Stephentown Federated Church

1513 Garfield Road, Stephentown, NY     518-733-5813




Stephentown Federated Church

1513 Garfield Road, Stephentown, NY




Devotions by Bonnie & Music by Bev

December 2023

Breath of Heaven

   (Play as you read the devotional.)

The Unexpected Gifts

It’s early afternoon, and the snow is falling, lightly and quietly, covering the ground with a white blanket. The pine cones, like the fall leaves have fallen to the ground. Yet surprisingly, there are plenty of pine cones still held by the high pines that encircle our yard.

As I Stand at my kitchen window, I am marvel over the magnolia tree outside, which is stripped of every leaf. And yet what’s amazing to me is our God has already prepared this tree for the spring.

The limbs of the magnolia tree are covered in pointed green buds, covered this afternoon in white snow. The cardinals, bluejays, titmice, and redheaded woodpeckers, that I’ve shared before in our devotions, are waiting their turns to cruise down to the feeders.

The stillness this day centers me, moving me quietly to my grandfathers rocking chair, near the side kitchen window. He always had gum drops in his pocket, as he held me in his lap rocking to the rhythm of the birds outside.

It is a precious gift that while embracing the awesome beauty God has blessed is with on Hand Hill Road, His gift also brings to mind another place of beauty my grandfather’s home.

May we all find unexpected gifts in this month of Christmas. Not only the ones wrapped in sparkling paper, but God’s unexpected gift, wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

May we celebrate and know the tender touch of Christ during this Christmas season as He watches over us, as we travel to visit loved ones.

May we daily rest in His care throughout the coming years, knowingHe is within us and cares for each one of us in His infinite abiding love.



July 2023

God of Wonders

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Morning fog was lifting

This morning fog was lifting off the mountains, it was still and quiet. God and I walked in silence, stopping now and again to marvel at the Queens Ann lace and the tiger lilies. Wait, Queens Ann’s Lace and Tiger Lilies, how can it be the middle of summer already. Yet the morning sun, shining on the tall pine trees, lightening the woods around us, holds the surprises of the animals that will walk out into the yard this evening.

First however, our resident bear showed up yesterday morning, meandering through our quiet side lawn. He quickly headed out on the dirt road, off to some unknown adventure. Early evening one deer very interested in the apple tree, heard our voices to move on. He meandered to the upper part of the back yard and after eating strawberries, laid down and rested for well over two hours. Other deer came and left, while the evening sky line turned pink, orange and shades of blues and purple; all from Gods colorful pallet of heavenly paint.

As we watch in silence we our overwhelmed by this place were God has brought us. As I think of our congregation I am reminded of the sacred places in which God has brought many of us to live. I am humbled by such quiet beauty among us all.

May we daily, hourly give thanks for the gracious gift given by our Creator and Redeemer!

A verse from Thomas Aquinas

Grant me, I beseech you,
O merciful God, prudently to
study, rightly to understand
and perfectly to fulfill that
which is pleasing to you,
to the praise and glory
of your name. Amen.

Blessings, bonnie


May 2023

8 in the Garden_ Knowing You

   (Play as you read the devotional.)

It is a glorious day and I’m sitting in my Meditation Garden. It is a sacred spot in our lawn under a maple tree. The maple tree is sporting a canopy of new leaves, shading me from the brilliant sun. As I sit here listening to the songs of many birds, I am humbled by Gods grace in my life.

The stone walk way leading me to the huge rocks of this place of quiet, are different colors and shape. One stone on the path has a verse. “Never go faster than your guardian angel can fly.” That struck me deep in my heart today. My world for this year is stillness. It is perhaps the most difficult word yet to obey. However it is teaching me to slow down. To be still and listen, waiting patiently for my guardian angel, when situations in my life come knocking at my door.

I believe we all need to slow down and allow our guardian angels to gently guide us through the paths God has already planned for each of our lives. Blessings my friends.



April 2023

Creation Sings the Father’s Song

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Out My Kitchen Window

I stood at my Kitchen window looking out at the red cardinal and his mate on the feeder in the Magnolia tree. Suddenly I realized what was happening.

The sage green pointed bulbs that have stood through the winter are breaking open. Tender white blossoms pushing through the sage. Some are open, others shooting our of their sage green bulbs in pinks and white. But that’s not all! The rosie red finch’s are waiting their turn with the yellow finches and Junco’s, and others. All of them eager to fly from the magnolia tree to the bird feeders all around the house.

It’s a glorious day, the mountain tree’s are bursting in white, orange, purple, and red buds. Gods gift of spring is bursting open and we are humbled to be in this sanctuary.

As I write this short devotion, there is a symphony of birds singing from the tree tops, happy to be part of God’s creation. May we daily give thanks to the beauty all around us, thanking God as well for the evening sunsets that close our evenings.

Blessings, bonnie


February 2023

Shine Jesus Shine

   (Play as you read the devotional.)

Shine Jesus Shine

Let’s go back to Christmas morning. Your probably thinking, what’s the matter with bonnie, especially since this morning before my morning walk, our thermometer was reading past 40 degrees to 50.

On our Christmas Morning service as I passed by the piano to the choir, I looked at the votives we had used to process into the Candle Light service the night before. There it was, an over powering epiphany. Twelve of the votives had burned wicks from the night before. Yet there was one votive, the thirteenth votive had not been lit and it stood ready to do Christ’s bidding. That pure white wick spoke to me about Jesus’ call to each of us to light our wick and bring His light into the world.

This past Sunday, Pastor Chris before the beginning of worship, was considering a change of format in our bulletin. His question was should his last gift in our worship service, be his carrying the altar candle down the isle and out into the world! It seemed to the few gathered round, his concern was warranted. Ever thoughtful for our community, Pastor Chris brings to us a precedent that we too need to consider and follow. As we walk through the church doors on Sunday morning may we too carry out the light of Christ into our world.

Our world is indeed in need of the shining light Christ calls us to carry out into the world! Jesus speaks of our life showing other people to find God and how to live for Him in Mark 4: 21. “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed to shut out the light? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.”