A Message from Rev. Paula+
Ronnie sent me this picture yesterday. For the past few days, whenever we bring Daisy Mae out for a walk, she makes a bee line for the church. When I didn't let her in at the office entrance, she took him to these doors. She clearly could not understand why she wasn't able to come in.
I know that she's not alone in wondering when the doors will be open again. I can't tell you more than there is a team of people, lay and clergy from across the diocese (including yours truly), working to be as prepared as we can be for when the Governor gives us the go-ahead, which will start the two-week clock ticking in the Diocese of Newark. For now, we need to be patient as we grasp the new realities of how to show our love for God's people as we grapple with new and creative ways to live our faith.
Living our faith "Loud and proud!" as the kids in Drumming Camp proclaim each August - is just as important as ever before, perhaps more obviously important than many have seen in their lifetime. To that end, I encourage you to scroll through this newsletter to see how it is we continue to do that, through outreach to our typical partners, e.g. Christine's Kitchen, Apostles' House, and North Porch, as well as in joining our voices with the myriad of others who continue to pursue racial justice.
I will be representing St. Stephen's and the Coalition of Religious Leaders of Millburn & Short Hills at the march and rally in Taylor Park on Sunday. I invite as many of you as are comfortable to join me. I know there are at least a couple of people who will be there, people who made their commitment even prior to my extending this invitation.
Lest you wonder if this is something a church should be doing, which is a question many people across the country have, I will tell you unequivocally and unapologetically, "YES!" No matter where one is in terms of politics, this is holy work we are all called to do. And that's not just your rector speaking. We commit to this in our baptismal promises:
- Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
- Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
- Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
In case you need additional encouragement, I share these words from The Rev. Michael Chaney, a seminary colleague:
The Jesus I follow, the one celebrated and recognized at St. [Stephen's] Church, is a man of color who was poor. A member of the class that was without. A divine person born into poverty with a message from day one that God loves ALL people; particularly those deemed to be on the outskirts or on the margins of God's love.
Peace & Blessings,
Bishop Hughes' vlog
for May 27th may be found
The Voice Online
may be found
To read Bishop Hughes' Covid-19 guidelines, as well as other news from around the diocese, look
A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Hughes
What direction shall we choose as health crisis and racism intersect with faith and politics? Read it here.
Prayers and Reflections on Pandemic, Racism, and Protest:
Monday, June 8 and Thursday, June 11 at 6:30 PM on Zoom
(Login details will be forwarded in a special newsletter prior to these dates.)
oin online with Bishop Hughes and fellow members of the Diocese of Newark as we respond to the disturbing deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. This will be a time to share our hopes, worries, and fears in an uncertain time. We will begin and end the evening with prayers of lament and petition. This ancient practice of lament, reflection, petition, and praise is well-documented in the Psalms. It will uphold us as we gather with each other and before God to pray and reflect.
Diocese of Newark Memorial Service for all who have died during restricted distancing protocols:
Saturday, June 13, 10 AM on YouTube Live
The last three months have been filled with all kinds of sacrifice, probably none greater than the death of loved ones in our communities. These losses were made harder by families unable to grieve with the family of faith. While this service, led by Bishop Hughes, will not replace what has been missed, it will be a time for us to gather as the diocese in memory of those who have died.
Link to diocesan YouTube channel:
Please use this form to submit the names of loved ones to be included in the Memorial Service:
Resources from the Diocese for Responding to Racist Violence
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.
Millburn Rally for Black Lives
Rev. Paula will be attending the Millburn Rally for Black Lives this Sunday, June 7th.
If you would like to attend, details are listed here on the flyer.
Please do not forget your face mask!
12 PM - Meet at Millburn H.S.
1 PM - March Down Millburn Avenue
3 PM - Vigil at Taylor Park
St. Stephen's Zoom Events
Bakery Bible Hour
Friday, June 5, 11 AM
Join Rev. Paula and our friends from Christ Church in Short Hills and Congregation B'nai Jeshurun
as we explore the major themes and stories from Genesis, using the Robert Alter translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Please visit the St. Stephen's website calendar here for the Zoom login information.
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.
Reading with the Rector
for this Sunday, June 7, 2020
is being rescheduled to June 14th at 12:15 pm*
*Please note: The
Millburn Rally for Black Lives is taking place this Sunday, June 7th. Rev. Paula will be attending. If you would like to attend, please see the details in this newsletter.
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!
This Sunday, June 7 at 4 PM, Pop Up YM Presents...Guess That Song!
Upcoming event dates: June 21 and July 5
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, Zoom virtual camp-fires and more!
The next Virtual Camp-Fire takes place this Friday, June 5, at 7 PM on Facebook.
To watch their previous camp-fire singalongs or art project videos, click here.
To join the fun, follow the Cross Roads Facebook page here and follow them on Instagram @crossroads.camp
DIALOGUE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS ABOUT RACE
Friday, June 5 at 4 PM
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In light of recent racially charged events in the news and on social media, including the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, our diocesan Prison Ministry and Namaste committees would like to create a safe space for dialogue with youth and young adults of diverse backgrounds to share their own story or an incident. This conversation stems from Montclair's Fund for Excellence (MFEE) "America to Me" dialogues.
As we continue to navigate these challenging times, we want to continue to live our faith in some of the familiar ways, even though we can't be together. The number of individuals and families who are homeless or are facing homelessness is at an all time high due to the current pandemic. And the need for food and supplies to nourish and sustain these families, even more so. So we have organized the following ways for our congregation, friends and family to continue our mission of helping those in need.
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
to all who donated bagged lunches on Saturday, May 30, to Linda and Katie for taking the lunch orders, serving, and organizing/supplementing the bags, and to Deryck Rugbeer for organizing this important ministry!
A note from Julie at Christine's Kitchen:
This week's host brought 140 lunches (thank you, St. Stephens!), which consisted of 120 bagged sandwich lunches and 20 hamburger / hot dog lunches. A very nice addition! There was some food left to distribute for seconds, after which all the food was gone. St. Stephen's also brought some additional donations - toiletries, packaged snacks, additional drinks. These were also distributed and gratefully received.
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
Thanks to all of you who have been mailing your pledges or giving online using Vanco or Tithe.ly. Your faithful financial stewardship means we are able to "be Church" in all the ways that we are during this time, while also ensuring that, when the time comes, we are strong and nimble enough to return to our more comfortable and familiar ways.
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
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