A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

Since Easter morning, and continuing through Sunday, The Day of Pentecost, I am reading an essay a day from one of my new favorite books, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places, by Kaitlin B. Curtice, for the morning time of prayer and reflection on Facebook.  I realized just a few minutes ago, quite literally as I sat down to write this message, that the experience of reading, reflecting, and praying in this way has shaped my response to this pandemic and the fast from in-person gatherings in ways that perhaps nothing else could.

I picked up the book just a day or two before Easter and read two or three of the essays before realizing that this was just what I needed to be able to be maintain a twice daily schedule of online presence and connection with you.  At that point, I put the book down and have been enjoying it a day at a time, seeing and hearing for the first time as I read to you.  Kaitlin's beautiful prose washes over me and invites me to bask in the warmth of her profound faith, experienced in and through day-to-day experiences that she truly notices in ways that are unusual and grace-filled. 

This connection to you as I am reminded of how to see and celebrate God's glory in all manner of everyday, ordinary experiences continues to bolster my spirits and to remind me that we are the church - the people living every ordinary lives in everyday ordinary places - that God's glory shines in and through all of it and all of us.


Peace & Blessings,
Paula+
Zoom Coffee Hour
We miss you!  We are impatient to see your face and hear your voice.  We are pretty sure you miss seeing and talking to each other, too.  

So...we invite you to Zoom Coffee Hour!  Each Sunday at 11:00 AM, we'll open the Zoom space so that we can be together again.  Watch the service at 10:00 AM, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and join the fun.  We'll be around from 11:00 to noon.

We're not trying to exclude anyone and we want to be sure that our time is not interrupted by Zoom bombing or other unwelcome attention.  So if you want to join us (We sure hope you do!), send an email to Rev. Paula at rector@ststephensmillburn.org by 10:45 AM that morning and she'll respond with the log in 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
Our next Reading with the Rector via Zoom is scheduled for Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 12:15 PM. We will be discussing the Sermons of the late Bishop Barbara C. Harris as published in Parting Words: A Farewell Discourse, Cowley Publications, 2003.

The sermons can be found on the St. Stephen's website here.  And you can access the Zoom meeting information from the website calendar here.  We hope you will join us!

From Bishop Hughes
Bishop Hughes' vlog for May 27th may be found here.

This week's 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.


Faithful Outreach


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.

1. Apostles' House Food Barrel - A weather-proof collection bin will be placed outside at St. Stephen's 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 will be available for North Porch donations.  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.

The Apostles' House Food Pantry

North Porch Women and Infant Centers
Donation link & information: http://www.northporch.org/make-a-donation/#needs

4. Christine's Kitchen, Holy Trinity Church, West Orange - St. Stephen's will be providing 120 bagged lunches on Saturday, May 30.  Thank you to all who have committed to donating them thus far.  For more information, please email Deryck Rugbeer at deryck.rugbeer@ubs.com.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the parish office at  church@ststephensmillburn.org or  rector@ststephensmillburn.org.

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, 'Glory Happening' daily readings and reflections (through May), 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.

Giving in Faith
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.
Stewardship Matters from the Episcopal Diocese of Newark

EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT.

As we enter the 12th? The 13th? The four hundred and fifty-seventh week of stay at home? Let's stop for a minute. Let's stop and reflect on what we notice is different, really different, in our lives as Episcopalians.

Our Sunday services are different. Our buildings are closed. Our choirs are not singing, at least in church. There is no offering plate being passed. No shared food at coffee hour.

Everything is different.  Sunday services have moved online. Many churches have expanded their services to prayers and services throughout the week. Choirs are stilled for now but many church musicians are finding ways to make music. We're learning new habits of giving even without a church offering plate (at least a physical one) and we're certainly working at keeping community going through Zoom, phone calls, and prayer chains.

Everything is different, but God's love for us is the same.
So as we think about the work ahead in Stewardship this year, we can't pretend that it won't be challenging. It will be. This will not be the year that anyone can expect to pull out last year's files and just repeat the formula. (Honestly that was not a good idea last year). It really won't work in 2020: Everything is different.

And that's good.  It means we can focus on the important things, the things that have become so crystal clear to us through the last few months. Let's focus on how much we value our church family. Let's focus on the joy of finding worship and community in unexpected (and virtual) places. Let's focus on the ways God and God's love keep showing up in our lives. 

Those of us in Stewardship roles at our churches have gotten a gift --a gift that is also a great big wakeup call. Let's take the time to recognize how everything is different, and how God's love for us is the same. Let's share those stories now, and as we look forward. 

Take care,
Cynthia  McChesney, Missioner for Stewardship and Legacy Giving

p.s. Join the Diocesan Stewardship conversation on Facebook 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.

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.

Church Publishing has also made available until April 15th a wonderful children's book about Compline, Candle Walk by Karin Holsinger Sherman.  If you listened to Rev. Paula's very first Facebook Live event the evening of March 20th, you heard her read this story.  You'l find these and other resources on the company's website or here, an Episcopal News Service link.

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
Jamie Forgacs
Roy Williams
Jack Moreno
Gail Pavlik
Stephanie Gubin
Sue Macbeth
Francis
Christine Conti
Shanisha
Pedro Villagran
Gregory Shuss
Carolyn Romano
Kenneth Armstrong
Sara Ruth Dorn

Lectionary

This Week:  May 31
 

Next Week:  June 7


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.