A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

For the past month or so (since January 20th, the Second Sunday after the Epiphany) our lectionary has included readings about gifts and calling.  At our Annual Meeting on February 3rd, we focused on using our gifts to build the Body of Christ as a reflection of God's love for us and our gratitude to God. Th e theme of this year's diocesan convention was "Gifted, Called, Sent."  I don't think it is any coincidence that this theme is part of the two post-Communion prayers in The Book of Common Prayer.  In the first prayer, found on page 365, we pray:  

       "Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to         love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Jesus               Christ our Lord."

In the prayer found on page 366 we pray:

      "And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to               love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord."

This is stuff of which vibrant parishes and dioceses are made.  

Our conversation these past three months - Today marks the beginning of our fourth month in shared ministry!!! - has centered around how together we will witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ in this little corner of God's kingdom and beyond.  We will be building on a strong and vibrant past, with a beautiful energy and spirit, as we continue our shared ministry.  

We already do quite a bit in the community, so much that I am not going to try to list all the ministries in this message.  We have reason to be glad of heart about this response to God's call on us, one-be-each and as a community.  At the same time, it is important that we don't rest on our laurels, that we actively remember that we worship a Living God.  Our ministries cannot be stagnant or static responses because, if they are, we are not so much responding to God's call as we are curating a museum of earlier callings.  

This work of discerning our gifts, understanding how God is calling us to use them, and moving that out into God's world is ongoing.  And that, for me, is one of the most exciting gifts we have been given.  I look forward to the next months and years in ministry with you.  I have no doubt that we will continue to live faithfully, grounded in our faith, nourished and sustained by our worship, in ways that help "change the world from the nightmare it is for so many, into the dream God has for it" (in the words of our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry).

Peace & Blessings, 
Paula+
News
Meet Our New Bishop: You, your family and friends are invited to "Break Bread with the Bishop." 5 gathering with Bishop Carlye Hughes

are being held at locations around the diocese. Find out more and RSVP online at: 
Rev. Paula is going to the gathering at St. Paul's, Chatham on March 19th.

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
Ash Wednesday,  March 6th:
     6:00 to 8:45 am - Ashes-to-Go, Millburn Train Station
    12:00 pm  - Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
       7:00 pm - Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes

Maundy Thursday, April 18th:
     7:00 pm - Eucharist with Foot Washing & Stripping of the Altar
     8:15 to 10:00 pm - Vigil

Good Friday, April 19th:
     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 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 Rabbit.  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 $10.00.
Events
Breaking Bread w/the Bishop, Epiphany & Christ Church, Orange
Vestry Meeting
Breaking Bread w/the Bishop,
St. Michael's, Wayne
Pre-School Committee Meeting
Diocesan Church Leader University
Lenten Series

Breaking Bread w/the Bishop,
St. Paul's, Chatham
Celebration of New Ministry
Breaking Bread w/the Bishop,
Messiah, Chester
Breaking Bread w/the Bishop,
Church of the Saviour, Denville
Thursday, February 28, 6:30 pm

Sunday, March 3 at 11:30 am
Thursday, March 7, 6:30 pm

Thursday, March 7, 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 9, 9:00 am
Sundays, March 10, 17, 24, & 31, April 7 and 14 at 11:30 am
Thursday, March 19, 6:30 pm

Saturday, March 30, 2:00 pm
Thursday, April 4, 6:30 pm

Saturday, April 13, 9:00 am

Schedule

This week: February 24, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer: Michelle Ellingham
Altar Guild: Maria Nazareth

This week: February 24, 10:00 am

Readers: Peter Wick, Ladi Owolabi, Fran Young
Chalicist: Eric Maurer
Ushers: Paul Bogershausen, Maryalice Chech
Altar Guild: Julia Dorn
Coffee Hour: Roger & Barbara Riedel

Next week: March 3, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer: Carole Francis
Altar Guild: Carole Francis

Next week: March 3, 10:00 am

Readers: Jean James, Theresa Scharff, Shaun Landers
Chalicist: John Scharff
Ushers: Shaun & Lisa Landers
Altar Guild: Jean James
Coffee Hour: Open
Lectionary

This week: February 24th

Next week: March 3rd
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 to 1:30 or by appointment.
Phone: 973.376.0668.  
Fax: 973.376.4002.
Website is ststephensmillburn.org.
Main email is church@ststephensmillburn.org.
Check us out on  Facebook  here .

Doreen Schindler, Parish Administrator can be reached at ext. 21 or
church@ststephensmillburn.org.

The Rev. Paula J. Toland, Rector can be reached at ext 32 or 
rector@ststephensmillburn.org.
She is an occasional blogger at fromthestillness
.