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Nestled along the banks of Minnehaha Creek, the view outside the windows of St. Stephen’s is much the same today as it was decades ago – the stone bridge, winding creek, and charming views of the neighborhood beyond. The burbling creek, large old trees, and singing birds speak of a slower pace of life and offer a special place for quiet reflection or fellowship with others.
In this spirit, a labyrinth, or prayer path, was created on the 50th street side of the creek. It is a beautiful place to sit and pray, meditate, or simply listen to God. Our grounds are also home to a memorial garden, where some of our dearest members are buried beneath the sanctuary’s stained glass windows. Embracing our natural setting, we offer creek baptisms once a year in August. The entire congregation gathers along the banks as a wonderful reminder that baptism is part of the Christian journey.
The architectural design is a replica of the 15th century Old Radnor Church in Wales, harkening back to the Episcopal Church’s Anglican roots in Great Britain. Built during the Great Depression, the St. Stephens sanctuary originally included only clear glass windows. Parishioners, however, raised money throughout the years to pay for stained glass windows, designed by renowned Connick Studios in Boston. The windows feature both religious and secular themes; one window in particular depicts Minnehaha Grange No. 398, a building that stood on the St. Stephen’s site until 1879, paying homage to the community’s milling history.
Over the years, the St. Stephens has undergone three major construction projects. Yet with each project, the church embraced both its creek side location and stayed true to the faithful interpretation of the original Welsh country heritage. St. Stephen’s was the recipient of the 2011 Edina Heritage Preservation Award, celebrating structures that reflect the spirit of the community. We are proud of our building and grounds and enjoy sharing them with anyone who wishes to visit.
To see video footage of our building and grounds and learn more about St. Stephen’s, click here.