Fifth Sunday After Pentecost – July 5

Dear St. Stephen’s Family,

One of today’s readings from the Old Testament in Zechariah characterizes God’s people as “prisoners of hope”.  These days, that is an inspiring reminder for us to keep looking for ways to keep hope in front of us as we all wait under the restrictions caused by a very dangerous virus that is not going away any time soon. It gives me hope to know that you have been very understanding of how your church leadership has decided to continue being the church through recorded worship services that we all participate in at home. It is so hard to not be together in person, but we are doing Christ’s work of caring for each other – especially the most vulnerable among us – by not gathering in person.

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Fourth Sunday After Pentecost – June 28

Dear Beloved Community of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church,

Let’s continue to join our spirits in worship here anytime on Sunday. It is so important to offer ourselves to God in this way these days. I know you will find it a comfort and blessing. Previous weeks are recorded as well. Please find attached, the bulletin cover artwork, scripture readings & prayers in the Celebrate.

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Third Sunday After Pentecost – June 21

Dear Beloved Community of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church,

Let’s continue to join our spirits in worship anytime on Sunday. It is so important to offer ourselves to God in this way these days. I know you will find it a comfort and blessing. Previous weeks are recorded as well. Please find attached, the bulletin cover artwork, scripture readings & prayers in the Celebrate.

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Second Sunday After Pentecost – June 14

Dear Beloved Community of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church,

Let’s continue to join our spirits in worship here at the web site anytime on Sunday. It is so important to offer ourselves to God in this way these days. I know you will find it a comfort and blessing.  Previous weeks are recorded as well.  Please find attached, the bulletin cover artwork, the bulletin, and scripture readings & prayers in the Celebrate. This week we have a special sermon offered by our very own Lydia Abler as well as a children’s sermon by Pr. Jim.

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Message from Bishop Mark Holmerud

If I were to create a “Word Cloud” for the feelings I am having these days following the murder of George Floyd, there wouldn’t be a lot of “cheery” words in it: Shocked. Saddened. Angry. Heartsick. Fearful. Inadequate. Unprepared. Grieving. Frustrated. Disbelieving. Wondering. Weary.

And really, what it comes right down to is this — none of my feelings matter. Not one damn bit. Not now. Because what matters is Black lives. Black Lives Matter. Black lives that are being taken by murder at the hands of the police. Black lives that are being disregarded through judicial, legal, economic, voting and social policies that seek to minimize the voices and needs of people of color in this country in order to perpetuate white privilege. Black lives that are in danger every day because white supremacy, of which white people are a part through having benefited from a system that empowers and enables them at the expense of others, is alive and well in this country. Black lives that are threatened by personal and systemic racism, which permeates every part of society in this country. From local police departments and schools and courts, to the highest governmental offices of the land – racist polices and laws exist to perpetuate white supremacy. What really matters at this time are the feelings and voices of Black People who are speaking out. These are the voices of people who are spilling out onto our streets crying for justice. Crying for justice even when the police are acting more like warriors than guardians. Crying for justice in the face of tear gas and blinding rubber bullets and horses and Billy Clubs. Are we listening?

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