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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. Our family ministry staff 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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Lent at St. Stephen's

The forty days of Lent are a time when Christians join Jesus in the wilderness. It serves as a time for us to return to the Sacred Presence, to the God who has never left us, even though at times we have left God. Lent is a time to renew classic disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (all done in secret), as a way of returning to our true life. All of this is designed to renew a right spirit within us and to prepare us for a deeper appreciation of Jesus’ passion (what he was most passionate about), his death, and ultimately his resurrection at Easter.

Ash Wednesday

choirtakingcommunionashwed.jpgLent always begins with “Ash Wednesday,” a time to step off the treadmill of our busy lives and consider again what is most important. The traditional worship for this day can be especially powerful and calls for the “imposition of ashes.” During this service, you are invited to come forward to receive the imprint of ashes on your forehead, as a sign of your mortality and your dependence on God. In this stark way, we are put in mind of the difference between those things that are passing away and those things that endure, and we recommit ourselves to that which endures.

This year Ash Wednesday falls on March 6. Three Ash Wednesday services will be held in the main church:

  • 7:30 a.m.
  • noon*
  • 5:30 p.m.*

*Child care will be available during the noon and 5:30 p.m. services.

LITURGICAL BULLETIN FOR ASH WEDNESDAY // SERMON PREACHED BY GARY JONES: AUDIO; TEXT

Most regular events, including Morning Prayer, Evensong, the Wonderful Wednesdays supper, and youth groups will not take place on Ash Wednesday. If you are not sure if your small group will be meeting that day, please check with your leader or convener.

Special offerings for Lent

The following groups, retreats and speakers will be offered in Lent 2019. Full descriptions and registration links are available here.

The Middle Way
Sundays, March 3-31 // 6:45-7:45 p.m.
The Rev. Robert Chesnut

Fasting as a Lenten practice
Introductory session: Monday, March 4 // 7 p.m.
The Rev. Claudia Merritt

The Gift of Humility
Saturday, March 9, 2019 // 9 a.m.-noon
Br. David Vryhof, SSJE 

A Lenten Reawakening: Donne, Herbert, and Browne
Sundays in the Forum, March 17, 24, 31 // 10:10 a.m.
Dr. Gardner Campbell, associate professor of English, Virginia Commonwealth University

The Stillness We Ache For
Thursday, March 28 // 7 p.m.
Pico Iyer 
Writer and well-known TED talk presenter

“Dante: A Journey to Hope and Healing”
Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, 2019
Kayleen Asbo 

Seasons of the Spirit

The Lent/Easter edition of Seasons of the Spirit, our quarterly publication, has been mailed to St. Stephen's households. Free copies are available at Information Central and throughout the parish house, and an electronic edition is available here.

Other resources

The Bookshop @ St. Stephen's offers prayer books, Bibles, theological classics, devotional books and more. It is open during office hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) and on Sunday mornings.

St. Paul's Wednesday Preaching Series // St. Paul's Episcopal Church across from Capitol Square has held a well-known preaching series since 1897 that takes place during Lent. Beginning this year, the services will take place on Wednesdays only. They also serve lunch before and after these daily services with proceeds supporting St. Paul's outreach grants. You can read more about St. Paul's Lenten Preaching Series on their Web site.

Monastic wisdom // The Brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal religious order for men, offer free monthly emails (sign up here), and a prayer journal for Lent which you may print free from their Web site or purchase at nominal cost from Amazon. The SSJE Web site offers many other resources, including sermons.

The Good Book Club // Forward Movement (publisher of Forward Day by Day and other books and resources) is offering “The Good Book Club” for Lent and Eastertide. It follows the Gospel according to Luke and the Book of Acts, providing daily readings and related materials. The Good Book Club is not meant to replace our study of the Gospel of Mark (the one being read in the Sunday Lectionary and the Daily Office), but as another resource, using these companion books of the Bible in the same way you might select a book for your book club. Read more and sign up here

Forward Day by Day // Also from Forward Movement, copies of Forward Day by Day (small booklets daily devotions based on the lectionary) are available for purchase in the parish office ($1 each). A selection of Forward Movement books is available in our bookshop.

As solemn as Lent is, it's also OK to leaven your observance with a bit of fun, and again, Forward Movement has something for you. "Lent Madness" (inspired by "March Madness" and the NCAA basketball tournaments) pits 32 saints against each other in a bracket, as each saint seeks to win the coveted Golden Halo. Throughout Lent, fans vote for their favorite saints at www.lentmadness.org. You can follow Lent Madness on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date.

The Daily Office

Though Daily Morning Prayer and Evensong are offered year-round at St. Stephen's Church, Lent can be an especially appropriate time to begin the practice of regularly attending one or both of these services from the Book of Common Prayer. Each lasts about 30 minutes and takes place in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit (the side chapel closest to Grove Avenue) every weekday except when the parish office is closed.

Morning Prayer (followed by communion from the reserved sacrament) begins at 8:10 a.m. Many people like to gather in the cafe area next to the Large Fellowship Hall after this service to enjoy coffee and conversation before leaving for work or other commitments.

Evensong is the service of Evening Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, with the psalms and other parts of the service being sung. This half-hour service begins at 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays, the service is led by the Virginia Girls Choir and is followed by our midweek parish supper.

If you cannot be present for these weekday services, you may wish to say them on your own at home; the Daily Office begins on page 36 in the Book of Common Prayer.

 

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