Join us at any or all of our three Sunday morning services (8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 am) on April 28, 2019 for a worship experience designed and led by our Youth. Don’t miss out!
June 1, 2019, 10 am to Noon
St. Stephen’s UMC Parking LotsSSUMC-Sports-Activation-Day-Flyer
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Lenten activity stations, and worship service.
Donations will be accepted to benefit the Youth Summer Mission Trips
Schedule of Activities:
- 5:30 pm – 7 pm: Pancake Supper, hosted by youth in Fellowship Hall
- 6 pm – 7 pm: Lent stations, activities, devotions & crafts for all ages to help us focus more fully on following Jesus during the Lenten season
- 7 pm – 7:30 pm: Worship service, featuring youth band in the Sanctuary
No Need To RSVP
All are welcome!
Please stop by any time during the event – and stay for some or all of the activities!
Child care is available in the Nursery during the event.
What is Shrove or Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras)? The day before Lent begins is known as Shrove Tuesday. For those who practice fasting during the season of Lent, all tempting foods are used up in a great feast (eggs, butter, sugar, meat) prior to Ash Wednesday. In our church, we serve pancakes to remember this tradition.
What is Lent? Lent is a Christian season 40 days (excluding Sundays) prior to Easter. Lent is observed in several Christian denominations with a variety of traditions, all with the focus of prayer and preparation for Easter.
What is Ash Wednesday? Ash Wednesday is the first day of the forty-day Lenten period. It gets its name from the practice of rubbing ashes on your forehead. At our service, everyone is invited to come forward to receive the ashes. One of the pastors will smudge the ashes in a cross on your forehead. You are invited to participate, but it is NOT required.
How much does this event cost? Pancakes & Ashes is a free event. For the Pancake Supper hosted by the Youth Ministry, a free-will donation is accepted. All donations will go towards Youth Summer Mission Trips. The Lenten activity stations are also free.
What ages are allowed? All ages are invited and allowed at this event. You are invited to stay for as short and as long as you want. Our church offers childcare for major events, including this one. However, we hope you’ll stay together as a family and enjoy the activities. Children are definitely a welcome part of our church experience.
Is there stuff planned for kids? Yes. In fact, all of our activities are designed to be experienced as a household. We have crafts which can take as little or as much time as you’d like, and plenty to take home with you to finish and enjoy later. Specifically, families will be able to assemble Lenten centerpieces to take home, eat pancakes, play board games, and much more! The supper is served from 5:30-7:00pm. The stations are open from 6:00-6:55pm. The 7:00pm worship service is especially designed for children to understand and participate.
Do I have to be a member of the church to attend? No. This is a chance for us to share with our community a part of our church’s culture. You do not have to be a member to attend.
Do I have to be a Christian to attend? No. This is a chance for us to share with our community a part of our culture. You will not be asked to join the church or proselytized to. We intend this to be a gift given to all, without price or expectation.
Is there food? Yes. We will have a Pancake Supper with pancakes, sausage and juice, free for all. A free-will donation will be accepted to support Youth Summer Mission Trips.
What time should we arrive? You may arrive any time between 5:30pm and 7:00pm. Please come when you can and stay for any or all of the activities. The Pancake Supper will be served during this time. Craft and activity stations will be open from 6:00-6:55pm. If you visit every station, it should take you about 45 minutes to enjoy. At 7:00pm there is a 30-minute family worship service featuring the Youth Band. Part of the service will include a Bible story and the imposition of ashes.
What is there to do at Pancakes & Ashes? A lot! The main event is a Pancake Supper. We’ll have a variety of stations for you to visit during your time. Stations include a Lenten centerpiece station where you may make your own candle centerpiece (all contents provided for free), a family board game room, and several other hands-on-activity stations for exploring the practice of fasting during Lent. You can also help us make tissue paper flowers to prepare for Easter. After 7:00pm, there is a short worship service.
Why is Lent 40 days? The number 40 is found several times in the Bible– it rained 40 days and nights during the flood, the Israelites wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting and praying, and was tempted, at the start of His earthly ministry. The Lenten season mirrors these Biblical stories.
So, why ashes and where do they come from? Ashes are a symbol of our temporary earthly bodies, which will one day decompose. Ashes also connect us with the ancient practice of heaping ashes of your head as a sign of your repentance. Our church tradition is to save the palm branches from Palm Sunday and burn them the following year for Ash Wednesday. You are invited to participate, NOT required.
What is fasting? Fasting is a Biblical principle that we find in both the Old and New Testaments. The references to fasting in the Bible present a time period of prayer during which one abstained from food. Often we hear people say, “I’m giving up _____ for Lent.” Lent is a personal time of self-reflection. Some choose to fast from a certain food item (ex. coffee or chocolate), while others in the spirit of fasting, choose to restrict their activities (ex. digital fasting). Fasting is an opportunity for you to get closer to God. It is a means to empty yourself of your desires, opening yourself to God.
Get Thinking about Lent
Will I give something up this year? What does the Bible say about fasting? How does fasting work with kids? This year’s Lenten stations at Pancakes & Ashes focus on fasting. To get you thinking ahead, check out these resources on fasting, and find ideas of how you can practice Lent with your family this year.
We’re going to West River UMC Retreat Center on the Chesapeake Bay and are challenging students in 3rd-6th grades and AT LEAST ONE of their parents to explore together what it means to live courageously for Christ.
Saturday, March 23, 12:00 PM –
Sunday, March 24, 3:00 PM
Cost $80 per person includes lodging, 4 meals, & one outdoor challenge activity.
OPENS – February 4, 2019
CLOSES – March 3, 2019
Register online using the form belowRead more
Mark your calendars for Saturday February 16! The United Methodist Men are throwing a Valentine’s party! Gathering at 6:00, Buffet Dinner at 6:15, Dancing 7:00 to 9:00! Our DJ will play a mix of music! Cost is just $20 per person. Couples, single and children over 10 are welcome. Tickets will be on sale in the Gathering Place after each service today, January 27, February 3 and February 10! See Gene Pettit, Ken Bryant, Jerry Tussing, Dan Watkins, Jay Evans, Chuck Smith, or call Chuck at 703-451-3957. PARENTS come have an evening out! Childcare available: Nursery for under age 5 and Candy Crush Fun & Games for ages 4-6th grade.
The Children’s Ministry invites kids ages 4-6th grade to join us for an evening of fun and fellowship on Saturday, February 16, from 6-8:30pm. We’ll have dinner, games, crafts, activities, and treats in the Fireside Room, while parents connect and enjoy dinner & dancing at the Valentine’s Dance in the Fellowship Hall. Nursery will be available for younger children.
Alexandria-Arlington District Youth Bowling Lock-In
January 25 – January 26 11:00 PM – 7:00 AM
We’re joining other NOVA UMC youth groups for this event!
The evening begins with a rally at Friendship UMC (Falls Church) and is followed by all-night Cosmic bowling at Falls Church Bowl America.
Bring $35 for bowling and snacks to share at the Rally!
Registration fee covers shoe rental, one slice of pizza, one 16 ounce drink, and of course, unlimited bowling all night! Kids might want to bring additional funds to cover other food and/or video games.
MEET AT ST. STEPHEN’S AT 9:45 pm
Rally location: Friendship UMC– 3527 Gallows Rd, Falls Church VA
Bowling lock-in location: Falls Church Bowl America – 140 South Maple Ave, Falls Church
Students may bring their own snacks for the bowling alley and sleeping bags/bedding if they know they will try to sleep.
REGISTRATION DUE BY 1/20/19 so we can arrange rides.
Join us on December 23rd for Worship at 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 am and for a Living Nativity from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.
On Christmas Eve, we will have 3 services:
At 5:00 pm: A Contemporary Service with a Children’s Message
At 7:00 pm: A Moravian Love Feast
At 9:00 pm: A Traditional Service with Candlelight and Communion.
Childcare is available at all three services.
Beginning immediately after the 9:45 am service and continuing through the early afternoon, please join the church for a BBQ Cookout on the front lawn and in Fellowship Hall. Moon Bounce, Corn Hole, Volleyball, and
a variety of self-directed fun and games for all ages. This is a GREAT Sunday to invite a friend to one of our worship services and then stay for food & fellowship as we kick off the fall season together.
March 15-17, 2019
Click HERE to view pictures from St. Stephen’s 2017 Easter Eggstravaganza using the password provided to you via email.
Just like athletes training to compete in a race, Christians follow spiritual practices to empower them on the journey of faith. To raise awareness of St. Stephen’s new Adult Discipleship plan, we’re doing a 5k together as a church on Saturday October 29 at 9:00 am. We’re doing it at Lake Accotink Park, and you can run, walk, or observe and celebrate. We will meet at the main pavilion. Watch the videos below for more information, or click the image above to register!