St. Stephen’s Update – April 15, 2021

GRACE AND PEACE TO YOU ALL!

PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus has risen from the dead! Alleluia!
By his cross he has defeated the power of evil;
and through his resurrection
we are set free. Alleluia!

Lord, without your resurrection
our faith would be empty
and without hope.
But you are alive,
and we rejoice and dance and wonder
in the mystery of your presence among us.

We pray for your church:
free us from the shackles of guilt and legalism,
and help us to proclaim the message of healing and forgiveness
for which you died.

Lord, in you mercy,
hear our prayer.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

PLEDGING TIME AND TALENT: As was announced earlier when you were asked to make a financial pledge to the church, we would be asking you to pledge your giving of your time and talent when we return to face-to-face worship services. It is that time. This Sunday pledge cards for you to make a pledge to the ministries of the church will be given out with the bulletins. Please prayerfully consider how you will give yourself to the church. Two new ministry opportunities will be included: Videographer of worship services and Little Pantry Coordinator (all ministries come with training or orientation).

EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS, LECTORS, ALTAR GUILD, FLOWER GUILD, etc.: Sharon Dykes will begin publishing a schedule for those people involved in preparing for and serving in our worship services. She will begin publishing those schedules again beginning in May. We will begin scheduling those people who were involved prior to the pandemic and cancellation of gathering for worship. However, beginning in June, the schedule of servers will be adjusted based on the new pledge cards.

VESTRY MEETING: Tuesday, April 20, 6:00 PM; for now we will continue to meet using Zoom. Jim Dalton will send and email to vestry members the morning of the vestry meeting with a link to the meeting. If any other church members would like to attend, let Jim know and he will include you in that email.

REMAINING APRIL BIRTHDAYS:
18th – Pepper McQueeny
19th – Ien Mason
23rd – Terri Isaac

FINANCIAL OFFERINGS: Now that we have returned to worship in our building, there are still a few things that we are doing differently with our giving. (1) The offertory plate is located in the narthex so that you can offer your financial gifts to God as you enter the building; (2) there is a large wicker basket in the narthex to bring non-perishable items for the Little Pantry can place them in the basket on your way into the building; (3) we will resume collecting our “mile of pennies” this coming Sunday, April 18. A basket will be located in the narthex for your donation of change or paper money;-). The ushers will bring the all the offerings to the altar during the offertory hymn to be blessed as we begin Holy Communion.

FLOWER DEDICATIONS: Any one wishing to sign up to purchase altar flowers and dedicate them in honor of, or in memory of, someone for one of our Sunday worship services can sign up on the flower guild chart located in the welcome center where we normally will have coffee hour.

ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL: We hope to resume Sunday School on May 30th, the first Sunday after Pentecost. Lois Ann (LoLo) Jackson will be facilitating the class. More information about this study coming next week.

TWO OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP THOSE IN NEED: (1) Karen Owen and her colleagues at Dillard’s are collecting cash to purchase undergarments for the women of Dorcas house. Every dollar helps. If you can give $5 (or more), please give your money to Karen on Sunday. (2) Laura Phillips is collecting for a fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Cash or checks can be given to Laura. Checks should be made out to “LLS” or “Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,” with her Laura Phillip’s name in the memo line. Let’s do what we can to support these two members of our church family as they make the effort to help those in need.

CHURCH FELLOWSHIPS: We are not ready just yet, but, as we move toward summer and into the fall season, it will be time to renew our efforts to fellowship with each other outside of the worship. Just before the pandemic hit our world, Terri and Tim Isaac hosted our first Home Fellowship. It seems ages ago, but, what fun it was. We want to get those started again in the not to distant future. The fellowship gatherings are to have fun together as friends. The host(s) will be responsible for providing the space, planning any activities that they may wish to prepare, and having drink, plates, etc. for the food. Each member (or member family) attending will bring a dish to share with the group. The spiritual pieces will include and blessing of the food, a house blessing (optional to the home owner), and a closing prayer in which those in attendance will have a opportunity to names before God those in need of prayer. Other than those spiritual pieces… the rest is fun and games, maybe some music. Feel free, when the time comes, to co-host with someone else if you would like to host one of these. If you feel your home does not have adequate space, you can use the fellowship hall at church.