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.

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. Please provide your own Holy Communion elements.

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.

For the months of July, and August on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month at 10am, there will be an outdoor, live-streamed worship service.Please bring your own chair and wear a mask for singing especially. The recording of that service will be available after 5pm on our website.    

For Sundays: July 25 / August 8, 22, we will worship in-person outdoors and livestreamed through our website.  All other Sundays will be recorded on Fridays at 11 am. and posted to our website by Sunday morning.

The Church Council at its May 11th meeting, has voted to begin every Sunday indoor services on Sunday, September 12 at 10am. More information about how we will proceed with indoor worship will be shared next month as we develop our guidelines and protocols. Our plans are subject to County rules and may change as the pandemic lingers and vaccination rates slow.

Thank you all for your amazing support and love and faithful prayers for Leslie and our family. Please refer to Leslie’s “CaringBridge.org” page for details about her story in case you may not have heard about her accident. She is still receiving in-home therapy several times a week, so office hours are still not regular. But she is able to return to most of her former duties and is trying to be in the office as much as possible during the usual hours of Mon-Thurs. 8:30a – 2:30p

Thank you for your continued faithfulness in your financial giving back to God through our church. Please remember to either give your offering through the mail, through our website donation option, signing up for monthly electronic giving, OR if you just want to get out of the house, then come by the church and drop it off in the mailbox in a secure slot called “Incoming mail”!  Office hours are (more or less) M-Th 8:30-2:30, depending on Leslie’s therapy schedules. If you come during those times, you may also want to step into the sanctuary for some prayer and quiet time with God. We would love to see you.  Our library is also open to you with quite a variety to choose from.

Thank you to those of you who have been sending notes and messages of encouragement and support. They help keep us hopeful and joyful! We always love to hear how things are going.  We would like to share your experiences in the Newsletter each month.  So, give some thought to what’s been happening in your life – we all miss each other, and would be thrilled to hear what’s up!

Other notes:

  • If any of you would like to participate, it really helps to have a few people Reading Scripture and offering the Prayers of Intercession from the Celebrate page.  Or if you would just like to come to worship – Fridays (new day) 11:00 am.  Call the office at 476-4700 to schedule your spot.
  • Habitat for Humanity Lunches.  We will be providing Lunches (sandwiches, chips, fruit & cookies) for 10 volunteers.  Reply to this email or call the office if you would like to help out. Our next date is Tuesday, June 22.
  • A few copies of “White Fragility” are available to borrow.  Call the office to inquire.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jim