Recent events in our nation and world have caused us to question what is really essential. For the Christian Church, the Holy Spirit is essential.  Without the Holy Spirit the Church simply does not exist.  Organizations that look and act like a church may exist but they are not the Church.  Groups of people may gather religiously in buildings deemed “sacred”, but if the Holy Spirit is not there they are not the Church.  One of our Covenant Affirmations states that we have a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the blazing center of the Church.  In Acts chapter six we are introduced to Christianity’s first martyr, Stephen.  Stephen is described by Luke as a man full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.  Through this faithful follower of Jesus Christ we see how the Holy Spirit qualifies believers to speak and act in the world.