New England Bishop to preach at St. Stephen’s 50th anniversary celebration

The Rev. James E. Hazelwood (Photo/submitted)

Marlborough -The Rev. James E. Hazelwood, Bishop of the New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will be the guest preacher at Saint Stephen Lutheran Church in Marlborough Oct. 22. The 9:30 a.m. Sunday communion service will celebrate the church’s 50th anniversary of becoming a congregation, and takes place 50 years to the day after the organization service. Visitors are invited and welcome to attend.

In addition to the anniversary commemoration, there will be a thanksgiving during the service for the retirement of a debt, said Pastor Graumann.

“Saint Stephen Lutheran Church has successfully paid off the mortgage on its fellowship hall, and we are celebrating that as well,” he explained.

Special music will also characterize the service, notes Stan Hanson, music director. The anthem choir will sing “Give Thanks to the Lord” by Mark Patterson, and the bell choir will ring “Handbell Praise,” with an arrangement by Hanson.

Anniversary festivities will continue into the following weekend. On Saturday, Oct. 28, a gala will take place at the church from 5 to 8 p.m., with celebration, prayer, remembrances, a slide show, music, food, and reconnecting with friends. Several charter members of Saint Stephen will attend.

Saint Stephen was established in 1966 as the first Lutheran church in the Marlborough-Hudson area as a mission congregation. The process began with an interest meeting attended by about a dozen people, but the number swelled to 100 by the time the first worship service was held in October 1966. On Oct. 22, 1967, the church was officially organized with a rite of organization during a worship service, and the acceptance of 135 baptized members into the new congregation. For the first decade, parishioners worshiped in the Unitarian Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church. In 1969, they purchased land next to the Navin Rink, where the present church was constructed and completed in the fall of 1977.

For more information about Saint Stephen Lutheran Church, visit or the church’s Facebook page.