Endowment giving to St. Stephen’s may take many forms:
- Securities are generally deductible at full market value and taxes on the gain may be avoided.
- Real Estate is also generally deductible at full market price.
- Life Insurance Policies may be used to designate the SSUMC Permanent Endowment Fund as a beneficiary.
- Charitable Trusts provide the donor with income for life with the assets passing to the SSUMC Permanent Endowment Fund.
- Wills and Trusts may be used to designate assets to the SSUMC Permanent Endowment Fund.
- Liquid Assets such as cash, treasury bills, money market accounts.
- Gift Annuities provide the donor with income for life with the assets passing to the SSUMC Permanent Endowment Fund.
All gifts for endowment should be labeled for the SSUMC Permanent Endowment Fund.
Contact Jim Allison, Endowment Committee Chair, at 703-323-8132 to further explore these opportunities.
At St. Stephen’s UMC, we feel called to help families relay the faith to the next generation. One way of doing this is by providing an age-appropriate Children’s Bible to third graders who are now ready to read on their own and begin implementing regular spiritual practices. These Bibles will help children and their families develop vital spiritual practices such as reading the Bible together, prayer, and daily devotions. Bibles will be presented on Sunday, October 15. Registration required by Sunday, September 24.
The fall edition is here! Click to read all about it!
Youth Focus Group –
Lesley Hatch, Tammy Lydon, Tom Bradley, Patti Kepler, and Linda Reinhard.
To create guidelines on how youth ages 12-18 are integrated into the overall church life and pave the way for youth who will come to SSUMC in the future. What does this mean? We have a great youth program and great youth in it. In the joint leadership meeting, we identified the need for a whole-church approach to supporting our youth.
Ideas Being Explored:
- Determine what it means to offer intentional support.
- How can youth be involved in worship?
- Include a youth on our youth council
- We have been gathering information from youth coaches, youth leaders, confirmand parents, and most importantly from our youth themselves. We have had great responses and look forward to more collaboration.
- Staying up to date on trauma and trauma responses; is something all of our youth are exposed to.
- Hold a meeting with counselors, teachers, and students from a wide variety of schools to explore what is going well and what is difficult for youth currently. How can SSUMC support counselors, teachers, and students?
“NOT YET” Leadership Retreat Focus Group
Edmund Baird, Mike Keppler, Jay Evans, Lorac Lawton, Victoria Bryant, Ruth Porter, Lesley Hatch
Offer new ways to reach people who have not had any experience with St. Stephen’s UMC
The “Not Yet: Group has met several times to brainstorm potential ways to reach people in our community.
To date, we have generated three possibilities to explore further.
Ideas Being Explored
Church used for non-church activities.
One way to reach new people would be to make the church building more available for use by the community.
- Small community groups that may need space for regularly scheduled meetings, such as Toastmasters, Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon
- Other churches that desire a space for worship
- People wishing to hold events, such as meetings, receptions, concerts, recitals
Strengthening connections with groups that are currently meeting at the church.
One excellent opportunity for outreach involves families connected with groups that already meet at the church.
- Boy Scouts
Offering activities in the community to reach people where they are
Expand worship and ministry opportunities to new demographic groups.
We have discussed reaching out to Seniors in our community. Currently, many of our church members have moved to Greensprings. A new senior living center – Woodleigh Chase – as well as an affordable senior living facility, adjacent to the Woodleigh Chase campus, are being constructed a few miles down Braddock Road.
- Host a group from Greensprings to watch our Sunday worship live stream together at Greensprings, provide communion that could be offered along with the congregation, and plan a time of fellowship, with drinks and snacks, following the worship service. This might be a time to build community and reach other residents.
- Take what we have learned and possibly use it at Woodleigh Chase when it opens
- Perhaps expand this to the affordable senior living center
The “NOT YET” group has just begun to explore ways to reach out to our community and introduce them to Saint Stephen’s. When we meet, we feel God’s presence as we brainstorm, think creatively, and expand on each other’s ideas! Your input and suggestions would be welcomed.
Jaraby Camargo, Rebeca Ervin, Roger Hartman, Joe Willmore
To improve communication about the various ministries, opportunities, events, and activities of St. Stephen’s UMC to those who are a part of SSUMC as well as the broader community.
St. Stephen’s offers an impressive number of services, groups, and ministries. However, many of us aren’t aware of the full range of great things happening here. Our surrounding community likely knows even less about what we offer here.
The Communications team here is here to help. We want to receive, reflect and relay information about St. Stephen’s. We’ve been asking ourselves the following questions:
- The “Why”
- Why is this project important and what are we trying to accomplish overall with our communications guidance?
- The “What/When/Who”
- What information are we trying to communicate, and who are the target audiences? When do we want to share this information?
- The “How”
- How can we disseminate this information? What tools do we have/need?
- Develop a Vision Statement for Communications to guide our efforts.
- Better understand the communications needs and challenges of various groups
- Meet with groups to determine the communications challenges they have and how we can address them together
- Assess current communication resources and make recommendations for updating or expanding as needed
- For example, we have a great new website and lots of fresh approaches to church email. But are there additional ways we can convey information to our church community and beyond?
We’re excited about this effort and hope you are too. If you have questions or ideas about how to better receive, reflect and relay information about St. Stephen’s, please reach out to a member of our team.
“Discipleship Pathway” Team
Lorac Lawton, Jaraby Camargo, Linda Reinhart, Vickie Bateman, Lesley Hatch
To develop a clear and intentional discipleship pathway, regardless of age, life stage, or faith journey, so that all who are a part of St. Stephen’s UMC may continue to grow in faith.
- Define a discipleship pathway
- Create a visual discipleship map
- Initiate a Christian education program
Define A discipleship pathway
A plan to guide people in deepening their relationship with God and growing in their faith at all the differing entry points.
Why do we need one?
To connect people to God no matter where they are in life.
Visual Discipleship Map
Example below from St. Stephen’s Children’s Ministry, 2014:
Provide not only children but also adults a guide for their own discipleship journey
Christian Education Program for Intentional Discipleship
Opportunity for all people to grow in their faith; to live the full and abundant life god intends for us.
- Starting Points Class
- Growing Disciples Classes
- Maturing Disciples Classes
Last week, the Virginia Annual Conference met in Roanoke, VA for our yearly gathering of representative, lay and clergy, from every church. Among the many wonderful, and hope-filled, reports and experiences, St. Stephen’s was recognized as one of five “Green Churches” in our Conference for 2023. We received the award in response to this spring’s “Green Day” event on April 30th. The award is extended to a church for “its work to green its church and model for its community the importance of caring for God’s creation and for its support of the Conference Green Church Initiatives.” Let us continue to live into our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation together!
When the world shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic, do you know what was also lost? Easter egg hunts. That’s right; this cherished activity has been largely sidelined for the past several years. This year, WE’RE BACK!
This year we’ll be hosting Eggstravaganza on Saturday, April 8 from 2-4 p.m. It will be a fantastic time to introduce friends and families to St. Stephens, so we’re asking everyone to invite someone with kids who enjoy the thrill of Easter-Egg-Hunting!
If you are interested in volunteering your time as an egg hider or craft assistant, please get in touch with Devin Caldwell at email@example.com or call the church office. Together, we can make this Eggstravaganza a delightful celebration for our entire community!
We’re re-building our e-mail list!
Why, you ask? Well, it’s a good thing to do from time to time. In order to stay out of SPAM folders, and to comply with the law, we have to send our emails through services like ConstantContact or MailChimp, that handle our bulk emails in specific ways. Over time, email lists get clogged up with out-of-date addresses, incorrect information, and unresponsive subscribers, all of which we end up paying for. Of our over 1,000 subscribers, only 45% are active, while 65% remain on our list but never open our emails. We pay for them even when they’re inactive.
To improve our communications capabilities, we are phasing out our MailChimp account and building a brand-new mailing list on a new service. ConvertKit will give us capabilities for growing our outreach and more effectively connecting with our members. But in order to receive our church’s emails after Easter, you’ll have to subscribe using the form above.
This service is being provided at no cost by The Lakelands Institute, our church’s communications contractor. You might see this name on your confirmation email, but don’t worry: the Lakelands Institute will never, ever sell your information or send you materials not associated directly with St. Stephen’s.
Between now and Easter, we’ll be sending out our emails the same way we have in the past, but after Easter, if you’re not signed up, you probably will miss out on all of the good information we send from St. Stephens. You can sign up at any time, but please go ahead and register in the new system as soon as you can.
- Palm Sunday Service: Sunday, April 2 at 9:00AM and 11:00AM including our Palm Sunday cantata by members of our Music Ministry.
- Maundy Thursday Service: Thursday, April 6 at 7:30PM. A service of Holy Communion where we remember and participate in Jesus’ last supper with the disciples. Service will be held in the Welcome Center.
- Good Friday Service: Friday, April 7 at 7:30PM. A Tenebrae Service where we reflect on the coming darkness of Jesus’ death. Service will be held at the sanctuary.
- Easter Eggstravaganza: Saturday, April 8 from 2:00-4:00PM. Creative events for children and their families along with an egg hunt at the end of the day.
- Easter Sunrise Service: Sunday, April 9 we will gather in the Chapel in the Glenn at 6:30AM. This is located outside the building near the back of our property. If the weather is not suitable, we will gather in the Fellowship Hall.
- Easter Sunday Services: Sunday, April 9 join us for our 9:00AM service (contemporary music) or 11:00AM service (traditional music) to celebrate the resurrection! Sunday School for all ages at 10:00AM and nursery for ages 0-2 available from 9:00AM-Noon.