Archive | Vicar’s Voice

Discernment – Service Times

Dear St. Stephen’s Family and Friends,

Planning processes are interesting.  Often while pursuing one direction another direction presents itself and draws nearly unanimous consent.  As the Planning Team discerned direction for the life of St. Stephen’s and as that vision was presented to the community on September 24, one item percolated to the surface in both cases at times with prompting and at times without.  The one item that kept rising to the surface was moving to one service.  There was sentiment for this idea from different “places” meaning people of all ages.  As the planning process unfolded, people made a point of mentioning how much they would like to draw the entire community together on Sunday mornings with one service.  The Bishop’s Committee talked this over at our last meeting and supported moving forward with the proposal of an experiment of one service at 9 AM beginning December 4, Advent I, and continuing through January 7, Epiphany Sunday.  What we need now is your feedback between today (October 12) and October 24, the date of our next Bishop’s Committee meeting.  You can direct your feedback to me in person or by email (ajohnson@dionwpa.org) or text/call (847-651-1323).  You can direct feedback to our Bishop’s Warden, Cindy Willis also in person, or by email (cindy@georgewillis.com), or also by phone.

After we’ve tried this for several weeks we will review how this arrangement is working and decide about going forward from there.  The decision will be made with community input.

Fall is here!  Enjoy God’s various masterpieces all around us.  See you in Church.

Love and blessings,

Al

Property Improvements at St. Stephen’s

I am so excited about all of the property improvements here at St. Stephen’s, and I hope you are too! As you look around the building, you will see evidence of some of the work going on. Some projects are visible and some are not, so I wanted to take a moment and give everyone an update. Also, thank you for being patient with the mess during the construction.

The flat, rubber roofing that is above the parish hall, kitchen, and part of the nursery school wing has been replaced by Northwestern roofing. There was tapered insulation installed and that will take care of drainage issues that we have had in the past.

There are also several electrical improvements in the works. Most of the light fixtures in the building have been replaced with LED fixtures. The remaining fixtures will be replaced in the next couple of weeks and all light bulbs will be changed to LED bulbs. The electrical panels are being replaced this week. All exit signs will be changed to LED signs and a new generator will be installed within the next couple of weeks. Blackman Electric is doing all of the electrical work.

All of the ceiling tiles in the building are being replaced. They have all been removed, the ceiling tile grid has been painted white and the new tiles will be installed within the next couple of weeks.

You may wonder how we are going to pay for all of this work. The Bishop authorized St. Stephen’s to spend $100,000 from the gift from Jean Mertens for property improvements. We are estimating that the total cost for the roofing, electrical and ceiling tile work will be $90,612. I have been working with a property committee that includes church members Don Meeder, Dave Vogt, Eric Schuette, George Willis and Mike Felmlee. We have looked at the need for the projects, reviewed all estimates and made recommendations to the Bishop’s Committee, and monitored the work that is being done. Once we have the final numbers for all of these projects, the property committee will meet and look at other projects that still need to be done at St. Stephen’s. A huge thank you to all of the property committee members for all their hard work!

You may also notice all of the beautiful landscaping that has been done. We had a wonderful opportunity to partner with an agency called PRI Community and they have done all of the landscaping at St. Stephen’s free of charge. PRI Community is a company that is dedicated to improving the public good through providing services to community organizations and businesses without cost. PRI Community works with Erie social service agencies to identify individuals living in Erie that would benefit from PRI Community employment. PRI Community provides employees with English language knowledge as well as technical trade skills. The goal for this program is for these individual to gain the skills necessary for future employment. PRI Community has spent four days this week, with a large crew of workers, working on our property. I invite all of you to take a stroll around our grounds and see the difference. It is quite impressive and we are very blessed to have this opportunity! PRI Community will be returning the week of August 14th for 3 days to clean the inside of our building top to bottom. Again, what a blessing!

This is certainly a very exciting time here at St. Stephen’s! Please contact me if you have any questions about what has been going on (814.474.5490, claire@ststephens-fairview.org).

Claire Wachter, Parish Administrator

Home

Dear St. Stephen’s Family and Friends,

It’s been a summer about home.  Like the work taking place on our community home of St. Stephen’s under the direction of our Property Team, Vickie and I have been about the same business here in Barrington.  This is our first summer at our home in six years.  It’s not that our house was under neglect, but a house is like the self; a house needs tending in order to be lived in and to serve as a home on all levels.  Our friends keep asking us if we’re getting the house ready to sell?  Our answer is:  we are enhancing our home as a place to live for years to come.  I’m not a big project guy by nature, but I did take down our screen porch by myself and was able to avoid catastrophe.  (Check out the picture.)  We will have a new patio installed within the next two weeks to go with a new air conditioner (the old one simply gave up its life) and new paint.  Taking down the screened porch opened up our family room to considerably more light and Vickie and I are adjusting to the beauty of being able to look out and see God’s handiwork.  All this leads me to a spirit of gratitude to God; for time, for love, for a home, for the resources, for family, for life.  While this is taking place our home at St. Stephen’s is being renovated as well.  New lights to see better and enjoy the light.  A new roof to cover all we value.  New ceiling tiles to honor our home.  The investment of parishioners to improve the look outside to go with the improved look inside.  Eventually all the love being given will open hearts and doors to the strangers who hunger for just such a home as St. Stephen’s.  All this leads to a spirit of gratitude to God; for leaders, for staff, for resources, for people, for faith, for love, for Jesus.   We are blessed indeed.

Looking forward to seeing many of you this weekend.  See you in Church.

Love and blessings,

Al+

1070 Dutch Road, Fairview, PA 16415 * 814.474.5490