Friday, December 26, 2014

Sermon Christmas Day - December 25, 2014

In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Last night we heard of the angels singing,
and the shepherds rushing off to the manger
to see the newborn king.
But in the light of this morning,
the angels are present only in the letter to the Hebrews.
And the author of the letter to the Hebrews
seems only to want to put them in their place.

We read that this babe in the manger
is far superior to angels.
We hear that God does not say to the angels,
‘You are My Son; today I have begotten you!’

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sermon Christmas Eve - December 24, 2014

‘For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.’

Monday, December 22, 2014

Come, for all is ready...

CHRISTMAS at St Stephen

Wednesday, Dec. 24, 7:30 p.m. (Prelude Music beginning 7:15 p.m.)

Thursday, Dec. 25, 10:30 a.m.

JOIN US as we worship the God who became one of us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sermon - 4th Sunday of Advent Dec 21 2014

King David was just like any immigrant.
Just like the colonists who settled around the Three Rivers
in the eighteenth century;
the Central and Eastern Europeans who came here for work
in the nineteenth century;
and the suburbanites who fled the city in the twentieth,
King David wanted to build a big church
when he finally got to where he was going.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Singers of Luke - 'Mary'

The Singers of Luke: ‘Mary’
December 10, 2014 – Vespers
The Rev. Maurice C. Frontz III STS

This has been Mary’s title ever since the earliest Christian days.
She is ‘the blessed Virgin Mary,’
or ‘the Blessed Mother.’
Millions of Roman Catholics and others pray each day
in the words of St Elizabeth,
‘Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.’
Her song is known to the church as the Magnificat,
taken from the first word in Latin, ‘Magnifies,’
and she sings, ‘From this day all generations will call me blessed.’

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

'The Singers of Luke' - Zechariah

The Singers of Luke: ‘Zechariah’
Advent 2014

The three singers that we will remember over the next three weeks
sang songs that are among the most popular in history.
Their songs do not appear on any charts of the most played songs
or in any anthologies of popular music.

But in the huge spaces of mighty cathedrals,
in the worship spaces of monasteries and convents,
in congregations of all sizes and in the homes of the faithful,
these songs have been sung each and every day
for at least seventeen hundred years:
the Benedictus or Song of Zechariah in morning prayer;
the Magnificat or Song of Mary in evening prayer,
and the Nunc Dimittis or Song of Simeon in Prayer at the Close of the Day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Advent Vespers Wednesday, 7:30 pm

Join us in prayer Wednesday evenings in Advent at 7:30 pm. The sermon texts will be 'The Singers of Luke,' focusing on the great canticles of the Benedictus (Song of Zechariah); the Magnificat (Song of Mary) and the Nunc Dimittis (Song of Simeon.) If you cannot be with us, consider praying with us at that time. Let us observe this Advent with penitence for sin and in expectation of God's mighty acts of mercy and favor.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sermon - 1st Sunday of Advent Nov 30 2014

Who says weather forecasters are never right?
I don’t know where you were this past Monday morning,
but I was in my study, trying to get prepared for two services in a short week,
when I heard it.
Just as the weather forecasters had told us,
at 11 a.m., the wind picked up and began to blow and began to shriek
so that the Christian education building creaked and groaned,
and the wind chimes on the porch began to sound.
I took a walk around the building
and saw the oak leaves coming off the trees,
driven in mini-cyclones and through the space between the buildings,
and smashed and held against the wire fence.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 - Sermon

Thanksgiving 2014 – St Stephen Lutheran Church
Deuteronomy 8:7-18; Luke 17:11-19
The Rev. Maurice C. Frontz III, STS

‘I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.’
What is this?

I believe that God has created me together with all creatures. God has given me and still preserves my body and soul: eyes, ears, and all limbs and senses; reason and all mental faculties. In addition, God daily and abundantly provides shoes and clothing; food and drink, house and home; fields, livestock, and all property, along with all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life. God protects me against all danger and shields and preserves me from all evil. God does all this out of pure, fatherly, and divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness of mine at all! For all of this I owe it to God to thank and praise, serve and obey him. This is most certainly true.[i]

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sermon Christ the King Sunday 11/23/2014

St Stephen Lutheran Church – Pastor Maurice Frontz
Christ the King - 11/23/2014
Text: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Matthew 25:31-46

It’s an unusual metaphor for kingship,
this image of the shepherd.
It is a rural image, far removed from the royal court,
from the realms of chariots and horses,
spears and soldiers,
thrones and crowns and due obeisance.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sermon 11-16-14

St. Stephen Lutheran Church is proud and thankful to have several seminarians join us in worship each week. The Rev. Sem. Christopher D. Wendel has been working closely with Pastor Frontz, and preached the Sermon this week. We thank him for sharing with us.

We would also like to apologize to you and Christopher for our slight technical difficulty in the beginning, and we hope that you can enjoy the rest of the Sermon.

The Falconer, Hymn Performed by St. Stephen Lutheran Church Chior

Interpretation of The Choir's Anthem, The Falconer:

The Choir's anthem today, The Falconer, is an imaginative meditation on music and praise of God. The text is challenging, but rewarding.

Falconry is an ancient art of hunting and sport. The falconer trains a bird of prey to hunt game in the wild and return it to him. Although the text does not mention hunting, the theme of the trusting relationship between the falcon and the falconer is important.

In the Metaphor, the song of a singer soars as a bird flies: roving all over the world, beholding and describing 'its scars and beauty too.' But as the falcon always returns to the falconer, the song and the singer always returns to Christ as home and inspiration. Indeed, there is nowhere that the singer can go where Christ does not go as well. Until the day when 'the soaring song shall see everything made whole and new,' the singer sings a song of praise, in joy and confidence: '[Christ] the falconer waits for you.'

Pastor Frontz

The Falconer
Text by Richard Leach
Music by Alfred V. Fedak
Performed by St. Stephen Lutheran Church Choir
Copyright 1996, Selah Publishing Co., Inc., Kingston, N.Y. 12401 All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What's the deal with Elijah? - Your Questions Please

YOUR QUESTIONS PLEASE!!! – ‘What’s the deal with Elijah?’

‘In Mark 9:11-13, the disciples asked Jesus why the scribes say Elijah must come first, and Jesus answered that Elijah is coming and has already come. Please explain.’

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembering St Martin of Tours

In addition to being Veterans' Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations, today is Martinmas, the feast of St Martin of Tours. Martin was born in 316 in present-day Hungary. Drafted into the army at age fifteen, he found his own ideal of the Christian life hard to reconcile with the duties of military service. Eventually, he decided to be baptized and asked to be released from the army, being released when he was twenty years old.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sermon October 12 - 18th Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 23 (Pentecost 18) – October 12, 2014
Isaiah 25:1-9; Psalm 23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14
St Stephen Lutheran Church
The Rev. Maurice C. Frontz, STS
If you’re not hungry right now, I do not know what to do for you.
The Word of God should make our mouths water today.
Isaiah’s feast which God throws on Mount Zion,
to which all the nations are invited;
the feast of fat things and vintage wines.
David’s vision of God setting the table and filling his cup to the brim
even while David’s enemies rage about.
And, of course, Jesus’ image of the wedding banquet;
everything prepared for an epic blowout,
the celebration to end all celebrations –
the royal wedding.
The tables groaning with fresh fruits and cheeses,
and the centerpiece, the fatted calf,
having been prepared just for this moment,
and you are invited.
If you’re not hungry right now, I don’t know what to do for you.
It made me hungry just writing this.

Jesus says, ‘The kingdom of God may be compared to a king
who gave a wedding banquet for his son.’
So it should be obvious that we are not just talking about food, here.
The Word of God is filled with images for a reality
which cannot wholly be expressed in words.
The kingdom of God.
The place; or rather, the time,
when God is victorious over all sin, evil, and death.
The place, or rather, the time,
when God satisfies every need, reconciles every relationship,
brings all into a peace that passes understanding.
If you’re not hungry right now, I don’t know what to do for you.

The hunger for the kingdom of God is not the hunger of the stomach,
but sometimes we know it as an almost physical ache,
the ache of the heart in the midst of troubles;
the longing of the soul in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death,
the hope of the spirit for justice and mercy
in the midst of a world where both are in short supply.
It can be compared to the longing for someone to share your days and nights,
but it is more than that.
It can be compared to the desire to be entertained,
for a momentary escape from the cycle of life,
but it is more than that.

It can be compared to the desire for a cool breeze and a shade tree
on a hot summer’s day,
to the desire for a warm fire and a hot drink on a day when the world is frozen stiff;
to a restful night at the end of a long and exhausting day;
but of course it is more than that.
For people can be sated with food and drink,
can know the joys of the marriage bed,
can know every comfort and escape which human artifice can contrive,
and yet we’re always wanting more.
We cannot rest content until God is king;
until evil is no more,
the longing of our hearts is stilled,
and the goal of our existence is reached.
If you’re not hungry right now, I don’t know what to do for you.

The faith of the Christian is that Jesus is this goal of our existence.
Jesus came into the world, died on the cross, rose from the dead;
to establish the kingdom on earth,
to birth the reign of God’s justice and mercy.
God comes to us without blame, without judgment, with lovingkindness.
This kingdom of God is both now and then,
now in infancy; then brought to full maturity.
The feast of Jesus is the feast of Isaiah brought into our world,
and the feast of Isaiah will be the feast of Jesus brought to its full realization in heaven.
Jesus says to the woman at the well,
Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.
The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’

If you’re not hungry now, I do not know what to do for you.
But if we are to believe Jesus,
there are apparently some who do not hunger for this kingdom.
Perhaps we do not speak of those who have never heard the Gospel,
or who have grown up in another faith,
but of those who are content with the fulfillments of the world;
those who believe that the world they can see and feel
is all that there is.
It is indeed a mystery that abundance does not lead to satisfaction,
but instead a repetition and intensification of the cycle of desire.
We’re never satisfied; we’re always wanting more.
Jesus said to the woman at the well:
‘Those who drink of this water will thirst again.’

And so an amazing thing happens.
there are some who, invited to a wedding banquet,
the biggest shindig ever,
don’t feel they need to come.
would rather pursue their own interests
rather than celebrate with the rightful King.
When called to the feast to end all feasts,
they don’t have time.
they can only think of their anxiety for what will happen to their own.
They reject the messengers;
and if the message is too threatening,
they even do violence to them.
In the terms of the metaphor,
this is what happens:
In his righteous anger, the king destroys those who,
out of fear and hatred, refuse his generosity and his authority.

There is also the one who comes to the wedding banquet
without the requisite clothing.
We should not assume that this man is too poor to afford good clothes,
or is simply ignorant of the tradition,
and is unjustly treated.
Instead, he is the one who comes to the party,
but not to honor the king and his son,
not to share in the merrymaking,
but to simply get all that can be gotten.
This person’s very presence at the banquet without the robe of celebration
 is a calculated insult;
this one believes he can get away with anything.
In the terms of the metaphor,
he is thrown out of the party,
as a bouncer would eject a gate-crasher.

Aren’t there those who bristle at the suggestion
that there is more to life than can be seen or felt or experienced?
Aren’t there those who doubt the generosity of God
for they are constantly coveting that which they do not have?
Aren’t there those who are in the ‘god business’
simply for the money or power or fame
and have no desire to serve and obey God?
The violence in the parable
is simply another imaginative vision
of the fate of those whose desires will never be satisfied
because they have the wrong desires.
It is a warning, do not become like those
who overhear the music, but for whom it is a dull and indistinct babble;
who will smell the fatted calf, but who will never taste it.
Truly this would be an occasion for weeping and gnashing of teeth.

But for those who,
out of no merit of their own,
have been called to share in the feast,
for those who simply hear and respond to the invitation,
there is the joy of celebration, both of the feast that is now
and the feast that is to come.
Those who believe that the heavenly Father
knows what we need before we ask,
and seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
will know the gift of accepting the earth and its pleasures
as signs of the joy of the world to come,
and the gift of being able to suffer the loss of the joys of the world when they must.
For those who see, in Jesus of Nazareth,
the Son for whom the feast is given,
there is the joy of the promise of the peace of God
that passes all understanding.
There is the foretaste of the feast to come,
the meal of the Kingdom which fully satisfies us
even as it strengthens us to live the joyful life to which God has called us.

Are you hungry yet?
If you’re not hungry right now, I don’t know what to do for you.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
they shall be satisfied.’
Christ Jesus…became for us wisdom from God,
and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.’
Come, taste of the banquet of the Kingdom,
the joy which is beyond all joy.
Come, for all things are now ready.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sermon Matthew 18:15-20; September 7, 2014

Link to Gospel text

Albert Einstein said,
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
This applies to scientists,
but it also applies to theologians as well.
Theologians are fond, perhaps overly fond,
of showing their erudition by using big words
and complex phrases.
But if they cannot explain the concepts simply,
or at least make sure the people know the big words
and the complex phrases,
they may not understand the subjects well enough.
And what they know is of no use to the people.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sermon August 31, 2014

Unfortunately we encountered a recording issue around minute 6, and about a minute of audio was lost. We hope that you can still enjoy the rest of the sermon.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Your Questions Please! Part Four

YOUR QUESTIONS PLEASE!             #4                    8/24/2014

Jesus said, ‘When someone has been given much, much will be required in return;
and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.’

This passage haunts me.

Do we know when we have returned as much as Jesus requires, or have we entrusted as much as He required?

Do most religions read this passage and act on it?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sermon Proper 15 Pentecost 10 - August 17, 2014

Proper 15 Year A (Pentecost 10)
17 August 2014
Isaiah 56:1; 6-8; Ps. 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15:10-28
St Stephen Lutheran Church
Pr. Maurice Frontz

Watch your mouth!
How many of us have said this to our children?
How many of us have heard this from our parents?
It might be heard when you let your tongue slip,
and use a word that you may not be supposed to use.
But we might also hear ‘Watch your mouth!’
when we are saying something a bit ‘saucy’ to someone with whom we are angry;
a parent, a spouse, someone who deserves more respect than we are giving them.
We may hear it from a parent when we show disrespect to others.
It is a quick and sharp reminder
that we are being overheard
and that our words matter.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sermon August 10, 2014

Unfortunately we do not have the written sermon this week, but we still have the audio recording.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sermon August 3, 2014

Sermon for Sunday August 3rd:
We would like to thank The Reverend Cathy Ammlung and Mustang for leading us in Worship this past Sunday. We would also like to thank her for offering her sermon for our website.

Your Questions Please - Part Three!

Why don't Roman Catholics say the entire Lord's Prayer?

Before I get to the specific question, let me say more about the Lord’s Prayer in general.

The Lord’s Prayer (the ‘Our Father,’ the ‘Prayer of Jesus,’ etc.) is found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. In Matthew 6, it forms part of the Sermon on the Mount. In Luke 11, the disciples ask him to teach them to pray as he prays. The wording is slightly different between Matthew and Luke...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

North American Lutheran Church Convocation: How Water Missions International's Living Water Treatment System works

One of the NALC's mission partners is Water Missions International, a nonprofit Christian engineering organization providing sustainable safe water and sanitation solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas. WMI is based in Charleston, South Carolina.

In communities without safe water, or in a disaster area, Living Water Treatment Systems (TM) such as this one can be flown to the area to provide safe drinking water. A Living Water Treatment System was on display at the NALC Convocation in Charleston last week. Here is a staff member, Kevin Herr, explaining how the system works.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Website of the North American Lutheran Seminary

Take some time today to visit the website of the North American Lutheran Seminary. Learn about its mission and vision, and read a message from its President, The Rev. Dr. Amy Schifrin, STS.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Your Questions Please 2

Your Questions Please!

Remember, if you have a question that you would like answered, please submit it under the  Your Questions Please tab!

How do you retire an old Bible?

A GREAT question, to which there is no one answer. However, it gives rise to opportunity to talk about some other things.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sermon July 13, 2014

Proper 9A (5th Sunday after Pentecost)
Isaiah 55:10-13; Psalm 65:1-13; Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
St Stephen Lutheran Church
July 13, 2014

You can now listen to Pastor Frontz's sermons while you read them. Press play below to listen along to the sermon read each Sunday!

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s the day of the big game.
You have the snack food and the beverages of choice.
The whole neighborhood is coming over to watch the game at your place.
Because you’ve got a brand-new 64” HD 1080p flatscreen TV
equipped with screen-in-screen and surround sound.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Your Questions Please! Episode One - Luke 14:25-35

You can now submit your own questions, and also see the latest answered questions in a new section of our websit, 'Your Questions Please!'.
‘Help me to understand Luke 14:25-35.’

25 Now great crowds accompanied [Jesus], and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”                                        Luke 14:25-35 ESV

Jesus is not telling us to actively hate anyone, least of all those whom we are taught in Scripture to love, honor and cherish. We should not hate ourselves, but love ourselves, for God loves us. Jesus teaches us to love even our enemies. But we are to be ready to let relationships go, if necessary, for the sake of following Jesus.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sermon Proper 9 Pentecost 4 - July 6, 2014

That American prophet Bob Dylan,
hero of the counterculture of the 1960s,
went through a born-again phase in the late 1970s,
and some people insist that a biblical spirituality pervades almost all his music.
He wrote the following verses,
which I am not going to attempt to sing.
But maybe you’ve heard the song:

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

Now, how depressing is this?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

CAMP FROG coming this month

Camp Frog at St. Stephen Lutheran Church is Monday, July 28 - Friday, August 1, 2014 for children entering 1st through 6th grade.  Camp is from 9:00-3:00 daily.  We will have our closing program on Thursday at 7:00 PM.  The day camp is free, although offerings will be accepted. The camp is run by staff members of Lutherlyn, an ACA accredited camp in Prospect, PA. 

Please call Amy Luzader at (412) 965-6315 if you have questions or would like to register. Space is limited so register now! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Your questions please!

Your questions please! I would be very happy to entertain whatever questions come to your mind regarding the Bible, theology, Lutheranism, liturgy, church history, or current religious issues, and publish answers (such as I am able to talk intelligently about them!) in the church bulletin and on this website. 

For visitors to this site, this may be an opportunity to ask questions about St Stephen, Christianity in general or the Lutheran church in particular, or anything else that is on your mind.

To submit a question, you may submit it under the 'Your Questions Answered' tab, or simply send me an e-mail at, hand me a note, or otherwise communicate with me. Your identity will be kept confidential, and I will TRY(!) to keep my answers as concise as possible. Put on your thinking caps!                                                                            Pastor Frontz

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 22, 2014 - Proper 7A

Proper 7 Year A – June 22, 2014
Jeremiah 20-7-13; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 10:24-39
St Stephen Lutheran Church
The Rev. Maurice Frontz

This large crucifix which dominates our front wall in our worship space
is a beloved piece of art for many of us, perhaps for all of us.
Certainly our church would not be the same without it.
It is evocative of John 3:16,
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
that all those who believe in him may not perish,
but have eternal life.’
It is a visual reminder of what is proclaimed in the Word and in the Sacraments;
the forgiveness of our sins for Jesus’ sake.

But what if we were to look at this crucifix slightly differently?
What if we were to remember that Christ not only came to forgive our sin, but to condemn it?
What if we were to consider that Christ not only was crucified for us,
but our old selves were crucified with him?
What if we were to believe not only that Christ died for us, but that we died as well?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sermon, Second Sunday of Easter

St Stephen Lutheran Church
The Rev. Maurice C. Frontz III
Easter 2
April 27, 2014

What think ye of Christ?
This is the question evangelist Dwight L. Moody put to his hearers
in New York City on February 27, 1876.
The sermon became world-famous,
and I certainly don’t make a claim to be able to equal the Rev. Dwight L. Moody.
But with boldness I would call this sermon,
‘What think ye of Christ?’
especially because we have the testimony of the apostles and St Thomas with us today.
In the footsteps of Dwight L. Moody, then,
we ask, ‘What think ye of Christ?’

What think ye of Christ?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sermon Easter Sunday 2014

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are a couple of phrases that have entered our collective lexicon
that are somewhat helpful to us, but not always.
These are ‘life goes on,’ and ‘the new normal.’
Whenever there is a sudden trauma in our lives,
especially when there is a death,
well-meaning folks say, ‘Life goes on.’
I counsel people about what to expect in the first year after a death
and I may use the phrase ‘the new normal.’
Perhaps we even use these phrases to comfort ourselves.
‘Life goes on,’ we say, as if trying to convince ourselves.
And indeed life does go on.
After a period of shock and grief, we eventually become adjusted to tragedy.
We even see this as we as a nation
adjust ourselves to acts of indiscriminate violence
at schools, universities, public events, and military bases.
After a brief focus on these terrible events,
some hand-wringing and angry calls for reform,
these events quickly fade from the public consciousness
as the next news cycle brings more events
upon which to focus our attention.
We as communities are okay with the deaths of so many young people
from drug abuse, even as we legalize drugs in order to obtain revenue
and supposedly drive down crime.
We get used to ‘the new normal,’ and we say, ‘life goes on.’

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meditation for Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion

If you could have a superpower, what superpower would you have?
This is a common question put to children to get their brains going.
Some would fly.
Some would see into other people’s minds so they could get all the right answers on tests.
Some would end hunger and poverty or have the power to defeat evil.
The question pushes us beyond the boundaries of our mundane lives
into the realm of possibility, promise, and power.
We are encouraged to dream big.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Farewell and Godspeed!

We say ‘farewell’ this weekend to Tsena Dinssa, who will be moving to St. Paul, Minnesota, as he continues to await call as a pastor. He will be living with family and there is a large Oromo Ethiopian presence in the Twin Cities area. Tsena has been a big part of our faith family since his beginning to worship among us last year. He has been our regular worship assistant at the Saturday evening service, has preached from our pulpit, and has been a friend to us all. We wish him well as he goes forth from us, and we look forward to the day when we will be able to call him ‘Pastor Dinssa.’

God bless you, Tsena, and THANK YOU!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sermon Lent 5A

Lent 5A – April 6, 2014
Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45
St Stephen Lutheran Church
The Rev. Maurice C. Frontz, STS

In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

At this moment, imprisoned in the Allegheny County Jail,
is someone just like me.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sermon Wednesday in 3 Lent - Matthew 7:1-12

‘Don’t judge me!’
It is the aggrieved and aggressive manifesto
of the teenager, of the nonconformist,
of the transgressor of the mores of society or church,
the defense of behavior or attitude
that parent or peer deems deviant or destructive.
‘Don’t judge me’ is closely related to the opinion
that everything is a matter of opinion;
that there are no standards by which to judge
between absolutely right and absolutely wrong.
‘Don’t judge me’ seems to be the only creed for our time,
a statement of faith in untrammeled individual choice,
one that understands life to be full of gray areas
in which most things, if not all things, can and must be tolerated.

One Step Closer - Thanks be to God!

Tsena Dinssa has been approved for ordination by the Candidacy Committee of the North American Lutheran Church!

Approval for ordination means that Tsena has fulfilled the requirements to become a pastor in the NALC. In the Lutheran tradition, one does not become a pastor until one is called by a congregation. He will be available to interview with congregations who are seeking a pastor. When a congregation calls him, he will be ordained to the Holy Ministry.

Tsena hails from Ethiopia and has been in the United States for many years, serving as a lay minister in Oromo Lutheran congregations in Dallas and Washington D.C. He graduated from Trinity School for Ministry in 2013 and has been a member of St Stephen since October, 2013. He has assisted Pastor Frontz in worship, especially on Saturday evening, and has become a valued member of St Stephen.

O Lord, we implore you to raise up for the work of the ministry faithful and able servants who will count it all joy to give themselves for the sake of your dear Son and for the souls for whom he shed his most precious blood; and fit them for their holy office by your bountiful grace and heavenly benediction; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What are you seeking? - Wednesday in 2 Lent

Wednesday in Lent 2 – 19 March 2014 – Pr. Maurice Frontz
Matthew 6:19-34

Where is your treasure?
What is your focus?
Whom do you serve?
What are you seeking?

In four different but similar ways
our Lord Jesus makes clear
how we ought to live
and for what we should pray.
In asking these questions, our Lord directs us back
to the prayer which he taught us.