Learn

At St. Stephen’s we know that our relationships with God, each other, and the world are nurtured in many ways.  We come together to worship, to wonder, to learn, to pray, to play, and to serve.  We especially enjoy the ways we are free to ask questions, express our doubts, and to explore what it means to live our faith.  We do this in many ways, some of which are more traditional, others more “creative”.  Some of these offerings are ongoing, others are seasonal.  Some of these are geared to children or adults, others are intergenerational.  Although some of these offerings are scheduled to coincide with our Sunday worship services, you are welcome to participate even if you don’t come to worship.

Here is some of what we offer:

Sunday School

We offer a one-room Sunday School for children during the first part of our 10:00 am service.  Before joining their families for Communion, the children learn about the themes of Scripture and how they are relevant to their lives, using story and creative arts.  This is co-led, with one adult focusing on the older children (school-age) and the other available to provide specialized attention to the younger children (ages 1 through pre-school).

Children are always welcome to be with their families for the full worship service if that is their preference.  We have “quiet bags” available to help calm the wiggles, though we do not expect them to be able to sit still or silently.  Families with children are encouraged to sit in the front, closer to “where the action is” which helps to hold their attention and also is a great way for them to learn about worship and how it connects to faith.

Seasonal Conversations for Adults

In Advent and Lent (the 40 days preceding Christmas and Easter), we offer series specifically designed for adults.  These are held after the 10:00 am service, from 11:30 am to 12:45 pm .  The topic and format differs from series to series, and may include video and other materials.  Most materials are free to the participant or very low cost.  We don’t want cost of materials to keep anyone from participating so please talk to Rev. Paula if you need assistance.  She will keep your request confidential.

The schedule and details are published in our weekly newsletter and on our calendar, as well as being announced in church and in the weekly service bulletins.

Reading with the Rector

Introduced in the spring of 2019, Reading with the Rector is a monthly book group.  The group meets on the first Sunday of the month from 11:30 am to 12:45 pm. The books are a variety of genres about issues or themes relevant to faith and theology.

The book of the month is published in our weekly newsletter and on our calendar, as well as being announced in church and in the weekly service bulletins.  All of the books are available from at least two vendors, such as Cokesbury, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon.  We don’t want the cost of a book to keep anyone from participating so please talk to Rev. Paula if you need assistance.  She will keep your request confidential.

This series is scheduled year-round, with the exception of August and during Advent and Lent.

Third Thursday Theater

Introduced in the spring of 2019, Third Thursday Theater is an opportunity to gather to view a documentary or other film about an issue relevant to our time, followed by a bit of discussion. As the name implies, this gathering is on the third Thursday of each month from 7:00 to 9:30 pm.  In July we move the time up to 6:00 to 8:00 pm for a “family friendly” gathering, including a picnic.

This series is scheduled year-round with the exception of August.  The titles and themes of the movies are published in our weekly newsletter and on our calendar, as well as being announced in church and in the weekly service bulletins.

Thematic Bible Study

Beginning in the fall of 2019, we will be joining Christ Church, Short Hills and Congregation B’Nail Jeshurun for a monthly weekday Bible study.  Stayed tuned for more information…