St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in El Dorado Hills is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sunday, May 18 at 10 a.m. A simple luncheon will follow. A six-foot outdoor mosaic has been created by Pastor Trudy Franzen to commemorate the occasion.
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To attend call 916-933-1441 by May 4.
Imagine for a moment the prospect of starting a brand new church with just a handful of families by holding a worship service next to a municipal swimming pool. That is just how St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church was conceived in 1963. By May 17 of 1964, 60 adults signed the charter of incorporation and the first church in El Dorado Hills was born.
St. Stephen’s had a lot of challenges along the way. First, it quickly outgrew the space it was using for worship at the local fire station.
Then, there was the challenge of building a structure despite an economic downturn and the layoffs at Aerojet, the company that had employed 25,000 people but downsized to less than 1,000. St. Stephen’s then took on the challenge of building an education wing during another period of economic instability in 1978-1980.
Through the years, St. Stephen’s has been blessed with dedicated leaders and pastors, generous givers and scores of volunteers. Nestled on a hillside surrounded by beautiful trees, St. Stephen’s has a retreat-like quality that embodies all of the love that has been poured out to sustain it.
Over the years, St. Stephen’s has always supported youth activities, such as Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Girl Scouts and a Child Development Center.
Service projects have included various denominational drives to combat hunger, as well as work with Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, the Faith Based Nomadic Shelter for the Homeless, St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children, Food Bank of El Dorado County, Lutheran Social Services, Heifer Project, El Dorado Mental Health Services and American Muslim Voice.
This year, St. Stephen’s is very excited to begin a new relationship with the Kibungo Parish in Rwanda, partnering with Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Auburn and Grace Lutheran Church in Lincoln.