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Events & news

Updated: 1 day ago

Upcoming events

Bill MacKaye memorial service

Saturday, September 30

Service begins at 10:30am, followed by a reception/repast in the auditorium

Location: St. Stephen and the Incarnation

You are advised to arrive by public transportation as parking at/around the church will be very limited.

The memorial service (only) will be live-streamed and the recording posted on the church's YouTube channel. Watch the livestream at this link.

New tribute page to Bill on St. Stephen's website

As our parish and Bill's family and friends say our final farewells to him and remember his life at his memorial service this weekend, we have compiled on a new page on our website:

  • memorial-related information:

  • bulletin for the memorial service (will be posted on Saturday afternoon, after the service)

  • where to send memorial gifts

  • death announcements for Bill

The tribute and remembrance section of the page includes:

If you have items - photos, stories, articles, etc. - that you would like to share with others on this page, send them to the webmaster to post.


Q&A with the parish treasurer

After the 10:30am service this Sunday, Sarah Padre, our treasurer, will host a Q&A session. We will also be streaming the Q&A over Zoom so those who cannot be there can ask questions. Please come with questions about our church’s finances, especially as we progress through stewardship season (see next item below), are collecting parishioners’ financial pledges for 2024, and will be developing next year’s parish budget.

Zoom link:


2023 Annual Giving (Stewardship) Campaign

Stewardship season has started! We hope over the next several weeks you will think and pray about how you can support St. Stephen's over the next year.

More information about the campaign and pledging


Memorial Service for Spence Gibbins

The Memorial Service for Spence Gibbins, husband of parishioner Cleveland Mosby, will take place on Sunday, October 1, at 12:30 pm in the sanctuary of The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Avenue, NW. All are welcome.


Children's Christian Education

Children can join one of our programs, sit with their parents, or roam the floor when they come to worship with their families. Child care is provided for infants and toddlers during the service in the first room off the left aisle (before the fire doors). Godly Play for 3- to 9-year-olds is in the Godly Play Room off the Auditorium (follow the left aisle through the fire doors all the way back). The kids leave the service before the readings and return for the offertory. Sunday School for 4th to 8th graders is in the corner room just off the Godly Play Room.


Noon Forum (formerly known as the Morning Forum + time change)

This is a time of education and discussion held on the second Sunday of each month.

The Morning Forum has changed times and has been renamed the Noon Forum. It begins after coffee hour (about 12:15pm).

Upcoming topics:

  • October 8: The Eucharist Liturgy: Structure & History (led by Jim Frazer)

Volunteers are needed to lead upcoming Noon Forums. This could involve, for example, sharing your professional knowledge, facilitating a discussion, or introducing an organization or service opportunity. Some past forums were focused on the diaconate, rites of remembrance of the departed, Nicene Creed translations, the history of the Book of Common Prayer, bishops in the early church, the synoptic Gospels, the non-canonical Gospels, the Gospel reading for the day, and various service organizations. These are just examples; use your imagination, and don't be shy. Contact Jim Frazer if you would be willing to lead a Noon Forum session.


Special potluck gathering this month! (note date and location change)

This month's potluck gathering is combined with the Welcome to St. Stephen's class on vocation, calling and ministries of the church. Come meet some of our newer members and share how you serve God in your life (inside and outside the church).

Note: The October potluck originally scheduled for Oct. 4 at Michele's house has been canceled to allow for this special potluck.

Everyone is welcome! Please bring a dish, drink, or dessert to share.

Thursday, October 5, 7pm at St. Stephen's

Please RSVP here:

Future potlucks:


Small Group: Threaders of St. Brigid

Every Tuesday, 7:00-8:30pm in the sanctuary. Light snacks will be provided.

Bring your knitting, sewing, or other craft project, or come to learn. No experience necessary.

Contact: Jane Bishop


Welcome to St. Stephen's Class

Thursdays at 7:00pm

We invite all newcomers (and not-so-newcomers!) to the Welcome to St. Stephen's Class. Classes will be in-person at the church for six weeks. The first class was held on Thursday, September 21, but we are still welcoming additional members!

The Welcome Class is a chance to explore your spiritual journey, learn about Saint Stephen's and the Episcopal Church, and discuss approaches to worship, prayer, and service. It's also an opportunity to connect with other newcomers and longtime members, hear their stories, and have thoughtful conversations about faith.

The class is open to anyone who hasn't taken it before, even if you've been coming to St. Stephen's for a while.

If you would like to join the class, please contact Sandra or Hannah to ensure you receive updates. Light snacks will be provided, and if needed, we can explore providing child care as well.

Sandra Moore & Hannah Albers

Welcome Class Co-Facilitators,

General announcements

Vestry Updates

Since the annual meeting, these things have been happening on the vestry:

  • Stephen Padre was appointed to fill a vacant position. Adan Luna joined in place of Alex Garcia, who stepped down from his position on the vestry.

  • John Payne continues to coordinate our priest search. The vestry is the search committee, and all vestry members are actively engaged in the process.

  • A subcommittee of choir members is working to hire a music director but has not yet found a suitable candidate.

  • Jackie Job, our parish administrator, is focused on running the daily affairs of the church in the absence of a priest.

  • Erin Hutson and Atiba Pertilla, senior wardens, are continuing the practice of meeting with our space users to build relationships and address their concerns.

  • The Buildings & Grounds Committee is working on a solution for winter heat to manage fixing our broken boiler for the winter; high cost and lack of available labor have made replacing the boiler a less feasible option.

  • As mentioned in a previous newsletter, the vestry voted in June to make mask-wearing in the church (at worship) optional.

  • At its July meeting, the vestry voted to approve Loaves and Fishes withdrawing money from its investments to make up for its deficit and maintain the program's cash flow.

Rector search update

The vestry continues to interview candidates for our new rector. We will be interviewing on a rolling basis until the vestry agrees that we have found the best candidate for our church community. As we continue this process, please continue to spread the word to anyone who might be interested, or let us know if we should reach out to a particular person or organization. Thank you all for your support and prayers as we continue this process together.

For more information on our progress, visit the Rector Search page on our website.

Summer supply clergy and pastoral care

In this in-between time, following the departure of Rev. Rondesia Jarrett-Schell as our interim rector and until we call a new permanent priest, we will have a series of supply clergy this summer. These visiting priests will preach and preside at communion during our Sunday worship services.

For pastoral care during this time, please do not contact these supply priests as their duties and responsibilities at St. Stephen’s are limited. For pastoral care needs or to discuss scheduling sacramental events such as a wedding, please contact Jane Bishop or 202-297-8627 (call or text).

The Stained-Glass Ceiling Shattered Nearly a Half-Century Ago

For members and other attendees of worship at St. Stephen’s, it may be hard to believe that women serving as priests was once a controversial idea. Yet within the lifetimes of some of the parish's members, this idea was debated, the issue pushed, and the rules broken, including in our very own building.

We are approaching the 50th anniversary (in 2024) of the ordination of the first women to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church. St. Stephen’s played a prominent part in this controversial and radical act. The story centers around the “Philadelphia Eleven,” the first set of women who were ordained. A few months after those “irregular” ordinations, part of the drama moved to D.C. and our own sanctuary.

Fifty years ago, the denomination did not permit women to enter the priesthood. On July 29, 1974, at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia, 11 women were “irregularly” ordained—Revs. Merrill Bittner, Alla Bozarth-Campbell, Alison Cheek, Emily Hewitt, Carter Heyward, Suzanne Hiatt, Marie Moorefield, Jeannette Piccard, Betty Schiess, Katrina Swanson, and Nancy Wittig.

A few months later, on November 10, 1974, Rev. Cheek presided at communion at the altar at St. Stephen’s and became the first woman in the denomination to publicly celebrate the Eucharist. For facilitating this, our rector at the time, Rev. Bill Wendt, was found guilty of violating Episcopal Church doctrine and formally reprimanded, but in defiance, he hired Cheek as St. Stephen’s assistant priest. On September 7, 1975, St. Stephen’s hosted a second “irregular” ordination for four more women, including parishioner Lee McGee. Women’s ordination was ultimately approved by the national church in 1976.

 The media took notice of these events, especially the Washington Post. It reported that the November 1974 service at which Cheek presided “ranged from solemn prayer to joyous hugs and bursts of spontaneous applause.”

“I think the visual image of a woman behind the altar is important,” Cheek told the Houston Chronicle in 2006. “I don’t like to generalize, but I think we bring a more human touch, and that can create a different atmosphere.”

Wendt died in 2001 at age 81. Cheek died in 2019 at age 92. McGee died in 2022 at age 78.

On Sunday, July 30, we commemorated the anniversary of the Philadelphia Eleven by reciting a litany that was written for the 49th anniversary and looking ahead to the 50th created by the Diocese of Los Angeles along with the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music and others.

In preparation for next year’s anniversary, a feature-length documentary is being produced. Watch the trailer below (our sanctuary makes a cameo appearance), and stay tuned for more information about how our parish might participate in anniversary commemorations and some history lessons of our participation in the events of 1974.

Give to Samaritan Ministry's Empowering Our Neighbors in Need Program

Want a way to do some good and help our neighbors at the same time? Make a contribution to Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington’s Empowering Our Neighbors in Need Program! Just click on this link and follow the instructions. If you make your donation through the Amazon wish list, make sure to put in the gift message "For ENN from St Stephen & the Incarnation." It's that easy! You'll be able to donate through the end of September. If you have any questions, please contact Michele Lewis-Muzzatti.

Search for a new Music Director and Organist

The church is searching for a new Music Director and Organist. In the coming weeks, hopefully we will have a suitable candidate to hire on an interim basis for several months with the possibility of becoming permanent after our new priest is hired. A small group of choir members will review applications and interview candidates, and the wardens will have the authority to hire for this role while we have a vacancy in the priest role. Foremost in the group’s mind for filling the musician role is the centrality of music, both choral and on the organ and piano, in our worship services and the styles of music the choir and congregation appreciate.

If you know of musicians who would be interested in this role, see the full job posting, which you are welcome to share.

Loaves and Fishes donations needed!

Loaves and Fishes needs your help! This program of our parish continues to serve meals on all weekends and federal holidays to many people who need them; food costs are also going up. Income at this point in the year is 20% lower than needed to be able to cover our expenses. Can you give today to help our income match our expenses? The expenses were greater than income as of June 30 by $45,000. Every amount helps. You can donate by visiting our online donation page on Realm and selecting "Loaves and Fishes" from the drop-down menu or by writing a check to St. Stephen's and noting Loaves and Fishes on the memo line.

Loaves and Fishes volunteer opportunity

Our Loaves and Fishes program serves a prepared meal every Saturday, Sunday and federal holiday year-round. Many people in need come for food. If you are interested in volunteering with Loaves and Fishes, simply text Denize at 240-855-5874

Coffee hour

Join us after the 10:30am service for coffee/tea, light snacks, and fellowship. Please sign up to volunteer to bring snacks and help with set-up/ clean-up for our weekly coffee hour. Thank you for making this time possible!

A Gentle Reminder Please keep your pledge up to date. Just like your household, the church has regularly monthly expenses we must meet, so your help in making regular pledge payments insures we can meet them. Thank you for your commitment and faithfulness to our community.

Updated: Jul 12

For pastoral care during this in-between time, following the departure of Rev. Rondesia Jarrett-Schell as our interim rector and until we call a new permanent priest, do not contact our summer supply priests as their duties and responsibilities at St. Stephen’s are limited.

For pastoral care needs, please email Jane Bishop or call/text her at 202-297-8627. You may contact her with pastoral care concerns for yourself, your family, your friends, or anyone you feel called to care for.

Also contact her for scheduling sacramental events such as a wedding.

Together we will prayerfully decide on the next steps, connecting you and your cares and concerns with the right people and resources of our caring community.

Updated: Jun 11

For announcements to appear here on the website (in the Events & News section) and in the weekly newsletter sent by email, send them to Jackie. Please CC the co-senior wardens in your announcement submission at

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