Relay for Life of Marlborough Hudson takes place this Saturday, June 2, from 10 am to 10 pm at Ward Park in Marlborough. Saint Stephen Lutheran Church is well represented, providing the keynote speaker, a 15-member team, and two members of the Executive Leadership Team.
Team members include Leeann Brewitt, Dave and Martha Domke, Betsy Field, Pastor Joseph Graumann, Elizabeth and Harold Greer, the Maston family, Ann Weston, Melanie and George Whapham, and Jane Woolsey. The team is in a respectable fourth place in their fundraising as of this writing. To donate or join the team, go to www.facebook.com/RFLMarlboroughHudson. When directed to the website, scroll down to find the team list.
Melanie Whapham and Deb Roberts are members of the Executive Leadership Team. Planning meetings are held monthly for ten months every year.
Pastor Graumann, who provided a moving and insightful talk last year, has been invited back to again offer the keynote address, which kicks off the event at 10 am. Sometime after that he will volunteer for something quite different – a 15-minute stint in the dunk tank!
Last year, the Saint Stephen team earned the prize for best decoration, and this year, with a Flaming Flamingos theme, they hope to do it again.
When the sun goes down at every American Cancer Society Relay For Life event, hope shines the brightest. During the Luminaria Ceremony, which will take place between 8:45 and 9:15 pm, hundreds of luminaria will light the track to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that has taken too much.
Support the Relay by stopping by during the day. Listen to the keynote, take a lap with a team member, bid on an auction basket, play a lawn game, buy a snack or a meal, enjoy some oldies music, and watch or participate in the dancing, ranging from Zumba to belly dancing to country.
Serving at a soup kitchen, cleaning up a camp, and working at a food warehouse were among the “vacation week” activities for a group from Saint Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlborough, MA who traveled to Philadelphia for a recent 5-day mission trip. Pastor Joseph Graumann and youth leader Sarah Maston accompanied eight teens: Caitlyn, Samantha and Zachary Gogan, Matt Haley, Aline and Emma Kaledjian, and Abby and Sam Maston. They were part of a volunteer group of 22 teens and six adults from Central Massachusetts involved in LIPY (Lutheran Inter-Parish Youth).
Four from Saint Stephen chose to volunteer at a senior living facility, where they played balloon volleyball and board games with the seniors, and joined them in arts and crafts. “We also ate lunch with our senior friends every day,” Sarah Maston noted. “The kids really enjoyed getting to know the seniors and their personalities.” For those who remained at Camp Innabah, in Spring City, PA, where they stayed overnight, their days were taken up with grounds clean-up and painting to help prepare the facility for summer campers.
The pastor chaperoned at a soup kitchen at the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia. “We arrived ready to help, “ he said, “but instead through their gracious hospitality and education, they helped us to see the realities of life in North Philadelphia. This is a church that changed alongside its neighborhood to be a center of justice and solidarity, and many churches would do well to follow their example.”
For Sam Maston, the working at Share Nourishing Community, a food bank, was “ a wonderful experience and I really enjoyed helping others.” Volunteers packaged food into boxes, and sent them to both organizations and individuals. “We got to interact with some buyers as we helped them load the food into their vehicles.”
After completing their volunteer service, the entire group worshiped at Grace Lutheran Church in Royersford, PA. “It was very beautiful!” Sarah Maston said.
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, Sudbury, Stow, and Bolton.