Baptism is the start of a life-long journey. Baptism is the means by which we become a part of the Body of Christ. It is the means by which we become a part of our local community at St. Stephen’s. It is the means by which we become a part of the universal church of all believers. It is the means by which we become linked to the great cloud of witnesses that stretches back into the depths of history.
In baptism, we are united with Christ’s death, and we are united with Christ’s resurrection. In baptism we receive new life in the Holy Spirit and are called by God into ministry—to proclaim the Good News of God, to do the work of reconciliation and healing, and to participate in God’s mission in the world around us.
If you would like to learn about and explore the sacrament of baptism for yourself or your child, we would love to hear from you. Please contact the the church office at 860-873-9547.
Many young people and adults find it a profound opportunity to deepen their relationship with God, affirm their identity as an Episcopalian, and recommit to participating in God’s mission. At St. Stephen’s, preparation for Confirmation takes places under the guidance of our priest. We meet to explore Scripture, learn about the history of the Episcopal Church and liturgy, and consider how God is moving in our lives at this moment.
For those who have been confirmed in another Christian tradition, you may be received into The Episcopal Church.
In the celebration of marriage, we come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of two people in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and in this sacrament we are witness to a vision of relationship, respect, and love that God intended for us. Marriage is a life-long, spiritual commitment that begins with your desire to form a lasting partnership with another person in God’s love, and continues throughout both your lives as a process of intentional living and growing together. In this holy union, each of you as an individual, and together as a couple, gradually transform and mature in God’s presence and image.
If you are considering marriage or the blessing of a civil union, you must first meet with our priest-in-charge, Rev. Erin Flinn–dates will not be booked prior to an initial meeting with the rector. In all cases, the couple must contact the clergy at least 60 days in advance of the anticipated wedding date, although we recommend contacting clergy 6 months, or more, in advance. This gives the couple and the clergy ample time to complete 4-6 sessions of premarital work and make appropriate arrangements for the wedding ceremony.
In the Episcopal tradition, funeral liturgies are also Easter liturgies, as it is the resurrection which gives us meaning when confronting the loss of a loved one. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised.
Funerals and memorial services, therefore, are characterized by joy, in the certainty that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This joy, however, does not make human grief un-Christian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered in the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.
If you are facing the death of a loved one, our priest and our parish are here to be companions with your as you walk the journey through loss and grief. Whether you are looking for help planning a funeral service or simply want someone with whom you can talk, we are here for you.