St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Friday, April 18, 2014
There's a place for you here.


NEW! Youth ministry interns to become familiar faces
St. Stephen's youth ministry has recently welcomed three interns to our thriving program. We are so blessed to have each of these young adults involved in our growing ministries for a few hours each week. You (or your children) will see them on Sundays, at breakfast groups, at youth group activities, and around the schools for games and events. Some may already be familiar faces to you, but it's our hope that all of them will be soon.
Margaret Clary is a graduate of St. Catherine's School, class of 2009, and James Madison University, class of 2013, where she majored in Studio Art with a concentration in Metals and Jewelry. She is currently working for The Hilb Group, an insurance brokerage here in Richmond while doing freelance graphic design and jewelry design on the side. Margaret grew up at St. Stephen's, where she was very involved with acolyting and other activities.
Matt Rawls grew up in Suffolk, VA, and graduated from James Madison University in 2004. He volunteered as a Young Life leader for most of college and worked for Young Life in Norfolk for two years after graduating. He then attended Pepperdine University School of Law, graduating in 2009. After discovering that law is not his calling, Matt moved to Richmond in 2011 and helped to start Spacebomb Records. He works at Chick-fil-a in Midlothian, where he can sometimes be seen in a cow suit. Matt is an avid traveler who has participated in and led mission trips across the globe. He is new to the Episcopal Church and loves the liturgy.
John Garland ("JG") Wood is a graduate of St. Christopher's School, class of 2009, and Virginia  Tech, class of 2013, where he majored in English. He spent two years at the University of Alabama before finishing at VT, and he was devastated by the Tide's recent Iron Bowl defeat. JG grew up at St. Stephen's, where he served as an acolyte and made a pilgrimage to Italy with his J2A class. He also worked at St. Sebastian's sports camp at Shrine Mont for six summers -- five as counselor and one as chaplain -- and served on the diocesan Parish Youth Ministries committee (those are the teenagers who plan Shrine Mont weekends for youth groups from around our diocese). JG loves golf, squash, and college football; he also enjoys singing and sings with the St. Stephen's choir.
About youth at St. Stephen's
Welcome to the St. Stephen's youth community! However you ended up on this page, we're glad you're here. At St. Stephen's Church, young people and adults share their lives with one another to help realize God-given gifts and talents, and to demonstrate God's boundless love and grace.
Where to begin?
If you are new to St. Stephen's--or new to Kairos--you are especially invited and encouraged to join us in Kairos [God's Time].
Kairos is the principal weekly offering for youth in grades 6 through 12 seeking fellowship and Christian formation at St. Stephen's.
Kairos (pronounced KYE-ros) meets Sunday mornings from 10 until 11 a.m. and includes a light breakfast, brief worship, and engaging speaker, and small group time. The photos on this page were taken during Sunday morning Kairos sessions--as you can see, we're having fun.
Kairos [God's Time]
"Kairos" is one of the Greek words for time. "Chronos" (KRO-nos) is the other. Chronos is mechanical time--the ticking of the clock, the passing of the years. Kairos is God's Time. Eternity.
We live our lives in Chronos. We find life in Kairos.
For symbolic and practical reasons, youth and adults leave their cell phones (and other timekeeping devices) in a basket by the door when they enter Kairos. In this way, we physically set our intention to enter God's Time.
Our Mission (or what Jesus says)
Jesus says, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35) Would we be recognized as disciples? The philosophy of Kairos is to become followers of Christ by practice, not by the study of doctrine and dogma.
Jesus also says, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3) Conversations about youth formation in the Church often focus on how we teach and model Christianity to young people. Christ turns this idea on its head. They have the answers, he says, not us! We ought to learn from them. Because we recognize the divine wisdom of childhood and adolescence, Kairos is a faith journey where youth walk side by side with adult mentors. We strive to honor questions, avoid pat answers, and look together for the ways that God is at work in our lives.
Sign up for a series
Kairos runs in 5- to 8-week series, each focusing on a particular topic. Because the heart of Kairos is small groups, youth are encouraged to sign up, to become part of a group that will share a 5- to 8-week journey together.
Youth are welcome to sign up with their friends (members of St. Stephen's or not). All are welcome on any Sunday. Signing up is recommended only for a richer experience; it is not necessary for participation. You may sign up for Kairos here.
The latest information on speakers and Kairos series can be found on Michael Sweeney's blog. If you want to send Michael an email, use this link.
Diocesan Youth Ministry
Youth ministry in the Diocese of Virginia is led by the Parish Youth Ministries Committee (PYM), a group composed of senior high youth from parishes throughout the diocese. This group plans youth weekends at Shrine Mont, an annual youth day of service, and other events. Several St. Stephen's youth serve on PYM.
Want to be part of PYM? Please contact Michael Sweeney or be in touch with Mike Wade in the diocesan office.
Worship Ministries for Youth

All young people in grades 8-12 who feel called to serve at the Lord’s table are encouraged to join St. Stephen’s acolytes. The acolytes meet regularly throughout the year for planning and training.
Lay Readers  
Anyone in grades 8-12 may serve as a Lay Reader at our Sunday worship services.
Sixth and seventh graders serve as ushers at our 9:00 service on Sundays.
Chalice Bearers  
If you are at least 16 years old, confirmed and are interested in being trained, please contact Michael Sweeney.
Video of 2013 youth trip to Azua, Dominican Republic