Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost – September 13, 2020

Dear St. Stephen’s Family,

Welcome to worship this Sunday!  We gather our hearts and offer our lives to God through this recorded worship service that is trying to honor our church family practices of a familiar and comforting liturgy in our sacred space at 2500 Soquel Ave.  Please set aside some time on the Lord’s day and Remember the Sabbath and Keep It Holy, as the Third Commandment says. Find some bread and “fruit of the vine” so you can receive a means and reminder of God’s grace to strengthen and sustain you in these weary days.

Next Sunday, Sept. 20 at 10:30am, you are invited to our first attempt at an in-person outdoor worship service to be held in our parking lot in front of the offices. Please wear a mask and bring your own chairs. We will be extra cautious and conscientious in maintaining a physical distance of at least 10 ft.  Those who are in the more vulnerable category are asked to come earlier so that we can position you to stay in your car closer to the front. All others will set up their chairs physically distanced. Singing should be done softly as this is the one high risk activity that will occur. There will be no Holy Communion at this service. There will be a printed bulletin to pick up from tables toward the front.

Please remember that this is our first attempt and that we are all trying to be flexible and adapt to circumstances we have not had to deal with before. So be ready for things to be different and to adapt as we go. Let me know of ideas you may have to improve our gathering.

Our Church Council has established two more outdoor, in-person worship opportunities for Sunday, October 4 and Reformation Sunday, October 25 (our 67th anniversary), weather permitting.  Because of limited space, we are asking that in these initial gatherings that we not publicize them, until we can get more used to how to accommodate everyone. Thanks.

We 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.

I hope you are able to experience God’s Spirit of Fellowship, Love, Grace and Peace through our Zoom bible studies led by Pastor Jim. Bible studies are Thursdays at 11am and 7pm.  Same Zoom link.  

Please let us know if there are other ways you see that our church can be supportive.

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 M-Th 8:30-2:30. 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 us notes and messages of encouragement and support. They help keep us hopeful and joyful! We always love to hear how things are going.

Other notes:

  • If any of you would like to participate, we are open to 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 – Saturdays 11:00 am.  Call Leslie at 476-4700 to schedule your spot.
  • Habitat for Humanity plans to resume.  We will be providing Lunches (sandwiches,  fruit, chips, cookie) for 10 volunteers.  Tuesday, September 22 at 10:30 am.  Thank you Shelly B & Janet S.  Reply to this email or call office if you would like to help out October 20.  

Leslie Lapp