A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

Last week I wrote briefly about being quite busy preparing for the next program year.  This week I continue that theme, though with a bit more specific information about some of what is going on in our planning.

One of the priorities in your search for a new rector was Christian education and formation (one of my passions, which probably explains a good deal about why you offered and I accepted this call).  As you know, we've done a good bit with adult offerings, from the Lenten series to Reading with the Rector and Third Thursday Theater.  We've also added a Wednesday Morning Prayer for folks who'd like to spend 20 minutes or so in prayer together in our chancel (the area up near the altar).  Things are moving ahead well with adult formation so now is the time to focus on our children and youth.

As it happens, Carole Francis is retiring from her position as Church School teacher, having given so generously of her creative and artistic talents to this ministry.  As I see it, we could sit in our sense of loss, which would be rather easy to do.  Another option, the one the Vestry and I are choosing to embrace, is to be grateful for the time she has given, while choosing simultaneously to rethink how it is that we include our children and youth in the life of the parish in ways that are meaningful to them and to us.  To that end, we are making some changes that will work for us now and enable us to be more actively welcoming to young families, beginning with Church School and worship.

We will be using a wonderful multi-age curriculum from Sparkhouse, one of the most highly respected publishers of Christian education materials.  It will suit our current needs well and give us flexibility as we grow.  To do this, though, we need your helpIf we are to continue to offer Church School during the first half of the 10:00 service, we need one or two adults willing to lead.  I am happy to take a lead coordinating, especially for this transition year, but, obviously, I cannot be in the classroom, as happy as I would be to do that.   It would be wonderful to have a team of willing adults to rotate in and out of the classroom.  And what a great message it would be to our children about the way the adults in their parish family love and care for them!   So, please think and pray and pray some more about whether or not you are called to this ministry, and then do let me know.  If you're unsure, talk to me.  We can discern together.

Part of the change to Church School is that we will offer it three weeks in a four Sunday month (four in a five Sunday month).  The other week we will have "Full Family" worship.  Our children and young people will be invited to take active roles in the 10:00 service, from lectoring to acolyting to ???.  We'll make some minor changes to our usual liturgy and enjoy the opportunity to worship together across the generations.  In this way our children will grow in their faith with a deeper understanding of how what they learn in Church School relates to what we do in worship.

On a related note: we are in need of more members for our "worship teams."  Please consider adding your time and talents to serve as ushers/greeters, lectors, crucifer, chalice bearers, or altar guild.  All of the training you need is done "in-house" and takes less than an hour.  These ministries are coordinated by different people working together so feel free to talk to me and I will help make the right connection. The counting ministry is always looking for a folks willing to dedicate an hour or so after church to count the offering and prepare it for deposit. Felder Dorn is the person to talk to about that. If you enjoy the wonderful music we share each week, consider adding your voice to the choir.  If you're not sure if that is a good fit for you, talk to Kim Williams, who'll reassure you that you will be welcomed.

We have so much to offer to those we know and those we have yet to meet.  This is just one way we have the opportunity to invite and welcome the Holy Spirit working in and through us.
Peace & Blessings,
In Memory of Rev. Cork Tarplee
Rev. Cork Tarplee was a gift to all of us who knew him, for as long as we had him.  If you would like to make a donation in memory of Rev. Cork Tarplee, please make checks out to St. Stephen's Church and on the memo line, write Cork.  The money collected will be sent to RAIN, an Essex County non-profit, to help gay teenagers.  RAIN stands for Reaching Adolescents In Need and they provide emergency shelter for them.  If you would like to know more,  click here.  Any questions, please see or call Maryalice Chech, 973-951-7154.

In our journey around the Anglican Communion...
...We are in the Church of England this week.  The Church of England is, in some significant ways, the birthplace of The Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church was founded by Anglicans who wanted to retain their common prayer and liturgy, though ultimately without the pledge of allegiance to the monarchy and the political implications that entailed.  Our second Presiding Bishop, Samuel Seabury, though a loyalist initially, was ordained and consecrated a bishop in the Church of Scotland in order to avoid taking the oath of allegiance to the King.  His ordination and consecration led to the decision by the English Parliament to recognize bishops ordained elsewhere, which allowed the ongoing relationship between the English and American Churches.  Later he joined with bishops ordained in the English Church, serving in the United States, joining the Scottish and English Churches and assuring apostolic succession for the American bishops.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, now Justin Welby, is considered "first among equals" of the primates, a.k.a bishops, of the Anglican Communion, of which The Episcopal Church is a member. The Archbishop of Canterbury has specific roles in the Church of England, including worship and teaching in the Diocese of Canterbury, authority over the bishops and clergy of the 30 dioceses in the Province of Canterbury (a province is a group of dioceses),  and chairing the General Synod (comparable to our General Convention) with the Archbishop of York.  In addition, he is the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, of which The Episcopal Church is a member.

As with the liturgy from the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, which we celebrated last week, this liturgy will feel familiar and not so familiar. Therefore, it may feel comfortable or uncomfortable, or maybe a bit of both.  In any case, we are blessed to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves and The Episcopal Church.  I hope this stop on our journey does something to expand your understanding of what it means to be an Episcopalian.

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

A New Way to Give to St. Stephen's!
We know that for many of us the days of writing checks and carrying cash are over.  And still we rely on your financial stewardship to support the mission and ministries of the parish.  To make it easier for you to fulfill your pledge or to make additional gifts to St. Stephen's, we have added Tithe.ly to the ways you can give.  

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.

Third Thursday Theater - June 20
Tonight's movie screening and
discussion will take place  at 7:00 pm in the Common Room and will feature the documentary  Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness. 

This must-see documentary film, shines a spotlight on the growing problem of visible homelessness.  
The film tells the tales of several individuals, showing how physical disabilities, criminal convictions, and personal crises led many to homelessness which became difficult to escape in a city that lacks sufficient shelter and affordable housing opportunities.

To preview the film, you can watch the trailer at this link:

Hope to see you tonight!

July 18  for  FAMILY Theater Night!  

We will begin at  6:00 pm  with a  
picnic and screening
of  He Named Me Malala.

Prison Ministry
We are exploring expanding our work with the diocesan Prison Ministry Team.  In addition to our Drumming Camp, which is one of the highlights of the program, there are opportunities to be a part of these vital ministries in other ways.    

We are hosting the upcoming Prison Ministry meeting on Tuesday, July 2 at 7:30 pm (Please note, this is a new date).  If you are interested in learning more, please come.

Reading with the Rector 
Join Rev. Paula on the first Sunday of each month for this new book club series. All selections are available from Cokesbury, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. The group will meet after coffee hour in the Common Room. Visit our website calendar for meeting dates and book selections. 

Next month's book is Welcome to the Wisdom of the World and Its Meaning for You by Joan Chittister and will meet Sunday, July 7 at 11:30 am.

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.  

Margo Greenfield is working up a preliminary list - so email her if you are likely to be free to make a meal, help with the kids or host overnight.  Contact her at greenfieldmargo@gmail.com 
or 983-868-9085.

Join us for this new St. Stephen's tradition - Morning Prayer - Wednesdays from 8-8:30am beginning this week, June 19.
Finance Committee Meeting

Third Thursday Theater

Prison Ministry Meeting

Reading with the Rector

Drumming Workshop

Vestry Meeting

Third Thursday Theater - Family Night

Drumming Camp Meeting

Drumming Camp!
Wednesday, June 19, 7:30 pm

Thursday, June 20, 7:00 pm

Wednesday, June 26, 7:30 pm

Sunday, July 7, 11:30 am

Tuesday, July 9, 7:00 pm

Sunday, July 14, 11:30 am

Thursday, July 18, 6:00 pm

Sunday, July 21, 11:30

Week of August 19


   This Week: June 16, 8:00 am

   Reader & Chalicer:  Nancy Sieffert
   Altar Guild:  Nancy Sieffert


       This Week: June 16, 10:00 am

Readers:   Jean James, Kathy Conway, Barbara Riedel
       Chalicist:  John Soughan
       Ushers:   Kathy and Tim Conway
       Altar Guild:  Jean James
       Coffee Hour:  Nancy Sieffert

Next Week: June 23, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer:  Michelle Ellingham
Altar Guild:  Maria Nazareth

Next Week: June 23, 10:00 am

Readers:  Kira Hanson, Ladi Owolabi
Chalicist:  Roger Riedel
Ushers:  Fangjie-Liu and Michael Priddy
Altar Guild:  Julia Dorn
Coffee Hour:  Open
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

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