December 9, 2018 Weekly Announcements

Congregational News & Events – Week of December 9, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018  

The Second Sunday of Advent

The Rev. Bruce Smith, Celebrant and Preacher

 Service Times: 8:30 am and 10:30 am

Choir Rehearsal – 8:30 am in the Chapel

Adult Bible Discussion Group – 9:15am in Hobson Hall

Thrive! Children, Youth & Families Ministry – In Outer Office during 10:30am service


The Rev. Bruce Smith – Schedule for Week of December 9 – December 16, 2018

Sunday, December 9 – Advent 2 – Celebrant & Preacher at 8:30am and 10:30am Services

Thursday, December 13 – In office 9:00am to 3:00pm

Saturday, December 15 – Board Meeting at Procter Center

Sunday, December 16 – Advent 3 – Celebrant & Preacher at 8:30am and 10:30am Services


Stewardship 2019

If you are planning to pledge for the upcoming year, please have your pledge into the office by Sunday, December 9th. You can mail your pledge card, drop it in the collection plate, or place it in the folder marked “2019 Pledge Cards” in the basket on the Parish Office door. If you need a pledge card, there are cards available at the both Sanctuary entrance tables and in the pews.

Remember: You can also email your pledge to; makes sure to put “Pledge 2019” in the subject line.

Thank you!


Notes from the Parish Administrator

  • If you need or want an up-to-date giving statement to determine your balance on your 2018 pledge, please contact the office at (614) 294-3749 or and I’ll be happy to create one for you. Let me know if you like to have the statement sent by email, USPS or if you want to pick it up at the church.
  • I will be out of the office on Monday, December 10th, Monday, December 17th, and Wednesday, December 26th. (The office will be closed on those days.)

Blessings . . .

Liz Hecker, Parish Administrator


NSI Christmas Gift Adoptions

NSI Christmas Gifts – Due this Sunday!

Please make sure any gifts for Neighborhood Services Christmas Gift Adoption drive are placed under the Jesse Tree by Sunday, December 9th.

Thank you to everyone who contributed gifts and money to this year’s drive.


Advent Church Clean-Up – Thank You!

Many thanks to everybody who stayed after church last Sunday and helped with the Advent church cleaning:

Charles Baker

Kathy Sellers

Joe Rutter

Frank Molessa

Janet McNaughton

Jeff Watters

James Marquart


2019 Parish Directory Udate

It’s time to update the Parish Directory for 2019 – Please take the time to check your information in the directory on the high table in the front of the Sanctuary. Feel free to mark your corrections in the directory, or add new addresses in the blank pages in the back of the directory.



Sunday Morning Adult Bible Discussion for December 9, 2018

On Sunday, December 9th, we will be discussing Luke, Chapters 1-3

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 begins Monday, December 3rd. To prepare, we will begin studying the Gospel of Luke using the book The Gospel According to Luke by Michael F. Patella, from the New Collegeville Bible Commentary series. Unfortunately, this book is currently being reprinted and won’t be available until mid-December. However, you should order it now so you get it as soon as it arrives at book stores. For information and resources about “The Big Read” go to


DSO Big Read – Luke & Acts and the Beloved Community

We will explore the story of Jesus and the creation of the early church, as we deepen our discipleship and reflect on how the church can bear witness to Jesus’ love that overcomes all that divides us. We encourage churches to be creative about how they will study and explore Luke, Acts, and Beloved Community in their context.

The Luke & Acts bookmarks are to help us and other Episcopalians in our Diocese read the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts together between now and next Easter. Our Sunday morning Adult Discussion at 9:15 will be following this schedule. You are welcome to join it! Or, you can read the chapters of the Bible at home on your own. You can also go to the website for resources and help in understanding what you read.



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”.


The Tuesday Evening Oasis Campus Ministry

Due to student requests, we are shifting the new campus ministry service to Tuesday evenings. We will meet to pray, sing, and meditate in the St. Stephen’s sanctuary on Tuesday Evenings, starting at 8:00pm  If you have any questions, contact Jared Talbot (


 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.


Advent series at Christ Church Cathedral

Bishop Thomas Breidenthal will lead the annual Advent Wednesday evening series at Christ Church Cathedral on December 5, 12, and 19. The series will also be live streamed on Facebook Live for individuals and congregations who would like to participate.

For this series, Bishop Breidenthal will explore the history of Christian thought about Mary as it relates to Jesus, judgment and mercy.

Session 1: Mary and the Humanity of Christ

Session 2: Mary as Prophetic Witness

Session 3: What is Mary’s Role Today?

Scheduled from 6:05 to 8 p.m. in Centennial Chapel, the evenings at the cathedral will include prayer, a meal, the bishop’s presentations and time for questions and answers. Live streaming of the presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Either go to the Diocese’s Facebook page, or, ahead of time, “Like” and “Follow” the Diocese’s page. When the streaming begins, a notification will show up on your own home page.

See the topics and learn more at


BREAD Update – BREAD Chooses New Focus Issue for 2018-19 – Elder Care

We had a great Annual Assembly last Monday night. Three problems were presented, and we heard excellent testimonies from three BREAD members on Education, Health Care and Elder Care. It was a tough choice, but the network members present voted for Elder Care (171 votes) over Health Care (105) and Education (126). The next step is research. We’ll need to learn more about the Elder Care stories we heard in House meetings, including concerns about assistance for care givers, a lack of facilities for elders with mental health issues, safe and affordable housing, scamming, age discrimination in employment, increasing costs of medications, transportation and mobility concerns, loneliness and isolation. The Research Kick Off will be held on Monday, December 10th at Christ United Methodist Church, 1480 Zettler Rd., at 7:00pm. Come and be part of the process that leads to justice in our community.

New officers were elected during the Annual Assembly. One of St. Stephen’s Team members, Rae Fellows, was elected Recording Secretary. She will be part of the Executive Committee that supports and advises the organizers and will record minutes of the organization at monthly board meetings. Congratulations, Rae!

Thanks to Janet McNaughton, Rachael and Dale Smith, Carolyn Vander Stouw, Mignonne Whitlow, and Rae and Jay Fellows, who attended the Annual Assembly. And thanks to those who though they were unable to be there, are helping us hold public officials to their promises by calling Senate President Larry Obhof (614-466-7505) about H.B. 126, which would create a statewide navigator program to assist grandparents and other relatives who are providing kinship care to children in Ohio. We must ask that the bill be reported out of committee for a vote on the Senate floor. Unfortunately, no hearing has been scheduled yet. The legislature is in lame duck session, with a limited number of opportunities to move this bill forward. Senator Obhof’s aide suggested we stay in touch with Senator Tavares, who sponsored the bill and was at the 11/12/18 BREAD Assembly – (614) 466-5131 – or call the office of Senate Medicaid Committee chair Senator Dave Burke (614) 466-8049.

With your help, BREAD rises!

From your B.R.E.A.D. team:  

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


NSI Collection for December: Soup


For more info on how you can continue to help NSI, please click on the link below to access the September 2018 NSI Newsletter:


Invite – Welcome – Connect

Our work group has had a good year. You may have noticed the new banners outside the sanctuary, the literature rack that replaced the Welcome Table and the round gathering table in the Narthex. We also have kept the Facebook page up to date, renovated much of the website, created a contact list for church PR, advertised more and helped “The F Word” exhibit team get the word out. We are also looking into student hunger needs on campus and the possibility of some kind of student feeding program. We’ve got a lot of other ideas to try for the coming year that we hope will bring people to St. Stephen’s.

In the meantime, here are two ideas that every member can use to interest people to come and worship with us and make them feel a part of our community:

  • If you are on Facebook, share our Facebook posts with your “friends.” Most non-members came to “The F Word” exhibit not because of our advertising or posting, but because they learned about it from a Facebook friend’s sharing.
  • When you speak in worship (during announcements, prayer requests, stewardship talks, sermons) imagine your audience to be the least-informed person in the congregation. Examples: NSI (what’s that?), Soul Sisters (huh?), B.R.E.A.D. (a kind of loaf?), etc. Even familiar terms like “Advent” may puzzle someone visiting from an independent evangelical church. Doing this avoids our appearing to be a “closed society.”


Book Club for December 2018

All are welcome to Book Club! As has become tradition for the Book Club, we’ll be sharing poetry in December. Please bring 1 or 2 poems and we’ll share as many as time permits. We’ll meet on Wednesday, December 12 starting at 6:30 PM at Jerrie Cribb’s home (614-451-4053 Please let Jerrie know ahead of time if you plan to attend so that she may plan for the right number of people. We’ll start with sharing a meal; please bring food or beverage to share. After dinner, we’ll share our poetry. In January we’ll be suggesting books for 2019 discussions, so start thinking about what books that you have read would be good for group discussion. Any genre or subject may be suggested.


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.

December 2018 meeting dates:

THURSDAY December 6 – meet @ Mozart’s Café at 4784 N. High St, Columbus. from 9:30-11:30am.

THURSDAY, December 20 – meet @ Kaitlin Raver’s home from 7:00-9:00pm.

In the spirit of the giving season, please bring feminine products to donate to our Soul Sisters at Neighborhood Services. RSVP to Kaitlin for planning purposes. Pot luck appetizers/beverages welcome. Carol singing expected!

 Click on the below link for a calendar of Soul Sisters meeting dates and venues for 2018. Thanks to everyone who volunteered to host or offered venue suggestions!

 2018 Soul Sisters Meet-Up Calendar

(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”!


Mount Carmel Church Partnerships Newsletters

Copies of the  Mt. Carmel Church Partnerships Newsletter for October 2018, Healthy Living Center Newsletter for Fall 2018 and Weekly Scoop Newsletter for November 20-30, 2018 can be found on the Community News table in Hobson Hall.