December 2, 2020
A Message from Rev. Paula
Beloved Community,

First of all, I hope all of you had a safe and blessed Thanksgiving. As always, you and your families were in my prayers. I remain so grateful to be in ministry here with all of you, the grace of which seems profound in this year.

We're about mid-way through the seven weeks of Advent we are observing this year, in the first week of the more traditional four-week season. Advent is, by design, a paradoxical time, a time of now and not yet, a time of hopeful anticipation for what is to be and active preparation for that which has happened already. We are to be sober in our intention to transform our hearts and minds so that we may live our faith more ... well ... faithfully.  At the same time, we are called to celebrate and be joyful about what lies ahead: Christmas, Epiphany, Easter. We prepare to be surprised by the promise and eventual revelation of eternal life with the God who loves us beyond our wildest imaginings and whose peace surpasses all understanding.  

In addition to writing the classic A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle was a prolific and gifted poet. I share now one of my favorites:

The Preparation of Mary,
Mother of Joses

Neither virgin nor wise
I fill foolishly
my lamp, lest surprise
take me unprepared. Mulishly
at mid-morning sun-time
I pour in the oil.
(I'm anticipating as usual.)
Toil is my lot,
my daily drink and meat.
The Bridgegroom will find me workworn and rough.
But my lamp is ready, and even as I am,
I'll gladly greet Him who comes.
And that is joy enough.

Peace & Blessings,
Connection & Common 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.

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
Sundays at 12 PM via Zoom

To call in, dial by your location:
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 895 5857 6382

Daily Prayer
M-W-F 8:30 AM, T-TH-SAT 7:45 PM

Most days Rev. Paula will lead prayer live on Facebook, though occasionally it will be a "Prayerful Interlude" or a recorded reflection. Videos of all posts can be easily accessed from the Facebook video library.

Weekly E-Newsletter

A full weekly newsletter is emailed the first and third weeks of the month. An abbreviated newsletter will be emailed on the second and fourth (and sometimes fifth) weeks of the month.

Newsletters are also posted to our website. If you know someone who is having issues receiving the newsletters, please contact the parish office.
From Bishop Hughes & The Episcopal Church

Share Your Prayers
Bishop Hughes invites all of us to write down our prayers during this pandemic and share them with the diocese as a way to help each other. For details, please visit the diocesan website.

Diocesan Memorial Wall
This is a virtual place to gather, grieve, reflect, and honor the lives of those who have died during the pandemic, whether or not it was due to COVID. To visit the wall and/or submit a name, visit here.

Noonday Prayer & Litany of Hope
Fridays, December 4, 11, 18, 12 PM
The Diocese of Newark is invited to join in Advent Noonday Prayer via Zoom. The service includes a "Litany of Hope." You can download the Order of Service here and join the Zoom service here.

To join by phone: 929.205.6099
Meeting ID: 854 6786 7747
Passcode: 170445

Race Speaker Series
Monday, December 7, 6:30 PM
Dr. Catherine Meeks, Diocese of Atlanta
(rescheduled from 11/2)

Co-hosted by Bishop Hughes and the Namaste Anti-Racism Commission this series will reflect on the question, "How are we walking about race in The Episcopal Church?" For more information, please visit the diocesan website here.

Prison Ministry Toy Drive
November 6 - December 13
This toy and gift collection is for children whose parents are incarcerated or recently released. The gifts should be delivered to Grace Church Nutley (200 Highfield Lane, Nutley) at any time.

For details and important gift information and suggestions, please visit the diocesan website event link.
St. Stephen's Zoom Events
Interfaith Bible Hour
Friday, December 4 at 9 AM

We continue gathering virtually with our friends from Christ Church Short Hills and Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, reading Genesis, focusing on the narrative arcs involving the children of Abraham and Sarah.

Please email Rev. Paula by 8 AM Friday and she will email you the pdf translation.

Dial by your location:
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 883 6207 1069
Passcode: 647900

Adult Formation Advent Series
Sundays, December 6, 13, 20 at 1 PM

A 3-week series of conversation based on Church Anew's Christ/Christmas/Covid video conference. We'll view short (7-minute) videos and talk about how they impact the way we live our faith this Advent.
To keep things simple, we will use the coffee hour Zoom link.

St. Stephen's Virtual Christmas Party
Sunday, December 20, 6:30-8 PM

Save the date...more details to come!
St. Stephen's News
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

All set and ready to deliver this food to Apostles' House. Is this an amazing amount of food donations in the past couple of weeks? Not for parishioners at St. Stephen's! Our congregation has remained dedicated to the Food Barrel Ministry, no matter where they live, the coronavirus, or life circumstances -
we are grateful for the opportunity.
- Barbara Riedel

Thank You!

A huge thank you to all who donated Turkey Box dinners for our Drumming Camp families.

Your generosity is greatly appreciated especially during this difficult time!
- Maryalice Chech


You may have noticed the newsletter looks a little different again. This new, streamlined format includes all of the usual information but hopefully is a little bit easier to read. The biggest change is that the most often used Zoom & Website links are all together at the bottom of the newsletter so they are all in one place. "Links to the Wider Church" will be added in the next newsletter. If you have any questions, or if I omitted anything, please let me know!
- Doreen Schindler
Faithful Outreach
The Apostles' House & North Porch

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

Apostles' House - Items needed - Canned goods and non-perishable food items. 

North Porch - 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:

North Porch Donation Link
The Apostles' House Donation Link
Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center
Wednesdays Away
10 AM - 12 PM

Upcoming Dates:
12/2, 1/6, 2/17, 3/3, 4/7, 5/5, 6/2

These monthly retreats are open to all people interested in exploring new faith practices. The cost is $10/person per gathering. Visit the Cross Roads website for session details and to register.
Teen & Youth Ministry

Diocese of Newark
POP UP Youth Ministry
Sunday, December 13, 3 PM

POP UP is a welcoming youth ministry group for grades 6-12 offering fun activities, community, and faith formation via Zoom. Meets one Sunday a month at 3 PM. Visit the diocesan link for details and to register.

Cross Roads Youth Programs
2021Youth Retreats: Explore!

Cross Roads will be hosting virtual youth retreats for grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 in February and March. Visit their website for details and to register.

Follow Cross Roads Camp on Facebook & Instagram for the latest upcoming events!
Resources During Covid
There are many, many resources available to parishes and individuals to help sustain our faith practices during this unprecedented time. We have moved the list to our website here. This is by no means a complete list, though it does cover many areas of need.
St. Stephen's Prayer List
Please keep the following St. Stephen's family members and friends in your prayers...

Jeff Loggins, Jimmy Hasenkamp, Ian Janeczko, Chris Anderson, Alex Cole, Peggy Thompson, Sue Macbeth, Matthew Anderson, Felder Dorn, Julia Dorn, Joan Shuss, Corey Toland, Hailey Rose Fout, Kris Hunt, Chris C., Donna Riggi, Blanchard Family, McManus Family, Bernard & Nathan, Fitzgerald Family
Weekly Lectionary
December 6, 2020 - Advent 5
Key of David Sunday

2 Peter 3:8-15a
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
Mark 1:1-8

Christmas Services
Longest Night Service via Zoom
Monday, December 21, 7 PM
with Christ Church Short Hills and The Church of the Atonement (ELCA) in Philadelphia

Christmas Eve Family Service with Pageant via Zoom
Thursday, December 24, 4 PM

Christmas Eve Festival Service
Thursday, December 24, 7 PM
Live-streamed to YouTube, Facebook and via Zoom

Christmas Day Message
December 25, 10 AM
Via YouTube and Facebook
Giving with
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
Office Hours
Until we are through this public health emergency, there are NO office hours. Please call Rev. Paula to arrange for pastoral care.

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, Doreen Schindler
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