St. Stephen’s is known for the quality, breadth and depth of speakers who visit the parish, including renowned theologians, writers, poets, and monks. Our speakers series has become a resource not only for our own church but for the larger church and the community.
Past speakers have included Barbara Brown Taylor, Harvey Cox, Anne Lamott, Mary Oliver, Jon Meacham, John Philip Newell, Martin Laird, Lauren Winner, and many others.
Books by visiting speakers are available in the Bookshop @ St. Stephen's.
All events are open to the general public. You do NOT have to be a member of St. Stephen's to attend!
John Philip Newell, "Celtic Treasure: Lost & Found"
Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. | Online registration has closed for this event; please call the parish office at 288-2867 to ask about reservations
An evening with the renowned Celtic teacher John Philip Newell and the celebrated jazz fiddler Duncan Wickel, who will tell the story of Celtic Spirituality through words and music. This event comes from John Philip's experience of attending a performance of Shaker songs by four women, including the Academy Award-winning actress Frances McDormand. It was a way of bringing spiritual awareness through word and music in a context that was not explicitly religious. "What began to form in my imagination," says John Philip, "was an evening in which there would be Celtic music and spoken word. There would be Celtic music and I would do a combination of reciting ancient Celtic blessings and prayers plus weaving a little talk on the sacredness of the earth from a Celtic perspective." Suggested donation $25.
Martin Smith, "Routes to Bethlehem: Making our Way Prayerfully through Advent"
Saturday, November 28, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, so full of claims on our energies and attention, we can really benefit from having a clear pattern of regular prayer and reflection to keep us sane and focused on the good news of the Incarnation. In this practical workshop we will plot out some imaginative “spiritual road maps” from which each of us may choose the most promising personal “Advent path.”
The Rev. Martin Smith is a priest of the Episcopal Church well known for his roving ministry of spiritual formation through retreats, workshops and preaching. His books exploring contemporary spirituality, including A Season for the Spirit, The Word is Very Near You, Reconciliation, Love Set Free and Compass and Stars. Suggested donation $25. Optional lunch $8. Register here.
Fr. Martin Laird, "Exploring Silence in Lent"
Saturday, February 6, 2016, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
This workshop will help us to prepare for Lent through the use of silence. The saying is that “silence is golden” but it is often hard to find in our busy, noisy world. Learn how we can cultivate silence in our lives during Lent to enrich our Lenten journey, as well as our lives outside of the boundaries of Lent, into Easter and beyond.
Fr. Martin Laird is a member of the Order of St. Augustine, a professor at Villanova University and author of Into the Silent Land and A Sunlit Absence as well as scholarly articles and texts. He is a frequent visitor to St. Stephen’s. Suggested donation $25. Register here.
David Vryhoff, SSJE, Lenten Retreat: “The Gift of Inner Freedom”
February 15-16, 2016
We welcome Br. David back to St. Stephen’s for a two-part Lenten retreat, when he will be joined by a newly-professed brother, Br. John Braught. The weekend begins with a simple supper at 6 p.m. on Friday followed by a short session of about 90 minutes that will be an introduction to Ignatian spirituality. This will be of interest to all, and will be especially helpful to those who attend the Saturday session as well. Saturday morning will consist of a three-hour workshop entitled, “The Gift of Inner Freedom.” Each session is designed to be complete in itself, although the two together will provide a deeper experience, so if you are able to be present for only one of the sessions, that’s fine. Suggested donation $10 for Friday, $20 for Saturday or $25 for both sessions. Friday supper is available for an additional $8.
Lisa Miller, author of The Spiritual Child
March 3, 2016, 7 p.m.
The last several years have yielded paradigm-changing and indisputable scientific discoveries about the inherent spirituality of children that affect how we parent our children in fundamental ways. At the forefront of what is now a burgeoning field of spirituality and psychology, mental health, and thriving, is clinical psychologist Lisa Miller, Ph.D., whose pioneering research into spiritual development in children, adolescents, and families is opening our eyes to the oldest—and newest—big idea for parents and children. Dr. Miller’s book The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving is a deeply important new book that presents what is surely the next game change in parenting psychology.
Miller lays plain the scientific link between spirituality and health and shows that children and notably adolescents who have a positive, active relationship to spirituality are
• 40% less likely to abuse substances
• 60% less likely to be severely depressed as teenagers
• 80% less likely to have dangerous or unprotected sex
..and have significantly more positive markers for thriving including an increased sense of meaning and purpose, and high levels of academic success. Suggested donation: $25
Also coming in 2016:
Fr. Martin Laird, February 6-7, “Exploring Silence in Lent”
Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., workshop and retreat with lunch
How can we cultivate silence in our lives to deepen our Lenten journey, and continue the practice after Easter Day?
Suggested donation, $25; optional lunch available for $8
Roland Merullo, author of Breakfast with Buddha
February 25 at 7 p.m.
The author of Breakfast with Buddha will give a talk followed by book signing
Suggested donation, $25
A word about suggested donations
We suggest a donation of $25 to attend most events (unless noted otherwise); this usually covers the expenses of our bringing these outstanding writers, teachers and thought leaders to you. We want our speakers to be accessible to all, and we know that some people will be able to donate more than $25, and others less. If you plan to pay the suggested donation, you may reserve your place online using the links below. If you prefer to pay a different amount, please stop by the parish office to register, or send a check payable to St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, to the church at 6000 Grove Avenue, Richmond, VA 23226. If you have questions, please call 804.288.2867.