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We add a unique new community mission

State of the Parish 2016/2017—Part II

Our Parish Meeting takes place between the 9:15 AM and 11:00 AM services on Sunday, October 29th. This is yhe second part of the Rector’s State of the Parish Report that will be offered at the meeting. The first part will was published in last week’s newsletter.

A unique new mission has been founded by Fr John Novicki, who also oversees our Sunday School. Fr Novicki has for long been involved in the military reenactment movement. And following his ordination, he occasionally officiated as chaplain at reenactment events.

Now, with the blessing of The Rt Rev. John Vaughan, our bishop ordinary, he has founded St George’s Mission in order to provide chaplaincy services to the re-enactment movement in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

The new mission has already enjoyed considerable success. Fr Novicki regularly conducts church parades and provides counseling services for his new flock. It is by no means unusual for him to minister to several hundred people over a weekend—rather more than he would see were he to be serving at St Stephen’s.

Chaplains and chaplain services are also provided by the parish for civic organizations in the Baltimore area. These include The U.S. Navy League’s Baltimore Council, The Ancient & Honorable Mechanical Company of Baltimore, and The St George’s Society. Indeed, the Navy League, founded by President Theodore Roosevelt to provide support for the maritime services, meets in Quimby Hall on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Furthermore, on the first Sunday of the month, the parish collects gifts of cash, non-perishable foodstuffs, and household goods for At Jacob’s Well, the organization that helps Baltimore’s mentally ill homeless population. Under the leadership of Lt. Col. Scott Taylor, St Stephen’s has become one of the charity’s most important sources of support.

Our Sunday School, praise the Lord, continues to grow apace under the leadership of Diane Novicki and her excellent cadre of teachers—Tracey Collins, Datona Collins, Kiki Gushue, Tracey Gushue, Carolyn Kerouac, and Alison Belt, aided when the occasion demands by a goodly number of pinch hitters.

The Parish Life Committee continues to go from strength to strength under the joint chairmanship of Priscilla and Dick Huffman. The success of both the 2016 Cookie Walk and the 2017 Garden Party are, largely, a testament to their organizing ability.

In addition to the Cookie Walk and Garden Party, the Committee organized a host of other events including a diet-busting Shrove Tuesday Pancake & Sausage Supper, a wonderful Fall Picnic (for which we owe a hearty vote of thanks to Ellen Reather, who hosted the event at her home) and a season of Silly Summer Suppers.

Anne Hawkins, a stalwart of Silly Summer Suppers, has instituted yet another gastronomic treat for parishioners and friends from the local community. Annie, whose culinary skills are legendary, has organized a team to serve monthly tea parties in Quimby Hall.

A packed house gathers on a Thursday afternoon to enjoy delicious homemade tea sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, cakes, and other delicacies. It is both a time for good fellowship and fine dining, as well as a source of community news.

While we are on the subject of gastronomy, St Stephen’s Ladies Who Lunch, under the leadership of Sara Douglas, have also enjoyed another year of fellowship and fine dining.

The Knitting Circle—mentored by Cindie Baker and Mar Bopst—meets on Thursdays at 10:00 AM to produce beautifully crafted comforts for the patients at local health care facilities, retirement communities, and folks on the parish sick list. (Cindie’s latest offerings are gorgeous hand-made poppies for Remembrance Day, November 11th.) New members are always welcome,

The newsletter comes to you courtesy of the hard-working mailroom team: Happy Riley, Anne Hawkins, and Mar Bopst. (If you change your address or if you’re going away for few days, please let them know so they can make the necessary adjustments to the mailing list.)

The grounds have never looked better thanks to our brand new John Deer lawn tractor, the mowing skills of Dick Huffman, Sara Douglas’ horticultural team, and Col. Taylor’s enthusiastic cleanup crew. In this regard, we are seeking volunteers willing to spell Mr. Huffman from time to time. Please give the parish office a call if you can spare a couple of hours a month for fresh air and fun.

The parish owes a considerable debt of gratitude to the Vestry for its work in overseeing the parish’s affairs. They are John Cobb, Rector’s Warden; John Karlsen, People’s Warden; Gordon Turner, People’s Warden Emeritus, and Paul Douglas, warden’s assistant; William Hawkins, treasurer; Dr. Kirby von Kessler, Priscilla Huffman, Sev Miller, Brock Johnson, and J. Brice Richardson. Rosa Halbert represents the diocese as a member of the Anglican Church of America’s National Executive Council.

At this year’s annual meeting, we shall be filling three vestry positions. The nominees are: John Cobb, John Karlsen, and Gordon Turner, all retiring vestrymen.

Almost last, but very far from least, we should offer a very hearty vote of thanks to William Hawkins, our long suffering parish treasurer. During my years in Holy Orders I have served with many church treasurers, none of them as conscientious and painstakingly hard–working as Bill. A year or so ago, Bill was also asked to take on management of the diocese’s treasury—an unenviable task demanding the patience of Job. He has carried out the task with commendable firmness, moderated by tact, diplomacy, and grace.

Penultimately, advancing years seem to be messing with my memory; thus I should offer my sincere apologies to Ann Horner for failing to acknowledge her valuable work on the Altar Guild. I am sure there are many other deserving souls whom I have failed to acknowledge and to them I also offer my profound apologies. It was not done in malice, but, rather, incompetence.

Finally, if you would like to keep abreast of parish affairs, check a date, read a sermon, hunt through ancient newsletters or just browse generally, our website—webmaster, Mr Threadgill—is the place to do so. You will find it all at our web address: GPH✠

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