January 2020
Dear Sunday School Families,

Welcome to the first edition of St. Stephen's Sunday School News!  This monthly email will be your digital source for information about upcoming events, as well as the weekly "Family Page" that is part of our Sparkhouse Digital curriculum.  

Hopefully, you will use the "Family Page" to follow up with your children about what they learned in Sunday School.  While we are thrilled that you trust us to take part in your children's Christian formation, the reality is that we cannot do it alone.  Children who have regular opportunities to talk about God and faith at home, as well as in church, are more likely to make faith a regular part of their lives well into adulthood.  If you or your children have any questions or simply want to talk more about what they are learning, please talk to me.  Almost nothing makes me happier than talking to children about God and faith - in part because I love children and young people in church, in part because I probably learn as much from them as they do from me!

For those weeks when getting to church and Sunday School is impossible, please take a few minutes to read the stories for the week with your children.  If you did not receive the Bible we have for your child, please ask.  I have them in the office.  

Peace & Blessings,
Family Pages for This Month
Here are the links to the Sparkhouse Digital "Family Pages."  If you are promoted to enter a password, it is "Sunday School".  The italicized pages are those that correspond to the lectionary for the Sunday.  

January 12th - Jesus' Baptism 
January 19th - Peter's Dream

Upcoming Events and Other News
January 26th is Youth Sunday.  If there are any children who would like to read a lesson or lead the Prayers of the People, please let Rev. Paula know.

February 9th is our Annual Meeting.  We'll have the 10:00 service in the fellowship hall with a Table Eucharist (like last year).  Greg will be with us and will lead the children in a child-friendly version of the discussion the adults will have during the homily time.  We'll be talking about our dreams for St. Stephen's and will have the chance to decorate the "DREAM" sign that is on the lawn.  This will be an indoor activity.

February 23rd is Youth Sunday with a special guest.  Anthony Briggs, Executive Director of Crossroads Camp and Retreat Center will be here to talk about youth retreats and summer camp, as well as the programs available to the rest of us.  A nice segue into the next bit of information...

Do you know about Crossroads?  It is truly a gem and one of the most important ministries in the diocese.  You can check them out here.  In addition to a wonderful summer camp (Ask Kathleen Toland about it while she's home. She worked there last summer and is hoping to work there again this year.), they have retreats for children grades 3-5 and 6-8.  This year the Elementary School Retreat is February 14-16th and the Middle School Retreat is March 13-15th or April 24th to 26th.  There is a small fee to attend but don't let that worry you.  If you need help with the fee, we'll be happy to help.

In addition to summer camp and retreats, Crossroads has an active role in the diocesan Pop-Up Youth Ministry, which is a youth group for kids in grades 6-12 from all across the diocese.  Activities and location vary month-to-month but all are a blast!  Because we are a small parish with not enough middle and high school age children to have our own youth group, this is a great option.  Rev. Paula would be happy to go to the March, May, or June events with any of our kids who are interested, knowing that this year there are only a couple old enough.  

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.