Eighth Pastoral Letter

The news has been shared! With Mary Magdalene and all of the apostles, with saints throughout the centuries, with our ancestors in faith, I, too, proclaim to you: Alleluia! Christ is Risen!”

Christ is risen indeed, Alleluia

(Excerpt from the Easter Vigil)


April 14, 2021

Eighth Pastoral Letter – Return to In-person Worship Offering & COVID-19 update


My Dear Friends,


There is a great old Easter hymn that goes


“The strife is o'er, the battle done; the victory of life is won; the song of triumph has begun. Alleluia!”


Even though we will once again be offering in-person worship at 10:00 am starting April 18, 2021 – the strife in which we are still in the midst of is far from over. Many individuals that I have spoken to have already received their COVID-19 vaccinations, and I thank God profusely for this. Others are still waiting. (If you find yourself in that category of waiting, please let the office know and we will do our best to assist you in finding opportunities across our state). We are cautiously returning to in-person opportunities being mindful of the restrictions that are still in place. The virus appears to not be going anywhere anytime soon.


Yet, Christ is risen.


It is in the risen Christ that we place our hopes and fears. It is in the lessons of the one that has risen that we take our next few steps. Wisely and gently. While we will be regathering, we are still going to do so with our face covering securely and properly worn. Communion will still be pre-packaged, but we will be invited to take it outside (please be sure not to litter) and receive a post-communion blessing. Our weather is looking better, and we have a beautiful setting outside to chat after service. The Creation Care Team (please reach out if interested) is in process of beautifying the space while also restoring native plants to the area. In time we may even be able to share a cup of coffee together.


We may not be ready to sing with gusto in service but humming and quietly singing is acceptable.


If you are not yet able to join us, or are away in the summer, please join us on our YouTube channel for a livestream of the service. It begins at 9:55 am and can be accessed via the website or your weekly worship email. The equipment that has been installed is from the generosity of donors from the church and a grant from the Delaware-Maryland Synod! We believe that we have worked out all the issues, but if not, please be patient with us.


As mentioned above we are in the infancy stage of creating a Creation Care Team. They will be working on outdoor projects over the summer to restore native plants to the church grounds and to wrap us in the loving and beautiful arms of creation. They will also be working on initiatives that will help the congregation become better stewards of the space in which we occupy, both at church and at home. Please reach out to me if you are interested in joining this group.


While the strife is far from over for us and our world, we know that in Christ the victory of life is truly won, for he is risen.


The Church Council is creating a small taskforce to roll out a long overdue project of repair and renovation at the church. From crumbling plaster and peeling paint to signage and other issues, the taskforce will prioritize and suggest a path forward. We will do this as a way to memorialize those that have been lost during and from the pandemic – and a way to give thanks for survivors, frontline workers and ….


Even in the midst of the pandemic we can still sing our song of triumph.


For it is without a doubt that Christ is risen.


Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!


Pastor Jason


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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.

 

© 2021 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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