September signals back to school for some. For others, this the time for a new program or learning experience. Saint Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton St., Marlborough is combining both fall themes with a new schedule that expands Christian Education and moves the worship time forward 30 minutes, to 10 am.
Starting Sunday September 15, a “Lutheran Learning Hour,” aka Sunday School, will run from 9-9:45 am. Lessons for all ages will be based on the same readings as in church. In September, for example, themes will include “God’s Mercy Includes Everyone,” “Honesty in Wealth.” and “How Mercy, Not Success Matters.” Bible stories will include the Parable of the Lost Sheep and Poor Lazarus and the Wealthy Man.
A new inter-generational teen and adult class is in the 9:00 am Sunday School schedule, along with returning classes for young children up to grade 4, and middle grades 5-8 learners. Previously, a shorter Sunday School time for children took place during part of the church service. The new offering will provide time for more depth and discussion, and allow all ages to attend both Sunday School and the service.
Worship at 10 am
The Saint Stephen worship service will begin at 10 am, a half hour later than the current time.
“This move shows that we are committed to having a place for people of all ages at God’s table,” said Pastor Joseph Graumann Jr. “Our schedule offers flexibility to parents, children, and everyone else.” In addition to a well stocked play area within the worship space that gives children a place to play near parents and be involved in worship, there is a nursery adjacent to the sanctuary. What will be new starting September 15 is that the nursery will be staffed every week by volunteers.
“Saint Stephen Lutheran Church is all about relationships,” Pastor Graumann added. “We get to know each other by learning together, and just as you might develop a friendship by asking about your friend’s life, we learn about God to develop our relationship with the divine. Come to learning hour, worship, or both.”
What will not change on September 15 is the existence of the popular after-church coffee hour, although it will start a little later. Coffee hour will be from 11 to noon.