While Fr. Daniel and Mat. Marcy were at a Memorial Day cook out they were asked about our church and here is what they answered.
We pray: In an Orthodox Church the whole service is a prayer. I have been to churches that teach you to pray, inspire you to pray, or show you how to pray, but very few that actually pray. The Liturgy is a prayer. You get a little explanation in the middle of the service, but we don't bother you with lots of hype. We gather to pray. The earliest Christian communities knew that worship was a Divine encounter with the God of the universe and our part of that encounter is to offer ourselves to God in prayer.
We care: As a member of St. Stephens you don't just get a service and a sermon, you will find people who are willing to walk together with you as you live the Christian life together. It could be lunch after a mid-week Liturgy, gathering for a friend's house blessing, giving someone a ride to church, or watching football together. If you want to learn how to live as a Christian information is not enough. You need to imitate people who are putting the information into practice in their everyday life. That's why community is so important in the Church. You need to spend time with God's people, and God has people at St. Stephens who are looking to welcome and serve you.
We serve: St. Stephens members are not Sunday only Christians. We take the Gospel of Jesus with us out into the world. We don't always a make a big deal of it. We don't have to put our Church's name on all the good things we do because its not about us. Its about God's glory and help for those who need it. In the last week at least one member shared her faith with someone at Starbucks who asked about the cross she was wearing. Another member answered a friend's questions about faith for 6 hours!!! I attended a luncheon along with a member who volunteers for hospice and helped serve food to the homeless with five other St. Stephens members. We have people who work in their communities, serve the homeless and working poor, and volunteers with other great charities. How are you doing God's work in the world? I love to hear about how our members are living their faith.
I'm thankful to be a part of such a great parish. If you are ready to get more involved with what God is doing in our community, please contact Fr. Daniel by email.