Consecration Sunday Is Coming

Congregations that approach financial stewardship from a biblical perspective do not view the money Christians give to their church merely as a way to pay its bills.  Rather, such congregations see financial contributions as a way to help people grow spiritually in their relationship with God by supporting their church’s mission and ministry with a percentage of their incomes.

Our congregation’s finance committee has selected the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program as a way to teach the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our stewardship education emphasis this year.

New Consecration Sunday is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive.  Instead of treating people like members of a social club who should pay dues, we will treat people like followers of Jesus Christ who want to give unselfishly as an act of discipleship.  New Consecration Sunday encourages people toward proportionate and systematic giving in response to the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?”  During morning worship on Consecration Sunday, we are asking our attendees and members to make their financial commitments to our church’s missionary, benevolent and educational ministries in this community and around the world.

Every attendee and member who completes an Estimate of Giving Card does so voluntarily by attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday.  We urge people to attend who feel strongly opposed to completing a card.  The procedure is done in such a way that no one feels personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card.

We will do no home solicitation to ask people to complete cards.  During morning worship our guest leader will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, climaxed by members making their commitments as a confidential act of worship.

We will encourage participation in Consecration Sunday events through the Consecration Sunday team and governing board members.  Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire and commit everyone to attend Consecration Sunday worship.

Thanks in advance for your enthusiastic participation in Consecration Sunday events.

Governing Board Chairperson,

Bill Olsen

St. Paul’s welcomes the Rev. Dr. Deborah Dresser

For the month of September, we are excited to welcome the Rev. Dr. Deborah Dresser to lead St. Paul’s services.
THE REV. DR. DEBORAH DRESSER THE REV. DR. DEBORAH DRESSER, ordained in 1984, has served in six parishes in the Diocese of New York including St. George’s Church, beginning in 1996.  During that time she mentored and worked alongside deacons-in-training and seminarians including St. Paul’s recent vicar, the Rev. Candace Sandfort.

During her tenure in Newburgh Mother Dresser spearheaded Episco-Build, a multi-parish effort of Episcopal parishes in Orange County building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Greater Newburgh. She served as Chair of the Newburgh Interfaith Dialogue; Chair of the Board of Project LIFE, a tier-2 residential transitional-living shelter in the city; and a founding board member of Newburgh Chamber Music, which performs at St. George’sShe also initiated two mission programs of St. George’s: Open Space, a creative support program for pregnant teenagers or teen moms and their children; and Voices of Hope, a community children’s choir.

In the Diocese she served as President of the Standing Committee; she continues to serve as a member of the Global Mission Commission of the Diocese, and the Committee for Diocesan Human Resources.  She received the Bishop’s Cross in 2008.

In 2013, Mother Dresser completed a term as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, a humanitarian foundation supporting Arab Christians in Israel and Jordan.  She has led numerous pilgrimages to the Holy Land and will lead another in October 2015.

While retired, Mother Dresser continues to supply in local parishes.  She and her husband the Rev. Dr. Robert Dresser continue to live in Newburgh with Cuthbert, the watch-dog corgi.  They have four grown daughters and five grandchildren who bring immeasurable delight to both.

An Important Announcement

July 19, 2014

Dear Friends,

I’m writing to share the bittersweet news that while on Sabbatical I was offered a full time position at St. John’s Church in Montclair, New Jersey, and I have accepted the call.  It is of course very sad for me to leave St. Paul’s and all of you.  I treasure the five years we have spent doing ministry together, and am so grateful to have worked in such a devoted and spiritual community.  I will be forever grateful for the love and warm support you gave me in the beginning when I was finding my way as a new priest.

Our God is a God of new beginnings, and like all new beginnings this will be a challenge for all of us.  To paraphrase the great Anglican writer C. S. Lewis, “God refreshes us with many ‘Inns of Happiness’ along the way, but does not let us tarry long lest we should mistake them for home.”  I am looking forward to the challenges of full time ministry, and I believe St. Paul’s is ready for the challenges that lie ahead also.  You are a strong and loving community and a wonderful example of how a small church can be a healthy church – that is something I have always said about you, and will continue to say as I move out into the broader church.

I plan to end my Sabbatical early and return to St. Paul’s on Sunday, August 3rd, so that we have several weeks together to process all of this and make plans.  My final Sunday will be August 24th.  I look forward to seeing all of you when I return August 3rd when we will have a chance to talk about all of this.

Yours forever in Christ,


The Rev. Candace Sandfort, Vicar

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Chester, NY 10918