April 7, 2019 Weekly Announcements

Congregational News & Events – Week of April 7, 2019

The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Service Times 8:30 am and 10:30am

The Rev. John R. Johanssen – Celebrant and 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



Easter Flowers

Envelopes for Easter flower donations are provided in the pews and at the tables in the north entrance and in front of the Sanctuary. Please write “Easter Flowers 2019” on your check memo line and indicate if you would like to have a loved one listed in the Easter bulletin as a memorial or recognition. Memorial and recognition names need to be submitted to the office no later than Wednesday, April 17th. After the Easter morning service, flowers will be available to be taken to shut-ins, and when they have lost their blooms the left overs will be planted on the church grounds. 


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 are available in the pews and on the tables at both entrances to the Sanctuary. 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 jrutter1@mac.com 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:



Holy Week Schedule 2019  April 14th – 21st

During Holy Week, the Sanctuary will be open for prayer and reflection from 12:00pm to 4:00pm

April 14     Palm Sunday service begins at University Baptist Church with the Blessing of the Palms at 10:10am, followed by a procession back to St. Stephen’s for                  10:30am service. (8:30 service will be held)

April 15     Monday – Meditation and Eucharist at 7:00pm

April 16     Meditation and Eucharist at 7:00pm

                     Tuesday Night Oasis service lead by Deacon Jared Talbot at 8:00pm

April 17     Wednesday – Meditation and Eucharist at 7:00pm

April 18     Maundy Thursday Holy Eucharist and Stripping of the Altar  7:00pm

April 19     Good Friday Services at 12:00pm noon and 7:00 pm. (No communion)

April 20      Holy Saturday – No service

April 21      Easter Service at 10:30am  (No 8:30am  service)

April 22      Office closed


Sunday Morning Adult Bible Discussion for April 7, 2019

The Adult Discussion Group will have its last Big Read conversation on Sunday, April 7th, at 9:15a in Hobson Hall. We will be sharing what we learned from our “Big Read” of the Acts of the Apostles. All are invited to join the conversation.  Coffee and donuts are available!  

We will not meet on Palm Sunday, April 14 (Palm Sunday) and Easter Sunday, April 21 (Easter Day).

 We will resume meeting on Sunday, April 28th,when we will begin Amy-Jill Levine’s book: Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week. This is a significant book, very readable and thoughtful, by a Hebrew scholar who teaches Hebrew and New Testament at Vanderbilt Seminary. The book is available from the usual sources; now is the time to order your copy. All are invited around our table for coffee, donuts, and thoughtful conversation!


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

Thank you to everyone who has been participating in our Trade-In Bake sale, either by bringing in non-food items for NSI and/or food to share after the service. It is always fun to see what ends up on the table!

 This Sunday marks our fifth and final Sunday of the Thrive kids baking together during the service. We will be baking and possibly decorating cookies. Let’s finish strong with lots of items for NSI. This is a wonderful project that the children really love participating in.


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 (itsjaredcoffintalbot@gmail.com).




 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 parishoffice@ststephens-columbus.org. 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!

Committee Updates

From the Crime and Violence committee:

We learned that 1 of every 4 murders in Columbus can be connected to 100 gangs.  We found a proven solution that has worked in 75 cities across the country. The program reduces violence by giving gang members 2 options: 1) get connected to social services to help them live a productive lifestyle OR 2) stay in their gang and face federal prosecution after the next violent act associated with them.

Because over 50 people from our congregation attended the 2017 Nehemiah Action, we won the support we needed for the program! The program started that year and is now called the Safe Neighborhoods Initiative.

From the Municipal ID committee:

We are continuing to push for a local ID program. A feasibility study estimates that over 81,000 adults in Columbus do not have ID. Without ID, people cannot do basic things such as obtain a library card or open a bank account. Communities like New York and Chicago have solved this problem by issuing a local ID card to all residents.  Following the feasibility study, there is a draft of legislation for such a program. We will continue to press Columbus City Council to set up the program. We need all of you to show up at the Nehemiah Action on May 6th to continue this effort.

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 3.18.19:  248  – 152 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!


As some of you know, St. Stephen’s is the meeting place for Brownie Troop 6019. As a way of saying thank you, the troop set aside money earned during cookie sales to purchase non-food items for NSI. Last week they met at Marc’s to do some shopping, and will deliver the items to church this Sunday.

 Thank you for your continued support of NSI.


For more info on how you can continue to help NSI, please click on the following link: https://www.neighborhoodservicesinc.org/take-action


Book Club for May 2019

Book Club News:  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. More information about Book Club for May will be posted at a later date.


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 kaitlinraver@gmail.com 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 Newsletter for April 2019 and Weekly Scoop Newsletter for April 3-13, 2019 can be found on the Community News table in Hobson Hall.