Samuel Maston, the son of Sarah and Glenn Maston of Hudson, has been chosen as one of 12 youth from around the country to serve on the Youth Core Leadership Team of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Those selected meet regularly to grow in leadership and mission to the church, and plan the Annual Youth Leadership Conference that takes place in November. Each year, six youth are added to the team for the two-year commitment, and six are sent out from the team with their enhanced leadership skills.
Sam travels to Chicago this week, for the first of three required on-site meetings, where he will meet fellow participants as well as the six outgoing members. In addition to the three meetings, team members participate in monthly video conferences.
Sam filled out an online application in January. A member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Marlborough, Sam was confirmed last spring and continues to be active as an acolyte, an assisting minister, and a member of the youth group, which engages in both outreach and social activities. He planned and ran the recreation/games phase of the summer Vacation Bible Camp and is currently a member of the committee that is planning an auction of goods and services to benefit the youth group’s June trip to the ELCA National Gathering in Houston.
Sam was at a tennis clinic when he got a call and a text to tell him he made the leadership team. “I said sweet! This is awesome.” He said he was “surprised, but I felt pretty good.”
He is a sophomore at Hudson High School, enrolled in honors classes. Sam is on the tennis team and plays clarinet in the band as well as for the Claflin Hill Youth Orchestra. He also plays the piano, sometimes offering a selection in church.
“Church is a fairly big part of my life,” Sam noted. “I enjoy the church family at St. Stephen and the youth group.” Commenting on the many outreach projects the group engages in, from wrapping sweatshirts for veterans to buying toys for children to going on mission trips, Sam said, “Helping other people feels good.”
“Sam is such a blessing to our congregation,” said Pastor Joseph Graumann. “We are so happy that he will be a blessing to the whole church.”
There were 33 applicants for the six available spots, noted Molly Beck Dean, Interim Program Director for Youth Ministry for the ELCA. “The six outgoing YCLT members and three adult advisors were the selection group. Everyone read all applications, did some personal praying and discerning, and then we talked about those who stood out.” She said Sam’s “speaking of adaptive leadership, acknowledging that sometimes leaders have to make the tough choices and the importance of making sure everyone feels heard,” were things that stood out in Sam’s application.
For more information about St. Stephen Lutheran Church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. 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.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin was the February book choice for the St. Stephen Book Club, which met this month at church with Bev Broz and Leeann Brewitt hosting. Lunch was topped by a lively discussion about the novel. The next meeting will take place at Jan and Tom Conlin’s home on March 2, when members will be discussing My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. New members are always welcome.
Wednesday, February 14 is not only Valentine’s Day around the world, but also Ash Wednesday in Christian churches, and the day Word-Up Wednesday services will resume at 6:30 pm at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton St., Marlborough.
As love is the focus for Valentine’s Day, it is also compatible with Word-Up Wednesday worship, notes St. Stephen Pastor Joseph Graumann.
“As society celebrates love with hearts and chocolates, Saint Stephen Lutheran Church also offers a chance to celebrate a very different kind of Love. During Lent, we walk with Jesus to the cross, where God’s love is poured out for all of us. This Ash Wednesday, we begin to look to that cross, to remember our own mortality, and to celebrate the depth of God’s love; love even to death.”
Old Testament prophecy, contemporary poetry, easy-to-sing music, and participant Bible study are all part of the service, which more resembles a gathering in the catacombs than a formal service in a cathedral.
Valentine’s Day began as a Christian commemoration. “Saint Valentine died for the sake of God’s love,” the pastor added. “He literally loved us all to death. What better way to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day than to celebrate God’s love to the depth of who we are.”
Word-up Wednesday takes place weekly at 6:30 pm; Sunday worship at St. Stephen is at 9:30 am, with Sunday School running concurrently, followed by coffee and fellowship.
For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org) The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Stow, Sudbury, and Bolton.
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.
Pastor Joe installed the members of the 2018 Congregation Council on Sunday. From left, they include Frank Dutt, Jane Woolsey, Marlea Dutt, Dave Ross, Harold Greer, Anita Phelan, Elaine Recklet, Barbara Parente, Stan Hanson, and Sarah Maston (not in photo). Harold, Anita, and Stan were welcomed as the new members. Norma DuBois and Ken LaPlante, who completed their terms on council, were thanked for their service. Ann Gibson photo
SSLC hosted about 60 people from area churches involved in the Forward Leadership program on Saturday, February 3, offering space, hospitality, and delicious food. Thanks to Stan and Linda Hanson, Anita Phelan, Barbara Parente, and Brian White for breakfast offerings, including homemade coffee cakes, fruit, and bagels. Kudos to lunch providers Harold Greer, Pastor Joe, Scott and Donna Lambert, Martha Domke, Ann Weston, and Beth and Dan Warner, who all together offered ribs, beef stew, and five different varieties of chili. Special thanks to Scott and Matt Lambert for set-up and Brian Zimmel and Frank Dutt for clean-up. PHOTO: Martha Domke, Barbara Parente, Ann Weston, Anita Phelan, and Harold Greer get ready for the lunch crowd.