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There's a place for you here.

New to Richmond? Unfamiliar with the Episcopal Church, or with Christianity? Welcome.

Whoever you are, wherever you are in your spiritual journey, the people of St. Stephen's Church hope that your experience with this church will encourage and strengthen you.

As you browse our Web site, you might consider: 

  • visiting St. Stephen's for a worship service 
  • coming to an informal supper
  • stopping by the Farmers Market on Saturday morning
  • attending one of our receptions or lunches for visitors and newcomers (info here
  • signing up for an Inquirers Class
  • subscribing to St. Stephen's weekly email, the eSpirit; there is no cost, no obligation, and we will not share your email address with any outside group
  • attending a retreat, workshop or group, or participating in any of the other offerings you'll see on these pages. 

Do as much or as little as you like. There are no "requirements" for being a part of this community of faith. If you wish to be baptized or confirmed, or to transfer your membership from another Episcopal parish, we'd love for you to do so. But it's not required. Everything we do, everything we offer, is open to all, regardless of whether you are a "member" of this church. If you're here, you belong.

Here's an online visitor card: it's not required--it just helps us to be more responsive to you!


Our Services

St. Stephen's is a vibrant parish that offers worship, prayer and more seven days a week. Sunday, of course, is our big day. You are most welcome at any of the services held here.

Sunday Worship 

  • 8:00 a.m., Holy Eucharist: Rite One
  • 9:00 a.m., Holy Eucharist: Rite Two*
  • 11:15 a.m., Holy Eucharist, Rite Two*
  • 5:30 p.m., Celtic Evensong and Communion*
  • 6:30 p.m., Sunday Community Supper
  • 8:00 p.m., Compline
*indicates child care available through age 4

Weekday worship 

  • 8:10 a.m., Morning Prayer with Communion
  • 5:30 p.m., Evensong (Sung Evening Prayer) 

Saturday worship

  • 5:30 p.m., Holy Eucharist: Rite Two

Accessibility

There are several entrances to the church and parish house that are designed to be accessible to those with mobility issues or other physical limitations:

All entrances to the church, and the main entrance to the parish house, are equipped with power-assist doors. In addition, the main entrance to the parish house, from the large parking lot, has an elevator on the ground floor that allows you to bypass the steps. The Grove Avenue entrance to the main church is gently sloped, without steps, and the Three Chopt Road entrance has a ramp

Inside the church, several pews are shortened to allow space for a wheelchair or walker: the first pews on either side of the center aisle, nearest the altar, and the pews near the large baptismal font.

The church is equipped with assistive hearing devices for the hearing-impaired. Please ask an usher for one of these devices as you enter the church.


Nursery - Senior High

St. Stephen's Church has an active ministry for children and youth, staffed by an energetic and talented family ministries staff and dedicated, well-trained volunteers. Michael Sweeney, the director of family ministries, sends a regular email newsletter to parents for which you may sign up.

Confirmation

At St. Stephen's, young people who desire to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church may do so in the ninth grade or later. They are prepared in a year-long course called "Philip's Way," and confirmation takes place when one of our bishops visits St. Stephen's, usually in May.


Are you in your 20-30s?

Young adults are part of every facet of parish life at St. Stephen's, and you are always welcome at any worship service, adult education opportunity or social event—membership is NOT required. You (and your friends and family) are always welcome here. Single or married, with children or not, in school or not--all are welcome.

Get Connected

Some activities and ministries at St. Stephen's are designed especially for young adults, including a young adult Bible study group, social gatherings, retreats, and outreach and volunteer opportunities. The best way to keep up with what young adults are doing at St. Stephen's is to sign up for our e-newsletter.


A Fellowship

One of the distinctive things about being an Episcopalian is the sense of connection and fellowship one has with other Episcopalian Christians. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is part of the Diocese of Virginia, one of the oldest and largest dioceses in the Episcopal Church.

Our diocese includes 80,000 people who worship God and reach out to others in 181 parishes in 38 counties in central, northern and northwestern Virginia. It is one of three Episcopal dioceses in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the others being the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia (based in Roanoke) and the Diocese of Southern Virginia (based in Norfolk). You can read more about the Diocese of Virginia at thediocese.net.

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Sunday Schedule

Holy Eucharist: 8:00, 9:00, 11:15

Christian Education for all ages: 10:10 (returning September)

OUR LOCATION

6000 Grove Avenue Richmond, VA 23226
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Latest News

The best way to stay up-to-date is to receive the eSpirit, our weekly email newsletter, each Wednesday morning. You can subscribe here.

November 16, 2017 // The Café is open!

The Café @ St. Stephen's is open! Stop by this weekend when you're shopping at the Farmers Market, or when you come to church Sunday morning, to see this beautiful, inviting space and to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, a smoothie, a bagel or pastry, a salad or wrap, or some other treat. Next week we'll begin serving a full range of espresso drinks. Also: on Sunday mornings the drip coffee is complimentary! Read more about the café here.

November 15, 2017 // Thanksgiving Day service, and Thanksgiving week info

Our annual Thanksgiving Day service takes place Thursday, November 23, at 10:30 a.m. This beautiful service of Morning Prayer features a sermon, special music, and especially gorgeous arrangements by the flower guild. It is very well attended, so plan to arrive early! (Please–no seat saving!) Read more about this service here.

The parish office will be closed Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24. The Farmers Market @ St. Stephen's will take place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. In fact, that’s the day the market moves into its winter home in the Fellowship Hall. 

Some other things to know for Thanksgiving week:

 

  • There is no Wonderful Wednesdays supper on November 22; while Evensong will take place at 5:30 p.m. as usual, the Virginia Girls Choir will not sing that Wednesday.
  • Check with the leader or convener of your small group about whether you will meet Thanksgiving week
  • The regular Sunday worship service schedule is in effect the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but there is no Forum.
  • There will be an all-ages Advent Fair on Sunday, November 26

 

October 18, 2017 // We have work to do together

St. Stephen's annual giving campaign is underway. If you made a pledge to the work we do together in 2016, thank you! The vestry and campaign leaders hope you will do so again this year, and that you will prayerfully consider an increase. If you did not make a pledge, please become a pledging member. If you give to St. Stephen's without making a pledge, thank you for your support--and please do make a pledge, to help the vestry make sound decisions for the coming year. More information, including an online pledge form, is available here.

September 20, 2017 // The Café @ St. Stephen's is hiring

The Café @ St. Stephen's will open later this fall, and we're looking for experienced baristas to help make this "village green" ministry a success. Read more here.

September 8, 2017 // Regular schedule, Rally Day this Sunday

This Sunday marks the return to our regular worship schedule (Sunday school, the Forum and other educational offerings return September 17). It's also Rally Day, when representatives of the many ministries at St. Stephen's will be on hand with information, brochures, and sign-up sheets. Refreshments will be served in the Fellowship Hall after the 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services, and you'll be able to visit and browse. 

September 6, 2017 // Seasons of the Spirit, fall edition

Did you receive your copy of Seasons of the Spirit, our quarterly publication? If you're not on St. Stephen's mailing list--or you want to share this publication with others--use this link to see a digital version. We also have extra copies available throughout the parish house. In this edition: Gary Jones' cover article, "Sursum Corda" (Lift Up Your Hearts), a calendar for the coming program year, photos from a full summer, reflections on poetry and an at-home mission trip, two exciting musical events for 2018, upcoming speakers, and much more.

August 29, 2017 // Help for those affected by Hurricane Harvey

The news from Texas is heartbreaking and many of us are looking for ways to be helpful. During natural disasters, and in their aftermath, it is important to remember what is helpful to those in distress--and what is not helpful. The most effective, useful way to provide material support is to make financial donations, large or small, as you are able. We recommend that your donations be sent to Episcopal Relief and Development. ERD works directly with local diocesan and parish representatives to ensure that those most in need receive help, with minimal bureaucratic involvement. This organization has an excellent track record in such situations. You can make your donation directly to ERD here. Any checks sent to St. Stephen's for hurricane relief will be forwarded to ERD. 

Sending supplies is NOT recommended. No matter how well-intentioned, such donations place tremendous stress on those affected by these disasters. Already-traumatized communities divert resources, space, and manpower to sort, store, and disburse material things. In addition, sending food, water, diapers, clothing, toys and the like from someplace else deprives affected communities of opportunities to plow money back into the local economy. 

Similarly, the arrival of volunteers, until and unless expressly invited, stresses systems in a disaster area. Opportunities for volunteer assistance will no doubt be plentiful in the future, but not now. The Diocese of Texas and other dioceses affected will make their needs known at the appropriate time.

Whether you are in a position to make a monetary donation or not, as people of faith, we are called to pray for those affected by this historic and tragic event. 

More about ways to help

 

August 14, 2017 // St. Stephen's clergy and parishioners to participate in vigil

Third Street Bethel AME Church will hold a prayer vigil this Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. in response to the events that took place in Charlottesville last weekend. Third Street Bethel was our partner in hosting a community-wide showing of the documentary film "13th" earlier this year. Their pastor, Reuben Boyd, has invited the people of St. Stephen's to participate in this vigil, and we will take a church van to Third Street Bethel for those who sign up in advance. Please call 804.288.2867 to reserve a seat. You are, of course, welcome to attend even if you do not ride the church van. The vigil is expected to last about an hour.

August 7, 2017 // Episcopal News Service publishes article about St. Stephen's jail ministry

David Paulsen of Episcopal News Service interviewed volunteers and staff involved in our growing ministry among residents of the Richmond City Jail. Here's his article.

July 21, 2017 // School supply drive for the East End

Many parishioners enjoy providing school supplies for students in the East End schools with whom we partner. To see what these students will need this fall and where to bring them, follow this link.

July 18, 2017 // We're looking for a manager for the café!

Work is proceeding on the new café, and we're beginning the search for a manager. Read the job description here, and share it with anyone you know who is qualified and would love this exciting opportunity. Instructions for applying are included in the job description. Please, no phone calls.

July 5, 2017 // Open auditions for Virginia Girls Choir

The Virginia Girls Choir, the community-wide choir for girls in grades 5 through 12, will have open auditions this month. Director Kerry Court will hold auditions on Thursday, July 13, and Wednesday, July 26, from 6 until 8 p.m. at the church. No appointment is necessary if you come at these times. If you cannot attend one of the open auditions, please send an email to Kerry to schedule an appointment. Read more here.

June 30, 2017 // Holiday weekend schedule

The weekend schedule at St. Stephen's is as usual: our farmers market takes place outdoors on Saturday, 8 a.m. until noon, and the Saturday and Sunday worship schedule is unaffected by the upcoming holiday. The Sunday Community Supper will include hot dogs and hamburgers in addition to our traditionally healthy fare. The parish office will be closed on Monday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 4, so there will be no Morning Prayer, Evensong, or meetings or events here on those days. We'll re-open on Wednesday, July 5, with Morning Prayer at 8:10 a.m. and the office opening at 8:30 a.m. We hope you have a safe and pleasant Independence Day. (As always, a member of the clergy staff will be on call for pastoral emergencies.)

June 22, 2017 // Choir of Church of the Epiphany in Washington, D.C., to sing for Evensong at St. Stephen's

As part of the American Guild of Organists' Midatlantic Regional Conference, the renowned choir of Church of the Epiphany in Washington, D.C., will lead a service of Choral Evensong, with the Rev. Steve McGehee of St. Stephen's Church officiating, on Wednesday, June 28. A prelude featuring the choir, conducted by Jeremy Filsell, Ph.D., and guest organist Erik Wm. Suter, will begin at 4:35 p.m., followed by the service. A copy of the program is here; information about St. Stephen's Aeolian-Skinner organ is here.

June 8, 2017 // Café construction begins next week

The construction of our new café is scheduled to begin next week! We are thrilled that this project is on track for a fall opening, and deeply grateful to all who have made a gift or pledge to this exciting ministry. Read more about the project and how you can support it here.

June 2, 2017 // This Sunday is the Day of Pentecost

This Sunday, June 4, is the Day of Pentecost, one of the three major feasts of the church year (the others are Christmas and Easter). Pentecost is the day we remember the disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking about God's deeds of power in a multitude of languages. Many people like to wear something red, the liturgical color for the Holy Spirit, when they come to church on Pentecost. Remember that our summer worship schedule is in effect. 

May 26, 2017 // Summer schedule and Memorial Day

The summer worship schedule begins this Sunday, May 28--all the details are here. On Monday, May 29, the parish office will be closed in observance of Memorial Day. We'll re-open at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 30. The food pantry distribution that usually occurs on Mondays will take place on Tuesday this week.

May 18, 2017 // Bishop Goff visits this Sunday

Our annual bishop's visit takes place this Sunday, with the Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, bishop suffragan, as the celebrant and preacher at the 9 and 11:15 a.m. services. Bishop Goff will confirm, receive, or reaffirm more than 80 youth and adults. Special receptions in honor of Bishop Goff and the confirmands will take place after each service. (Reminder: there is no Palmer Hall service beginning this Sunday; that service resumes in September.)

May 12, 2017 // Summer book selection

Each year at this time, the rector chooses a book for the parish to read together over the summer. Read about Gary's pick for this summer here.

May 5, 2017 // Godspeed, Weston Mathews

As announced in the eSpirit and the weekly Spirit, the Rev. Weston Mathews has accepted the call of Grace Church, the Plains, to serve as their rector beginning this summer. On Sunday, May 14, we will honor Weston and his wife Hannah at a reception following the 11:15 a.m. service. You can read Weston's letter to the parish, and the message of our rector, Gary Jones, here.

May 3, 2017 // Newcomers lunch

If you are new to St. Stephen's, just joined--or deciding whether to join--we'd love to meet you this Thursday for lunch. Our rector, Gary Jones, and other staff members will be here to greet you, tell you a bit more about this parish and how to plug in (as much or as little as you like), and answer any questions you have. If you haven't already let us know that you plan to attend, please call 804.288.2867. Noon on Thursday, May 4, in the Fellowship Hall

April 14, 2017 // Easter services

Please join us to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord this Saturday and Sunday. A schedule of Easter services and additional details can be found HERE. You'll find service times, orders of service, information about music, child care, parking, handicap access, and more. 

March 31, 2017 // Farmers Market returns to the great outdoors

The Farmers Market @ St. Stephen's is a year-round market, open every Saturday, rain or shine. In the winter, the market is held indoors in our parish house. Beginning this Saturday, April 1, it returns to its original home in the parking lot at the corner of Grove and Somerset avenues. The market's hours are 8 a.m. until noon. To learn more about the market and our vendors, visit the market pages of the Web site, or go to our Facebook page.

March 19, 2017 // Jane Hirshfield coming this Thursday

The poet Jane Hirshfield will be here this Thursday to read from her poetry. We have been anticipating the visit of this acclaimed poet for nearly a year. Read more about her, and how to reserve your place, here.

March 13, 2017 // Community screening of Oscar-nominated documentary to be offered at St. Stephen's April 4

As part of our parish's--and the larger community's--engagement with the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, St. Stephen's Church will offer a screening of Ava DuVernay's Oscar-nominated documentary "13th," about the American justice system and how it is affected by the legacy of race in the United States. Stevenson figures prominently in this film. The community is invited to see it here on Tuesday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m. There is no charge for this event; pre-registration, though not required, will help us determine the best location for showing the movie. Several Richmond-area congregations are co-sponsoring this event with St. Stephen's, including Third Street Bethel AME Church, St. Philip's Episcopal Church, and All Saints Episcopal Church.

The event is planned in anticipation of Stevenson's appearance at Virginia Commonwealth University's Siegel Center on Wednesday, April 12, at 6 p.m. 

March 10, 2017 // Spring forward this Saturday night

Before you turn in Saturday night, remember to set your clocks and watches ahead an hour. Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. this Sunday. You won't want to miss Sunday morning services (our new associate rector, Steve McGehee, will preach!) nor the Sunday Forum, where Allison Seay will present "The Vacancy Made Visible." Read more about coming events in this Sunday's Spirit.

March 3, 2017 // Pittman McGehee, Jane Hirshfield speak this month

Among the many resources St. Stephen's is offering for Lent is a retreat let by the Rev. Pittman McGehee, an Episcopal priest and Jungian analyst, who is a well-known teacher on religion and psychology. Read more about his March 17-18 offering here. And on Thursday, March 23, the long-awaited visit from renowned poet Jane Hirshfield takes place at 7 p.m. Read more here.

February 24, 2017 // Lent begins next week

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which this year falls on March 1. Ash Wednesday services, which include Holy Eucharist and the Imposition of Ashes for any who desire it,  will be held at 7:30 a.m., noon, and 5:30 p.m. Child care will be available for age 4 and under during the noon and 5:30 p.m. services. Other services and events, such as Morning Prayer, Evensong, the Wednesday supper, youth groups, and other groups and meetings, will not take place on Ash Wednesday.

Read about Lenten offerings at St. Stephen's, including a fast that will begin February 28, here.

February 23, 2017 // Shrove Tuesday pancake supper to be held February 28, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.

Traditionally Christians who observe Lent have some sort of celebration the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras and Carnival and examples of such celebrations. In many Episcopal parish churches, it's customary to observe "Shrove Tuesday" ("to shrive" meaning to hear someone's confession and absolve them of their sins) with a pancake supper. Why pancakes? Many Christians used to fast from eggs and butter during Lent, so making pancakes was a way to use up those ingredients in the larder. We'll start serving pancakes in the Fellowship Hall at 5:30 p.m. No reservations are needed and you may pay for your supper at the door.

Do you have dried palms from Palm Sunday? Bring them with you; we'll burn them on Shrove Tuesday in the courtyard at 6:30 p.m. and use the ashes during Ash Wednesday services.

February 6, 2017 // New vestry members elected

At the annual meeting on February 5, six new members of the vestry were elected to serve until February 2020. You can see the complete roster here.

January 15, 2017 // Barbara Brown Taylor tickets

Do you have your tickets for Barbara Brown Taylor's talk at St. Stephen's? You can reserve them online here, and pick them up at any of the following times. Or, you can purchase them during these times.

  • Weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the parish office (office will be closed Monday, January 16)
  • Outside the Fellowship Hall on Sundays, January 22 (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.), January 29 (10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.), February 5 (10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.) 

January 7, 2017 // Weather advisory

Sunday services will proceed as usual. To give our buildings and grounds staff more room to work as they ensure that the parking lot and walkways are usable, we will not hold the Saturday evening service today. Please use your best judgment about whether it is safe for you to travel from your home to St. Stephen's on Sunday. Our nursery staff, who live some distance from the church, will not be available during the morning services, but they do plan to be present during the 5:30 p.m. Sunday service. Your children are always welcome in church.

December 30, 2016 // Please make your year-end gift today

Are you planning year-end gifts? Please remember your church, and make a special gift to St. Stephen's before the end of the calendar year. Here is a link to our secure online giving portal. Watch a video here about the many ways that your support provides hope and healing in the world.

December 23, 2016 // Christmas at St. Stephen's

O come let us adore him! Services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (as well as the First Sunday of Christmas) are detailed here.

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