August 25, 2021
Message from Rev. Paula
Beloved Community,

This is a great week at St. Stephen's, a week in which we get to express the best of who we are. It's Drumming Camp 2021!!!

This is only my third Drumming Camp and the third that has been structured differently. This year and last, we've had to make adjustments because of Covid and our commitment to loving each other safely. This year our veteran driver, Carl, is not with us because he recently had Covid, which means his daughter isn't here either. We welcomed a new driver, James and established a new relationship with Epiphany, West Orange, who loaned us their 14 passenger van. And, for the second year in a row, we won't be hosting the families at the parish.

It's odd, perhaps, but Drumming Camp 2021 seems an apt analogy for life in this time. We've held onto the essence of the ministry and some of the usual practices, while also recognizing the need to make some significant changes. I know this has weighed a bit heavy on my heart and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that has weighed a bit heavy on the hearts of the staff and volunteers. And yet, looking out my window in this very moment and being outside with them when I can, the fun and the excitement, the joy at being here, is just as palpable as it was in 2019, our last pre-Covid Drumming Camp.

Even with the changes, we are living our best selves. We're reconnecting with friends who feel like family. We're dancing and drumming. We're doing arts & crafts and playing games. We're talking and laughing and just enjoying being together. And we're eating lots of good food and looking forward to the cookout with s'mores! tomorrow night.

This week would not be possible without the support of so many people, who give time or money or both, or in the case of a few, they share their yummy baking skills by providing our desserts. I know if I try to name them now, I will forget someone so keep your eyes and ears open for the official update next week.

Peace & Blessings,
Connection & Common Worship
UPDATED: Welcome!
It's wonderful to be with each other in church! We will continue to gather in-person as long as it safe to do so. We will keep you posted about any changes. Essex County remains at high/orange risk, with new cases and the positive test rate increasing. Our service on August 29th will be the Liturgy of the Word with no congregational singing.

We continue to follow safety precautions and lovingly require that you wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times while in the building and maintain physical distance. Enter at the Narthex door (Christian Education building). Someone will welcome you and take your temperature. An usher will assist you with seating in the church.

Welcome to everyone, whether in person or participating via broadcast. The details for the virtual service are noted below.
WORSHIP, Sundays, 10 AM
Live-streamed to YouTube, Facebook, and via Zoom. Bulletins are available on the St. Stephen's website. All links can be found at the bottom of the newsletter.

NEW Zoom passcode is SSM119.

To call in, dial by your location:
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 864 1664 1640
Passcode: SSM119

The Sunday service will also be broadcast on HTTV (Comcast TV 36 and Verizon TV 33) on Tuesday at 6 AM and 3 PM.
Coffee hour is suspended due to the orange/high risk level in Essex Country.
From Bishop Hughes & The Episcopal Church
THE BISHOP'S VLOG - Week of 8/18/21
Keep your lamps trimmed and burning

Listen to Bishop Hughes' helpful reminder to keep ourselves ready -- keep our lamps trimmed and burning -- in these troubling, chaotic times.
The VOICE Online Link Week of 8/18/21

Sign up to get e-newsletters and important announcements directly from diocesan headquarters. Find out more and subscribe here.

Press Release - 8/17/21

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offers a prayer for the people of Afghanistan.

Read his message here.

Episcopal Relief
In response to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on August 14th, Episcopal Relief & Development and its partners are responding with direct assistance to vulnerable households in the region. To help assist in these efforts, please click here.
The Retreat Center offers free online courses to pray, reflect, make space for grace and listen to the voice of God. No registration is required. Each retreat takes place over five half-hour sessions and is viewable on the Trinity Retreat Center's Facebook page. For further information on courses offered this summer, click here.
Drumming Camp!

On Tuesday, August 24th we welcomed 10 campers and about that many staff for their first of three days of fun at Drumming Camp.

Please keep the campers, their families, and all who are working to make this happen to your prayers.
Reading with Rector Returns!
It's not too early to check your local library or favorite bookstore for these fall selections:
The Book of Longings, by Sue Monk Kidd
Sue Monk Kidd imagines the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.

The Beauty in Breaking, by Michele Harper
Michele Harper is a female, African American emergency room physician. Brought up in Washington, D.C., in a complicated family, she went to Harvard, where she met her husband. Two months before she was scheduled to join the staff of a hospital in central Philadelphia, he told her he couldn’t move with her. Harper began her new life in a new city, in a new job, as a newly single woman. In the ensuing years, as Harper learned to become an effective ER physician, bringing insight and empathy to every patient encounter, she came to understand that each of us is broken—physically, emotionally, psychically.
Faithful Outreach
With so many children going back to in-person learning after a year of virtual learning, the challenges for low-income families to provide necessities to succeed are difficult.

To be successful in learning, children need computers, internet, access to tutors and school supplies.

A donation to Family Promise of Essex County can help to provide a child with essential learning supplies and educational opportunities in the Family Promise Youth and Family Program.

To read the Family Promise July Newsletter, please click here.

Collection bins are located outside the Narthex doors in the parking lot. Donations can be dropped off at any time.

Apostles' House needs: canned goods and non-perishable food items. 

North Porch is in URGENT need of Enfamil Infant Formula 12.5 oz containers (yellow label), baby wipes, and diapers size 4, 5, and 6.

Online Donations - If you are unable to drop off items at the church, and would like to contribute, you can make purchases and/or donations directly to these organizations at the following links:

The Apostles' House Donation Link
North Porch Donation Link

Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center


Check out all the fun and interesting year-round programs for children, adults and families.

Click here for more information.
Teen and Youth Ministries

Pop Up is a welcoming ministry of the Diocese of Newark bringing together youth for fun activities, community, and faith formation. All youth grades 6-12 are encouraged to join the monthly events. Follow YM on Instagram and Facebook at @popupym.
Resources During Covid
There are many, many resources available to parishes and individuals to help sustain our faith practices during this unprecedented time. See resources here. This is by no means a complete list, though it does cover many areas of need.

In this time of Crisis, there are resources that can help if you or someone you know needs assistance. Please contact NJ Mental Health Cares for free helpline telephone counseling or assistance. Call 866-202-4357.
TTY: 1-877-294-4356.

Other resources are:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Crisis Text Line, 741741
NJ Hope Line (suicide prevention) 
Please keep the following St. Stephen's family members and friends in your prayers...

Ian Janeczko, Peggy Thompson, Felder Dorn, Donna Riggi, The Blanchard Family, The McManus Family, Bernard & Nathan, The Fitzgerald Family, Lucille B., Jack Moreno, Jim Freeman, The May Family, Mary Jo Zarance, Joseph G., Kelly Olson, Jane Rossiter, Linda Moran, Greg Shuss, Matthew Price, Nicole and Emma, Carl Clemons, Ethan Toland.
Sunday Lectionary
August 29, 2021

We will hear these readings so that we observe the time guidelines during Covid. If you'd like to read the full lectionary for the week, you may do so here.
Giving with
Giving with is easy with options for recurring donations or one-time use for when you are away or not able to be in church (like all of us now due to COVID restrictions).

You can access via their website or their app on your smart phone. Be sure to search for the correct account - "St. Stephen's Church Millburn." Once you have accessed the account page with our address, you will be instructed to follow the prompts.
Office Notes
Due to COVID restrictions, only teachers and staff are allowed to be in the building during school hours. If you need to visit the parish office/building for any reason, please contact us for an appointment. Thank you.
Important Links
Zoom Links
Links for Sunday Worship Live-Stream & Social Media
Website Links
Other Social Media Links
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
119 Main Street, Millburn, NJ 07041

Parish Administrator, Maria T. Card
973.376.0688, Ext. 32

Rector, The Rev. Paula J. Toland
973.376.0688, Ext. 21

Fax: 973.376.4002


Director: Nancy Siracusa
Phone: 973.376.3534, Ext. 20