Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sex, Sin & Sine Qua Non

Professor Bob B. is presenting a special study during Lent on the ways on which scandals during the Middle Ages, the worldview of pre-Reformation catholics, and the hierarchy of the church intersected to create the legal systems in England and the United States. This special presentation will last 5 Wednesdays in Lent.

Wednesdays in Lent
6:30 Soup Supper
7:30 Chapel
8-9:00 Study

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

We're in the Journal News!

Pearl River church puts on Shrove Tuesday festivities

(Original publication: February 21, 2007)
PEARL RIVER - Luckily for the children, their pastor doesn't mind a little pancake on the church floor.
The Rev. Susan Fortunato laughed and cheered as more than a dozen children raced up and down the center aisle of the St. Stephen's Episcopal Church kitchen yesterday, flipping pancakes in a frying pan.
The race was part of the church's Shrove Tuesday festivities, marking the last hurrah before Lent started today, Ash Wednesday.
"We do it every year, and every year it gets a little bigger and more complicated," Fortunato said with a chuckle.
The idea of Shrove Tuesday is the same as Mardi Gras, but with pancakes and family-friendly fun.
"We load up on fat and all the naughty things we're going to give up for Lent," church member Katherine Babcock said.
Also set up was a table for Mardi Gras-themed crafts with beads, masks and temporary tattoos.
The children also put on a small parade around the kitchen banging tambourines, sticks and shakers before attacking the Mardi Gras-themed piƱata.
With the smell of breakfast wafting down the hall, partygoers dined not only on pancakes, but also sausage and bacon.
Historically, strict Christian traditions prohibited the consumption of dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were eaten on Shrove Tuesday to use up the eggs, milk and butter.
Fortunato estimated that about 100 people would attend the three-hour celebration.
A basket by the door collected donations, which will be used to fund trips and activities for the church's youth group.
Fortunato said the rule was "eat what you can, pay what you want."
And though it's put on by the church, the event has become a community one, Fortunato said, pointing out some revelers whom she had never seen before.
Corinne Foote, 15, and Courtney Loeffler, 12, both of Pearl River, worked in the kitchen serving up pancakes with toppings of blueberries, cherries, applesauce and syrup.
Foote has been a member of the church since she was a young child and is a Shrove Tuesday pro.
"It's, like, fun to get involved with everybody and work with the little kids and stuff," she said.
Loeffler is new to the church within the past year or so, and yesterday was her first Shrove Tuesday celebration.
"I like it," she said. "It's cool."
Fortunato, pastor for five years, said the church's youth are responsible for the preparation, serving and cleanup.
Last year, the celebration raised about $350.
This year activities for the group, comprised of about 25 to 30 teenagers, Fortunato said, include renovating houses in West Virginia and a rafting trip.


It is amazing, but Lent is already here. We have some special offerings for Lent this year.

On Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. Bob will be teaching his Lenten poetry class. He chooses contemporary poems with Lenten themes and discussions are always lively and provacative.

On Wednesday evenings in Lent we will be offering a Soup Supper at 6:30 p.m. followed by chapel service at 7:30 p.m. and then at 8p.m. our evening program, Sex, Sin, & Sine Qua Non: A study of how religion and the church shaped the legal systems of the U.S. will be presented by Bob Bing.

It's all about Professor Bob's this Lent at St. Stephen's. Join us for some thoughful and interesting presentations.

Ash Wednesday

Our scheduel of services for Ash Wednesday:

12:30 Solemn Service (chapel)

4:30 service especially for children (church)

7:30 p.m. Eucharist with full choir

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pancake Supper!

Tonight is the pancake supper! Lots of pancakes, sausage and bacon prepared and served by the Youth of the church. From 5- 8 p.m. in the Parish Hall. "Eat what you want, pay what you wish!"