making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
Do you enjoy making music and does music contribute to your worship experience?
At St. Stephen, music is a big part of our worship services and congregational life. Piano and organ, choirs for old and young, bellringers, a band with vocals, guitar, bass, and drums and vocal and instrumental soloists all contribute to and enrich our church life.
All are welcome!
Support our church family at St. Stephen by volunteering your time and talent.
Become a Sunday Volunteer
- Assistant Minister
- Communion Assistant
- Choir Member
- Sunday School Teacher / Helper
- Nursery Helper
- Coffee Host
- Altar Care
We Want to Hear Your Voice
The more voices that we have at the table, the better we can respond to needs. Our teams and committees are looking for people who are interested in shaping how we engage with the big questions. We firmly believe in God’s grace, that we are loved as we are, and seek to act on it to create a community where everyone feels welcome.
You are loved. You are accepted as you are. Dare to live like this is so.
Please talk with the pastor if you are interested in contributing to any of these following groups.
Worship & Music
Worship is an opportunity to think, to question, and to explore our relationships with God and each other. We see ourselves as wounded, healing, healed, and healers of others. Our community of faith exists to help people feel acceptance, reassurance, love and hope.
We know that people have different needs and that no one event can meet everyone’s needs. Our hope is that by providing different sorts of approaches, over time everyone will find something in worship that speaks to them.
The Worship and Music Team supports the work of the pastor and the church musician as they craft worship. We meet every couple of months and welcome diversity at the table. Please contact the pastor, or church office, if you are interested in being part of the team that helps shape our worship.
Learning is about engaging with questions, rather than simply providing answers. How do you know what is right? What is important? How can we show love?
We have four areas where we focus our learning. Sunday school happens at the same time as worship and is for children up to grade 7. Confirmation classes are coordinated by the pastor for grades 7 to 9. The youth group is an opportunity to explore faith and relationships in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Recently we held discussions that were called After Worship @ St. Stephen. These took place at lunch time on a series of Sundays. We had presenters from different faith communities which gave us an opportunity to ask questions and learn from people who come from a different perspective than our own. We are exploring a new series to look at the experiences of people who feel marginalized in society.
If you are interested in being a part of the Learning and Youth Committee and helping to define how we expand our horizons please talk with the pastor.
This committee motivates, equips and supports members to respond with care and concern to serve the congregation, local community, larger community, nation, and the world.
Special Initiatives include:
- Winter Project: Throughout the winter, warm knitted hats, mittens, scarves, and socks are collected and donated to various local charities for distribution throughout the community.
- Potato Blitz: In the month of February, we collect bags of potatoes that are donated to the House of Friendship Potato Blitz. Many bags of potatoes and monetary donations have been given to the House of Friendship.
- CLWR BALING DAYS: Volunteers from St. Stephen sort and pack items to be shipped overseas in shipping containers. In the past St. Stephen has donated sundresses, baby layette bundles, and tied quilts made by our Tuesday Quilting Group.
- Food Bank of Waterloo Region: Sorting food items. This is a regular activity for our congregation and some volunteers go many times throughout the year.
- Mill-Courtland Community Centre: ‘Back to school’ items and Healthy Snacks are collected through the summer months. One year we collected 1,390 different items from healthy snacks, to school supplies to help the children start school with all they need.
- Thanksgiving Food Drive: During October food items were collected to support the Food bank of Waterloo.
- Saturday Suppers at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church: On the Fourth Saturday of each month, from January to April and again in November and December, volunteers from St. Stephen help at the Saturday Suppers.
The Outreach Committee has also actively participated in the Mill-Courtland Neighbourhood Networking Group since its founding meeting in November 2018. The purpose of the group is to develop on-going connections and collaboration between the Mill-Courtland Community Centre, its affiliated neighbourhood groups, and local schools, faith communities, and social service agencies. Our goal is to work together to serve the neighbourhood, and to maximize the use of resources.
This committee sees to the maintenance and protection of the property. Snow shovelling, mowing, gardening and general maintenance are done on a volunteer basis by members of the congregation. We are always happy for people to help with this work.
Hospitality and Fellowship
- the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.”St. Stephen is renowned for its hospitality”
friendliness · hospitableness ·
Source: Oxford Dictionaries
Witness and Stewardship
How do we respond to God’s call to serve and love our neighbours?
We faithfully steward the gifts God has given us. Stewardship includes our financial resources, but it encompasses so much more. For those who tend the land, that is a form of stewardship. How we use our time, talents and treasures is another way to love God and our neighbours, both inside and outside of the church walls. Together, we achieve things that we could never do on our own.
Some past events include:
- Senior’s Dinner with a presentation by OneRoof.
- A fundraising effort using bread provided by Cobs Bread. Voluntary donations are accepted. We have supported both the Food Bank and CLWR Dorian hurricane relief with the proceeds.
- Sausage and Sauerkraut Supper. Approximately 80 people enjoyed a great meal and the presentation by the Food Bank.
The purpose of this committee is to assist congregations to nurture a healthy and mutual relationship between the ministries of the pastor and the church leadership.
They facilitate intentional evaluations of the pastor based on the church mission, vision, and goals and seek opportunities for growth and renewal.
After Worship @ St. Stephens
The more we understand others, the more we see them as family. With this in mind, we created a series of sessions where we invited people of different faiths to tell us some of their perspective and answer questions in a safe space. Each Sunday over six weeks we met for lunch to engage with a presenter from a different faith group.
When it becomes practical, either in person or on-line, we plan to have another series where we develop our understanding of people who feel they are at the margins of society. A wise woman once said, “Whenever I see people gathered in a circle, I look to see who is outside of the circle.”
St. Stephen supports a variety of programs which serve the needs of people in our local community and beyond.
On a regular basis, food is donated to the Region of Waterloo Food Bank. Also, several times a year, members from St. Stephen volunteer to sort food items at the Food Bank warehouse in Kitchener.
Throughout the year, St. Stephen supports specific agencies such as the House of Friendship, Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), Mill-Courtland Community Centre, and Marillac Place, to name just a few.
Food bags are given out monthly at the church to those in need in our surrounding community. Contact the church office for further details.
St. Stephen knitters donate hats, mitts and scarfs to our mitten tree.
This project helps many people in the community with warm scarves, hats, mitts, socks and other necessary items to keep warm in the cold winter months.
NeedleCraft Online meet once a week,Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom for conversation while working on preemie hats, booties and sweaters for Grand River Hospital.
Our youth program at St. Stephen focuses on three things:
The first is building relationships. By planning and participating in activities together our focus is to build healthy relationships between the youth and their friends and also with the adults of the congregation who help and support the youth program. Through healthy relationships, we learn what it means to respect, love and encourage each other.
The second is service, where our youth have an opportunity to put their faith into action. Through various opportunities, we learn together what it means to love and serve our neighbour. We participate in events such as World Vision’s “30-Hour Famine” or Canadian Lutheran World Relief’s “Hunger Inter(mission).” We join events like local mission trips to learn about homelessness and feed the hungry. We participate in CLAY (Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth) gatherings where we learn about our neighbours in this country and in the world. We serve our communities and congregation by hosting fundraising activities, such as yard sales or Easter breakfasts. Through the confirmation program (youth ages 12 – 14), we assist in worship, and this past year, with congregational support and with CLWR (Canadian Lutheran World Relief), we sewed dresses for girls in developing countries. Older youth have the opportunity to help out with our yearly Vacation Bible School program.
Our third focus is to have spirited fun! We enjoy events such as sleepovers with friends here at the church. We go bowling, play dodge ball and the ever-popular manhunt, go swimming, visit places like the Toronto Zoo, go on museum outings. We also go tubing at Chicopee in the winter, skating and drink hot chocolate, see movies, and so much more!
Our program is open to junior youth ages 9-11, and senior youth ages 12-16. All youth are welcome, and their friends too!
Affirmation or Confirmation
Confirmation is a public affirmation of faith and an acknowledgement of your baptism.
St. Stephen offers a 2-year course which includes discussion and learning from the Bible, the teachings of Martin Luther and the Confessions. It will also include frank and open discussions about what our tradition says about current issues.
At the conclusion of the course, you will participate in an Affirmation of Baptism or Confirmation service often held on Pentecost Sunday, the 50th day after Easter, which marks the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ.
Not baptized yet? You do not have to be baptized to attend the course. The Pastor will help to guide you through your faith journey.
Food Fun & Faith – Alternative Worship
Hospitality and social opportunities
The Online Prayer Group meets on Monday evenings as during COVID-19 we gather to pray for our church and each other and concerns we have. Contact the church office for the meeting link and join us at 6:45 p.m.
The Book and Prayer Group meets Monday morning from 10 a.m. until noon. We have lively discussion about the book we are currently reading and about any topic that comes up! Books are provided from the Kitchener Public Library’s “Book Club in a Bag” program. We end each session with prayer requests. All are welcome!
The Quilters meet on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to noon, from January to June and September to December. During the year, this group sends sundresses, tied quilts, and knitted teddy bears to Canadian Lutheran World Relief. Our primary focus is on making tied quilts, but we also have a small group making smaller quilts to be sold at the annual Cookie and Craft Sale.
The Card Group meets each Tuesday at 12:45 p.m. from September to mid-June.
Join us for an exciting afternoon of Euchre or Solo. There is a voluntary fee of $1 per person and light refreshments are served. If you have any questions, please speak to Larrie Brown or Larry Kennedy or call the church office for more information.
The Evangelical Lutheran Women (E.L.W.) meet many times throughout the year. Together with the congregation, they support community and world relief projects – as well as each other. These women often enjoy meals together and host events for the women of the congregation including the popular ‘Friendship Brunch.
Outreach projects have included
- putting together layettes for CLWR
- tying quilts for the quilters to send to CLWR
- collecting $50 in gift cards and a large box of toiletries, hats, gloves, and socks which have been given to support One Roof Youth Services at Christmas
- collecting $190 in Tim Horton’s gift cards for the Grand River Hospital Cancer Unit
- putting together and delivering plates of cookies and poinsettias to seniors and shut-ins at Christmas.