishops invites the Church to explore ways to recover and renew economic imagination with a new resource, Repairing the Breach: Discipleship and Mission in a Global Economy.


Produced in partnership with Forward Movement, Repairing the Breach provides daily meditations and videos during the season of Lent.  The meditations move through a pattern of reading, watching, reflecting, and praying, and each week of Lent is devoted to a particular aspect of economic life.


“The project’s digital format is a welcome new direction for our work as the theological arm of the House of Bishops. We have sought to model a process of theological reflection that is open, interactive, and accessible to everyone,” said the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio.


The reflections examine the causes of economic injustice and our role, both personally and corporately, in unsustainable patterns of consumption and self-interest. The project also highlights specific practices where the Spirit of God is moving in local congregations and communities to bring new life.


“This resource provides an opportunity to engage in an important topic during Lent—

especially in a pivotal election year,” said Richelle Thompson, deputy director and managing editor of Forward Movement. “Most of us have been impacted by the economic crisis, whether we lost homes and jobs or know someone who did. This is a chance for us to reflect on concrete changes that we can make in our lives to avoid another meltdown.”


Visit to learn more and watch for the first meditation on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10.  A print-friendly downloadable PDF of the reflections is also available for download at


Columbus Lenten School

The Columbus Lenten School Classes

Feb. 16 & 23; Mar. 1 & 8 at St. John’s, Worthington

6:30 – 8:15 pm


Four Week Classes:

Christianity in a pluralistic religious context

The Rev. Stephen Smith, St. Patrick’s, Dublin


As We Believe, So We Pray: The Theology of the Mass

The Rev. Jason Prati, All Saints’, New Albany.


But is it Resurrection? Re-incarnation, re-animation, and regeneration, too.

The Rev. Charles Wilson, St. Philip’s, Columbus


Finding God Deep in the Wounds:  The Eucharist as Spiritual Practice

The Rev. Joseph Kovitch, St. Matthew’s, Westerville.


All Things Come of Thee: Living as Stewards of the Realm of God

The Rev. Bruce Smith, St. James, Columbus


From Charity to Empowerment: Changing the Conversation in Our Churches

The Rev. Lee Anne Reat and Jed Dearing, St. John’s, Columbus


Dark Night of the Soul

This Class has reached its maximum and is closed to new registrations


Two Week Classes

Forgiveness: Getting down and dirty.

[February 16 & 23] The Rev. Paul Williams, St. Andrew’s, Pickerington


The Good, the True, the Beautiful: Getting Clear About What We Really Want.

[ March 1 & 8]. The Rev. Dick Burnett, Trinity Church, Columbus


To register, just e-mail The Rev. George Glazier at


Detailed information isLentenSchool 2016 Course flier


Book Club News

Our February book discussion will take place on Wednesday, February 10 starting at 6:30 PM.  We will be discussing the humorous Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher.  We’ll share a potluck dinner prior to the book discussion; please plan to bring something (food or beverage) to contribute to the meal.  Our hosts this month are Jen Schmied and Rob Wood (along with Emma, Muriel and Carlin).  Kindly let Jen or Rob know if you plan on attending.  Everyone (new, old, young, long-time, male, female, etc.)  is welcome.  Voting on the list of books has commenced and is due by February 10.  If you would like a copy of the list of books suggested in January for selection for the rest of the year, please contact Cynthia Whitacre ( to obtain the list and voting instructions.


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