Reconciled in Christ Welcome Statement

We welcome all who are seeking God’s love and grace. We welcome all because God welcomes all, regardless of race or culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or relationship status. We welcome all without regard to addictions, physical or mental health, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances, or anything that too often divides us. Our unity is in Christ.”

Approved at the January 2020 Congregational Meeting

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost – August 1, 2021

Dear Fellowship of Faith,

This Sunday August 1st we will worship together in Spirit through a recorded worship service.

One of the worst parts about the pandemic for churches (especially Lutheran ones!) has been not being able to have potlucks!!  On Sunday we will need to be creative and patient once more as we hear Jesus use the images of gathering to eat and drink, in order to convey how we need to tend to our spiritual lives first and foremost.  We will receive the bread and cup either by ourselves or with a loved one, but we will miss seeing each other and the immediate sense of the deeper community we have formed together through our church. So we will be relying a great deal upon God’s Spirit this Sunday and for a few more until we can gather on Sept. 12 at 10am in-person as we resume our familiar practice of worshiping together.

The bulletin and Celebrate are attached so you can participate in worship in some way if you are not able to attend church in-person this Sunday. Holy Communion will be celebrated, so please have some bread and fruit of the vine ready.

Our gathering for worship each Sunday at church, in our homes, or wherever we are able, is very essential to strengthen us to meet the world’s challenges. These days, especially, we cling to the messages of our faith that call us to new beginnings and living a new life. Previous Sunday worship services can be found at our website. “www.ststephenslutheran.org

Flowers for Worship: Please sign up to provide flowers in honor of someone or a special occasion as another way to offer yourself in worship to God. The Flower Chart will be available at worship, or you can call the church office – 476-4700.

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Ninth Sunday after Pentecost – July 25, 2021

Dear Church Family,

This Sunday, July 25th  at 10 am, we will gather in-person, outdoors in our parking lot for worship. Please bring a chair, wear a mask and invite a friend as we restore our spirits in our time together in God’s Grace and God’s Word for our daily lives.

In our readings Sunday, we remember that God has provided the world with all that it needs. It is a matter of whether or not we will participate with God in bringing about the kind of world that Jesus has showed us is possible – especially in this wonderful “Feeding of the 5,000” story!

The bulletin and Celebrate are linked so you can participate in worship in some way if you are not able to attend church in-person this Sunday. Holy Communion will be celebrated.

Our gathering for worship each Sunday at church, in our homes, or wherever we are able, is very essential to strengthen us to meet the world’s challenges. These days, especially, we cling to the messages of our faith that call us to new beginnings and living a new life. Previous Sunday worship services can be found at our website. “www.ststephenslutheran.org

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Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – July 18, 2021

Hello Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We will take good care of ourselves by remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy through participating in our Sunday worship recording. Let’s make it a real priority to honor God through the ongoing, detailed and faithful work of our video production team, Kent Madsen and Barbara Rice. We are so blessed to have their gifts in our church!

Our themes from the scriptures are centered around what has come to be known as “Good Shepherd Sunday”.  A welcome focus and respite from the difficult and controversial work of seeking ways to offer God’s prophetic Word to the many injustices that the world is engaged in.  So we turn from an “afflicting the comfortable” aspect of the encounter with God’s Word (last Sunday – Amos – Archbishop Oscar Romero, John the Baptist and Jesus), and lift up the ways in which we “comfort the afflicted” – including ourselves as we do the hard work of having compassion for those who are “missing” from receiving the fruits of God’s creation.

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Seventh Sunday after Pentecost – July 11, 2021

Dear Church Family,

I invite you to live out your faith by joining together this Sunday at 10 am, for worship outdoors in our parking lot or livestreamed at home. The service will also be available as a recording after 5pm.

Our themes for worship center around reflecting on what we are and will be doing with the “glorious inheritance” of God’s steadfast love and grace that we have each received. We are each “able to respond” (have a responsibility) to such an amazing gift by always seeking to be ones who are striving for “right relationship” (righteousness) with God, ourselves, those around us – AND especially as people who participate in the “systems” (ways, rules, politics, norms) that we all live together.

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Sixth Sunday after Pentecost – July 4, 2021

Please note: We apologize for the audio quality. We are still fighting a problem where a local radio station signal leaks into our audio. We took various measures to filter and edit the audio, but there are still times when it can be heard.

Hello Dear Friends,

We worship together this Sunday, the 4th of July, through our recorded worship service here on our website.

It will be a great way to begin our family and community celebrations of our nation’s birthday, by offering our lives entirely and primarily to God first.  Over the centuries, humanity has often struggled between loyalty to God and loyalty to nationality. Today we are reminded in our holy scriptures that the two are never equal, but that God alone is to be worshipped and glorified first and foremost. Sometimes our good loyalty to country can be  in contrast to God’s call on our lives, as the Lutheran Church experienced in World War II Germany. At that time, good Lutheran Christian leaders and regular citizens allowed their loyalty to country to either supersede or be equal to their faith in God and the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There were only a relative few like Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who were willing to speak God’s truth to the power of a tyrant like Adolf Hitler, while the vast majority of otherwise good but desperate people forgot their baptismal covenant and went about their normal lives while the smokestacks billowed the ashes of millions of people deemed “not worthy” by that nations government.

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