Sunday, September 18 will be an event-filled day at St. Stephen. It begins with the start of Sunday School for the 2016-17 school year, concurrent with the 9:30 a.m. service, and culminates with the installation of the new pastor, the Rev. Joseph Graumann Jr., at 5:30 pm, with a celebration reception to follow.
Sunday School classes will be offered to children from pre-kindergarten through grade 6. Children will be present for the beginning of church, the “Gathering,” through a brief children’s sermon, leave for lessons during the “Word” portion and return for communion with their families.
“Children are welcome to join our Pre-K class when they are three years old,” says Norma DeBois of Hudson, Sunday School coordinator. The curriculum is “lectionary based,” she notes, “to connect Sunday School with worship.” Students will experience one of the Bible lessons featured in that Sunday’s worship service. Saint Stephen uses Sparkhouse's Whirl curriculum that engages students in fun and innovative ways. It highlights participation in the wider church and provides a launching point for deep conversations in the family.
Installation and Celebration
The 5:30 pm installation formalizes the relationship between the new pastor, Joseph Graumann Jr. and his congregation, and it celebrates their ministry together. In an installation service, the pastor and the congregation promise to pray for each other and to care for each other, and the pastor’s service formally begins. A representative from the local conference of Lutheran churches, on behalf of the Bishop of the New England Synod of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), is there to acknowledge the beginning of Joseph’s call and to certify it. The presider on September 18 will be The Rev. Susan Nachtigal, dean of the Worcester Conference, New England Synod of the ELCA.
Preacher for the installation service will be the Rev. Christine Kirchner, pastor at Mountain Grove Lutheran Parish, Bloomsburg, PA. The service will also include special music, including offerings from both the handbell and voice choirs, led by music director Stanley Hanson of Hudson.
In June, Saint Stephen Lutheran church voted to “call” Joseph Graumann to lead the congregation. Joseph was then ordained a minister to the Christian church and began work on August 1, the same day as the start of the church’s Vacation Bible Camp.
Saint Stephen Lutheran Church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation and welcomes people of all abilities, classes, races and ethnicities, sexual orientations, genders, and marital statuses. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, and Bolton. For more information, visit SaintStephenLutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page (St. Stephen Lutheran Church). The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the nation’s largest Lutheran church, with approximately four million members split into 65 synods, or territories, across the United States and the Caribbean.