A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

In Morning Prayer this morning, we prayed with the following words from Nelson Mandela:   "It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you   not  to be."  The question we asked was: How will we warm to the light that is within us today?

As I sat in silence for several minutes so much was swirling through my mind.  One of the thoughts I had was of my friend, Danny, who died four years ago, at age 26.  Each year since, on July 2nd, his family and friends gather outside his home celebrating his light, which continues to shine brightly though he is no longer with us.  It is one of those times when the veil between heaven and earth feels so thin.  There is a sacred mix of sadness about his dying and deep joy that we were a part of his living, even for those of us who only knew him a year or two before he died.  There is food and drink, music and laughter, shared memories and conversations about how Danny continues to be present in our hearts and our lives.  We all have vivid memories of conversations about politics, music, or religion; of television shows watched together, of times just sitting quietly, comfortably. At 6:20 pm, the time he died, we are outside with shots of Jack Daniels and balloons.  This time always begins with a prayer offered by yours truly, though last night it was by speaker phone.  

I was a hospice chaplain when I met Danny two years before he died.  To everyone's surprise, this avowed agnostic/atheist agreed to a visit with the chaplain (me).   Danny was intelligent and well read, with a sharp mind and keen wit, matched only by his huge and loving heart.  What began as a curiosity for him as he faced death, as well as a challenge to try to convince a chaplain that there could be no God, or at least no loving God, if neuromuscular diseases such as he had exist, became a life-affirming relationship for both of us.  Early on, Danny asked some hard questions, almost defiantly challenging me to give him answers. I was honest when I said I don't claim to have all the answers, know life is not fair, and believe our call is to be the best we were created or born to be.  In his charmingly snarky way, Danny responded, "So we should just let our light shine, huh?" I burst out laughing and our friendship was born and only deepened over time.  

I was with his parents at his bedside when he died and, at his request, his funeral was a Eucharistic service at my church.  I knew even then, in the midst of tears and unspeakable grief, that Danny's would be a legacy that belied his short years on earth.  Today, as I sat in prayer in our beautiful chancel, I was struck by how his light continues to warm the hearts and lives of so many people.  I was encouraged in that moment to know that there is nothing that can dim the light God placed inside each of us. Our call is to warm to that light and be the best God created us to be.

 
Peace & Blessings,
Paula+
In our journey around the Anglican Communion...
...We are in the Church of Ireland, though we start the service with the Baptismal Liturgy from here at home.  The Church of Ireland has a long and fascinating history, with Celtic roots and heritage dating back to St. Patrick in the 5th century.  It is a vibrant denomination, the second largest in Ireland.  (The Roman Catholic Church is larger.)  In recent years, the Church of Ireland has developed some beautiful liturgies, including the one we are using this week.  Designed for occasions in which "a large number of children are present," we are using it this week to celebrate the baptisms of Norelli, Yasmin, and Emma Bogerhausen.

If you'd like more information about the Church of Ireland, you'll find some here.

We received the wonderful suggestion that we map out our itinerary for the rest of the summer, just as one might do if one were actually traveling. I'm going to do that in just a bit, but first want to note two things:
 1. The liturgies we are using this year are those that were either in a book on my bookshelf or available online in English.  As a result, there are whole parts of the world we are not exploring.  Perhaps in summers to come...
2. These liturgies are representative of the Anglican/Episcopal Church around the world.  In an effort to allow them to speak to us, I have edited very little.  This means that some of the language reflects an understanding of God that is not what we have come to know at St. Stephen's or in The Episcopal Church writ large. Some of the churches maintain practices that we may find challenging or disheartening. Still, it seems a bit of grace to truly pray with our siblings in those places, trusting that the Holy Spirit is working in and through all of us.  No matter our differences, we celebrate the love God has for all of us.

Blessings,
Paula+

Our itinerary...

July 14th
July 21st
July 28th
August 4th
August 11th
August 18th
August 25th
September 1st
September 8th
Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan
Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
We're back home, using
Enriching Our Worship
Anglican Church of Australia
Africa (liturgy from North, East, and South African churches)
Church of Nigeria (West Africa)
Anglican Church of Canada
Home again, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Lima, with the World Council of Churches

Wednesday Worship
If you are in need of a few minutes of sabbath or respite in the midst of your busy week, know that you are invited to join us for Morning Prayer on Wednesday mornings at 8:00.  This summer we are using a lovely liturgy from Daily Prayer for All Seasons, spending no more than 20 minutes in prayer and reflection.
Office Reminder
The church office will closed on Thursday and Friday, July 4 and 5, 2019 
due to the Fourth of July holiday.  Enjoy!

News
I'm loud, I'm proud, I'm a...Drumming Camp Volunteer!

This could be your mantra if you give a bit of your time to help with the 7th!!! annual Drumming Camp this year.  Camp is the week of August 18th.  We set up on the 18th and then greet the campers at 3:00 on the 19th and bid them goodbye at 7:30, which we will do the 20th-23rd, as well.  There are lots of ways to help, no special skill needed, just a loving heart and a desire to welcome these children again this year.   There are opportunities for an evening or two, or the full-week.  Please talk to Fran Taber, Kim Williams, or Rev. Paula if you know you want to help or if you need encouragement to join the team. 






FAMILY THEATER NIGHT
Join us on Thursday, July 18 at 6:00 pm for a picnic and screening of the film He Named Me Malala .  Bring your picnic, blanket, and the whole family.  Hope to see you there!


CHRISTMAS IN JULY FOR NORTH PORCH
"It's summertime and the livin' is easy . . ." - at least that is what the song says. However, this is the time of year when many social service organizations experience a decline in giving.  This is where "Christmas in July" comes in! 
Once again, St. Stephen's is invited to participate in the Christmas in July collection for North Porch. You may donate emergency items such as Enfamil powdered formula, diapers, jars of veggie baby food, and baby wipes. Boxes will be available in the Narthex and the collection will culminate on Sunday, July 28

More specifics will follow in regards to the emergency items. You can also donate online through the North Porch website.
 


IHN 
Mark your calendar for  the week of August 11 .  While we were unable to host this year, we have a second chance to continue our long-standing commitment to the  Interfaith Hospitality Network for the Homeless.  Our neighbor, Wyoming Presbyterian, has offered to take up one of the (many) open weeks, but it's prime vacation time and they're challenged for volunteers.  

If you are likely to be free to make a meal, help with the kids or host overnight, please sign-up on the volunteer sheets located on the bulletin board in the Narthex.  If you have any questions, please contact
Margo Greenfield at greenfieldmargo@gmail.com 
or 983-868-9085.


READING WITH THE RECTOR
Please note:  Reading with the Rector will not meet in August and the next book discussion will be held on the second Sunday of September due to the Labor Day holiday weekend. We will discuss the book Marriage and Other Acts of Charity by Kate Braestrup and will meet Sunday, September 8 at 11:30 am.

All selections are available from Cokesbury, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. The group will meet after coffee hour in the upstairs library/music room. Visit our website calendar for meeting dates and book selections. 
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 you see:



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.
Events
Reading with the Rector

Vestry Meeting

Third Thursday Theater - Family Night

Drumming Camp Meeting

Christmas in July for North Porch


IHN Week (Wyoming Presbyterian)

Drumming Camp!
Sunday, July 7, 11:30 am

Sunday, July 14, 11:30 am

Thursday, July 18, 6:00 pm

Sunday, July 21, 11:30 am

Sunday, July 28, 10:30am (final day for donations)

Week of August 11

Week of August 19

Schedule

   This Week: July 7, 8:00 am

   Reader & Chalicer:  Carole Francis
   Altar Guild:  Carole Francis

  

       This Week: July 7, 10:00 am

Readers:   Theresa Scharff, Kira Hanson
       Chalicist:  John Scharff
       Ushers:   Eric Maurer, Steve   
       Moran
       Altar Guild:  Theresa and John
       Scharff
       Coffee Hour:  Sherill and Paul
       Boegershausen

Next Week: July 14, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer:  Michelle
Ellingham
Altar Guild:  Carole Francis




Next Week: July 14, 10:00 am

Readers:  Felder Dorn, Barbara
Riedel
Chalicist:  Roger Riedel
Ushers:  Katie and James Wade
Altar Guild:  Jean James
Coffee Hour:  Open
Lectionary
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
church@ststephensmillburn.org.

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