September 8, 2021
Message from Rev. Paula
Beloved Community,

So what does a faithful community do when a flood has damaged the building and there's not much you can do until the professionals arrive to do the heavy work of safe clean-up and the insurance adjuster visits to do that assessment? I don't know if there is a universal answer to that question, but I do know that here at St. Stephen's we do what we do best. We share God's love and grace as best we can with as many people as possible.

See the next section of the newsletter for more information about how we shared a meal with our neighbors, which we realized as we were planning it, may well be something Jesus would have done. Learn, too about how we can continue to support two of our partner ministries, Cross Roads and Family Promise Essex County (formerly IHN).

Although we're unable to worship together in this space, we can still worship: together at Christ Church in Short Hills or via their live stream, or we can take this opportunity to visit other parishes. At times like this, it is a blessing to be connected in the ways that we are in the Episcopal Church.

Our other planning continues, though we are not as far along as we thought we would be. The Preschool was scheduled to re-open this past Tuesday, which couldn't happen but we anticipate being to open on Monday, converting two upstairs rooms to temporary classrooms, while the work on the downstairs classrooms is done. Our St. Stephen's Day plans for this week are postponed until October 3rd, which now is also the day we will officially welcome Grace Savoia-DiGregorio as the Children's Chapel & Youth Group Coordinator.

I'd be lying if I said there haven't been moments of deep frustration and anger, along with some deep sadness, that we have to deal with another flood just as we were starting to feel confident about our plans to live our faith with the reality of Covid as a chronic condition. I, for one, am grateful for the example of psalm-like prayer where a full expression of all types of feelings is the norm.

I'm more grateful for all of you and for having the resources to respond to this situation relatively quickly and thoroughly. There are so many people and places, many literally in our neighborhood, that are not so lucky, which is why we do our best to share God's love as best we can with as many people as possible. Please check out the next section of this newsletter, "Community Outreach" for information about some of the ways we are doing our best to live our faith as faithfully as we can.

Peace & Blessings,
Community Outreach

There are options to walk at Cross Roads or remotely. Or you can be a "Cheerleader" and join the volley ball fun in the afternoon.

Family Promise - link to register to walk

FP Walk in Love Page - link to Team fundraising page
On Sunday, September 5th, we hosted a cookout for 23 of our neighbors, many of whom are facing months of recovery from the floods. There isn't much we can do to help them at this point (although the working shower in the preschool feels like a blessing to some of them), but we can cook and bake and grill and set tables with cloth tablecloths and centerpieces made with the flowers we ordered for the altar today. All simple things. All examples of the profound grace that is found in caring, compassionate relationships. And it just may be what Jesus would have us do.

See more pics on our Facebook page.

Two of our partner ministries have fundraising events in October: Cross Roads and Family Promise Essex County. Because we love them both and the incredible work they do, we have found a way to support them both.
We'll have one team, the "Walk in Love" Team, and then we'll do a lot of walking!

There are a few ways to participate:

  1. Go to their websites and and sign-up. Be sure to sign up for the Walk in Love Team.
  2. Donate to the Team using or sending a check to the church. Be sure to note that it is for "Walk in Love".
  3. Ask your friends and families to join you or to donate.

Any donations to the individual programs will support that program. We will share whatever donations we receive at the church evenly between them.

On Saturday, we will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks with bell ringing. The bells will toll at four times:

8:46 AM (WTC North Tower attacked)
9:03 AM (WTC South Tower attacked)
9:37 AM (Pentagon attacked)
10:03 AM (Flight 93 crashed)
Connection & Common Worship

Our flood damage remediation is in progress!

Sadly our service on Sunday, September 12th is canceled, but we will keep you updated when we can safely enter and resume service inside St. Stephen's. At this time we anticipate October 3rd, though it may be September 26th.

For the meantime, Christ Church in Short Hills has graciously extended their invitation to join them for worship. Rev. Paula will be there again this Sunday and would love to see you in attendance as well.

If you cannot attend in person, please do enjoy the service on Christ Church's YouTube channel.

Should you wish to attend another service, please know that any Episcopal Church will warmly welcome you!

In challenging times like these, it is especially important for us to gather together in church, connect with God, and support and encourage one another.
From Bishop Hughes & The Episcopal Church
THE BISHOP'S VLOG - Week of 9/8/21
Start with one thing today

Bishop Hughes invites us to remember "...if every single one of us does a little bit, if every single one of us does one thing only, then God, working through us, is able to make big changes in the world."
The VOICE Online Link Week of 9/8/21

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

Episcopal Relief & Development continues to support regional partners in response to Hurricane Ida as many continue to face power outages, lack of water and extensive property damage to homes and businesses.

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

The world's top three Christian leaders—Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby— have jointly warned of the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on poverty, and the importance of global cooperation.

Read the press release 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.
Reading with Rector Returns!
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
Sue Monk Kidd imagines the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.

The Beauty in Breaking, by Michele Harper
Michele Harper is a female, African American emergency room physician. Brought up in Washington, D.C., in a complicated family, she went to Harvard, where she met her husband. Two months before she was scheduled to join the staff of a hospital in central Philadelphia, he told her he couldn’t move with her. Harper began her new life in a new city, in a new job, as a newly single woman. In the ensuing years, as Harper learned to become an effective ER physician, bringing insight and empathy to every patient encounter, she came to understand that each of us is broken—physically, emotionally, psychically.
Faithful Outreach
Low-income families in this country are facing unprecedented social and economic challenges from the pandemic. Job losses, health care expenses, and child-care have all combined to raise the number of evictions.

A donation can help Family Promise of Essex County to remain responsive to families’ emerging needs and its impact in our communities.

To read the Family Promise Newsletter, please click here.

Collection bins are located outside the Narthex doors in the parking lot. Donations can be dropped off at any time.

Apostles' House needs: canned goods and non-perishable food items. 

North Porch 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 at the following links:

The Apostles' House Donation Link
North Porch Donation Link

Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center


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

Click here for more information.
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. All youth grades 6-12 are encouraged to join the monthly events. Follow YM on Instagram and Facebook at @popupym.
Resources During Covid
There are many, many resources available to parishes and individuals to help sustain our faith practices during this unprecedented time. See resources 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 if 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
Linda Moran
Greg Shuss
Matthew Price
Nicole & Emma
Ningyu Liu
Jamie Stack
Dan Bullock
KT Thalin
Mike Losito
Sunday Lectionary
September 12, 2021

Proverbs 1:20-33
Psalm 19
James 3:1-12
Mark 8:27-38

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