June 15, 2022
Message from Rev. Paula
Beloved Community,

After what seems like forever, but was in actuality "only" 27 months, it finally feels like we are in a place quite similar in all the best ways to where we were pre-pandemic and flood. We are not the same people we were in early March of 2020 and yet we are living our faith in ways that feels familiar in a good way. And we are carrying with us all the best of the ways we remained strong and vibrant and faithful these past couple of years.

In addition to all the news in this edition of our newsletter, we have started to plan for Drumming Camp, which will be five half days in August (15th-19th). On June 5th, we celebrated the Day of Pentecost with a baptism and a church full of people, including lots of children. It was so good to see so many of our youngest members with us and to have one of them, Keira, read one of the lessons. On November 6th, after a couple of pandemic-related delays, Johann Vexo will be coming from Europe to give a recital, a belated 50th anniversary celebration of our magnificent organ.

We've also started planning for my sabbatical, which will be a time of renewal for me, my family, and you. You'll be hearing more about that in the coming months as we develop a proposal for some grant funding to be submitted at the end of 2022 (Prayers for success appreciated!), which we'll hear about in August 2023 for a sabbatical in the fall of 2024. You may be wondering why I am mentioning this now. That would be a good question and I have what I hope is an exciting answer.

The working theme of my sabbatical is "embodied faith." In the summer of 2014, I was lucky to be able to spend about three weeks in the Holy Land, where the sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes all had a profound impact on my spiritual journey and identity. My understanding of Scripture was transformed and my faith deepened and broadened in ways I still am learning all these years later. As it happens, 2024 will be the 10th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood and I want to start my sabbatical with a trip back to the place where the Scriptures come alive in ways that I don't think are possible anywhere else. And I want to do that with you.

I would like to lead a tour to the Holy Land in August 2024 (probably the 9th-30th). I am working with a reputable, licensed independent tour guide with years of experience and fabulous references, including many from Episcopal clergy and dioceses. As part of this early stage planning, it would be helpful to know if you would like to join me on this adventure. Please take a minute to complete the three question survey at the link below. Doing this is not a commitment - unless you know for sure that you want to come along! - but it does give me an idea of who is interested.

If you have any questions about my sabbatical (including what is it and why?) or about the trip to the Holy Land, please ask me. I really would enjoy the opportunity to talk to you about it.

Peace & Blessings,
Good News in the Garden!
Thanks to Julia, Jean and Rev. Paula we have veggies and marigolds planted in our Good News Garden.

The garden enclosure is now complete with a door and hook & eye latch, too.

Garden blessing to be announced.
Covid Protocols for Common Worship - UPDATED
CovidActNow, the website we use to determine our Covid practices, has been updated to reflect the current CDC guidelines. As long as Essex County has a low/green level of community risk and children under age five cannot be vaccinated, these guidelines will remain in effect.

  • Congregational singing is approved with reasonable precautions.

  • We have suspended the Common Cup because of the change in our Community Risk Level to medium. We will bring it back when the risk level returns to "low."

  • The 8:00 service is back! This is a masks optional, spoken service. Rev. Paula will be masked during the Eucharistic Prayer and distribution of Communion.

  • The 10:00am service, which is our principal service will remain masks required for the time being. We will sing, which continues to be a high-risk activity indoors and unmasked. Rev. Paula will be masked except when preaching. The Vestry will review this decision periodically.

  • For small groups, masks will be optional if everyone at the table agrees.

  • We no longer take temperatures, but we continue to ask for contact tracing information.
June is Pride Month


Thank you to everyone who showed up, helped out and expressed love and support for our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters at the festival on June 12th.

We've compiled a list of movies for Pride Month. You are invited to watch the moves and comment or question as you feel moved. Go to our Facebook page and click on "More" beneath the picture of the church, you'll see "Groups" as an option. The discussion of these movies will be in the "Pride Month Movie Connection" group. Join us!

The movies:

  • Buddies
  • Torch Song Trilogy
  • Longtime Companion
  • Angels in America
  • Rope
  • Best in Show
  • Milk
  • Carol
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • The Normal Heart
  • The Birdcage
  • But I'm a Cheerleader
  • Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • Disclosure
  • The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson
  • A Secret Love
  • Philadelphia
  • Doubt
  • Tales of the City
Happening at St. Stephen's This Week...


It's wonderful to be with each other in church and celebrate the Holy Eucharist with congregational singing.

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 6am and 3pm.
Please join us for our Second Sunday after Pentecost Service
on Sunday, June 19 at 8:00am and 10:00am.

ALL are welcome!
Looking Ahead

JUN 16
7pm - Preschool Committee Meeting

JUN 17
Parish Office Closed
(Juneteenth observed)

JUN 19
Communion for All
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting

JUN 20
7:30pm - MA Meeting

JUN 21
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

JUN 22
7:30pm - Finance Committee Meeting

JUN 26
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
11:30am - Reading with the Rector
1pm - AA Meeting

JUN 27
7:30pm - MA Meeting

JUN 28
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting

Independence Day
7:30pm - MA Meeting

5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

JUL 10
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting

JUL 11
7:30pm - MA Meeting

JUL 12
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

JUL 17
Communion for All
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
11:30am - Vestry Meeting
1pm - AA Meeting

JUL 18
7:30pm - MA Meeting

JUL 19
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

JUL 20
7:30pm - Finance Committee Meeting

JUL 21
7pm - Preschool Committee Meeting

JUL 24
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting

JUL 25
7:30pm - MA Meeting

JUL 26
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study

JUL 31
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting
7:30pm - MA Meeting
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting
7:30pm - MA Meeting
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study
7pm – Worship Committee
AUG 14
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting
AUG 15
Drumming Camp
7:30pm - MA Meeting
AUG 16
Drumming Camp
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study
AUG 17
Drumming Camp
7:30pm - Finance Committee Meeting
AUG 18
Drumming Camp
7pm - Preschool Committee Meeting
AUG 19
Drumming Camp

AUG 21
Communion for All
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
11:30am - Vestry Meeting
1pm - AA Meeting
AUG 22
7:30pm - MA Meeting
AUG 23
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study
AUG 28
8am - Sunday Worship
10am - Sunday Worship
1pm - AA Meeting
AUG 29
7:30pm - MA Meeting
AUG 30
5pm - Women's Lectionary Study
Other Happenings...
March & Rally for Reparations, Justice, & Democracy

Friday, June 17
Newark, NJ
12:00 - 2:00pm

Join the Diocese of New Jersey
and raise your voices to pass legislation
for a Reparations Task Force (A938/S386), to invest in our youth
and close our youth prisons, for same-day voter registration (A1966/S247)
and for police accountability/civilian review boards.

Click here for more info.

Sunday, June 26
11:30am - 1:00pm

We will meet in the Common Room,
or you may join via Zoom.
We will be discussing:

The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir

Esther Ann Hicks--Essie--is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She's grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family's fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie's mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show's producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia's? Or do they try to arrange a marriage--and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media--through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell--Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?

Saturday, August 13
8:00pm at St. Stephen's

With works by Telemann, van Eyck, Valiente, and more.

Jessica Valiente, recorders
Laura Ferraro, flute
Andrew Pecota, baroque bassoon
Daphne Faulkner, violin and percussion
Maggie Faulkner, violin
Lisa Faulkner, viola
Rick Faulkner, double bass
Rebecca Pechefsky, harpsichord

Complimentary tickets will be available
for St. Stephen's parishioners.
Details coming soon.

We are excited to be hosting our
Annual Drumming Camp
on August 15 to 19 this year.

In 2013, St. Stephen’s established a partnership with the Episcopal Prison Ministry which outreaches to children who have an incarcerated parent in Essex County. We offer a week-long summer camp to children ages 6-12 who will learn African Drumming and participate in various arts and crafts.


Weekly AA meetings:

Sunday at 1:00pm
Contact: Rob H. (516) 860-9062

For more information about
Alcohol Anonymous, click here.

Weekly MA meeting:

Monday at 7:30pm
Contact: Max T. (212) 203-2542
Contact: Deana L. (908) 499-8997

MA meetings are presented in a rotating format -- Step, Speaker, Story from Life with Hope, Topic.

For more information about
Marijuana Anonymous, click here.
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

As we continue to work through the change and challenges of this time, says Bishop Hughes, that inspiration that led us to the faith in the first place and that keeps us going in the faith is going to be important to us.

Article published on May 31 in the Star-Ledger as a guest columnist opinion piece.

Sign up to get e-newsletters and important announcements directly from diocesan headquarters. Find out more and subscribe here.
Fourth of July Weekend Rest and Renewal Retreat

July 1-4, 2022

This weekend offers a lightly structured time to retreat from daily obligations and engage a deepening awareness of our relationships—with ourselves, those around us, the divine, and all of creation.

For details and registration, click here.
Cross Roads Camp & Diocesan Youth Ministries

Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center is a welcoming and inclusive community providing life changing and sacred adventures for renewal, growth, and joy.

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

For employment opportunities at Cross Roads, click here.

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 popupym on Instagram and Facebook.
Resources During Covid
There are many, many resources available to parishes and individuals to help sustain our faith practices during this unprecedented time.

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.
E-mail: help@njmentalhealthcares.org

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
Donna Riggi
The Blanchard Family
The McManus Family
Bernard & Nathan
Lucille B.
Jack Moreno
Joseph G.
Jane Rossiter
Ningyu Liu & Family
Mike Losito
Evan D. & Family
Donna Stadler Hostetler
Liliane Khouri
Theresa Scharff
Virginia Whatley
Lance Hochmuth
Ed Roman
Emma Simonich
Scott Landers
Inge Bass Mills
Agi Lowe
Joan Shuss
Shane Tate
Jessica Rama
If you would like to add someone to our prayer list, please email us at church@ststephensmillburn.org, 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
June 19, 2022
Second Sunday after Pentecost

If you'd like to read the full lectionary for the week, you may do so here.
Giving with Tithe.ly
Giving with Tithe.ly 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 Tithe.ly 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.
Did you lose a necklace in our parking lot during the month of May?
Please reach out to Maria.
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
Website: ststephensmillburn.org


Director: Nancy Siracusa
Phone: 973.376.3534, Ext. 20
Email: sspsmillburn@gmail.com