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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 (summer schedule begins May 27)

  • 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., Evening Prayer (on Wednesdays during the academic year, this service includes the Virginia Girls Choir) 

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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A change of consciousness (Post 4)

In the fourth piece, “A Change of Consciousness,” Richard Rohr speaks for millions who have left the church. These are people who perhaps have no animosity for the church, but who simply feel drawn to a freer, more open, more unitive and non-dualistic embrace of God and spirituality generally. Richard Rohr and Barbara Brown Taylor, whom Rohr quotes at the beginning of his reflection, are two of the most popular writers at work today. They are both clergy – Rohr, a Roman Catholic, and Taylor, an Episcopalian – who express the deepest spiritual longings of many. John Philip Newell, a Presbyterian clergyman, would be another such writer and leader. These Christian leaders, and the people who are drawn to them, are people who insist that they have not left Christianity; instead, they have left the “institutional church,” which they see as an inferior expression of Christianity. 

They express gratitude for the church and what it gave them. They’ve just moved on. 

The problem is, if more and more people “move on” from the church, what will be left? Is the institutional church only able to tend to “the substructures and the superstructures of Christianity,” as Rohr puts it? Or is it possible that parish churches can be holy and thriving communities in which people like Rohr, Taylor, and Newell, and all whom they represent, feel at home? Can a church like St. Stephen’s be a community where such people feel as if they are able to spread their spiritual wings fully, without confining orthodoxies that require lockstep belief, or dualistic thinking that sets up theological battles and defines winners and losers?

Recently at St. Stephen’s, the Episcopal priest and founder of Thistle Farms, Becca Stevens, said that she had been ordained for over 20 years. “I’m pretty sure that I believe less today than I believed the day I was ordained,” she said. “But what I still believe, I believe with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind.” I suspect that Becca Stevens feels very much at home with folks like Rohr, Taylor, and Newell.

The 13th century Sufi poet, Rumi, wrote a poem that is beloved by many who say they are “spiritual but not religious.”

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

More and more people are finding the church to be too confining, so they are leaving church and seeking to meet in this field. But can a parish church be such a field and meeting place for the deep, spiritual seeking and engagement that more and more people long for? If so, what needs to change?

Back to main 'Envisioning our Future' page

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