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 receiving the sacrament of Baptism, children 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.
St. Stephen’s invites to baptism all who desire a deeper relationship with God and who are, or who intend to be, active members of St. Stephen’s Church. Infants, children, and adults are baptized in the midst of the community during worship. Baptismal preparation takes place at times scheduled prior to the service. Baptized individuals and families are welcomed to scheduled post-baptism gatherings to reflect upon their baptism day and get to know others better.
Baptism is scheduled in accordance with the customs of the Book of Common Prayer and takes place at a regular service of worship on:
- The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (the first Sunday after January 6)
- Easter Sunday
- Pentecost Sunday (50 days after Easter Sunday)
- All Saints’ Sunday (the Sunday on or nearest following November 1)
- Any Sunday when the Bishop is present with the church
St. Stephen’s Church also reserves the last two Sundays in August as opportunities for summer baptisms in the Minnehaha Creek, which runs along the church property. Express your interest in creek Baptism to the clergy as soon as possible, in order that dates may be confirmed well in advance of summer.
Contact the Rev. Tom Cook to learn more.
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. For more information about Youth Confirmation or becoming a mentor, please contact Adam Estrem.
Confirmation for adults includes reflections and lessons with the clergy in accordance with the needs of those seeking the sacrament. Contact the Rev. Tom Cook for more information.
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 marriage couple must be baptized. Premarital classes with the parish clergy or their designee are required. If you would like more information about marriage with St. Stephen’s Church, contact the Rev. Tom Cook.
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. Contact Deen Hubin, parish administrator, to receive information on the Memorial Garden.
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. For more information, contact the Rev. Tom Cook.