Just Ask

It took a long time for people to start asking God for things. The first 14 chapters of Genesis tell of the creation, the fall of Adam and Eve, the Tower of Babel, Noah and the flood, and the call of Abram. Those chapters hint at the misdeeds of the people, leading to the destructive flood and a “do-over.” Those chapters also tell of people following God’s instructions with no questions. (OK, Cain asked “Am I my brother’s keeper?” but that was more of a rhetorical question.) Finally, in Chapter 15, Abram asks God in a vision “O Lord God, what will you give me?” And Abram is given the world. “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them. So shall your descendants be.”

Lord, Teach Us to Pray...

For many there is a desire to understand the Holy, to understand God in a way that will bring them closer to what it is God is doing in our midst. The disciples were absolutely no exception. In both accounts where we find the formula for the Lord’s Prayer, the disciples approach Jesus and ask him to teach them to pray: Lord, teach us to pray. Prayer has been on my mind. Not because it is a discipline and habit, or as some say “that’s what you do.” Prayer has been on my mind because I am witnessing such a sharp decline in the purpose of prayer. Jesus has told us not to ask from God things that we can do on our own or for anything more than “our daily bread,” but I am seeing prayer used in a w

What Will I Give Up for Lent?

My wife Sue and I attended Hope Lutheran Church in Palm Desert, CA on Transfiguration Sunday. Hope Lutheran has a very large welcoming congregation that worships in a modern building with beautiful stained-glass windows. We attended the traditional liturgical service, one of their three Sunday services; the congregation also has a service on Saturday evening. When we arrived an usher handed us a four-page bulletin with information about the worship service. Tucked inside were a number of inserts one of which described over eight pages the congregational activities for the coming week and month. On the last page of the bulletin a basic outline of the liturgy was listed. During the service the

Regarding Acts of Vandalism

Dear Members and Friends of St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, In this most Holy time of Lent, and in the spirit of events that have transpired over the last week in our nation, please let me greet you with the spirit and grace of shalom. Over the past week or so we have seen cowardly acts of vandalism and desecration of Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia. In the Jewish tradition, the grave sites of the departed are considered sacred ground, so the desecration and vandalism goes much deeper for those that have been affected by these most unholy acts. In addition to these acts, much closer to home in Wilmington, the Jewish Community Center experienced a phone call apprisi

Confession and Forgiveness

I love the confession of sins. It gets me focused for Sunday worship. At St. Stephen's we start each service with either a Confession and Forgiveness dialog, or a Thanksgiving for Baptism dialog. The two are not unrelated. The Thanksgiving for Baptism focuses on baptism, the gift of life-sustaining water. The Confession and Forgiveness acknowledges the baptism that sustains us, but it focuses on "dying to sin and being made alive in Christ." (ELCA worship formation resource.) I don't dislike the thanksgiving for baptism, but I love the confession, particularly when we use a version that mirrors the one from my childhood. I can put down the bulletin, not have to blindly read words, but say th

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St. Stephen's 

Lutheran Church

To Love, To Invite, To Serve

 

1301 N Broom Street Wilmington, DE 19806

302-652-7623  office@ststeph.org

As a Reconciling in Christ congregation of the ELCA, we believe that the gospel is God's gift to all people, shared unconditionally and without regard to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic or family status, age, physical or mental abilities, outward appearance, or religious affiliation. We seek to live the truth written in Ephesians that Christ breaks down the dividing walls between us and makes us one.

 

© 2020 St. Stephen's Lutheran Church. All rights reserved.

St. Stephen's Lutheran Church

1301 N Broom Street, Wilmington, DE 19806

302-652-7623 office@ststeph.org

 

We are a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Delaware-Maryland Synod.

 

 

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