A Message from Rev. Paula+
This has been one of those weeks in which the major focus of my attention has been split in two completely different directions. The more exciting of the two is all the planning that is going into Drumming Camp 2020, which is happening next Monday and Wednesday from noon to 6:00. There are a whole lot of changes to our usual way of offering Drumming Camp but still is promises to be a blast! Lots of Yah'Ya each day, an art project (Thank you, Carole Francis), two meals and a snack, and a bit of free time. All with masks and physical distancing, and lots of hand sanitizer. And all but drumming outdoors.
The other focus has been on our much needed boiler replacement and upgrading the internet service and technology. While neither of those are much fun, they are necessary.
And, of course, there have been a few meetings, lots of prayer, LOTS of email, sermon prep, and good conversations with some of you. All the usual stuff.
This really isn't a message about how I've spent my time and energy this week. My point in sharing this with you is that this is what living our faith and being part of God's Church is like. We do some (lots of?) things that may not be our favorite things to do so that we are able to do those things we are passionate about, those things God calls us to do. This week has been a good reminder of that for me and, now that I've shared, I hope for you, too.
Peace & Blessings,
P.S. If you are one of the families with young children, please complete the Children's Chapel survey. It will make a world of difference in our planning for the program year.
Drumming Camp - We Need Tents!
We are looking forward our two camp days next week - Monday, August 17 and Wednesday, August 19!
In an effort to keep all campers and staff safe, our activities and meals will be taking place outside. If you can lend a pop up tent or two to St. Stephen's for the week, please let us know as soon as possible. We would be especially grateful!
Mark Your Calendar - The Bishop is Coming!
Bishop Hughes will be visiting us on September 13th at 10:00 AM. This will be a service streamed via Zoom, using the format she is using for all visitations.
There will be more information to come but, for now, mark your calendars for the service at 10:00 followed by a Coffee Hour and then time for the Bishop to talk to the Vestry.
Connection and Common Worship
All of the information you need to remain actively connected to St. Stephen's can be found on the website under the "Living Our Faith in a Time of Pandemic" tab on the top left. In addition, the ways to join in worship and other activities is also available on the Events Calendar on the website, under News & Events. Our worship services will be posted to Facebook
every Sunday morning at 8 AM and will be available on our YouTube channel
. The services can be watched at any time.
Our Sunday worship service is also broadcast on HTTV (Comcast TV 36 and Verizon TV 33) at 6 AM and 1 PM. Please be sure to spread the word to your friends and family who do not use the internet.
Audio recordings of the homilies are found here.
The bulletins can be found here.
FYI - St. Stephen's is on Facebook EVERY DAY! Join us, and tell your friends and family! Posts include daily prayer, Sunday worship, Children's Chapel on Saturday, and Children's Storytime with Rev. Paula.
Beginning July 29th, daily prayer is at 8:30 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, it is at 7:45 pm. Most days, Rev. Paula will lead prayer live, though occasionally it will be a "Prayerful Interlude" or a recorded reflection.
Videos of all the posts can easily be accessed from the Facebook video library right here
Bishop Hughes' August 5th Vlog can be seen here. The Voice Online
may be found here.
Bishop Hughes' pastoral letter on the guidelines for in-person worship
in the Diocese of Newark can be found here
To read Bishop Hughes' Covid-19 guidelines, as well as other news from around the diocese, look here.
Share Your Prayers
Bishop Hughes invites all of us to do something that might be a first for us - to write down our prayers during this pandemic and share them with the diocese, as a way to help each other. The prayers will be shared on the diocesan website in The VOICE and on social media. Prayers can be sent to Canon Wright at email@example.com for posting. Please include the name and town of your church.
Diocesan Memorial Wall
A holy place in virtual space for mourning and memory.
This is a place to gather, grieve, reflect and honor the lives of those who have died during the time of the Pandemic, whether or not it was due to the virus. Because we have been isolated, and unable to be with each other to provide comfort, care and support during this time, we offer this site as an ongoing memorial, gathering the names of the dead so that they are not forgotten.
Here, we who mourn can cast our tears into God's almighty and loving hands, whose own tears join ours, bringing us consolation, peace and hope. To visit the wall and/or submit a name, click here.
In this time of national upheaval, outrage, and fear, The Episcopal Church's Department of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care and the Office of Government Relations have assembled resources to assist individuals, congregations and communities seeking to LEARN, PRAY and ACT.
You can find the link to current resources here.
Read Presiding Bishop Curry's Word to the Church here.
THE RED RIBBON PROJECT AT ST. STEPHEN'S
If you happen to be driving or walking by the church, you'll see a simple way to show support for racial justice. Stop and tie a red ribbon on the fence, joining with others in the community who have already done so. (Ribbons are provided.)
While this will not result in a tangible change, it might just encourage someone else's change of heart, which is the first step to the kind of change that can literally change the world.
NEW! Cross Roads Women's Virtual Retreat
"The Way of Love"
A one-day virtual retreat led by Laurie Matarazzo and Dale Selover
Four dates to choose from: Saturday, September 26, Sunday, September 27, Saturday, October 10, or Sunday, October 11
The retreat program will begin at 10 AM and conclude by 4 PM, with a two-hour break for lunch and individual reflection time. Though we cannot gather in person, we hope you will join us on Zoom for a day of conversation, reflection, prayer, and laughter together. The cost for the day-long retreat is $40. Visit the link here
for details and to register.
St. Stephen's Coffee Hour!
Sundays at 11 AM
Watch the service at 10 AM, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and join the fun. We'll be around from 11 to noon.
by 10:45 AM that morning to request the login information. Don't be surprised to find yourself in a waiting room. Barbara Riedel or Rev. Paula will let you in.
Youth & Teen Resources and Events
CROSS ROADS CAMP & RETREAT CENTER
Our friends at Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center are providing activities for kids and teens including art projects, virtual camp-fires and more!
For all the details, follow the Cross Roads Facebook page here and follow them on Instagram @crossroads.camp.
SUMMER CAMP BOXES
As the week-long camp programs come to an end, Cross Roads is excited to announce that CAMP BOXES are now for sale! Each camp box comes with materials to do multiple camp activities at home, as well as exclusive access to additional videos, some camp swag, and Bible study resources. You can get details and purchase a Cross Roads camp box here.
YOUTH MINISTRY POP UP
Events will be back in September!
FOOD PANTRIES ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF FOOD!
Thank you to all who have dropped off donations already! Please keep the contributions coming - and remember to check the expiration dates before sending your items.
1. Apostles' House Food Barrel - A weather-proof collection bin is located at St. Stephen's outside under the roof of the Narthex parking lot entry door. Canned goods and non-perishable food items can be dropped off at any time and will be delivered to Apostles' House.
2. North Porch Women & Infants' Centers - A second collection bin for North Porch is located at the same door. Right now they are in urgent need of the following:
- Enfamil 12.5 oz powdered baby formula and soy formula, and Enfamil infant (yellow label) 21.1 oz
- Diapers especially Large sizes - 4, 5, 6, and Pull-ups of all sizes
- Baby wipes
- Jars of baby food - all ages- fruit, veggie and 1st foods
3. Online Ordering/Donations - If you are unable to drop off items at the church, and would like to contribute, you can make purchases and/or donations online directly to these organizations. PLEASE NOTE: North Porch prefers you use their AmazonSmile link for direct product donations.
North Porch Women and Infant Centers
North Porch Amazon Smile direct link:
The Apostles' House Food Pantry link:
4. Christine's Kitchen, Holy Trinity Church, West Orange
St. Stephen's will be hosting Christine's Kitchen again on August 15th.
** DON'T FORGET to drop off your lunches this Saturday, at Deryck's home, 44 South Pierson Road Maplewood NJ before 10:30 AM on 8/15.**
Here are the requirements for the contents of the lunch bags:
- Sandwich - type labeled on the bag, or hot food in plastic container
- Dessert - use your judgement, probably should be bagged separately if messy
- Fruit - if wet like watermelon, you will need to put it in a plastic bag
- Drink - can of soda, iced tea or plastic water bottle, try to avoid glass
- We can add whatever else we want, granola bar, etc
Guidelines for SANDWICH lunches to go:
- In each lunch, there should be a sandwich, a fruit, a granola bar, a dessert, and a drink.
- There should be at least three types of sandwiches from your host group (e.g. roast beef, turkey, ham, Italian, corned beef, tuna, chicken salad, veggie wrap, falafel - you decide. NO peanut butter & jelly).
- Label each bag with the type of sandwich. Group the sandwiches by type.
- Deliver them to Holy Trinity between 11am and 11:15am on Saturday.
- If some of your group want to stay, they are welcome, or you can drop off the food and go. Holy Trinity volunteers will be available to set up, hand out lunches and clean up.
Guidelines for HOT lunches to go:
- Arrive with cooked food and takeout containers at Holy Trinity between 11am and 11:15am on Saturday.
- Please have at least four volunteers who will be staying until 1:15pm.
- You may use the kitchen to keep food warm and to assemble the lunches into takeout containers.
- Holy Trinity volunteers will hand out the lunches at the Franklin Street door.
(The "hot lunch" guidelines assume that the food needs to be heated and served. If it's packed and ready to go, you can drop it off like the bagged lunches).
or call 201-452-9068
Cross Roads - Help Us Meet Tomorrow's Challenge!
We hope this letter finds you and your family safe and well. As a friend of Cross Roads, I wanted to update you on how things are going and ask for your support during this critical time.
For generations, Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center has been providing life changing and sacred adventures for renewal, growth, and joy.
This has only been possible through the generous support of countless people. Thank you for your prayers, engagement, and financial support over the past many months, especially.
As we consider what comes in the weeks and months ahead, we know there are lots of challenges. But throughout our history the safety of our campers, guests, and staff has always been at the forefront of everything we do, and this year is no different.
Earlier this summer, the staff and the Board of Trustees, working off of guidance from the American Camp Association, the CDC, our local health and government officials, the New Jersey Synod, and the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, made the difficult decision to suspend in-person summer camp programs for 2020.
This was a heartbreaking decision. And we know that when it's safe to do so, the children and families of our community will need the ministry of camp now more than ever. As one parent said, camp fills the thirst in their child's soul.
In light of the decision to suspend traditional summer camp, our staff created and led life-giving programs for youth and their families throughout the summer. We continue to work hard to develop year-round programs that will meet the needs of our youth, their families, our churches, and people of all ages.
In recent years, support from our community has helped us grow in our year-round usage and grow the impact our ministry has on families. Because of your generosity, Cross Roads was strong enough financially to navigate the last few months as program after program was required to cancel. With the cancellation of summer programs and the continued restrictions on year-round retreat groups, the challenges are larger. But, with your help, we remain committed to Meeting Tomorrow's Challenge.
To help ensure that Cross Roads is here for generations to come, please prayerfully consider making a gift to Cross Roads today. Whatever your gift, a generous challenge grant of $75,000 has been offered by the New Jersey Synod, ELCA to match gifts received at this time.
Gifts can be made using the donate button online here or by mailing a check to Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center, 29 Pleasant Grove Road, Port Murray, NJ 07865.
Thank you for your support,
Anthony P. Briggs, Executive Director
P.S. Thanks for your prompt response. Gifts made at this time will be matched 1:1, so your impact will be doubled! Any size gift will help us Meet Tomorrow's Challenge.
P.P.S. Please consider setting up an automatically recurring gift to help meet our recurring needs. Become a member of the Pathfinders with a monthly gift of at least $20.84!
Resources from the Diocese and Beyond
There are many, many resources available to parishes and individuals to help sustain our faith practices during this unprecedented time. This is by no means a complete list, though it does cover many areas of need.
Faith@Home, a ministry of Forward Movement Publications and Forma, a ministry of the Episcopal Church Foundation, offers weekly lectionary-based readings and reflections for all age groups. You'll find those resources here
The Diocese of Newark has a page dedicated to pastoral messages, informational updates and directives, and resources for use by parishes and people of faith. You'll find it here.
The Episcopal Church,
nationally and internationally, has information on its website, including pastoral messages from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry. You'll find it here
The National Cathedral livestreams worship and hosts podcasts, all of which can be accessed here.
The Church Publishing Group has made available a free downloadable copy of
The Book of Common Prayer. This is a wonderful way to encourage both a personal prayer discipline and as a support to online worship in which the liturgy is from the BCP.
Now might be the right time to sign up for a daily, weekly, or monthly devotion. A couple of our favorites are:
- The Society of St. John the Evangelist. The brothers offer wisdom in many ways so please do explore their website.
- The Center for Action and Contemplation, home of Richard Rohr. As with SSJE, this is a rich offering of resources so it is best to explore the website.
St. Stephen's Prayer List
Please keep the following St. Stephen's family members and friends in your prayers...
The McManus Family
The Blanchard Family
Bernard & Nathan
The Fitzgerald Family
Sara Ruth Dorn
Lionel Benn, Sr.
Links to the Wider Church
|Giving with Tithe.ly is easy, with options for one-time or recurring donations. We encourage you to consider it at all times, but especially when you are away for any reason, like all of us now with the restrictions due to coronavirus.
There are two ways to do it: thru tithe.ly.com or the tithe.ly app on your smart phone. You'll want to search for St. Stephen's Church Millburn. Be sure to have the correct punctuation. You'll know you're there when you see: St. Stephen's Church Millburn and the address. Once you're at the church's page, follow the prompts.
Office Hours and Contact Information
Until we are through this public health emergency, there are NO office hours. Please call Rev. Paula to arrange for pastoral care or if you have any reason to come to the office. She'll work with you to figure out a safe way to manage this.
Main email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doreen Schindler, Parish Administrator can be reached at ext. 32 or
The Rev. Paula J. Toland, Rector can be reached at ext. 21 or