I'm New Here
Welcome to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church! Wherever you are in your spiritual journey, and whatever your age, race, origin, sexual orientation or gender expression, marital, economic, or physical status, it’s likely that someone at St. Stephen’s is in that same place. We hope that you will allow us to accompany and support you as we walk together along the path.
Learn more about St. Stephen’s via the Frequently Asked Questions below, or in the Who We Are section.
We want to help you find a home at St. Stephen’s….
Frequently Asked Questions
This depends largely on which of our two weekend services you attend. While the services are different in length, size, and tenor, each offers:
- A welcoming spirit
- Holy Communion or Eucharist (to which everyone is invited)
- A devotion to Episcopal liturgy – biblical readings, a sermon, time for prayer, etc.
Dress at all services ranges from formal to informal, but trends toward the casual.
Saturdays, 5:00 pm: Our 5:00 pm worship time is the smaller and more intimate of our weekend services and takes place in our chapel (accessible from the church’s Allen street entrance). This service includes the standard elements of Episcopal liturgy but no formal music. The service is often complete by 5:45 pm.
Sundays, 10:00 am: The 10:00 am service is an uplifting mix of the formal and informal. Our renowned organist and parish choir provide musical accompaniment for the entire service. Children join the service from their Sunday School classes in time to participate in Eucharist. This service usually lasts about an hour.
The first thing to know is that everyone is invited to participate in the Eucharist: visitors, guests, kids – everyone. We believe that the altar is God’s Table, not St. Stephen’s, and that God is calling everyone to Communion.
The mechanics are simple – approach the altar rail where you are welcome to kneel or stand as you’re comfortable. The priest or deacon will offer you the bread or what is called the host. A member of the parish – called a Lay Eucharistic Minister or Chalice Bearer – will then offer you wine in a chalice. You may guide the chalice to your lips to sip the wine or dip the host in the chalice.
Those who do not wish to take wine may leave the altar rail after receiving the host or simply fold your arms over your heart to indicate your desire to abstain. Children are welcome to partake in Communion; feel free to assist them as necessary.
Sunday School for children ages 4 to 12 (6th grade) is offered at 9:45 am from September through May. Children in Sunday School join the congregation after the sermon, in time to participate in Holy Communion.
Professional nursery care for children under 4 is available in a large, well-equipped area off the Dining Room. The Nursery is staffed on Sundays from 9:00 am to the conclusion of the 10:00 am service, though parents are welcome to have children of any age join them at any time for any service.
Teens/young people are welcome to attend the entire service.
No! We will not ask you to stand up before, during, or after the service. We will not ask you to identify yourself in any way if you don’t want to. Should you visit, you will be our guest, and we want you to feel comfortable.
If you need directions to Sunday School or want to meet any of the staff, we’ll be happy to help. But if you want to sit in the back row and check things out for a while, that’s OK too.
You can expect an invitation to our coffee/social hour after the 10:00 am service, but if you want to take a rain check, that’s OK too.
Poke around this Web site to get a better sense of who we are as a community of faith. Let us know what else we can share with you about St. Stephen’s to encourage you to visit us some weekend.
Email us, call us at 448-8276, or stop by at 67 East Street.
We’re looking forward to your visit!
Directions and Parking Suggestions
Some Parking Options
- Around Park Square: In front of the former Berkshire Athenaeum (south), Berkshire Insurance Group, BB&K Insurance, and Otto’s (north). There are several spaces here, but they fill up fast.
- Berkshire Insurance Group Parking Lot – Allen Street: Permissible on Sundays (all day), after 12:00 PM on Saturdays, and after 5:00 PM weekdays. Very convenient – provides easy access to St. Stephen’s via our Allen Street entrance.
- On-street parking: around the block on Allen Street, Federal Street, and Wendell Ave. A few spots are also available on Fenn Street. All have 90 minute limits on weekdays.
Large parking lot across from Pittsfield Commons: Drivers can enter from First Street, Fenn Street or Pearl Street. Most spots have 90 minute limits, some 3 hours – no limits on Saturdays/Sundays/Evenings.