From The Pastor’s Desk

Pastor Jen Hoffman                                          Email: pastorjenhoffman@sslcwausau.com

 

But God said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So,
I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Spring is coming! Spring is coming! And with it renewed hope as the daylight lengthens
and we prepare ourselves for the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In the last year we have passed through a time of trial and lamentation…a season which we didn’t expect and
had little power to change as Covid ran rampant around the world. But, as always, God was present with us
providing us assistance and strength. Ministry and work and worship continued and proved that the church is
never closed as long as the body of Christ, the people of God, exists. For we are not defined by walls but by the
work of Christ. Our identity as children of God lies not in one place but follows us wherever we go, flowing
onward and outward like the waters of the Jordan in which Jesus was baptized by John.

The coming months will mark slow and measured changes at St. Stephen. The council is working diligently to
prepare for what lies ahead of us. Know that we are all working, not from a place of fear, but out of a place of
love and care for each of you as we are called to do by God, following the basic commandments we have
been given. With each vaccine that is given, and each day that passes with decreases in the numbers we are
monitoring, we are that much closer to being together in person.

And how we will celebrate on that day!

With this in mind, we will not be taking our usual order of Easter lilies this year. Usually, members are given an
opportunity to place an order and designate their lily in remembrance of someone. As we don’t yet know what
March and April will present us with, we are planning, instead, to offer this opportunity when we gather for a
service of remembrance after we come back together. This service will be an opportunity for anyone who has
lost someone in the last year (or two, or three…) to purchase a lily in remembrance of their loved one, to bring a
picture of their loved one, and to join together in marking the grief that has been so much harder to address in
the last year, while also celebrating the promise of the resurrection through a memorial service. Together, we
will celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us, and we will, as we usually do at Easter, publish those
memorials for members to see

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As we face the days ahead with renewed hope, we remember that we (as a church, as a people, as a world) are
not perfect. We make mistakes, we disagree, we look for the worst in people’s intentions. BUT, we remember
that God can work through anything and anyone (i.e. this pandemic and us), and that God’s grace, God’s
redeeming work through Christ, is sufficient for us.

Pastor Jen