A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

This window, one of two depicting the Gospel story of Jesus' baptism, has come to have special meaning to me in the months that I have been your rec tor.  I see it quite clearly from where I sit during worship and have noticed that often it captures my attention during the reading of the lessons.  When it does, I am reminded that all that we are and all that we do is summed up in our baptism, when we are reminded that we are God's children and with us God is well pleased.  It reminds me of the beautifully challenging understanding we have of "the ministry of the baptized."  It raises questions for me about how it is that we understand baptism as both the affirmation that with us God is well pleased and how it is we live our lives differently once we have been "welcomed into the household of God."

One of the ways I do that as your rector is encouraging you to go deeper into your faith, in all sorts of ways.  We are an active parish, no doubt, as the "Living Our Faith" bulletin board display highlights.  Since I've joined you in ministry we've talked a lot about these ministries.  And those conversations will continue, as we continue to ask the Holy Spirit to enliven, embolden, and empower us to do the work God has and will give us to do.  This is one of the ways we will journey deeper into the heart of God.

Another way, one that we talked about during the search process and we've just begun to explore, is what is often called "faith formation."  At our Annual Meeting in February we began this part of our journey with our discussion about how we answer the call to use the gifts God has given us in the parish, the community, and the world.  Our Lenten series, the discussion of the parables, is another way we are exploring our faith and how it informs our lives.  Beginning in May we will have two new opportunities, and I hope you will find a way to join us for one or both of them.

On the first Sunday of the month, beginning May 5th (taking a break in August) , we will have "Reading with the Rector."  From 11:30 am to 12:45 pm, we will gather for a book discussion.  The book we will discuss in May is Henri Nouwen's Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World.  This book is easy to read and was life-changing for me, helping me to understand that being beloved of God is both a state of being and of becoming.  It is one of those I return to from time-to-time because I always learn something new.  

Beginning May 16th from 7:00 to 9:30 pm, we are hosting "Third Thursday Theater," an opportunity to view a documentary about a relevant issue of our time, followed by a bit of discussion.  Again we will be taking a break in August, following a July 18th "family friendly" picnic and movie (from 6:00 pmto 8:00 pm) featuring the film "He Named Me Malala" about Malala Yousafzai.

All of the information about Reading with the Rector and Third Thursday Theater will be posted on our website.  It has already been posted on the St. Stephen's calendar, so check it out for information about the books and the films we will be discussing.  Both of these offerings will be open to the wider community.

Finally, I invite all of you to think and pray about how it is that we might do more to welcome the children of the parish and, potentially, from the community into the life of the parish.  From faith formation (including, but not limited to, Sunday School) to worship to fellowship, celebrating the youngest among us is essential to our life together.  It's often said that "children are the future," though I think this is misleading.  For children to be the future, we need to include them in meaningful ways in the present, and that means creative Spirit-guided thinking about how to honor who they are and the lives they lead today, a challenge for those of us who remember the good ole days when all we had to do was open the doors on a Sunday morning.

Peace & Blessings,

Easter Egg Hunt:    Our annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place on the church lawn after services on Sunday,  April 21 . Many thanks for your donations! 

Paper Mill Show Choir: Please join us for The Paper Mill Show Choir's annual benefit performance for St. Stephen's on  Sunday, April 28 at 7:00pm here in St. Stephen's Church. Tickets are $15 per person and will be available at the door only. Please help us spread the word about this wonderful evening. 

If you would like to make a donation of food or refreshments for the event, please email Barbara at bwinsonriedel@gmail.com. Thank you!

Faith & Family Night with the NJ Jackals: St. Stephen's would like to  

gather a group to attend this fun night of baseball, fireworks, and a food drive at Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, NJ on
Saturday, June 29; first pitch at 6:05pm. Please email
Doreen at church@ststephensmillburn.org if you are interested in attending. Groups of 20+ receive discount pricing; $10 reserved seating, $12 field level.

Tour of St. Stephen's Historic Cemetery:  The 2019 Tour of St. Stephen's Cemetery will be held on Sunday, October 20 at 2:00pm.   Guided tours will leave the cemetery gate at intervals until the last tour departs at 4:00 pm.  Impersonators will stand at 12 gravesites to speak for the cemetery residents buried at those sites.  Volunteers will be parishioners of St. Stephen's or members of the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society.  Tours have been held in 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2016.  Please mark your calendars NOW and let nothing interfere with your attendance on October 20th!

Pledge Envelopes: To request pledge envelopes for 2019, please see Fran Taber, and add your name to the list she is compiling.
Lent and Holy Week Services
Maundy Thursday, April 18:
7:00 pm - Eucharist with Foot Washing & Stripping of the Altar
8:15 to 10:00 pm - Vigil

Good Friday, April 19:
12:00 pm - Proper Liturgy for Good Friday with Administration of the Reserve      Sacrament
8:00 pm - Proper Liturgy for Good Friday

Don't forget our Lenten series!  Beginning March 10th, for six consecutive Sundays after the 10:00 am service, we will study the parables, basing our conversation on a book by Amy-Jill Levine, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.  The book is great but not necessary to this study.  You will need the Participant Guide, which is available at  Cokesbury  and Amazon  for about $10.

Easter Sunday, April 21:
8:00 am - Contemplative service without music
10:00 am - Joyful Celebration of the Resurrection with a Festival Eucharist

Lenten Series

Finance Committee Meeting

Easter Egg Hunt

Vestry Meeting

Paper Mill Show Choir Performance
Sundays, March 10, 17, 24, & 31, April 7 and 14 at 11:30 am

Wednesday, April 17, 7:30 pm

Sunday, April 21, following 10am service

Sunday, April 28, 11:30 am

Sunday, April 28, 7:00 pm


This Week: April 14, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer: Michelle Ellingham
Altar Guild: Maria Nazareth

This Week: April 14, 10:00 am

Readers: Felder Dorn, Jean James, Barbara Riedel; Passion Readers: Felder Dorn, Ladi Owolabi, Jean James, Maryalice Chech, John Scharff, Fran Taber, Theresa Scharff, Barbara Riedel; Percussion: Deryck Rugbeer.
Chalicist: Roger Riedel
Ushers: Maryalice Chech, Heloisa Rooney
Altar Guild: Theresa and John Scharff
Coffee Hour: Jane Rossiter and Nancy Sieffert

Next Week: April 21, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer: Allison Walker
Altar Guild: Julia Dorn

Next Week: April 21, 10:00 am

Readers: Theresa Scharff, Barbara Riedel, Fran Taber
Chalicist: John Scharff
Ushers: Roger and Barbara Riedel
Altar Guild: Julia Dorn
Coffee Hour: Open

This Week: April 14th

Next Week: April 21st
Links to the Wider Church

The Episcopal Diocese of Newark

The Episcopal Church

The Presiding Bishop

Office Hours and Contact Information

Office hours are Tuesday thru Friday, 10:00 am to 1:30 pm or by appointment.
Phone: 973.376.0668  
Fax: 973.376.4002
Website: ststephensmillburn.org
Main email: church@ststephensmillburn.org
Follow us on:  Facebook and Instagram

Doreen Schindler, Parish Administrator can be reached at ext. 32 or

The Rev. Paula J. Toland, Rector can be reached at ext. 21 or 
She is an occasional blogger at fromthestillness.