Old Testament prophecy, contemporary poetry, easy-to-sing music, and participant Bible study will all be part of the new Word-up Wednesday church service, which will start on November 30, at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton St., Marlborough. The weekly 6:30 p.m. service will be about an hour long, and will include communion.
“This is a opportunity for people who can’t get to church on Sundays to come and experience Jesus,” says the Rev. Joseph Graumann, St. Stephen pastor. “It’s a great choice for people who want to learn,” he adds, and, through the Bible study discussion, to “be part of the conversation.” The pastor notes Word-up Wednesday is designed to be “meditative, spiritual, and relevant to today.”
The service, which begins during the pre-Christmas season of Advent, will be more like a gathering in the catacombs than a formal service in the cathedral. Traditionally, in the first century church, for example, “early Christians sang songs you didn’t need a hymnbook for, shared stories of their ancestors, talked about God at work in the world, and shared communion,” Graumann added. At St. Stephen, everyone who wishes to share the bread and wine is welcome at communion.
Readings for the Bible study will correspond with the church season. For advent, stories will range from Isaiah in the Old Testament to the story of Mary in the New Testament, and how they speak to us today.
For more information about the church, visit our website or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 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, and Bolton. In addition to Word-up Wednesday services, worship takes place each Sunday at 9:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship.
More than 100 people came to the November 19 Clothing Giveaway at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlborough. Committee members believe there could have been as many as 2000 items of clothing available, in very good condition and ready to wear.
Janice Conlin of Southborough, chair of the event, estimates 120 customers came through the doors and left with one or more bags of free clothing for men, women, and children, in addition to purses, jewelry, shoes, boots, scarves and hats that were also offered. Shoppers included people referred by area agencies as well as the general public.
Besides the gently used clothing and accessories donated by St. Stephen members and friends, there were some new items. The church’s knitting group, The Knit Wits, made winter hats. Through a $250 grant from Thrivent, applied for by member Cathy Schoenleber of Hudson, the committee purchased 28 sets of underwear and 8 pairs of winter gloves.
In addition to Conlin and Schoenleber, committee members included Anita Phelan and Bev Broz of Marlborough; Marlea Dutt, Yong Hee Spiller, Maggie Leddy, and Donna and Scott Lambert of Hudson; Gerda Youkstetter and Tammy Kaye of Shrewsbury; Beth Warner of Stow; and Barbara Parente of Bolton.
For more information about the church, visit our website or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 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.
Some of us are overjoyed at the results to our election, and some are dismayed. I'm sure many, if not all of us, are surprised at some facet of what our state and nation decided. Beyond our presidential decision, certain questions were put to Massachusetts voters that will undoubtedly bring change to our communities as well.
Anxiety and fear naturally flow from change. It's part of who we are, and at this moment, there are pressing questions for our communities' future. With anxiety and fear, however, can easily come bitterness, hatred, and unkindness. In this respect, Jesus' command to love our neighbors, however they may have voted, can and must reign in our hearts and in our actions.
That same command to love our neighbors also flows into our future life as Church in a turbulent world. We at Saint Stephen, and in the wider ELCA, will continue to advocate for the poor, the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and the downtrodden in our society. We will continue to advocate for racial equality, for the care of creation, for the empowerment of women, and for equal protection under the law. We will continue to stand with people of other faiths and traditions, and we will continue to advocate for the dignity of LGBTQ persons. We will pray for peace, out loud, in public. We will pray for our newly-elected leaders, that God's reign of equality and abundance inform their decisions.
More importantly than this, as Church we will continue to speak God's Word of grace and love to a world that continues to be divided and fearful. Jesus lived at a time when his people were living under colonial rule, and he spoke of a future where freedom and justice are the rule. He was executed for this, and those who looked to him in hope, like us, feared for the future.
Jesus rose again.
In rising from the grave, refusing to stay dead and quiet, Jesus secured for us a future where God is Lord, and everyone has everything they need. As Christians, we proclaim that no matter which party is in office, no matter what is legal or illegal, Jesus Christ is Lord of all the earth.
Where Jesus is in charge, there is always peace, plenty, and equality. And Jesus is in charge.
I am--and remain--available to chat and pray with you during this time. I encourage you to pray for and care for each other. My office hours are Mondays, 5-7pm, Wednesdays, 9 AM -1 PM, and Thursdays 1-5PM. Worship is every Sunday at 9:30 AM.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Joseph Graumann, Jr.
Fall and winter holidays are just around the corner. For some area families, gift-giving occasions compete for the same dollars needed to buy clothing or food. The people of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton St. (Route 85), Marlborough would like to help by offering a Clothing Giveaway on Saturday, November 19 from 10 am to 1:00 pm. All items are FREE.
There will be a selection of gently used clothing for men, women, babies, and children, as well as accessories such as shoes and belts, at no cost. Those who come can bring their own bag, or take a bag provided and fill it with whatever they can use.
This is the third year St. Stephen parishioners have hosted spring and fall giveaways, and decided they and their friends still have more to give. With the Bible verse from Luke in mind, in which John urges those with two coats to give one away, parishioners are looking through their closets for extra coats and other winter garments to share.
Shoppers also can expect to find seasonal sweaters, tops, pants, pajamas, skirts, dresses, and tee-shirts in all adult sizes, as well as children’s clothing. Most items will be gently used, but some will be almost new and could be gifts for others.
Tight budgets often don’t leave anything for fun purchases, so the planning committee is making sure there will be costume jewelry, purses, and scarves, so shoppers can pick up a treat for themselves as well.
For more information about the church, visit saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. St. Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org). St. Stephen 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, and Bolton.
Never to pass up the opportunity for a party, Saint Stephens folks descended on the church this past Saturday to celebrate Halloween. Fun times included pizza, punch, pumpkin carving, bookmark-making, donut-eating (hands-free, of course), and a costume contest!
Winners included our youngest member, Hope the Dragon, for "Scariest" and Sam Maston's costume as Pastor Joe for "funniest." The pastor and his sister also won an award for their role as Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Interested in joining the fun? Worship is at 9:30 AM on Sundays, and check out our calendar for more events.
Saint Stephen Lutheran Church is a congregation of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We are a "Reconciling in Christ" community welcoming people of all races, ethnicities, genders, abilities, sexualities, and marital statuses.