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Officers of the Church Ordained, Commissioned, and Installed

January 13, 2019 marked the ordination, commissioning, and installation of newly selected Elders, Deacons, and Trustees to serve as officers of St. Stephen Presbyterian Church.  Officers are identified by an elected Church Wide Nominating Committee, then elected in a special congregational meeting held for that purpose.  At St. Stephen Presbyterian Church, any pledging member of the congregation who attends services regularly and participates in the work of the church is eligible to serve. Officers are governed and guided by the Book of Order and the policies set down by the Session. New officer training is held during the Sunday school…

Our Sanctuary Christmas Decorations — Do you know what they mean?

Since the late 1970s, the sanctuary of SSPC has been adorned with special ornamentation for the Christian season of Advent through Epiphany. Decorating the season’s symbols of wreaths and Christmas trees, our members have continued the tradition of making symbolic ornaments in the form of Chrismons (a blended word, or portmanteau, combining Christ and monogram.) Chrismons were created in 1957 by Frances Spencer as a way to decorate the Christmas tree in her sanctuary at Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia. Members of our church began making these about fifteen years later. These ornaments are particularly appropriate for the sanctuary:…

The Narthex of the Sanctuary

THE NARTHEX OF THE SANCTUARY  Our Congregation’s Public Square  Fritz Ritsch and Warner Bailey  Have you noticed the “buzz” in our entrance space (the Narthex) lately? On one side, a Christmas tree brimming with lights, surrounded by brightly colored sacks of gifts. Bicycles nosing out of every nook and cranny. Looking out from the opposite side are portraits of guests of our Room in the Inn (RITI) done in charcoal and nicely framed, their faces expressive of pride, gratitude, determination. All of this is watched over by the gorgeous tapestries depicting in glowing colors the rich theological and historical heritage…

A Perfect Gift this Advent Season

In the lead up to Christmas, many of us spend time in search of the perfect gift — the gift that communicates to friends and family how much we know and love them.  We scour the stores and shops, hoping to come across the thing that will communicate a depth of love that our words cannot. As important as gifts to loved ones are, we have an opportunity to give gifts that help many people we do not know through the Christmas Joy Offering.  These gifts in particular draw us back to the manger and God’s perfect gift to us — Jesus…

Advent – A Time to Prepare

Advent: noun – the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. The coming or second coming of Christ. The liturgical season of Advent has arrived. The Christmas decorations are going up, the gifts are being purchased, the cards are going out, the travel arrangements are being made, the Christmas Eve services are being prepared…but what about Advent? Often times, we are so busy with not only our daily lives, but also the pressure of getting ready for the Christmas holiday that we forget to prepare for Christmas in a meaningful way. Advent, as defined above, can refer to both…

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