Dear St. Stephen’s church family,

Blessings on this very hot day. I hope that people are finding ways to stay cool in this heat wave. Know that the church has air conditioning and is a cool and safe place to be if you find yourself in need of a break from your apartment or house. Times when this would work are Tuesday-Thursday 9:30-3 and, well, Sundays during church! (In case you need another good reason to come to church—it’s cool! Mwah haha). Talk to Margaret about this.

Many have planted sunflowers this year in support of Ukraine

and all that they are going through. When you see one, say a prayer for peace. Nora planted sunflowers in our church garden and they are just about to bloom. Thank you to Nora for keeping our garden looking beautiful and lush. There are tomatoes, carrots, kale and green onions this year, growing alongside the flowers. Taste and see that the Lord is good!

Thank you for your prayers, dear parish family.

Ted is now home, after 10 weeks of being in hospital. We praise God for bringing him through this difficult time, and for many others who have gone through various situations over the past weeks and months. Thank you for keeping us posted about how you’re doing and how we can pray as a parish family.

When I was visiting the hospital this past week, as I was leaving,

I ran into a friend/contact from Camp Okema whose husband we have been praying for. She asked if I would bring communion up to her and her husband. It was one of those God moments, where you know you were meant to be there, and God has something for you to do. It was a blessing to see how God had been present to them, and an encouragement for us all to continue to pray for healing. They thanked us for our prayers. Thank you St. Stephen’s, for your support of parish ministry. Although it was me at the hospital, I go as a representative of our parish and of the body of Christ—something we all share in and do together, wherever we are and whomever God places in our path.

Summer Services:

Starting on July 24th and for the rest of the summer, we will be holding one service at 9:30 am (a compromise!) only. Please mark your calendars to avoid confusion! Thank you to all who will be filling in and caring for the parish during my holiday time. If you have a pastoral emergency, please be in touch with the office or Rev. Sunil. Thank you to Margaret for her faithful presence and care.

Following Jesus: Summer Church School on the Lawn Afternoon Event: Sunday, August 21st 2-3:30 pm.

Ages 5 and up (parents may drop off or participate). (Children 5 and under are welcome with a parent or guardian). All children are welcome to come and enjoy the beauty of outdoors, while learning more about Jesus and his call to each one of us—Come, follow me! We will have games, a snack, a craft and music, all choreographed to communicate God’s love and message. While you do not need to register, it is helpful for us to have an idea of who might be coming! So RSVP to Julie or the office. We would welcome volunteers to help out on this afternoon. Let Julie know if you or YOUTH are free to lend a hand.

We are making plans for a return to regular Church School in September! Stay tuned!

Parish Cycle of Prayer for the coming weeks:

Mondays: for the ministry of Camp Okema—for all the camps remaining this summer. For each camper, that they may know God’s love and presence. For each cabin leader, that they may be equipped for service. For all staff and leadership, that they may lead with courage and care. For safety for all as they travel to and from camp.

Tuesdays: for our children’s ministry and for all families of St. Stephen’s. We pray for rest and recreation during the summer and for our return to church school in the fall. We pray for our youth, and for guidance for our youth and young adults ministry in the fall. We pray God’s blessing on our parish family, which includes…this baby!

Welcome to the world, dear Keylianna! Keylianna was born July 7th, and is David and Kristin’s fourth child, and baby sister to her 3 older brothers (granddaughter to Laurence and Anne). May God bless and keep her in His love.   

Wednesdays: for all who are in hospital or healing at home. For their caregivers, for their medical team. For health and wholeness for all for whom we pray.

Thursdays: for all making decisions or in need of guidance, that the Lord might shine a light unto their path.

Fridays: for those who mourn, that they may be comforted. For those who hunger and thirst for righteousness that they may be filled.

Sent with the joy of the Lord, which is our strength!

Rev. Amy <><