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A Note From Pastor Bruce

Beloved People of God,

“1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The Book of Ecclesiastes is known as “wisdom literature.” Part of that wisdom is the teaching that there are many seasons in life. The variety of seasons can enrich one’s appreciation for the fullness of life. Or at least the variety of seasons can teach one to find

joy in the transitions as well as ordinary moments of the seasons. The author invites us to live life from the perspective of eternity. Recognizing that neither highs nor lows last, that harvest requires sowing, laughter can follow weeping, and silence can lead to speech.

The reality is, we are always in a time of transition, if we are faithful to the gospel’s calling to make disciples of all nations. And life itself is one of constant transition. The key is to realize that God has created and has “made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Currently, St. Stephen is in a time of transition. With Allie’s retirement at the end of May, we are looking to fill two positions. The first is for a part-time, 15 hours per week, receptionist for our front office desk. This person will be, as my wife has labeled it, “a super awesome welcomer of people,” and help create a welcoming environment. The second is for a part-time, 15 hours per week, Director of Engagement. The “DE” enables the discovery of gifts and abilities of all members, including both campuses, to further the work of the Kingdom and to participate in the ongoing ministries of the church. The “DE” helps create a welcoming and caring environment and leads the new member process. If you are interested in either position, please let Rachel Hall, our Parish Administrator, or me know.

We will be experiencing another transition with the retirement of Marie Downey, who has been our Voices in Praise Choir Director for 37 years. Marie has decided it’s time to hang up the director’s baton to spend more time with family and traveling with Tony. She has been a wonderful presence and director to work with for the past 23 years. We will be searching for a new choir director.

Some of the transitions we are experiencing this summer and fall focus on our physical facility. Our landscaping is being refreshed and renewed. The Calvary Cross artwork for the exterior north sanctuary wall, will (hopefully) be completed by this fall. And we will be repaving our parking lots, both at the Belden and Louisville campuses. This new paving will include 15 new parking spaces in the north lot at Belden. I cannot wait for these improvements!

Finally, the Strategic Planning Team has been hard at work planning and sharing a new strategic plan to help us focus on the future. Please join us on July 9, 2023, at 12:30 p.m. in the pavilion for a the Festival of Faith. There, we will share more information about the plan and invite your input to help prioritize our ministry opportunities for the next three to five years.

“There is a time for everything.” One of the facts of life is that there will be more transitions. The good news is that while we don’t always know what the future holds, we know who holds the future. God promises to be with us and guide us, no matter what time it is.

In Christ’s Grip,

Pastor Bruce

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