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Ministries & Programs

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Christian Formation

Christian Formation is a lifelong process of growing in our relationship with God, ourselves, and others. At St. Stephen’s we offer Christian Formation for all ages each Sunday morning, a variety of ministries that meet weekdays, as well as seasonal activities and intergenerational events. Questions? Contact the office.

Sunday Morning Programs

1st Sunday of each month (9:15-10:15) — Parish Continental Breakfast (including fruit, Danish, bagels, coffee, and juice). We will continue to utilize the Godly Play Curriculum by having a Godly Play Trained Instructor lead a Godly Play Lesson as the Sermon on the 1st Sunday of each month at the 8am and 10:30am services.

2nd-4th Sunday of each month (9:15-10:15) — Intergenerational Christian Formation (using the “miniRevolutions” Curriculum by Illustrated Ministries)

5th Sunday of each month (9:15-10-15) — Intergenerational Chair Yoga

Baby Nursery

Nursery – St. Stephen’s offers childcare Sunday mornings from 9:00 a.m. until after the service. Our nursery is designed to provide a safe and friendly environment for children (infants–PK) and is located downstairs. Children are also welcome in our worship service for as much time as the parents want — some children are in church for the whole service, some are brought in at the offertory to receive the Eucharist or a blessing, some stay in the nursery.

Weekday Formation Opportunities


Alpha Formation – helps create a space for honest conversation around some of life’s biggest questions. It is designed to provide guests an opportunity to connect with one another while providing the opportunity to share thoughts, ideas, and opinions in a safe and caring environment. Alpha helps bring people together while providing the chance to encounter Jesus. (Click here for more information about Alpha USA). Alpha Formation meets Wednesdays, 6–7:30 p.m. throughout the year. Please contact Fr. David for details.

Adult Programs & Ministries


Parish Choir – Music is integral to our worship at St. Stephen’s and is led by our organist and choirmaster. The Parish Choir provides choral music for the 10:30 a.m. service and is active between Labor Day and Memorial Day. The choir also provides music for special occasions and services such as Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday and Holy Week. Open to anyone middle school aged or older! All you need is a love of music and a willingness to give it a try! The choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings, 7-8:30. For more information, contact the office.

Men's Prayer Zoom

Men’s Morning Prayer – The Tuesday Morning Men’s Morning Prayer group meets in the Common Room and on Zoom each Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. Using the Mission St. Clare app on smartphones, tablets or computers, the group shares Morning Prayer. We continue to fellowship with breakfast together afterwards. Our Zoom team includes Buzz Baker in Arkansas and Jim Smith in Washington. If you would like to join, either in person or on Zoom, please contact Bob Cagle.

Pub Theology

Pub Theology – This is an opportunity to gather at a local pub (subject to change —check the weekly eblast) for honest conversation about life, faith, and God. It is casual, informal, and fun. We meet from 7–8 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. All are welcome! Join us and invite a friend. For more information, please contact Fr. David Wyly.


Education for Ministry – Offered through Sewanee University, EFM is a four-year program of preparation for lay ministry although the commitment is for one year at a time. Through Bible study and by reading the works of Biblical scholars, both past and present, students experience spiritual growth and move toward discernment of their particular calling. Adult learners are welcome from any denomination.

Theological reflection is an integral aspect of each session. Students learn to recognize the brokenness in the world around them. They look at their religious traditions and our culture to see how a particular issue might be addressed and finally consider what they themselves might do about it. For more information about registration and cost tuition, prospective students should contact facilitator Rebecca Bean

ECW Ministries & Episcopal Church Women – Our mission is to provide congregational care through meal support and fellowship opportunities. Teams provide congregations care on a rotating basis when notified by the Rector that a need has been identified. Not only do the teams help families in need of meal support during bereavement, hospitalizations, recuperations, and births; but they also respond to our fellowship events as they occur during the year. All women of St. Stephen’s are welcome and encouraged to participate in this ministry.

Eucharistic Visitors – Eucharistic Visitors take the Eucharist to parishioners who are unable to attend worship. They are called forward during a Eucharist and the congregation joins in a prayer sending them out. Eucharistic Visitors must be confirmed members of the parish, age 16 and older, and licensed by the bishop. Contact Bob Cagle for more information.

Eucharistic Ministers – Eucharistic Ministers are laypeople who assist the priest in adminisring the Eucharist (Holy Communion) during worship services. The role of a Eucharistic Minister is to help facilitate the distribution of the concrecrated bread and wine to the congregation. Eucharistic Ministors must e confirmed members of the parish, age 16 and older, and licensed by the bishop.

Lectors – A lector is a layperson who is appointed to read aloud passages from the Bible during worship services. Lectors play a significant role in the liturgical life of the church by proclaiming the Word of God to the congregation. Being a lector is open to anyone who feels called to this ministry.

Ushers – An usher is a layperson who assists in various aspects of hospitality, order, and organization during worship services and other church events. Ushers play a significant role in creating a welcoming and smooth experience for both regular attendees and visitors.

Altar Guild – Members of the Altar Guild prepare the alter for the Eucharist and any additional services, setting out the vessels and linens, the bread, wine, and water. They keep the silver adn brass polished and the candles ready to light. New members are always welcome.


Outreach – St. Stephen’s commitment to service reaches beyond the boundaries of our church. This ministry is concerned with meeting the needs of those outside our doors. Whether it is providing food for the hungry, school supplies for children, or helping local organizations financially, our Outreach program has a long history of giving to others, and our parishioners are called in many ways to do God’s work. You are invited to become an active member of our ministry to others. Contact the praish office.

Vestry – Vestry refers to a group of elected lay leaders of the parish. They are the governing body within the Episcopal parish that collaborates with the clergy to manager the administrative and financial affairs of the church.

Youth and Children’s Programs


Acolytes – Youth in grade four and up serve as acolytes each Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. service. Acolytes lead the processions into and out of the church, carrying a processional cross, torches, and flags. Training and ongoing mentoring are provided.

EYC (Episcopal Youth Community) – EYC is a way for our youth to explore and deepen their relationship with Christ, learn more about the Episcopal Church, and grow as part of a Christian community. We play, pray, eat, worship, share our lives with one another, and talk about all things big and small. Most Sunday evenings youth and volunteers will meet in the Youth Room upstairs. We also go off campus to engage in outreach, attend diocesan events, and participate in other fun activities like bowling. Regular EYC is most Sundays during the school year from 6-7:30pm. (Dinner provided)

Vacation Bible School (with the Episcopal Churches of Goldsboro)
Dates and times TBD
EYC SummerMission Trip
EYC Summer Mission Trip
Dates and times TBD

Seasonal Programs

Choral Evensong, Sunday, September 10, 5:00 p.m. – The Schola Cantorum of the Diocese of Eastern Carolina will be singing a service of choral evensong at St. Stephen’s on Sunday, September 10, at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. Our organist, Patrick Ritsch, will serve as the organist for this service. The ancient practice of singing evening prayers is a longstanding practice in many Christian traditions. In English cathedrals, this practice developed, through the centuries, into a special sung service, and today Choral Evensong is a treasure among Christian liturgies and a jewel of the Anglican choral tradition. Please plan to join us as we welcome this group of singers from across the diocese.

Blessing of the Animals

Feast of St. Francis and Blessing of the Animals, Wednesday, October 4, 6:00 p.m. at St. Francis
Episcopal Church
– To celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals, St. Stephen’s will conduct a blessing of animals and pets Takes place outdoors in the garth. Whatever the animal, all creatures great and small are welcome!

Feast of All Souls Holy Eucharist, Thursday, November 2 at 6:00 p.m. – All members of our church are invited to come together with those who have lost loved ones in the past year so that we may remember the departed together as a faith community. You are invited to submit the name of anyone who has died in the last year to be read during the service.

Advent & Christmas Activities

Advent Formation Series (with the Episcopal Churches of Goldsboro) – During Advent, our seasonal series includes worship followed by a meal and an intergenerational program. The Advent Formation Series is on Wednesday nights, November 29 and December 6, 13 and 20, 6:30-7 p.m.

Advent Wreaths and Chains Sunday, November 26 – Prepare for the coming of the Christ Child by making an Advent wreath with fresh evergreens. The wreath reminds us that God, like the circle, has no beginning and no end while the evergreens symbolize our everlasting relationship with God, the source of continuous new life. Meet in the Parish Hall.

Lessons & Carols, December 8, 4:30 p.m. – This year we are having an Advent Lessons and Carols. Most churches present an annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols which incorporates both Advent and Christmas and is celebrated as close to Christmas Eve as possible. St. Stephen’s will present a purely Advent carol service. Advent can be so easily overlooked, so having a service dedicated to some of the most beautiful music in sacred repertoire is exciting!

Lent and Easter Activities and Services

Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, is a time for forgiveness, healing, and renewal. It is a season of the church year that reminds us that, through confession, repentance, and amendment of life, God forgives us and empowers us to forgive others.

Pancake Supper

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – Before you give anything up for Lent, join us for our annual pancake supper. Hosted by our EYC, please mark your calendar and don’t miss the fun, fellowship and the chance to be waited on by our youth volunteers. For more information, contact the parish office.

Lenten Formation Series (with the Episcopal Curches of Goldsboro) – During Lent, our seasonal series includes worship followed by a meal and an intergenerational program. The Lenten Formation Series is on Wednesday nights, February 21 and 28, and March 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Sunday, March 31, 10 a.m. – Bring your basket! The annual Easter Egg Hunt for kids ages birth through 5th grade will be held on the church grounds beginning at 10:00 a.m. All parishioners are invited to watch the fun.