Dear Members and Friends of St. Stephen,
Grace and peace to you all. We look forward to Pastor Alex Aivars starting his ministry among us on September 17. Alex was ordained on September 6, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Kalamazoo.
A long-time member of St. Stephen, Helen Reinhart, died last week in Illinois, where she lived. Her funeral was held in Illinois, and her Committal Service will be held Saturday, September 14, at 11:00 a.m. at DeepDale Cemetery in Lansing.
This coming Sunday, September 15, will be my last day with you at St. Stephen as your stated supply pastor. We will have a Farewell and Godspeed at the end of worship. I have thoroughly enjoyed being here and serving with you. Delia and I want to extend our thanks to you for the wonderful potluck luncheon yesterday and the gift of the beautiful “We are so blessed” figurine. We are indeed blessed and grateful for your generosity and kindness.
Please consider walking or supporting a walker in the CROP Hunger Walk on October 13.To register on-line, go to crophungerwalk.org/lansingmi and join our St. Stephen ELCA Team. There are also materials on the SERVE Table in the Fellowship Hall. Our Crop Walk captain is Sarah Holland.
In Sunday’s Gospel the religious leaders complain that Jesus welcomes sinners and eats with them. In response he tells them the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the Prodigal Son. Sometimes we may grumble at God’s welcome to the outsider. But we too are the lost sheep who have been found. And we are the community that rejoices in God’s grace that has found us. “That our God wills to seek and to save the lost is actually our only hope.” (Sundays & Seasons)
Blessings as you ponder the Scripture Between Sundays,
Erick Johnson, Interim Pastor
St. Stephen Lutheran Church
Sunday’s Scripture Readings:
Exodus 32:7-14; Psalm 51:1-10; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10
For This Week
Questions for Reflection:
When was a time that you lost something special to you? Who in our community is cast aside? Who in our culture is pushed to the margin? Why do we feel such a strong pull for the lost things, but sometimes not the lost people? How can our church seek out and welcome those who have been left out and cast aside?
Monday, Psalm 101, Choosing God’s law
Tuesday, 1 Timothy 4:6-16, Being a servant of Christ
Wednesday, Luke 18:18-30, The rich ruler
Thursday, Psalm 51:1-10, Have mercy upon me, O God
Friday, Genesis 7:6-10; 8:1-5, God remembers faithful Noah
Saturday, 2 Peter 2:1-10a, God judges and rescues