VALENTINE CARE PACKAGE THANK YOU:  Saturday February 8th volunteers packed eighteen valentine bags and boxes for our college students and parishioners no longer able to get to church on a regular basis.  The packages were filled with delicious homemade cookies, a huge assortment of candies, personal notes of support and encouragement, and pocket prayer shawls, all generously donated by our parish family.  The packages are always gratefully received by the recipients.  You made their day!  Bless you all.

The Women’s Group will discuss Friendship at our meeting this Saturday, February 15 at 9:00 am in Fay Hall. How do friends differ according to how you met them? Old school chums? Co-workers? Neighbors? Met through a shared activity?  Met through your children or grandchildren? Met at church?  Come on Saturday with your thoughts on this very diverse subject. For more information contact Diana Michel.

MESSY CHURCH: Our next Messy Church event is Sunday, Feb. 16. We will gather at 4pm in the Parish Hall for activities, games, songs, a lesson, and a meal. All are welcome.

Pancake supper and bingoJoin us Feb. 25 for a night of Parish fun and festivity before we enter lent.  Join friends and family for a free pancake supper with Mardi Gras celebration and Bingo Evening to follow.  Stay for all or part of the event.  Invite your friends and neighbors to join us.  Better still bring them with you.  All ages welcome.  Pancakes served from 5:00 pm and the Bingo games start at 6:30pm

MARION WILE SCHOLARSHIP FUND: Completed applications are due by March 1. Application forms can be picked up in the parish office, and completed materials should also be returned directly to the parish office. Questions can be addressed to Fr. Jesse Abell.

Phone coverage needed for the parish office: We are looking for folks who would be willing to help out with phone coverage for the parish office on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-12.  The office/phone is usually pretty quiet during the week but having someone at the desk would ensure that visitors met a friendly face and phone calls were answered in a timely manner. Anyone interested in helping out, or for questions, please contact Sharyn Philcox.

CALL FOR PALMS:  If you still have palm branches from Palm Sunday last year, please bring them with you to church anytime in February.  We will burn these to make ashes for Ash Wednesday. 

JOSEPH ITALIAN FEAST & TABLE: Our annual St. Joseph Feast will take place on Saturday, March 21, at 6pm and our St. Joseph Table will soon be set up in the Parish hall. Please help fill it with canned food donations that will go to the Westborough Food Pantry. More information will be forthcoming but for questions, please see Glenn and/or Michele Mongeon.

MISSION AND OUTREACH DRIVE: We will be collecting travel size lotions and chapsticks in support of Mother Meredyth’s Ministry in Worcester throughout the month of February.  Please look for the donation basket in the parish hall.

HELP OUR LITTLE RED WAGON:  The Westboro Food Pantry thanks all of you who have been supporting them by donating to our “Little Red Wagon”. Their needs continue to grow with new people showing up every week. The needs now are personal care items and toiletries. Always remember, your donations do make a difference in people’s lives.

ALTAR FLOWERS: You can dedicate flowers in memory of or in thanksgiving for a loved one by signing up on the flower chart in the narthex. Put the envelope with the date you have chosen, the dedication and your check for the flowers in the Treasurer’s mailbox. (Requested offering: $75) Please make sure that the parish office has the information as well for the Sunday bulletin.

SANCTUARY LAMP: You can dedicate the Sanctuary Lamp in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving by signing up in the narthex. Put the envelope with the date you have chosen, the dedication and your check in the Treasurer’s mailbox just outside the church office. (Requested offering: $10) Please make sure that the parish office has the information as well for the Sunday bulletin. 

ARE YOU NEW TO ST. STEPHEN’S?: Welcome! If you are new to St. Stephen’s and you would like to join the parish, please see Fr. Jesse to learn more about how to do so. We’d love to include you in the next edition of the parish director

A great God Wink to Share

I had what I thought was the perfect recipe for making Valentine’s cookies for our St. Stephen’s Valentine’s packaging project. My daughter-in-law had made the cookies for Christmas, and they were so delicious that I asked for and received the recipe. I knew I was in trouble when the first cookie sheet came out of the oven and the cookies crumbled into bits when I removed them from the pan! Each subsequent pan of cookies did the same thing until I had a kitchen full of dirty bowls, utensils, cookie sheets, cooling racks, and a heap of cookie crumbs. They were delicious crumbs, but crumbs nonetheless. I put the bowl of crumbs aside, despairing that it had been a waste of ingredients and my time.

I needed cookies for the next day. What could I do?!? I found a recipe for chocolate-topped toffee bars that I knew would be less time consuming than making another batch of cookies and set about making them. The recipe called for chopped nuts on top, but I knew that adding nuts was an allergy hazard, so I searched my kitchen cupboards for a substitute. Ding, Ding, Ding! It dawned on me that I could use the crispy, buttery cookie crumbs for the topping, and that is just what I did. More inspiration! I found a box of waxed paper sandwich bags and accompanying stickers that had been languishing in a drawer, since we no longer have school children at home, with which to wrap the squares. The stickers contained uplifting messages, perfect for Valentine’s Day, too.

I was saved! It was another God Wink, thanks be to God! —–Anne Deysher