Archive | Vicar’s Voice

Property Improvements and Updates

We at St. Stephen’s have been blessed by our founders with a wonderful piece of property and a beautiful building. Recently, some serious events involving our light fixtures, electrical panel and generator have made it obvious that our wonderful building and property need some attention. Some work is necessary because the building is 50 years old, and some because some maintenance has been deferred. The Bishop’s Committee has compiled a long list of projects, and with a lot of work on Claire Wachter’s part, has approximate costs for completion of each.

In consultation with Bishop Sean, we have decided to move forward with projects that will total approximately $100,000. This is by no means the entire list of what needs to be done, but will address the most urgent. The Bishop’s Committee has appointed a Property Committee to manage these projects. At least two, and preferably three bids will be obtained for each project. Authority to choose a bid and let a contract will remain with the Bishop’s Committee. The money to fund the projects will come from our Property Fund and from the gift left to St. Stephen’s by Jean Mertens. Additionally, we have applied for a Diocesan grant and will also welcome contributions from parishioners specified for these projects.

The list of approved projects includes:

  • Replacement of two electric panels
  • Replacement of Exit signs with battery operated units
  • Replacement of the flat roof with a new roof with improved drainage
  • Replacement of current fluorescent light fixtures with LED lighting (requires fewer fixtures and less energy to power)
  • Replacement of ceiling tiles (many are stained and / or broken)
  • Improve internet reception and wifi to all areas of the building
  • Upgrade the kitchen with a three basin sink and backsplash to allow for application for a yearly food license from the Health Department
  • Paint and replace deteriorating facia on building exterior
  • Tree trimming and removal of evergreens along the north boundary of the property to improve the tree health and prevent loss of trees

A more detailed list with approximate costs will be posted on the bulletin board in the hallway outside of the sanctuary. As bids are accepted and work is scheduled, we will be communicating to all of you when the work is to be done, who will be doing the work, and the dollar amount of the contract.

Please feel free to speak with any member of the Bishop’s Committee, or Claire Wachter with any questions or concerns you have. We are all excited to see these improvements and updates completed!

Cindy Willis
Bishop’s Warden

Attitude of Gratitude

Dear St. Stephen’s Family and Friends,

There is nothing like an “attitude of gratitude”!  With Holy Week and Easter now in our collective memory, it is time for giving thanks to God for the many blessings of our lives and to all those who gave of their time, talent and treasure to give to God and our community such a beautiful Holy Week offering.  The Altar looked beautiful and thanks go the Altar Guild for their ministry.  Thanks to all who served as acolytes, lectors, (including the excellent Passion Team for Palm Sunday), Eucharistic ministers, musicians, and clergy.  Hospitality was offered by our ushers, greeters, coffee hour hosts and by every member of our community who passed the peace and shared a cup of coffee.  Thanks to all who helped design the various services.  And thanks to our incredible staff both paid and volunteer for everything from bulletins, to cleaning, to trouble-shooting, to counting the monies.   Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

Love and Blessings,


Spring Break

Dear St. Stephen’s Family and Friends,

Ah, Spring Break. Growing up in the City of Chicago, this week was called Spring Clean-Up Week. We literally all worked together to clean up city neighborhoods. Anything was better than being in school. Eventually in Barrington, Illinois, Spring Break took place the last week of March. I remember when I finally realized I could take some time off with my family even in Lent. When Holy Week (the week between Palm Sunday and Easter) fell the same week as Spring Break, there was always wailing and gnashing of teeth because that meant a drop in attendance. Of course it took years for me to realize that just as our members were travelling to see their families, others were travelling our way to visit their families. The Easter congregation was always a beautiful and interesting mosaic, which changed every year with the ebb and flow of parish family life.

Here in Fairview Spring Break falls the week before Easter. Who needs the break more? Teachers? School Administers? Children? Parents? (Probably mixed opinions on that.) Maybe our lives need the break no matter one’s age? I think so. Leave it up to the schools to invite us to take a deep breath, look around, and witness the pouring forth of new life after the throes of winter. It’s a break, a breath, and a pause. We all know that the following Monday life will be back to what life was before the break started but for nine days we are invited to stop, drop, reflect, act, and realign. And it’s no mistake that Spring Break and Easter often flow with or near each other. The Queen of Feasts, as Easter is called in catholic Christian faith, shouts to the world that new life springs forth from winter.

Wherever your break takes you, look up a local church on Easter and if it’s your family tradition, then attend. Visitors are always, always, a blessing. So they will be for us here. So you will be wherever you go. Happy Easter!

Love and blessings,