office phone (408) 842-4415 – email     |     Father Terry’s cell phone (408) 310-9648 – email
May 16, 2018: Welcome! This is a temporary homepage of the new website. We are in transition. Everyone who helped: thank you! We hope to post the new website in the not-too-distant future. Thank you for your patience.

Come join us this week. This week’s events are below.

ABOUT US

St Stephen’s Episcopal Church (Gilroy, California) is a loyal and loving group of diverse people with a strong sense of family and a desire to be faithful witnesses to Christ Jesus and seek God’s will in all we do and say. By the grace of God, we will continue to share our mission with a growing community.

Worship & Religious Education

We provide a Eucharistic community to worship God with two Sunday services (8 AM and 10 AM). Sunday School is conducted during the 10 AM service. Each Wednesday, at noon, there is a Liturgy of Healing with the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist (Communion) and Holy Unction. We hope all parishioners will develop a passion to seek spiritual growth.

Spiritual Growth

To encourage spiritual growth, we have a Men’s Prayer and Fellowship meeting twice a month, a weekly Bible study on Wednesday mornings, and have an active Daughters of the King chapter. Together we develop a deeper understanding for how God is working in our lives.

Prayer

The parish is active in seeing to the needs of its members. St Stephen’s provides nurturing through prayer and caring. We have a prayer chain and Lay Eucharistic Ministers take communion to those who are unable to come to services.

Music

Music is a developing ministry at St Stephen’s. Our music director has put together an outstanding Easter Sunday music program and we hope to repeat this at Pentecost and on other holy days. Our rector is very musically oriented and is a member of a Christian band. We also have a newly donated live sound system. All together with our organist and bell choir we are well equipped to see what God can do with our joyful noise.

Outreach

St Stephen’s also provides resources and assistance to those in need in our community, through our Resource Center. The Resource Center is open two days a week and is staffed by volunteers. We support St Joseph’s Family Center, Santa Maria Urban Ministry, Episcopal Relief & Development Agency, and the United Thank Offering.

We want all of God’s children to feel welcome at St Stephen’s. The parish is composed of people from different social, economic, political and cultural backgrounds. And although we are a diverse community, we are strongly bound together by our faith. St Stephen’s is a church where we get out of our pews to spread the Peace with our neighbors. A defining characteristic of St Stephen’s is its sense and commitment to the parish family.

History & Church Description

The first Episcopal services were held in Gilroy in 1867. St Stephen’s became a Mission of the Diocese in 1875 and a parish in 1948. The present church was built in 1967. We have been a parish in transition from a conservative charismatic emphasis during the period of Episcopal renewal in the 1970s to an emerging mainline church with a diverse population today. The membership has slowly declined from the 1970s. Much of our decline in size is due to the mobile California population and stresses within the Diocese or National Church. From 2000 until July 2006, a retired priest of the Diocese who had a ministry of reconciliation and revitalization had served us. Under his leadership, the parish came together in vision and purpose, and achieved the goal of becoming a mainline church. We are now led by our rector and have initiated a plan for growth through evangelism within the community.

Location

St Stephen’s Episcopal Church is located in a middle-income neighborhood, about one block from a main business street. The sanctuary is large, seating approximately 200 people. Stained glass windows surround the sanctuary with a large stained glass cross in the wall over the altar. We have a parish hall that accommodates about 150 people, several classrooms, a nursery room, and the Resource Center office. There is a central courtyard of grass and trees with play equipment for the children. The facilities are shared during the week with Boy Scouts, Venturer Scouts, TOPS Club, and El Camino Real Diocesan meetings.

Where is Gilroy?

Gilroy is centrally located within a short driving distance of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz, the San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area. It is close to the geographical center of the Diocese of El Camino Real. Gilroy is best known as the “Garlic Capital of the World” and is home to the Gilroy Garlic Festival each July. The city is also known for its peaceful residential environment, its award winning parks, golf courses and recreation programs. Gilroy Gardens, a horticultural theme park, is another major asset for the community. Gilroy is becoming the home to many new, young and promising families who commute up to Silicon Valley. 2010 demographics show the population within a 10-mile radius of city hall is roughly 103,000. The ethnic breakdown: 58% White, 2% African American, 2% Native American, 7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 25% from other races, and 5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 57%. There are 13 public schools, 5 private schools and one community college, Gavilan College, in Gilroy. Historically Gilroy’s economy has been based upon agriculture and food processing, and that is still an important element of its economy. The modern era has seen an increase in interest for Gilroy as a location for expansion of Silicon Valley.

WHY CHOOSE EPISCOPAL?

by The Rev. Quintin Morrow
St Andrew’s Church, Fort Worth, Texas
stjamestxk.org/why_choose_the_episcopal_church

One of the great triumphs of capitalism of course is the multiplication of choices for the consumer. If you have ever traveled abroad you cannot help but notice that while most of the world’s population must content itself with three kinds of ketchup we in America can choose from thirty. That kind of choice can be a wonderful thing. But that kind of choice can have a deleterious effect as well — especially if it creates a culture in which people think they have a right to a multiplicity of options, and that this right applies to every arena of human existence.

Modern American culture has certainly made a supermarket out of religions. There are more “brands” of religion in our country than in any other country on the planet, and all with sometimes subtle and sometimes outlandish distinctions between them. Spirituality has literally become a designer enterprise with every conceivable preference and permutation made available to the potential proselyte. I even read recently of a “church” in San Francisco dedicated to promulgating the “gospel” of jazz great John Coltrane.

But it does no good for us to wrinkle our noses in disdain at this phenomenon and pretend that our church still has a preferential cultural claim on the vast majority of un-churched Americans. It doesn't. We must now compete with other spiritualities and other churches to get a hearing with people as to why we think we have something unique to offer them. We mustn't change who we are — that's not my meaning. But we must clear out throats and invite people to our church, and with the inviting, provide them with compelling reasons to, as Philip said to Nathanael, “come and see” (John 1:46).

The Anglican Church is a historic church, with roots going back to the time of the Apostles. While it is true that novelty is interesting, it is also undeniable that things that have stood the test of time endure because of their quality.

The Anglican Church is a catholic church that holds fast to, and proclaims, what Christians in all times and is all places have believed. The Greek word katholikos, from which we derive our English word “catholic,” has two distinct but related meanings: The first is “universal,” and the second is “that which belongs to the whole.” The content of the faith we declare to be true is not simply the pious opinions of a select minority on the “Sceptered Isle,” but what Christians everywhere and for all time have accepted as true. Our church is not the church in toto, but a part of the whole.

One gets more Bible
on Sunday morning
in an Anglican Church
than in any other
church in the nation!

The Anglican Church is a reformed church that emphasizes the authority of Holy Scripture and the truth that we are made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Antiquity does not equal verity. The 16th century Protestant reformers purged the medieval church of centuries of man-made accretions that obscured the grace of God and restored it to a simple gospel based upon the Word of God. The motto of their work was “Post tenebras lux” — “After the darkness, light.”

The Anglican Church is a biblical church that proclaims and strives to live by the unchanging truths of God's Holy Word. One gets more Bible on Sunday morning in an Episcopal Church — in the prayers, the liturgy, the readings, and the sermon — than in any other church in the nation. It is only the Word of God that possesses the power to change the human heart and alter destinies; consequently, saints and sinners alike ought to get as much of God's Word and as little of man's ever-mutating opinions as is possible.

The Anglican Church is a liturgical church that worships with the biblical and time-honored Book of Common Prayer. The prayer book saves us from the tyranny of man-centered worship, and the tyranny of becoming the “church of what's happenin’ now,” and frees us and teaches us how to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

The Anglican Church is a welcoming church, which invites all kinds of people from all walks of life to come and meet the Lord Jesus Christ.

There it is. Frankly, I think we are the only show in town. Statistics indicate that three-quarters of visitors to any church are there because they’ve been invited by someone. Won’t you invite someone to “come and see?”

— Reprinted from The Anglican Digest

EVENTS

  • Wednesday, May 16, 2018
    10:30 AM

    Bible Study
  • Wednesday, May 16, 2018
    12 Noon

    Healing Worship Service & Lunch
    (informal) (those in attendance bring praise reports & prayer concerns for themselves & others. Prayers may include anointing with oil and/or laying on of hands. Praise reports brought forward confirm the power of God…concluding with Holy Communion.)
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018
    9:30 AM

    Men’s Fellowship (1st & 3rd Saturday)
    Fellowship Hall

  • Sunday, May 20, 2018
    8 AM & 10 AM

    Pentecost (Whitsunday)
    (no Vestry Meeting in May)

    Lectionary
    Wikipedia: Pentecost
  • Monday, May 21, 2018
    In liturgical year, this day, the–Monday–after–Pentecost, begins Ordinary Time. This Ordinary Time continues through Saturday–before–Advent Sunday (December 1). It lasts seven months, and corresponds with the hot time of the year.
    What is Ordinary Time?
  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018
    10:30 AM

    Bible Study
  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018
    12 Noon

    Healing Worship Service & Lunch
  • Sunday, May 27, 2018
    8 AM & 10 AM

    1st Sunday after Pentecost
    (Trinity Sunday)

    Lectionary
  • Wednesday, May 30, 2018
    10:30 AM

    Bible Study
  • Wednesday, May 30, 2018
    12 Noon

    Healing Worship Service & Lunch
  • Sunday, June 3, 2018
    8 AM & 10 AM

    2nd Sunday after Pentecost
    (Proper 4)

    Lectionary
  • Wednesday, June 6, 2018
    10:30 AM

    Bible Study
  • Wednesday, June 6, 2018
    12 Noon

    Healing Worship Service & Lunch
  • Saturday, June 9, 2018
    10 AM to not later than 3 PM

    Congregational Retreat & Lunch
  • Sunday, June 10, 2018
    8 AM & 10 AM

    3rd Sunday after Pentecost
    (Proper 5)

    Lectionary
  • Wednesday, June 13, 2018
    10:30 AM

    Bible Study
  • Wednesday, June 13, 2018
    12 Noon

    Healing Worship Service & Lunch
  • Sunday, June 17, 2018
    8 AM & 10 AM

    4th Sunday after Pentecost
    (Proper 6)
    (Father’s Day)

    Lectionary
    Father’s Day on wikipedia.org
  • Wednesday, June 20, 2018
    10:30 AM

    Bible Study
  • Wednesday, June 20, 2018
    12 Noon

    Healing Worship Service & Lunch
  • Sunday, June 24, 2018
    8 AM & 10 AM

    5th Sunday after Pentecost
    (Proper 7)

    Lectionary
  • Sunday, June 24, 2018
    11:30 AM

    Vestry Meeting
    Vestry on EpiscopalChurch.org
    Vestry Orientation