December 22, 2021

Ever mindful of the rates of Covid infection statewide, we are planning to proceed with our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Worship Services. We will continue to follow all necessary precautions to mitigate risk -- keeping masks on over our nose and mouth at all times while in the building, maintaining physical distance, taking temps and keeping a log of all who attend service each week.

We highly recommend everyone dress in layers because we'll need to have the vent and parish hall windows open during service.

Christmas Eve - 5pm Worship Service
This service is intended for people who can't be vaccinated, at higher risk, or for anyone who wants to be a bit more cautious than might be possible with our later service. This is the service families with children too young to be vaccinated will likely attend.

  • We will limit indoor singing.  
  • The liturgy will be shortened a bit.
  • At the end of the service, we will bundle up and move outside, where we will enjoy some hot chocolate and Christmas cookies around our firepit in the driveway.
  • And, we will sing a few Christmas carols together.

Christmas Eve - 9pm Worship Service
This service will be a Festival Eucharist with Choir, Organ, Guitar and Trumpet.

Christmas Day - 10am Worship Service
This will be a slightly abbreviated Spoken Eucharist Service.
Pastoral Care the Week of December 26th
Rev. Paula will be on vacation from the afternoon of December 26th through January 2nd, celebrating Christmas with her family. Rev. Karen will be providing pastoral care during that time. Karen can be reached at or 973.997.2722.
Financial Stewardship Pledge Campaign
As of today, we have received 24 pledges totaling $98,300! Thank you to all who have made this commitment to give in faith. This means we have only $21,700 to meet our 2022 pledge goal, though it would be great if we could meet our 2020 goal of $132,000. This year, in addition to regular pledges, we have about $10,000 in gifts to help offset flood recovery costs. The generosity of this parish is beautiful and faithful and is a major reason we are able to live our faith in the ways that we do.

We cannot be the faithful, vibrant community we are without all of us doing our part, including financially. Pledging so that we have an idea of how to build our budget for next year, is essential. If you have not received this year's pledge campaign letter, please let us know and we'll be sure to get a copy to you. The easiest way if you have a computer and access to the internet is to pledge online here. You can also give online, using If you'd rather submit a pledge by mail or in the offering plate, please let us know.
Happening at St. Stephen's This Week...


Please join us for our:

Christmas Eve - 5pm & 9pm Services
Christmas Day - 10am Service
Sunday Worship/Baptism on December 26th at 10:00am

ALL are welcome!
REMINDERS: We continue to follow safety precautions and lovingly require that you wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times while in the building and maintain physical distance. Enter at the Narthex door (Christian Education building). Someone will welcome you and take your temperature. An usher will assist you with seating in the church.

Live-streamed to YouTube, Facebook, and via Zoom. Bulletins are available on the St. Stephen's website. All links can be found at the bottom of the newsletter.

Zoom passcode is SSM119.

The Sunday service will also be broadcast on HTTV (Comcast TV 36 and Verizon TV 33) on Tuesday at 6 AM and 3 PM.

St. Stephen’s is a member of the Evelyn Underhill region- a small group of congregations in a geographic area gathered together by a bishop to support and care for one another in their ministry. This year, the congregations of our region are collaborating together in a shared Advent Devotional: Advent with Evelyn Underhill, edited by Christopher L. Webber. Daily during Advent and Christmas (November 7th – January 5th), a recorded devotional will be emailed out to everyone in our parishes via a special email group, so that we may pray and reflect together, wherever we may be. These will be about five minutes long. If you don’t want the daily devotions, let us know. For those who wish to purchase the devotional to follow along, you may do so through Church Publishing at or from Amazon.
Looking Ahead

DEC 22
8pm - AA Meeting

DEC 23
7pm - Evelyn Underhill Advent Discussion

DEC 24
Christmas Eve Services
5pm & 9pm

DEC 25
10am - Christmas Day Service
7:30pm - AA Meeting

DEC 26
10am - Sunday Worship
& Baptism
1pm - AA Meeting

DEC 27
7:30pm - AA Meeting

DEC 28
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

DEC 29
8pm - AA Meeting


During the last week of December,
the Church Office
will be open on Wednesday, Dec. 29.


7:30pm - AA Meeting

10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting

7:30pm - MA Meeting

5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

8pm - AA Meeting

9am - Interfaith Bible Hour

7:30pm - AA Meeting

10am - Sunday Worship
11am - Epiphany Open House at the Rectory
1pm - AA Meeting

JAN 10
7:30pm - MA Meeting

JAN 11
7pm - Worship Committee Meeting

JAN 12
8pm - AA Meeting

JAN 15
7:30pm - AA Meeting

JAN 16
Communion for All
10am - Sunday Worship
11:30am - Vestry Meeting
1pm - AA Meeting

JAN 17
7:30pm - MA Meeting

JAN 18
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

JAN 19
7:30pm - Finance Committee Meeting
8pm - AA Meeting

JAN 20
7pm - Preschool Committee Meeting

JAN 22
7:30pm - AA Meeting

JAN 23
10am - Sunday Worship
11:30am - Reading with the Rector
1pm - AA Meeting

JAN 24
7:30pm - MA Meeting

JAN 25
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

JAN 26
8pm - AA Meeting

JAN 29
7:30pm - AA Meeting

JAN 30
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting

JAN 31
7:30pm - MA Meeting

5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

8pm - AA Meeting

9am - Interfaith Bible Hour

7:30pm - AA Meeting

7:30pm - MA Meeting

10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting

FEB 13
10am - Sunday Worship
11:30am - Reading with the Rector
1pm - AA Meeting

FEB 14
7:30pm - MA Meeting

FEB 15
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

FEB 16
7:30pm - Finance Committee Meeting

FEB 17
7pm - Preschool Committee Meeting

FEB 19
7:30pm - AA Meeting

FEB 20
Communion for All
10am - Sunday Worship
11:30am - Vestry Meeting
1pm - AA Meeting

FEB 21
7:30pm - MA Meeting

FEB 22
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

FEB 23
8pm - AA Meeting

FEB 26
7:30pm - AA Meeting

FEB 27
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting

FEB 28
7:30pm - MA Meeting
Other Happenings...

Weekly AA/MA* meetings times are:

Sunday at 1:00pm
Monday at 7:30pm (NEW - MA* Meeting)
Wednesday at 8:00pm
Saturday at 7:30pm
Faithful Outreach
Low-income families in this country are facing unprecedented social and economic challenges from the pandemic. Job losses, health care expenses, and child-care have all combined to raise the number of evictions. A donation can help Family Promise of Essex County to remain responsive to families’ emerging needs and its impact in our communities.

To read the Family Promise Newsletter, please click here.
Apostles' House is devoted to providing comprehensive social services to homeless women with children and families at risk of homelessness in Newark and
Essex County.

Apostles' House is in need of canned goods and non-perishable food items.

A collection bin is located outside
the Narthex doors in the parking lot. Donations can be dropped off at any time.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to Apostles' House, please click here.
North Porch provides emergency aid, in the form of baby supplies, to mothers and infants in northern New Jersey, to help them stabilize and improve the quality of their lives.

North Porch URGENTLY needs:

  • Enfamil Infant Formula 12.5 oz containers (yellow label)
  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers size 4, 5, and 6
  • Jars of baby food – all ages – fruit, veggie and 1st foods

A collection bin is located outside
the Narthex doors in the parking lot. Donations can be dropped off at any time.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to North Porch, please click here.
From Bishop Hughes & The Episcopal Church
THE BISHOP'S VLOG - Week of 12/15/21
This Christmas, how about spending some time being the gift?

What if we lowered our sense of importance and expectation about all the things that need to be done before Christmas, and instead of expecting things to go perfectly or to get the perfect thing or give the perfect thing, what if instead our focus was on the way we could be the gift this Christmas?

Sign up to get e-newsletters and important announcements directly from diocesan headquarters. Find out more and subscribe here.
Cross Roads Camp & Diocesan Youth Ministries

Check out all the fun and interesting year-round programs for children, adults and families.

Click here for more information.

Pop Up is a welcoming ministry of the Diocese of Newark bringing together youth for fun activities, community, and faith formation. All youth grades 6-12 are encouraged
to join the monthly events.

Follow YM on Instagram and Facebook at @popupym.
Resources During Covid
There are many, many resources available to parishes and individuals to help sustain our faith practices during this unprecedented time. See resources here. This is by no means a complete list, though it does cover many areas of need.

In this time of Crisis, there are resources that can help if you or someone you know needs assistance. Please contact NJ Mental Health Cares for free helpline telephone counseling or assistance. Call 866-202-4357.
TTY: 1-877-294-4356.

Other resources are:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Crisis Text Line, 741741
NJ Hope Line (suicide prevention) 
Prayer List
Please keep the following St. Stephen's family
members and friends in your prayers...
Peggy Thompson
Felder Dorn
Donna Riggi
The Blanchard Family
The McManus Family
Bernard & Nathan
The Fitzgerald Family
Lucille B.
Jack Moreno
Jim Freeman
Mary Jo Zarance
Joseph G.
Kelly Olson
Linda Moran
Nicole & Emma
Ningyu Liu
Jamie Stack
KT Thalin
Mike Losito
Cara Lynn Cavin
Evan D. & Family
Alexandra Shuss
Donna Stadler Hostetler
Brian Roland
Renee Kleppinger

If you would like to add someone to our prayer list, please email us at, or call (973) 376-0688 Ext. 32.

Anyone for whom we are praying will be on our prayer list for six weeks. If prayers are still needed beyond that time period, please let us know. Thank you.
Sunday Lectionary
December 26, 2021
First Sunday after Christmas
Liturgy of the Word with Baptism 

If you'd like to read the full lectionary for the week, you may do so here.
Giving with
Giving with is easy with options for recurring donations or one-time use for when you are away or not able to be in church (like all of us now due to COVID restrictions).

You can access via their website or their app on your smart phone. Be sure to search for the correct account - "St. Stephen's Church Millburn." Once you have accessed the account page with our address, you will be instructed to follow the prompts.
Office Notes
Due to COVID restrictions, only teachers and staff are allowed to be in the building during school hours. If you need to visit the parish office/building for any reason, please contact us for an appointment. Thank you.
Important Links
Zoom Links
Links for Sunday Worship Live-Stream & Social Media
Website Links
Other Social Media Links
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
119 Main Street, Millburn, NJ 07041

Parish Administrator, Maria T. Card
973.376.0688, Ext. 32

Rector, The Rev. Paula J. Toland
973.376.0688, Ext. 21

Fax: 973.376.4002


Director: Nancy Siracusa
Phone: 973.376.3534, Ext. 20