Getting Ready!

I think it is going to rain!

On a seriously rainy – gray rather blahh looking Saturday morning a small – but truly mighty and dedicated group of Lutheran Christians gathered at Saint Stephen. (Our Saint Stephen work day groups always tend to be pretty small. This must be a “city” thing. You should see the work groups a farming community can put together!) We gathered for a truly important and exciting twofold purpose.   We were getting ready. We were getting ready to welcome new renters to our rental house early next month. AND we were getting ready to return to in-person worship on Sunday, May 2, 2021.

The Lutheran Christians gathered in spite of the gray skies that were threatening rain.

Some of us painted and cleaned the church’s rental house to prepare the house for its new occupants who will be moving in very soon. They are rather excited and looking forward to calling our rental house their new “home sweet home.” We are excited we will have friends of Saint Stephen living right next door again.

Others of our group rolled up their sleeves and cleaned and spiffed up Saint Stephen to make our beloved church all bright and shiny for our return to in-person worship on Sunday, May 2, 2021. Both the rental house and the church were busy – bustling – hustling – happening places on Saturday morning and into the afternoon.

Multi-generational cleaning – Marilyn and Lilly hard at work together.

Folks were cleaning and scrubbing. Lutherans could be found dusting every nook – cranny and crevice of the sanctuary and meticulously running the vacuum.

Thank you Glenn!

Communion kits were prepared. Trash was taken to the dumpster.

Floors were mopped. Baseboards were cleaned until they sparkled.

Cheryl’s door was not white when she started.

Painting and painting and then more painting took place. Did I mention our group of volunteers painted almost an entire house on Saturday?!?!? Impressive. Seriously so very – very impressive!

When our 18 dedicated – gracious – amazing – wonderful – dazzling and perhaps slightly weary volunteers hung up their brushes – wrapped up their cords – folded their cleaning cloths and headed for home on Saturday they left behind a smiling pastor and a very – very – very clean church and a rental house almost ready for its new tenants.

I have several pictures of Peggy Zimmerman doing exactly this at all sorts of church functions. She must love the sink in our church kitchen!

We are ready. Saint Stephen has been cleaned. The liturgies and communion kits have been prepared. The readings have been folded and placed carefully on your seats in the sanctuary.

We are ready to return to in-person worship on Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 10:00 am.

If you plan to join us for in-person worship, we ask that you wear your masks over both your mouth and your nose as long as you are in the building (even if you don’t like masks or have been fully vaccinated). Wearing a mask is such a small sacrifice when so many have sacrificed so very – very much more . . .

Lilly is modeling her mask perfectly. Can you see in her eyes that she very clearly thinks that her pastor and her pastor’s camera need to retire or at least go bug another hardworking Lutheran?

For now – Saint Stephen worship services will look much like worship did last summer and fall. We are continuing to follow as many of the health department and CDC guidelines as possible. This means Holy Communion from our places in the pews – no singing – limited worship servers and volunteers – wearing our masks and maintaining social distancing inside the building with those outside of our “bubbles/family units.”

We will continue to record and post Saint Stephen’s worship services on-line each week for our sisters and brothers in Christ who prefer to worship in this manner.

Solving the world’s problems – packaging communion kits – and catching up!

We truly do look forward to throwing open the doors of Saint Stephen and welcoming our sisters and brothers in Christ back to in-person worship on Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 10:00 am.

You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

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