A Message From Our Curate

Dear St. Stephen’s Family,

When Bishop Doyle placed me with St. Stephen’s as your curate in 2016, I could not imagine how much I would come to love this church community and admire the breadth and depth of your ministry to one another, and throughout Houston and Texas. I have learned so very much from you; and my family and I have been embraced, cared for, and deeply enriched as a part of this parish.

When I began my ministry among you, first as a newly ordained deacon, we understood that the curacy program was a short-term assignment, where I could grow into the ordained ministry while supporting Lisa and all of you in your life together. What I did not anticipate was that my next call might come earlier than expected. 

I am writing today to share with you that I have accepted the call to serve as Vicar of Grace Episcopal Church, Houston, and I will begin my work with the good folks of Grace at the beginning Lent. February 4 will be my final Sunday in worship with you.

I will remain forever grateful that I began my vocation as a priest with you at St. Stephen’s. Please know that I carry with me knowledge, understanding, and values that have been formed during my time as your curate. Although our season of serving together on a daily and weekly basis will soon come to a close, be assured we remain family--as Christians, as Episcopalians, and as Houstonians—striving for justice and peace in our world, respecting the dignity of every human being.

With deep affection,

The Reverend Scott Painter

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Ensuring our Hospitality and Safeguarding our Welcome

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This summer St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and School created a common weekday entrance  off the main church entrance, as a first step toward living into the vision of our Master Plan.  The offices of the Head of School and the School Secretary were also moved into the administrative space off the garden.  These moves communicate our common ministry and foster greater security for our children and staff.

A new security measure, Raptor Visitor Management, will be instituted in early January.  Upon entering the shared church and school entrance (West Alabama) all visitors will be asked to present a valid government issued ID, which will be scanned into the system. All other doors into the buildings are locked. It is  important to note that the system only scans the name, date of birth and photo for comparison with the national database of registered sex offenders. Additional data from valid IDs is not gathered. Guests who do not have such an ID will be invited to be seated in the Gathering Area and a staff member will come to assist them. 

Folks who come into the Church for meditation and prayer will follow this same procedure. Visitor badges  may be left at the front office upon the conclusion of the visit.  School hours are Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.  On Sundays, the doors to the Munro Building will remain locked and all will enter through the front doors of the Nave but will not be required sign-in via Raptor System. We are trying to exercise prudence and hospitality.  We want to take reasonable precautions without alienating our visitors.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the rector, Lisa Hunt at 713-528-6665.

Stewardship

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My name is Finn Hackney and I've been a student at St. Stephen’s school and a member of the St. Stephen’s church for nine years. I’m an acolyte at the 8:30 a.m. Sunday service and I participate in the EYC. I wanted to pledge because I thought it would be a good thing to support the church. I feel like if you go to church, you should support it financially because of all the great causes they give to and the good things that they do for our community.

Finn Hackney

St. Stephen’s Church parishioner & student

What is the Longest Night and What Happened to Blue Christmas?

What is the Longest Night and What Happened to Blue Christmas?

This year darkness seems especially impregnable.  The impact of Hurricane Harvey is settling onto our community as we move from responsive mode to recovery; the trauma is taking new forms.  Globally, there is talk of nuclear war, climate change, Middle East destruction from years of war.  Nationally we are living with strained politics and economic uncertainty.  We are living with gloom.