Who We Are
St. Stephen Episcopal Church
We are a nurturing and inclusive community of faith. We welcome all people. We honor our community's diversity in: faith history (including seekers, doubters, and atheists); race and ethnic background; sexual orientation and gender identity; marital status; socioeconomic circumstance; immigration status; age; physical and mental ability; mental health condition; and education. We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, beloved by God.
We at St. Stephen are members of The Episcopal Church
, one of the denominations in the world-wide Anglican Communion. We believe that, as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry puts it, "Being a Christian is not essentially about joining a church or being a nice person, but about following in the footsteps of Jesus, taking his teachings seriously, letting his Spirit take the lead in our lives, and in so doing helping to change the world from our nightmare into God's dream." We believe in a loving, liberating, life-giving God, and we seek to walk the way of love together.
As Episcopalians and Anglicans we walk "the middle way" between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholics who visit us are likely to feel at home with our liturgical style of worship and our emphasis on the sacredness of holy communion. Many Protestants will feel at home with our theology, which emphasizes God's grace, freely offered to all.
St. Stephen's is a family-sized church. Our congregation includes a number of families with young children. We find creative ways to include children in worship, encouraging them to serve as acolytes and readers and offering periodic children's sermons (Judith+ welcomes their comments during the regular sermons too!). We also offer a soft corner at the front of the church where younger children can sit on cushions and read books, color, or play with quiet toys during the service. During the school year we have Sunday School for grade school children after the Sunday Service.
Newport attracts retirees, so many members of our congregation fit in that category. As a result, our older members are often transitory: living "the dream" of being at the coast, and then when aging issues catch up to them and/or medical issues arise, finding it necessary to move inland to be closer to family and medical specialties. Our congregation also consists of several snowbird couples who leave for warmer climates in the fall/early winter. We often have travelers worship with us while they visit the Newport area.
St. Stephen's is also home to some of Newport's Latino population, so we have bilingual services on special occasions such as baptisms, and we include customs from traditional celebrations of El Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Feast of the Three Kings, and other important days as we go through the church year. Our basement houses Centro de Ayuda
, the center of help for Latinos in Lincoln County.
Mission Statement: Following the teachings of Christ, Love God, Welcome all, Serve the Community.