View Screen-Reader Accessible Site

Announcements

RSS Feed

BISHOP VISITATION


THE RIGHT REVEREND

CHARLES G. VONROSENBERG

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19 

AT 11:00 A.M.

At this Service the Bishop will Preach, Confirm, and Celebrate, and by "Confirming," he will bring into full membership in the Episcopal Church those who have been preparing for that moment.


THERE'S A PARADE AND WE WANT YOU IN IT!


Father Williams Williams and our Vestry have approved and helped fund St. Stephen's full participation in this year's Charleston Gay Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday, August 9. We have a beautifully decorated float with room for 12 to ride and many more to walk beside.  Walkers and riders are asked to wear white shorts, slacks, or skirts matched with our own St. Stephen's official Pride T-shirt.
 
The parade starts downtown on Ann Street at 9:00 A.M. but we have been asked to arrive by 8:15. There is a parking garage next door. The parade route is Ann to King to Broad and ends just past the Colonial Lake at the corner of Barre and Broad.  Pets are welcome if you think they can be on their good behavior and leashed. We have a rainbow theme so feel free to adorn your pets with rainbow accessories.
 
We look forward to the sharing of faith, hope, fellowship, and the Good News of God in Christ Jesus with our neighbors who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) persons in Lowcountry South Carolina and the Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

For more information, please contact Diane Aghapour at daghapour@hotmail.com or (843) 425-0324.


PRAYERS ARE NEEDED!


YOUR PRAYERFUL SUPPORT IS ASKED FOR...

Ted Washington, whose sister Marie Ransom entered Resurrection Life,
Linda Ketner
Caroline Eddy
Nellie Russell
David Adams
Nathan Calhoun
Sally Moran

Mary Lavery
Lee Werry
Ruth Hamilton (mother of Missy Hamilton)
Don Tomlin
Rick Woodward
Bobby Shealy
Robin Bugbee
Missie McClain
Barbara Eckert
The Reverend Alan B. Houghton

Ann Epting (sister of Carol Budds)
Evelyn Gore
Joan Stankiewicz 
Donna Runey
Joyce Shelley
Ticho Garcia
Don White
Christina Mercer 
Pat Tiley
Barbara Sprinkle
Joy Risher
Leon Helmly
Fred Pittman
Roseanne Bowles
Katie Budds
&
S
am & Lisa Clowney


ADULT INQUIRER'S SESSIONS BEGIN . . .


SEPTEMBER 14TH IN STEPHEN'S HALL
9:45 TO 10:30 AM
(Bring your own refreshments)

Last week it struck me once again that religion matters in these parts. The Post and Courier (July 8th and 9th ) ran two editions with news of the permission granted to all clergy in the Episcopal Church in South Carolina to perform same-sex blessings (as well as reports on the court issues). The Episcopal Church is a modern marvel as it continues to lead the way for religious denominations in the 21st century.

Knowing more about our Episcopal traditions is what Inquirer's Sessions are all about. Either as an adult or an adolescent, we all need to know where we have come from and where we might be going in the future as a denomination. Inquirer's Sessions are not just about Confirmation and Reception into the Episcopal Church. They are geared toward helping "old-timers" and "newcomers" to understand where we as a church position ourselves on a variety of topics.

Over the years I've been asked questions that have intrigued me and caused me to re-think my own positions. For example this question:

"When I take Communion, am I really to believe that I am consuming the Body and Blood of Jesus, or is this mostly a symbolic act?"

Another question with real importance:

"We all stand to affirm our faith according to the Nicene Creed almost all the time. Is that the only statement of faith in the Episcopal Church and, while I'm saying it, do I actually have to believe what I'm saying?"

Are we a church of "seekers" or basically expect that everyone be a "believer?" Do we check our intellect at the door, or are we allowed to think both broadly and deeply?"

And finally, "what is the Anglican Communion, really . . . and how do we relate to it from where we worship?"

Truth is that the Episcopal Church and its ethos is something that takes a lifetime to absorb. Its history, liturgy, theology and overall "feel" takes time to sink in, but it has to start somewhere. Inquirer's Sessions are the beginning whether you have been around the Episcopal Church for years or are just getting started.

To get all of us started, I'm going to be offering a series of Saturday Sunday Morning 45 minute sessions in Stephen's Hall beginning on the following Sundays:

September 14

September 21

October 5

October 12

ALL SESSIONS - 9:45 AM to 10:30 AM

(Note that I'll be away on September 28th)

During these four sessions all are invited to bring your own coffee and if needed, something to nibble on. You won't be expected to read a book since I will try to get information to you as the sessions proceed. Attendance will not be taken; you can come as you wish. Of course, if you are interested in Confirmation or Reception it would be helpful if you could attend all five sessions. To get started, just email me at David9612@aol.com.

IN ANY CASE, I'LL BE WAITING FOR YOU SEPTEMBER 14TH. IN STEPHEN'S HALL, (LOWER LEVEL) NEAR 54 SOCIETY STREET GATE ENTRANCE.
 

Father Williams


TRIAL OF EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF SC


You Can Attend the Trial as an Observer! 

The trial runs each day from around 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a morning, lunch, and afternoon break. The proceedings are very interesting and should run through the end of this week and possible longer. Supporters of The Episcopal Church in SC are strongly encouraged to attend part or all of some trial days. Your presence will be appreciated by those participating in the proceedings.  

The Dorchester County Courthouse is on the right of 78 as you approach St. George. It is a 60 minute drive from Charleston up I-26 and cutting over onto 78 at Ridgeville Road, exit 187 . Turn right on 78 toward St George. From I-95 exit to 78 east, and go through St. George. The Courthouse is on the left as you exit the village.   

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina is the recognized diocese of The Episcopal Church in eastern South Carolina, one of 110 dioceses that make up The Episcopal Church. It continues to be part of the Anglican Communion, of which The Episcopal Church is a province. 
 
This action was filed by a breakaway group against local Episcopalians and The Episcopal Church. Originally filed in January 2013, it was brought by a number of plaintiffs, including a group operating as the "Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina" and some 34 parishes who say they have disaffiliated from The Episcopal Church.     For more information about the trial, click HERE.


TEA TIME


Tea Time on Sunday, July 13 will be hosted by Nicole Watts and Friends.  Please join us in Stephen's Hall after the 11:00 service.

If you are interested in hosting a Tea Time, please contact Michael Fenwrick at mcfenrk@gmail.com, or you may sign up in Stephen's Hall.  Please remember that Tea Time is an intimate gathering for informal conversation and light culinary offerings. There’s no need to prepare anything that needs a knife and fork - That makes it a meal, and that is not what Tea Time is about.


EXCITING MUSICAL OPPORTUNITY AWAITS YOU!


Come sing with 
St. Stephen's Summer Family Choir

No weekly rehearsals
No vestments
No age limits  

Arrive on Sunday at 10:00 a.m., and get ready to sing.

The Summer Family Choir is informal and fun-for-all. Adults and children alike are welcome. Children under 10 must come with an adult. Older children and youth may join with or without an adult. (Adults do not have to be accompanied by a child, as long as the adults are reasonably well behaved.)

No experience or ability to read music necessary!

Come and try us out for Fun, Learning and Worship!

For more information about St. Stephen's Choir, please contact Wayne Helmly at (843) 819-5576 or whelmly@bellsouth.net.


SATURDAY @ SIX SERVICE


SATURDAY @ SIX  LAY PREACHER SCHEDULE

July 19: Iris Carson
July 26: Ginny Arthur
August 2:  David Hoyle

August 9:  Iris Carson
August 16: Angela Adams
August 23: Ginny Arthur
August 30: Nicole Watts

September 6:  Robin Bugbee
September 13: Ty Leslie
September 20: David Hoyle
September 27: Angela Adams
 
* If you are interested in being a Lay Preacher, please contact Kathryn Norton at NortonK@cofc.edu.


WOMEN'S BIBLE STUDY


The Thursday evening Bible Class meets at 6:00 P.M. in Stephen’s Hall.  The group has prayer time, discussion of the lessons to be used on the following Sunday, and then a chosen study decided upon by the class participants.  The group has begun a new study about the first five books of the Old Testament, using a DVD entitled Walking the Bible to relate one man’s epic through the greatest stories ever told.  Please join us each week as we experience wonderful fellowship, lively discussions and spiritual time with each other as we strive to understand more fully God’s Word and its message for our lives.

If you have further questions, please contact Mary Lou Titus at (843) 737-2693.


THE BISHOP'S LETTER: LIFELONG COVENANT BLESSINGS


By means of this letter, I am granting permission for clergy to officiate at occasions indicated by “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant.”  Please read this communication fully and carefully, in order to appreciate the various responsibilities we accept within the community of faith which is The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. I am grateful to those who have assisted our process for the past fifteen months.  In particular, the Standing Committee engaged in prayerful discernment and conversation prior to offering their counsel and their unanimous support; the clergy gathered at our annual conference engaged the topic with pastoral sensitivity toward all; and the Committee on Blessings, representing each of our deaneries, has assisted in crafting a policy for our diocese.
 
This notification gives permission for clergy to use the document found on our website (episcopalchurchsc.org, Resources, “Lifelong Covenant Blessing”).  However, for such a liturgy to take place in one of our church buildings, I am requiring that the appropriate vestry or mission committee give its approval.  This approval does not apply to the particular couple – and therefore, the approval does not have to be repeated for future couples.  However, the vestry or mission committee needs to indicate its willingness for that church to host such liturgies within the building, in order for the liturgies to take place there.
 
Permission from the bishop to use this liturgy follows the direction of General Convention, 2012.  That is, The Episcopal Church adopted the format of an “approved liturgy.”  It is important and significant to realize that the liturgy intends to respond pastorally to faithful Episcopalians in their lives in Christ.  General Convention approved a means for such a response, as an initial step.  Then, the local bishop must give permission to use the liturgy in some form within the diocese.  With the stipulations already mentioned – concerning the particular liturgy approved here and the use of church buildings – I am now doing so.

I do want to be clear that this permission does not define an expectation for clergy.  In your own life of prayer and within community, you will decide how to respond to this statement of permission.  As clergy providing pastoral care in your local community, you bear particular responsibilities.  I want to highlight several of those, in addition to the decision of whether or not – and how – to involve yourself with this liturgy. The preparation of a couple for this blessing of the church will require attention and care on your part, and I certainly encourage the exercise of your pastoral ministry in the context of couples seeking this blessing.  As you will see from the theological reflections and service notes at the end of the approved liturgy, one member of the couple must be a baptized Christian.  In order to accomplish the best preparation possible, it will also aid your work if the couple has some association with the community of faith for which you are responsible.
 
We can anticipate that General Convention, 2015, will make adjustments in the liturgy approved in 2012.  So that TEC in SC may be part of such considerations and discussions – and to encourage a spirit of order and unity – I will expect that any blessing using this approved liturgy during the next twelve months be reported to the diocesan office.  I anticipate that I will ask those of you who officiate at such liturgies to serve as resources for our deputation to General Convention.
 
As indicated above, a particular tab on our website will become live later today.  This site will provide resources and information that you may find helpful.  In particular, the approved liturgy – “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” – is located there.  At the conclusion of the liturgy itself, there is presented a brief theological reflection.  In addition, appropriate books and other resources are identified on the website as well.  Also, a model outline for conversations is included, as a possibility for aiding helpful reflection for vestries, mission committees, and entire congregations.  Finally, the news release, by which we will announce this permission to the larger community, may be seen there.
 
I commend our continuing journey as a diocese to your prayers, recognizing that differences of opinion and of practice appropriately exist within the greater unity which binds us to one another in Christ.  As we take this step in particular, may we be mindful of our baptismal pledge to “respect the dignity of every human being”, all along the way.
 
Faithfully,
The Rt. Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg, Bishop
July 8, 2014

You may view this letter at http://www.episcopalchurchsc.org/lifelong-covenant-blessings.html.


"TO BE OR NOT TO BE . . . . . CONFIRMED, THAT IS"


Dear Parishioners,

 Good question, something Shakespeare never thought about. But I do and once again I would like to invite those members of our congregation who have already been baptized but who have not yet been Confirmed as Members of the Episcopal Church to join me for an interesting series of Adult Inquirer's Sessions to learn more about our tradition(s) and to take that final step into full membership within the Episcopal Church.

Canon law is an interesting set of rules that informs all of us as to what is expected of Episcopalians and how we go about managing our lives together. Confirmation is one of those lightly held ordinances.

Membership in the Episcopal Church (and in this case we're talking about the "national" Episcopal Church as well as the Episcopal Church in South Carolina) is quite simple and at the same time just a little complex.

1.) If you have been Baptized in any Christian denomination "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" then you are basically a member of the Christian family - but only if that fact has been recorded in the records of the local parish. That parish would be St. Stephen's.

2.) Past the age of about 13 years of age the Episcopal Church would hope that everyone would take the next step toward Confirmation. Why is this important, you might ask?

 (a). For one thing we keep records of these things. This is more problematic than you'd think because records here in our parish have often been neglected. Truth is, many of you who were Confirmed (or even Baptized) in the past of no written record on hand in this parish church. That said, we can fix that, but we have to hear from you first.

 (b). Second, in order to serve as a full member of the parish (say, on the Vestry) you must have some proof of having been Confirmed. The reason for this is that there are basically two levels of "membership" in any Episcopal Church: First, a Confirmed Communicant in Good Standing and second a Communicant in Good Standing. As an example, only Confirmed Communicants in Good Standing can serve on the Vestry as well as other positions within the parish, depending on the parish. Communicants in Good Standing, however, can vote and hold a variety of positions within any given parish, depending on their regulations. [Both must have attended services at least three (3) times each year and are on record with the Treasurer of the parish as having given financial support to the parish. In some cases (but not all) only Confirmed Communicants in Good Standing are eligible to stand for Vestry positions providing the have also pledged to the parish budget for at least a year prior to their nomination.]

All this by way of saying that I want to round-up as many of you who would like to become Confirmed Communicants in Good Standing to join me for a series of Inquirer's Sessions to gain further perspective on our tradition as a way of drawing closer to our lives here as well as in the Episcopal Church.

 

CANON 17: OF REGULATIONS RESPECTING THE LAITY

SEC. 1 (A) All persons who have received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, whether in this Church or in another Christian Church, and whose Baptisms have been duly recorded in this Church, are members thereof.

(B) Members sixteen years of age and over are to be considered adult members.

(C) It is expected that all adult members of this Church, after appropriate instruction, will have made a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and will have been confirmed or received by the laying on of hands by a Bishop of this Church or by a Bishop of a Church in communion with this Church. Those who have previously made a mature public commitment in another Church may be received by the laying on of hands by a Bishop of this Church, rather than confirmed.

To "sign up," simply call my office phone at 722-0038, or email me at David9612@aol.com.

Fr. Williams


LAY READERS & INTERCESSORS NEEDED!


Would you like to participate in our worship services?  Lay Readers and Intercessors are needed.  If you are interested or have questions, please contact Parish Administrator Dave Hoey at (843) 723-8818 or 67anson@bellsouth.net, or Kathryn Norton at nortonk@cofc.edu, or Father Williams at david9612@aol.com.


VESTRY MEMBERS & COMMITTEES


At the March 29 Vestry retreat, the St. Stephen’s committee structure and organizational chart were updated. Here are the current committees and the Vestry Members who chair them. If you would like to be involved in any of these ministries, please contact the Chairperson(s). We welcome your involvement in the life and ministry of St. Stephen’s!
 
LAY PASTORAL CARE (formerly “Inreach”): Provides services to those within the parish; visiting the sick, hospitalized and homebound; providing meals, etc. Includes fundraising events, such as the annual BBQ, to serve the needs of parishioners. CHAIRS: Ellen Dobbins and Dusty Parker (overseen by Senior Warden).
 
PARISH LIFE: Provides oversight of all parish events, such as Foyer Groups, Tea Time, Blessing of the Animals, Parish Picnic, Blessing of the Backpacks, etc. Includes new member incorporation, hospitality, and all communication instruments, such as the website, The Deacon, and e-blasts. CHAIR: Nancy Muller (overseen by Senior Warden).
 
WORSHIP AND MUSIC: Includes recruitment, retention, and training of Ushers; oversight of Choir, Acolytes, Altar Guild, Flower Guild, Visiting Clergy, Prayer Team, and Lay Eucharistic Ministers. CHAIR: Nicole Watts (overseen by Rector).
 
CHRISTIAN FORMATION: Manages Youth and Adult formation and education, Sunday School, Adult Bible Study, Adult Forum, and Confirmation. CHAIRS: Elizabeth Hills and Robert Barber (overseen by Junior Warden).
 
MISSION (formerly “Outreach”): Identifies and supports St. Stephen’s work in the greater community outside the parish. Includes participation in mission projects as well as fundraising to support mission work. CHAIRS: William Ravenel, Betsy Rackoff, and Wendy Dunigan (overseen by Junior Warden).
 
ADMINISTRATION: Attends to Annual Meetings, Vestry Recruitment and Training, Sabbatical Leave, By-Laws, Finance, Personnel, Buildings and Grounds, and Long-Term Planning. CHAIRS: Paul Sykes and Elizabeth Hills (overseen by Senior Warden, Junior Warden, and Rector).

2014 VESTRY MEMBERS

ROBERT BARBER
bowensisland1946@att.net
(843) 270-7050
 
ELLEN DOBBINS
esdobbins@att.net
(843) 720-5092 or (404) 545-0996
 
WENDY DUNIGAN
zoeemama@yahoo.com
(704) 936-6947
 
ELIZABETH HILLS
ehills0222@gmail.com
(843) 437-7910
 
NANCY MULLER
nancymuller10@gmail.com
(843) 768-8640 or (843) 367-3400
 
DUSTY PARKER
boat10boy@aol.com
(843) 856-3650

BETSY RACKOFF
brackoff@gmail.com
(843) 568-1584
 
WILLIAM RAVENEL
william@ravenel.us
(336) 210-8966 or (678) 612-5519
 
PAUL SYKES
paulc17@aol.com
(843) 766-6162 or (843) 412-6656
 
JOE SYLVAN (Senior Warden)
joe@thesylvangallery.com
(843) 722-8810 or (843) 425-6024
 
JAN VAN NORTE (Junior Warden)
janvannorte@gmail.com
(843) 830-0135
 
NICOLE WATTS
nwattsq@aol.com
(843) 819-1585 or (843) 766-0160


SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED!


We need you! The Sunday School is in need of teachers! 

Please sign up for a date by clicking on this link:

https://doodle.com/mfbt5knwrtdvwkse


WEDNESDAY NOON BIBLE STUDY


On Wednesday, July 23 at noon in the church, Professor Michael Kogan will continue his discussion of The Prophets.

 The Prophets to be discussed are Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. All are welcome to join the group.

For questions or further information, please contact Alan Arthur at (843) 971-7644 or aarthur@brocku.ca.