Our mission is to be a welcoming family, united in Christian love, worship, and service. Our members are a mix of long-time attendees and newcomers, who all find a supportive community in the church. We are united in corporate worship and ministry to others, within and outside our congregation. We are people who want St. Stephen’s to be a vital spiritual force in our lives, our families’ lives and the life of the larger community of Northumberland County and the Northern Neck. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is part of The Diocese of Virginia , The Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church was been worshipping God in Heathsville for over 150 years. Our lovely carpenter-gothic style sanctuary dates from 1881. During the part of our recent history when St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church could not use its sanctuary, we continued to worship God in other locations in Heathsville. Our faith was enriched and expanded by worshiping in different environments. We are now grateful to be back in our original church home since 2102, and continue to worship God in the beauty of holiness.
What We Believe
As part of the Episcopal Church, we share in the heritage of the worldwide Anglican Communion. We are a community of Christians guided by Scripture, tradition and reason seeking to interpret our ancient faith in the modern world.
Episcopalians affirm the four principles of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral-namely,
- The Nicene Creed is a sufficient statement of belief,
- the Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation,
- the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist, and
- the Historic Episcopate
The Episcopal Church acknowledges that Holy Scripture must be understood within the context of its origins and traditions of interpretation, as well as with the mediation of reason and the Holy Spirit. You will hear this referred to as Scripture, Reason and Tradition. The Episcopal Church, and in fact the Anglican Tradition, has always celebrated its diverse understandings of matters outside the basic tenets of the faith as indicative of humanity's struggle to understand God's will for contemporary societies, but the underlying commonality has always been, and remains, our common belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
This belief that Scripture must be interpreted, to some degree, within the context of our common life and culture, is not unique to the Episcopal faith. It is, in fact, evident in all Christian faiths in this country. For example, while biblically endorsed, our culture no longer supports stoning persons to death, severing the hands of the thief, or the tongue of the liar.
The interpretation of scripture, with reason and tradition, and within our common life is not something to be feared, rather, it is something to be treasured. Following the example of our Lord and Savior, ours is a faith of inclusiveness, respecting the dignity of every human being, created in the image of God.
Worship is at the heart of our community. Holy Eucharist is celebrated on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. All Sunday services have music with choir and organ. Sunday School and Bible Study is held Sunday at 10:30 in the Parish Hall. Weekly Noon Day Prayer is offered each Wednesday.
Where We are Going
Our vision for St. Stephen’s is to be known as a welcoming and loving faith family -- one in which we and others clearly see God’s grace and love in our worship, our actions, and our commitment to each other and to our neighbors.[/fusion_text][/one_half]