A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

You may or may not be surprised by this but I am one of many who have strong ambivalent feelings about Thanksgiving.  I hold an awareness of the way we celebrate a story from our past with huge and hugely important gaps in the real story, which includes appropriation of land and other less than Christian or humane acts.  At the same time, I love the time with family and friends.  And the food...

My choice for many years now has been to focus on giving thanks for all the blessings of this life.  For me, the celebration has little, if anything, to do with the original meaning of the day, though I hold the first observation and all that it encompassed in my prayers.  This week I thought I would share with you some of my favorite quotes about gratitude.  Perhaps one or two of these will resonate with you as you celebrate the holiday in whatever way you do.

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough." - Anonymous

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie

"Joy is the simplest form of gratitude." - Karl Barth

"Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible." -  Anonymous

Peace & Blessings,
Office Notes

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the parish office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 28th and 29th.

Happy Thanksigiving!

Giving in Faith
As of November 25th, we have 25 pledges for a total of $102,050!  Our great start continues, though we are still short of what we need to continue to live our faith in the ways we like to do.  If you have not filled out a pledge card for this year, please do so soon.  Whether a repeat pledger or someone who is making this kind of commitment to the life of this vibrant parish for the first time, your pledge matters!  As you no doubt know by now,  as an Episcopal parish we are almost entirely self-funded.   Your financial stewardship enables the stewardship of our ministries.  
Youth Sunday Schedule


Thank you to all who donated turkey box dinners!  We were able to provide a full Thanksgiving meal for at least 11 drumming camp families in need.

Join us this Saturday, November 30th at 4:45pm as we add some cheerful music to this annual Millburn event! 

We'll gather on our lawn following the parade and tree lighting which begins at 3pm. Please contact the church office if you are interested in caroling with us.  The more the merrier! 

Please join the Coalition of Religious Leaders of Millburn & Short Hills to discuss the Jewish & Christian perspectives around the soul trait of Generosity.

This interfaith learning session is presented by Alan Breindel, Temple B'nai Jeshurun and Sister Donna L. Ciangio, St. Rose of Lima on
Wednesday, December 4, 7pm at
Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, 1025 South Orange Avenue, Short Hills.
Please RSVP  here.

Don't forget to join us at Splurge Bakery on Friday, December 6, 
9-10am, for this adult education program in partnership with Christ Church and B'nai Jeshurun.  

This group meets the first Friday of each month.  All are welcome!

Join Michael and Fangjie and others from the community on two Sundays: December 8 and 15 at 3:00 pm here at St. Stephen's for an hour of dancing fun and learning for all ages.


The Advent Series begins this Sunday, December 1st after church at 11:30am.   We will view a short video and discuss the "Introduction" and Chapter 1 of Light of the World: A Beginner's Guide to Advent by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine.  

We will be reading one chapter per week through December 22nd. 
( Please note: we may adjust the time on 12/22 to avoid a conflict with another Advent activity.)

As part of living into our identity as the "Church on Main Street," we are hosting a holiday concert for the Youth Orchestras of Essex County at 3pm on Sunday, December 15th. 

From Tchaikovsky to Tito Puente, the students have prepared an exciting program of the classics of the symphonic tradition and jazz standards. 

Open to the public, all ages welcome. A fun holiday event for the whole family!   For tickets, click here .
This special performance will include Christ Church Festival Choir and Orchestra including members of St. Stephen's Choir.  Sunday, December 15 at 4pm.  Free will donation and reception to follow. For more information, click here.

Stop by the Short Hills Mall California Pizza Kitchen for a delicious meal while you are holiday shopping and 20% of your check will be donated to St. Stephen's! (This includes dine-in, take-out, catering and all beverages.)

Bring the flyer on  Tuesday, December 17, 11am - 10pm for this special FUNdraiser!   F lyers are available on our Facebook page, in church, by the narthex bulletin board and from the church office.   Bon appetit and thank you!

SERVICES:  The Christmas services are finalized.  Please refer to "Events" for details.

FLOWERS:  If you would like to donate for Christmas flowers, please let Doreen know.  You may call the office at 973.376.0688, ext. 32 or email church@ststephensmillburn.org.

GREENING OF THE CHURCH:  We will be readying the church for Christmas celebrations after the 10am service on December 22nd.  Please join the Altar Guild for this time of preparation and fellowship.

Taylor Park Winter Walk & Caroling

Advent Festival of Lessons & Music

Advent Series, Week 1

First Wednesday Eucharist

Interfaith Huddle at B'nai Jeshurun

Bakery Bible Hour at Splurge Bakery

Advent Retreat at St. John Baptist

Advent Series, Week 2

Shall We Dance? Ballroom Dance Club

Preschool Committee Meeting

Advent Series, Week 3

Shall We Dance? Ballroom Dance Club

Youth Orchestras of Essex County
Winter Concert

Messiah at Christ Church in Short Hills

Pizza with a Purpose at California Pizza Kitchen, Short Hills Mall

Finance Committee Meeting

Blue Christmas

Greening of the Church

Advent Series, Week 4

Christmas Eve Family Service

Festival Christmas Eve Service

Christmas Day Eucharist

Beckerath Organ 50th Anniversary 2019-2020 Recital Series
John Charles Schucker
Johann Vexo
November 30, Parade at 3pm; Carolers gather at 4:45pm

December 1, 10am

December 1, 11:30am

December 3, 12 Noon

December 3, 7pm

December 6, 9am

December 7, 10am-5pm

December 8, 11:30am

December 8, 3pm

December 12, 7pm

December 15, 11:30am

December 15, 3pm

December 15, 3pm

December 15, 4pm

December 17, 11am - 10pm

December 18, 7:30pm

December 19, 7:30pm

December 22, 11:30am

December 22, 11:30am (Note: this time may change)

December 24, 5pm

December 24, 10pm

December 25, 10am

Sunday, February 23, 4pm
Sunday, April 19, 4pm

Liturgical Stewardship Schedule

December 1, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer:   Theresa Scharff
Altar Guild:  Carole Francis


December 1, 10:00 am

Readers:  Felder Dorn, Carole Francis, Kira Hanson, Barbara Riedel, Peter Wick, Fran Young
Ushers:   Frangjie-Liu and Michael Priddy
Altar Guild:  Theresa and John Scharff
Coffee Hour:  Vestry

   December 8, 8:00 am

   Reader & Chalicer:  Nancy Sieffert
   Altar Guild:  Nancy Sieffert


December 8, 10:00 am

Readers:  Kathy Conway, Barbara Riedel
Chalicist:  Sheelagh Clarke
Ushers:  Kathy and Tim Conway
Altar Guild:  Alex Cole
Coffee Hour:  Margo Greenfield

This Week:  December 1st

Next Week:  December 8th
Links to the Wider Church

The Episcopal Diocese of Newark

The Episcopal Church

The Presiding Bishop

Giving with Tithe.ly
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 it says "St. Stephen's Church, Millburn, NJ 07041."

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.
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:  FacebookInstagram and  Pinterest

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.