Updated Worship Schedule

Our Advent and Christmas Eve worship services will be online only 

(November 29 -January 17)

Beloved People of God,

Last week, Governor DeWine held another press conference updating Ohio on the pandemic. The virus continues to climb, and last Thursday, the first ever statewide 21-day curfew began. Franklin County has been elevated to purple and it is expected that Lorain and Lake Counties in Northern Ohio will reach the purple status in the next few days. Summit, Cuyahoga, and Medina counties have issued a stay at home advisories. Many local School districts are in the process of converting to online only learning. And the CDC has recommended no travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. The updated information from Governor DeWine and the CDC gave our congregation council Pastor Andrew, and me great concern for the members of our worshipping community.

As the pastors, spiritual directors and leaders of the congregation we are bound by our Call to St. Stephen Martyr Lutheran Church to care for the entire flock. Our Letters of Call to state that we are: “to preach and teach the word of God in accordance with the holy scriptures and Lutheran confessions; to administer Holy Baptism and Holy communion; to lead us and worship; and to provide pastoral care to all the congregation.

Due to the recent and continuing increases in the virus, the best way to live into our call to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul and love our neighbor as ourselves, the Congregation Council voted unanimously to suspend in-person worship at St. Stephen. To do anything less would make me negligent in fulfilling our call. Effective immediately, we will worship online, at least, until January 17, 2021. We will continue to keep you informed as we move forward. We will continue to monitor the CDC and Governor’s office to determine the appropriate time to return to in-person worship.

The 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. traditional service and the 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Gathering services will be available on Facebook Live and available on the website at www.wherelovelives.org throughout Advent. December 20 will have a special worship offering of the Cantata for the traditional services and a children’s pageant for the Gathering service.

Christmas Eve services will be available on Facebook at 5 p.m. for the Gathering Christmas Eve Service and 7 p.m. for the Traditional Service.  The services may be viewed at any time following the posted times.  

Please log on to St. Stephen's Facebook page to participate.  Go to https://www.facebook.com/ssmlc44718

We will be worshiping outside the church walls, but we still worship and serve God’s people because we know that God’s promises persist. We know God is near. We pray that our faith be strengthened, that we may be transformed to walk in God’s way. This is the promise of Advent. 

In the Light of Christ's Love,
Pastor Bruce