Serving Each Other
Whether participating in the 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship service or special festival services, acolytes are always ready to serve with enthusiasm and dedication. They assist the clergy in a variety of ways: bearing torches, carrying a processional cross, carrying the Gospel Book, as well as receiving the offertory plates from the congregation. Serving as an acolyte is perhaps the earliest point in a person’s life to serve God in his church. Acolytes receive on-going training.
If you are interested in becoming an acolyte or learning more about the Saint Stephen’s Acolyte Guild, please call Father David at the parish office.
St. Stephen’s Altar Guild is made up of members who serve as the priest’s partners in making the worship life of the parish run smoothly. The Altar Guild is responsible for overseeing the altar, as well as the care of the altar linens.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Altar Guild or learning more about our work, please call the parish office.
National Altar Guild Prayer
Most gracious Father Who has called me Your child to serve
in the preparation of Your Altar, so that it may be a suitable place
for the offering of Your Body and Blood;
Sanctify my life and consecrate my hands so that I may worthily handle
Those Sacred Gifts which are being offered to You.
As I handle holy things, grant that my whole life may be illuminated
and blessed by You, in whose honor I prepare them,
and grant that the people who shall be blessed by their use,
May find their lives drawn closer to Him Whose Body and Blood
is our hope and our strength, Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
The St. Stephen’s Parish Choir rehearses Wednesday evenings at 6:00pm and Sunday mornings at 9:40am in preparation for the 10:30 Holy Eucharist. Our repertoire includes anthems from the Renaissance to the present day, and hymns from the Hymnal 1982, St. Stephen’s Songbook, LEVAS II, and Wonder, Love, and Praise. New members are always welcome, and no previous musical experience is required.
The Handbell Choir rehearses seasonally on Sundays after church, and rings in church on special days in the church year. We are blessed to own 5 octaves of Schulmerich bells, so we always have room for more ringers! Handbell Choir is open to all ages, and no previous musical experience is required.
St. Cecilia Choir
The St. Cecilia Choir is comprised of children from Pre-K through the 5th grade and rehearses on Sunday mornings at 9:00am during the school year. During choir rehearsal, children learn solfège, basic note reading, standard Christian hymns, and practice to sing anthems for special days in the church year.
We are also blessed to have musically gifted youth at St. Stephen’s. Youth Choir rehearses occasionally in preparation to sing solos or two-part anthems with the St. Cecilia Choir.
To find out more about joining one of our ensembles, or if you are interested in playing an instrument at St. Stephen’s, please contact Organist/Choirmaster Robin Ericksen (email@example.com).
For information, contact Robin Ericksen.
The Christian Formation program at St. Stephen’s offers an atmosphere of learning that brings us into a closer relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and our neighbors. Through discussion and instruction, we strive to become better Christians who will not only develop our understanding of what it means to follow Christ, but who will have the courage to live and act as Christians in the world. Under the direction of the Christian Formation Committee and the clergy, St. Stephen’s offers a variety of opportunities for formation throughout the year.
If you would like to learn more about St. Stephen’s Christian Formation program, please call the parish office.
9:15A.M. in Warden's Hall
daughters of the king
The original charter of the Order of the Daughters of the King at St. Stephen’s dates back to 1896. Many years ago, the group was revived, but it did not stay active for very long. Because of this long period of inactivity, a previous rector returned our charter to the headquarters. During the fall of 2014, a group of St. Stephen’s women began a four-month discernment and study period. Happily on Sunday, January 19, 2014, seven members were installed and The Order of St. Mary and St. Martha DOK was reactivated.
Episcopal Church Women® (ECW)
All women who are members of St. Stephen’s are also members of Episcopal Church Women® (ECW) and are invited to participate in ECW activities. ECW is a national Episcopal women’s organization that provides a variety of opportunities for women to relate to the church through a program of service, gifts and fellowship to the end that each woman may find her place in the parish family and the mission of the church.
ECW at St. Stephen’s sponsors the Derby Day party, which is eagerly anticipated by our own members and friends in the community. Other ECW projects include the Daddy-Daughter Dance and a variety of events.
Episcopal Church Women Prayer
Almighty God, we pray that you will bless our work in mission and ministry in the world. Help us to pray fervently, labor diligently and give liberally to make known the power of your love given through your son Jesus Christ. Let us not forget the lessons from the past nor fear the challenges of the future. Anoint us with your grace and shine in our hearts as we reflect your light throughout the world. Amen.
For more information, contact the parish office.
The ministry of the Flower Guild is to show the congregation and visitors the beauty of God’s creation and how great his love is for us. After the flowers beautify the church on Sunday, they are rearranged on Mondays into smaller bouquets and taken to the veterans’ home, nursing homes, and to shut-in members of the Church.
Floral arrangements at St. Stephen’s are created by devoted volunteers as the Flower Guild, carrying on a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of the parish. The work of the Guild is a partnership between the donors, who contribute funding for flower memorials and thanksgivings, and members of the Guild, who give their time to obtain the materials and create the arrangements. The Flower Guild assists in the worship of the parish by providing and preparing flowers or greens at the altar and in other places in and outside the church building for all Sunday services, holy days and other special occasions. Only natural materials are used.
Please join us for this ministry—no experience is necessary, and we’ll be glad to help you learn.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Flower Guild or learning more about us, please call the parish office.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEM)
Lay Eucharistic ministers administer the chalice of wine at our Eucharistic services. Training is required, as is a commitment to serve on a rotation at our Saturday evening or the early or later Sunday Eucharist. A license from the bishop is given after training.
Lay readers read the readings from scripture at the various services. Training in reading texts is required, as is a commitment to serve on a rotation at our Saturday evening or the early or later Sunday services.
For more information contact, Father David or the parish office.
Loopy Ladies’ Shawl Ministry of St. Stephen’s serves to share God’s love to those who are experiencing hardship. The mission of the Loopy Ladies’ Shawl Ministry is to be sensitive to the circumstances of life, both joyful and sorrowful, to those in need. Our loopy ladies prayerfully knit and crochet each shawl to be a mantle, a safe haven, to serve as a reminder of our love and of God’s love.
For more information, contact the parish office.
Fellowship and fun are a vital element in the life of St. Stephen’s Church. Among our annual events are Lenten soup suppers, the Pentecost birthday celebration, the blessing of the animals, All Hallows’ Eve service and party, and Thanksgiving lunch. The mission of the Parish Life Committee is to provide an environment for spiritual unity and growth within the community by providing opportunities to gather in hospitality and celebration of the gift of St. Stephen’s in our spiritual lives.
The liturgical language for pastoral care is included in our post-communion prayer:
“Send us now into the world in peace,
And grant us strength and courage,
to love and serve you
with gladness and singleness of heart.”
Pastoral care is one of the primary ministries of all baptized people. Each member of the body of Christ is called in their baptismal to express the love and care of God, one to another. We repeat this call when we read the Baptismal Covenant along with those who present themselves or others for the rite holy baptism.
Our connection in the body of Christ calls us to support one another in times of celebration and crisis. Lay Pastoral Care is a ministry to ensure that everyone in our church family is cared for along life’s journey. Lay Eucharistic ministers (LEMs) provide the holy sacrament to those who are regularly unable to worship with us on Saturdays or Sundays. Members of the pastoral care committee visit church members when they are in the hospital and in their homes and prepare meals and provide transportation for those members who are in need. The pastoral care committee also hosts funeral receptions in the Parish Hall or in the home of a bereaved family member if so desired.
Members of the pastoral care committee extend the blessings your church community through visits, telephone calls, greeting cards and gifts of prayer shawls, which are provided by our Loopy Ladies. Each member of the committee is grateful for the opportunity to serve the members of St. Stephen’s, and each is happy to welcome new people to this ministry.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Youth Community (EYC) meets each Sunday, September to June. The group includes youth in grades 6-12. Friends are always invited. Rosie Lowndes and Laura Burch are the two youth leaders for the 2015-16 school year. They plan one social/community service event per month, in addition to weekly Sunday school meetings at 9:15 AM in the youth room. The events are listed in the newsletter as well as the bulletin board outside the parish hall. Meetings and activities provide opportunities for youth to talk with one another and the leaders about their faith journey and as you can see below, have a lot of fun in fellowship!
For more information, contact the parish office.