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St. Stephen News


There were times, I’m sure, when Jacob must have agonized with regret over his showing to his other sons that he loved Joseph more than all of them. Yes, I can appreciate that when a man approaches old age, he treats any proof of his virility with extra special love, and certainly Joseph being a child of Jacob’s old age would qualify for that kind of attention. Yet, any of us here who has an ounce of wisdom in us can see the makings of a terribly dysfunctional family system in the household of Jacob and his twelve sons. Joseph had all the makings of an imp, a pipsqueak, a pest, a callow lad filled with all the narcissistic self-absorption that any 17 year old boy with raging hormones could inflict on his family. Jacob was the doting sugar-daddy. His older brothers could not even say, “Good-day” or “Hello” to him. Perhaps the Bible is describing a family you know well.Read More »FATHERS, TRUE; BUT ALWAYS SONS Genesis 37.1-11

Greetings from Hot and Sunny Louisville

A Letter from guest commentator, Missionary Sharon Curry

I wish I could describe in a few short words the amazing work that God has been doing in the past few weeks.  I have been on a whirlwind of travel from Big Tent in Indianapolis to a few days of R&R in Tennessee, to two weeks of Ecumenical training in Toronto, and now, I am “resting” in Louisville at the PCUSA portion of orientation training for my new position as Health and Development Consultant for South Sudan – 8 to 10 hours a day of training and fellowship with PCUSA World Mission staff.Read More »Greetings from Hot and Sunny Louisville

Windy City Trip Log

“We know that all things work together for good, to them who love God and are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Our trip to the Windy City, Chi-Town, Illinois, in mid-July, was punctuated with dramatic mechanical issues.  However, in retrospect, these issues became side interests  and financially not-so dramatic as we envisioned.

Thirty representatives of St. Stephen went to Chicago on a Youth Mission Trip. It included middle school and high school church members, college age SPITS (sponsors in training), and experienced and inexperienced sponsors – including one who just returned from his honeymoon…

Read More »Windy City Trip Log

Variety is the Spice of Church!

This last month we received six new members to the church, and we did it in every way that the Spirit and Presbyterian polity allow! Each of them is here for his or her own reason, but each is committed, excited, and wonderful.

Lynda moved here with her husband Tom from Canada. Quite a change from Alberta to Fort Worth! She was not a church-goer at all and had never been baptized, but driving around town one day was taken with St. Stephen. That often happens–the architecture itself speaks to people’s souls. She decided to come to church and was overcome by the friendliness and the sense of God’s presence.

Read More »Variety is the Spice of Church!

The Dysfunctional Family of God

We are studying the story of Jacob and his family in our weekly Bible Study. It’s a story that reminds us why the Bible is a better book than we give it credit for. Jacob is a scoundrel, a liar, and too clever by half. He ends us fathering the Twelve Tribes of Israel because he’s outsmarted by his father-in-law Laban, who tricks him into marrying the daughter he doesn’t want to marry so that he can marry the one he does want to marry. There’s more sex, family dysfunction, and intrigue in this story than there is in Desperate Housewives. God is, at least to the protagonists, almost an afterthought, a bit player in their family drama. But through it all, God is working God’s purpose out. Through Jacob’s line the blessing that God has promised the world through Abraham’s heirs is perpetuated.

I asked everyone, “How does this story affect the way you look at your own dysfunctional family?”

Read More »The Dysfunctional Family of God

Traveling Down Freedom Road – part one

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by Max Courtney

Someone (or several someones) suggested that I write a blog detailing the St. Stephen Freedom Road field trip. Yes, I thought; that needs to be done so that others might share this adventure.

I was privileged to lead a class at St. Stephen during January and February entitled “Freedom Road: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Black America in the 1950s and 1960s.” After teaching many years in diverse venues (university, police academy, church) I can say without equivocation that this was the most fulfilling class I ever taught. Much of the credit for that goes to the participants whose enthusiasm for the subject was an arterial elixir for me. Much of it also goes to having taken the capstone field trip—Beth Fultz’s suggestion.Read More »Traveling Down Freedom Road – part one

Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy–Not!

Remember when you were a kid, and you looked forward to summer as the time when things slowed down and you got to play and relax and watch TV and sleep late and go to the beach? That early training sticks with me as an adult. I still imagine summer is going to be slow and relaxed.

Of course, the truth was I spent a whole lot of the summer pretty bored, wishing there was something to do.

Beth Fultz and friend demonstrating her "tie-dyed" hands at VBS!

And there’s plenty to do here at SSPC!  Summer is prime time for ministry. Whether it’s celebrations, summer camps, reaching out to the needy struggling through this hot Texas summer, or preparing for the upcoming year, one thing I can say with authority is that summers are NOT slow at St. Stephen.Read More »Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy–Not!