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A Note From Pastor Bruce

Beloved People of God,

I have some exciting and good news to share! This summer, the council, staff, and support committee worked to re-assess staffing needs and began the search for additions to our ministry team. In reviewing the Director of Connections position, we decided to form two positions.

The first is the part-time Director of Engagement. I am excited to welcome Cindy Hina to this position. Cindy will work with staff and organizations of the congregation to assimilate guests and members into the life of the church, helping them engage in our mission. She will help you discern your gifts and abilities to further the work of the Kingdom and to participate in the ongoing ministries of the church. Cindy will help to foster a welcoming and caring environment and lead the new member process. Please make every effort to welcome Cindy to the team!

The second position is a part-time receptionist. I am excited to welcome Sara Carr as our new receptionist. Along with providing a welcoming voice and presence, Sara will be producing bulletins, and providing general office support. Be sure to say, “Hello,” and introduce yourself to Sara when you stop by or call.

I am also excited to share that Steve Parsons has been hired as our new Voices in Praise Choir Director. Along with serving as a church musician and choir director over the past 25 years, Steve is the music director (and frequent stage director) for The Players Guild Theatre, and an adjunct faculty member at Kent State University at Stark. Let us help Steve and his family experience St. Stephen to be a church where love lives beginning on his first official Sunday with us on September 10, 2023.

You can learn more about our new team members in the September Pew Review. Please make time to join us on Reformation Sunday, October 28, as we honor Marie Downey and celebrate her as she retires after 37 years of faithful service as our Choir Director.

To share more good news, this fall we will be sharing a sermon series entitled, “The Secret to an Abundant Life”

Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

An abundant life. Jesus came that we might experience it. But how can we experience it and what might that look like? We want our lives to count. We want to make a difference. We do not want to spend and waste our lives in flimsy, foolish ways. We want the confidence that we are living for a cause that counts.

The fact is living is giving. We live life best as we give our strengths, gifts, and competencies in the service of God’s mission. We are called to serve, not survive. Our giving makes an amazing difference in our families, our work, our community, our world, and our church.

To help us grow in the promise of an abundant life, we will share a series about a letter that could be called “The Secret of Life.” It reveals the pathway to living with joy no matter what our circumstances. It’s Paul’s letter to the Philippians, and what we will learn is truly priceless.

I am excited by the opportunities before us. I am excited by the promise of Jesus to help us experience an abundant life. I hope you will share my enthusiasm and that together we might experience this life together.

In Christ,

Pastor Bruce

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