A Message from Rev. Paula+
You may be wondering why I'm sharing a picture of my newly painted and re-organized office. Seems an odd edition to a newsletter like this, doesn't it?
As I was sitting here today in the same space I've occupied for just about 20 months, it occurred to me that perspective means more than we sometimes remember or appreciate. Sitting here today, office newly painted in crisp, calming colors that remind me of the sky and the beach, large dark desk that physically overwhelmed me (I'm not the tallest priest in the diocese, in case you haven't noticed) and took up considerable floorspace - gone to a new home with people who will appreciate it more, and new, better proportioned and functional desk in the prime spot that gives me not one, but two (!!!) views of our beautiful campus, I feel somehow lighter, more focused, better able to concentrate, even before I've had a chance to hang my icons and crosses on the walls. It's a good metaphor for looking ahead to what our new normal will be.
Change is not always easy, more difficult for some than others. Often, it's easier to default to the stereotypically Episcopalian "we've always done it that way" mindset, than it is to envision new ways of doing things, new ways of being faithful to our call and commitment to be "the Church on Main Street...where love begets love". Living our faith when so much of what we're used to is not available to us in the moment is disorienting, we lose perspective. Sometimes having to find a new perspective, a new way of seeing what is right in front of you is a gift, though only if we choose to see it that way. I invite you to choose to see our present and future together in this topsy turvy time, not from a position of disorientation but, rather, as a gift of fresh perspective where we can best live our mission and ministry.
Peace & Blessings,
UPDATED SURVEY DATE -Drumming Camp!!!
We want to have Drumming Camp this year, even though it can't be done the way we've always done it. This year, perhaps more than previous years, our campers and their families need this time away from the day-to-day. This year, perhaps more than previous years, we need to live our faith in ways that offer safe connection to other people.
We are considering offering two one-day sessions, perhaps for five or six hours, in the first or second week of August. To do that safely, we would invite the younger children one day and the older children the other, with a maximum of 10 campers in each session. We'd supply food, maybe pizza for lunch and either a simple cookout or take-out for supper. We'd abide by the diocesan safety guidelines and would have only adult staff.
We'd need help with general supervision, an art project, serving meals and snacks, and with set-up and clean-up. Ideally, we'd like folks able to help a full day to minimize the number of people involved, though we can make it work with shorter shifts, need be. If you can help (You know you want to join this fun!), please let us know your availability by taking this simple
, indicating as many available times as you have, either the six or three hour shifts.
Please respond by 4:00 pm on July 20th. We'll work with the responses to figure out if this is doable and, if so, what dates.
Bishop Hughes July 7th Vlog
("Training to be the church that God needs us to be")
can be seen
The Voice Online
may be found
Bishop Hughes' pastoral letter on the
guidelines for in-person worship
in the Diocese of Newark can be found
To read Bishop Hughes' Covid-19 guidelines, as well as other news from around the diocese, look
NEW! Checking In: A Lay Conversation with the Bishop
Tuesday, July 21, 6 PM
If you missed Bishop Carlye Hughes' Zoom meeting last week, she will be hosting another get together on July 21st. She is eager to spend time in conversation with the members of the diocese, to reflect and consider what we, our churches, and our communities have learned and experienced as we have adjusted to the changes this time has demanded of us.
Scheduled for 90 minutes, this Zoom conversation is open to all members of the diocese.
Join the Zoom Meeting at the link
Meeting ID: 826 7372 5743
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Share Your Prayers
Bishop Hughes invites all of us to do something that might be a first for us - to write down our prayers during this pandemic and share them with the diocese, as a way to help each other.
The prayers will be shared on the diocesan website in The VOICE and on social media.
Prayers can be sent to Canon Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org for posting. Please include the name and town of your church.
Diocesan Memorial Wall
A holy place in virtual space for mourning and memory.
This is a place to gather, grieve, reflect and honor the lives of those who have died during the time of the Pandemic, whether or not it was due to the virus. Because we have been isolated, and unable to be with each other to provide comfort, care and support during this time, we offer this site as an ongoing memorial, gathering the names of the dead so that they are not forgotten.
Here, we who mourn can cast our tears into God's almighty and loving hands, whose own tears join ours, bringing us consolation, peace and hope.
To visit the wall and/or submit a name, click
In this time of national upheaval, outrage, and fear, The Episcopal Church's Department of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care and the Office of Government Relations have assembled resources to assist individuals, congregations and communities seeking to LEARN, PRAY and ACT.
Please use and share these resources, and send your own resources and stories to email@example.com.
You can find the link to current resources here.
Read Presiding Bishop Curry's Word to the Church here.
"Seeing My Skin" Book Discussion with the Author
You are invited to an important and timely book discussion.
A personal journey of a priest's understanding of his Whiteness widens into an invitation to wrestle with larger cultural issues of race and belonging.
St. John's Episcopal Church Ramsey NJ is fortunate to be able to host a 90-minute Zoom discussion with the author, Peter Jarret-Schell and his wife, Rondesia Jarret-Schell on
Saturday, July 25 at 2:00 PM
The book can be purchased from
and is available at Amazon (paperback and Kindle). St. John's Ramsey has a few copies. Please contact The Rev. Bill Cruse,
Priest-in-Charge if you have any questions.
Register here for the book discussion.
THE RED RIBBON PROJECT AT ST. STEPHEN'S
If you happen to be driving or walking by the church, you'll see a simple way to show support for racial justice. Stop and tie a red ribbon on the fence, joining with others in the community who have already done so. (Ribbons are provided.)
While this will not result in a tangible change, it might just encourage someone else's change of heart, which is the first step to the kind of change that can literally change the world.
St. Stephen's Zoom Events
Sundays at 11AM
Watch the service at 10 AM, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and join the fun. We'll be around from 11 to noon.
Send an email to Rev. Paula at
by 10:45 AM that morning to request the login information. Don't be surprised to find yourself in a waiting room. Barbara Riedel or Rev. Paula will let you in.
Youth & Teen Resources and Events
POP UP YOUTH MINISTRY
The Episcopal Pop Up Youth Ministry is for all youth grades 6-12. Fun events are hosted via Zoom on Sundays at 4 PM. These events include themes like Scavenger Hunt, Escape Room and Trivia Night!
NEXT EVENT is July 19, 2020 at 4 PM -
How New Jersey Are You?
Register for this fun trivia event right
Follow POP UP Youth Ministry on Facebook and Instagram @popupym
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
CROSS ROADS CAMP & RETREAT CENTER
Our friends at Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center are providing activities for kids and teens including art projects, virtual camp-fires and more!
Next virtual campfire is on Facebook this Friday, July 17 at 7 PM!
For all the details, follow the Cross Roads Facebook page
and follow them on Instagram @crossroads.camp.
Please feel free to share with family and friends who may be interested! For more details and to register, click here.
Leadership Lab for Teens (completed grades 9-12), July 19 - July 25
Campers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in content relevant to their lives and address challenges they face. This includes reflecting on their own story, identifying their strengths, understanding different conflict styles, learning leadership principles, and connecting their faith with experiences. While growing in these skills, campers will be a part of a fun, caring, and safe camp community.
Middle School Day Camp (completed grades 6-8), July 27 - July 31
Campers will hear a different Bible story every day, focusing on how God was present in people's lives throughout the Bible. They will then look at modern stories of people overcoming adversity and living out God's call to love. Campers will also focus on self reflection and sharing their own stories through different mediums of art, all while building community, having fun, and growing in faith!
FOOD PANTRIES ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF FOOD
Thank you to all who have dropped off donations already! Please keep the contributions coming
- and remember to check the expiration dates before sending your items.
Apostles' House Food Barrel - A weather-proof collection bin is located at St. Stephen's outside under the roof of the Narthex parking lot entry door. Canned goods and non-perishable food items can be dropped off at any time and will be delivered to Apostles' House.
North Porch Women & Infants' Centers - A second collection bin for North Porch is located at the same door. Right now they are in urgent need of the following:
- Enfamil 12.5 oz powdered baby formula and soy formula, and Enfamil infant (yellow label) 21.1 oz
- Diapers especially Large sizes - 4, 5, 6, and Pull-ups of all sizes
- Baby wipes
- Jars of baby food - all ages- fruit, veggie and 1st foods
3. Online Ordering/Donations - If you are unable to drop off items at the church, and would like to contribute, you can make purchases and/or donations online directly to these organizations. PLEASE NOTE: North Porch prefers you use their AmazonSmile link for direct product donations.
North Porch Women and Infant Centers
North Porch Amazon Smile direct link:
The Apostles' House
Food Pantry link:
, Holy Trinity Church, West Orange
St. Stephen's will be hosting Christine's Kitchen again on August 15th. More details to come.
Connection and Common Worship
All of the information you need to remain actively connected to St. Stephen's can be found on the website under the "Living Our Faith in a Time of Pandemic" tab on the top left. In addition, the ways to join in worship and other activities is also available on the Events Calendar on the website, under News & Events. Our worship services will be posted to
every Sunday morning at 8 AM and will be available on our new
. The services can be watched at any time.
Our Sunday worship service is also broadcast on HTTV (Comcast TV 36 and Verizon TV 33) at 6 AM and 1 PM. Please be sure to spread the word to your friends and family who do not use the internet.
Audio recordings of the homilies are found
The bulletins can be found
FYI - St. Stephen's is on Facebook EVERY DAY! Join us, and tell your friends and family! Posts include daily morning and evening prayer, Sunday worship, Children's Chapel on Saturday, and Children's Storytime with Rev. Paula.
Videos of all the posts can easily be accessed from the Facebook video library right
Resources from the Diocese and Beyond
|There are many, many resources available to parishes and individuals to help sustain our faith practices during this unprecedented time. This is by no means a complete list, though it does cover many areas of need.
NEW!!! Faith@Home, a ministry of Forward Movement Publications and Forma, a ministry of the Episcopal Church Foundation, offers weekly lectionary-based readings and reflections for all age groups. You'll find those resources here.
The Diocese of Newark has a page dedicated to pastoral messages, informational updates and directives, and resources for use by parishes and people of faith. You'll find it here.
The Episcopal Church, nationally and internationally, has information on its website, including pastoral messages from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry. You'll find it here.
The National Cathedral livestreams worship and hosts podcasts, all of which can be accessed here.
The Church Publishing Group has made available a free downloadable copy of
The Book of Common Prayer. This is a wonderful way to encourage both a personal prayer discipline and as a support to online worship in which the liturgy is from the BCP.
Now might be the right time to sign up for a daily, weekly, or monthly devotion. A couple of our favorites are:
- The Society of St. John the Evangelist. The brothers offer wisdom in many ways so please do explore their website.
- The Center for Action and Contemplation, home of Richard Rohr. As with SSJE, this is a rich offering of resources so it is best to explore the website.
St. Stephen's Prayer List
Please keep the following St. Stephen's family members and friends in your prayers...
The McManus Family
The Blanchard Family
Bernard & Nathan
The Fitzgerald Family
Sara Ruth Dorn
Links to the Wider Church
Giving with Tithe.ly is easy, with options for one-time or recurring donations. We encourage you to consider it at all times, but especially when you are away for any reason, like all of us now with the restrictions due to coronavirus.
There are two ways to do it: thru
app on your smart phone. You'll want to search for St. Stephen's Church Millburn. Be sure to have the correct punctuation. You'll know you're there when you see: St. Stephen's Church Millburn and the address. Once you're at the church's page, follow the prompts.
Office Hours and Contact Information
Office hours: Until we are through this public health emergency, there are NO office hours. Please call Rev. Paula to arrange for pastoral care or if you have any reason to come to the office. She'll work with you to figure out a safe way to manage this.
Main email: email@example.com
Doreen Schindler, Parish Administrator
can be reached at ext. 32 or
The Rev. Paula J. Toland, Rector can be reached at ext. 21 or