Even Better Than They Promised!

During my first interviews with the call committee I learned all sorts of delightful – intriguing and interesting things about the Saint Stephen Christian community.

I learned Saint Stephen has a deep bond with the Fern Creek/Highview United Ministries. I also learned our members have been preparing a monthly meal for the families of Louisville Ronald McDonald House for years and years. Clearly feeding people is an incredibly important way we minister to and care for our neighbors.

I learned about Saint Stephen’s Thanksgiving dinner of great and glorious awesomeness! And the Christmas and Easter traditions too – more yummy food. (We DO talk about God’s love and Jesus around here too!)

But what really sparked my interest and imagination were the descriptions of the Halloween gatherings. WOW – the Halloween celebrations sounded like a riotously – amazingly – glorious celebration of Christian community and fun and delight and joy!

I was coming from a church that was “Halloween divided.”   Some of my members were very anti-Halloween and honestly I was so deeply weary of the people who seemed so set on stealing the joy from everything to do with kids and candy and costumes.

Then the Saint Stephen call committee declared – “Halloween is a big deal for Saint Stephen!”

“Whoo-Hoo and Awesome” – I thought.   “Finally” – I sighed to myself. I was in like Flynn! This was going to be amazing! And October after October it has been just that.

I look forward to our Halloween gatherings every year. Saint Stephen’s Halloween celebrations feel like family reunions (The good kind of family reunions that are fun and exciting and joyful. Not the painfully boring ones some of you may remember. I have been to some real clunker family reunions myself over the years . . .)

The decibel level in the fellowship hall is always high and I can NEVER get everyone’s attention for the blessing for our meal!

Lutherans! Lutherans’ friends! Lutherans’ family members! Candy!   Trick or Treating!   Pumpkins! Costumes! Haunted Houses! Candy! Laughter! Smiles and delight!   Decorations! Chili! Candy! Fellowship!   Noise! Hustle and Bustle! Chaos and Candy!

This is the good stuff. These are life’s blessings on full display to be reveled and gloried in and celebrated.

Sunday evening was our 2021 Halloween gathering.

I had been looking forward to this gathering of Lutherans for weeks (okay – months). And it was awesome!

Yes – this year’s Halloween gathering was a bit different than previous years. Covid-19 has changed just about everything in our lives. But our Halloween gathering was still a delight and a blessing.   The fellowship hall was still full of friendly folks. There was chili. There was an abundance of candy.   There was laughter – fellowship and chaos and noise! There were smiles! There was conversation and chatter and joking.

We gathered together. We laughed.   We ate too much candy. We caught up. We celebrated and gave thanks for Christian community and for our sisters and brothers in Christ.

It wasn’t just good. It was great and glorious and amazing and awesome. It was abundant and lavish.

I left feeling so thankful and so very – very blessed! My heart was full. This is the good stuff. This is the joy. This was one of those “cup runneth over moments.”

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