Stephens City United Methodist Church (SCUMC) hosted a Sunday worship service on July 31st at Newtown Commons. Pastor Bertina Westley provided a sermon on Zephaniah 3:14-20, “God’s Great Compassion.”
The service took place at 10:00 am. The congregation brought lawn chairs to worship under the open summer sky with the Commons Stage substituting for the pulpit. “Our church is taking advantage of the Newtown Commons location to be able to reach out to people that are passing by on Main Street. We are in the process of building community at SCUMC,” Westley said. The folks in Stephens City were invited to share in this time of fellowship and prayer. 71 adults and children attended the morning service. “It is all about touching those who have left the church for some reason and also welcoming potential newcomers who may be seeking faith programs for their families,” Westley added.

According to Westley, healthy worship comprises inspiring faith, building community, and connecting people to the congregation’s mission.  As church attendance increases, there is an enhanced opportunity to spread God’s message and ensure people love and follow Jesus.

Deanna and Steve Morris began attending SCUMC services a few weeks ago and reside in Lake Frederick. They were referred to SCUMC by a neighbor who told them about the church’s many local ministries. “During the early service the congregation made us feel at home and Pastor Bertina presented the sermon in a very lively and interesting manner. We thought the outdoor combined service and picnic were a great way to have fellowship with the community and meet other church members,” said Deanna Morris.

The service was followed by a picnic of hot dogs, chips, cookies, and ice cream under the Newtown Pavilion.
The Worship Team and United Methodist Men collaborated to provide an outdoor worship service and picnic for the congregation and welcomed any passerby to join in the church service.