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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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Both hands back on the wheel

You’ve probably had the experience of driving on a long trip, making good time on the interstate, when suddenly you see ahead that things are slowing to a crawl. It doesn’t make sense – it’s not rush hour, and you’re nowhere near a busy city. An hour later, after you’ve covered less ground in your car than you could have on foot, you discover the problem. There’s been a wreck, and everyone needed to slow down, not for safety’s sake, but just to get a good, long, gawkish look.

That is what the run-up to the presidential election has felt like to me at times. Day after day, a new wreck seems to appear in the news – mocking one-liners, WikiLeaks, demeaning behavior, arrogant dismissals, fear mongering, angry allegations, and brawling, combustible crowds. And with each new wreck, it seems we’ve all had to slow down to take a good, long look.

Sometimes we’ve taken to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to express our outrage. That has usually meant that others start to pile on, the counterpunches have escalated, and the differing explanations about who caused the mess have pitted family members, friends, and communities against each other. That’s when our disagreements about who was to blame for the wreck on the side of the road have threatened to cause another.

But when you’re driving on the interstate, you really only have one responsibility: to drive safely and courteously yourself. Gawking at an accident, laying on the horn when you’re angry, cutting off an aggressive driver, or tailgating a slowpoke, none of these things help us to fulfill our responsibility. In fact, all they do is contribute to the likelihood of another ugly wreck.

And as the presidential election draws near, many of us have been asking, regardless of this election’s outcome, “How are we going to travel down this road together after November 8?” 

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul seems to be encouraging us simply to keep our eyes on the road:

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

At the church, we are hard at work, planning for Thanksgiving Day, Advent, and Christmas. In other words, we are pondering the possibility of gratitude in adversity, what it means to wait hopefully, and how we can become what we adore. It all has me thanking God again for the opportunity to turn our attention again to those things that matter most, those things that inspire and ennoble us, and those things that are worth pondering deeply in our hearts, the way Mary pondered the miraculous birth of her child.

When by God’s grace I am able to do these things, when I can keep my attention where it belongs, something shifts in me – I remember that not only are rude drivers and roadside wrecks the exception and not the rule, I also remember that there are always good people who carefully pull over to see how they can be of help when something has gone wrong. I remember that I can be one of those people.

And most of all, when I consider the kindness, tender-heartedness, and forgiveness that I see in people all around me every day, I can’t help but be filled with gratitude at what an extraordinary gift it is simply to be able to make this journey at all. November 8 is just around the corner, and we are also approaching Thanksgiving Day and the holy seasons of Advent and Christmas, which perhaps are calling us back to something beautiful, enduring, and life-giving. Maybe when we all look back on this election season, we will see it as a cautionary tale about allowing aberrations to capture our gawkish attention and to draw us away from that which can always be our focus—the pervasive goodness around us all the time; our calling to serve, not to be served; and our role to be “kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving.” I’m putting both hands back on the wheel.

 

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