Like other churches in the Diocese of Virginia and neighboring dioceses, St. Stephen's Church suspended Sunday services beginning March 15, 2020, to safeguard the health and well-being of all during the global COVID-19 pandemic. In response, St. Stephen's began producing weekly videos with prayers, Scripture, hymns, and a homily for each Sunday. In November, we shifted to an online service of Holy Eucharist at 9 a.m., followed later by a time for entering the church for prayer, reflection, and to receive Communion (bread only).
In November, we provided a livestream of a service of Holy Eucharist each Sunday morning. Since December 2020, we have been recording the service in advance to post here on Sunday morning. This change, coming in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases, allows us to conduct the service with fewer people in the chancel at once, making this process safer as we take into account the risks posed by the spread of the virus. Each service will be posted on this page by 6 a.m. Sunday.
Can we worship in person?
Because of the dangerous rise in cases of COVID-19 as 2020 drew to a close, Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Virginia (and in nearby dioceses) are prohibited by their bishops from holding in-person worship, indoors or outdoors.
We have continued to work closely with our bishop to allow St. Stephen’s to pilot a way for parishioners to enter our beautiful church, not for full worship services, but for brief times of personal prayer and devotion, and to receive Holy Communion. This offering, from noon to 2:00 and from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. each Sunday, offers much-needed spiritual refreshment for our parishioners. Our musicians, our sacred architecture, our gracious volunteers, and our devoted staff all contribute to a most holy, in-person experience each Sunday.
Once conditions allow, we plan to open the worship space for brief times of personal prayer during the week. When it is safe to do so, we will allow small groups to reserve large, indoor spaces in our parish house so that they can meet in person (masked, of course).
Lent at St. Stephen's
If you have not yet picked up a Lent bag at church, these free resources (including a small container of ashes) are still available. More about Lent at St. Stephen's is here.
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Celebrant: The Rev. Gary Jones; Homilist: The Rev. Cate Anthony | PDF bulletin
Coming to church in person
The sign-up for coming into the church for prayer, reflection, and receiving Communion on March 7, 2021 is HERE.
Things to note about coming to church:
- Sign up in advance.
- Use one entrance--the Three Chopt Road entrance (the west door)--to enter the church, and the north and south doors to exit. This will allow our ushers to ensure that the maximum number of people permitted in the building at one time is not exceeded, that we have an accurate list of those who attended (should contact tracing become necessary), and that people are able to maintain safe distance from one another.
- Wear a mask at all times except the moment when you consume the bread.
- Maintain distance of six feet or more from anyone outside your household, except when receiving the bread from a priest.
- Follow the instructions of the ushers.
Parishioners who would like to gather virtually after the Zoom Forum are welcome to log on here at 10:45 a.m. (Please note that there is no host for this offering.)
February 21, 2021 (Lent 1); celebrant: Gary Jones; homilist: Cate Anthony | program
February 17, 2021 (Ash Wednesday); homilist: Gary Jones | program
February 14, 2021 (Last Epiphany); celebrant: Gary Jones; homilist: Allison Seay | program
February 7, 2021 (Epiphany 5); celebrant: Cate Anthony; preacher: Gary Jones | program
January 31, 2021 (Epiphany 4); celebrant: Will Stanley; preacher: Claudia Merritt | program
January 24, 2021 (Epiphany 3); celebrant: Gary Jones; preacher: Cate Anthony | program
January 17, 2021 (Epiphany 2); celebrant: Cate Anthony; preacher: Gary Jones | program
January 10, 2021 (Epiphany 1); celebrant: Claudia Merritt; preacher: Will Stanley | program
January 3, 2021 (Christmas 2); celebrant and preacher: Gary Jones | program
December 27, 2020 (Christmas I); service from the Diocese of Virginia
December 24, 2020 Family Service, preacher: Allison Seay; celebrant: Cate Anthony | program
December 24, 2020 Traditional Service, preacher: Gary Jones; celebrant: Will Stanley | program
December 20, 2020; preacher: Cate Anthony | program
December 13, 2020; preacher: Will Stanley | program
December 6, 2020; preacher: Gary Jones | program
November 29, 2020; preacher: Allison Seay | program
November 22, 2020; preacher: Claudia Merritt | program
November 15, 2020; preacher: Will Stanley | program
November 8, 2020; preacher: Gary Jones | program
Earlier videos are available here.
Other resources for prayer and reflection at home: