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From the Pastor - December 2018


It’s a good question. It is, in fact, one of the first questions we learn to ask as children. “Why?” is how children learn about who they are and the world around them.

For a church congregation, asking “Why?” can help us get at deeper, more helpful information about who we are as a church and the world around us as we seek to clarify our identity and mission. …

Why are we here?

Why do we gather together?

Why are we different?

Why come?

Why ask others to join us?

Good questions!

Until ANY organization, church or otherwise, can define their “Why?” they are going to struggle. And as the Christian church if our “Why?” doesn’t flow from our passionate faith and belief in God’s merciful love and Jesus’ gracious gift of new life on the cross then there is little to distinguish us from a philanthropic or social club.

As a follow-up to our Congregational Assessment Process using the C.A.T. tool with SamaraCare and Nancy Sayer, Saint Stephen’s leadership (more specifically a “Why Team”) is going to lead us through a seven week process soliciting input from us as a congregation to help delve into WHY we are here as a congregation leading to who and what we are called to be.

The Council and leadership spent a lot of time reflecting on these questions at our Fall Retreat…but now we want to hear from you! Beginning on December 2nd in worship there will be a “Why?” insert in your bulletin. There will be some time in the worship service to reflect on each week’s question and write a little bit about it. You can fill out more than one. You can fill it out in worship. You can fill it out afterward. You can put it in the offering plate. You can put it in the box in the narthex. Whatever you do…please pray about it and fill it out and turn it in! Every bit of input is helpful for our group discernment!

Please prayerfully give these questions some thoughtful consideration throughout Advent and Epiphany. We will give the information back to you at our annual meeting in 2019.

If you have any questions see Pastor Rebecca, Dave McAlonan, Sharon Gregory, or Shelley Daun—Saint Stephen’s Why Team!

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