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A Note from Pastor Bruce

Beloved People of God....

As you read this, we are preparing to enter a new year and a new season of the church! On January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany concludes the Christmas season with a celebration of God’s glory revealed in the one who was born in the manger, Jesus Christ our Lord. Epiphany means, “manifestation,” in which the light of Christ reveals who we are, namely beloved children of God, who have been claimed and washed in the waters of baptism, assured that no matter what the years are like, God promises to shine forth the light of love upon us.

Next to Easter, Epiphany is the oldest season of the church year. In the course of history Epiphany was known by a variety of names: Feast of the Manifestation, Feast of Lights, Feast of the Appearing of Christ, Feast of the Three Kings (though there is no biblical foundation for just three kings) and The Twelfth Day. Today the primary name we use for "Epiphany," means "Manifestation," which means an event, an action, or an object that clearly shows or embodies something. The light manifests itself in the darkness, God reveals himself in Jesus, and the glory of God is seen in Jesus.

I believe we have witnessed the manifestation of God’s love in a variety of ways throughout 2023. Much has been accomplished toward enhancing our environmental evangelism. Some highlights include the following:

  • We completely renewed and refreshed the landscaping.

  • We repaved the parking lots, including adding additional spaces to allow for continued growth.

  • We installed a wonderful new sculpture entitled, “The Crosses of Calvary,” on the exterior north wall of the sanctuary.

  • We repaired the roof over the old entrance and will have a portion of the roof repaired at our Louisville Campus as well.

  • We developed a comprehensive strategic plan to help provide guidance for our ministry over the next five years.

  • We updated our constitution, upon which we will vote for approval at our annual meeting.

  • We celebrated two retirements of our long tenured and faithful staff, Marie Downey (37 years) and Allie Harpster (9 years).

  • We welcomed three new wonderful staff team members, Steve Parsons (VIP Choir Director), Cindy Hina (Director of Connections), and Sara Carr (Receptionist).

  • We gave thanks to Lydia Brooks for her service as the Director of Family Ministry for the last four years and celebrated her new career opportunity with Habitat for Humanity.

  • We welcomed fifty new members into the mission of St. Stephen through baptism and affirmation of baptism!

I cannot wait to see how God will continue to show up in this new year. I have no doubt God will be made manifest in some exciting and even surprising ways. I ask your continued prayers and commitment as we continue to embody the call and shine the light of God’s love by helping all experience God’s love so they can grow to love like Christ. As we embody that mission, no doubt we will help reveal the light of Christ glory to the world. Let that light shine!

See You Sunday,

Pastor Bruce

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