Thursday, November 21, 2013

Worship has ended, Service has begun or What happens after Sunday Morning?

The doors close Sunday afternoon when the last meeting is over, or the last of the coffee hour conversations have ended. Do you wonder what happens next or do you go on with the rest of your week and come through the doors again on Sunday morning not thinking of what else St. Stephen’s does as church – not the building - the people?

Monday through Friday at 9:00am, Morning Prayer is said by a faithful group who take turns on these days to insure that we are first and foremost a house of prayer – the prayers of the people that are prayed each Sunday are also voiced during the week at these services.

On those same days, Monday – Friday, from Noon to 3:00pm the Food Pantry is open to serve the families of Luzerne County.

Tuesday 3:00pm to 7:00pm and Wednesday noon to 4:00pm the Clothing Closet is open. Those same Tuesdays and the First Wednesday of each month the Medical Clinic and Dispensary is open, and on other scheduled days an ObGyn is in to see patients. The Dental Clinic also has scheduled days when a dentist is available to lend his services.

Wednesdays, September to May a Noonday Healing service is conducted.

The third Wednesday of those months the Ladies meet after the Noonday healing service for prayer, discussion and planning of events: Rummage Sale, Silent Auction, Stocking stuffing for Nursing home residents to name just a few.

During the week – there is a group whose purpose is to visit or maintain contact with the sick and/or shut in, via phone, in person or letter.

These are only a small sampling of the things that go on during the week, because there are many, many more: between the meetings of the finance committee, Wardens meetings, staff meetings, and clergy meetings the office area is often busy beyond the bulletin and bulletin inserts being done, the music being selected, and the phones being answered.

These don’t include the various mailings of the Newsletter, or Music from St. Stephen’s, or the compiling of reports for the committees and business meeting.

These happen on a normal week; Lent and Advent add to organized chaos with Organ recitals and Ecumenical Services on Wednesdays and Stations of the Cross Friday evenings in Lent. Advent prepares us for the Incarnation and during that time there is Greening of the Church, Lessons and Carols and a Homeless Memorial Service- December 21st –the longest night of the year.

I didn’t even mention the concerts or recitals, practices for them or the organ students that keep our Nave alive with music at various times and days, not to mention the faithful men and women who prepare the alter for all services.

Worship may end after the last person leaves the parish house on Sunday afternoon, but worship turns to Service that takes the form of true church – the people that do what they are called to do in worship during the week, until Worship brings us together again in the Eucharist.

If any of these ministries interest you – and you wish to participate in them, please call the church office and they will direct you to the person that can best answer your questions of how and when. If you are not able to help physically – but want to be involved, chose one of those ministries and find out how you can be a help in a less active, but very personal way: prayer.

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