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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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Realigning body and soul

When I woke up this morning, I noticed two major news stories. The first was that the Nobel Prize in medicine had been awarded to three scientists who had identified a kind of inner clock in plants, animals and humans that keeps our biological rhythms in sync with the earth’s revolutions.

The second was that more than 50 people had been killed, and hundreds injured, at a country music concert in Las Vegas, the largest mass shooting in United States history.

The Nobel Prize winners identified how our inner clock regulates critical functions like behavior, hormone levels, sleep, and so on. Anyone who has experienced jet lag knows how easy it is to feel out of whack when you’ve tried to live contrary to our usual, circadian rhythms. Our well-being (everything from our blood pressure to our susceptibility to diseases) and the well-being of our relationships depend on our staying in sync with the revolutions of the planet. There’s something beautiful about this, about how exquisitely we are made for harmony.

But we are sick. The shooting in Las Vegas is an extreme example, of course, but I suspect that most Americans would agree with one of the country music performers who responded to the event in Las Vegas by saying simply, “This world is sick.” Yes, we are. Something inside us, something exquisitely made for the kind of harmony that comes from prayer, kindness, and generosity, is out of sync. The contentiousness, acrimony and bullying are disrupting our souls the way jet lag and all-nighters mess with our circadian rhythms and make us more susceptible to disease.

Today was my day off, so after reading the news, I got to work on a few projects at home: taking care of some medication for our golden retrievers, doing a little yard work, fixing a toilet, that sort of thing. But throughout the morning, I was getting one email after another, with lots of photographs. Today was the first day for our parish’s new “grocery store,” and volunteers wanted to show me what was happening. In this grocery store, all the food is free. If you need food for yourself or your family, you “shop” for what you want, what your family can eat, no questions asked, and you’re welcome to come back week after week, for as long as you think you need that support. 

And from every report, from volunteers and hungry neighbors alike, it was clear that a kind of spiritual realignment or synchronization was taking place in the grocery store, in this atmosphere of hospitality and compassion, and with a renewed sense of dignity for those who are struggling right now. This is how we were made to live. 

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul says, “Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them…. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray….Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (4:4-7, The Message) I love that translation. It makes me think about what I’m putting at the center of my life. Around what is my life revolving? And how is that affecting me and the people around me?

The Nobel Prize winners in medicine discovered that there is something pretty beautiful and amazing at the center of all life, in plants, animals and humans. Biologically, we are made to live a more soulful rhythm of life, to live in harmony with the planet, and we imperil ourselves and others when we ignore that reality. And as people like St. Paul point out, there’s something else exquisitely beautiful at the center of our lives – spiritually, we are made for prayer. 

One of the world’s leading teachers of ancient, contemplative practices, Martin Laird, says that human beings are made for contemplation the way a rhododendron is made to flower. And practicing such a regular, contemplative returning to God, our True Center, has a way of settling us down, synchronizing our souls with our Maker, in a way that leads to a natural rhythm of compassion. This is how we were made to live, in sync with our souls, our planet, our God, and one another. And we imperil the world when we ignore that.

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