Updates From Pastor Lori

St. Stephen Family & Friends,

As churches and businesses begin to reopen during the pandemic, we want to be certain that our in-person worship is performed according to guidelines established by our national, state, and local governments. In other words, your safety is our primary concern. Methodists have guidelines, too, and they start with our General Rules: (1) do no harm, (2) always do good, (3) attend to the ordinances of God. Opening too soon could be considered an act of doing harm. In order to be as safe as possible and offer in-person worship, we will have a procedural plan in place that will guide your entrance into the building as well as placement in the sanctuary. Family groups may sit together while maintaining social distancing between family groups and individuals. Face-masks will be required, and the interior spaces of the building will be subject to sanitation procedures. Our new normal is beginning! I am hopeful and confident that we will be able to have in-person worship commencing either May 31 or June 7.

Thank you for your faithfulness during this time concerning your pledges, tithes, and offerings. Our online giving is a great way to stay current in your giving. Also, we are receiving pledges through the USPS. We have been approved for a PPP Loan; however, we have not received it. Our finances have taken a hit, and many of you are suffering financially. Please know that we are in this together! God is with us, and God is obviously doing a new thing! May we perceive it!!!

We also have been awarded a $1000 grant to help purchase equipment necessary to continue recording and broadcasting or live-streaming our worship service once we return completely to in-person worship. Folks, the $1000 is a start, but it is not the end $ amount needed. Please consider contributing additional funds towards the purchase of equipment, software and training needed in order to continue our NEW DIGITAL MINISTRY!!! This ministry has incredible potential for outreach.

Please know that you are in my prayers. Let’s be guided by faith and not driven by fear.

Peace & Grace,

Pastor Lori