2020 COVID Christmas Relief for the Merrill Area Community

Due to COVID-19, many area programs that previously helped families facing financial hardships, by providing Christmas gifts for their children, are unable to run their programs this year. Saint Stephens wants to help the families and children in our Merrill area community in some small way, and thus Saint Stephens Christmas Blessings was created. The program is intended to provide a small gift (toy, books, or game)(valued at $20.00) to each child in our community who may not otherwise receive any gifts this Christmas because their families are facing a financial hardship or other difficult situation. 

We are also hoping other caring individuals, businesses, and organizations from throughout the Merrill community will join us in our mission to ensure that every child has something to open this Christmas morning to let them know they are loved. And that even in the midst of COVID, we still have the hope of Christmas. Click here to read all about the program and how/why it started here. If you would like to donate to help purchase gifts for area children, click here & select "Christmas Blessings Program 2020" for the Fund.

Families can apply for the Christmas Blessings program by picking up an Application Guide and Application Form at Saint Stephens in the church office, or outside Door #1 in the Blessing Box (even after office hours), or they can download the Application Guide and Application Form here. (Just click the links!)

Quick Updates & Links

The church office is temporarily closed to minimize COVID exposure, in accordance with Gov. Evers recommendations.

Please call ahead to schedule an appointment so we can better prepare to help you. If you can conduct your church business via mail rather than in-person, please do so.  Please plan to wear a mask in our building, practice social distance, and wash or sanitize your hands. Let us all work together to minimize the spread of COVID. Thank you for doing your part. Stay healthy! 

Annual Meeting:  December 13, 2020

Mark your Calendars for our Annual Meeting and Worship at 9:00 AM on Sunday, December 13. We will be voting for Church Council IN ADVANCE of our Annual Meeting, so please pick up your information packets or download your packet here and be sure to VOTE BEFORE the office closes at 4:00 PM on Friday, December 13. 

Current Worship Status:  Worshipping Virtually and Via Radio Broadcast. 

We have NOT yet returned to in-person worship, and we do not have immediate plans to do so. Local COVID-19 infections are on the rise, and many families in our church community have been exposed to or affected by the virus. At this time, we do not have a date set when worship will begin again in person. 

Please check back here for updates and also subscribe to our newsletter to get the most up-to-date information.

Sunday School:  We're doing Sunday School Virtually! Want to join our Sunday School Program? Get your child registered if you want to participate so we can make you a Sunday School activity bagand then mark your calendar to stop in at the beginning of each month to pick up your child's activity bag. Children who have already registered for Sunday School can pick up a Sunday School bag for the month of October in the church office now.

You can also register for Youth Group or Confirmation Class here. Click the link below.

Newsletter:  Published monthly ... The Interpreter is the best source of complete news and updates. Be sure to sign up for electronic updates.


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Welcome Rev.  & Mrs. Michael Southcombe ...

We would like to welcome Rev. Michael Southcombe to Saint Stephens United Church of Christ!

On September 20, 2020, the congregation voted to extend a call to Pastor Mike to be our next Senior Minister, with 75 percent voting "YES."

The Southcombes will be moving to Wisconsin the weekend of Halloween, and Pastor Mike will be worshiping with us on Sunday, November 8.

Worship in a Pandemic

The way we worship has temporarily changed. But that won't stop us from worshiping! Because ... 

We ARE the Church! 

The church is not the building, it's the people!

Click on one of the below icons to worship with us from right where you are!


    Sundays @ 9:00 AM

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  • ON THE RADIO ... SUNDAYS @ 9:00 AM

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Praying Together

While we are together ... but apart ... let us pray together and for one another.

Submit your prayer requests and pray for others ... 

Check out our new "Prayer" page.

"We ARE the Church"

We're living in unprecedented times. So we have to up our game, so to speak. We can't afford to do things "the way we've always done them." Nope ... it's time to get with the times. To innovate. To join forces. To look out for our neighbors (although THAT shouldn't be new to anyone at Saint Stephens). To do things differently. So without further ado, we introduce our new Saint Stephens YouTube Channel!


    Check out our NEW YouTube Channel and SUBSCRIBE! We need 100 subscribers before we can get our own cool new customized channel (so help us out with that) ... Our YouTube channel is about more than worshiping together ... it's about living this thing called life together.  The name of our YouTube Channel is:

    Because ... remember ... "We ARE the Church" ... Come on! SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Making the Story of Jesus ... 

             OUR STORY

We talk a lot about stories here at Saint Stephens. Every one of us has a story. You have a story. I have a story. And stories are important.

In fact, Jesus taught by telling stories . . . or parables, if you prefer to call them that. But they are still stories.

The stories we grow up hearing and telling one another are an important part of who we are. The stories of what we have each been through makes us the person we are. They influence how we see the world around us. Always, we must be conscious of the fact that every one of us can tell a different story.

So here in this place, we incorporate our stories . . . we welcome you . . . "No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here." . . . and we share the stories of Jesus . . . so that we can make them OUR STORY.

Creating Community

None of us live our lives in isolation. People need people. We need each other. 

As Christians, we value time spent with one another. We like to share the stories of our faith with one another, to worship together, to build each other up, to lift one another up in prayer, to build community. That community is an integral part of who we are here at Saint Stephens.

We build community, not only with one another as fellow Christians, but with the people around us, people who may or may not belong to Saint Stephens. Much of our energy here is directed toward outreach and building community . . . through our Dinner @ Five community meal every Monday evening . . . through our support of the local Food Pantry . . . through providing meals for area youth filling backpacks during the school year and free Taco Tuesdays in the park during the summer months . . . through Vacation Bible School that is open to any child in our area . . . to our mission work in support of Re-Member, a non-profit organization that works with the Oglala Lakota Nation on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota . . . and in so many other ways. 

Click on our Community link to learn more about all the ways we work together to meet the needs we see in and around our community, locally and beyond. Learn more about what is happening "Under the Bridge," our new Blessing Closet, the Medical Ministry Loan Closet that serves the Merrill area, and so many other programs. We are here for one another.

Living & Loving One Another

Here at Saint Stephens, we genuinely LIKE each other, and we want to spend time with one another. 

We create and nurture opportunities to share time together. From Coffee Hours every Sunday morning after the 9:00 AM service ... to Vacation Bible School fun for a week in the summer with the kids ... to our Music Ministry ... to volunteer opportunities ... to Mission Ministry ... well, take a peek at our Congregational Life page and all of our fun photos and see for yourself!