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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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Something is happening

Something is going on. Last Monday at noon, registration for our week-long summer icon workshop opened. This workshop is over-subscribed every year. People travel from beyond Virginia to take up residence in Richmond for a week to take part, so we knew folks were going to pounce right at noon.  

And sure enough, people were lined up at the front desk, with their checks already written well in advance; they started sending messages to staff at 5:00 a.m., making sure they understood how to register; and they were calling the office steadily all morning. One woman was traveling, so she set her phone alarm for noon, and when it went off she pulled over to the side of the road and called the church.

I couldn’t help but wonder: where is all this energy about icons coming from?  

Years ago, an Episcopal priest in an urban parish noticed that all kinds of people were coming in increasing numbers to his noonday service of Benediction – a time of silence in which people simply knelt before the consecrated bread on the altar, Christ bodily present there, in wordless prayer and adoration. He concluded that people were becoming more visually oriented. We don’t want more words or movement; we crave silence, stillness, and beauty.  

To some, icons look like “flat” or “primitive” paintings. But to those with eyes to see, to the people clamoring to register for this workshop, icons and the process of painting (or “writing”) them are much more. To growing numbers of people, icons, quite simply, are healing. They invite a cherished depth of silence and stillness of the heart where God is waiting for us. They are a way in, a doorway to the eternal realm that is always around us and always within us, but that is increasingly closed off to us by lives that are dominated by noise and movement.  

I was pondering all of this the other night as I was leaving church to go home. On my way out, a parishioner was coming in. “I’m going to my ‘Photo Voice’ meeting,” she explained. This is a group of 25 Christians and Muslims who meet here every two weeks to share photos they’ve taken in their everyday lives, images that represent some aspect of their faith. Instead of sharing doctrines or theologies, they share pictures. “We know our religious practices can be very different,” the parishioner told me, “but we’ve discovered our vision is remarkably the same.”  

Something is happening. It feels to me as if the grip of reason and theological argument is giving way to the gentler embrace of intuition, freedom and the beauty of holiness. It feels like the Holy Spirit.

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