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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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The courage of faith

Recently, a parishioner came to talk with me about a particularly painful event in her life, an event that involved unimaginable cruelty and ugliness. When she finished describing this deeply upsetting and life-altering event, an event that decimated many people, she said simply, “So, I want you to tell me what to do, because this situation feels unbearable.”This happens a lot; it’s a reason many people turn to religion. In this case, the parishioner knew I would not be able to wave a wand or give her something to do that would make it all better. She is a person of deep and mature faith. When she said, “I want you to tell me what to do,” she was really just saying, “I am lost and in pain; I cannot see the way forward.”  

Of course, faith is not about fixing the wreckage of our lives, but about having the courage to stick with God in the midst of the wreckage. Faith enters into the mess; it doesn’t eliminate the mess. 

There will be times of unequivocal ugliness in our lives, and faith can’t fix them. Faith can only invite us to a renewed determination not to be cowed by the ugliness and evil we encounter in the world, but to fix our attention on God instead. Faith is about waiting patiently on the Lord, when you’d rather lash out at the world. It is precisely when we are stressed and angry that we benefit most from doing absolutely nothing except to close our eyes, breathe deeply, relax our tensed shoulders, and surrender to God. There is a time to act, but it is almost always better for this surrender to come first. 

Sometimes events in my life resemble a monstrous drum beating; or a lone, foreboding bass; or a crying reed. All I feel is anger, anxiety, or upset. This is when I need the courage of faith, the lifetime determination to stick with God. It’s a commitment that requires a lot of patience on our part, it will seem foolish to many, and there will be times when we lash out. But our belief is that God emerges in the midst of the wreckage, from the emptiness, and out of the grave. With time and patience in such situations, I have sensed emerging strains of a violin, a comforting oboe joins in, a reassuring cello…and I have sensed that although the ugliness remains, it is transfigured; it is being enveloped by the symphony of the universe and incorporated into the inexorable harmony of God.

We won’t always hear it, but we can have the courage to believe it.

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