Saint Stephen's Evangelical Lutheran Church
8489 Licking Creek Road
Mifflintown, PA  17059
(717) 436-6989

YouTube, Facebook, & Sunday am Parking Lot Worship services continue, as we do our part to prevent spread of the Covid 19 virus.

Parking Lot Worship is @ 9:00 am

 Worship inside Church  @ 10:30 am


8/2/20 Worship



Results of June 18th Council Meething:

St. Stephen’s Plans for Worship in the Time of COVID 19  June 19, 2020

 It has been a difficult few months with many concerns about
illness and safety.  As we move forward, St. Stephen’s Church Council are
making hard decisions balancing safety with our desire to return to in
person worship.  These are the next steps St. Stephens’ Church Council have
decided on for the month of July.

Online worship will continue.  For people who are concerned
about their health and the risk of COVID 19, we think it is important to
continue to offer these services.

If you are sick, please stay home.  Physical distance and
isolation of the sick are the best safety measures.

 *On July 12, we will begin in person worship*.  Why the delay?
Pastor Chris is taking some vacation time and will be gone June 22 to July
2.  On June 21 we will have online worship at 9:00 AM and Parking Lot
worship at 10:30.  On June 28 online worship will not be “live” but will be
shared Sunday morning on facebook and the website and Parking Lot worship
at 10:30 will feature Bishop Barbara Collins.  July 5 Online worship at
9:00 AM and Parking Lot worship at 10:30 AM.

 Starting July 12, Parking lot worship will move to 9:00 AM to
meet when temperatures are cooler.  If weather permits, people are invited
to put chairs up in front of their cars.  We ask people continue to keep
physical distance of 6 feet apart.  We will use the sung liturgy and hymns
for Parking Lot worship.

 July 12 we will also begin inside worship.  Worship will start
at 10:30 AM.

When we get together, things will be different.  Doors will be
propped open 15 minutes before worship so people do not need to touch those
surfaces as they enter.  We ask that people not shake hands and try to
maintain physical distancing.  Each family will be ushered into the
sanctuary and seated from front to back, with an empty pew between each
family.  At the end of the service, we will dismiss row by row from back to

Wearing masks has become a political statement, that is not our
intention.  Because we care for our neighbor, we are requiring worshipers
to wear a mask during the service.  In order to lead worship, the pastor
and organist will not be masked, but will stay in the altar area.   Worship
will continue to be limited to 35-40 minutes and will not have Holy
Communion for now.  Offering plates will be set out for touch free giving
at the end of worship.

The other big change will be no congregational singing.  Church
choirs have been sources of COVID 19 outbreaks.  Instead we will use our
projector for worship responses and listen to music either from the organ
and piano or recorded videos.

Other changes will include removal of Hymnals from the pews.
The service will be contained in the bulletin.  We are limiting bathroom
use to the one bathroom in the narthex.

 The church will be open for church small groups to meet.  We
are suggesting these groups be less than 20 people.  We are asking each
group that meets to fill out a list of who attends each meeting and submit
to the office.  If an illness occurs, we can then let those exposed know.
Outside groups will not be meeting at the church for now.

  We will not be holding fellowship time this summer.

 If case numbers for the county, continue to be very low we may
relax our restrictions.  If case numbers increase, we may have to suspend
in person worship.

 These are difficult days.  We are trying to adapt our worship
to be a place safe to worship our God.  Just this past week several
churches in West Virginia were the center of virus outbreaks.  A church in
Oregon was the center of the biggest outbreak in their state.

 I give thanks for the work of St. Stephen’s Church Council.
This group has had to make difficult decisions about our life together.

Through out all of these times, we continue to seek to love the
Lord with all our heart, our soul and mind.  As others have said, the
Church never closes.  Instead we seek to do Jesus work in the world in a
safe and responsible way.

Yours in Christ

Pastor Chris Mathiason


Pastor Chris Mathiason 
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717-463-2490 (home)