Life Events: The Sacramental Journey
It is a privilege and an honor for the members and clergy of St. Stephen’s to walk with one another on the path of life. Whether it’s the first steps into faith community as an infant, youth or adults becoming more active members of the church, two people entering into the covenant of marriage, or family and friends commending our loved ones to God at life’s end, we seek to be a community of spiritual guidance and support for you and your family.
Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God. — The Book of Common Prayer, pg. 858.
All who desire a deeper relationship with God and who are, or who intend to be, active members of St. Stephen’s Church are invited into Baptism. Infants, children, and adults are baptized in the midst of the community during worship several times per year. Generally, Baptism takes place on the Sundays closest to All Saints Day (November 1st), the Baptism of the Lord (early January), Easter (during the Great Vigil on Saturday evening or on Easter morning), Pentecost (late May-early June), and Creek Baptism (two Sundays in mid-late August).
The rite of Baptism is the rite of initiation into the Body of Christ, and we hope that those who are baptized (and their families) use the baptismal preparation process to build a relationship with our faith community. The baptismal preparation process usually takes about two months.
BAPTISM INQUIRIES: Complete this Inquiry Form
The sacrament of Confirmation marks the adult phase of our journey in Christian faith as members of the Episcopal Church and is commended to all our members, those who grew up as Episcopalians and those who have come from other parts of the larger church. We take the Confirmation process seriously as a time marked by deep exploration of faith. Only a bishop serves as the minister of Confirmation, so we participate in this sacrament when the bishop is with the congregation. Members of St. Stephen’s Church already confirmed in the Roman Catholic or Evangelical Lutheran Churches are publicly received into the Episcopal Church by our bishop.
Confirmation for mature youth includes classes, outreach opportunities, and participation in the life of the church. In addition, every Confirmation student receives a mentor as his or her companion for the journey. Mentors are active members of the church who provide spiritual guidance throughout the Confirmation process.
Confirmation for adults includes reflections and lessons with the clergy in accordance with the needs of those seeking the sacrament.
The sacrament of marriage with St. Stephen’s Church grows out of our shared life, worship and service together; therefore, couples to be married with St. Stephen’s Church are members of the parish, immediate family of active members, or those who have established some long-standing faith connection with St. Stephen’s Church. If you are seeking a faith community in which to marry, we invite you to become active members with St. Stephen’s Church, so that you might prepare for marriage with the clergy.
As a Sacramental Rite of the Episcopal Church, at least one of the members of the couple to be married must be baptized. Premarital classes with the parish clergy or their designee are required.
Burial of the Dead, Memorial Services, and the Celebration of Life
The clergy, staff, and members of our Care Ministries of St. Stephen’s Church offer love and support to individuals and families during and after the time of the death of a loved one. Our care includes providing for the rites and ministries of the church that commend our loved ones to God’s never-failing care: Burial, Memorial Services, and graveside services of Committal.
Members of St. Stephen’s Church and their immediate family members may have their cremated remains interred in the St. Francis Memorial Garden on the grounds of the church. The clergy of St. Stephen’s Church are available to our members to provide guidance and planning for end-of-life arrangements before the time of death. Members may create and file funeral plans with the clergy for later use.