Congregation To Bid Farewell To Associate Minister, Wife

Neighbors/ Severna Park

July 25, 1991|By Joni Guhne

THE OLD SAYING — "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it" -- is no longer true. This summer, we're all taking an active role: We're sweating.


During a day filled with farewell celebrations this Sunday, the congregation of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church will say goodbye totwo people very dear to its heart: the Rev. Timothy S. Stern and hiswife, Sandy Smolnicky Stern.

The couple is leaving Severna Park in order for the former associate minister to start a new church in Odenton.

After Tim graduated from Union Seminary in New York City six years ago, the young couple arrived at Woods, where Tim began his first full-time assignment. Although he has left a lasting impression on the entire church community, it is through his work with young people that he will be missed the most.

Kathy Romano, who, along withher husband, Tony, has been a youth leader at Woods, said that attendance at the evening youth groups grew from less than a dozen teens anight to more than 50 or 60 after Tim's arrival.

Stern began a hands-on mission group called Woods Work for high school students and Wood Ties for junior high. Woods Work just returned from this summer'sproject in Lake City, Mich., where during a five-day stay, 83 adultsand teen-agers from Severna Park constructed two homes from the ground up, including wiring and plumbing.

These trips offer the kids achance to really live their Christianity, said Romano, who was a member of the volunteer group.

Mrs. Stern is a legislative advocate on children's issues, working to provide alternatives to institutionalization for children who can't live at home.

The Sterns are parents of two children, James, 3, and Sarah, 1.


About the same time that the group from Woods was on its mission trip, three members ofSt. Martins in the Field Episcopal Church were on their way to Haiti.

In Miami, Jeremy Davies, 16, and Chris Luttrell, who will turn 16 next Tuesday, and their adult partner, Condict Stevenson, boarded aplane for Port-au-Prince. Their final destination was the village ofGros Morne, where their mission assignment was to assist villagers in rebuilding ceilings at the La Resurrection school.

The Haitian Association of Episcopal Schools is under the direction of the Rev. Wectnick Paul, priest in charge of La Resurrection parish and school.

Chris says the last five miles of the journey was by car over a road that was paved only for the last mile. On top of that, he says, theHaitian version of a seat belt is to jam as many people in the seat as possible so that no one will bounce out.

Making matters worse, temperatures in the arid, mountainous region were unbearably hot, says Jeremy.

Anticipating the culture shock, but expecting villagers to speak French, the biggest surprise was to discover that the nativelanguage was Creole (a dialect of French or Spanish).

Communication with the adults was accomplished mostly through hand signals, but the children had little problem since they study English as a second language in school. Both teen-agers were able to learn some French.

With 12 other American volunteers, the local trio worked for more than a week rehabilitating the school. Since the only available tools were very primitive, the Americans had to rethink their techniques tobe able to work alongside the villagers.

Jeremy and Chris, both students at Severna Park High School, found that everyone got along very well despite the hardships of living in a Third World culture.

Two diverse young men, Jeremy dreams of owning his own restaurant, and Chris hopes to become a marine biologist. Both came away feeling they were much the better for this experience.


The 10th Annual Hospice Cup Sailing Race will be Saturday, Sept. 14.

This annual fall event benefits six hospices: our own Arundel Hospice; Calvert Hospice; Hospice of Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis); Prince George's and Montgomery counties hospices; and Hospice of Northern Virginia.

Money raised from the race will be distributed according to how much each hospice solicits. Unlike some care centers that are underthe financial umbrella of a major institution, Arundel Hospice is totally dependent on the community for support.

In last week's column, we paid tribute to out-going Arundel Hospice head Beverly Bassfordand welcomed incoming Executive Director Lars Egede-Nissen. But we omitted dozens of generous volunteers without whom there would be no local hospice.

Those who were involved say its formation was definitely a group effort.

In 1978, Dr. James Benjamin, Mary Ellen Blondell, Dr. Lorraine Dailey, Fran Grauch, Norman Lambert and registered nurse Martha O'Herlihy met weekly to discuss bringing hospice-type care to critically ill adults in Anne Arundel County.

Through the work of this committee and generosity of business people, in October 1980 an office was opened on Benfield Road.

To reach Arundel Hospice, call 987-2003.


Here's an exciting statistic:

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