This Week at St. Stephen’s: “Charmaine Evan” [October 8th, 2017]

Charmaine Evans has begun her work with us as a deacon and program coordinator. She will provide support for three areas of our parish life: worship, programs and pastoral care.

Our programs at St. Stephen’s include everything from the nursery to the visiting of seniors. But as a priority, Charmaine will begin focussing on programs for our children. This means stabilizing the staffing of our nursery to ensure that every Sunday we have experienced caregivers for our youngest church members. As well, Charmaine will explore the best locations for the nursery and assess its supplies and supports.

A larger challenge will be our Excellent Adventure Sunday School program. Kathleen Howes has created this engaging and effective cornerstone for the Christian formation of our young people. As she prepares to step down at the end of the calendar year it will fall to Charmaine to build on the foundations Kathleen has laid and create a Sunday morning program for the New Year. Charmaine will also oversee this year’s Christmas pageant.

In the New Year Charmaine will also be developing a program for our teens. But meanwhile, the rector will re-gather the group following their preparation for Confirmation last spring. It was a lively group and we want to build on the successes of that program heading into the future.

Charmaine will eventually be offering support for the women’s Soup Group, our team of pastoral visitors, and our local outreach, as well as initiating programs of her own. She’s just getting started.

INSTRUMENTAL SOCIETY OF CALGARY WIND ENERGY

Please join the Instrumental Society in their season open concert which will feature a number of Calgary Philharmonic wind players and the ISC’s Artistic Director, Rolf Bertsch, in an exciting program featuring a new take on Brahms’ masterpiece, the Piano Quintet in F minor, this time performed with piano and winds. Effervescent and sensuous music of France rounds out the program. Performers Sara Hahn, flute;Jean Landa, oboe;;Erin Fung, clarinet; Laurie Matiation, horn; Christopher Sales, bassoon; Rolf Bertsch, piano. Tickets Adults $25;Seniors and Students $20

Midtown Mosaic

This is a premier art show and sale featuring juried works and items from local artists and craftspeople. On Saturday we are open from 10.00 to 3.00 pm. Face painting is offered to children from 11.00 to 1.00 pm. Deli lunch from 11.30 to 1.30 pm. Hope you can join us and bring your friends

Midtown Mosaic

This is a premier art show and sale featuring juried works and items from local artists and craftspeople. Come and join us for our Wine and Cheese reception, with live music, from 6.00 to 9.30 pm, on Friday. Hayley Wickenheiser, our Olympic champion , will be coming to open our show between 6 and 7 pm on Friday, September 29th. We also have 60 fabulous Silent Auction items at our auction on Friday evening. Proceeds this year will be donated to Wellspring, Calgary, The Alex, and the Rector ‘s Discretionary Fund. We have 20 artists who will be selling their work. Great time to do Christmas shopping.

This Week at St. Stephen’s: “Quaint it ain’t!” [October 1st, 2017]

Dramas set in England often depict the church as a beautiful old building with a congregation of upright (if not upt ight) parishioners sitting placidly in pews, and a charming, if not also doddering, vicar who visits his flock over cups of tea when not pottering in the garden at the rectory. A quaint picture, and nostalgic to some, but hardly a portrait of a robust faith community.

A modern picture, there as here, would explode that view to include a daily beehive of activity, worship that is anything but staid, and clergy who are more like community organizers than pastoral visitors. In fact, the modern church, when it is highly functional, looks more like a community centre than a sanctuary—more an advance into the world than a retreat from it.

We see this in all the busy activity that starts up this time of year. For church members we offer worship on Sundays, meditation on Tuesdays, Bible study on Thursdays, men’s fellowship monthly on Saturdays, women’s fellowship at the call of the soup-maker, and more than a dozen organizations from choir and chancel guild to parish council and the refugee committee, from the Excellent Adventure to the ROMEO’s (Retired Old Men Eating Out).

For the wider community we host Brownies and Guides, three recovery groups, several continuing education adult groups, young people’s activities (like the chess club), the community garden, and an exciting array of performing arts groups using our space for concerts and special events. Quaint it ain’t!

This Week at St. Stephen’s: “News Of The Week” [September 24th, 2017]

Here is a brief round-up of news for the week.

Diocesan Council (comprising clergy and lay people from across the Diocese) met last week to hear a report that from the resource person who facilitated the Generous Listening process. Her conclusion: the diocese is ready to consider adopting a practice called “local option,” that is, allowing each parish to decide for itself whether or not to offer same-sex blessings. Apparently there was some strong support for this direction, but the bishop once again has said, No. So it’s on to the meeting of Synod on October 14, where a motion will be presented to the same effect.

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The refurbishing of our Memorial Garden has finally been given the go-ahead from the Rector and Wardens. Consideration had been given to a fulsome plan that included redeveloping the entire northeast corner of our property to include a labyrinth. Initial estimates of the project were in line with our cash in hand, plus the possibility of a grant from the Anglican Foundation. But the final estimate came in at over three times the original amount; so all extraneous plans are being shelved. Work on the Garden itself will begin shortly.

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A small group of “Inquirers” are preparing to meet in October, some to pursue Baptism or Reception, others simply to explore their questions about the Christian faith, the Church, and their own spiritual beliefs and practices. Speak to the rector if you would like to be included.