Archive | Vicar’s Voice

Summer

Dear St. Stephen’s Family and Friends,

Vickie and I were driving home from Mackinac Island this past week when Vickie looked at me and said, “Can you believe it’s almost June?”  My answer was “no!”  Yet, here we are a mere five days from the beginning of June.  What a nine months this has been.  Beginning as an “arranged marriage” between a community and a priest, by your graciousness and our common commitment to believe what St. Stephen’s has and is capable of becoming, we have worked this past year in those very directions.  I’m very grateful for the welcome, openness, hospitality and love you have shown me.  Please know that those feelings are mine for you as well.  Serving here is an answer to prayer.  Back to the date!

The date of June 1 is significant because I return home to Barrington on May 31 and, except for two scheduled visits to St. Stephen’s over the summer, return again after Labor Day.  Originally this time off was due to the necessity of running a coffee shop on Mackinac Island, Michigan.  Now that we no longer have the shop, the time will be spent in other ways.  My original covenant with the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and with Bishop Sean is nine months a year, September 1 through May 31. Since technically I work for the Diocese and since that covenant is still in place, this means, with a few exceptions, I’m off for the summer.

What will Vickie and I be doing?  First, because we’ve been gone from our home the past five summers, our domicile is in need of serious attention.  We’ve got several significant projects that we will be undertaking along those lines.  Second, we have a trip to Ireland in June.  Third, we look to spend a good deal of time with our children, their significant others, and our extended family.  Like Erie, the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are precious and special in the Chicago area and we hope to enjoy them for the first time in six years.  And finally, time to rest up and get ready for another program year with all of you.

Next week’s Voice of Vision will focus on how our life will continue on all fronts over the summer in anticipation of an exciting fall.  Again, thank you!

Love and Blessings,

Alvin

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,

Alvin

1070 Dutch Road, Fairview, PA 16415 * 814.474.5490