A Message from Rev. Paula+
Beloved Community,

Doreen and I have been talking about this newsletter for several weeks now.   It has been important to us to keep it going weekly during this time of fasting from in-person gathering.  There really isn't any better way for us to communicate with all of you.  As much as we love ("LOVE!!!" would be more accurate) the rare opportunities we get to speak in person (physically distanced and masked, of course) or on the phone, we also know those are not the best ways to share all the news there is to share.  At the same time, all of us are feeling some level of virtual fatigue, with so much of life happening in front of a computer.  Then there's the common observation that living virtually requires a different kind of energy, with familiar tasks taking a whole lot more time to complete.  And do I even have to mention the impact on our inboxes when so much is being done remotely?  So...

Beginning today, we are making a few changes to the newsletter:
  • The full newsletter will be sent the first and third weeks of the month.  That will be the time to read all the news in detail.
  • An abbreviated version will be sent the second, fourth, and, occasionally, fifth weeks of the month. We'll include the links for those things we've written about before, such as the outreach opportunities, diocesan resources, etc.  If there is something important and time-sensitive, such as a diocesan event with a registration deadline, we'll include that, too, clearly marked "NEW" or something along those lines.  We'll always include the most current lectionary information and prayer list.
  • From time to time, such as when we have a death in the parish family or when something especially wonderful happens or when we finalize the Lent and Holy Week service schedule, we'll send a "SPECIAL EDITION:..."
  • When we finalize the Children's Chapel programming for the year - We're almost there! - we'll resume the monthly "Children's Chapel News" for those families.  
We hope these changes work well for you, as we continue to settle into this strange new way of living our faith.  Remember, you can always call, email, or text if you need any information.  We're here and love to hear from you.

Peace & Blessings,
Office Note / Preschool
St. Stephen's Pre-School reopened on Tuesday, September 1st.  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!

PLEASE NOTE:  We have some openings at the preschool.  
If you know of a family that may be interested, please have them contact our Director, Nancy Siracusa at sspsmillburn@gmail.com or call 973-376-3534 Ext. 20.  The preschool has learning programs for Infants, Toddlers, Pre-K and Kindergarten.
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" here.

Our Sunday worship service will be posted to Facebook every Sunday morning at 8:15 AM and will be available on our YouTube channel.  This 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.

 Bulletins for the Sunday services can be found here.

FYI - St. Stephen's is on Facebook EVERY DAY!  Daily Prayer:  M-W-F at 8:30 AM, T-TH-SAT at 7:45 PM
Most days, Rev. Paula will lead prayer live, though occasionally it will be a "Prayerful Interlude" or a recorded reflection. Videos of all the posts can easily be accessed from the Facebook video library here.

UPDATED: From Bishop Hughes

BISHOP HUGHES' VLOGS can be viewed here.  

The Voice Online may be found here.  

Bishop Hughes invites all of us to write down our prayers during this pandemic and share them with the diocese, as a way to help each other. The prayers will be shared on the diocesan website in The VOICE and on social media. Prayers can be sent to Canon Wright at awright@dioceseofnewark.org for posting. Please include the name and town of your church. 
A holy place in virtual space for mourning and memory. This is a place to gather, grieve, reflect and honor the lives of those who have died during the time of the pandemic, whether or not it was due to the virus. To visit the wall and/or submit a name, click here.
NEW & UPDATED: Zoom Events
Friday, October 2, 9 AM

The Interfaith Bible Hour, formerly Bakery Bible Hour, will be resuming on the first Friday of each month, beginning, Friday, October 2 at 9 AM.  We will continue gathering virtually with our friends from Christ Church in Short Hills and Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, and will be reading Genesis, focusing on the narrative arcs involving the children of Abraham and Sarah.

Information about how to join the Zoom discussion and which chapters to read will be coming soon.

Saturday, October 3, 9 AM - 12 PM

Workshops relevant to this extraordinary time for ALL congregational leaders! Stay at home and join us online via computer, tablet or smart phone.  

Click here to register online before the deadline of 5pm on Wednesday, September 30. There is no cost for this event but we do need you to register in order to participate.

Saturday, October 3, 2 - 3:30 PM

Sister Victoria Michelle, of the Episcopal Community of St. John Baptist (CSJB), will lead the virtual workshop through Zoom.  You will learn about the rich symbolism of the beads and how to create your own devotional item using a wooden Anglican Rosary Bead kit, which will be mailed to you upon receipt of your reservation. Praying with beads can be a wonderful meditative practice enabling us to quiet our minds, open our hearts, and to support the spirit in prayer.

The cost of the workshop is a $25 donation, which includes the bead kit, postage, and will also support the ministries of CSJB. Payment can be made by check payable to the Community of St. John Baptist, and mailed to PO Box 240, Mendham, NJ 07945, or through PayPal at https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/CommunityofStJohnBap. The Zoom link will be emailed to you. To reserve your spot, please email srmc@csjb.org.

Sunday, October 4, 12 PM (after Coffee Hour)

Hello All,
We will be meeting, via Zoom, for our next Book Group on October 4th.  Rev. Paula has recommended that we read the Book of Esther for our choice.  We will talk about future book choices at the meeting, so think of any suggestions you may have. 

Details and a Zoom link will be given as we get closer to the date. Thanks, Barbara

Sundays at 11 AM 

Watch the service at 10 AM, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and join the fun.  We'll be around from 11 AM to noon.

Meeting ID: 895 5857 6382

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 Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center  Zoom Events
Saturday, October 3

Lace up your running (or walking!) shoes to take part in the Rally for Cross Roads Virtual Run/Walk.  All ages and abilities are invited to participate.  All racing will take place on your own or with your family and friends.  We're excited to see all of the routes people take! We encourage you to race on Saturday, October 3 between 9 AM and 9 PM.  And be sure you follow Cross Roads on Facebook and Instagram to join in on the full weekend of virtual fun, including check-ins with participants around the state and a virtual campfire!

For details and to register, click here.

Rev. Paula and Ron will be walking a 5K to support the awesome Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center.  If you'd like to help them achieve their team goal of $500, visit their team link here.
Better yet - Join the St. Stephen's Strollers team and do a physically distanced group walk with them!  Contact Rev. Paula at rector@ststephensmillburn.org if you are interested.

One Wednesday a month, 10 AM - 12 PM

These monthly retreats are open to all people interested in exploring new faith practices. Attend one or attend all-and be sure to invite friends to join you. Led by a spiritual director and focusing on a different spiritual practice or theme each month, the cost is $10 per gathering.  Visit the Cross Roads link here for dates and to register.

"The Way of Love"
A one-day virtual retreat led by Laurie Matarazzo and Dale Selover 

Four dates to choose from: Saturday, 9/26;  Sunday, 9/27; Saturday, 10/10; or Sunday, 10/11

The retreat program will begin at 10 AM and conclude by 4 PM, with a two-hour break for lunch and individual reflection time. Though we cannot gather in person, we hope you will join us on Zoom for a day of conversation, reflection, prayer, and laughter together. The cost for the day-long retreat is $40.  Visit the link here for details and to register.

NEW: Marist College LGBTQ+ Allyship Survey
Please consider sharing and/or participating in the Marist College study on LGBTQ+ allyship.  They are still in need of participants for their survey on LGBTQ+ allyship development within religious and spiritual contexts

Drs. Thomas Killian, Emma Fredrick, and Kristin Jay, are Professors of Psychology at Marist College and reached out to St. Stephen's regarding their study.  Anyone, including those who identify as LGBTQ+, is free to participate, even if they are not an active member of our congregation. 

The purpose of this study is to survey individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ allies, religious, and spiritual in order to uncover the complexity of this intersectional identity integration process and the effects of religion and spirituality on ally development. We define LGBTQ+ ally as any person (including those who are members of the LGBTQ+ community) who actively supports or advocates for those who hold similar or differing sexual/affectional or gender variant identities.

The survey is online, anonymous, and estimated to take about 20-30 minutes to complete. Visit here for a link to the study.  Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Killian with any questions or concerns to thomas.killian@marist.edu.

Thomas Killian, PhD, NCC
Assistant Professor of Psychology/Clinical Mental Health Counseling 
Marist College
Pronouns: He/Him/His
 Faithful Outreach
Unwanted shoes are turned into opportunity, by keeping them from going to landfills and putting them to good use - providing relief, creating jobs and empowering women to break the cycle of poverty.  When you donate a pair of shoes, it's more than just cleaning out your closet - you're helping the planet AND changing someone's life!

Shoes in wearable condition can be donated at the Soles4Soles drop-off site located at the Foot Health Center, 1500 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange.  The center is open M & TH 8-5, T 8-4, W & FR 8-2, Closed Sat & Sun.  Please call first to confirm hours and that donations are still being accepted, (973) 731-1266.  For more information about Soles4Soles, please visit their website here.

During a recent Sunday service we sang a hymn where God asks, "Whom Shall I send? and the people respond, "Here I am Lord. ... I will go, Lord, if you lead me, I will hold your people in my heart." Those words resounded for me as I made another food delivery to Apostle's House in Newark, the recipient of our Food Barrel. We are attending church via TV, Facebook or You Tube. We are not at 119 Main Street, and yet, the food donations keep coming. The people of St. Stephen's have answered again and now again, "Here I am Lord".  - Barbara Riedel

Thank you to all who have dropped off donations already!  
PLEASE KEEP THE CONTRIBUTIONS COMING and remember to check the expiration dates before sending your items.  Donation bins are located outside of the St. Stephen's Narthex parking lot entry doors. 

Apostles' House - Items needed - Canned goods and non-perishable food items. 
North Porch Women & Infants' Centers is in URGENT need of Enfamil Infant Formula 12.5 oz containers (yellow label), baby wipes, and diapers size 4, 5, and 6.

Online Donations - If you are unable to drop off items at the church, and would like to contribute, you can make purchases and/or donations directly to these organizations. 
North Porch Donation link & information.  North Porch Amazon Smile direct link.
The Apostles' House Food Pantry link.

The Apostles' House Campaign

Help Newark Families on the Cusp of Becoming Homeless

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Newark residents are experiencing an enormous amount of stress as they fight 
to keep a roof 
over their heads and the lights on, despite their loss of income and reduced wages.

"Everyday, we receive dozens of calls from individuals asking for help. It is truly heartbreaking to hear their stories and not be able to provide help," says executive director, Nadege Duvernay.

In response to the community's outcry for help, TAH Fundraising Committee has launched a campaign to raise funds to assist members of the Newark community with back rent, mortgage assistance and utilities. Please help them reach their goal. (As of today's date, they are at approximately $4,000 of their $200,000 goal.)

Youth & Teen Resources and Events
Cross Roads offers programs and events year-round for kids in elementary and middle school, as well as young adults.  Stay tuned for what's coming up in the fall!  You can follow the Cross Roads Facebook page here and follow them on Instagram @crossroads.camp.  

September 20 at 4 PM.

Pop Up is a welcoming ministry of the Diocese of Newark bringing together youth for fun activities, community, and faith formation. All youth grades 6-12 are encouraged to join us for our monthly events. Follow YM on Facebook and Instagram @popupym.

We hope that you have enjoyed your summer and have had the chance to get off of your screens. However your school year is starting, it certainly is different. Whether you go with the flow or the flow is more stressful than your style, this is hard. 

We can't wait until we can safely see each other in person once again, but until then we want to see you virtually! Join us on Zoom for some time together to decompress with friends and reconnect with God. Click here to register for our Zoom meeting on Sunday, September 20th at 4:00PM. See you then!
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.  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.

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
Eleanor Robinson
Bernard & Nathan
The Fitzgerald Family
Jack Moreno
Stephanie Gubin
Sue Macbeth
Marcia Mein
Christine Conti
Felder Dorn
James Tranberg
Debbie and Geoff Robarge


This Week:  September 20

Next Week:  September 27

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

The Rev. Paula J. Toland, Rector can be reached at ext. 21 or 
She is an occasional blogger at fromthestillness.