Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Celebrating God's Creation in September

Karel Holloway shows her weaving to children at the 2015
Jerusalem Marketplace Vacation Bible School.
Many of us at St. Stephen UMC relish the joy of creating. Our church has been blessed through the years with the fruits of those creations in art, music, dance, performance and more.

This Sunday, Sept. 4, we will begin a month-long celebration of God's creation and our role as both caretakers and co-creators with God of life and beauty in the world. Everyone is invited to bring something they've created -- painting, photograph, fabric art, musical composition, sculpture, woodwork, ANYTHING -- as an example of creation. Our children are welcome to bring their crayon pictures, clay creations, crafts and more.

We will contemplate the wonders of creation as the Rev. Nancy DeStefano brings the message. Join us on the journey starting at 10:50 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 4.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Give to Help Flood Victims

During the week of Aug. 22, St. Stephen members are focused on giving to aid the victims of recent catastrophic flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The most severe flooding occurred around Baton Rouge, La., where some 170,000 people were evacuated, including 20,000 that had to be rescued from the rising water, according to a United Methodist News Service report.

At left, recent flooding in Denham Springs, La., nearly covered a sign for the United Methodist Church there, which had served as a Red Cross shelter but had to be evacuated. The home in the rear belongs to a member of that church. (Photo courtesy of the Rev. Jackie King)

Members are invited to bring or send their checks to the church. Checks should be made out to St. Stephen UMC with "UMCOR Domestic Disaster" in the memo line. Users of The Fluid App also can make electronic donations via the Cause labeled "UMCOR-1" on the app. By channeling donations through the church, we support our United Methodist connection and provide funds for purchasing flood victims' most urgent needs, whether for cleaning buckets or health kits.

And the T-shirt Winner Is ...

St. Stephen voters chose to go with a love theme for our new T-shirts. Here are images of the front and back of the new shirt:

This is the T-shirt front
This is the T-shirt back.



St. Stephen member Cynthia Astle designed the winner, based on the verse from 1 John 4:7 that says "God is Love." The design also was inspired by "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Love Is Love" acceptance speech at this year's Tony awards. The Tony awards ceremony for New York theater occurred the Sunday after the shooting massacre at gay-friendly nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Fla. The theme also carries out St. Stephen's motto: "Sharing God's Unconditional Love."

We hope that the new T-shirts will be available for purchase in time for the Dallas PRIDE Parade on Sunday, Sept. 18. Details will be announced. Cynthia gets a free T-shirt as her prize for creating the winning design.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Take the Fall Study Survey

Growing together in faith sustains us individually and as a Christian community. We'd like your guidance on what adult studies you'd find most beneficial as we prepare for our Fall schedule. Please take this brief survey to guide our adult education plans. Thank you!

Prepare for PRIDE!

Mark your calendars now for the
33rd EDITION OF THE ALAN ROSS TEXAS FREEDOM PARADE
The theme this year is
SOLIDARITY THROUGH PRIDE.
The Pride Parade will start at
2:00 PM on Sunday, September 18, 2016.
We have registered for our float.
Construction will take place Saturday, Sept. 10th from 10:00am until we finish.
We will be working at Benson Engineering.
 We also will have a booth at the park.
  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Support Our Schools with Supplies!

SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE
FOR SHANDS & FLORENCE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Please help the students start off the new school year by making sure they have the tools necessary to make a difference!
Go to the Mesquite ISD website for the 2016-2017 supply list
Bring your donations to church on Sunday, AUGUST 21st

School Backpack Project



We would like to furnish school
BACKPACKS for the children of our Food Ministry families.  
(only the backpack, no school supplies)
 
There is a sign-up sheet on the glass top table.  
If you would like to participate, please sign your name
by one of the children on the list.  
 
Backpacks need to be at the church by
SUNDAY, AUGUST 14TH 
PLEASE MARK THE BACKPACK
WITH CHILD'S INFORMATION 
so that we know for whom it is intended.
 
Thank you for your support of the families.
Outreach Committee

Friday, August 5, 2016

Put on Your Thinking Caps for August Council Meeting!

From Church Council co-chairs Teddi Fulenwider and Tina Simpson, and Pastor Nancy DeStefano:

You might be a United Methodist if….. your life is taken up by volunteering at church.
 
Seriously, for our small church we are extremely busy and doing a lot of good things. The good news is we have energy and we are doing things. The bad news we have energy and we are doing things but we have a finite, small group of people power.
 
The Open Forum section of the Church Council meeting on August 14 will be designated to hearing comments/thoughts/feelings about some of the programs or opportunities we currently offer. We need to get a feel for the purpose of each activity and are we accomplishing the purpose we think we are. With our Charge Conference in November now is the time the Nominating committee begins thinking about leaders for different opportunities. Are these opportunities ones we want to continue or do we want to save our energy for other activities? Do we want to revise some of these activities? Do we need to send some of these opportunities back to committees for rethinking?
 
Here are the opportunities we would love to have your comments on – in no particular order:
 
VBS
Children’s Church
Trunk or Treat
Christmas Family night
Sunday School in the summer
 
What are your feelings? What are your thoughts? Which is your passion?
 
The Open Forum will be held at the beginning of the council meeting so that if you do not want to stay for the duration, you may leave.