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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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Come to me

“The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”

John 4:14

The ocean is a place of contemplation for me. With its undulations and sea life, scurrying sandpipers and soaring gulls, the ocean draws me into a place where time gets slippery. Worries recede and thoughts of people I love can come to mind, people in heaven and on earth. The next thing I know, an hour or more has passed, my heart rate has slowed, and I feel oddly refreshed. “Come to me,” Jesus said, “all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh you.”

The ocean is also a place that invites play. As waves wash up onto the shore over and over, I love seeing little children bravely running to embrace a wave or kick up the shallow water, while others squeal with delight and run away, as the foamy water seems to reach onto the shore to tag the children’s ankles. I hear that voice saying, “Let the little children come to me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Contemplative rest and play – for many of us, these are two of the best antidotes to the wear of time, with its relentless stresses and demands. The ocean is such an embracing and healing presence in my life. Something shifts for me at the shore.

Something shifted for me the other day, when a few of us went outside after the sun had set to see the illuminated water in our new memorial garden fountain. The sight and sound drew me in immediately. Watching the lit fountain was sort of like watching the ocean – everything besides the splashing, dancing water started to recede, including the rush hour traffic on Grove Avenue. I felt myself surrendering to the same timeless musings that I know from sitting by the sea.

Just then, three people who had attended Evensong—a parishioner, her adult son, and a friend—stopped to admire the fountain playfully gushing up into the night air. One of the men had been baptized at St. Stephen’s, and now lives in another state. His friend was a pastor from Nigeria. Neither knew that this was our memorial garden, but they were drawn to the gushing, playful water.

I greeted them and told them that the fountain had just been completed, that it was part of our expanded garden, where the ashes of many of our faithful parishioners are now buried. We installed a fountain, I explained, because water is a cherished symbol of baptism and new life, and because it reminds us of Jesus’ words, that the water he would give would become in us a spring of water gushing up to eternal life. We wanted this sacred part of our church grounds to remind us of our eternal life, to help us remember that this earthly life is only part of the whole, that there is more.

Our visitors loved it, and we stood together silently for a moment, watching the water dance. “Come to me, all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens….” Then, the American said to the Nigerian, “Let’s get our picture made!” So it was that among the first pictures of our new fountain included one of an American and his African friend, arms around each other’s shoulders, with illuminated water gushing up behind them.

Almost immediately after they had posed and started to leave, two beaming little girls came running into the garden to play, to touch the water in the fountain, as their smiling mother looked on. “Let the little children come to me….”

Contemplative rest and play: two ways in which God frees us from the grip of stress and worry, slows our breathing, opens our hearts, relaxes our minds, and draws us to the “more” of our lives.

There’s a new sense of beckoning presence on our church campus now, in our most sacred space. It is both contemplative and playful. If I close my eyes in our memorial garden today, with the fountain splashing nearby, I can hear Jesus saying what he said after he called Lazarus out of the tomb: “Unbind him, and let him go.”

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