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                                    "The Third Sunday of Advent"

                                          Sunday, December 15 at 8:00am and 10:30 am

On the third Sunday of Advent we hear Isaiah proclaim, “The desert and the dry land shall be glad. The desert shall rejoice and blossom … abundantly with joy and singing (35:1-2). This reading sets the time for the day — joy. 

The third Sunday of Advent is a little prelude to the joy of Christmas. It is the Sunday when our children and youth lead us in celebrating Christ’s birth at the 10:30am service. It is the Sunday when our carolers share the joy of Christmas with patients at St. Luke’s Hospital (meet at the A Avenue entrance at 1:45pm). 

In the midst of all these preludes to the joy of Christmas, we hear James, the brother of our Lord, urging us to be patient (James 5:7-10).  We meet John the Baptist in prison, wondering if Jesus really is the Messiah after all 

(Matthew 11:2-11). Jesus does not meet John’s expectations, and he doesn’t know what to think. Jesus responds by saying, “look what is happening: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor receive good news! Rejoice the kingdom of God has come near!

Pastor Ritva

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Who is St Stephen's Lutheran Church

We are a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), located in  the Southeastern Iowa Synod

At St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, we recognize the need to proclaim openly that the gospel is God’s gift to all people to be shared unconditionally. 

As a community aspiring to a be a spiritual home for all God’s people, we welcome all persons, without exception, without regard for age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, financial or family status, physical or mental abilities, or any other human distinction used to discriminate and exclude. 

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church (ELCA) is a Reconciling in Christ congregation that welcomes diversity, which enriches, nurtures and challenges our life and ministry. Come and join us as we know, live, and share Christ together in love. 

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To Know, Live, and Share Christ


St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, ELCA

610 31st Street SE | Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 | 319-364-2637 | ©2014