Announcements for the week of July 3, 2016

Upcoming Congregational Activities
Monday, July 4: Parish Office is closed in observance of Independence Day
Wednesday, July 13: 6:30pm Book Club at the home of Louise Bishop
Sunday, July 17: 12 noon to 4:00pm: Olentangy River Bike Ride and Family Fun Day
Sunday, July 24 – Aug 14: MAKE for children during the 10:30am service

Pastoral Care Coverage
Deacon Pam Elwell has graciously agreed to be the coordinator for pastoral care calls. Several clergy will be available for pastoral care: The Rev. Bruce Smith, the Rev Deacon Sherm Everett, the Rev. Karl Stevens, and the Rev. Deacon Pam Elwell. Please call Pam first—she will know who is on call at any particular time.

Transition News
When last you heard from the search committee, we were getting ready to conduct final, ‘at home’ interviews with our candidates. The interviews had not yet been scheduled, but I said I hoped we would be able to complete them in June. Good news – we are finishing up this week! The interviews each lasted about two days, and included a formal interview and a Eucharist lead by the candidate (search committee only), a meeting with the staff, a meeting about finances, a Vestry meet-and-greet, and a trip to Cincinnati to meet with the Bishop. Obviously, the circle of people who know the identities of our candidates has expanded, but all of those people are under the same confidentiality constraints as the search committee, so please don’t put them on the spot with questions about the candidates or how the search is going!

The next step will be search committee discernment, followed by the presentation of a recommendation to Vestry, and a call to our new Rector! There are a number of factors that may influence when a new Rector might join us, including how long the discernment and recommendation process takes, and what constraints or existing commitments the person called may have. We are doing everything we can to have a new Rector in place as soon as possible. Please keep the committee, the Vestry, the candidates, and everyone else involved in the search in your prayers!

Melanie Schlosser

Sunday, July 3
This Sunday, July 3, we welcome The Rev. Michael Jupin to preach and celebrate at both services. We welcome Pauline Fritz as guest organist.

BREAD Updates
Several members of the St. Stephen’s BREAD team attended the annual celebration on Monday June 20; BREAD is celebrating 20 years of working for justice in Columbus! It has never been a smooth path, but the BREAD organization is persistent! We heard updates on several of the ongoing projects, and celebrated our victories. Most importantly, this celebration was an opportunity to kick off the annual investment drive so that we can OWN the organization. Your own Investment in BREAD may be made by check, payable to BREAD, and placed in the collection basket.

NSI Donations for July
The items for July will be canned vegetables.

Book Club News
All are invited to the July Book Club meeting. The book being discussed is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. We meet on Wednesday, July 13 starting at 6:30 PM at Louise Bishop’s home. Please let Louise know as far in advance as possible if you plan to attend. We’ll share a potluck super followed by the book discussion. Please bring something to share (main dish, side dish, dessert, beverage). Everyone is welcome! For those who you wish to read, the book for the August 10 discussion is The Little Paris Book Shop by Nina George.

Saint Stephen’s Gratitude Project
Olentangy River Bike Ride and Family Fun Day
Sunday, July 17, 2016 12 noon to 4 p.m.
What are we doing?
• Riding bikes (@ 4 miles) on the Olentangy River Trail
• Listening to stories about the efforts to restore the natural flow of the river.
• Learning about the natural environment of the watershed and the benefits of caring for its preservation.
• Exploring ways that stewardship of the natural world can be a spiritual practice.
• Celebrating at the Annual Chadwick Arboretum Open House.
Who are we doing it with?
• Our friends and neighbors in the greater campus and North Columbus communities.
Where do you find more information?
• Visit the River Ride 2016 webpage at:
• Send an email to:

June 26 Offering Plate Sermon
On June 26 The Rev. Karl Stevens preached an “offering plate sermon”. The following questions were submitted:
-Buddhism and Christianity, but specifically our own Episcopal flavor of Christianity: What bridged could or should be built between them?
-Why doesn’t/didn’t God allow someone to call back from the hereafter and tell us how it really is? Or is that what Buechner is saying?
How should we reconcile some of the writings in the Old Testament which shows a more vengeful God with the more loving, forgiving God in the New Testament? I don’t want to cherry pick which parts of the Bible I believe in.
-Why does Jesus say on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” What does it mean?
-How can our church best enter into the community? How can we best find the angels God hopes we will entertain? How can faith communities respond to a new era of isolationism?
– How does one become “fit” for the “Kingdom of God”?
-Why do we say much of the same thing from one week to the next? I.E. What is the value of liturgy?
-What do you think Jesus meant when he spoke against divorce?
-How much are we supposed to consider historical context as a condition upon understanding/implementing the teachings of the New testament?
-When one who has showed you hospitality does another wrong, how do you respond?
-How can I achieve contentment?
-Are we in the USA going to remain in the Anglican Communion? And does it matter to you?
We never talk about the devil in the Episcopal church (that I’ve noticed). Do we have a conception of spiritual danger that is the equivalent of how a fundamentalist church might talk about “satan”?
-What is the difference between our God and ISIS’ God? Is there any?
-Some people dismiss church because they say religion fuels hatred. How do loving Christans respond?

Reminder: If you’re mailing something to the church, especially time-sensitive materials, we recommend using the PO Box! St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 82263
Columbus, OH 43202