What to Expect
We are a quirky and warm, small church with a fair amount of diversity. We are an open community actively engaged in service to others. We focus on living in right relationship with God, ourselves, others and Creation. We laugh a lot, share food regularly and handle life’s difficult moments with prayer and support. Some call ours a practical faith. At St. Stephen’s we call it Living the Good News.
At the heart of how we practice our way of being Christians is the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). It our unique contribution to the universal church. Sunday, weekdays and at various stages of life, we pray its prayers. The BCP includes prayers for our self, others, the world and creation.There is great variety in how we think about things. By gathering and using the BCP, there is great commonality in our practice and identity.
Liturgy and Ritual
Episcopalians worship in many different styles, ranging from very formal, ancient rites with lots of singing and incense to informal services with contemporary music. At St. Stephen’s we lean more toward the traditional than the contemporary, although a new service being launched in the Fall will feature acoustic music with a Roots music feel. Worship in the Episcopal Church is said to be “liturgical,” meaning that the congregation prays from texts that don’t change greatly from week to week. This sameness gives the service a rhythm that becomes comforting and familiar to the worshipers.These services are in the Book of Common Prayer.
If you visit St Stephen’s you may find the liturgy exhilarating… or confusing. Services may involve standing, sitting, kneeling, sung or spoken responses, and other participatory elements that are a challenge for the first-time visitor. Liturgical worship can be compared with a dance: once you learn the steps, you come to appreciate the rhythm, and it becomes satisfying to dance, again and again, as the music changes.
Who May Receive Communion?
We are an open communion. Everyone is welcome to come to the table in the Episcopal church. We believe that we are more fully living the good news when we gather together. And we believe God loves all of us. No exceptions.