St. Stephen's offers plentiful opportunities to get involved in the life of the church and neighboring community. Spiritually enriching activities and groups are available during the school year for all age groups, and there are countless ways to volunteer your time and talent for the life of the church.
St. Stephen’s has a long heritage of supporting the youth of our parish. We are proud to continue to offer a variety of ways for youth (middle school and high school) to engage with Christ. All youth, regardless of membership or beliefs, are welcome to our classes and activities. Please see the schedule list in our monthly newsletter “The Guide” so you can keep up with seasonal changes. Since September of 2016, St. Stephen's and Messiah Lutheran hold joint youth events under the direction of Courtney Berg, Youth Director.
Other Opportunities Through the Year
Diocesan High School Youth Event (end of summer/fall)
Summer Camp - Camp Canterbury (last week in July) (formerly Camp Comeca)
Youth Sunday/Youth Worship Volunteers
Some of our adult formation programs have a very organic form at St. Stephen’s – which is just a way of saying our classes and studies are generally short-term courses led by our clergy and lay people. Our class offerings are announced and advertised in our monthly newsletter, the Guide and at announcement time during worship.
St. Mary's Bible Study for Women
One of the cornerstones of our adult formation is St. Mary’s Ecumenical Women’s Bible Study. St. Mary’s meets in the Parish Hall at 9:45 am on the first and third Thursdays, September – May. This dedicated and studious group of women always welcomes new members from any denomination. St. Mary's finished studying the Book of Judges this Spring.
Co-Ed Arabic Bible Study
Men and women who speak Arabic join on Saturdays from noon - 1 pm in the Parish Hall for Bible Study. Fr. Kuku leads the group.
Men's Bible Study
Men from St. Stephen's and Messiah Lutheran Church meet during the school year on Wednesday evenings for fellowship and study of the Word. Watch the church calendar for dates and times.
St. Stephen's choir meets for rehearsals on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 and sings for the Sunday service three times per month. The choir sings a wide variety of songs and in the past has sung larger undertakings such as Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus", "Kyrie Eleison" from Rutter's Mass of the Children, Tavener's "Song for Athene", and Mack Wilberg's "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing".
The choir consists of parishioners who volunteer their time and talent. Anyone is welcome to participate if they have a love of making music. Talk with Director Dan Korensky for more information.
Every Sunday from 11:30 - 12:30, about forty hungry Grand Islanders come to the parish hall for a free meal of sandwiches, as well as on occasion soup, chips, fruit, and bottled water. Depending on the supply, they sometimes are able to take a sack lunch home for another meal or someone unable to attend. We are thankful for Hy-Vee who provides the sandwich bread.
Help spread the word - everyone who is hungry is welcome to be part of St. Stephen's Sandwich Sunday!
//ALTAR GUILD & Worship ASSISTANTs
If you are interested in any of the following activities, please speak with Fr. Robert or contact the church office.
Verger duties can be purely ceremonial or include other responsibilities. He or she may serve in other capacities throughout the service as well. The Office of Verger dates back to the Middle Ages when the Verger was the "Protector of the Procession." He led the Procession into the Church or Cathedral. Today, in many parishes and cathedrals you will see a Verger ceremonially leading the Procession.
SEEKING NEW VOLUNTEERS – This guild works closely with the Rector and Deacon. Their main task is to set and care for the Altar and all its appointments (linens, candles, trapping, etc). Twice a year (Easter and Christmas) they host two cleaning events to see that our many beautiful memorials and items are kept gleaming and clean. The Altar Guild sees that the altar is set for every service at the church. Altar Guild is scheduled on a rotating basis.
SEEKING NEW VOLUNTEERS – Typically beginning in the fourth grade and open through adulthood, acolytes assist with many roles in the Eucharist. This is open to both boys and girls. Some of the duties include: Crucifer (the person who carries the cross and leads the procession), Torch Bearers, and Server (person who assists the priest in setting up Holy Communion).
We are currently seeking some Acolyte parents who would serve as helpers for this ministry.
SEEKING NEW VOLUNTEERS – The Ushers play a vital role in our worship. General duties include: distributing the service leaflet, tallying the attendance, assisting parishioners (as needed) into the worship space, taking up the offering, and preparing the brass rails for Holy Communion, as well as directing the flow of traffic during Communion.
This ministry is all about the “WELCOME”! It’s been a while since we had formal greeters, but we would like to renew this ministry. If you are a long-time, veteran member of St. Stephen’s and are able to warmly welcome visitors and guests, this may be the job for you!
Chalice Bearers assist in the distribution of Holy Communion. Working with the Priest, they serve the wine to parishioners at the Communion rail. This ministry requires a brief training which will result in securing a license. Chalice Bearers are scheduled on a rotating basis.
These volunteers lead the congregation in the spoken prayers of the people during the Sunday worship services. While every person prays in a different way, each Intercessor has their own unique way of leading the prayers.
If you have a gift for reading scripture, this ministry is for you! Scheduled on a rotating basis, the Lector reads the Old and New Testament readings, as well as leads the congregation in the Psalm.
//VESTRY & OTHER OPPORTUNITIES
Members of St. Stephen's in good standing can run for Vestry--the principal body for conducting the affairs of the church--in January every year. Their are various other committees and opportunities to lend your talents both inside and outside the church's walls, such as at Habitat for Humanity build sites from time to time.