Connecting with God,
We’ve seen the transformation hundreds of times – people who came to us full of doubt and uncertainty become secure in the knowledge of their rightful place in God’s great kingdom. The change may start slowly – in a Bible Study class or choir participation, perhaps – but once it begins, it picks up speed. The good works, shared experiences, time spent in prayer – all bring us closer to our highest calling.
Saint Stephen's is a parish church of the Diocese of New Jersey, the second oldest diocese of the Episcopal Church in America. As such, we are members of the worldwide Anglican Communion. We are a parish whose members enjoy one another's company, and we have striven to warmly welcome new members into our community. While we joyfully participate in traditions that date back to earliest Christianity, we also remain committed to seeking new ways to respond to God’s call to us in an ever-changing world. We are a parish of about 200 families. The parishioners of Saint Stephen's come from different backgrounds and have a variety of interests.
The Eucharist is at the heart of our worship and is celebrated every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday (Wednesday and Friday temporarily suspended). At present we gather at 9:30 a.m. for Holy Eucharist on Sundays. In the Spring, Summer and early Fall, we hold Holy Eucharist in our outdoor Garden Chapel on Saturdays . On Wednesday, we gather at 7:00 p.m. for Bible Study. On Fridays at 10 a.m., there is Morning Prayer which includes a Service of Healing. See more information about our worship services. Our liturgies follow the Book of Common Prayer. The laity are encouraged to participate in all aspects of our worship. We celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Baptism at special times during the year, and offer education leading to Confirmation and/or Reception into the Episcopal Church annually. Those interested in any of the above sacraments as well as the sacraments of Holy Matrimony, Confession or Holy Communion classes, should speak with the Church Office.
The Rev. Dr. Chip Graves is co-priest-in charge, along with his wife, The Rev. Lisa Graves, at both St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Waretown and Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Tuckerton, NJ. They have just begun to discover all that the beautiful Jersey Shore area has to offer. Chip is from Missouri, having earned his M.B.A in International Business at the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird), a Maters in Divinity at Virginia Seminary, and a Doctorate In Ministry at Virginia Seminary.
Chip is a former business manager in Food Distribution and Financial Advisor at American Express. Chip loves marketing, spirituality, finance, and church growth in addition to nature hikes, international mission and his work with the Mensa Foundation. Chip is also an associate with the Holy Cross Monastery in upstate New York.
The Rev. Lisa Graves is co-priest-in charge, along with her husband the Rev. Dr. Chip Graves, at both St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Waretown and Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Tuckerton, NJ. Lisa, an army brat, earned her bachelor's degree in Communications from Stephen's College in Columbia, MO and her master’s in divinity from Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA. Lisa is a former Creative Director and Advertising professional and loves marketing, social media, spirituality, chant music and comedy clubs.
Chip and Lisa have served churches in Roanoke, VA, Chicago, IL, Huntington, WV and Westchester NY. They have two amazing grown daughters who live in the northeast - Katarina and Isabelle and one big hairy rescue dog named Uno.
Chip and Lisa say that people visit churches for a lot of reasons; to connect with community, to find comfort after a loss, to volunteer and give back and to experience and deepen relationship with God. Whatever your reason, we're glad you found us and hope we can help you on your own faith journey. Reach out to schedule a time to have coffee, meet or to answer questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org for Lisa and email@example.com for Chip.
Music is an important part of worship at St. Stephen's. Under the direction of our talented organist and choir director, Carlos Staszeski, the choir participates in the 10 a.m. service each Sunday and in special celebrations during the year. The choir is open to both men and women.
Christian Education for those seeking to deepen their relationship with the God is offered to children, adults and teens. Church school is taught by a dedicated group of teachers and provides opportunity for children to learn about the role their faith plays in their daily lives. A nursery is available for children 4 years old and younger during the 10 a.m. Sunday service. Vacation Bible School is held each summer. In addition, opportunities for adult education, Bible studies and discussions on the spiritual life are available throughout the year.
Saint Stephen’s provides several different ways to experience fellowship. After the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services each Sunday, there is a coffee hour in Parish Hall where all are welcome and encouraged to mingle. The entire church membership is encouraged to participate in our Welcome Home Celebration, held each September, Shrove Tuesday Supper, Lenten Simple Meals, Welcome Back Sunday and various other fellowship events held throughout the year. Joining in any of the many church ministries such as Altar Guild, Thrift Store, Food Pantry, Episcopal Church Women, or Quilters are also opportunities to share friendship and fellowship while using one’s God-given gifts.
The Parish Outreach Ministry of Saint Stephen's provides opportunity for parishioners to volunteer their time and talents to some of the programs the parish offers. We serve many of the local nursing homes, provide temporary shelter for men in the Good Samaritan House, offer food to about 600 people per month through our Food Pantry, gather gifts for children through our Christmas Giving Tree, and we provide clothing and household items at greatly discounted prices through our Thrift Outlet.
In addition to our Parish Outreach Ministries, Saint Stephen's hosts recovery group meetings and Scouting.
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Who is God? Episode 1 in a planned 8 videos for the Diocese of New Jerseey