We are so glad you've found us.
Our hope is that you will more fully experience the presence of God in your life as you worship with us and continue your spiritual journey at St. Stephen's. You are invited to participate fully in the life of this community: worship, study, join a small group, participate in a variety of opportunities to serve others.
We want to meet you.
Newcomer gatherings: If you are new to St. Stephen's or to the Episcopal Church, we are delighted that you have chosen to continue your spiritual journey with us and hope that you have found a spiritual home here. Several times during the year, we hold informal gatherings with our rector, Gary Jones, to give you the opportunity to meet him and the staff, to learn more about this parish, and to ask any questions you may have. We love this opportunity to welcome you personally and to know you better in a low-key setting. Four gatherings are planned in 2016-17, some at lunchtime, some after work. Choose the one that best fits your schedule. More about the receptions, including registration links, can be found here.
Parish suppers: Another way to get acquainted in an informal setting is at one of our parish suppers. A weekly supper takes place Sundays at 6:30 p.m. between the Celtic service and Compline. Particular emphasis is placed on fresh, local ingredients, often from our Farmers Market vendors. The Sunday Community Supper takes place in the Large Fellowship Hall. On Wednesdays, we have supper together following Evensong (5:30 p.m.); dinner is served from 5:45 until 6:30 p.m., also in the Large Fellowship Hall.
Tell us about yourself: here is an online version of the visitor card you may have seen in the pew racks if you've attended a service in our church.
There are so many ways to get involved at St. Stephen's, and you are welcome to do as much or as little as you wish. Just know that there are Emmaus groups, book groups, men's and women's groups, Bible studies...numerous volunteer and outreach opportunities at the church, in the community and around the world...an altar guild, a flower guild, a prayer shawl knitting group, and much more. Janet Allen, our associate for membership, will be happy to explore the possibilities with you.
Learning more about being an Episcopalian
The clergy lead a seven-week Inquirers Class several times each year. If you've been thinking about joining St. Stephen's, this class can be helpful to you. (Long-time Episcopalians take the course, as well, as a refresher.) It's an opportunity for you to ask questions about the Episcopal way of being a Christian, meet others who are considering joining this church, and be introduced to staff and programs of St. Stephen's. Read more here.
Holy Baptism and Confirmation
In the Episcopal Church, confirmation is the rite during which adults or teenagers make a mature public affirmation of the promises made on their behalf when they were baptized as babies or very young children. Adult candidates for confirmation are prepared by a member of our clergy staff during the Inquirers Class; teenagers are prepared through our youth program. While confirmation is a joyful occasion and we are delighted if you desire to be confirmed, please know that confirmation is not a requirement for joining St. Stephen's nor for receiving Holy Communion.
Letters of transfer
In the Episcopal Church, you officially become a member of a particular parish when you have your previous parish send a 'letter of transfer' to St. Stephen's Church. It's important for you to know that you are welcome at everything St. Stephen's has to offer, no matter what--a letter of transfer is not required. If you consider yourself a member, you're a member! If you do wish to provide a letter of transfer, however, please ask your current or former parish to send your letter to Janet Allen at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 6000 Grove Avenue, Richmond, VA 23226. If you are coming from a tradition other than the Episcopal Church (or you are new to church altogether), just send Janet an email letting her know you'd like to join St. Stephen's.
Janet Allen // 804.288.2867 // email