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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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Let's go home

Whether your presidential candidate won or lost, one thing most of us can agree on is that we all woke up on November 9 having wandered far in a land that is waste. It reminds me of the prodigal son who woke up one day in a pig sty. He just felt dirty, depleted, and wanted to go home. Whether your candidate won or lost, you might have felt something like that – a little dirty, depleted, and wishing you could go back to a time and place when you felt less anxious about life and more at ease with the people around you.

We have been living in a world of incessant blaming, ridicule, and fault-finding. The atmosphere has been one of perpetual anger and discontent. And all of it has been aggravated by a 24-hour news cycle and the like-minded herding and venting that characterize so much of social media.

The good news is that, like the prodigal son, you can go home. And, as Jesus said, you know the way. Just try this experiment.

On your lunch break one day, spend 30 minutes tuning into Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN, or log onto your favorite social media channel. Just take it all in. When you are logged on or tuned in, do you feel your soul magnified, sort of like listening to the Dona nobis pacem of Bach’s Mass in b-minor?  Do you sense your heart rate slowing and your breathing relaxing, deepening? Do you feel more at peace, spiritually calm and a contented smile coming over your face?  

The next day on your lunch break, go to the grocery store and buy three jars of peanut butter, three cans of tuna, and three boxes of cereal, and bring them to the church for our pantry. (I know, that’s expensive. You’re going to have to skip a meal or two and a trip to Starbucks in order to stay within your budget.) After dropping off the groceries, stop into the church itself. Touch the water in the font and take a deep breath, and bow to the Lord as you approach the altar. Light a candle, thanking God for all the people who love you, and take another deep breath.  

Then sit in your favorite spot, take another deep breath, close your eyes, let your shoulders relax. And with each breath, breathe in God’s love for you, and breathe out any enmity or hurt you have been carrying. Do that for four to five minutes, and just sit quietly so that you can listen for that still, small, voice. When you leave, touch the water again on your way out, and ask God to help you see how he is reaching out to you in the people you encounter that day.

You know the way home, to your true life.

Although an important component of the Christian life is to side clearly with the poor, the powerless, and the marginalized, you probably aren’t going to heal the nation’s divisions by carefully pointing out how wrong your opponents are. But you will almost certainly contribute to the healing of our world by going home; that is, by going deeper into love, by caring for others, by expressing gratitude, by letting go of anxiety and divisions in yourself, and by asking God to help you see him in the people around you.  

Anybody who knows me knows that I am not a superstitious, biblical literalist, but I am not embarrassed to say that I think Christ was asking us to take him literally on the Sunday before the presidential election when he said, “I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

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