Ash Wednesday – February 22, 2023

Dear St. Stephen’s Family,

We will gather for Ash Wednesday worship at 11am and 7:15pm.

Image of cross made with ashes

You can also participate on the livestream at 7:15pm by going to our website There will be the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion, so please be prepared with some ashes, bread and fruit of the vine. The bulletin is attached.

I also want to take a moment as we remember our own life and death in God, to lift up the life and witness of a dear former member here who recently claimed her baptismal promises, Gwyn Larsen.

Some of you may have seen her obituary in the Sentinel yesterday. Leslie and I had known that she was dealing with a recurrence of cancer from her family’s Christmas letter. Some of you remember having supported her here when she was first diagnosed and went through treatments.

Gwyn was on the Church Council when I was called as pastor in 1996 and served as a wonderful role model for Leslie and I as we began our family. I had the privilege of getting to know 2 of her children, Chelsea and Peter, very well through our Confirmation program. Her oldest, Zack would visit when home from college. Gwyn was a brilliant light among us in many ways as she was always ready to serve God through our church. She organized the renovation of our Fireside Room right after I began and created a warm and welcoming atmosphere for many church gatherings. She was active in small groups and could be always be counted on to help in whatever was needed. At one point her parents Orlen and Herma Berge came to live in this area and we really enjoyed getting to know them in their latter years. Gwyn’s sister would also visit regularly. Her niece Amy came to visit often and eventually moved here for a while and became a part of our congregation too. Gwyn and her husband Dave decided to move to Oceanside CA to be nearer to Chelsea’s new family just a few years ago. It was a big loss for us and now we feel it even more so. Blessed be the memory of this child of God and may light perpetual shine upon her.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jim