Saturday, December 29, 2012

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

Merry Christmas!  It still is Christmas, so sing those carols and freak out the cashier at the grocery store by wishing him a Merry Christmas!  Its the most fun you can have with liturgical Christianity! 

Merry Christmas, StEAM!  Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

We are officially a parish!

St. Elizabeth's Anglican Mission was officially and unanimously accepted as a Parish (with all the rights and priviledges thereof) of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh this morning.  The picture above is from the diocesan facebook page.  We were invited to give a mission minute sharing our vision for church with the Convention and in the photo above, Tony Ahart shared a bit about how we do the mobile sacristy (a.k.a. church-in-a-box).  Several people approached us afterward to ask how they could replicate the StEAM vision, so expect more StEAM-like congregations to pop up around the country! 

We're no longer a church plant, folks... StEAM is the real deal!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Anniversary St. Elizabeth's....

Okay, more like a year and a month, but we had fun! Just uploading a few pictures for the good of the order! Thanks to Jenni Bartling from the diocese for joining us, to Tony and Alicia Ahart for tons of chicken, and to the good folks at Vanadium Woods for putting up with our silliness for a whole year!
During church!  Isaac snapped a few photographs to remember the day!

Then Kathy invited a choir in to sing for the whole VW Community!  Everyone loved their wondeful music!

Thanks to everyone who made it a great day!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer

I recently picked up my copy of the diocesan cycle of prayer... and I noticed that THIS WEEK is our week! Everyone who prays through the current cycle of prayer will be praying for StEAM this week... So here are a few things to pray for: Pray for those among us who don't feel as healthy as they used to, would like to, or need to. Pray for those who have been diagnosed with cancer or Parkinson's, who have an oxygen tank to tote around, or who rely on walkers and canes to get from one place to another. Pray for the administration at UPMC, the community of residents, and the members of the congregation to grow in relationship with one another. Pray for those at Vanadium Woods who don't yet know Jesus and for those who feel isolated from their church family. Pray for families who visit. Pray also for those families who don't. Pray for your clergy, that's one of the best things you can do for your church. And remember those specifically listed on our prayer list... even if you don't remember or know who they are, God does.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Vestry Meets Tuesday 9/4 at 7:00 PM.

Bible Study Does not meet on Labor Day but will resume on 9/10. We're somewhere in Genesis. :) Probably more on Abraham, but since the deacon was away last week, she officially has no clue at the time of this writing. Hurrah.

Anniversary Celebration has been postponed until 9/30 (still tentative, but looking good) so we can make this an event to remember. Invite your neighbors. This is a time to say thank you to the Vanadium Woods community for putting up with our monkey business over the past year!

Prayer list:

I.E-W, A.A., C-., J.B

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Youth Ministry at St.EAM!

NEWS: Youth Volunteers are Blessing ARDF

NEWS: Youth Volunteers are Blessing ARDF

ISAAC Jernigan — Youngest ARDF Advocate

Fifteen year old Isaac Jernigan was fourteen when he signed on as an ARDF Advocate “to help people who need help and to tell other people how they can help the same people. It’s a really good thing to do for people who are being persecuted.” In June he attended the ACNA Provincial Assembly where he was impressed with Baroness Cox’s talk and her experiences.

When asked for a quote, his first thought was the Bible verse “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13). He continued, “St. Paul was totally right when he wrote this. Don’t let barriers get in your way of God’s intention for you. If God calls you to help people who are in need, don’t let other things get in the way of that. Just do it!”

Isaac’s many other interests include a second degree black belt in Taekwondo. He loves all kinds of games, running, reading science fiction, photography, and drawing. He is a member of the youth group at Church of the Ascension (since he’s the only teen in his congregation of St. Elizabeth’s), Vice President of the Economy 4-H, a library volunteer, and on rare occasions a reluctant substitute pianist.

Recently, Isaac encouraged his two younger brothers to support ARDF. The 3 boys donated $21,36 to ARDF. Isaac would like to challenge each of you to contribute $25 or more to ARDF today.

To donate securely to Isaac’s Challenge using any major credit card, click here:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bible Study... don't miss it!

Bible Study will be Monday 7/16.  We'll be talking about Noah and the Ark, which is just about one of the coolest stories in the Bible.  Noah's got it all: Action, Romance, Destruction, Redemption!  Don't miss out!!
All are welcome. Bring friends!  No strings attached.  7:00 PM in the chapel!

Influencing the Whole Church

I think most people don't really believe that what we do at StEAM really does have results beyond our boundaries.  I think we believe we come to Church on Sundays, and then go about our lives and it doesn't change much.  But we do change our world, every human life changes the whole world.  Our coming together on Sunday is about more than just an hour on Sunday (or Bible Study) its about changing the world, little by little.

Some examples:
  • Fr. Paul has shared stories about residents at Vanadium Woods who do not come to church but who have told him how glad they are that we're there.  Maybe they go to church off-site, or maybe they just like the idea of a church in the chapel, or maybe they feel like it brings something to the greater Vanadium Woods community.  Whatever it is, they like that we're there and they take the time to say so.
  • The folks who come to the Roman Catholic service every other week are getting comfortable with our presence.  The ladies in particular will often take a moment to say hello or admire the altar flowers.  One of my favorite moments this Sunday was when their Lay Eucharistic Minister took a moment to wave across the parking lot as I was coming in.  Its not every church that can so easily greet our eccumenical colleagues on the way to the altar. 
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Roman Catholic) has gotten excited enough about our mission to donate some snazzy altarware.  Again, its not every day that generosity between branches of the Christian faith comes so readily.
  • St. John the Evangelist is an enthusiastic participant in our project, serving as our partner parish.  They're a recent church plant themselves, so now they get to partner with another newer church! That's pretty cool.
  • Everywhere I go people ask about what we're up to at St.EAM.  They mostly ask to be polite, but as soon as I start to tell them about what we do, their face soften, their eyes widen and some form of "wow!" or "cool!" escapes their lips.  Recently, at Provincial Assembly, the priest who is overseeing a similar church plant in Chicago asked us what was the long term plan for St.EAM.  When I replied that we don't intend to move into a free-standing building but instead "when we outgrow our current space, some of the non-residential people will hopefully want to plant another congregation in the next residence up the road... I'd love to see a congregation in every retirement community and hospital in Western Pennsylvania"... when I said that, he simply and speechlessly hugged me. 
  • And then there's Tabora, and all the folks we pray for and care about. 
  • And finally there is the community of StEAM, where you all are getting to know one another, become closer friends with one another.  Beverly, before she moved out, reflected on how much positive impact our life together has on our individual lives.  I hope you feel the same way. 
So however small we seem, don't forget that we can have a big impact.  Not just in our little neighborhood, but far reaching.  You are blessed... now go be a blessing to others.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Articles of Incorporation

Just a quick FYI, folks... we should have our application in for incorporation this coming week. There's cause to celebrate! Thanks especially to Tony Ahart for doing most of the legwork on this!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A must-see

Rated PG-13 for the use of a questionable term for prostitutes at the end, but do please watch this and ask yourself how we can be this kind of church at Da Woodz.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Youth Ministry in Tabora

Bishop Elias writes...

The future of the Church is in the hands of the Youth. 50% of our congregations are under 20 years old so this is a vital ministry. Today young people in Africa are faced with many struggles and challenges, alongside poverty; they have to cope with the impact of HIV/Aids, Globalisation and environmental concerns. The vision of the Youth department is to ensure the provision of spiritual, mental and physical development of the young people. The mission is to build up the body of Christ all over the diocese so as to fulfil the great commission of Jesus Christ.
The Youth department is faced with many challenges and despite our lack of material resources, teaching materials, sports equipment and musical instruments we work hard at meeting the needs of the young people in order to prepare them for adult Christian life. In the past the department has organised Youth and Children camps which have been very successful. As a result of one camp forty children committed their life to Jesus. Parents have also remarked on how their children’s attitude and behaviour have improved.
Other current activities include organising games and sports for the young people. There have also been opportunities to do home crafts and join in choirs which the children have enjoyed. We offer a range of classes including Bible study, marriage and virginity classes. After a week course on virginity, 25 young ladies surrendered their life to Christ and every week some have been coming for counselling. Stewardship classes and HIV/Aids Awareness training have also been arranged.  As well as continuing the activities mentioned in the future we hope to offer training workshops for youth leaders in order to encourage and enable them to fulfil their calling. We also hope to run a big youth event on the theme of globalisation. Another aim is to raise awareness in our congregations of the challenges and pressures our young people are faced with today.  We encourage you to remember the many young people and our work with them in your prayers.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Some of the images from this morning....

All borrowed ruthlessly from the internet. :)

Korean Nativity. Notice that Joseph is wearing a traditional Korean horsehair hat!

NK soldier watching the border, and the two who watch him.

Ironing with sticks. This was in National Geographic in the early 1900's, just after westerners were allowed in to take pictures like this and just before the Japanese Occupation.

Flowers for the "Great Leader."

Anglican Cathedral in Seoul, SK.

Satellite image of Korea by night.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Six Ways to Reach the world with Christ.... part two


6 WAYS - PRAY from K H on Vimeo.

Video courtesy of OMF!

Prayer is cool. Anybody can do it. That's probably why we talk about it so much in the church that everyone's eyes roll and people say things like "can't I do more than just pray." But if prayer is foundational, and foudations are to mission what they are to buildings, it is pretty super cool that everyone can build foundations, is responsible for doing it, and equipped to make it work.

I get the disciples, saying "teach us to pray." We all think we're doing it wrong. But if the Holy Spirit is indeed interceding for us and with us, then there's grace to cover whatever we're doing wrong and to lift up whatever we're doing right.


That's not a Rueben!

After a start-up meeting for StEAM, the 'staff' (deacon, priest, musician(aka: my beloved wife)) and mentoring priest, we all went out for nosh and 'effervescent grain beverage'. Our server comes up asking what I would like. Enthusiastically I reply, "A RUEBEN!" She asks...
"Do you want that with corned beef or turkey?" 
!?! "Corned beef!"
"Would you like that on rye or focaccia?"
!?! "Rye!"

Let's be clear about this: A Rueben Sandwich '... is a hot sandwich of layered meat, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, with a dressing. These are grilled between slices of pumpernickel or rye. The meat is either corned beef or pastrami, and the dressing is either Russian or Thousand Island dressing.' (wikipedia).

Folks, if it has turkey and is on focaccia, it maybe gastronomically correct, but it's not a Rueben.
Not, no, unh unh, nada, nope, forget about'it, (etc).

For me, everything has a spiritual lesson, even beer and a sandwich: There are lots of 'things' out there parading about under the guise of 'Christianity'. But if it's not missionary in outlook and doesn't hold to the historic faith and teaching of the universal church (e.g. Nicene Creed) - it's not Christianity. Sorry.

What ever it is (and it may be 'nice' and it may be appealing, it might be fun, it might even make you feel good - and how else would you expect temptation to present itself?) it's not Christian.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

News from Tabora

Dear friends in Christ,

Greetings from sunny and dusty Tabora.  I arrived safely from England where I went for the newly consecrated bishop's course, the course was very fruitful and helpful. However, I am so sorry to say that my heart was so hurt when I came back and find the beautiful green plants (maize) I left about three weeks has turned into yellowish and white!  Since I left Tabora there is no even a single drop of rain. Thousands of maize acres have totally dried up prematurely. Please pray for rain and for people of Tabora. I will bring you some photos to show you the situation just for your prayers. Please keep praying for us in Tabora.

Yours in Christ,


The Rt. Rev. Elias Chakupewa
Bishop of Tabora Diocese

Saturday, January 28, 2012

World Mission Sunday

Okay, so the Archbishop has written a letter...
archbishops do that.

And in the letter he's asked us to observe World Mission Sunday on the last Sunday of Epiphany, which for those who are counting, is right around the corner (2/19).

Not sure what the plan will be as yet, but there are some neat resources out there, and I thought it would be cool to share some of those resources here from time to time.

This one is from OMF International. OMF offers six ways to get involved in missions, even if its just a mission in your own backyard. That's awesome because missions isn't about taking "trips" and sending money, there are lots of ways to live out a missional call, at any age and in any place.

First way: Learn!

6 WAYS - LEARN from K H on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I Hate Snow

Mostly because I have to shovel it. I am cold when I do it and I am sweaty and sleepy when I am through. Pretty soon I will have to do it again. And now that I think about it, how come the children never visit when the driveway needs to be shoveled!?!

I suppose what annoys me the most is that snow annoys me. I have been pondering of late that most things in Our Father's creation are there to bring him glory. So, after an hour of shoveling I am thinking to myself, "Just exactly how does this bring glory to Our Father?" This question brings the follow on question of, "Why can't I see the things I know bring glory to Our Father?" I know it, but I can't see it.


I long to see the full glory of Our Father fully revealed - someday, O Lord, someday.

Hmm, I wonder if the reason so many evangelicals are southern is so they don't have to worry about the glory of Our Father in shoveling snow.

And in the mean time I give thanks to Our Father in heaven, the Carhartt corporation and my eldest daughter for flannel lined work pants.

Friday, January 20, 2012

News from Tabora

Bishop Elias writes ...

Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for your prayers, I am very happy to let you know that our St. Peter's Secondary School was finally registered by the Ministry of Education. The registration decision was reached after committing ourself to the agreement of completing the Scientific laboratory building before the end of 2012 and we were able to purchase and show the officials the laboratory equipments worth T.Shillings 12 Million ( Equivalent to 7750 USD). Thank you very much for your prayers. However, we still need your prayers for the fulfillment of our commitment to complete the Lab. Building before the end of this year. May God bless you so much. 

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Elias Chakupewa
Bishop of Tabora Diocese
P.O.Box 1408 Tabora,
Tanzania (East Africa),
Cell +255-786-686751