Dear People of Saint Stephen,
Through the prophet Isaiah God speaks: “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41)
We know that things are developing very rapidly. Yesterday we saw developments of a declaration by our president of a national emergency, the closure of schools in our state, the cessation of worship at of many houses of worship, even the closure of libraries.
Through much prayer and discernment we will be suspending all worship and activities at Saint Stephen through the end of March.
It is our deepest desire to keep our most vulnerable populations safe, and we need to do our part with mitigation efforts to “flatten the curve” so that transmission does not overwhelm our medical system.
Please stay in, please stay safe, and heed medical warnings. Please let us know if you are ill. Rest assured that prayer is unceasing.
The Council will be meeting this weekend and you will hear from us soon regarding plans forward for our congregation. There are ways we will worship and devote ourselves to God even now. We are still the Church we are still God’s beloved people of Saint Stephen. The world needs now, as always, the good news proclamation that we have a Savior Jesus.
Find ways in the days to come to share kindness, compassion, and God’s love in very deliberate ways with those around you. Remember our neighbors who do not have means. I have already reached out to Open Arms to inquire if there are ways to help. Please support the work of our ministry through Lutheran World Relief at www.lwr.org who are working diligently to help our world’s most desperately vulnerable.
We trust unfailingly in the grace and love of God. Please know you will hear more from us shortly.
Pastor Rebecca Gordon and the Council of Saint Stephen Lutheran Church
In the event that there is mandatory quarantine or if congregational services, events, and gatherings need to be cancelled or postponed, we wish to reach you in a timely manner, so VERIFY YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION:
- Please email your family name, current address, phone number(s) and emails for the adults in the household to the church email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as to Pastor Rebecca (email@example.com) as soon as possible—or alternately you can call the church and leave a message--so that we can make sure our records are update with the most current information possible. Please do this even if you feel we have your information. If you see we have missed a church member on this email please also let us know.