February 3, 2021
A Message from Rev. Paula
Beloved Community,

I don't know about you, but I feel so very tired, so very hopeful, and so very grateful, all at the same time. As we close in on a full year of fasting from in-person gathering, I am so tired of missing all of you and of living with all of the restrictions that are necessary for our safety. As I listen to the news that perhaps - just maybe - we are beginning to turn the tide with Covid, I am so hopeful that soon we will be able to begin to make plans to gradually resume some semblance of our "normal," pre-Covid life. As I think about all that we have done and are doing, in spite of all the challenges, I am so grateful to you and to God for the amazing and life-affirming journey we are on together and the myriad ways we continue to live our faith, together and one-by-each.

As I think about what our future looks like once we are able to begin to return to in-person gathering, I find that I am curious and excited. I know that it will be quite a long time before it will be possible for us to return to a way of living our faith that is what we had pre-pandemic. I drawn to these words from the prophet Isaiah (43:19, NRSV):

I am about to do a new thing;
   now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
   and rivers in the desert.

I am curious about what it will actually look like and feel like to be St. Stephen's in a post-pandemic world. I am excited to see how we discern what a future living our faith looks like. What have we learned from this past year that we need to hang onto, to integrate into our common life? What have we learned from this past year about things we may not need to hold onto, ways of being that may actually prevent us from living more fully as the people and community of faith God is calling us to be? What brand new things will be revealed as we continue to journey faithfully together? And are we open to the possibilities, willing to take the risks that may be necessary to answer God's call?

Peace & Blessings,
Rev. Paula+
St. Stephen's News
Sunday, February 7
We are continuing the tradition of collecting cans of soup for 'Souper' Bowl Sunday! All donations will be delivered to Apostles' House. Soup cans can be dropped off at any time. The Apostles' House collection bin is outside the Narthex doors. Last year we collected 147 cans of soup. Let's see how many we can donate this year!

Sunday, February 7, 6 PM
Don’t forget! This Sunday at 6 PM is our second virtual Sunday Supper for Children's Chapel students and their families. You can find the Zoom link here.

I look forward to seeing all of you on Sunday! Please come. It won’t be the same without you!
Peace + blessings, Rev. Paula

There is still time to join us as we journey with our siblings at St. John's, Ramsey along the sacred ground of racial reconciliation. Check your email from January 29th or contact Rev. Paula for the information. Registration closes on February 14th.

Even if you have begun sending in your 2021 pledges via check in the mail or online, we still need you to fill out a 2021 Pledge Card. These cards were mailed in December and again in January. If you need a pledge card, please contact the office. If you would like to use the online Pledge Card form, please click here.

2021 Giving Statements are in the mail. Please let us know if you haven't received it by this time next week.
Connection & Common Worship
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. Zoom passcode is 225839.

To call in, dial by your location:
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 864 1664 1640
Passcode: 225839

The Sunday service will also be broadcast on HTTV (Comcast TV 36 and Verizon TV 33) on Tuesday at 6 AM and 3 PM.

Sundays at 12 PM via Zoom
Link is at the bottom of this newsletter.
To call in, dial by your location:
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 895 5857 6382

Friday, February 5, 9 AM
We will meet via Zoom with our friends from Christ Church Short Hills and Congregation B'nai Jeshurun as we continue reading Genesis. This week we are reading Chapters 29 and 30. Any translation is fine, though we read the Robert Alter translation together. The Zoom link for the gathering is at the bottom of this newsletter. Please email Rev. Paula here before 8 AM Friday morning for the pdf translation.

Sunday, February 7, 1 PM
We will be reading White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin D'Angelo. 

This NY Times best-seller is available in public libraries as well as from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. We will use the same Zoom link as coffee hour.

From Bishop Hughes & The Episcopal Church
NEW: The Power of Relationships

This week through Sunday, February 7.

It is time to think about Lent and daily inspirational stories (you can call them meditations if you wish) written by members of our diocese.

This year we will focus on "Finding Hope.” Please be aware your story should be limited to about 200 words.
If you wish a specific date please let me know otherwise I will assign one to you.
All are invited to participate (laity and clergy). Please email me as soon as you can. I hope to complete the assignments for February dates before 1/31 and March dates before 2/29.
Blessings, Margaret+
The Rev. Margaret Otterburn, member of the Empowering Team of Diocesan Council

Sunday, February 14, 3 PM
The Diocese of Newark Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians will celebrate the life and ministry of the Rev. Absalom Jones, the first person of African descent ordained a deacon and priest in the Episcopal Church.

The Zoom link for the service at Trinity & St. Philip's Cathedral, Newark, will be sent in the diocesan What's Happening This Week email on Monday, Feb. 8. To subscribe click here.

Saturday, March 6, 9 AM
Save the date! Workshops relevant to this extraordinary time for ALL congregational leaders! Stay at home and join online via computer, tablet or smart phone.
Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center
A time of spiritual renewal one Wednesday a month from 10 AM - 12 PM. Upcoming dates: February 17, March 3. For details and to register, visit the Cross Roads link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Applications to work for Summer Staff 2021 are now OPEN! We are hiring for counselors, kitchen and support staff members, and other positions. Visit the link here for details and an application.

For details, visit the Youth & Teen Ministry category below in this newsletter.
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 the YM on Instagram and FB at @popupym.

Just Added!
February 10, 7:30 PM
On Wednesday, February 10 at 7:30 PM we will come together to play the game that has been getting us through quarantine: Among Us! Whether you're an expert or you've never played it's sure to be a lot of fun! Register through the link right here!

February 21, 3 PM
Being a part of a community is one of the greatest things we do. Join us on Sunday, 2/21 at 3 PM as we explore our role in the communities which we are a part of and how those communities are there for us when we need them. The event includes a small, virtual service project, too! Check it out; it will be fun!

EXPLORE! with Cross Roads this winter at their virtual youth retreats. Over the course of a few hours, kids and youth leaders will EXPLORE the ways God is present in our world and in our lives. They will play games, read stories from the Bible, get moving, worship together, and have fun!

There are three EXPLORE! retreat dates and times for different age groups:
Grades K – 2: Saturday, February 13 from 10 am – 12 pm
Grades 3 – 5: Saturday, February 13 from 1 – 3 pm 
Grades 6 – 8: Saturday, March 13 from 10 am – 12 pm

Cross Roads is excited to announce their 2021 Summer Camp Theme, "Firm Foundation." This summer, campers will explore stories that tell of God's enduring presence throughout the Bible. And they will be reminded that when we are rooted in our faith, God's love and faithfulness embolden us to have courage to share that love with others.

Registration for Summer Camp 2021 will open in February 2021.

For Youth Retreat & Summer Camp details and to register, please visit the Cross Roads link at the bottom of this newsletter.

Cross Roads has officially launched a podcast for anyone who wants to listen to "Sunday School on the Go!"

New episodes will be released weekly based on the curriculum from that week's Sunday School, and include a Bible story, discussion questions, a song, an outdoor challenge, and more. Listen to the first episode here.
Faithful Outreach
June 19 & August 7
St. Stephen's has confirmed these dates to provide 150 lunches-to-go for Christine's Kitchen. Details and any updates will be forthcoming as we get closer. In the meantime please mark your calendar to save the dates. Thank you!

Our friends at Christine's Kitchen are reaching out for help. Please view Fr. Miguel's video message at the link here. Your kind donation will be matched up to $10,000. Thank you!

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:

North Porch Donation Link
The Apostles' House Donation Link
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...

Jimmy Hasenkamp, Ian Janeczko, Peggy Thompson, Felder Dorn, Hailey Rose Fout, Kris Hunt, Donna Riggi, Blanchard Family, McManus Family, Bernard & Nathan, Fitzgerald Family, Lucille B., Jack Moreno, Jim Freeman, Grisette B., The May Family, Sue K., Walter Fields
Weekly Lectionary
Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
February 7, 2021

Isaiah 40:21-31
Psalm 147:1-12, 21c
Mark 1:29-39
Giving with Tithe.ly
Giving with Tithe.ly 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 Tithe.ly 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
Website: ststephensmillburn.org


Director: Nancy Siracusa
Phone: 973.376.3534, Ext. 20