A Place Where Everyone is Welcomed. We Invite Everyone to Hear and Experience the Transforming Grace of Jesus Christ.
What to Expect in Our Worship
In the Episcopal Church, our liturgy is found in The Book of Common Prayer (BCP), which dates back to the 16th Century (and before!), though we use a contemporary version. The Book of Common Prayer is the red book in the pew rack. You can follow along in the BCP, although most of the service is printed in the bulletin for your convenience. At the 10:30 a.m. service, you will need a hymnal, the blue book in the pew rack. The hymn numbers are listed on the hymn boards on the sides of the altar and in the bulletin. We have Holy Communion at every service. For common questions (and answers!) about receiving Holy Communion in the Episcopal Church we have more information lower on this page. Episcopalians use a resource called The Lectionary to determine what scripture readings will be used each Sunday. To read the lessons for the coming Sunday, simply visit the online Lectionary Page.
Worship & Sunday School Schedule
Welcome to St. Stephen's. Whatever brings you, we are glad you are here!
8:00 a.m. Holy Communion, Rite II
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Nursery for Infants - K
9:00 a.m. Children’s Sunday School in the Gathering Room (September-May)
9:00 a.m. Adult Forum in Parish Hall (September-May)
10:30 a.m. Holy Communion, Rite II with music
5:00 p.m. Walk with Stephen's Friends Bible Group
MONDAY - FRIDAY
8:00 a.m. Stephen’s Friends Bible Study & Coffee Ministry
11:00 a.m. Centering Prayer in rector’s office
12:00 p.m. Healing and Holy Communion Service: a contemplative service which includes healing prayer.
What to Wear
Come as you are. Attire at our services is varied. Some people are more formal--you may see some in suits and ties, while others dress more casually.
For Your Children
Jesus welcomed children, and so do we! If you have young children, our nursery is opened from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., for children ages Infant – K. This allows parents of young children to participate in our Adult Forum, or simply take a coffee break before our 10:30 a.m. worship begins. We realize some children can be anxious about going to a new place so parents are always welcome to bring their children into any service. All of our staff and volunteers who work with children undergo a background check and are certified by the Diocese of Virginia's Prevention of Misconduct & Abuse Program.
If you're new to the Episcopal Church, receiving Communion can be confusing. Here are some common questions and answers.
I'm not an Episcopalian. Can I receive Holy Communion?
All baptized Christians, regardless of denomination, are welcome to receive Holy Communion in the Episcopal Church. If you have not been baptized, or if for any reason, you don't want to receive communion, you are still invited to come forward, kneel, and cross your arms over your chest and the priest will say a prayer of blessing for you.
If you have not been baptized, we would love to talk to you about being baptized. Please email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about our baptism preparation class.
Can children receive Holy Communion?
If they are baptized, yes! We understand that some parents prefer to wait until their children are older. If you do not want your baptized children to receive communion until a later age, please instruct them to cross their arms over their chest, and the priest will offer them a blessing.
How do I receive Holy Communion?
After the priest invites the congregation to receive communion ("The gifts of God for the people of God…"), the lay ministers will receive communion around the altar. After that, the ushers will dismiss the congregation, row by row, to come forward and receive Communion. When you're dismissed, please go to the altar rail, kneel (if you're able--some people stand if kneeling is difficult), and put your hands out to receive the bread. The minister will place the bread in your hands. You then have two choices: Some people eat the bread immediately, and then when the chalice (cup) of wine is presented, they drink from the cup. Others will hold on to their bread, and then dip it in the wine when it is presented. This is called intinction. They then immediately consume the wafer and wine. After receiving Communion, please return to your pew.
What if my mobility is limited?
The majority of our campus is handicap accessible. An elevator is available from the main parking lot, located at 120 N. Commerce Street, to reach the main level of the campus. You can access the worship area via a ramp on the side of the church. Our altar has a few steps, so if stairs are difficult for you, please let an usher know and we will be happy to bring communion to you where you are seated. VIEW OUR CAMPUS MAP
Do you have gluten-free wafers?
Yes, we do offer gluten-free wafers. As you are kneeling, when the priest comes to you, simply tell him "gluten free," and he will provide you with a gluten free wafer. Take the gluten-free wafer and dip it in the cup to receive Communion.
What if I drop my wafer?
Don't worry! This happens all the time. The priest or lay minister will pick it up. Since it has been consecrated, it will not be thrown in the trash. Rather, the priest or lay minister will consume it.
Do I have to drink the wine?
No. If you do not want to drink the wine, simply return to your pew after receiving the bread.
What do Episcopalians believe happens in Holy Communion?
In the Episcopal Church, the Holy Eucharist is also known as Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper. Eucharist comes from the Greek words meaning "good" and "gift." It literally means "Thanksgiving." The Holy Eucharist is the way Jesus himself has given us to remember and enter again into the events of His atoning death and glorious resurrection--the greatest expression of God's gracious love for us. In this meal, we are reminded that we are one Body, united to God and one another. As we eat and drink as one family, we dwell in Jesus, and he in us. Episcopalians have a wide range of beliefs on what actually happens to the bread and wine. Traditionally, we do not adhere to what is called Transubstantiation (in which the bread and wine actually become the real body and blood of Christ). However, we believe that Christ is truly present in a mysterious way as we eat the bread and drink the wine, remembering his death and resurrection for us. If you have questions about this, or any other matter of theology, please contact Fr. Ben via email.