December 2012


The Saint John's Herald
December 2012
Merry Christmas  
Painful Silence
As a sanctuary from the hysteria of the holidays, St. John's Church is hosting an hour of silent meditation each Wednesday evening during Advent, 5:30-6:30 p.m., in the church. Apart from an opening prayer and a closing prayer, there will be no liturgy. Apart from the flickering of candle flames, there will be no action. There will be no lessons, no sermon, no hymnody, no stimulation for the intellect at all--except for the mysterious stimuli of silence.
Silence is a rare gift in our part of the world today--so incredibly rare, in fact, that when we are given it, we have no idea of what to do with it. So strange is silence to us that it makes us stir with discomfort. We have learned to treat silence at thing to be blotted out, covered over or colored in; no sooner do we meet with silence than we reach for the button that turns on the radio or the television. Silence for us an abyss from which we recoil with something like fear. It's as if we're afraid to be alone with our thoughts.
Indeed, some of my thoughts are fearsome. Indeed, I do sometimes use the white noise of the radio to drown out the inward voice of regret, or to distract me from my inward sense of emptiness, or to tranquilize my anxieties. And that is not altogether unhealthy. Though some of us do drug ourselves dopey with music, for example, the truth is that music can have a genuinely medicinal effect upon an anxious soul, as can talking to a friend, or listening to a friend, or listening to the rain, or even listening to the throbbing noise of traffic.
What is manifestly unhealthy is my total inability to rest in silence. And a part of my inability to rest in silence, I fear, is related to my hesitancy to make myself fully present to God. Just as we sometimes use a blather of speech to create a nice, safe barrier between ourselves and the person we're with, I often use speech to create a nice, safe barrier between God and me. Strangely enough, I often use spoken prayers to maintain a nice, safe barrier between God and me. As long as I keep talking I don't have to listen.
"In the silence of the heart God speaks," Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote. "If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence."
For those, like me, who are in need of some remedial training in prayer, Wednesday evenings at St. John's are a chance to practice the ancient discipline of silence. For the many others who are suffering from over stimulation during holidays, Wednesday evenings at St. John's are a chance to enjoy the rare gift of silence.
"Be still," the psalmist says; "Be still and know that I am God."
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Steve 

Thanks so much to all of you who have sent in your pledge for the coming
year. If you are among the missing, please get your pledges to the
committee as soon as possible so that the budget can be presented to the
congregation.  It is vital that we meet our goal and keep the mission of the church
intact.  Thanks again for getting those pledges in within the next week!

Elissa Prout, Chair
From the Deacon's Den

By Deacon Sandy


 The Thrift Shop will be closed from December 16th through January 1st.  Please hold all your donations until after the new year.  Thank you!

Sue Palmer
News from the St.  John's Vestry
If you would like to keep up to date with parish news please read the minutes from our vestry meetings.   
Evangelism Committee Report

The Committee is scheduling a second cleaning day to get the church ready for Christmas and Epiphany.  Please join us in this effort on Saturday, December 15th from 9 - 12 for some in-depth attention to the sanctuary and chancel.  Coffee, donuts and matchless fellowship proviced.  Please bring cleaning supplies as appropriate.

See you there!
DOK Logo
The next meeting for the Daughters is  Monday, January 7th at 6:00 p.m. in the Thompson Room.

The chapter retreat will be held at the Spiritual Life Center on February 8th and  9th.  If you would like more information on this please contact Jennifer Firth or Deacon Sandy. 
Saturday Morning Hospitality and Fellowship Ministry  
 bread ministry

Every Saturday morning from 9:00 to noon St. John's opens its doors and its heart to the greater Troy community. Each Saturday morning we offer coffee, refreshments, conversation and Panera breads and bagels to take home. At 10:00 Fr. Steve invites those interested to join him for an engaging Bible study and discussion. The last Saturday of each month finds the doors of The Shepherd's Storehouse Food Pantry, a joint effort of Agape Church and St. John's, open to serve anyone who feels the need. The pantry has been serving more than 35 patrons on the open Saturday, as well as a number of folks who find themselves in an emergency situation during the month.
Thank you to everyone who has opened hearts and wallets in support of this vital and ongoing outreach mission. Because of your generosity St. John's has been able to respond to our Christian calling to serve. Your continued support is needed more than ever...
Please prayerfully consider helping by:
  1. Becoming a Saturday volunteer...the only requirement is a friendly smile and a listening ear. You are NEEDED!
  2. Contributing food goods...baskets in Narthex, on chancel steps, in parish house hallway.
  3. Making a monetary or checks to "St. John's Food Pantry" can be left in office or given to Carol Daniel.
  4. Praying for this ministry...pray for the folks who visit us, for the folks who serve, and for the continued and increasing support of this ministry...that God's will be done.
  5. Contacting Carol Daniel to learn more...283-4836
 Inn from the Cold
We have just completed our last week as hosts for this wonderful program which offered our gym as an overflow shelter to homeless men in Joseph's House's care.  A special thank you goes to Carol Daniel for coordinating this hospitality and to those who provided food.
 Coming Soon - A Presentation on Peru  
by Carol and Bill Daniel
Morning Prayer and Healing Prayer
Wednesdays  at 7:30 am
in the Thompson Room
Join us in the Thompson Room every Wednesday morning for a most unique service to pray, share, learn and laugh.  The service is led by Deacon Sandy and includes Eucharist and Healing.   A light breakfast is also enjoyed. The menu is provided on a rotating basis by the members of the group. 
Please Join us.
The St. Nicholas Fair  
December 8th
9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Fragrant Balsam Wreaths,Jewelry Old and New, Bake Shoppe
Gift Baskets Galore, Used Books, Handmade Gifts,
Haitian Handicrafts, Christmas Tea Room
Holiday Auction, Candies and Preserves

$250 Great Grocery Give-Away--Tickets $1 each or 6 for $5.00
The children's program starts at 10 a.m. sharp...we promise a great story or two, a visit from St. Nicholas (the "real" Santa Claus") and shoes filled with treats! 
St. Nicholas will make his way into the gym after the story time.
Start thinking about your choices for the Café...will it be butternut bisque, hearty veggie, or tomato basil soup? Pulled pork, grilled cheese, or tube steak sammie? Apple crisp, pumpkin bar, or triple chocolate cake?

Spread the Word!
Thank you in advance for your help!

Report from Lascohobas, Haiti and the Church of the Holy Spirit

The student population at the Holy Spirit School is continually increasing.  Fr. Milor reports that there are now 450+ students and another 200 from the area that attend classes after the regular school day ends and on weekends.  This growth puts a strain on the few resources they have as well as creates a huge need for additional classroom space.

a  d
The areas pictured above are designated for the new classrooms.  

Proper sanitation continues to be a problem as well.  The current restrooms are being used by hundreds of children daily as well as teachers and parishioners.  Rebuilding of the restrooms and restoration of the hand washing station is desperately needed.
g  hands
So much funding is needed to help with the restrooms, hand washing station and classroom construction.  Any ideas to help raise funds are greatly appreciated.

Most recently our vestry sent a care package of supplies to the vestry at the Church of the Holy Spirit.  Video messages have also been exchanged.  Friendships are growing and in April a St. John's Mission Team will be heading to Lascohobas.  If anyone is interested in going on this trip please contact Dawn Weinraub.  The team will travel between April 3rd and 9th.

Our Daughters of the King have already kindled a wonderful sisterhood with the Women's Association at the Church of the Holy Spirit.  They have personally purchased hymnals and Books of Common Prayer for each of the 24 ladies in the association.  Daughters will keep their sisters in prayer and continue to think about ways they can help with the association's mission in the church and in the community of Lascohobas.

A few of the women in the association.



The solar panels are in good working condition and still very much appreciated by everyone.  Time does take its toll on the batteries, however--an investment in new marine batteries will be needed soon.


Fr. Milor's vehicle is in good working condition despite the rough roads and the constant use.  St. John's as well as the other members of the Empire Haiti Coalition contribute every 90 days toward critical maintenance for the vehicle.

Father Milor looks forward to visiting us sometime in the new year.  We will be sure to let you know as soon as the dates are confirmed.
Please keep the people of the Holy Spirit Church and School in your prayers.

The St. John's-Holy Spirit Church Partnership  
Over 30 years of love, friendship, and prayer!

St. John's Ministries

If God is calling you to serve at St. John's in any of these ministries, please speak with Fr. Steve, Deacon Sandy or Deacon Paul.
The Vestry: James Prout, George Firth, Lois Hodkinson, Scott Morley, Elissa Prout, Donna Rem, Lucinda Ballard, William Muller, Carolyn Smith, Dawn Stuart-Weinraub, Karen Carolson, James Patrick, Christine Salmon, Timothy Schmehl, Patrice Chesterfield and Nolte Baxter. 
Altar Guild:  Nolte Baxter, Diane Caird, Lois Hodkinson, Virginia Holland, Mary Jane Hotaling, Martha Leckonby, Marie Montgomery, Edith Obirbea, Corrine Prendergast, Marion Stuarts, and Patty Williams.  
Acolytes: Sam Addo, Vanessa Addo, Evens Angulo-Duvil, Sam Baker, Frank DeLuca, Hannah Haight, Victories Harrington, Michael Jewett, Dylan Jones, Madalyn Jones, Kathryn Prout, Jennifer Rem, Rebecca Rem, Joe Schlossberg, Kyle Smith, and Michael Thompson. Acolyte Mother: Therese Duvil
Flower Guild:   Virginia Holland, Sonie Hunn, Robin Prout, Chris Salmon, Liz Shanley, and Linda Stancliffe. 
Lectors:  Vanessa Addo, Jeanne Ballard, Carol Daniel, Jennifer Fisher, Judi Goyer, Abigail Hanna, Chris Salmon, Dawn Stuart-Weinraub, and Pat Wilson.
 Every Week
Sunday Services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
Fellowship in the Thompson Room following 10:00 a.m. Service
Healing Prayers by Deacon Sandy after the 10:00 a.m.
Service in the Chapel
Nursery Care is available during the 10:00 a.m. Service
 Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist and Healing
Contact Us
Telephone:  274-5884
Fax:  274-5880
The Clergy:
The Rev. Steve Schlossberg, Rector             email:
The Rev. Sandra Tatem, Deacon                  email:
The Rev. Paul M. Carney, Deacon               email:
The Staff:
Katherine Brillat, Youth Pastor                    email:
Ted Phillips, Organist & Choirmaster          phone: 456.8348
Nancy Lyon, Office Manager                       email:
Jason Conway, Sexton                                  email:
Andrew Mace, Chimer                                  email:
Senior Warden:  Jim Prout
Jr. Warden: George Firth 
St. John's Episcopal Church, 146 First Street, Troy, NY  12180