Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost – October 18, 2020

Dear St. Stephen’s Family,

“Give to God the things that are God’s”. In an election year like this, where there is much at stake as to the direction of our nation, we are reminded through our scripture readings about where our ultimate allegiance is to be given, despite the common human temptation throughout history to serve the nation and it’s economy first. All of our decisions about “politics” (the way we decide to live together on the planet), are to be grounded in what we know about God’s intention and hope for humanity, and the realization that God’s call supersedes whatever call a nation might try to have on us.

This is the theme of our worship this Sunday Oct. 18.  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 scared 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.

Reformation Sunday, October 25 (our 67th anniversary) at 10:30am, we will have in-person worship in our parking lot, weather permitting.  Wear Red.  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. This service will also be recorded and available here on our website sometime Sunday evening.

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 7:30 pm (new time).  Same Zoom link.  An email is sent out each week with the 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.  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, 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 has resumed.  We will be providing Lunches (sandwiches,  fruit, chips, cookie) for 10 volunteers.  Tuesday, October 27 at 10:30 am.  Reply to this email or call office if you would like to help out.  Thank you Janet for taking care of chips for the next few months :).

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jim