Parishioners at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlborough, welcomed a new pastor earlier this month, and the warmth of that welcome has brought joy to Pastor Rheanna Goodrich and her family as they settle in to their new home in Marlborough. “The call has been amazing so far,” says Pr Rheanna. “The congregation has been so welcoming to our family, and super supportive.”
At St. Stephen, the new pastor is “looking forward to getting to know everybody here, working with people to figure out what comes next.” Her focus is both the church and the Marlborough-Hudson community. She notes that “a lot of people don’t know Jesus, a loving, benevolent God. There is so much pain and brokenness.” The call of the church, she says “is to help heal.”
Pr Rheanna comes to SSLC from Michigan, where she has spent the major portion of her life, but New England is also in her background. Born in Montana, she lived with her parents and sister in New Hampshire from age 2 to Grade 4, and has fond memories of outdoor activities. “We ran around in the woods all the time and loved playing outside.”
Her family attended Baptist and Episcopal churches, but she came back to her Lutheran roots in Michigan during her high school years. Her faith was important, but Pr. Rheanna didn’t realize then that it would become her vocation and went on to earn a BS in English with a focus in Creative Writing at Central Michigan University. After graduation, “I quickly realized I needed a job and went into business,” she recalls of her time spent managing apartment complexes. “Then God got involved.”
Active in her congregation leading programs, and serving as council president, the thought of becoming a pastor emerged, but she was unsure “whether I wanted to take on the responsibility in my 20s.” She was now married - she and Mara will mark their 21st anniversary this summer. Talking with Mara and her pastor, eventually “there were enough signs that I couldn’t ignore it. This was in my heart.”
She enrolled in the five year program at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and daughter Kaili, now 12, was born during this time. Pr Rheanna accepted a first call to a church in Au Gres, MI, “a lovely, rural community experience,” and a second call to Bridgeport, MI, closer to Mara’s work.
Accepting her third call meant a move to Massachusetts for the family of three and four cats. “It is fabulous to be back in a place of diverse culture, people, language, and food,” she says. The family likes the outdoors, especially hiking, biking, and camping. Pr Rheanna also enjoys creative writing, including science fiction as well as poetry. Among many new and old adventures, she would love to try snowshoeing again, take Kaili to Hampton Beach, to experience it as she had as a child, and all three would like to explore Salem, and the history of a very distinct era.
“We were looking for a new adventure,” Pr. Rheanna says with a smile, adding that “New England is a homecoming for me and had everything we were looking for.”
For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org) . The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Stow, and Bolton. Sunday worship is at 10 am, with Sunday School at 9.
Melanie Whapham, second front right, who delivered the completed kitchen kits to Fresh Start Furniture Bank, with Fresh Start volunteers, from left: Jocelyn Milton, Donna Zinck, Ann Cattarin, (Melanie Whapham), and Sarah Giansante.
Volunteers at St. Stephen Lutheran Church packed 22 bags with kitchen items for Fresh Start Furniture Bank. From left, Martha Domke, Peg Harbert, Paula Blomquist, Joni Schaulkhauser, and Melanie Whapham pause for a photo.
Members of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlboro, packaged 22 kitchen-themed welcome bags for clients of Fresh Start Furniture Bank, filled with cutting boards, measuring cups, strainers, mixing bowls, cooking utensils, and more, and delivered them this week, along with specialty items, ranging from baking pans and cookie sheets to toaster ovens and wire whisks. Extra and additional items filled another half-dozen bags, and boxes with small appliances topped off a rolling cart as volunteers transferred them from the church to a vehicle for delivery to the Hudson-based Fresh Start.
The project was made possible by donations from those who attended the recent jazz concert presented by The Rebecca Pagano Quartet as part of St. Stephen Presents, a quarterly musical program. Music lovers were asked to bring kitchen gadgets or small appliances as their admission fee to the well-attended event. Many also made cash contributions. More than $500 was donated. Another $500 from Thrivent Financial was used to purchase additional items people who are setting up new households might need. (Thrivent is a Fortune 500 financial services company that sponsors generosity programs; Thrivent members from St. Stephen applied for the funding for the Fresh Start kitchen kits.)
“We were delighted to partner with an organization as exciting as Fresh Start Furniture Bank,” said Martha Domke, who along with Melanie Whapham spearheaded the project through the church’s Social Ministry team. “Fresh Start has been very supportive of our efforts and we feel confident that the kits will go to deserving individuals and families. We look forward to working with them again in the future.”
“All of the volunteers at FSFB are happy, encouraging folks,” Melanie added. “It is hard not to catch their enthusiasm.” St. Stephen Lutheran Church has supported Fresh Start in a variety of projects over the years, she noted. A collection of small furniture pieces is a potential future endeavor.
For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org) . The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Stow, and Bolton. Sunday worship is at 10 am, with Sunday School preceding it at 9 am.
Jazz Quartet to Perform February 12 in Marlborough
For an afternoon of light jazz, there is no need to “Take the A Train.” Just show up at Saint Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton Street, Marlborough on Sunday, February 12 at 3 p.m. The Rebecca Pagano quartet, a group of well-known area musicians, will entertain with jazz standards.
The quartet will include Pagano, tenor sax/flute; Alexei Tsiganov, piano, John Hotchkiss, bass, and Charles Weller, drums. Although the final play list is not set, Rebecca indicated a working list includes Cheesecake, Ceora, There Will Never Be Another You, Alice in Wonderland, I Could Write a Book, Voce’ e Eu, Sunday Kind of Love, and I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart.
“I'm very grateful for this opportunity to bring my music to St. Stephen Luterhan Church and the greater Marlborough community,” Pagano said. “This band is cooking! We can't wait to bring some joy into everyone's day, and leave everyone with hearts and minds full of songs.”
Music lovers are asked to bring a donation to the Fresh Start Furniture Bank as their admission fee. NEW kitchen gadgets, such as Pyrex baking dishes, cookie sheets, mixing bowls and cutting boards would be especially welcome along with “gently used” small appliances such as hand mixers and toasters. Cash donations for Fresh Start will also be accepted. With a Valentine’s Day theme, refreshments will be available from 2:45-3 pm, during intermission, and after the concert.
All four jazz musicians not only perform locally and regionally but also teach their craft.
Saxophonist and flutist Rebecca Pagano has performed in concert halls and jazz venues throughout New England, including Sanders Theatre, Jordan Hall, Berklee’s David Friend Recital Hall, the POST Underground jazz club, and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Hotel. She is a founding member of the Boston-area District 5 Jazz Band. Rebecca earned both an M.M. and an M.M.Ed from The Boston Conservatory, and a B.M.E. from Indiana University. She currently studies jazz in New England Conservatory’s Continuing Education Jazz Program, improvisation with Mike Tucker, and teaches band, jazz band, and music at Wayland Middle School.
Alexei Tsiganov is a composer, pianist, vibraphonist and educator. At age seventeen he began playing at St. Petersburg Jazz Philharmonic Hall, the largest jazz club in the Soviet Union. After winning several competitions, in 1991 he came to the United States to continue his career in the motherland of jazz. He has appeared on WERS-Boston radio and WGBH-Boston. He studied with Gary Burton at Berklee College of Music, and at the New England Conservatory with Charlie Banacos and George Russell. Tsiganov performed solo and with his group in and around New England, well-known jazz clubs in New York City, and has toured throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Asia.
John Hotchkiss grew up in a musical household outside Chicago where he learned to play both jazz and classical double bass. Moving to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, he performed widely appearing with many jazz artists including Bruce Torff, Mark Kross, David Arteaga, Nat Simpkins, and Jennifer Hruska. He has performed in faculty recitals at the New England Conservatory and Berklee and with Rufus Reid of the Boston Bass Bash. John plays throughout New England as a member the District 5 Jazz Band. In the classical domain, he has served as principal bass for the Concord Orchestra, the New Philharmonia Orchestra, and MassOpera.
Charles Weller has worked extensively as a performer, composer and educator. He holds a B.M. from Berklee College of Music, and an M.M. from the New England Conservatory. A native Californian, Weller moved back west after college, where he shared the stage with such artists as Charles McPherson, Mike Wofford, Peter Sprague, Sinne Eeeg, and Gilbert Castellanos, and taught at San Diego State and Cal State San Marcos. Weller studied drums and percussion with Terri Lyne Carrington, Bob Moses, Billy Hart, and others. He currently resides in Boston, and is a faculty member for the New England Conservatory Jazz Prep and Continuing Education, where he teaches private lessons, ensembles, and jazz ear training.
The program is the second in a series of Performances at St. Stephen, with one concert offered each season. In the fall, a folk duo performed, and the spring program, still tentative, may feature piano, organ, and handbells.
Waiting until Christmas to open presents delivered weeks in advance can be a challenge, but a group of seafarers vowed to do just that when 31 packages of warm winter clothing and other gifts donated by St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlborough arrived in New Haven, CT where merchant marines were in port for a day.
Most people may not think about the shipment of such things as rebar and scrap metal, or even how home heating oil and imported wood get to their final destination, or the sailors whose efforts are a vital part of the process. Seafarers from all over the world are an integral part of bringing these, and other products for New Englanders into New Haven, CT. Seafarers are often isolated and lonely, sometimes without the means to contact family frequently, or purchase needed items while in port. Typical contracts put most at sea for 10 months a year, and they remain a largely forgotten population at the holidays.
Seafarers International House serves this population, and the people of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlborough, have responded for the past seven years by providing Christmas gifts of satchels filled with hand-knit hats and scarves, hooded sweatshirts, shirts, socks, cans of nuts and Christmas cards. This year, church members Melanie Whapham and Judy Kellogg of Marlborough traveled to New Haven to meet with Port Chaplain Ruth Setaro and deliver 31 satchels.
The visitors had the opportunity to meet some of the seafarers. “A crew from the COSMOS was in port for the day, leaving for India,” Melanie said. “These merchant marines will be the best color coordinated sailors on the seas.” The hand knit items matched wonderfully with the purchased sweatshirts and shirts, she noted. Chaplain Setaro said the sailors were very grateful for the packages. “They were so excited to get these gifts and promised they would wait until Christmas to open them.”
The need for additional warm, hand knit hats continues, and less than 2 weeks after an announcement in church, 30 more hand-knit hats had been donated.
Seafarers International House is an ecumenical mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to seafarers and sojourners, as well as people who are distressed, disadvantaged, and displaced. For more information, check out https:/www.sihnyc.org.
Seven Lutheran chaplains support the Seafarers Port Mission. When requested, they will board merchant marine ships to provide pastoral care and counseling. During the holidays, chaplains distribute the packages to ships that port in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia and southern New England that will be out at sea for Christmas.
For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org) . The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Stow, and Bolton.