Sunday Mornings are looking a bit different this year!

 Join us for one of our small group bible study options listed below.  Groups are open to all adults, as well as our high school students. Small groups will meet in person* Sundays at 11am. Looking for information on Sunday School for kids & families, visit our Family Ministry page!

Help us plan for space and #'s by using the registration form below to sign-up for groups!

*Group leaders may opt to move to Zoom format depending on Covid safety needs. 


The Color of Compromise 

Sunday Mornings, starting 9/26 || Pastor Thompson

Join Zoom Meeting Here    ||    In Person in Classroom across from Office

Week 2 Handout | Week 2 Recording

Week 3 Handout | Week 3 Recording

Week 4 Handout | Week 4 Recording

Week 5 Handout

Week 6 Handout || Week 6 Recording

No Class, November 14 - See Side panel for additional resources and exploration

No Class, November 21 - See Side panel for additional resources and exploration

Week 7 Handout || Week 7 Recording

Week 8 Handout || Week 8 Recording

The Color of Compromise takes readers on a historical journey: from America’s early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War, covering the tragedy of Jim Crow laws and the victories of the Civil Rights era, to today’s Black Lives Matter movement. Author Jemar Tisby reveals the obvious—and the far more subtle—ways the American church has compromised what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality.

Tisby uncovers the roots of sustained injustice in the American church, highlighting the cultural and institutional tables that need to be turned in order to bring about real and lasting progress between black and white people. Through a story-driven survey of American Christianity’s racial past, he exposes the concrete and chilling ways people of faith have actively worked against racial justice, as well as the deafening silence of the white evangelical majority. Tisby shows that while there has been progress in fighting racism, historically the majority of the American church has failed to speak out against this evil. This ongoing complicity is a stain upon the church, and sadly, it continues today.

Tisby does more than diagnose the problem, however. He charts a path forward with intriguing ideas that further the conversation as he challenges us to reverse these patterns and systems of complicity with bold, courageous, and immediate action. The Color of Compromise provides an accurate diagnosis for a racially divided American church and suggests creative ways to foster a more equitable and inclusive environment among God’s people.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Pastor Thompson at pastor@saintstephanus.org. Books are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or probably a great many places online. While you can show up and listen if you haven't read the book, discussion of the book is the central feature to this study, so I encourage you to purchase one. If you can't afford one, please let me know and we will provide one. Can't attend in person? We still want you to be able to participate and are working on options to make that happen (e.g. recording or streaming). 

Additional Resources: 

The Duluth Lynching's (Minnesota Historical Society) 

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

"Race Norming" in the NFL - pt. 1 | pt. 2

"Lutheran Church Says Slavery is Good and Godly" A critique of C.F.W. Walther (a founder of the LCMS, chief theologian, and often quoted by many clergy) on Slavery, originally published here by Neil Hart. 

The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Family in America: Black and White - The Hairstons (a recording from 1999 about a book, video quality can be a bit off, but fascinating story and stories). 

Suitable for Children (This American Life Episode 747, specifically Acts I and II. More information can be found at their website. While the theme of this episode was about things that were normalized for Children, the first two stories are specifically about race in the United States from a non-white perspective). 

A Conversation on Faith and Race (Faith and Race: A WHYY Conversation Explores the culture war within the Evangelical Church over critical race theory. The brutal murder of George Floyd and the racial disparities laid bare during the pandemic sparked national unrest and debate, as well as a divide among Christians. This Fall, Forum Philly, Red Letter Christians, Pennsylvania Progressive Baptist Alliance and the Tenth Memorial Baptist Church partnered with WHYY to organize a live, public virtual conversation on the topic. The intention was to dispel myths, educate and provide context around the history and current realities of race within the Evangelical church). 

 


SoulTalk, The Language God Longs for us to Speak

Meets on Zoom 1st & 3rd Sundays, starting 10/3  || Sheila Schlechte

Join Zoom meeting here

Has your heart ached for a friend going through a difficult time and you were not certain what to say?  Have you longed for someone to be found in Christ but struggle with how to do that?  Do you wish to encourage or give hope to those in the family of God but feel inadequate?  Larry Crabb in his book, SoulTalk: the language God longs for us to speak, does not tell you the magic words to say, but teaches us how to have the kind of meaningful conversations for which we were created. 

SoulTalk is a language we speak when we deeply embrace a Spirit-led way of thinking about conversations.  SoulTalk is a spiritual connection with another that:

  1. uncovers the real battle going on in every human soul,
  2. discerns the movement of the Spirit toward spiritual formation, and
  3. pours the life of Christ from one person into another in order to facilitate that movement.

Suggested donation for the book is $4.  Meetings to discuss SoulTalk will start October 3rd after worship service and will continue on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month.  You are welcome to get a copy of the book even if you cannot attend the meetings.  Please contact Sheila Schlechte if you are interested at sheilaschlechte@yahoo.com  or 651-746-4966.


Question of the Week

Sunday mornings, starting 9/26 || Jim Radtke

This group will feel familiar to those looking for an experience close to what we have traditionally offered. Each week a new question of the week will be shared, and discussed. If time allows participants will also walk through the "digging deeper" questions from that week's sermon. 


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