Retreats and Workshops
St. Stephen's offers retreats at the church, at the beginning of Lent and Advent and at other times. We also offer retreats offsite, such as at the Society of St. John the Evangelist's monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, or at Emery House, SSJE's retreat center in Newburyport, Massachusetts; and at Shrine Mont, the Diocese of Virginia's camp and conference center in the mountains northwest of Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Retreats with the brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist
Each year, St. Stephen's takes a group of women to the Cambridge, Massachusetts monastery of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, or its rural guest retreat in Newburyport, Massachusetts. The 2016 retreat has concluded, but information about the next opportunity for a group retreat with the brothers of SSJE will be available in the fall. Every other year, one or two of the brothers lead a retreat for men and women here, usually during Lent. Individual retreats at the monastery are also possible; visit the order's Web site for details.
The Society of St. John the Evangelist
The Society of Saint John the Evangelist is a religious order for men in the Episcopal Church. Founded in 1866, the community is celebrating its 150th year, making it the oldest men’s community in the Anglican Communion. Brothers preach, teach, lead retreats and offer spiritual direction at the order’s two monasteries, and engage in other ministries both locally and across the country and the world. To learn more about them, visit their website at www.ssje.org.
Parish Retreat // Shrine Mont
June 23-25, 2017 (registration open March 17-May 22)
This retreat is for families, couples, or individuals, and is suitable for all ages. It usually takes place in June, beginning with Friday supper and concluding Sunday after worship. You can read more about the parish retreat at Shrine Mont here.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training // St. Stephen's
July 25-29, 2016 (Level 1); August 1-5 (Level 2)
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Christian approach for children ages 3 to 12, based on the belief that young children can and do experience God. The work of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is done in a specially prepared environment called an atrium. Children use hands-on materials to explore and reflect on scripture, prayer, and liturgical events. Together children and adults reflect on the great mysteries of the Christian faith. Serving as a catechist (guide) in the atrium is a deeply rewarding experience for adults. The training required to serve as a Level I catechist (serving children ages 3 to 6) is available at St. Stephen's this July and the training required to serve as a Level II catechist (serving children 6-9) is available in August. These offerings are for anyone--you do not need to be a member of St. Stephen's Church, nor do you need to serve in one of our atria, to take part in this training. Adults from other churches with a Catechesis program, or considering one, are most welcome to take part. You can read more about the Level 1 training and register for it here. Level 2 training and registration are here.
Icon Writing Workshop // St. Stephen's
Each summer, St. Stephen's Church offers a week-long workshop for those who wish to learn how to "write" (paint) an icon, as well as those who want to continue to deepen their practice. The workshop is so popular that it fills up by spring (we keep a waiting list!). Past participants in the workshop have even formed an icon "guild," and gather each Friday morning at St. Stephen's to write icons together.
The workshop is led by Suzanne Schleck, an artist, retired art teacher, and iconographer from New Jersey. The workshop takes place Monday through Friday, all day, in Sunday school classrooms here at the church. You can read more about icons, the workshop, and how to take part here.
A word about suggested donations
We suggest a donation of $25 to attend most events held at St. Stephen's Church, unless noted otherwise (week-long offerings, or offsite retreats that include lodging and meals involve greater cost, for example). The $25 donation usually covers the expenses of our bringing these outstanding writers, teachers, and thought leaders to you. We want our speakers to be accessible to all, and we know that some people will be able to donate more than $25, and others less. If you plan to pay the suggested donation, you may reserve your place online. If you prefer to pay a different amount, please stop by the parish office to register, or send a check payable to St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, to the church at 6000 Grove Avenue, Richmond, VA 23226. If you have questions, please call 804.288.2867.