Welcome to St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Forest, VA

Since its founding almost 200 years ago, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Forest has been here to welcome people to this sacred place in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The reasons individuals and families come are in some respects unique, but the predominant and often common factors that lead people through our front doors have been and continue to be rooted in a shared and vibrant communal life – a life of worship, prayer, education, fellowship, and service to the wider community. Whatever it is that has drawn your attention to us, we at St. Stephen’s welcome you!

We are deeply committed to worship and to sharing the love of Christ with friends, neighbors and newcomers alike. Regardless of where you started or are at present in your walk with God, we’re here to support you and share the next steps of your journey with you. Theology and a desire to know God are at the heart of our liturgy, study, work and fellowship, and we invite you to experience them with us.

Our communal life here at St. Stephen’s can be traced to a combination of the words attributed to Saint Francis, the admonition of Jesus in Matthew 25, and our shared Baptismal Covenant. We strive to be instruments of God’s peace. We celebrate life’s joys and we strive to provide hope in times of difficulty. We offer encouragement and love for any suffering in body, mind or spirit. We work to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and give strength to the weary. We strive to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves and respecting the dignity of every human being. Above all, we recognize that we are all part of one creation and one family in the embrace of God – and as part of that family, we welcome you!

No matter who you are you are welcomed here, and we invite you to experience for yourself the joy and presence of God’s real and abiding love. If you are looking for a church to call home, we would love to have you with us at St. Stephen’s!




Thank you for the Coffee Hour Reception

Dear St. Stephen’s family,
On behalf of Amy, Mary and Ella, I wanted to extend our deepest thanks for the wonderful coffee hour held yesterday to officially welcome us to the church. I know it was a special time for everyone simply in begin able to gather for fellowship, but I derived particular added joy from hearing the conversation and laughter and seeing the many smiles. (For those who weren’t able to attend we’ve posted several photos on the church Facebook page at https://tinyurl.com/yd2uvk9w.) The family and I also are grateful for the thoughtful gift certificate to Panera you gave us recently which allowed us to take a much-needed break during the move and enjoy a good takeout meal. The welcome we’ve received from everyone has been incredible, and we’re grateful beyond words.
As most of you are aware I’m traveling to Alabama on Wednesday morning to officiate at a wedding in Mobile later in the week. In my absence, I’m delighted that The Rev. Dr. Nina Salmon will be back to preach and celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday (and for those who weren’t able to join us on Sunday, we once again have both the bread and the wine!). Additionally The Rev. Gail Goldsmith, rector of Trinity Church – Boonsboro, has graciously agreed to be available for any pastoral emergencies that may arise. If needed Gail+ can be reached at (804) 339-9038.
Thank you again for your many kindnesses and prayers, and I look forward to seeing you when I return from Alabama.
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