September 1, 2021
Message from Rev. Paula
Beloved Community,

When Maria and I talked about this newsletter just yesterday, we planned that it would include lots of previews of events that are coming soon. That changed with the arrival of Hurricane Ida, which took quite a toll on downtown Millburn. For several hours last night and into early this morning, Main, Rector, and Church Streets were raging rivers, with debris of all kinds tumbling by. The campus was under water and today we see a lot of the debris that made it through the gates and then got hung up. Thankfully, everyone here is safe and there is no irreversible damage. We were not spared, nor did we suffer the worst of it.

Before I tell you what's happening here, I need to ask: How are you? I hope and pray that you are physically safe and that your property did not sustain damage. If you need anything, call me or text me or email me. (Calls or texts I get right away; email I need to check.) If it is not something I can help you with, I'll do my very best to figure out who can. It's okay, too, to text or email just to let me know that you are okay. I happily pray for you all of the time. I'd be even happier to pray thanks to God knowing you are okay

We had quite a bit of flooding in the rectory and church basements and in the downstairs preschool rooms. Suffice it to say that my time and energy this morning has been focused on identifying the problem areas, prioritizing needs, getting the right people in to take care of the most pressing needs, arranging for professional clean-up services, and talking to our insurance company.

This is not something I have done by myself. Ron, Peter, Roger, and Nancy Siracusa have all been a part of this. Scott Secour from Palmer Plumbing, the guy who installed our new heating is here, because the flooding in the furnace room was at least three feet and the furnace alarms were going off. He is going to help us pump out the water in the other spaces, all of which have sump pumps that have been working throughout the night. Maria is working from home today because our regular ministry continues and we've got some exciting plans for September 12th and beyond. (You'll hear more about those things at church on Sunday and in next week's newsletter.)

Heartfelt thanks to those of you who have called, emailed, or texted, just to check in to see how we are doing. It means more than these words can convey. And it reminds me of how much integrity and authenticity there are in the words, "The Church on Main Street...where love begets love."

Peace & Blessings,

UPDATED: Children's Chapel & Youth Group
Great news: Welcome (back) Grace Savoia-DiGregorio!

Grace, who some of you will remember from when she and her sister, Sage, were growing up here, is our new Children's Chapel & Youth Group Coordinator. Her first Sunday with us will be September 19th. Between now and then, she and Rev. Paula will begin planning what is sure to be a fun and faith-filled year for our younger members.

Children's Chapel programming for older preschool and elementary school children will begin on October 3rd, though online or in-person or hybrid is still an open question. When we are in-person, we'd welcome volunteers to assist Grace in that class.

The start date for Youth Group, which will include some fun Bible study and outreach projects, hasn't been decided but we will have two great opportunities to be a part of St. Stephen's "Walk in Love" team to support Cross Roads and Family Promise Essex County. More to come on that next week but if you want to save the dates, it's October 2nd for Cross Roads and October 16th for Family Promise.
Connection & Common Worship
UPDATED: Welcome!
It's wonderful to be with each other in church! We will continue to gather in-person as long as it safe to do so. We will keep you posted about any changes. Essex County remains at high/orange risk, with new cases and the positive test rate increasing. Our service on September 5th will be the Liturgy of the Word with no congregational singing.

We continue to follow safety precautions and lovingly require that you wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times while in the building and maintain physical distance. Enter at the Narthex door (Christian Education building). Someone will welcome you and take your temperature. An usher will assist you with seating in the church.

Welcome to everyone, whether in person or participating via broadcast. The details for the virtual service are noted below.

WORSHIP, Sundays, 10 AM
Live-streamed to YouTube, Facebook, and via Zoom. Bulletins are available on the St. Stephen's website. All links can be found at the bottom of the newsletter.
NEW Zoom passcode is SSM119.

To call in, dial by your location:
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 864 1664 1640
Passcode: SSM119

The Sunday service will also be broadcast on HTTV (Comcast TV 36 and Verizon TV 33) on Tuesday at 6 AM and 3 PM.

Coffee hour is suspended due to the orange/high risk level in Essex Country.
From Bishop Hughes & The Episcopal Church

The VOICE Online Link Week of 8/18.

This edition of the VOICE Online includes Bishop Hughes' helpful reminder to keep ourselves ready -- keep our lamps trimmed and burning -- in these troubling, chaotic times.

Sign up to get e-newsletters and important announcements directly from diocesan headquarters. Find out more and subscribe here.

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana and other regional partners impacted by Hurricane Ida.

To read the press release, or make a donation, click here.

Press Release - 8/31/21

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry highlights ways to help Afghan refugees through Episcopal Migration Ministries.

Read his message here.

A Service of Prayer & Music on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

This service will premiere on the diocesan YouTube channel at 10am on September 11, 2021, and then remain viewable on demand.

Join in for prayer, music, and a message from Bishop Hughes.
The Retreat Center offers free online courses to pray, reflect, make space for grace and listen to the voice of God. No registration is required. Each retreat takes place over five half-hour sessions and is viewable on the Trinity Retreat Center's Facebook page. For further information on offerings this Fall, click here.
Drumming Camp!
<-- my temp photo
It was a steamy, wonderful three days of Drumming Camp last week. Each day was filled with crafts, games, food, and most importantly dancing and drumming with Yah Ya! Our campers departed with huge smiles, backpacks, goodie bags, photos, and the reminder to always "Be yourself. You're a gift!"

Special thanks to everyone who helped to make Drumming Camp 2021 a tremendous success.
Reading with Rector

It's not too early to check your local library or favorite bookstore for these fall selections:

The Book of Longings
by Sue Monk Kidd

The Beauty in Breaking
by Michele Harper

Faithful Outreach

To read the Family Promise July Newsletter, please click here.

North Porch Donation Link

The Apostles' House Donation Link
Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center

Check out all the fun and interesting year-round programs for children, adults and families.

Teen and Youth Ministries

Pop Up is a welcoming ministry of the Diocese of Newark bringing together youth for fun activities, community, and faith formation.

Stay tuned for exciting activities coming this Fall.
Resources During Covid
There are many, many resources available to parishes and individuals to help sustain our faith practices during this unprecedented time. We have moved the list to our website here. This is by no means a complete list, though it does cover many areas of need.

In this time of Crisis, there are resources that can help you or someone you know needs assistance. Please contact NJ Mental Health Cares for free helpline telephone counseling or assistance. Call 866-202-4357.
TTY: 1-877-294-4356.

Other resources are:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Crisis Text Line, 741741
NJ Hope Line (suicide prevention) 
Please keep the following St. Stephen's family members and friends in your prayers...

Ian Janeczko, Peggy Thompson, Felder Dorn, Donna Riggi, The Blanchard Family, The McManus Family, Bernard & Nathan, The Fitzgerald Family, Lucille B., Jack Moreno, Jim Freeman, The May Family, Mary Jo Zarance, Joseph G., Kelly Olson, Jane Rossiter, Ruth Pitts, Linda Moran, Greg Shuss, Matthew Price, Nicole and Emma, Carl Clemons, Ningyu Liu, Ethan Toland, Jamie Stack
Sunday Lectionary
September 5, 2021
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
Psalm 125
James 2:1-10, [11-13], 14-17
Mark 7:24-37

We will hear these readings so that we observe the time guidelines during Covid. If you'd like to read the full lectionary for the week, you may do so here.
Giving with
Giving with is easy with options for recurring donations or one-time use for when you are away or not able to be in church (like all of us now due to COVID restrictions).

You can access via their website or their app on your smart phone. Be sure to search for the correct account - "St. Stephen's Church Millburn." Once you have accessed the account page with our address, you will be instructed to follow the prompts.
Office Notes
Due to COVID restrictions, only teachers and staff are allowed to be in the building during school hours. If you need to visit the parish office/building for any reason, please contact us for an appointment. Thank you.
Important Links
Zoom Links
Links for Sunday Worship Live-Stream & Social Media
Website Links
Other Social Media Links
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
119 Main Street, Millburn, NJ 07041

Parish Administrator, Maria T. Card
973.376.0688, Ext. 32

Rector, The Rev. Paula J. Toland
973.376.0688, Ext. 21

Fax: 973.376.4002


Director: Nancy Siracusa
Phone: 973.376.3534, Ext. 20