A Message from Rev. Paula+

Beloved Community,

There is an anthropological concept: liminality (from the Latin limen, meaning "threshold") which is about transition, the time when what was is no longer but what is next is yet to come. It is a time of expectation, of anticipation, of hopeful uncertainty.  This is something that pertains to rites of passage, especially in cultures in which there are strong rituals to mark such times. In everyday life, some people experience liminality in challenging life experiences, such as when one is between jobs or is aware of facing end of life.

Celtic spirituality often ascribes liminality to places. In liminal spaces it is said that the veil between heaven and earth, between the Divine and creation, is lifted. The Scottish island of Iona is one such place.  People who visit feel changed, they experience transformation in their relationship with God and God's creation.  Liminality is not limited to those places multitudes have had this experience.  A liminal space is any place or any time you know or see God in a way that changes you, that moves you deeper into the holy mysteries, deeper into the heart of God.

For me, liminal spaces have long involved bodies of water, such as the ocean or a lake, especially during sunrise or sunset.  The picture on the top left is of sunset in Matunuck, Rhode Island, one of my happy places.  The middle is sunset on Otter Lake in Greenfield, New Hampshire, home of another happy place, the Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center.  The last picture is of the Glorieta Pass in Glorieta, New Mexico.  As you can see, there is no water visible anywhere, nor is there any changing light. Imagine my surprise when I repeatedly found myself looking around, marveling at the astonishing beauty of a landscape that is so unlike those that usually speak to my heart.  And yet, speak to my heart it did, at times in the way that I find myself catching my breath because I don't want to do anything to lower the veil between heaven and earth, anything that will prevent me from going deeper, getting closer to God.

I share this with you today, not just because I still bask in the experience.  I encourage you to notice when a place or a time when you realize you are catching your breath or have goosebumps or tears in your eyes or whatever it is that signals to you that you are experience God in that moment.  And that take a few moments to bask in the experience before offering a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude to the one who loves YOU beyond all imagination.

Peace & Blessings,

Giving in Faith
It's not to late to pledge. Not only will your pledge help us to live our faith more fully and deeply, giving us the opportunity to grow our ministries, you will be amazed at how intentional, proportional giving enlivens your relationship with God.

If you have pledged and would like envelopes, please let Doreen know if you did not note this on your pledge form.

We are grateful that some of you include year-end stock giving as part of your financial commitment to St. Stephen's.  Because of the way these gifts are received and managed, please alert Dave Van Houten ( bookkeeper@ststephensmillburn.org  or (973) 376-0699, ext. 33) to expect your gift.  This will ensure that it is accounted for properly.
Wednesday Worship Update
Please join us at noon on February 5th as we resume a regular, albeit adjusted, Wednesday worship schedule. We will hold Wednesday worship ONCE A MONTH, on the FIRST WEDNESDAY AT NOON.  We will share in the Eucharistic celebration.  

Start your year off on the right foot!  Join Michael and Fangjie this Sunday, January 19 from 3-5 pm  for some dancing fun!  All ages are welcome and it's FREE!  The club will meet most Sundays.  Please check the St. Stephen's Calendar for exact dates. 

On Monday, January 20th, St. Stephen's will be open from 5-8pm for prayer, reflection and contemplation.  An interfaith prayer service will be held at 7:45pm

For additional community-wide, family-friendly events in partnership with Wyoming Presbyterian Church and Congregation B'nai Israel, celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., please see the flyer below.

Our first meeting of the new year has been moved to  Sunday, January 26th
at 11:30am .   We will be discussing  The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity  by William P. Young.   This book is available from Cokesbury, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon, as well as through the Millburn Public Library.

(Our next meeting will be back on the first Sunday of the month, February 2, and we will discuss Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving.)

One Sunday a month is 
designated Youth Sunday at our 10 am
service  - usually the fourth Sunday.  So 
d on't forget to add these dates to your 2020 calendar:

January 26, February 23 (Camp Sunday - Special Guest),  March 22, April 26, May 31, and  June 21 (Celebration Sunday)

A big date on the food barrel calendar is approaching.  That date is February 2nd when the Super Bowl is played, and it is SOUPER SUNDAY on your food barrel calendar.  Please get your cans of Campbell's, Progresso, or other brands purchased and ready to put in the barrel.

Join us for our Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 9 at 10am. (There will be no 8am service.)  Together we will discuss our DREAMS for St. Stephen's and celebrate the Eucharist.

All vestry and ministry organizers should submit their annual reports to Doreen via email by January 23rd.

St. Stephen's will be hosting Christine's Kitchen (Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 315 Main Street, West Orange, NJ) on Saturday, February 15. We are requesting 12-15 volunteers for serving and providing food. If you are unable to come, you have the option to donate food only (we will make arrangements to pick up the food if you can't drop it off). If you know of any college or high school kids looking for volunteer hours, please invite them to volunteer!
Suggested food donations: Protein dishes are a premium if possible, mac and cheese, veggies, chicken and pork dishes, pasta and meatballs, pizza, dessert, fruits (bananas, tangerines, grapes or other soft fruits; hard fruits are not recommended as we have guests with denture challenges). The guests look forward to a wide variety of dishes!
2-3 volunteers are needed at 9:45am to help set up, and the rest can trickle in between 11/11:30am. Lunch is served from 12-1pm. Please let Deryck Rugbeer know if you can volunteer and/or provide a meal. Please list your dish if possible, or indicate entrée or dessert, etc. Please contact Deryck at deryck.rugbeer@ubs.com or 201-452-9068.

Martin Luther King Day of Remembrance

Special Invitation 
Local portrait artist, Oscar Peterson, would like to invite St. Stephen's congregation to the following exhibitions.  You may know Oscar as the artist who painted the portrait of Rev. Cork.  

He shared the following information with us:

Solo Show at 1978 Gallery - 1978 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood, NJ
January 20 - March 8, 2020;  Artist's reception Sunday, February 9, 2-5pm
This is the Gallery's Black History Month Exhibit which focuses on exhibiting art by nationally and internationally acclaimed African-American artists and this year they chose me!

Curator's Lens, Group Show at SOPAC - 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ
January 30 - March 22, 2020;  Artist's reception Thursday, January 30, 6-9pm

10 Year Retrospective Solo Show - Millburn Public Library, 200 Glen Avenue
This show runs the entire month of April 2020 and I would like to include the portrait of Rev. Cork.

Thank you for letting me share this information, and I hope to see you there!
Third Thursday Theater

Vestry Meeting

Shall We Dance? Ballroom Dance Club

MLK Day of Remembrance

Youth Sunday

Reading with the Rector

Shall We Dance? Ballroom Dance Club

Diocesan Convention

Souper Sunday, Food Barrel Collection

St. Stephen's Annual Meeting

Beckerath Organ 50th Anniversary 2019-2020 Recital Series
John Charles Schucker
Johann Vexo
January 16, 7 pm

January 19, 11:30am

January 19, 3pm

January 20 (see above flyer for details)

January 26, 10 am

January 26, 11:30 am

January 26, 3pm

January 31 - February 1

February 2

February 9, 10 am
NO 8:00 am service

Sunday, February 23, 4 pm
Sunday, April 19, 4 pm

Liturgical Stewardship Schedule
   January 19, 8:00 am

   Reader & Chalicer:  Michelle Ellingham
   Altar Guild:  Nancy Sieffert
  January 19, 10:00 am

  Readers:  Barbara Riedel, Kira     
  Chalicist:  Eric Maurer
  Ushers:  Steve Moran, Roger Riedel
  Altar Guild:  Jean James
  Coffee Hour:  Open

   January 26, 8:00 am

   Reader & Chalicer:  Nancy Sieffert
   Altar Guild:  Nancy Sieffert
  January 26, 10:00 am

  Readers:  Kathy Conway, Fran Taber
  Chalicist:  John Soughan
  Ushers:  Tim and Kathy Conway
  Altar Guild:  Alex Cole
  Coffee Hour:  Kira Hanson and Barbara


This Week:  January 19

  Next Week:  January 26

Links to the Wider Church

The Episcopal Diocese of Newark

The Episcopal Church

The Presiding Bishop

Giving with Tithe.ly
Tithe.ly is a mobile-friendly app designed by a clergy person and used by thousands of congregations across the country.  With Tithe.ly, you can do one-time or recurring payments, as well as help with the nominal fee of using the service.  You can download the app from the App Store or Play Store, or you can do it online at tithe.ly/give. Enter St. Stephen's Church in the search menu and we should pop up.  You'll know it's  us if it says "St. Stephen's Church, Millburn, NJ 07041."

It's also possible to access Tithe.ly through our website - click on the "Give" button in the menu and you will be given the option to use Tithe.ly. 

Don't worry.  If you prefer to use a check or cash, that's fine.  If you are a Vanco user and want to keep it that way, that is good, too.
Lost and Found
If anyone lost a set of keys during the holidays, please contact the parish office.
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:  FacebookInstagram and  Pinterest

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.