The Rev. Miriam Acevedo was called by our Vestry to be Priest-in-Charge in August 2017. With 33 years in parish ministry, she previously served as Vicar of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Hampstead, NH. Miriam earned earned her Master of Divinity from General Theological Seminary in New York and her Doctor of Ministry from the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA.
Our Minister of Music is Candice Bellinger of Wolfeboro. She earned her degree in Music Education at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford. She is the Director of the Wolfeboro Academy of Music and a professional clarinetist and pianist.
Vestry, Wardens, Officers
The St. Stephen's Vestry consists of a Senior Warden (Katie Jones), a Junior Warden (Mike Vaillancourt), the Treasurer (Barbara Barr), Clerk (Sabra Welch), and three at-large members (Rick Coffin, Rita Lamont, and Graham Wilson). This group acts as a "board of directors" for the parish in all matters, with financial and budgetary oversight. Our Vestry usually meets on the third Sunday of the month after worship. The meeting minutes are posted on the bulletin board in the Undercroft.
After a lengthy parish Envisioning process, St. Stephen's organized its ministries using a team approach. These groups schedule regular meetings, usually held immediately after the Sunday service. All parishioners are invited to attend and to participate as they feel called.
This Team plans our Sunday and other services, in collaboration with the priest and the music ministers. The Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEMs), who serve at the altar and take communion to homebound parishioners are part of this Team, as are members of our Altar Guild. The priest serves as the Team Leader.
In addition to Sunday worship, weekday services take place during the year: Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. St, Stephen's also participates in the annual World Day of Prayer, held each March in an area congregation. Our annual Outdoor Eucharist is usually held in Setember, and in October we've offered a Blessing of the Animals.
Our Family Education program, led by Lindsey Smith-Hendrickson, uses the Godly Play program. Adult Education, led by Bernie Cameron, consists of different programs, for instance a Lenten Book or Bible study, Via Media, a study of the Book of Common Prayer, studying the emergent church, an examination of immigration and the death penalty, and guest speakers from the diocesan staff or nonprofit groups. As Ministry of Fun, Bernie has organized the Women's Kayak event, the annual Mardi Gras Potluck, excursions and concerts attendance, a Christmas cookie swap, and more. If you have ideas, please be in touch with her!
The team includes such activities as Prayer Shawl Ministry (Marylee Johnson), the Sox Box winter gathering of warm clothing items (Rita Lamont) and Publicity/Website (Margaret Porter). The majority of our fundraisers support outreach efforts.
Parish Life Guild
We are so grateful to Wes Jones for leading the Guild, which for many years has sponsored our parish fundraisers and organized parish social activities (the Christmas party and annual picnic.) Most of the money raised at our booths during the Town-wide Yard Sale (June), Old Home Day (July), and the Holly Fair (November) are used for Outreach or special projects.
Charlotte Berry is responsible for organizing this very important ministry, which includes several parishioners. Altar linens, altar flowers, preparation of the church for Sunday service, feasts and Holy Days are some of the responsibilites.
Under the leadership of Sabra Welch, this team is responsible for the care, cleaning, and maintenance of our church building, and communication with groups using it. This important and necessary ministry is supported by parish volunteers. Several times a year a Clean-up Day is held, indoors and out. We re-roofed the building in the autumn of 2007 and in 2008 re-paved the sidewalk from the street to the Undercroft. Recent achievements include the painting of the church exterior and the replacement of the oil tank. In 2003, a renovation of our Undercroft was taken on as a "church family project." The ceiling was raised, blocked windows were uncovered, radiant heat was installed under the floor, a handicapped-access restroom was added, and the entire space was re-painted. Replacement roof crosses were carved and assembled and painted by parishioners. The larger one was blessed by Bishop Robinson at Fr. Curtis Metzger's Celebration of New Ministry for installation in 2009.