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The summer season of 2021 is nearly behind us. Autumn will soon be here with its beautiful colors, with cooler temperatures, with seasonal vegetables like pumpkins and squash, with special events and celebrations like Halloween, All Saints’ Sunday, Thanksgiving, and the beginning weeks of Advent.

Autumn is a time to gather in, to come together. It’s a time to come home.

Our congregation will be celebrating a “Homecoming” the first Sunday in October to welcome in and to welcome back everyone, member or guest, who has been and who will continue to be part of our worshipping community at St. Stephen’s. The isolation of the past 18 months is starting to lessen as more and more of us gather in person each Sunday to worship together. We are all still wearing masks as a safety precaution, yet even with the masks it is not difficult to recognize our friends in Christ, many with familiar faces and a number of others we hope to get to know better over time.

As the pandemic continues, everyone has a responsibility to remain cautious and to be careful to avoid exposure to the virus and to avoid exposing others. As a result, in addition to everyone wearing masks, every other pew is roped off in the sanctuary to provide spacing between worshippers. Hand sanitizer stations are available in many locations. Communion is offered in plastic throw-away containers. Soft singing and humming during the service are allowed as a safe way to participate in the musical offerings. Social gatherings after the service are held outside.

These are some of the important steps that have been taken in our congregation to deal with the uniqueness of the current times. These steps are intended to provide a safe worship environment for everyone. So far, they have been successful in doing so.

If you have not been attending regularly, we really miss you. If you are new to our worshipping community, we look forward to meeting you.

Please plan to join us for worship, especially on Sunday, October 3rd. It is time to come home.

Bob Linderman


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