713-528-6665   ---   1805 W ALABAMA, HOUSTON, TX 77098 --- SUNDAY WORSHIP AT 8:30 AM & 10:30 AM    --- info@ststephenshouston.org


O God, the Creator, who provides nests for birds and burrows for foxes, open us to your dreams and visions for this land and its people. Empower us in wisdom to join with partners and build spaces that serve communities. Embolden us to . . . Go. Partner. Build for Light. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Recently in Sunday worship, we read in the gospel of Luke that Jesus sent out 72 disciples in pairs to go everywhere he planned to visit. His direction to his friends was to go two by two, to offer peace, to be about the work of listening and healing, and to return (Luke 10:1-23). Using this text as the basis for prayer and theological reflection, a group of 15 disciples from St. Stephen’s met in July to ground our community spiritually as we begin the process of implementing the Trinity Wall Street Mission Real Estate grant for pre-development services. The fruit of this retreat was the command to Go. Partner. Build for Light.

Subsequently, a small group met to craft a prayer which will ground our work over the next several months. Our Vestry and the Mission Real Estate Team invite you to use it in your personal devotions and we will be praying it in all our small groups and in public worship throughout this fall. The Mission Real Estate Team is chaired by Dwight Wolf and includes Tyler Swanson, Dan Maxwell, John Siegel, David Kelley, Rose Farrar, Lucy Cockrum, Susan Hawes, Owen Tredennick, Chris Nelson, and Kevin Dalrymple. Their ministry is to guide us in seeking a possible developer for our land for its highest and best use to support our ministries now and into the future. Carol Keating will be launching a contemplative prayer ministry to provide spiritual focus and strength for this work. You will be hearing more about that opportunity soon and you are invited to join in.

Over the summer the Project Oversight Committee has been engaged in moving our mission forward also. While COVID slowed our design process for our new building, the Project Oversight Committee has completed the schematic design, did multiple iterations of value engineering, and changed the scope of our architecture program in response to supply chain impacts, and increasing costs of labor and building materials. The new program is within our budget. The Project Oversight Committee will embark on design development in the next several weeks.

Jesus is sending us out to prepare for his ministry in our time and place. As his disciples, we are empowered to bring peace, to listen and to heal. You will be receiving information and invitations to go, partner, and build for light in the next month. This is an exciting season which will bring joy.

The Reverend Lisa Hunt, Rector