A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

I've been thinking more this week about Henri Nouwen's "hospitality of the heart" and what that might mean for us at St. Stephen's.  There's no doubt we understand what it means to embrace God's love for us and then turn around and share that love with each other and the community.  I can't help but think that is because we are, for the most and largest part, an open-hearted group of people.  Open-heartedness shows in the ways we care for each other and in our various ministries.  I think I've known that since my very first conversation with Maryalice about two years ago, when I entered the search to be your rector.

What I've learned more recently is more about the ways in which we are willing to make changes and take risks for the sake of the Gospel and in the spirit of open-hearted hospitality.  Nouwen said, "...it is also important to step out in places where we've never been, to meet people we've not known before, to experience arenas of life beyond our familiar terrain."  Boy!  If living our faith in a time of pandemic is not beyond the familiar, I don't know what is. It amazes me each and every day how ready, willing, and patient you were and continue to be as we muddle through some days with the demands of being Church in the virtual space. What amazes me even more is how much joy and gratitude is obvious, even with the fast from in-person gatherings and all the technological glitches.  I think Nouwen was on to something with his belief that doing things in a new way and in unfamiliar terrain can lead to a deepening of faith and an experience of radical love and hospitality in ways that the usual and familiar cannot.

It seems important to reflect on this transformation as the conversation about lifting the fast from in-person gatherings picks up some speed now that the governor has lifted the stay-at-home order and we anticipate the diocesan guidelines sometime next week.  I don't know about you, but looking back over these past three+ months and seeing all the ways that God has been present helps me to expand my ideas and hopes about what a re-opening of our buildings might mean.  How can we continue to move forward, holding onto the gifts and graces of this time, so that when we do gather in-person again, it is with our hearts and our minds oriented to the present and future, rather than the past?

Peace & Blessings,
Rev. Paula+

UPDATED! Giving in Faith - A message from Rev. Paula+
Thank you. Thank you! THANK YOU! to all who have been so faithful in their financial stewardship.  In these times of - dare I use the word? - unprecedented disruption and stress, you have remembered that giving in faith is important to you and to us.  Because you have continued to give, we have been able to do the work God has given us to do, without worrying about how to pay our bills and maintain our staff.  

We are doing everything we did before March 15th, though in new and different ways. There are times when it feels hard - really hard - and times when it feels easier, especially the longer we fast from in-person gathering.  And, yet, through it all I am aware of the presence of God working in and through all of it, all of us.  For that I am incredibly grateful, just as I am to be in ministry with all of you in times such as these.  I have no doubt that we are being transformed, going deeper into the heart of God.  I look forward to seeing where the Holy Spirit will lead us next.
From Bishop Hughes
Bishop Hughes' vlog for June 10th may be found here.

The Voice Online may be found here.

To read Bishop Hughes' Covid-19 guidelines, as well as other news from around the diocese, look here.

Bishop Hughes' Sermon at the diocesan Memorial Prayer Service  can be viewed here.


NEW! Prayers and Reflections on Pandemic, Racism, and Protest:
Online gatherings for high school & college students

Tuesday, June 23, 6:30 PM - HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Thursday, June 25, 6:30 PM - COLLEGE STUDENTS

All high school and college students of the diocese (rising Freshmen through Seniors) are invited to join online via Zoom with Bishop Carlye Hughes in an opportunity to share hopes, worries and fears in this uncertain time. Each gathering will begin and end with prayers and hymns and will feature a stirring homily by Bishop Hughes.
 
The information needed to access  each  Zoom gathering will be emailed to church leaders, who will in turn email it to their students and families the day before the scheduled meeting.  Please email the parish office here if you have a student that would like to attend the Zoom gathering.


NEW! Checking In: A Lay Conversation with the Bishop
Tuesday, June 30, 6 PM

Bishop Carlye Hughes is eager to once again 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.  On Tuesday, June 30 at 6 PM we will hold the second monthly Lay Conversation with Bishop Hughes. Scheduled for 90 minutes, this Zoom conversation is open to all members of the diocese.

An email invitation will be sent Monday, June 29 to recipients of The Voice Online with sign-in instructions for this Zoom meeting.  If anyone does not already receive the Voice Online via email, please register here.

UPDATED! - About Racial Justice

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 
reconciliation@episcopalchurch.org

You can find the link to current resources here.

Read Presiding Bishop Curry's Word to the Church here.

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.

An Invitation from The Community of St. John Baptist

Juneteenth Prayers via Zoom
Friday, June 19, 10-11 AM

On Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the end of slavery in the USA, please join us for a half-hour of prayers for comfort and strength in these trying times, organized by our Associates and Oblates. All are welcome.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 839 8990 5075

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Meeting ID: 839 8990 5075

Centering Evening Prayer via Zoom
Every Thursday, 7:15 - 8 PM

If you would like to join us in this silent contemplative practice, please email Sister Monica at srmc@csjb.org for more information.

Film Discussion: Just Mercy
Tuesday, June 23, 7 - 8 PM

CSJB is co-hosting a Zoom Community Movie Discussion of the film "Just Mercy" with the Mendham Interchurch group.  Please join your friends and neighbors for this conversation! 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE ZOOM MEETING:
https://us02web.zoom.us/.../tZErfuChrjIpHNyifziHD5ryDjy_f3E0I...

The movie is available to view for free on Amazon Prime during the month of June.

This will be the first in a series of offerings on racial justice from local faith leaders.

St. Stephen's Zoom Events

Coffee Hour !  
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 rector@ststephensmillburn.org 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

Prayers and Reflections on Pandemic, Racism, and Protest:  Online gatherings for high school & college students

Tuesday, June 23, 6:30 PM - HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Thursday, June 25, 6:30 PM - COLLEGE STUDENTS

All high school and college students of the diocese (rising Freshmen through Seniors) are invited to join online via Zoom with Bishop Carlye Hughes in an opportunity to share hopes, worries and fears in this uncertain time. Each gathering will begin and end with prayers and hymns and will feature a stirring homily by Bishop Hughes.
 
The information needed to access each Zoom gathering will be emailed to church leaders, who will in turn email it to their students and families the day before the scheduled meeting.   Please email the parish office here if you have a student that would like to attend the Zoom gathering.



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!  

The next event is Sunday, June 21 at 4 PM - Summer Break Trivia! 

Click here to register.

Follow POP UP Youth Ministry on Facebook and Instagram @popupym
Questions? Email popupym@dioceseofnewark.org



CROSS ROADS CAMP & RETREAT CENTER

Our friends at Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center are providing activities for kids and teens including art projects, Zoom virtual camp-fires and more!

This Friday, June 19th is the 6th Cross Roads Virtual Camp Fire on Facebook at 7 PM...come join the fun!

For all the details, follow the Cross Roads Facebook page here and follow them on Instagram @crossroads.camp.


Faithful Outreach


UPDATE...A note from Felder

When the driver from Apostles' House food pantry picked up a load of food that we had collected in our improvised food barrel, he remarked that the food pantry was out of food!  Our shipment, therefore, was timely indeed!

I expect that some of the Apostles' House sources have been hampered by the Corona Virus situation, so it was good that we could help.

Please keep your contributions coming - and remember to check the expiration dates before sending your items.


1. 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.


2. 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
Donation link & information: http://www.northporch.org/make-a-donation/#needs

The Apostles' House  Food Pantry link: 


4. Christine's Kitchen , 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 Facebook every Sunday morning at 8 AM and will be available on our new YouTube channel. 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 here .  The bulletins can be found here.


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 here.

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...

Jeff Loggins
Jimmy Hasenkamp
Ian Janeczko
The McManus Family
The Blanchard Family
Donna Riggi
Bernard & Nathan
The Fitzgerald Family
Roy Williams
Jack Moreno
Colette Ehlers
John Schnurrenberger
Stephanie Gubin
Sue Macbeth
Francis
Christine Conti
Shanisha
Pedro Villagran
Gregory Shuss
Carolyn Romano
Kenneth Armstrong
Mike Murray
Xander

Father's Day Prayer
Dear God, we thank you for the gift of life and love. 

We thank you, too, for the gift of paternal love
modeled for us by Joseph and so many others, 
who show what it is to use their strength and their
wisdom to love and care for a child. 

We are so very grateful for the love of men in our lives today
who follow those examples in their love for the 
children they birth, adopt, or foster, 
as well as all who choose to love and nurture a child 
to become their best, most authentic self. 

We ask an awareness of your loving compassion 
for all whose fathers could not love them in this way, 
whether because of illness or death, or any other stress or absence. 

For all men who desire to be fathers but encounter any obstacle, 
give them courage and strength in this difficult time. 

For all those men who have loved and nurtured, 
only to lose, a child of any age, 
we ask you to bless their hearts and lives with peace. 

We ask this same blessing for those who have said their final goodbyes 
to the loving and nurturing men in their lives. 

In your name we pray. Amen.


The Rev. Paula J. Toland, June 2019
Lectionary

This Week:  June 21
 
 

Next Week:  June 28


Links to the Wider Church

The Episcopal Diocese of Newark







The Episcopal Church









The Presiding Bishop








Giving with Tithe.ly
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  tithe.ly.com  or the  tithe.ly  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.

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
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.