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St. Stephanus Connections is a monthly newsletter to celebrate and communicate what is happening within our church community. It is produced jointly by your Evangelism, Stewardship, and Parish Life Committees
Oops, we goofed. We recently noticed that your May newsletter was sent with the wrong title in the email subject line. It said March. If you did not open it because you thought it was an old one you might want to go back and take a look. There are some wonderful pictures of the many celebrations that took place. Here is a link to that issue.
Listening Challenge for June
Evangelism does not mean telling someone what to think about God. The words mean “good news.” Having faith in Jesus is more than knowledge, it is living in his kingdom with Him, both today and in eternity. That daily living experience is good news! Although inviting someone to church can be a good thing, it is not having a conversation or hearing another person’s thoughts.
What if this month you asked someone you already know if they attend worship somewhere and why they go or why they do not go? DO NOT approach the conversion in a posture of wanting to win an argument. Be a listener. Ask questions to understand their point of view. Pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Ask God to reveal how He wants you to love this person. Keep this person in your prayers. Pray for this person throughout the week.
The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him, “What are your going through.” ~ Simone Weil
As we gathered to celebrate the beginning of the church and the work of the Holy Spirit we were invited to wear red, orange, or yellow. Thank you Walt and Reba for showing us how it’s done. You looked fabulous.
For many at St. Stephanus one of our favorite practices is when the entire congregation is invited to join the family at the baptismal font. In May we welcomed Bryson Otto Koran into the Lord’s family and our St. Stephanus community.
Our Graduating Seniors
Congratulations to our St. Stephanus seniors! We can’t wait to see what God has planned for you. Join us on June 6th as we celebrate the accomplishments of Sebastian Caquelin, Sophie Baker, Elizabeth Thompson, Tucker Chipman, and Jingyan Schlechte.
Our 133rd Anniversary
In 1888 Trinity Lutheran Church purchased two lots at the corner of Grotto and Lafond and built a Christian Day School.
On May 26, 1890 The German Evangelical Lutheran St. Stephanus Congregation, Unaltered Augsburg Confession (U.A.C.) was organized as as a daughter congregation of Trinity. The Reverend Richard von Niebelschuetz was called as our 1st pastor.
“Show to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and His wonderful works that He hath done; that the generations to come might know them…that they might set their hope in God.” Psalm 78
In the words of the Psalmist, we have a definition of history, whether that of the church at large or only of a single congregation within the church. Its purpose is ‘to show the generations to come’ the guidance of the gracious God in heaven. History, properly speaking is to memorialize, not the accomplishments of men, but the deeds of God through men.”
Soli Deo Gloria
(Taken from the 1925 Dedication Service Book celebrating our 35th anniversary.)
St. Stephanus Serves
One of the questions we often get is about the funding and cost of Food Distribution - not in a critical way, just general curiosity. So for those of you wondering about some of the behind the scenes data this update is for you!
January - May Costs
Total Cost: $485.25 for 36349 pounds of food given to 667 households, plus $200 in delivery fees! That comes out to about $1.03/household for food and delivery. We are so grateful for the grants and donations to our food ministry program, and second harvest that allow us to purchase and supply food such at a minimal costs to us!
Want to be part of our Food Ministry? Watch for a special email early June with updates for our Summer needs and opportunities for service and support!
Clean Up Day
On Saturday, May 20th volunteers showed up to clean in the church and the parsonage. These volunteers provided over 75 hours of labor. A pizza lunch was provided after a morning of heavy duty cleaning. Parish Life life is looking at repeating this opportunity throughout the year. Thank you to all who gave so generously of your time. We are especially grateful to the members of the Eritrean Congregation who saw the notice in the lobby and joined us.
Summer Blood Drive - July 28th
Our St. Stephanus blood drives have been remarkably successful, exceeding all expectations. Join us on July 28th for our next drive. You can use the link below to schedule your appointment.
St. Stephanus Connects
Summer Picnics Return
The return of our summer congregational picnics provides the perfect opportunity for us to gather and connect outside of Sunday worship. Watch for details. The dates are:
June 21st: 5:30-7pm @ Como
July 26th: 5:30-7pm @ Lake Josephine
August 23rd: 5:30-7pm @ Ryan Park
Storytime in Simon’s Garden
Our summer Sunday School program will consist of Storytime in Simon's Garden.
Join us Sundays after service in Simon's Garden for a story under the tree! All ages are welcome, but content will be aimed at the 3-8year olds.
Do you have a story you love? Something you're passionate about and want to share? We'd love to have you join us one week! Contact Megan Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up for a week!
St. Stephanus Is Global
Josh and Coco live in East Asia, together with children John and Sophie. Josh currently serves as executive director with Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation (CWEF), a non-profit development organization that works with churches, schools, and local non-profits in rural communities in Asia to improve people’s lives and to share the love of Christ.
St. Stephanus provided a $500 mission offering to support their work. God is using this gift to bless young people from rural Asia so that they can bless others in their communities, schools, and churches who are struggling with the harmful effects of poverty.
CWEF 2023 Goals:
Educate and equip 100 high school students in China and 19 university students in Cambodia through financial sponsorship, together with workshops designed to foster healthy personal growth. Also, to help these students develop a strong value for community service, we will intentionally provide more internship and volunteer opportunities for them.
Enhance early childhood education for 320 students through a new program that provides financial support and professional development opportunities for young, under-trained kindergarten teachers in rural Yunnan.
Improve physical and mental health for 745 people through the HEAL program, which partners with and provides training for local pastors, teachers, and health advocates to deliver custom solutions for people in their own communities — including clean water via biosand water filters and health education programs focused on hygiene, nutrition, and mental health.
St. Stephanus Adapts and Changes
New Leadership for Parish Life Committee
In June Tarrie Culbert and Lynne Billing will be assuming the leadership role of the Parish Life Committee. We are grateful to Emmy Treichel who has led Parish Life this past year. Emmy has developed a vigorous and energetic committee. Under her leadership many new activities and events have been introduced or revitalized. Thank you Emmy. And, thank you Tarrie and Lynne for taking on this new responsibility. We look forward to working with you.
A note from Emmy:
Thank you for a tremendously rewarding year as chair of the Parish Life Committee, Tarrie and Lynne have been great supporters and volunteers on the committee this year, and have awesome plans for the coming year. Please continue to support them and participate in as many activities as you can. When I volunteered for this position I had no idea what, how, or when to do it. Because so many graciously hopped on board and participated with me I had a delightful term of office. With a very grateful heart, thank you, ~ Emmy
During the month of May a congregational survey was conducted to help clarify a direction or vision for St. Stephanus. All of the surveys have been gathered and the results are being reviewed. Results will be made available to the congregation once they have been tabulated. We have been truly impressed by the number of responses and the thoughtfulness of the comments. Thank you to all who took the time to complete the survey and share your thoughts and concerns.
Count Me IN is a year long meditation on giving as a response to gratitude.
Really, I've never considered myself to be influential, at least not in the sense of having great influence or power over others. If I had a blog I doubt that anyone would read it. Most people probably feel the same way. One definition of influence is the effect a persons behavior or beliefs has on others. that makes all of us far more influential than we realize. How we live our lives is incredibly influential in how people view us as Christians. As the saying goes actions speak louder than words. Telling someone God loves them means nothing unless we show that we also love them. Telling them that God will give them strength in difficult times is empty words if we don't offer them our support. We are God's instruments on earth so by truly loving, listening, caring and supporting we will be more influential than we can imagine. We can all say I’m INfluential!
Mark Your Calendars!
June 3 - Training for Shut-in Visitation.
June 11 - Senior Sunday
June 21 - Summer Picnic @ Como 5:30-7:00
July 26 - Summer Picnic @ Lake Josephine 5:30-7:00
July 28 - Blood drive
August 23 - Summer Picnic @ Ryan Park 5:30-7:00
Please note that everyone is invited to participate in our celebrations, opportunities for service, and congregational activities
Do you have something you would like to see in The St. St. Stephanus Connections? Please contact Lynne Heuton or Megan Hoffman by the 28th of the month to have it appear in the following month’s newsletter. We are particularly interested in photos that document our celebrations.