PASTOR STEVE MAHAFFEY
Pictures from Pastor's Installation
Monthly Reports to Executive Council
'Weekly Message' Below
January 26, 2023
“When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.” Isaac Watts
Ash Wednesday, (February 22 this year), begins our journey through the season of Lent. I’ve said many times over during my ministry that one cannot arrive at the joy of Easter without first kneeling in agony at the foot of the cross of Good Friday. The three holy days of Lent (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) are some of the most moving worship services on the church calendar. Surprisingly, there are many who’ve never experienced the Triduum in their spiritual walk with God. If you’re reading this and you’re one of these people, I encourage you to make a commitment now to experience Easter this year not just as a Sunday morning, but as a weekend experience. I can promise you will be changed and find your faith deepened.
That said, you might think it strange that I’m talking about Lent a month before the season begins. There’s a reason: this year, as we gather on the Wednesdays following Ash Wednesday, we will be using as a part of our worship service each evening a drama entitled The People vs. Judas Iscariot: the punishment phase. The drama is set up as a courtroom hearing. Each week we will hear from a different witness (or two), who offer their account of Jesus and the passion narrative. There will be a judge, a prosecuting attorney, a defense attorney, and yes, even a bailiff. And for those who aren’t serving in one of the many roles of the drama, you will serve as the jury.
To quote from Wm. Clayton McCord (the author of the play), the drama “is based upon the Ash Wednesday reading of Joel 2:13: ‘Return to the Lord, your God, for God is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love …’ The series is guided by three objectives: 1) to revisit the passion narrative … 2) to prompt reflection upon our own need for forgiveness; and 3) to focus on the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ and his suffering for the sins of the world. In this series Judas undergoes the punishment phase of his trial. He has already plead guilty to the crime against Jesus. Now the question is: ‘Is anything serious enough to merit God’s abandonment? Does Jesus receive mercy or eternal punishment?”
Intrigued? I hope so! And so I encourage you again to consider not only committing to the Triduum of the passion week, but also to worshipping with us the Wednesdays during Lent. If you’d like to participate in this moving drama, please reach out to me and let me know. I will need the following parts filled: judge, bailiff, attorney Justice, attorney Grace (who will need to be at all Wednesdays) John (act 1) Judas, Mary Magdalene, unnamed woman (act 2) young boy, Peter, Mary (act 3) chief priest, friend of Judas, Peter (act 4) and Paul, Death (act 5).
Until then, may the Light of Christ shine into and through your hearts during this Epiphany season.
In Christ, with Christ, for Christ!
Pastor Steve Mahaffey
Reverend Steven Mahaffey (Pastor Steve) is originally from North Canton, Ohio. After graduating from GlenOak High School in 1990, he attended and graduated from Capital University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Upon graduation, he worked as a substitute teacher in Columbus and the surrounding areas, as well as worked as a downtown bicycle messenger. After a year of substitute teaching, he was hired to teach the 5 th grade in Euless, Texas, located between Dallas and Fort Worth. During the last of his three years of teaching in Euless he discerned God’s call to become a minister. The first year and a half of his seminary training he attended Brite Divinity School, located on the campus of Texas Christian University. He transferred to Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Bexley, Ohio to complete his Master of Divinity. Following his classroom time and internship at All Shepherds in Lewis Center, Ohio, he accepted the call to serve St. Luke’s Lutheran in Marietta, Ohio, where he has served these past 18 years.
While serving St. Luke’s, in addition to the normal role a pastor plays within the life of a
congregation (planning and leading worship, committee meetings, oversight of staff, weddings, funerals, catechism, regular home and hospital visits), he remained committed to teaching, instructing the adults in over two-thirds of the Bible line by line, verse by verse. He enjoys music, participating in the vocal choir, singing solos, and ringing bells in the bell choir. He helped to lead the congregation in the updating of its constitution/bylaws/mission statement and core values/job descriptions/and helped create a sabbatical policy. He was active within the ministerial association in the conference of churches, as well as actively participated with the Synod: served for a period as a member of the Southern Ohio Synod Council; helped to develop the Thrive Campaign that’s still ongoing; served as a member of the call committee on calling an assistant to the bishop; as well as helped to cast the vision for the Synod at the transition of the Bishops. He was active in the community, serving as the President of the Harmar Rowing Club for 2 years while his children participated in High School crew, as well as helped to organize, prepare, and manage the racecourse for the Midwest and National Scholastic Rowing Championships. He enjoyed attending sporting events and cultural events in support of the local teams and youth of the congregation.
Pastor Steve believes a person can be “real and down-to-earth” and still possess a deep faith. This belief is reflected in who he is as well as how he approaches ministry and leadership. He believes the healthiest way to approach one another is with open, honest, and direct communication. That said, he shepherded his congregation through the discussions of some sensitive social and justice issues, leading them toward a response grounded in their faith, abiding with hope, and expressed in love. His door is always open and encourages people to come to speak and pray with him if there are questions, concerns, or hurts that need to be addressed. He enjoys working with teams of people, and actively encourages people to become involved in the life of the congregation by using their spiritual gifts. Pastor Steve was married for just shy of 8 years. He raised 3 children: Erin (24), a graduate from the University of Cincinnati with a Business degree in Market Research, she now resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she works at the corporate office for the Milwaukee Power Tool Company; Jacob (22), a graduate from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies, Communications Rhetoric, and a minor in English Literature, he now resides in Pittsburgh where he works for Aldi while seeking employment as a production specialist in the film and tv industries; and Jacob’s twin Jon (22), who will graduate with a Bachelor in Business and a Master’s Degree in Accounting this coming May from the University of Arkansas. Jon plans to remain in the Fayetteville, Arkansas area to work for an accounting firm that’s already hired him!
Pastor Steve enjoys movies, reading (sci-fi/fantasy and theology), cooking, and sampling new
craft beers. His passion is bicycling. He was blessed in 2019 by St. Luke’s with a 3-month
sabbatical in which to renew and recharge for ministry. Working with the congregation, he
planned a self-supported journey by bicycle across the United States. Adamant that he wanted
to share this journey with the congregation, family, and others, as well as demonstrate that
there are more decent and caring people in the world than what many believe, he wrote a daily
post with pictures on Facebook. You can still find this journey on Facebook (The Ponderings of a Pedalling Pastor). And yes, that’s the British spelling of “pedaling!”