Seventh Sunday of Easter – May 24

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

This Sunday’s bulletin cover reads: “May they be one, as we are one.”  This is a fitting theme for our times, as even something as commonly devastating as this pandemic has not alleviated many of the deep divisions about the direction of our country and how to respond to this unseen threat.

It is hard to imagine being “one” with some of what we are seeing take place in the same of the Body of Christ these days, but it is our calling to do what we can to heal and act and guide our church toward unity about what it means to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As an ELCA congregation we are committed to following the Public Health restrictions and to support those whose health is most at risk. This means that we will not be gathering in person until we are given the permission to do so. Even when we can gather in person there are going to be many different guidelines for how we will do this.  I am thankful for the leadership of our church-at-large who have already provided these helpful and specific ways which I will share when it’s time to.

In the meantime, I hope you are able to experience God’s Spirit of Love through participating in our recorded worship services and Zoom bible studies Wed. 11am & 7pm.  Please let us know if there are other ways you see that our church can be supportive.

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.

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.

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, the liturgy, and scripture readings & prayers in the Celebrate.

– 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.  Call Leslie at 476-4700 to schedule your spot.

Pastor Jim & Leslie Lapp