March 24, 2019 Weekly Announcements

Congregational News & Events – Week of March 24, 2019

The Third Sunday in Lent

Service Times 8:30 am and 10:30am

The Rev. John R. Johanssen – Celebrant

The Rev. Deacon Jared Talbot – Preacher


Choir Rehearsal – 8:30 am in the Chapel

Adult Bible Discussion Group 9:15am in Hobson Hall

Thrive! Children, Youth & Families Ministry  Meet in Outer Office during 10:30am serivce, then upstairs in Hobson Hall

Campus Ministry Tuesday Night Oasis – 8:00pm, Sanctuary

Mid-Week Prayer and Luncheon – Wednesdays, 12:30pm


 Reminder for 2019 Pledges: If you are having your pledge payment sent automatically via your bank, check with your bank to make sure the mailing address for the church is listed as 30 West Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, Ohio  43210. The post office box was closed last year and the USPS forwarding has expired. Thanks!


 2019 Easter Offering

 In addition to the annually budgeted deposit of $1000.00, the vestry has designated this year’s Easter Offering to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.

 The funds used from this account are directed to persons and families in need in our congregation and local community. Typically, the money is used for rent assistance, food, transportation needs such as emergency car repair, gasoline and bus fare, as well as medical and prescription expenses. Occasionally there are additional needs funded that are consistent with the purposes of this outreach offering.

 The Rector has sole discretion over this account. All payments are anonymous and the fund is audited by the Senior Warden and Treasurer.

 2019 Easter Offering envelopes will be placed in the pews and on the tables at both entrances to the Sanctuary starting March 31st. If donating by check, please write “2019 Easter Offering” in the memo line.

 Thank you for your generosity to this important ministry.




Lenten Season at St. Stephen’s 

Five Marks of Love – A Lenten Program of Study, Instruction, and Reflection offered to the churches by The Virginia Theological Seminary and The Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Lent is a solemn season providing time for learning and preparation as the holy seasons of Resurrection and Inspiration approach. This year at Saint Stephen’s we are offered an opportunity to participate in a mixed program of online and in-person activities entitled The 5 Marks of Love – Living Life Marked a Christ’s Own. The materials for the program are available online and each participant who has a personal email is encouraged to register as indicated below. By registering you will receive in your email inbox daily meditations and materials during Lent. In addition, we will have opportunities at the church during Lent for small group interaction and reflection, as well as dedicating time at each Wednesday Noonday Prayer service at the church for discussion and learning.

The beauty of this program design is that it is possible to participate as an individual, as a member of a small group, and/or in a larger group mode. We will also provide materials in printed form for anyone who lacks access to online materials or would prefer them, and schedule a closing activity prior to Easter for a general discussion of the experience.

To get started please use the link below to read some basic information about The 5 Marks of Love and then register via your email to receive the daily reflections. And should you have any questions or would like some assistance please contact Joe Rutter at or 614-284-9774 (leave a message please). It is suggested that the start date for receiving the daily materials be Sunday, March 3, 2019, but starting later is also fine as there will be opportunity to catch up.


Forgiveness Friday Forum 6:00-8:00pm  Every Friday during Lent: March 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5, 12, 19

What:         As a follow up to the F-Word Exhibit and by popular demand, St. Stephen’s invites you to participate in a Lenten program of conversation & contemplation centered around the questions and themes of the Forgiveness Project.

Where:       Hobson Hall

Details:      As Paul Simon said in song, we will “have a little conversation & drink a little red wine.” Think of it as solving the world’s problems through casual conversation in an Irish pub over food and drinks with good friends. It is a forum for good thoughts with good people.

This is for everybody! Invite a friend! Multi-generational participation is encouraged! Childcare or transportation can be provided, just let us know ahead of time!  We will order pizza, subs, Chipotle, etc. in support of local neighborhood businesses. Tommy’s Pizza up first (BYO preferred Beverage for yourself and/or to share).  Water, Juice, and Pop Provided.  Bring your curiosity, be in fellowship, and enjoy an evening of great conversation!


Lent Plastic Challenge

News reports and blogs are increasingly drawing attention to the amount of plastics in landfills and the ocean. It has become so bad in the oceans that many species are being killed, either from ingesting plastic microbeads from beauty products or strangled by plastic containers and rings from drinks.

We have been given the responsibility to care for God’s creation. We can’t do anything about the amount of pollution around the world, but we can reduce our own personal use.

Consider that, instead of giving up chocolate or coffee for Lent, reducing the amount of plastic consumed in our households. If each one of us do our part, we can begin to minimize the impact to the earth and wildlife.

To read more about the Lent Plastic Challenge, click on the below link:


Sunday Morning Adult Bible Discussion for March 24, 2019

The Sunday, March 10th, the Adult Discussion Group will focus on  Chapters 17-21  of The Acts of the Apostles. If you can, read these chapters in the Collegeville Commentary book, or any study Bible. Bring your comments and questions, take a seat at the table, and join the conversation. Everyone is invited! Oh, yes, coffee and donuts are available, too!


Everyone is invited to join us on Sunday mornings at 9:15am in Hobson Hall for the discussion! The new “Big Read” of the Diocese of Southern Ohio has begun, and we are now beginning the Book of Acts. We are using the book The Acts of the Apostles by Dennis Hamm, from the New Collegeville Bible Commentary series, which is available at or other used book sources on the internet for about $10 to $20, depending on where you purchase it. OR, a good study Bible will have helpful notes and commentary.


Children, Youth and Families Ministry News


Our children’s spiritual formation classes (Thrive) is meeting this Sunday during the 10:30am service. Look for Rachael Smith and Daniel Buey in the “meeting room”.

Trade-In Bake Sale continues through Lent

 Our annual Trade-In Bake Sale continues through Lent, ending on the last Sunday in Lent. During this time, the children will collect non-food items for the NSI Food Pantry. If any member of the congregation brings in a non-food item to the 10:30 service, they will receive a ticket redeemable for a baked treat or healthy snack at the end of the service. If you would like to provide a post-service treat, please do so!


The Tuesday Evening Oasis Campus Ministry

Join us on Tuesday evenings to pray, sing, and meditate in the St. Stephen’s sanctuary. If you have any questions, contact Jared Talbot (


Is The Altar Guild Calling You?

The Altar Guild is looking for a few more members. Is this a calling you have considered?

Altar Guild members generally arrive 30-45 minutes before the service either 8.30am or 10.30am (per choice) on Sundays and occasional midweek (e.g., Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday). Post-service clean-up takes another 30 minutes. Altar Guild members are usually scheduled for one Sunday a month, with scheduling is planned around any personal events.

Altar Guild candidates would receive thorough training and be paired with an experienced Altar Guild member for the first few sessions.

No need to worry about any “mysticism” surrounding the Altar Guild – we are all regular folks who enjoy serving St. Stephen’s.

About twice a year we meet on a Saturday morning to do deep cleaning for special set ups, such as Advent or the Bishop’s visit. We also have brunch at these events!

Please email me if you are considering this ministry or if you have any questions

Thanks – Janet McNaughton


 Clinking Quarters

 All quarters offered in the Sunday collection plates are used to support our outreach ministries, particularly to purchase the food for our twice yearly meal at St. John’s, Franklinton. Each time you donate a quarter, clink it on the side of the plate so we can be reminded of the needs of our community and the good works that your quarters help fund.


Intercessory Prayer Chain

 Interest has been expressed in formalizing a prayer ministry in the congregation. If you are interested in joining a group of your fellow parishioners to offer regular prayer for situations and and for those in special need/ thanksgivings, please send your name and preferred email address to A prayer ministry point person will record and distribute the names and purpose of the prayer to the prayer chain members. If you are willing to serve as the point person for this ministry, please let us know. In most circumstances, names will remain on the prayer list and Prayers of the People for three consecutive weeks unless asked to be removed or extended.

 Anytime you wish to add a person or situation for prayers, please send your request to the office and we will see that it is added to the prayer chain and Prayers of the People.


BREAD Updates

2019 Nehemiah Action – Monday, May 6th

The BREAD team met with the members of the Justice Ministry Network on Sunday, March 10th, and are making plans for the Nehemiah Action on Monday, May 6th. This year’s issue is related to senior citizens, and the specifics are still being worked out, but we will communicate that with you in the coming weeks. For now, please mark May 6th on your calendar. We will share a meal around 5:00 pm, then travel by bus to the Ohio Expo Center for the Action. Expect to hear from us about attending!

Elder Care Update

 Our newest campaign for Elder Care has involved a lot of meetings in the community to learn more about challenges facing senior citizens. We met with agencies ranging from the Franklin County Office on Aging to LifeCare Alliance in order to uncover gaps in services that may need BREAD’s push. What we learned is that in Franklin County, depending on what neighborhood you live in, there is actually a 27-year difference in life expectancy. When we originally learned this from the Kirwan Institute’s study it was only 20 years, but just this week they informed us that even though the overall life expectancy may be going up for older adults, seniors from low income areas are staying the same- some of them not even living to the years of age necessary to qualify for senior services. We have been researching these life determinants and found that many areas in our community do not have the same access to preventative care such as healthcare, home help aides, nutritious food, and social events and relationships that can improve the mental health of seniors. We also learned that Home Health Care workers only make about $11.00 a day and often have to have their own transportation, making it difficult to fill these positions and get our elders the care they need. We want all of our seniors to live with dignity and receive the care they deserve, join us at the Rally on April 8th to hear more details about this research and the solution we will push for at the Action this year. Also, if you have any stories related to taking care of a loved one or your own struggles with aging, please talk to one of the team members after this meeting.

From your B.R.E.A.D. team:  

Rae Fellows, Kaethe Sandman, Norm Wernet, and Mignonne Whitlow


NSI News

Neighborhood Service, Inc., is our neighborhood food pantry, supported by multiple congregations in the north campus area. The need for food services is increasing, and St. Stephen’s is responding. Although the government shutdown is over, food stamps for February were delivered early, in late January. This is expected to put more pressure on families in February, as their monthly allotment will run out earlier than anticipated.

Collection for March:  Scalloped Potatoes for NSI Easter Food Baskets Received as of 3.17.19:  142 

258 to go!

We have been asked to collect 400 boxes of scalloped potatoes for the Easter food baskets for Neighborhood Services, Inc. (NSI). The last day to bring in your boxes to church is Sunday, April 7th


In the month of February, St. Stephens donated 121 boxes of pasta, clothes and other items to Neighborhood Services, and in 2018, St. Stephen’s donated a total of $5,061.67, which helped NSI serve 33,155 people and distribute 612,902 meals during the year. 

Thank you all for your generosity!


Girl Scout Troop #6019 (Rachael Smith, troop leader), that meets here in Hobson Hall is devoting some of their cookie sale profit to purchase nonfood items for NSI. The rest of the congregation can help at the Lenten trade-in bake sale that has become a St. Stephen’s tradition.


Hunger/Run Walk 5K to benefit NSI –  March 24, 2019, Fred Beekman Park

Kaethe Sandman is organizing a group of St. Stephen’s parishioners for this event. Registration is online at

The run should take about 30 minutes, and the walk 45-60 minutes. Since we are so close, we can carpool to west campus and return not-too-late for the 10:30 service.


For more info on how you can continue to help NSI, please click on the following link:


Book Club for April 2019

Book Club News: Book Club is moving to the first Wednesday of the month for April and potentially for other months this year. That means the April Book Club meeting will be on Wednesday, April 3 2019 starting at 6:30 PM. We’ll begin with a potluck meal; please bring food and/or beverage to share. We’ll be meeting at Wayne & Julia Sheppard’s home (510 Acme Rd., Delaware, OH 43015, Julia’s phone and email: 740-503-2881, Note: this is a new address from the last time we met at the Sheppard’s home, so get your GPS ready. Please let Julia and Wayne if you plan to attend for planning purposes. After dinner we’ll be discussing The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain. If you wish to get a head start on reading, the May book is The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad (non-fiction). Everyone is invited and welcome to any book club meeting.


Calling St. Stephen’s Soul Sisters!

Hi “Soul Sisters” of St. Stephen’s!

You are invited to participate in fellowship with the women of St. Stephen’s in the Spirit of Friendship, Encouragement, Support, Gratitude, Hope, and Love as we share a moment in life’s journey together. It is a time out from daily doings to just BE in Friendship over a cup of tea with conversations to feed the soul.

We meet twice monthly: the first Thursday morning of the month will offer a “Coffee Klatch” from 9:30-11:30am for those available to meet during the day (kiddos welcome) the third Thursday evening  offers a “Girls Night Out or In” from 7:00-9:00pm.

New for 2019:  All morning gatherings on the 1st Thursday of each month will be held  in the Chapel at St. Stephen’s. Centralized for all, no need to remember where to show up, and kid-friendly! Coffee and breakfast treats will be provided. If you need a ride, transportation can be arranged.

April 2019 Meeting Dates:

  • April 4th @  St. Stephen’s Chapel, 9:30am – 11:30am
  • April 18th @   La Chatelaine, 1550 W. Lane Ave, Upper Arlington

(Always looking for monthly hosts and/or open to ideas for places to meet or excursion sites conducive to conversation and new experiences.)

 Contact Kaitlin Raver, Coordinator, with any questions at or (614) 956-8550 with any questions. 

 Looking forward to spending some time with St. Stephen’s wonderful “Soul Sisters”!


SAVE THE DATES – Four Sing-A-Long Events in 2019

St. Stephen’s will be hosting four sing-a-long events during 2019 There has been a call to ministry that there is a need to sing in community for FUN! These events are informal multi-generational events to sing together that are open to everybody, kid-friendly, and laid-back. Invite your friends!

Singing makes people happy and helps build a community in love!

 4 Dates to Add to Your Calendar (Quarterly themed Sing-A-Longs) 

 OLD TIME HYMN SING-A-LONG – April 7th after the 10:30 Service

We will sing your favorite hymns, old-time Gospel style. Share your favorites!

 SUMMER SILLY SONG SING-A-LONG – June 23–Summer Kick Off Picnic after 10:30 service with City BBQ

Bring your favorite silly kid’s songs…

Bicycle Built for 2, Purple People Eater, On top of Spaghetti, Rubber Duckie, etc. Bring a favorite…we will project lyrics on a screen.

 CAMPFIRE SONGS SING-A-LONG – October 12–Evening Campfire in Courtyard

Roast some brats, hot dogs, and s’mores and sing our favorite campfire songs!

CHRISTMAS CAROL SING-A-LONG – December 1–Advent Wreath Making & Carol Singing after 10:30 service

Kaethe Sandman knows a carol expert who may be able to participate, inform, and lead this one; we will also be making Advent wreaths. Get in the Christmas Spirit!


Mount Carmel Church Partnerships Newsletters

Copies of the Mt. Carmel Church Partnerships Newsletters for March 2019, Weekly Scoop Newsletters  and Health Living Center Wellness Activities list for Winter 2019 can be found on the Community News table in Hobson Hall. Also available are the Mount Carmel Diabetes Prevetion Program Class Listings for January-March 2019 and a flyer for the Diabetes Prevention Program.