Our Values & beliefs

Deep Roots--Servant Hearts--Open Arms

St. Stephen’s Mission is to:

Courageously serve the diverse world, to care for one another, our community and the earth in Christ’s name. Come and experience our servant hearts.

We ground this service in joyful and thoughtful worship, drawn from past and present, trusting in the Holy Spirit to refresh and guide us. Come and experience our deep roots.

We are committed to grow together, to find our being in God, and to welcome all on their faith journey. Come and experience our open arms.

Deep roots

We are rooted in Christian heritage and celebrate our connection with our brothers and sisters in all times and places. Our way of worship on Sunday reflects an appreciation of ritual and wonder.

The Episcopal Church formed in the 18th century, when our nation was born, and is part of the larger Anglican Communion of churches throughout the world, emerging from the reformation in the 16th century.  Our worship and prayer practices, especially the weekly celebration of Communion (called the Eucharist) are rooted in Christian practice from the earliest days of our faith, and throughout Christian history as reflected in our Book of Common Prayer.  We are part of a regional group of Episcopal Churches in Western Washington known as the Diocese of Olympia, under the leadership of Bishop Greg Rickel.

servant hearts

We cultivate an ethic of service, working for peace and justice and respecting the dignity of all people.  Collectively, we serve the poor through our FISH pantry, our support of the Radical Love feeding program, and care for creation through Green Faith.  As individuals, many of us are active in both vocation and volunteerism in schools, non-profits, and social justice activities. Our Endowment Funds provide small grants to many organizations throughout our community and the world.

We encourage one another in transformative practices that draw us to and center us in God’s loving Presence.   One way we do this is through the arts. Physical beauty, and glorious music are very important to this congregation.  We practice many forms of prayer, including silent meditation, lectio divina (praying with scripture), “the daily office” (a written service of prayers for each day accompanied by scripture), and chant, as well as intercessory prayers. We extend the worship of the community to the sick and home-bound by taking the bread and wine to homes most Sundays.

open arms

We welcome folks wherever they are on their spiritual path, understanding that questions and doubts are all part of the journey.  We respect the diversity of religious views, and take for granted that our congregation is just one little corner of the Body of Christ with it’s own gifts and calling.  We welcome and affirm all people, and their spiritual gifts, regardless of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical/mental abilities. Our worship and main facilities are wheel-chair accessible.  Our lay leadership and childcare staff and volunteers are trained in keeping children safe from abuse.  We work to make our facility child-friendly, and our community aware of best practices for healthy relationships.

We deeply trust the Holy Spirit to guide the individual conscience in dialogue with scripture and tradition, and in the context of community.  We see no conflict between the truth of science and the truth of faith, trusting that all truth is God’s, and that the universe proclaims God’s glory.  We revere the scriptures as the stories of God’s people and their evolving understanding of God’s saving work in their lives, but we do not expect the Bible to be infallibly factual.  Instead, we engage in lively dialogue with our faith heritage, making use of current Biblical scholarship, and accepting a variety of interpretations as reasonable.

what do we believe?

We Episcopalians believe in a loving, liberating, and life-giving God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world.

We have a legacy of inclusion, aspiring to tell and exemplify God’s love for every human being; women and men serve as bishops, priests, and deacons in our church. Laypeople and clergy cooperate as leaders at all levels of our church. Leadership is a gift from God, and can be expressed by all people in our church, regardless of sexual identity or orientation.

We believe that God loves you – no exceptions.

We seek to find harmony and balance in the practice of our faith between the tradition that we have received, the Holy scriptures that have been passed down, and the use of our own reason and intellect to infuse meaning and understanding utilizing the gifts and resources we have available to us today.

Regardless of where you are on your faith journey, we welcome you to this place and hope you enjoy your time here.