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


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.


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


Sunday Schedule

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

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


6000 Grove Avenue Richmond, VA 23226

Wellspring: Poetry for the Journey

The beauty of great poems is not that we are provided the answer, but that we are given a question to consider.

—Allison Seay in "Wellspring," the weekly poetry guide 

St. Stephen's Church offers this weekly resource written by our Associate for Religion and the Arts, Allison Seay. The guides may be used by Emmaus Groups or other small groups, or for individual study and reflection. You can read more about poetry at St. Stephen's here.

To subscribe to the weekly poetry email, follow this link.

November 20, 2017 edition

Keeping Things Whole  

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

Mark Strand[1]

I have loved this poem for a long time but I have a hard time articulating why, or what it is specifically that moves me. I find that is often the case—a kind of speechlessness—when I am in awe, or when I feel I have glimpsed the truth. As a teacher, I often withheld my most treasured poems for this very reason: an inability to adequately explain my why or perhaps a desire to abstain from speaking about something that seemed already to speak for itself. I don’t know where, or how, to start. It could be that a poem like this doesn’t need much commentary and sometimes annotations are more distracting than helpful. Good poems, by their nature, resist paraphrase. But I will attempt something brief, ever imprecise, if only as an expression of admiration for the work that the best poetry does, which is to say things otherwise unsayable.

“Keeping Things Whole” reckons with what is difficult for the mind to comprehend and for our limited language to explain—the relationship of the part to the whole, specifically the self’s role as part of some unifying enterprise, the individual’s place in the larger universe, the meaning of life itself. Most of us are hungry for this kind of meaning-making: we want to know what the point is; we want to know what it is we’re supposed to be doing, and for whom are we doing it, and why. Here I am reminded of what I read in an Annie Dillard essay called “Total Eclipse”: “The mind wants to live forever,” she writes, “or to learn a very good reason why not. The mind wants the world to return its love, or its awareness; the mind wants to know all the world, and all eternity, even God.” 

Strand’s poem feels to me like a kind of plea for this knowledge and ultimately rests in the impossibility of attaining it; in other words, the poet seems to accept the paradox of his own life: his being in the world as both a presence and an absence, a kind of negative space holder. It’s a contradiction: Strand asserts his identity by way of absence; he is what is missing. His existence both holds the world together and also breaks it apart. He is—and, I suppose each of us are—a force capable of both fragmenting the world and also unifying it, which is, to say the least, an enormous responsibility.

Already I feel I have said too much and am led back to that familiar equation, poetry as prayer: often the only utterance that feels adequate is a silent Amen. I will leave you this week with an excerpt from Matthew Zapruder’s essay from an anthology called Poets on Teaching: 

Only poetry tries to take us together on a journey towards that which cannot be said, but which we are driven to understand. Old things that have always been there, waiting, on the tip of our collective tongue. [Percy Bysshe] Shelley in “Defence of Poetry” wrote of listening to a poem, that we are ‘moved and softened, yet know not whence or why.’ And the poem is where, as Wallace Stevens wrote, ‘out of the central mind / We make a dwelling in the evening air / In which being there together is enough.’

About the Poet 
Mark Strand (1934-2014) is recognized as one of the finest American poets of his generation, as well as an accomplished editor, translator, critic, and prose writer. In addition to the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, his honors include the Bollingen Prize, the Wallace Stevens Award, a Rockefeller Foundation award, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. He served as Poet Laureate of the United States and as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Over the span of his career, he taught at various institutions, including Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, and Columbia University.

[1] “Keeping Things Whole” by Mark Strand from Selected Poems, Alfred A. Knopf. Used by permission.

Download a print-friendly version of the November 20 guide here (Keeping Things Whole by Mark Strand)
Download a print-friendly version of the November 13 guide here (Bath by Amy Lowell)
Download a print-friendly version of the November 6 guide here (A Light Left on by May Sarton)
Download a print-friendly version of the October 30 guide here (v. by Tarfia Faizullah)
Download a print-friendly version of the October 23 guide here (Talking in Bed by Philip Larkin)
Download a print-friendly version of the October 15 guide here (Luna Moth by Cecily Parks)
Download a print-friendly version of the October 9 guide here (Master Letter #3 by Emily Dickinson)
Download a print-friendly version of the October 2 guide here (Nursery by Gabriel Fried)
Download a print-friendly version of the September 25 guide here (Desiderata by Max Ehrmann)

Earlier poetry guides are here.