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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 7, 2009

From pharmaceuticals, Scherck now to heal as priest

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — St. Boniface Episcopal Church will have a new priest on June 13, when Steven Scherck, currently a deacon, is ordained.

Last Sunday, the church celebrated Scherck as its new rector.

Scherck worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years before he decided to become a priest. He was always active in lay ministries in the church, he said, teaching Sunday school and vacation Bible school, and performing ministries in nursing homes and hospitals.

While participating in lay ministries, Scherk said, he felt a calling from the Lord to be ordained. He began seminary in 2001, in distance-learning courses through Whitfield Theological Seminary in Florida, and St. Andrews Theological Seminary in North Carolina, completing the schooling in seven years.

“A lot of people who enter seminary essentially drop out of life and complete it in three years,” said Scherk. “I couldn’t do that because I have a family, with three kids, to support.” Scherck and his wife, Robin, have two sons, and one daughter. His family was extremely supportive of his decision, said Scherck.

Scherck grew up in New Jersey in a Presbyterian family. He belonged to an Episcopal church when he lived in Connecticut, but was a member of a Presbyterian church for seven years, when he first moved to this area. He has lived in the Albany area for 12 years.

His theological training led him back to the Episcopal church, said Scherck. “I am especially drawn to the historical connection of the Episcopal church to the early church, and the emphasis they put on the sacraments,” he said.

Commenting on an Episcopalian issue that has made news headlines lately, the split regarding the acceptance of gay parishioners, Scherck said his views of homosexuality are consistent with the views of the Albany Diocese. “All are welcome,” said Scherck, an attitude he will bring to his new church.

St. Boniface was founded in 1961, as a mission project from St. Andrews in Albany, which had a good-sized following from Guilderland and Altamont. The first services were held at the Westmere firehouse, until the church was built in 1964. The church currently has over 150 parishioners.

Scherck said he is still trying to figure out what is best for St. Boniface, but he wants to have good pastoral oversight and institute a lot of outreach into the community. “I believe in a teaching and preaching system,” he said.

“My family and I are very excited, and feel very blessed to have been called to St. Boniface,” said Scherck.

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