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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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Can you believe it?

Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions;   
remember me according to your love    
and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord. –Psalm 25:6

A monk noted for his books and teachings about prayer once told me about his ministry of leading weeklong retreats, in which he taught the art of meditation and the use of imagination in contemplative prayer. Toward the end of the week, the monk would lead individual retreatants in a guided meditation.  He would invite the person to settle into a quiet, meditative state, just as he had taught them. Then the monk would gently ask the person to imagine being in his or her favorite spot – a place in the mountains by a stream, for example, or perhaps on a quiet stretch of their favorite beach. “Let the scene come to life,” he would say, “and just settle in and rest comfortably here, knowing all is well.” 

After some silence, while the person imaginatively rested in this calming spot, the monk would then softly speak again. “Now, notice that not far away, someone else has come here to be with you. He is approaching…with a smile on his face…it is Jesus….He comes to you and sits down with you….He is smiling broadly…it is clear that he loves you deeply, and he just wants to tell you how much he delights in you, how he thinks of you all the time and simply cannot express how proud he is of you, how happy he is to be with you now.  He embraces you. …Rest with Jesus now, and talk with him about anything you like….”

My monk friend says it is by far the most difficult spiritual exercise he could give someone. Most people, he says, can’t do it. It is too unbelievable. If the Lord were to come to them, people say, it would NOT be to praise them or to tell them how much he loves them. It would be to talk with them about their sins, what was wrong with their lives, changes that needed to be made.

No wonder the Gospel is so unbelievable, the news that God remembers us only “according to God’s love.” It’s the message of the Prodigal Son, who tried his best to make his confession, “Father, I have sinned, I am no longer worthy,” but his father wasn’t listening to that and only shouted all the more loudly in his exuberant voice, “Quick, bring fresh clothes, new sandals, the family ring, the finest food!  We are going to feast and have a wonderful time!  My beloved child is here.” That’s the Gospel.  And if we can’t believe that, why waste time worrying about whether you believe in the virgin birth or some other article of the creed?

Psalm 25 is appointed to be read on Monday, October 23, in the Daily Office.

 

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