A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

The other day I was talking to someone about their "30 second elevator speech."  This got me thinking about what my 30 second elevator speech about St. Stephen's might be.  I'm not ashamed to say that I may have failed this intellectual exercise.  For the life of me, I could not come up with a 30 second explanation of why I think St. Stephen's is one of the most - if not THE most - wonderful parish in the whole of the Episcopal Church.  The best I could come up with was some version of: "The people are wonderful: deeply faithful, joy-filled, and fun.  We do so much for and with each other and for the wider community, all of it rooted in our understanding of our Christian faith and identity.  We are inviting and truly welcoming of all people. We live our understanding that "love begets love" and, to top it all off, we have a beautiful historic building on a lovely campus right on Main Street."

Now, that might not be the worst 30 second elevator speech ever but it doesn't begin to tell the full story of who we are, does it?  It doesn't say anything specific about our worship, including the marvelous music ministry.   It makes no mention of the Preschool or the cemetery, nor of Sunday School or Adult Formation.  It doesn't include anything specific about our outreach ministries, from the Food Barrel to Christine's Kitchen to IHN, not to mention our support of North Porch, First Friends, Prison Ministries, Angel Tree, and Thanksgiving Boxes.  (I'm sure I'm missing something.)  It makes no mention of our relationships with AA or the Show Choir.   And how could any description of St. Stephen's not include Drumming Camp?

I think the most significant thing missing in my attempt is something that is harder to articulate to someone who does not know you or this parish: you are some of the most incredibly open and courageous people anywhere.  While holding deeply a love of the traditions of the Church and the customs of the parish, you have an almost palpable willingness to trust the Holy Spirit to guide our discernment of how to "be Church" in this particular time in this particular place.  And that means that "holding deeply" does not mean "holding tightly" to the past, however you remember, understand, or cherish it.  And that, my friends, is one of the hallmarks of vital and vibrant parishes, the kinds of places in which transformation happens, one-by-each and as a community.

Peace & Blessings,
Sunday School Update
Plans for the "re-boot" are almost complete.  Please watch your email over the next several days for a special Sunday School edition of the newsletter.

A training day for wardens, vestry, members, treasurers, clergy and ALL congregational lay leaders to learn, network and celebrate your ministry will take place on  Saturday, October 5, 2019, 8am-12pm at St. Elizabeth's, Ridgewood.

Rev. Paula will be facilitating a conversation about healthy grieving, "Creating Wholeness: Living after Loss". 

Participants are invited to a light breakfast with Bishop Hughes before the workshop sessions, to share ideas and dreams about our future. Deadline to register is 5pm 9/27.  Register  here.

Please join us at Splurge Bakery in Millburn for this monthly Bible Study group.  We will meet the first Friday of each month, beginning October 4, 9-10am. This adult education program is in partnership with Christ Church, Short Hills and Congregation B'Nai Jeshurun.  All are welcome!

Our next book discussion will be  Sunday, October 6 at 11:30am. October's book selection is  Sacred Resistance: A Practical guide to Christian Witness & Dissent by Ginger Gaines-Cirelli. Join us!

We will celebrate St. Francis Day on October 6 at 3pm  with our annual 
community Blessing of the Animals on the parish lawn (or inside if it 


rains).  Joining us will be our friends from Christ Church in Short Hills.

For the safety of the pets, please have them come in an appropriate carrier or on a secure lead.

All animals will be blessed individually and will received a blessing certificate.

Members of St. Stephen's, Millburn, Christ Church, Short Hills and St. Paul's, Chatham have been invited to a retreat as the Advent season begins.

When: Saturday, December 7
Where: Convent of St. John Baptist, Mendham
Time: 10am - 5pm

Donation: $35 cash or check (payable to Convent of St. John Baptist)

RSVP: by November 1st to Doreen in the parish office

Once the participants have been confirmed, a schedule of the day will be provided. Generally, a retreat day includes quiet time, communal prayer, spiritual discussions, light refreshements and a delicious lunch.

This is a wonderful time of the year to pause and reflect - please consider giving yourself this gift!


Thursday, October 17, 7pm
Third Thursday Theater: Forbidden - Undocumented and Queer in Rural America; directed by Tiffany Rhynard

Sunday, October 20, 2-4pm
St. Stephen's Historic Cemetery Tour

Sunday, November 10, 4pm
Bekerath Organ Recital

Sunday, November 17, 4pm
Interfaith Coalition of Religious Leaders of Millburn & Short Hills Thanksgiving Service, Congregation B'nai Jeshurun
St. Stephen's Historic Cemetery Tour
PARISHIONERS AND FRIENDS, be sure you have on your calendar the tour of our historic cemetery that will be held on Sunday, October 20, 2019.  Walking tours will leave the cemetery gate at 451 Millburn Avenue (across from Millburn High School) at approximately 15-minute intervals between 2 and 4 PM.  Tours will stop at 12 burial sites, including one in the mausoleum.  At each gravesite, an impersonator will speak for the person buried there.  Included on the tour will be the resting places of a Union officer in the Civil War, a prominent arachnologist, a poet, and a Broadway actress.  The tour will take a little over and hour, and th ere is no admission charge.  Tourists must be able to walk on uneven ground.

St. Stephen's Cemetery opened in 1858 and is located on eight acres of land donated by Israel D. Condit, one of the founders of Millburn.  It has been a community cemetery from its beginning, open to members of all faiths.   
Come Join The Choir!
St. Stephen's has a long history of offering our children the opportunity to sing and make music with a worship context. This year, the children's choir will rehearse most Sundays from 11:30am-12noon and is open to children ages 5+.

Throughout the year there will be opportunities to sing during the 10am service, as well as other special occasions such as the Family Christmas Eve service.

If you would like your child(ren) to join this group, or you have any questions, please contact St. Stephen's Music Director, Kim Williams, a.k.a. "Miss Kim" at kimwilliams59@mac.com.

Sunday School Teacher Position Available !
We are looking for a Lead Sunday School Teacher for the 2019-2020 school year.  This is a paid position ($50/week) for up to three hours a week, including Sundays. There may be opportunities for additional hours throughout the year to accommodate special programming.

We are looking for someone who will use the Sparkhouse digital curriculum to bring Bible stories to life, lead children in prayer, help the children grow in their faith, and take the lead in managing a classroom.  The Lead Teacher will work with Rev. Paula to plan the programming and with a group of volunteers who will share the responsibility as the Teaching Assistant.

If you or anyone you know may be interested, please have them contact Rev. Paula at rector@ststephensmillburn.org.

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 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.
Wednesday Midday Prayer
Bakery Bible Hour
Reading with the Rector
Blessing of the Animals
Third Thursday Theater
Historic Cemetery Tour
Every Wednesday, 12 noon
October 4, 9am
October 6, 11:30am
October 6, 3pm
October 17, 7pm
October 20, 2-4pm


   This Week:  September 29, 8 am

   Reader & Chalicer:  Nancy Sieffert
   Altar Guild:  Nancy Sieffert


       This Week:  September 29, 10 am

Readers:   Fran Taber, Kira Hanson
       Chalicist:   Eric Maurer
       Ushers:    Steve Moran, Dan
       Altar Guild:  Alex Cole
Coffee Hour:  The Soughan Family

Next Week:  October 6, 8:00 am

Reader & Chalicer:   Carole Francis
Altar Guild:  TBD


Next Week:  October 6, 10:00 am

Readers:  Peter Wick, Theresa Scharff
Chalicist:  John Scharff
Ushers:  Maryalice Chech, Barbara Riedel
Altar Guild:  TBD  
Coffee Hour:  Heloisa Rooney

This Week:  September 29th

Next Week:  October 6th
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:  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.