A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

If you've driven or walked by the church over the last couple of days, you might have noticed the large "DREAM" near the rectory.  This is from our friends at Wyoming Presbyterian Church, inspired by their annual MLK Day celebration, which many of us have attended and which gave birth to our decision to open our doors from 5:00 to 8:00 for people who want a quiet place to sit, reflect, and pray.  I'm sure you get the reference to Dr. King's, "I have a dream" speech, perhaps his most famous work (though I'm sure the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" has touched as many lives).  We are displaying this sign as a sign of our relationship with Wyoming Presbyterian and our commitment to the social justice values for which Dr. King lived and ultimately lost his life.

I like this sign for another, equally compelling reason. You probably have heard me say that one of my favorite books of all time is Archbishop Desmond Tutu's God's Dream,  a beautifully illustrated children's book.  You may have been in church the week I read it in lieu of a more traditional sermon.  No doubt you've heard me talk in a sermon or two (or twelve...) about how incredibly lucky we are that we get to be a part of realizing God's dream for God's creation.  At our Annual Meeting on February 9th, we will talk about our dreams for St. Stephen's as we continue to discern together how we continue to live our faith and give in faith so that people know us as "the Church on Main Street, where love begets loves."  This will be a hopeful, faith-filled journey of listening to the Spirit as she guides us to the place we are called to be.  

In preparation for the Annual Meeting, I invite you to pray with the following passage from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah (29:11-13), as translated by Robert Alter:

For I surely know the plans that I have devised for you, said the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and hope. And you shall call Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you shall look for Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.

Peace & Blessings,

P.S.  There will be more about the Annual Meeting in the next issue of the newsletter.  For now, please mark your calendars. Our ONLY service that morning will be at 10:00 in the parish hall, where we will gather for our Eucharistic celebration and the meeting.

Giving in Faith
As of December 30th, we have 33 pledges totaling $132,650!  Thank you to everyone who has made this commitment to the life of this parish as we continue to live into our identity as "the Church on Main Street, where love begets love." 

We are now at the point of a balanced budget for 2020, which is fabulous and a great start.  A "great start" you say?  Yes.  There are still a good number of households who have not pledged.  Not only will YOUR pledge help us to live our faith more fully and deeply, 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.
Thank You!
THANK YOU to all who donated Christmas flowers in Memoriam, made a donation, and/or joined the Altar Guild in "Greening" the Church.  Your efforts make St. Stephen's the beautiful community that it is!

Sunday School Update

A couple of parents asked about receiving the "Family Page" from the weekly lessons. Beginning in January, please look for a special Sunday School email each week.  In that email, which will be brief, will be the "Family Page" and occasional updates and news about the Sunday School.
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.  

The first Friday of the month (October to June), from 9-10am, we gather at Splurge Bakery in Millburn with our friends from Christ Church in Short Hills and Congregation B'nai Jeshurun to explore the biblical texts. We provide the text and the coffee. You bring an open mind and curious heart.
Hope to see you this Friday, January 3rd!

Join Rev. Paula & family for coffee hour at the Rectory this Sunday, January 5th following the 10am service.

Our November screening was rescheduled for January and is coming 
up soon!  Don't miss the documentary 
and discussion of Inequality for All , January 16th at 7pm .  This film follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he looks to raise awareness of the country's widening economic gap.

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.

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)

Bakery Bible Hour
Epiphany Open House at the Rectory
Finance Committee Meeting
Third Thursday Theater
Vestry Meeting
Youth Sunday
Reading with the Rector
Diocesan Convention

Beckerath Organ 50th Anniversary 2019-2020 Recital Series
John Charles Schucker
Johann Vexo
January 3, 9 am
January 5, 11:30 am
January 15, 7:30 pm
January 16, 7 pm
January 19, 11:30 am
January 26, 10 am
January 26, 11:30 am
January 31 - February 1

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

Liturgical Stewardship Schedule

   January 5, 8:00 am

   Reader & Chalicer:  Carole Francis
   Altar Guild:  Carole Francis


January 5, 10:00 am

Readers:  Felder Dorn, Peter Wick
Chalicist:  John Soughan
Ushers:  Maryalice Chech, Barbara Riedel
Altar Guild:  Theresa & John Scharff
Coffee Hour:  Epiphany Open House at the Rectory

January 12, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer:   Allison Walker
Altar Guild:  Maria Nazareth


January 12, 10:00 am

Readers:  Peter Wick, Shaun Landers
Chalicer:  Roger Riedel
Ushers:   Shaun and Lisa Landers
Altar Guild:  Julia Dorn
Coffee Hour:  Open

This Week:  January 5

Next Week:  January 5

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 last week, 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.