Dear Church – The Body of Christ in the World,
This Sunday August 15th we will worship together in Spirit through a recorded worship service.
On Sunday we will need to be creative and patient once more as we hear Jesus use the images of gathering to eat and drink, in order to convey how we need to tend to our spiritual lives by taking in who Christ is and by taking on what God is offering to us through Christ.
Holy Communion takes on a many-faceted character as we deepen our understanding of what these little bits of bread and fruit of the vine signify about what kind of people we are as a Christian church. We will receive the bread and cup either by ourselves or with a loved one, but we will miss seeing each other and the immediate sense of the deeper community we have formed together through our church. So we will be relying a great deal upon God’s Spirit this Sunday (and for a few more) until we can gather on Sept. 12 at 10am in-person as we resume our familiar practice of worshiping together.
The bulletin and Celebrate are linked here so you can participate in worship in some way if you are not able to attend church in-person this Sunday. Holy Communion will be celebrated, so please have some bread and fruit of the vine ready.
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.
On Sunday, August 22nd, we will have one more outdoor/livestream worship at 10am.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 the remaining Sundays, (8/29, 9/5) worship will be recorded on Fridays at 11am. and posted to our website by Sunday morning. Everyone is invited to attend the recording of worship on Fridays at 11am, and worship in-person with a mask. Just show up.
The Church Council at its May 11th meeting voted (and reaffirmed at it’s August 10 meeting) to begin every Sunday indoor services on Sunday, September 12 at 10am. All worship services will be livestreamed beginning Sept. 12.
More information about how we will proceed with indoor worship will be shared in our September newsletter and via email. Everyone will need to wear a mask. It will also include practices that maintain physical distance, new ways of receiving Holy Communion and offering, as well as improved air exchange with fans and open doors.
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. Leslie has been officially discharged from any further medical treatment. This led to an additional part-time employment opportunity which she has accepted and begun as of Aug. 11. Church office hours have changed as a result. They are now Mon-Fri. 12noon – 5pm. Please make a note of this change.
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!
- 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. Please contact the church office, or just let Pastor Jim know before worship on Sundays or Fridays.
- 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, August 24.
- A few copies of “White Fragility” are available to borrow. Call the office to inquire. This is a congregation-wide perspective that we are trying to adopt as we seek better understanding about the roots of racism, its consequences, and how our lives can better reflect an anti-racism perspective.
Grace and Peace,