Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church
Waretown, New Jersey
From the Rector
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Have you noticed the progress made on The Good Samaritan House over the last few months? I wanted to let you know how that work is getting done. As most of you know, we had to shut down our men's group home in 2015, as the building needed serious renovations. With some delays, it is exciting to see this project now moving along at a brisk pace!
What caused much of the current enthusiasm for getting our renovations completed was a sad moment in the life of our community; the Memorial Service held to honor our dearly loved friend, Andy Werkoven. During that service, every speaker mentioned Andy's passion for the ministry of the Good Samaritan House. This led Andy's friends, many of them from our Twelve Step Groups that meet in the parish hall most nights of the week, to start working together to get this project done. In honor of Andy, folks are donating funds, their carpentry skills, and preparing lunches for the workers, which has resulted in the quick progress we have recentlyseen.
Our contractor, Ash Aziz, is present when volunteer crews work on the House. If you have construction skills and would like to volunteer, please call the office, and Nancy will assist you in contacting Ash.
I have written, and Ash has delivered, a number of donation letters to various vendors, requesting building materials. Andy's son, Andy Werkoven Jr., has also sent out some requests for donations. The trailer in our parking lot is where these donations have been stored.
As of now, the materials and labor put into the renovation of the Good Samaritan House is easily over $75,000. To date, we have used about $700 from the treasury of St. Stephen's. The rest has all come from donations, including Ash generously donating his time as contractor.
Why hasn't the parish paid for more of this project? We simply don't have the funds. Our budget is already stretched thin, and the small amount set aside for the Good Samaritan House needs to be kept there for regular maintenance. So, to be clear, over $74,000 used on this project has come from members of our community that we don't necessarily see on Sunday mornings!
This particular ministry is dear to my heart. I was homeless off and on for a few years as a teenager. From 1999 to 2002, I was the supervisor of two shelters; a family shelter in Ventura, California, and a large men's shelter in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a result of my personal experience, I consider the Good Sam House to be one of the most important ministries of St. Stephen's.
For those not familiar with the ministry of The Good Samaritan House, here is a brief summary:
We refer to our program as a "working" program. To qualify to live in the Good Sam House, our applicants must be employable immediately. This means we normally do not admit any applicants who have physical or mental limitations. We expect them to be employed as soon as possible. Since we provide all their basic needs, they can save all their earnings, and leave us, usually within 90 days, with enough money to get their own place and get on with their lives. While they are here, we hold weekly house meetings and individual counseling sessions. The current Board of Advisors are Joe Leddy, Ash Aziz and the Rector.
The Good Samaritan House is the only existing emergency shelter in Ocean County. We owe our thanks to Ash and his construction crew, as well as all the Twelve Step groups, and other organizations and businesses who have generously donated building supplies and funds. With their help, and your help, we will continue to offer this important ministry to local men for many years to come.
We estimate that we will need an additional $40,000 to complete this renovation project. If this is a project for which you want to be a part through a monetary donation, this is the time to do it! Simply make your checks out to "St. Stephen's" and write "Good Sam House" in the memo section. Let's get this project completed before the cold weather sets in this Fall!
In the Love of Christ,
Welcome Home Sunday
Annual Parish Picnic and Ministry Fair
September 10, 2017 at 11:30 am
Plan now to join us as we launch our Fall activities with a picnic and Ministry Fair!
We will provide the burgers, hot dogs and beverages. All you need to bring is a dish to share, and then join in the festivities! Watch for the sign-up sheet at the entrance to the church.
The Ministry Fair is the time for all of our groups to display the details of their particular ministries. This is a great opportunity for each group to add new members. The displays will be in the parish hall, with sign-up sheets for each group. We will have a few very “special” displays this year, so make sure you check them all out!
There will be games for the young (and young at heart!) and perhaps a Dunk Tank and Bouncy Room. Fr. Terry is asking anyone who is enthusiastic about this annual event to contact him, as he is seeking fresh ideas for this special day.
Our second game of the season is Friday, August 18th. Cost Adults $10.00 and Juniors/Seniors $8.00. You can contact me by cell phone 609-709-5724 or via Email email@example.com. Hope to see you there!
Thanks, Pattie Meyer
ST. STEPHENS 2017 GIFT AUCTION
TO BE HELD
SEPTEMBER 16, 2017
Announcing the Grand Prizes:
1st Grand Prize- 60” RCA TV
2nd Grand Prize - $300 Lottery Tree
Here are some of the things I would like you, the membership, to think about:
We, again, are looking for large baskets – the larger, the better. So if you have any, please bring them in during the week or on Sunday. We would very much appreciate it.
Check your closets, your attic, your garage to see if you have any treasures or gently used items that we may be able to use to fill the baskets. Christmas and birthday gifts you did not like or use, etc. You get the idea.
Last year our membership turned in the most beautiful and innovative “theme” baskets that helped make our gift auction a success. For example: Gourmet Basket, Yankee Candle Basked, Movie Theater Basket, Dog Basket, Hair Accessory Basket, just to mention a few. We are hoping that you will all think about participating again. Your contact for getting on the list of “basketeers” is Patty Meyer. You can call her at 609-709-5724 or see her in church on Sunday.
If you attended last years’ gift auction, you probably noticed that there were gift certificates attached to every basket! Yes, we were lucky enough to amass that many certificates! With your help we can do the same this year. You will be surprised how many businesses donate to events such as ours. When you are at your favorite restaurant, hair salon, car repair, florist, jewelry store, bakery, etc., don’t be shy. Just ask if they would like to donate to St. Stephen’s Gift Auction where the monies collected go to our outreach programs. (I have a letter you can give the businesses to use for tax purposes and it also lists our outreach programs). Note: Some businesses give actual gifts, not gift certificates. Either way, please make sure I receive all donations, no matter in what form, as records have to be kept and sent to the State!
We will need volunteers the day of the auction and other help along the way. If you need any further information, please give me a call at 609-242-1220
Thank you for all you do. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!
Tina Wetter, Vestry Member
Shop Rite Gift Card Fundraiser
On Sunday mornings, you can purchase Shop Rite Gift Cards from Gloria Davis just outside of the office from 9:00 to 10:00. Why buy gift cards? If you purchase a gift card, which is used just like cash at Shop-Rite, our Parish receives 5% of the value, which goes into our Building Maintenance Fund. What an easy way to support St. Stephen’s!
Many thanks to all of our faithful volunteers who help us feed the hungry five days a week! If you have a couple of hours during the week, we always welcome new volunteers. If you are interested in joining our team, please speak with Nancy Sullivan, our Parish Administrator.
The Food Pantry is in need of Bread Products, Macaroni and Cheese, Tuna Fish and plastic shopping bags. Thank you for all that you do!
Our Flea Market continues! It is held every Wednesday from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm. Whether you are a treasure hunter or a bargain hunter, come and see or sell!
Strategic Planning Initiative
After receiving input from members, and after many long discussions with committee members and the Vestry, our Strategic Planning Committee presented a new Mission Statement for our parish:
Connecting with God,
Building Community and
We welcome everyone. It is God's house, and God wants to restore all people.
We connect with God. Our worship and prayers are at the top of our priorities.
We build community. We nurture everyone in this household of God.
We transform lives. We help others make changes that improve their lives, both physically and spiritually.
We will be further unpacking this statement as we move forward. Next steps; Vision and Core Values!
The members of the SPI are Jim Joeriman (Chair), Tina Wetter (Vice Chair), Stacy Cranmer, Al Frizziola and Debbie Kirk.