St. George's Episcopal Church
Goings On About the Parish...
A Christingle (Christ's Light) Celebration took place at St.
George's Church on Sunday, December 19th. Oranges were decorated with a candle, red ribbon, and various fruits and sweets at an informal workshop.
Parishioners decorated the church after the 9 o'clock service then, at 3PM, a short, joyful service delighted children and adults alike as everyone was presented with their own lighted Christingle, formed a long procession, and walked around the church while singing hymns. Christingle, which originated in Germany in 1747 and is very popular in England, homeland to Fr. Paul Blanch, is used to raise money for children's charities. After the service, a collection plate was passed with all moneys given to the Northeast Parent and Child Society.
Sunday, December 5th….the Eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas….a special time at St. George’s with Festal Evensong at 4PM. We had a reenactment of the Boy Bishop ceremony whereas the bishop descended from his seat and gave the boy bishop his blessing and, afterwards, the boy bishop blessed the people (using the bishop’s pastoral staff.) This was followed by the Lighting of the Stockade Christmas tree and refreshments at the First Reformed Church.
Nine congregants from St. George's attended the Diocesan Acolyte Festival at the Cathedral of All Saints on Saturday, November 6th. Each participant joined the Grand Eucharist Procession, attended the informative workshops of their choice, and received a newly minted brass pendant.
"Stairway to the Stars" was the theme of St. George's float in the Schenectady Thanksgiving Parade on Saturday, November 20th. The youth choir, four members of the adult choir, and Fr. Paul were on the float to wave to a very enthusiastic crowd. It was cold....it was fun....a good time was had by all.
Sunday, November 14th at 4 o'clock was an important day in the life of seven Confirmands (six youth and one adult) from St. George's. After the formal ceremony, they posed with Bishop Love and Bishop Ball.
Visit from Williamstown, Ontario
On Sunday, September 26th St. George's was visited by 51 members of the Sir John Johnson Manor House Committee of Williamstown, Ontario to learn the history of our church (given by Senior Warden David Kennison) and see where the view of Sir William Johnson was in the original church (Pew 110.)Fr.
Paul welcomed the group, gave an overview of the Episcopal faith, and treated them to an impromptu organ recital. The group enjoyed their brief stay and took many pictures before leaving on the next lap of their Mohawk Valley Bus Trip.
Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs
On Sunday, September 19th....18 Georgians went on an exciting Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville, the birth place of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. The afternoon included a guided tour, historical information, visiting the onsite museum, and time for quiet reflection, ending with Fr. Paul celebrating Evening Prayer.
Start-Up Sunday took place on September 19th. It is the beginning of an active year when St. George's parishioners sign up for the various ministries available - including Lectors, Acolytes, Greeters, Counters, and Altar Guild.
St. George's new Director of Music, Andrew Krystopolski, talked with adults about the St. Cecilia Choir and encouraged children to consider the St. Nicholas Childrens Choir.
Sunday, September 12th was Back to Church Sunday at St. George's.
Parishioners were encouraged to invite family, friends and acquaintances to join us for 9AM Mass and a mammoth Sunday brunch that followed. 101 people came, enjoyed our Mass, and stayed to partake of the feast afterwards in the Great Hall.
With appreciation for good weather and lovely landscaping surrounding us, our patio has been the focal point of a "new and improved"
Coffee Hour After Sunday Mass. The "light" menu includes coffee, tea and lemonade - as well as pastries, either store-bought or homemade, provided by various members of our congregation. When Fr. Paul and Maggie's guests from England (Justin, Ruth, Elen and Kezia Blakebrough) joined us one Sunday, everyone enjoyed the interaction and exchange of ideas with our newfound friends from across the seas.
Secret Garden Tour
Several years of work have culimated in the gardens and grounds of St.
George's being lovingly restored to a "work of art" on our campus. A round of applause goes to the many volunteers from our congregation who pitched in and made it possible for St. George's to be included in the Stockade's Secret Gardens Tour on June 25th and 26th. This is what they saw..........................................................."
Local merchants, parishioners and the community helped St. George's launch a successful Raffle, to offset the cost of a sound system, as spearheaded by Nancy and Johnnie Angus. Tickets sold for $1 each or 15 for $5. A total of
$781 was raised and 29 lucky winners were recipients of some very nice gifts.
The prizes "on display."
Rick draws a winning ticket.
Fr. Paul reads the name of the person holding the winning ticket.
Don comes forward to claim his prize.
Bob shows Nancy his winning ticket after his name was called.
A good time in the Great Hall was had by all attending.
(L-R) Fr. Paul Blanch, Tim Everhardt, Jen Thiessen, Kali Moran, JJ Moran, and Alice Polumbo, along with Maggie Blanch (missing from picture) attended in an all-night NIGHTWATCH event at the Cathederal of St. John the Divine in New York City. Among the activities: walking the labyrinth as pilgrims on a spiritual journey, a candlelight vigil of prayer, a sung Midnight Mass, and a tour of the Cathedral. Highlight of the overnight: sleeping in the crypt.
Father Paul Blanch, David Kennison and Jonathan Pearson attended this year's convention for The Episcopal Diocese of Albany June 11-12, 2010.
Father Paul Blanch relaxes after the Friday night session of the 2010 Convention.
David Kennison relaxing after the Friday night meeting.
Dave and Fr. Paul study their convention workbooks to determine how to vote for various diocesan positions and resolutions.
A picture of the stage with our own Bishop William H. Love in purple seated at the table as Drexel W. Gomez, Archbishop and Primate of the Provinces of the West Indies - Retired gives the keynote address for the weekend.
Timber Framer's Guild
Because St. George's is one of the finest examples of restored Colonial church architecture, we were one of 6 scheduled Stockade stops by the Timber Framer's Guild (worldwide organization) during their annual Symposium (May 21-23) for the first time in this area. David Kennison took individual groups through the church attic and the roof to the steeple/bell tower.
On Mother's Day, May 9th, a special Children's Mass was held in St. George's Holy Family Chapel at 11:15AM. This was a Rite II Mass, a more casual style of worship, with music appropriate to families with younger children. A pizza lunch followed in the Great Hall.
BLESSING OF THE APPLE TREE
After Mass on May 2nd, parishioners gathered around
a decorative apple tree in our Memorial Garden.
Fr. Paul blessed the tree, which was given in loving
memory of former
Georgian, Shirley Burris, by her friend Susanna Sherwood.
PATRONAL FESTIVAL WEEKEND (THE FEAST OF ST. GEORGE THE MARTYR)APRIL 23-24-25, 2010.
The Weekend started Friday at 7:30PM with Solemn Evensong & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and ended with a reception in the Shaw Lounge.
Gentlemen & Boys of the Cathedral Choir, Albany rehearse prior to the event.
Woodrow Bynum, Director of Music at All Saints Cathedral, Albany.
Altar procession into St. George's.
An overview of the Choir in concert.
Organist for the evening, L. Graham Schultz, Lloyd Cast Organ Fellow.
An overview of the Choir, St. George's congregation, and guests.
Guest preacher, The Very Reverend Marshall J. Vang of All Saints Cathedral and 16th Rector of St. George's.
Fr. Urban of St.
Adelbert's (background)celebrated with us.
Organ Recital Saturday at 7:30, Georgians, guests and friends were treated to an inspiring Organ Recital by Lawrence C. Roff, Senior Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Schenectady.
St. George's Day was cloudy but, miraculously, the rain held off as we celebrated The Solemnity of the Martyrdom of Saint George at 9AM with a Procession into church led by the St. Andrews Society and ending with a Procession around the Stockade Area that included the Schenectady Pipe Band.
The beginning Procession around the church.
Reading of the names of the founders and rectors of St. George's by Sacristan/Senior Warden, David Kennison St.
The lesson of the day read by Diane Reed. Notice the Tartans of the St. Andrew's Society in the background.
The blessing of the milk cartons, a project with students enrolled in our Christian Education program, by Fr. Paul Blanch.
Presentation of the Tartans with Fr. Paul and members of the St. Andrew's Society.
The Procession around the Stockade Area.
Members of the Schenectady Pipe Band
St. George's Choir Members follow the St. Andrew's Society in Procession.
The Procession concluded at the entrance to St. George's for a final Blessing and the Dismissal.
Afterwards, everyone was invited to attend a humongous meal provided by St. George's and parishioners in the Great Hall.
ARCHITECTURAL TOUR OF ST. GEORGE'S BY SENIORS ENROLLED IN THE ACADEMY OF LIFELONG LEARNING AT EMPIRE STATE COLLEGE ON APRIL 20TH.
Class started their architectural tour inside St. George's church.
Senior Warden, David Kennison, talked about the architectural background.
Rector, Fr. Paul Blanch, discussed our liturgy and theology in general.
Fr. Paul demonstrated the sound of our M.P. Moller organ.
In the Sacristy, the group learned the meaning of the Monstrance.
They also were shown the vestments worn on specific days.
George Riebel, leader of the group, stands behind David Kennison as they paused for a laugh.
Before disbursing, the group also walked our campus grounds.
Holy Week at St. George's.
Jim Wingate reads Psalm 22 during the Stripping of the Altar.
Silence is maintained during the Easter Vigil which began at 9PM and ended at 7:30AM.
Fr. Paul Blanch presides over The Kindling of the New Fire outside the West Door.
The procession to the font on Easter Sunday.
Palm Sunday at St. George's begins in the Great Hall.
The Choir leads parishioners from the Great Hall to the church.
Mass continues at the High Altar.
WHITE DRAGON TAG SALE
Another successful White Dragon tag sale took place in the Great Hall on Saturday, March 21st. Thousands of items were offered to and purchased by area bargain hunters.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Stations of the Cross were scheduled Saturdays at 11AM during Lent at St. George's Church.
BLESSING OF THE MILK CARTONS
Children in our Christian Ed program decorated banks shaped like St. George's Church out of one pint empty milk cartons. During Lent, parishioners are asked to drop their loose change into their banks and return them on or before April 18, 2010. Prior to the banks being distributed to the congregation, the children brought them to the altar for Fr. Paul's blessing.
Lenten Bible Study
Group discussions, exercises, meditation, and individual readings were all part of a lively Lenten Bible Study entitled “Christ and the Chocolaterie,” based on the movie “Chocolat” at St. George’s. There were two five-week sessions – 11:15AM on Sundays after Mass and Wednesday evenings at 7:00PM. Approximately 50 Georgians, friends and neighbors signed up for the course.
Participants in the Wednesday evening group studying "Christ and the Chocolaterie".
Participants in the Sunday morning group studying "Christ and the Chocolaterie".
Ralph Fusco - Jr. Warden
Richard Forshaw - Vestry member
Also elected for second terms: