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Community St. Stephen's Church and School Magazine

Sept. 2018

PICTURING THE MISSION After engaging the St. Stephen’s congregation in an extensive discernment process last year, the Vestry identified five strategic areas to focus upon in our ministry: Organization, Church/School Relations, Demographic Gaps, Growth, and Invite, Welcome, Connect, Reconnect. Leaders from the congregation have developed goals and plans for each of these areas which have been blessed by the Vestry this year. CHURCH AND SCHOOL NEW LOGO AND LOOK: In collaboration, the St. Stephen's Church Vestry and School Board of Trustees have adopted a new logo and tag line to capture the intent of our shared vision and values. Along with our new joint logo, we've updated and adopted a joint color palette as well. This work was done in consultation with our new Head of School, Jerri King. The boards felt that this new logo presents our name more clearly. It will begin to be incorporated on all print material and on our website, as we use up the remainder of our stationery and other materials. The replacement of the + sign is a double entendre of sorts; it signifies addition as well as the cross. The tag line: “think spirited” is a succinct summary of our core values. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and School together foster curiosity, questioning, and imagination of the future in a context in which spirituality and passionate community are engaged. You will begin to see this tag line on signature lines, posters, brochures, and other materials.

Think spirited

Fall 2018

CHURCH'S NEW MISSION STATEMENT: Having completed this spiritual and practical work, the Vestry chose to reframe our parish mission statement. The old statement was: St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church walks without judgment with those taking different paths to God so that we may be transformed through Jesus Christ as we serve others. This statement served St. Stephen’s for 10 years. In light of the discoveries of our process last year, the Vestry created a new statement: St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is an inclusive, nurturing, and healing community that seeks and invites all to practice the transformational and empowering work of Jesus Christ among us and in the world.

ON THE FRONT COVER The Reverend Lisa Hunt prays for students during the first All School Chapel of the 2018/19 school year.

The Vestry sensed that the former statement, while inclusive, was passive. They recognized that the movement of the Holy Spirit among us has led us out to new places. The work of spiritual growth and evangelism are aspects of ministry that we want to claim as our own. Additionally, the Vestry wanted to capture the values which inform our ministry and which have enabled us to cast a vision for the future. CHURCH STRATEGIC PLAN SPECIAL FORUM You will have an opportunity to learn more about the Church’s strategic plan and priorities and to offer your ideas at a special forum on Sunday, September 23, at 9:30 a.m. in Pecore Hall. The Vestry will be present to share their work and to listen. My hope is that the new mission statement and the new brand are potent symbols, effecting the reality to which they point.

Save the Date: Camp Allen Nov. 9-11, 2018

ON THE BACK COVER St. Stephen's Weekend Away at Camp Allen. Details on back.

The Reverend Lisa Hunt St. Stephen’s Church Rector Chair of the St. Stephen's School Board

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In this issue Back to School Sept. Issue 2018 Volume II, Number 8 Rector Lisa Hunt

Head of School Jerri King

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Montessori Life Magazine Republished Article on Pg. 16 Featuring St. Stephen's School Principal, Nahla Nasser.


& Daring to Grow St. Stephen’s has been actively engaging our Daring to Grow campaign to raise $8 million in philanthropy for renovation, new construction and land acquisition on our campus. We moved into a new phase of the campaign this summer, in which we are inviting members of the St. Stephen’s community to intimate gatherings in private homes among friends to learn about the project. Attendees learn about the project’s vision, plans and timeline, see inspirational drawings, and discover ways to support the campaign in a personal and meaningful way. Daring to Grow will transform St. Stephen’s to better meet the needs of today’s community, right now and far into the future. The campaign’s success depends upon the participation and bold generosity of every member of church and school community. Everyone who is connected with St. Stephen’s Church and School will have an opportunity to attend a small group event this fall or spring. You are encouraged to come with every question that you have had about the project. We will provide project information, answer your questions on how to make a gift or pledge over time to support the project, and discuss ways you can structure a gift or pledge that increases its impact. These have been fun and meaningful events and we want everyone to attend one. We are fortunate to have a group of 35 individuals from the church and school who have agreed to serve as capital campaign volunteers and help with these small groups. We are deeply thankful to our volunteers whom have already hosted or co-hosted a small group event. Thank you to the following for providing marvelous hospitality to our community at the eight small group events we have held so far: • Ken & Sandy McClain (campaign co-chairs for the church) • Doug & Paige Pecore (campaign co-chairs for the school) • Erin & Ben Elmore • Jessica & Christopher Parkerson

• Tamala & Lincoln Singleton • Glenna Scharon • Susie Richard • Casey & Ryan Hackney • Laura Conely • Pat and Susan Cook • John Cornwell • Gail Creech • Georgia McGlasson • Kathy Cenatiempo • Dan Binder • Mary Clare Walther • James LaRocque • Julia & Dwight Wolf • Cathlyne Camp-Murray • David Kreidler • Ken Wiesehuegel We will hold about six events in September. When you receive your invitation to an event, please make it a priority to come, to listen, and learn! These are great opportunities to meet new people - whether you have been part of our community for a month or 38 years! We are inviting church parishioners to gatherings throughout the fall, and will hold more campaign events for the school community in the spring. If you are interested in getting invited soon, contact Karen Soh, Director of Advancement. We want to share this project with you personally.

Karen Soh St. Stephen’s Church & School Director of Advancement



The Vestry are the elected members of the parish who are charged with carrying out the business of the congregation. Since St. Stephen's is a midsized parish, this often means that the Vestry hears, discusses, and votes on the recommendation of one of the priests, or of a committee of parishioners (or both) rather than directly managing everything. A very important decision in the life of our parish--and in the lives of some of our parishioners--has been the question of how to support members of our parish who are considering whether they are called to enter the ordained ministry. St. Stephen's often serves as a training ground for deacons and curates, but it has been a long time since one of our members decided to enter the priesthood. Some might need financial assistance, and all will need our prayers and emotional support. The Vestry is and will continue to discern how we can help meet the needs of each while being fair to all. This is still a work in progress, so you will be hearing more in the months to come. Late in the spring, the Vestry voted on a recommendation from the Building and Grounds Committee to accept a bid to re-roof the "L" building, the oldest part of the church campus that contains the offices and the Gathering Area. Some of our capital campaign money was spent on this project; many of the most difficult decisions around the capital campaign involve whether to build new or repair. The roof is now completed, and although it is hard to see from the ground, we've ensured that the building will be watertight and usable for another 20 to 30 years. As we move into the autumn, you will begin to hear about the annual Stewardship campaign that provides for St. Stephen's annual operating budget. We will prepare for our annual trip to Camp Allen, and we will look forward to All Saints' Day. Please know that you can come to me, or any member of the Vestry, with any concerns that you might have. It is an honor to serve God, this parish, and all of you.

Susan Hawes St. Stephen’s Church Vestry Senior Warden


Positive Discipline Are you feeling challenged?

…by your children’s power struggles? …by their lack of follow through? …with bed time and morning routine? …with homework getting done? …with sibling conflicts? …with chores getting done? …or something else?

Positive Discipline is for parents who are looking for long-term parenting skills that will encourage their children to think for themselves, become more responsible, and have greater respect for themselves and others. The Positive Discipline approach is filled with non-punitive, respectful methods that will incorporate kindness and firmness into parenting, help parents get to the core of the child’s behavior, bring more joy into the home, and give parents a sense of accomplishment.

Save The Dates: To help parents hone their parenting skills and access the resources and support they need, we are offering a parent education series that will be timely, practical, and relevant. Add to your parenting toolbox and join us after carpool (8:15 - 9:30 a.m.) in the fall as we discuss positive discipline, resources, and methods. Oct. 19: Introduction to Positive Discipline Oct. 26: Positive Discipline - First Plane of Development (Birth to 6 yrs) Nov. 9: Positive Discipline - Second Plane of Development (6 to 12 yrs) Nov. 30: Positive Discipline - Third Plane of Development (12 to 18 yrs)

Parent Reading Resources The following are recommended parent books regarding positive discipline. While this is not a complete list of all the wonderful books ever written, below are our favorites. Purchasing books from Amazon Smile supports the school. Click St. Stephen's Episcopal School to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. 1. Positive Discipline: The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self-Discipline, Responsibility, Cooperation, and Problem-Solving Skills 2. Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, Revised and Updated Edition: From Infant to Toddler--Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident Child 3. Positive Discipline for Preschoolers: For Their Early Years--Raising Children Who are Responsible, Respectful, and Resourceful 4. Positive Discipline A-Z: 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems 5. Positive Discipline for Teenagers, Revised 3rd Edition: Empowering Your Teens and Yourself Through Kind and Firm Parenting



ST. STEPHEN'S CHURCH - NEW FORMAT Faithful Families: Sundays beginning Sept. 16 | 9:30 a.m. | Bentley Room This offering is geared for children, youth, and their parents. Faithful Families is an intergenerational formation program we have developed in response to youth and parents looking for ways of living our faith at home. We will explore ways to use our homes and each other to mark the days, the seasons, and the events of our lives. Faithful Families is a temporary program. It is not intended to take the place of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, but to try for a season and gather feedback from participants about how it is nourishing to our Spirits. One more note: While Faithful Families is designed specifically for those who are raising young people, we intend to offer a future seasonal program specifically for single and coupled adults who are looking for ways of living their own faith every day of the week.

ng In Faith


TION CLASSES Our Whole Lives (OWL): Lifespan Sexuality Education Two Adult Groups: Ages 18-35 and Ages 36+ Starting Spring 2019, 12 Weeks, 12 - 2 p.m. Dates TBA. Our Whole Lives (OWL) is comprehensive sexuality education for people of all ages. We will be offering this program specifically for the adults in our church, school, and neighborhood who are interested. Using values, communication skills and spirituality as starting points, this program explores sexuality issues for adults of all ages. Builds understanding of healthy sexual relationships, affirms diversity and helps participants accept and affirm their own sexuality throughout their lives. This 12 week program has limited enrollment. Stay tuned for details.

What is Formation? We believe spiritual formation to be happening within us and all around us – each and every day. At St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, we look to gather in community to be intentional about Christian Formation during all seasons of life (e.g. Small Groups, Life Groups, Growth Groups, etc.). We value the opportunity to be molded by God and one another and continually seek new ways for the divine to be expressed in community. We encourage wonder and curiosity, promoting a safe space to question and awaken the divine in all of us.

Sunday Services We offer three opportunities to gather for worship in the Nave (which is the name we use for our primary worship space). 7:45 a.m. | Spoken A quiet 30-minute service of the proclamation of the Word of God and celebration of Holy Communion, with a sermon, but without music. 8:30 a.m. | Episcopal This service of Holy Communion is grounded in ancient traditions of Christian worship, with a dynamic sermon, with liturgy with hymns, and anthems. 10:30 a.m. | Innovative We gather for a more innovative and creative liturgy of Holy Eucharist, drawing from many parts of the Anglican world and our own supplemental texts.




How long were you at St. Stephen’s? From 18 months to 18 years, graduating high school in 2006. Where did you continue your education? BA, Economics / Public Policy, New College of Florida MSc, Economics, University College London PhD, Economics, Rice University Favorite St. Stephen’s memories? I had lots of great teachers over that many years, so much so that I prefer not to name them for fear of missing anyone, besides Ronnie Frankum (St. Stephen’s Coach from 19952018). He's great. Middle school stood out as a time when I started taking on more challenging learning projects under the encouragement of the teachers. Also, the teaching staff at the high school was especially high quality. At that time, I did not like math but I received a good education in the subject. I use it plenty today. I preferred History, Social Studies, and English. Despite not being “an athletic powerhouse," the coaches/teachers I had at various stages made it a fun; plus, all the life lessons that comes with losing. I also fondly remember part of the curriculum. Blessing of the animals - It was always fun. People have strange pets you never knew about. Water day - Building elaborate rivers in the playground played to my strengths and interests. The school class trips also provided a way to double/triple down on learning from your peers. What are you doing now professionally and for fun? I just finished a PhD in Economics at Rice University. I specialized in Labor Economics. My dissertation looked at how we should think about the type of jobs you might find at a retail store like the Gap. Employees might face different schedules each week and the hours, pay, and days worked often vary substantially. I now work in Washington, DC as a financial economist for the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)

which provides insurance and some regulation for the US banking system. I work with the policy and research group with particular interests in access to banking services and economic inclusion. Part of my job is to figure out what kind of data the government should be collecting and then how to use that data to further its goals while (hopefully) minimizing the burden on businesses and individuals. Going to graduate school is a good way to lose all of your hobbies but I enjoy cycling, baking bread, and the "occasional" well-crafted cocktail. I share the latter two hobbies on a weekly basis with friends I made at St. Stephen's well over 12 years ago. Perhaps, that is what small classes and the opportunity to form close relationships will get you…Could just be they like freshly baked bread. How does your Montessori education affect how you work with people or projects? It builds a respect for your environment, self-motivated and self-directed learning, and a focus on what interests you. I still think people learn (relatively) more from their peers than they do from their parents, teachers, bosses, etc. My parents set up my home environment incorporating some Montessori principles and I can't imagine not doing the same for any future progeny. On a less serious note, I do still mentally append "wipe down all the plants" to every chore list I make. If I had any rugs, I'd probably roll them up too. Do you keep up with any classmates from St. Stephen’s? I continue to keep in close contact with several alums. I can say that whenever I bump into old classmates from almost any grade level (more common than you would expect around Houston) we almost always recognize each other. Even looking through yearbooks, I can still remember many names just from the faces. What didn’t we ask you that we should have? Do I plan to send my hypothetical children to a Montessori school? Certainly!

A Note From Jerri I am thrilled to be a bulldog! There is nothing more long lasting and impactful in a child’s life than a school experience matched with their stage of development and incorporating character development in a deep and meaningful way. My Episcopal upbringing is heavily influence by St. Mark’s in Woodbine, Ga, a small, one-stop-light coastal town, and the Harry Pritchett years at All Saints in Atlanta. When I was 20, I thought I wanted to be a Rector but my mother said I cursed too much. Years later I have come to believe, as do many of my peers, that that a Head of School is very similar to being a minister. I love finally bringing together Episcopal identity and progressive school leadership. In my work this year, I will be watching, listening, and asking many questions. I ponder things by nature and, fortunately best practice in transition is to take a year to take it all in and think about it a while. I will be doing that with an eye toward church/school campus life, the processes and procedures that will keep our children safe and those procedures that keep the little things the little things rather than becoming big things. I am excited to actively build a partnership and forge bonds with our Rector, which will bind us together as we embrace the future and prepare for the next generation of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and School. I am proud to be part of that work. My family is proud that I am part of that work. And I look forward to building the bridge to the future with you. - Jerri



September 19, 2018 | 9:30 a.m. Please join us for the Installation of


as Head of School at

St. Stephen’s Episcopal

entering a new era

GENERAL CONVENTION CHURCH RECAP AND REFLECTION The energy among laity and clergy at General Convention was a mixture of excitement and joy about seeing longtime friends and colleagues, hearing homilies, talks, and discussions on a variety of significant and timely issues facing the Church, as well as tension. Some of these issues held an enormous amount of complexity bringing the fear of embittered fighting and fracture to the surface. The committees and subcommittees meeting over the course of the two weeks listened to passionate testimony from many, laity and clergy alike, and took the task of discussing resolutions and amending, adding, removing, and voting on final forms seriously and in most cases, efficiently. The biggest topic at hand for the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops were the resolutions that called for revision of the Book of Common Prayer. Requests for revision ranged from calls for inclusive or expansive language, revision of our baptismal covenant to include care of creation as one of our vows, the addition of or removal of certain men and women from our calendar of saints, and translation of the BCP into more languages. Reactions to these resolutions included full support all the way to no support for revision. Conversations around revision abounded with people wondering if now is the right time to revise, or if the Church could handle this conversation at this time, or if revision was even necessary. Most interestingly, underneath these conversations was a quieter, gentler, yet urgent question: what do these revisions mean to a Church that skews older? Will revision pull in millennials and Generation Z? Does the language of our prayer matter if future generations in the Church do not walk through our doors, or even cross our parking lots? This question was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. We talked around it, we whispered about it, and Bishops stopped young people (youth and young adults alike) to ask, “What do young people want the Church to know about

them and their spiritual needs?” Yet, resolutions about the formation of these younger generations for leadership in the Church, lay and clergy, did not come to the floor of the HoD or HoB. Both houses received and applauded the Official Youth Presence and the Young Festival participants to welcome us to the 79th General Convention, and Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry and HoD President, Gay Jennings, both took the time to speak with us about the Church, General Convention and in what direction we hoped the Church would move, and what we see bubbling up in the Church now. These conversations were timely, honest, and necessary. Many young people, particularly young adults, requested that true efforts be made in each diocese to expand the age representation of deputations both for clergy deputies as well as lay, which would help to ensure younger people help shape the future of the Church. I can only hope that these conversations will effect voting results for deputies in future diocesan councils as we prepare for the 80th General Convention in Baltimore in 2021. What became clear to me at Convention is the need for diocesan involvement from the youngest of us to the oldest because we need the connection to tradition and wisdom of our elders but we are also called to set our faces toward the future and hear the needs and innovations of young people if we want continued as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.

Ryan Hawthorne St. Stephen’s Church & School Interim Director of Spiritual Life Youth Missioner Director of the da Vinci Lab

About the General Convention The General Convention is the governing body of the Episcopal Church. The Convention is a bicameral legislature that includes the House of Deputies, which has more than 800 members, and the House of Bishops, which is comprised of nearly 300 active and retired bishops. The Convention meets every three years.

F I V E Q U E S T I O N S F O R Nahla Nasser

F I V E Q U E S T I O N S F O R Nahla Nasser

Nahla Nasser Principal, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Nahla TX Nasser Houston,

Principal, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School YOU WERE BORN Houston, TXIN LEBANON. WHEN AND

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES? YOU WERE BORN IN LEBANON. WHEN AND Nahla Nasser I never imagined leaving my home country, WHY DID YOUCivil DECIDE TO COME TO THEwith students but the Lebanese War changed everyat St. Stephen’s thing. I lived in Tripoli and commuted 43 Episcopal School UNITED STATES? miles by bus to attend the university in Nahla Nasser I never imagined leaving my home country, Beirut. On February 26, 1975, I remember with students but the Lebanese Civil War changed everygunfire erupting across Beirut as I headed at St. Stephen’s thing. Itolived andAscommuted 43 Episcopal School downtown catch in myTripoli bus home. luck would haveby it, bus a family appeared out miles to friend attend the university in of Beirut. nowhere On andFebruary delivered me safely home 1981, 26, 1975, I rememberI interto my family. viewed and toured gunfire erupting across Beirut as I headed Time passed, and I got married and had at Palmer Montessori School, which was teachers, students, and parents. In 2006, I to Lebanon catch my home. As mydowntown first child, but wasbus still unstasoonluck to become St. Stephen’s Episcopal completed my master’s degree in Education would it, aMustapha, family friend appeared outI was totally amazed to see children Montessori Integrative Learning. ble. As myhave husband, and I took School. ourofson, Ady, to the doctor for his firstme immuat 18 months nowhere and delivered safelyworking homeindependently, 1981, even I internization, I had déjà vu as gunfire erupted in old, and treating each other with respect. I YOU HAVE OVERCOME MANY ROADBLOCKS to my family. viewed and toured downtown Tripoli. A few days later, Musta- had never even heard of Montessori before AND MUCH ADVERSITY. WHAT WOULD Time me, passed, and I got married had seen at classrooms Palmer Montessori which wasWITHteachers, students, an pha asked “Do you want to go to the and YOU LIKE TO SHARE OTHERS FACING and never like this. ThatSchool, my first child, but blinking Lebanon unstasoonof to Stephen’s Episcopal completed my master’ United States?” Without an was eye, Istillwas OBSTACLES? the beginning my become Montessori St. journey, said, “Yes!” and I still work at St. Stephen’s to this day. In 2001, had an unexpected surprise. IIntegrative was ble. As my husband, Mustapha, and I took School. I was totally amazed to seeIchildren Montessori diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. I conour son, Ady, to the doctor for his first immu- working independently, even at 18 months HOW WAS THE ADJUSTMENT TO LIFE IN THE tinued to work, only taking days off during DESCRIBE YOUR PATH TO MONTESSORI nization, I had déjà vu as gunfire erupted in old, and treating each other with respect. I YOU HAVE OVERCOME M UNITED STATES? chemotherapy. The hardships I endured as EDUCATION, INCLUDING YOUR WORK AS Tripoli. days and later, AMustahad never even AND heard of Montessori AND MUCH ADVERSITY. In downtown Lebanon, I lived closeAtofew my family an immigrantbefore and battling cancer changed TEACHER, TEACHER EDUCATOR, perspective on life. My advice had never beenme, away“Do from you them. WhentoI goSCHOOL pha asked want to thePRINCIPAL. YOU LIKEforTOgoing SHARE WI and never seen classroomsmylike this. That got to the U.S., I remember crying every I began teaching at St. Stephen’s at the through challenges in life is to first accept United States?” Without blinking an eye, I was the beginning of my Montessori journey, OBSTACLES? day. I was fluent in Arabic and French but Primary level and absolutely loved it! It just the situation, then arm yourself with comsaid, “Yes!” and I still work at St. Stephen’s to this day. In 2001, I had an unex spoke little English. So, I spent the first year made sense to me to follow the child and passion and respect. Being present, having diagnosed with Stage 2 at home raising Ady and teaching myself respect children for who they are. I remem- hope, and doing your best will eventually English, husband worked twoTO jobs. wondering why everyone take you to the next stage, whatever is. only t HOW while WAS my THE ADJUSTMENT LIFE ber IN THE tinued to that work, DESCRIBE YOUR didn’t PATH use TO MONTESSORI On those days when I felt sorry for myself, I figured we would return to Lebanon when this method. Next, I was intrigued to take UNITED STATES? chemotherapy. The ha EDUCATION, INCLUDING YOUR WORK AS the country settled and peace returned. Lower Elementary training and taught for 7 I would cry and acknowledge my sadness, In Lebanon, I lived close to my family and A TEACHER, TEACHER EDUCATOR, AND an immigrant and bat However, our roots got deeper, we had two years. What do you think happened next? but then I would make myself snap out of perspective SCHOOL hadchildren, never Hala beenand away fromhere them. When I I had I strive to make a on life more Ali, and we Of course, to takePRINCIPAL. Upper Elementary it and try to be difference inat thethe world by connecting with training, I taughtteaching the longest.atI was are, in Iour adopted home through challenges in got38toyears thelater, U.S., remember crying everywhich I began St. Stephen’s of day. Houston. also recruited, in 1991, to be a teacher people and respecting them for who they I was fluent in Arabic and French but Primary level and absolutely loved it! It just the situation, then arm educator at Houston Montessori Center, a are. I am filled with gratitude, and I try to spoke little English. So, I spent the first year made sense to me to follow the child and passion and respect. B position I still hold. I enjoy sharing my expe- bring out the best in children, teachers, and WHEN AND WHERE DID YOU FIRST respect children for who are.inIgeneral. remem- hope, and doing your at homeMONTESSORI? raising Ady and teaching rience myself ENCOUNTER with rising teachers, and it allows me they people English, while in myFrench husband worked jobs.sharpening ber wondering everyone didn’t use take you to the next st I had a background literature and two to “keep my saw” as anwhy educator, was a French teacher in Lebanon. After stayto use Stephen Covey’s metaphor. In 2002, I intrigued If you knowtosomeone we days shouldwhen I Onthink those I figured we would return to Lebanon when this method. Next, I was take you ing home for a year, I began searching for was given the opportunity to be an adminis- feature in Five Questions, email Carey Jones the country settled and peace returned. Lower Elementary training and taught for 7 I would cry and ackno a teaching position, as well as a school for trator at St. Stephen’s. In my current role as at However, roots gotIn deeper, we had two years. What do you think happened next? but then I would mak Ady, who was our 2 years old. September school principal, I deeply appreciate serving

more children, Hala and Ali, and here we Of course, I had to take Upper Elementary it and try to be positiv are, 38 years later, in our adopted home training, which I taught the longest. I was difference in the worl FALL 2018 17 This feature was originally published in Montessori Life Magazine (Fall 2018), the American Montessori Society’s of Houston. also recruited, in 1991, to be a teacher people and respectin award-winning quarterly publication. The article below has been reprinted with permission of the publisher, American educator at Houston Montessori Center, a are. I am filled with g Montessori Society. position I still hold. I enjoy sharing my expe- bring out the best in ch WHEN AND WHERE DID YOU FIRST

Endowment Fund St. Stephen's Church

Are you familiar with the St. Stephen’s Endowment Fund? The St. Stephen’s Endowment Fund exists to support the church and its ministries in perpetuity. Established as a separate nonprofit organization from the Church, the Endowment Fund is led by a board of St. Stephen’s parishioners, appointed by the vestry, to oversee the management, growth, and use of the fund. Today’s board consists of John Adams, The Rev. Lisa Hunt, Peter Lovely, Mary Murray, John Siegel, Lucie Tredennick and Max Zimmerman. The Endowment Fund was largely seeded with about $400,000 from sale of the rectory in the early 1980s. The original corpus has grown to $1.1 million through careful management and discerning distribution decisions over the years. As Episcopalians, we believe in socially responsible investing, and the Endowment Fund Board has policies to consider each asset in our portfolio. For instance, we divested of tobacco companies and strip mining. As an endowment, the fund should exist in perpetuity to support St. Stephen’s Church. This goal is accomplished in three ways: 1. The Endowment Board gifts only a portion of Fund’s value each year so that the corpus can continue to grow. Currently, the Endowment contributes $45,000 annually to the operating funds of the Church 2. The Board engages professional advisors to grow the Fund’s assets over time with investment decisions. 3. The Board welcomes new gifts to the Endowment through bequests and through memorial or honorary gifts. From time to time, the Board directs Endowment income to support special projects. For example, the Endowment Fund supported the initiation of St. Stephen’s mission enhancement in the following ways: • $15,000 grant for the purchase of a quadriplex on Driscoll Street (behind the Candy Bar) • $20,000 grant for funding of campus plan study • $42,000 loan for capital campaign planning expenses • $192,000 extension of credit to fund initial capital campaign activities As part of the meetings to invite support the capital campaign, we have also invited our community to consider St. Stephen’s in their wills or estate plans. Gifts can directed as parishioners

desire, either to St. Stephen’s Church, care of the Vestry to meet operating or special needs, or directly to the St. Stephen’s Endowment Fund to support the church in perpetuity. Through this process of invitation, a dozen parishioners have shared their intentions to leave a bequest to St. Stephen’s Church or to the Endowment Fund. In total, these promised gifts exceed $1 million – having the power to double the Endowment Fund. Everyone is invited to make a lasting commitment to St. Stephen’s in his or her will or beneficiary designations, and we encourage you to let us know your intentions, so that we might acknowledge your generosity now. It also is critical to ensure your intentions are met after your death. By making a gift through your estate to St. Stephen’s, you ensure that the values you held in life – support of your faith and ministries, continue in perpetuity. There are many ways to make a gift in your estate – from naming St. Stephen’s as a beneficiary of your retirement funds upon your death, to gifting a percentage of your estate, to leaving St. Stephen’s your home or mineral interests. Some gifts require advance planning –such as donation or real property. You will find an “Estate Letter of Intent” on the Church’s website or you can call the Church Office at 713.528.6665. For questions about making a planned gift, please contact Karen Soh, Director of Advancement at or 713.821.9102.

Strategic Ministry Plan Update ST. STEPHEN'S CHURCH

Every year as the summer comes to a close and fall begins there is a sense of a return to normalcy. Vacations have come and gone. Suntans are at their most prominence. Students and teachers are returning to their classrooms. The rhythms of the majority of the year go in to effect again. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is no different. The students and faculty of our day school have returned and are settling into another great year. Many of you have returned from vacations and trips over the summer months. And as everyone returns and reestablishes our normal rhythms, what you may find this fall is that things are not exactly as you left them. Over the last several months, the Vestry, staff, and other members of the congregation have come together to begin the implementation work of the Strategic Ministry Plan and its five strategic objectives: 1) Organization, 2) Church/ School Relations, 3) Demographic Gaps, 4) Growth, and 5) Invite, Welcome, Connect, Reconnect. As you will remember, this plan was carefully developed by dozens of members of the congregation over an eighteen month period to help the church courageously move forward in its mission and follow where the Spirit was leading St. Stephen’s. One of the things you will notice right off the bat is new paint in the narthex, gathering area, and hallway. There are beautiful new banners on the Alabama St. side of the nave. Some staff members have moved to new office spaces and new spaces have been created. All of this work has been done to bring about better alignment with the goals of our strategic ministry objectives. A team has been called together and are meeting weekly to work through the goals of the Organization objective. This team, comprised of vestry members, staff, and congregants are working to bring better organizational alignment for maximum effectiveness of staff and lay ministry leadership. They are also ensuring we are thinking ethically and theologically about our work and how we treat those who serve. One other place you will see changes is in our formation offerings this fall. We greatly value and honor those who have been teaching our wonderful formation classes. We are thankful for their ministry and the great commitment they have given to our community. We also recognize the changing demographics of our church and greater community and want to ensure we are meeting the needs of all. So in that effort we are experimenting with new classes for whole families and individuals. We hope you will be enriched by these new offerings and enjoy them. These are exciting times for St. Stephen’s Church as we continue to follow the leading of the Spirit into the mission and vision given us.

Ryan Beaty St. Stephen’s Church Missioner for Congregational Development

BUILDING AND GROUNDS REPORT The Building and Grounds Committee took full advantage of this year’s first quarter assessment work and initiated a number of projects with the approval of the governing bodies to address multiple areas to improve safety, security, and the experience of all campus users. These projects included assessment of and recommendation for our campus-wide mechanical systems with attention to our electrical power supply infrastructure, improvement to our main garden entrance to improve security and safety, improvement of our campus exterior and interior lighting, painting of the Gathering Area, main administrative hallway, Pecore Hall, Monro Building, and multiple school buildings on Sul Ross Street, and campus-wide improvement of the landscaping. We completed the roofing of area covering the Gathering Area and the Christian Education Building. The projects were funded with capital campaign and school operating budget funds. The last quarter of the year the committee will focus on refining our Asset Life Extension (ALE) list to insure we identify critical projects that must be addressed due to their effect on campus users and sustainability of the buildings. Based upon the revised ALE, we will make recommendations to the governing bodies for their review and approval as we look at the next budget cycle. Dwight Wolf St. Stephen’s Church Chair - Building & Grounds Committee


2032 W Alabama St.


Houston, Texas 77098




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ABOUT LAM BESPOKE “To know your future, you must know your past.” – George Santayana Like most refugees of war torn countries, Hien and Hong Lam immigrated to America with the hope that an unwavering work ethic could create opportunities for education and success. After nearly thirty years of serving the Greater Houston area, their business, Hien Lam Upholstery, continues to be a trusted source for those wanting to preserve furnishings of quality or sentimental value. They are honored to call Houston home and thankful to be part of its social fabric. Following in his parents footsteps, Patrick and his wife Cathy opened LAM BESPOKE in 2011. “LAM” honors the family name while “BESPOKE” is a nod to the high degree of customization available on their line of locally made, upholstered furnishings. Thoughtfully curated, their offerings are decidedly new traditional. Classic and modern forms are paired to keep the mix interesting, while a smattering of vintage pieces adds gravitas. A destination for design savvy clients and industry partners such as architects, decorators and interior designers, LAM BESPOKE has been a well kept secret. . . until, perhaps, now. After six years in the Upper Kirby area of Houston, they now have a second location in Memorial. Whether your project requires customization or you’re just looking to feather your nest, the teams at Upper Kirby and Memorial Green are available to serve your needs.

PARTNER HIGHLIGHT COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. STEPHEN'S SCHOOL Community Partnerships are essential to help support the academic success of our students and families. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Partners support the school by donating INFORMATION resources, volunteering, COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP SHEET and sponsoring. If you Community to help support the academic success of our families. St. Stephen’s Episcopal partners support the school by arePartnerships interestedare in essential becoming a Partner, please reach out to thestudents school and at donating resources, volunteering, and sponsoring. If you would be interested in becoming a partner, please reach out to the school at

We thrive because of We thethrive generous support from our neighbors and Community Partners! because of the generous support from our neighbors and community partners!


Bulldog $500 •

Gold $300 •

Silver $150 •

Digital Web/Social Media Sign “Proud Sponsor of St. Stephen’s Episcopal”

Ad in school electronic newsletter (sent to over 300 contacts)




Promotional information available in School Front Office

All year

4 months

1 month

Facebook Ad/Shout out (over 720 followers)




Color ad in school musical playbill

Full page

Half page

Article spotlight feature and half page ad in school print newsletter



Tickets to attend the Spring Festival, Saturday, April 6, 2019

2 tickets

Logo on School Spring Festival Shirt

Vinyl Community Partner Sign “Proud Sponsor of St. Stephen’s Episcopal”

Table at PTO events to share promotional information Special invitation for you and your guest to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon – May 2019



Updated: June 4, 2018


SOUTHLAND HARDWARE THE STORE THAT HAS Almost EVERYTHING 1822 Westheimer • Houston, TX 77098 • 713-529-4743 • 832-834-5443 fax shop online @ • Mon-Sat 8-6pm and Sun 9-5pm

Amanda Bohl


New Faculty & Staff

Teacher's Assistant Primary 1

Cristina Palma Diaz Spanish Instructor Elementary - 8th Grade

Haya Harmouche

Math & Science Instructor 7th & 8th Grade

Tiffany Segrist

Teacher's Assistant Primary 2

Ricardo Vargas

Wellness Instructor Orientation - 8th Grade

Annie Wild

Theatre Instructor Bulldog 360

St Stephen's Episcopal School

Join the PTO for the first meeting of the 2018-19 school year! Monday, September 17 at 6 p.m. Pecore Hall (Gym) (meetings will last aprox. 45 min) RSVP for childcare online! For more information:

BRING YOUR PETS ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7 8:30 A.M. & 10:30 A.M. SERVICES Blessing of the Animals is a special ceremony in remembrance of Saint Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. We celebrate this day in October and invite all of the St. Stephen’s Church and School community to bring their pets for Sunday service and individual pet blessings by the clergy. Please bring your pet on a leash or in a carrier.

St. Stephen's Weekend Away at Camp Allen SAVE THE DATE: NOVEMBER 9 - 11 This retreat will be a special time for families and friends of the St. Stephen's Church and School community with opportunities to kayak, ride horses, hike, and much more. Stay all three days, stay the night, or come up for an afternoon! Look for information on the website.

About Building Community Building Community is a church and school publication. This publication is available in both print and electronic forms. Paper copies are made available in the front

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church + School 1805 W. Alabama | Houston, Texas 77098

office. Please submit letters, articles, photos, and/or suggestions to

Phone (713) 821-9100

Fax (713) 821-9156

or at



Building Community - Sept. 2018  
Building Community - Sept. 2018