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Bi-weekly newsletter

Live-Streaming and
In-Person Worship Scheduled for March 14

Rev. Dr. Fritz Ritsch, Pastor

The session and leadership of St. Stephen are really excited to announce that people will be returning to in-person worship Sunday, March 14. That same day we begin live-streaming our service. Live-streaming is filming a service live, as it’s going on, and sending it out to the Internet at the same time. You can watch it live on Facebook at 11:00 am or it will be available for a limited time afterward.

As to worship attendance, we will have seating available for 31 family units in the sanctuary building. We’re considering a family unit up to five people who are a “pod,” usually a family unit. Pre-registration will be set up. Email Anne Barrett at or call her at 817-927-8411. We will give you more details as the date gets closer.

Worship will be different from normal. The CDC advises us to observe Covid-19 protocols while vaccines are distributed. Those protocols still include masking, social distancing, limited interactions between people, and other requirements. You can still expect excellent music including choir and guest musicians, a sermon, and communion. But in order to gather to worship in a safe and respectful way, there will be some temporary differences that will gradually fade away as time goes on.

There will be one live sanctuary worship service at 11 am on Sunday morning. As time goes on we hope to return to two services, but for right now 11 am will be the only time for worship.

We’ll enter through the south, or narthex doors from the front lawn and the parking lot. Ushers will check temperatures and escort you to your seats. Because this takes time, we advise you to arrive early. Since there may be a line, make sure you are careful to observe six feet apart.

At the end, we ask you to exit out the west transept door to the parking lot. As much as I know we all miss each other and would love to visit, please do not gather in the aisles or in the parking lot. For the sake of everyone’s health, we will not be observing any formal fellowship time right now.

Choir singers will be masked and sing 10 feet apart per guidance from health professionals. Since there are medical concerns about the aerosol effect of singing, there will not be congregational singing for right now. We will all miss that, but based on professional guidance, this is the safest thing to do right now.

We will continue to serve the Lord’s Supper weekly as long as the pandemic lasts. The session believes it is especially important to recognize our unity in Christ when social distance is straining our ability to gather. For those of you with us online, we’ll continue asking that you have your own bread and wine or juice available at home to serve yourself and your family. For those present, communion packets will be available in the pews when you arrive.

This is very exciting for St. Stephen. We are initiating livestream worship, which will enhance the ministry of the church well into the future. And of course it’s exciting to return to any form of in-person worship after this long year apart. We begin a shared journey to return to what we love most about our church. Along the way, we’ll see markers indicating our progress, as we add more things to our worship experience and our community life together as the people of God. In the not-too-distant future, we will be able to worship and fellowship fully together once again!



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