A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

"... rend your hearts and not your clothing."

These words, from the prophet Joel, are in the Hebrew Scriptures reading we used yesterday for Ash Wednesday.  I've read them and heard them countless times and yet, for some reason, they captured my heart and mind in a new way as I was preparing for our Lenten journey this year.  They speak so simply to the task we are called to do in this season of penitential reflection - the often challenging and sometimes heartbreaking work of inner reflection, repentance, and request for God's forgiveness. They remind me that Lent is more than a time of preparation for Easter.  

When we claim our Christian identity, it is not just for show or a way of identifying ourselves as belonging to a particular group. Our Christian faith is meant to be an embodied faith, in which we wrestle with the hard questions  faithful exploration of the Gospel leads us to ask, about the world in which we live and the ways we ourselves live in it.  Discipleship is not about how we look and act on the surface, but rather how we feel and respond to God's call on us deep within, which can't help but lead to changes on the outside, too.  It does mean that we must go to the place in our relationship with God in which we humble ourselves and risk the temporary heartbreak and grief we may feel as we ask God to help us let go of some of the ways of being that prevent us from becoming our best selves, the people God created us to be. In some ways Lent is a condensed and highly focused time of doing that which we are called to do always.

We are on day two of our 40 day journey through this season.  My prayer for all of us is that we find the courage to take the risks to do the hard work we are called to do.  "I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word." (BCP, p. 265).  Although I don't want to rush us through this time, if you need encouragement, remember that we are an Easter people, knowing in ways we may not always be able to articulate that from death and dry bones, God gives life.

Peace & Blessings, 

Rev. Paula and Doreen will be offsite  Friday morning, March 8. 
Also - This Weekend is Daylight Savings.
Remember to "spring forward" one hour on Sunday morning.


Easter Egg Hunt:  
We need donations of Hershey's chocolate kisses (NO NUTS), Starbursts, Jelly Belly jelly beans, and plastic eggs for our annual Easter Egg Hunt. The hunt will take place on the church lawn after services on 
Sunday,  April 21 . Donations can be brought on Sundays and placed in the box marked Egg Hunt in the church office. Any questions, please see Maryalice Chech. Thank you in advance for your donations!

Celebration of New Ministry Reception: Plans are being made for a reception following the Saturday, March 30th service. Special food items are needed. If you would like to contribute, please notify Sara Ruth Dorn at (973) 467-9847 or dornfmillburn@gmail.com.

North Porch Baby Shower will 
take place at coffee hour on 
Sunday, March 24. North Porch provides emergency baby needs to low income mothers throughout 
the diocese. You can help by  contributing the following items:  Enfamil 12.5 oz. powder (regular & soy formulas), diapers (large sizes: 

4,5,6), Pull-Ups (all sizes), baby
wipes, baby food jars of fruits and
vegetables (all ages), and First Foods.
Cynthia Moriczde Tecso, diocesan
coordinator of North Porch will speak briefly at the 10am service and be present during coffee hour.

Please join us in this annual event. You can place early donations in the collection box in the Narthex or bring them to the coffee hour. You can also donate financially. Checks should be made out to North Porch Center.

Check Out Our Updated Website: We are in the process of sprucing up our website, which now has an updated logo and home page.  This is part of our effort to reach out to the wider community to let people know what we are doing and to invite them to join us.  Did you know people "visit" social media 5 - 7 times before visiting a church in person?  P.S. We are also now on Instagram @ststephensmillburn - follow us!

Meet Our New Bishop: You, your family, and friends are invited to "Break Bread with the Bishop." Five gatherings with Bishop Carlye Hughes are being held at locations around the diocese. Find out more and RSVP online at: 
Rev. Paula is going to the gathering at St. Paul's, Chatham on March 19.

Pledge Envelopes: To request pledge envelopes for 2019, please see Fran Taber, and add your name to the list she is compiling.
Lent and Holy Week Services
Maundy Thursday, April 18:
7:00 pm - Eucharist with Foot Washing & Stripping of the Altar
8:15 to 10:00 pm - Vigil

Good Friday, April 19:
12:00 pm - Proper Liturgy for Good Friday with Administration of the Reserve      Sacrament
8:00 pm - Proper Liturgy for Good Friday

Don't forget our Lenten series!  Beginning March 10th, for six consecutive Sundays after the 10:00 am service, we will study the parables, basing our conversation on a book by Amy-Jill Levine, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.  The book is great but not necessary to this study.  You will need the Participant Guide, which is available at  Cokesbury  and Amazon  for about $10.00.
Pre-School Committee Meeting

Diocesan Church Leader University,  
St. Elizabeth's, Ridgewood

Lenten Series

Breaking Bread w/the Bishop,
St. Paul's, Chatham (Rev. Paula attending)

North Porch Baby Shower 

Celebration of New Ministry
Thursday, March 7, 7:30 pm

Saturday, March 9, 9:00 am

Sundays, March 10, 17, 24, & 31, April 7 and 14 at 11:30 am

Thursday, March 19, 6:30 pm

Sunday, March 24, 11:00 am Coffee Hour

Saturday, March 30, 2:00 pm


This week: March 10, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer: Allison Walker
Altar Guild: Julia Dorn

This week: March 10, 10:00 am

Readers: Fran Young, Theresa Scharff, Katie Wade
Chalicist: Eric Maurer
Ushers: Steve Moran, Martin Hirshfeld
Altar Guild: Alex Cole
Coffee Hour: Open

Next week: March 17, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer: Michelle Ellingham
Altar Guild: Maria Nazareth

Next week: March 17, 10:00 am

Readers: Kathy Conway, Katie Wade, Shaun Landers
Chalicist: Roger Riedel
Ushers: Ladi and Oyin Owolabi
Altar Guild: Theresa and John Scharff
Coffee Hour: Margo and Daniel Greenfield

This week: March 10th

Next week: March 17th

Second Sunday in Lent
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.