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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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Lent at St. Stephen's

Lent begins with a day of special devotion and discipline known as “Ash Wednesday” which this year falls on February 14. The traditional worship for this day is especially powerful and calls for the “imposition of ashes.” Parishioners are invited to come forward to receive the imprint of ashes on their foreheads, as a sign of their mortality. In this stark way, we are put in mind of the difference between those things that are passing away and those things that endure forever.

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.

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

Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John: A Lenten Retreat
Led by Br. Luke Ditewig, SSJE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16 (6-9 P.M.), AND SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17 (9 A.M.-NOON) 

Stop to breathe, remember, and refresh Love as we begin Lent. Would you like to deepen relationship with God? How does “God is love” feel in your everyday life? We will focus on stories and images from John’s Gospel, especially about Jesus with his closest friends. Friday and Saturday sessions are related yet independent from each other. Come to either or both for teaching with opportunities to pray alone and together.

The suggested donation is $25 for either session, or $40 for both. An additional donation of $10 is suggested for supper on Friday. Register here.

Surrounded With Sense: A Lenten Meditation on ‘Paradise Lost’
Three-part series in the Sunday Forum led by Gardner Campbell
FEBRUARY 25, MARCH 4 AND MARCH 11 // 10:10 A.M. IN THE FELLOWSHIP HALL

Explore what many consider the greatest poem ever written in the English language--on a par with The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid--John Milton's "Paradise Lost." Over three Sundays in Lent, we will gather together to experience short, intense, fascinating parts of this masterwork. Milton’s great epic is over 10,000 lines long, in twelve parts (or “books”), but this poet had a gift for locating the force and beauty of his “great argument” into brief passages of 50-100 lines, just enough for us to read and consider together in each of our Sunday meetings.

Gardner Campbell is associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Since completing his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia in 1992, he has served on the faculties of the University of San Diego, the University of Mary Washington, Baylor University, and Virginia Tech, teaching Milton studies, Renaissance literary studies, film studies, new media studies, and teaching and learning technologies. Gardner has published work in all these areas, and he is a lifetime member of the Milton Society of America.

Read more about this series, and how you can prepare for it (a little, a lot, or not at all), here.

Are you called to fast?

Led by the Rev. Claudia Merritt
INTRODUCTORY SESSION: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20 // 7-8 P.M.FAST: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21-FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23

Fasting is an ancient discipline of the church. It is a means of drawing closer to Christ through our intentional self-emptying, through a spiritual union with the poor and hungry, and through a heightened awareness of God's presence in our life. Lent is an especially appropriate time for fasting; it is commended to us in the Book of Common Prayer. 
Come to an introductory session on Tuesday, February 20, 7:00-8:00 p.m., to explore whether the Spirit is inviting you to a three-day Lenten fast. Following a discussion of spiritual fasting, each participant can decide whether this might be part of his or her Lenten discipline this year.

The fast will begin on Wednesday, February 21 and conclude at Evensong on Friday, February 23. Coming to the February 20 session does not obligate anyone to fast; it is an opportunity for prayerful reflection. If you are interested, you may sign up at Information Central; if you have questions, please contact Claudia Merritt.

How Love Heals
A Workshop with Becca Stevens
SATURDAY, MARCH 17 // 9 A.M.-NOON

Spend a morning with the Episcopal priest and entreprenuer who founded Magdalene and Thistle Farms to help women leave the sex trade and overcome addiction and abuse to start new lives. Becca was named a 2016 CNN Hero and a White House “Champion of Change,” and is featured in the PBS documentary, “A Path Appears.” Among her many honors is being named Humanitarian of the Year by the Small Business Council of America and being inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame. Becca, who herself the victim of childhood sexual abuse, has written several books, including one published last fall, Love Heals.

The suggested donation for this workshop is $25; please register here.

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.

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 Weekday Preaching Series // St. Paul's Episcopal Church across from Capitol Square has held a well-known preaching series since 1897 that takes place each weekday during Lent. 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.

Meditations from the Society of St. John the Evangelist // The brothers of SSJE, an Episcopal religious order, partners with Virginia Theological Seminary to offer daily Lenten meditations by email.

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.

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