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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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If You Give a Michael a Cat

 

Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.' ... Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, 'Rabbi, eat something.' But he said to them, 'I have food to eat that you do not know about.' (John 4:13-14,31-32)
 
I bet a lot of you know the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
 
Do you remember what happens if you give a mouse a cookie? He's going to ask for a glass of milk, isn't he? Because who doesn't want a glass of ice cold milk with a cookie? It's a perfect combination. Well, almost perfect.
 
Remember what happens when you give the mouse that glass of milk? He's going to ask for a straw, right? Because milk is cold and delicious and perfect with a cookie, but it would be a little bit more perfect with a straw. Straws just make drinking more fun!
 
So now the mouse has a cookie and a glass of milk and a straw to drink the milk and everything is perfect, right? The end. Well, not quite.
 
Because after he's finished his little snack he's going to need a napkin to clean up and a mirror to check for that embarrassing milk mustache. And anybody remember what happens when the mouse looks in the mirror? Does he think, "Gosh I sure do look perfect today--I'm totally content with my appearance?" No, of course not. He notices that, actually, he really needs a haircut.
 
We're not even halfway through the story yet, but you get the point. Whatever you give the mouse, he always wants something more.
 
You know who's a lot like that mouse? You. Me. Pretty much everybody I know.
 
I'll give you an example.
 
I'd wanted a cat for a long time, but my wife and I weren't allowed to have one in the house that we were renting, so when we bought our own house we could finally get a cat--our precious Martha. Martha cat is the best, most beautiful cat in the world. But after a little while, I started thinking, you know, I wonder if Martha cat would like a friend? I bet she would.
 
Of course, really, I just wanted another cat. Someday I'll write a great children's book called If You Give a Michael a Cat... That's how we ended up with Jan cat.
 
That's what we humans are like. We always want something more.
 
In John's Gospel, Jesus meets a woman getting water at a well, so they talk about water. Jesus tells her that she's going to be thirsty again. This seems like a pretty obvious thing to say. How many times each day are you thirsty? A lot, right? But Jesus isn't really talking about water. He's saying that nothing in this world will satisfy us forever. And most things won't even satisfy us for a few hours.
 
But here's the good news: Jesus says that he has a different kind of water and that people who drink his water will never be thirsty. Again, he's not really talking about water. But he's saying that he has something that will satisfy us forever. Better than a cookie and milk with a straw. Better than infinite cats. And that's the love of God. It would make for a very short and boring children's book because if you give a mouse the love of God, he doesn't need anything else.
 
And you know who has the love of God? Yep, every single one of us. So parents, when your child is begging for a cookie, feel free to say, "You already have cookies that you do not know about." It probably won't satisfy him, but it will surely confuse. And, as Jesus well knew, we usually need to be confused before we can learn.
 

 

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