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St. Stephen's, Millburn takes church outside for "Garden Party Sunday"

St. Stephen’s, Millburn takes church outside for "Garden Party Sunday"
The Rev. Paula Toland

On Sunday, May 19, the congregation of St. Stephen’s, Millburn celebrated their garden with an outdoor service, followed by an outdoor coffee hour hosted by the garden club, and culminating in an afternoon of gardening together on the grounds of the church and pre-school in Millburn.

We honored and celebrated God’s creation in this little corner of God’s kingdom by designating the day “Garden Party Sunday.” We used A Eucharistic Prayer for the Creation Season and held our service on the lawn with our music and preaching following the theme.

From the environmental and financial stewardship perspectives, taking time together to care for our property is important. Nurturing the beauty of God’s creation is a gift, reminding us of the promise of new life and of the splendor of God’s imagination. From a fellowship perspective, gardening together is just plain fun, especially when the weather is glorious. From an evangelism perspective, could we ask for any better opportunity to show one more way what we, “the Church on Main Street,” are about?

Worshiping, sharing food, and working together are signs of a healthy Christian community. Caring for our campus, including our gardens, shows the world that we love who we are and where we are, and it is a gift to those who walk or drive by to see some of the beauty of God’s creation. Doing this outside, on a beautiful spring day, is one way we show people what it is we invite them to come to when we say, “These doors are open to all…Welcome!”