St. Stephen’s Anglican Church and its members accept the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as stated in the Scriptures of the Holy Bible, and we are dedicated to spreading the message of the Good News. Together we share in the Word, celebrate Communion and support each other as we grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. We are committed to sharing our time, talent and treasure in service to others. We welcome anyone looking for a spiritual home to join us in this exciting, rewarding and continuing journey.
Our worship is traditional, according to the Anglican Church of North America 2019 Book of Common Prayer.
Our music draws on the rich history of classical church music, using the 1982 Hymnal and a variety of contemporary sources.
We enjoy fellowship and the traditions of the Anglican Church year round.
St. Stephen’s is a Reformation Church with thoughtful links to protestant, evangelical Christianity. Christianity took root in England long before the turbulent era of Europe’s Reformation. The English Reformation transformed its Christian roots into a distinctive liturgical form through a book: The Book of Common Prayer. Carried around the world by English folk and missionaries, Anglican churches worldwide share a familiar heritage through that Book and its liturgy.
St. Stephen’s began as a house church formed during the Anglican realignment. We are affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America through the Diocese of Western Anglicans. St. Stephen’s historical rooted-ness directs us away from creating something merely contemporary toward wisdom from centuries of Christian experience. We walk a well-trodden path that is both reformed and ceremonial. Yet St. Stephen’s is a contemporary church able to present the timeless truth of the Gospel in fresh ways.
Christian experience at St. Stephen’s recognizes two testaments in one Bible, the ancient practice of baptism and communion, a liturgical calendar, a variety of ceremonies and forms, a rule of faith presented in the Nicene and Apostles’ creeds, insight from ecumenical councils, the rich wisdom and practices of reason and spirituality beginning with the early church fathers, through to the 39 Articles of Religion to the contemporary Jerusalem Declaration and a recently revised prayer book.
In the early centuries of the church, patterns of ministry developed resulting in order and organization. Traditional organization by bishop, priest and deacon has proven helpful over the centuries. St. Stephen’s is a church with a bishop’s and pastor’s oversight working together with a group of members to lead and steward our resources. St. Stephen’s is strengthened and enriched through serving together in the church’s mission.
Anglicans at St. Stephen’s celebrate sacraments as encounters with the Lord, as sources of grace. There are two given by Jesus to all believers: baptism and Communion. Other liturgical rites in the prayer book bring pastoral ministry to the individual and community: ordination, marriage, confirmation, ministry to the sick and dying.
Prayer Book and Liturgy
The prayer book way of following Jesus at St. Stephen’s is distinctive. We tell time by the rhythm of an ancient liturgical calendar. That calendar patterns a year by six sacred seasons, seasonal colors, specific days and dates and recognized feast days shaped around the central events of Christian faith: the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Guided by a calendar we are reminded that Jesus is Lord of time and space. The rhythms of the Prayer Book’s Daily Prayers, a weekly communion and the calendar shape our Christian life, our discipleship. We learn we are an historically connected community bearing witness to Jesus.
Anglicanism at St. Stephen’s integrates liturgical worship and community. As Anglicans, we at St. Stephen’s seek to balance head and heart, emotion and reason, liturgy and spontaneity. We seek to balance the Lord’s presence in the sacraments and his presence in the midst of us. We stand, sit, sing hymns, kneel, respond together, pray together, eat and drink as a community. Our worship is work. It’s familiar, steady, repetitive pace brings us back to things that are true and constant day by day, week by week, month after month, year after year. Liturgy at St. Stephen’s helps us to pray together as a community for the world, its leaders, for churches around the world, for the sick, the suffering. And there is room for spontaneous responses as hearts overflow with needs and thanksgivings. St. Stephen’s is a community in prayer.
With the wider Continental Reformation, Anglicanism at St. Stephen’s shares a protestant, reformed evangelical Bible heritage. At St. Stephen’s, the Bible is the word of God, the norm for Christian faith and practice. Bible texts are generously incorporated into all liturgical services over a three year cycle. Not only do we read the Bible, our worship sings it and our hymns throughout the service repeat and echo it. In our liturgy the community hears the proclamation of the Word (sermon) as a part of the whole service. Anglican attention to historic Christianity encourages us to reflect on the Bible’s teachings through the centuries, reminding us to consider, perhaps reconsider, our teaching.
At St. Stephen’s we have a solid Anglican foundation reflecting the Lord’s desires to reach the world with the Gospel message. Our multifaceted Christian faith is worked out in ministry to our local community. And it’s quite important. Anglicanism at St. Stephen’s—its history, its liturgy, its sacraments, its outreach—has checks and balances that don’t allow us to go “off the deep end” while giving us room to move, be challenged. That’s why Anglican, that’s why St. Stephen’s.
Prayers from St. Stephen
Lord, we thank you for St. Stephen who was wholly devoted to you in his life and in his death.
May we yearn to be full of faith, full of the Holy Spirit, full of wisdom and full of grace.
Lord, as St. Stephen was appointed to be a deacon to feed and provide for those who could not care for themselves, help us to appreciate your anointing on our ministries to the young, the old, the lonely, the helpless, the hopeless, and the forgotten. O Lord break our hearts for these people and give us a greater conviction to love and serve them as you would have us do.
Lord, we give you thanks that by your grace, St. Stephen performed great wonders and signs among the people. Help us to be fully submitted to you when we pray. Help us to believe in your power to heal, your power to provide, your power to destroy sin, and your power to turn hearts to you.
Lord, we give you thanks for St. Stephen’s zeal. As you laid down your life for us, St. Stephen risked his life to testify to You. Give us courage and conviction to tell friends and strangers about you.
Lord, may we be mindful of St. Stephen as the first martyr for our faith. Help us to remember that even as he was being stoned to death, St. Stephen bore witness to you and asked you to forgive the sin of those who persecuted him. Lord, convict us of the importance of practicing forgiveness.
Lord, help us not to take our faith for granted. St. Stephen the deacon cared for the survivors of those who were persecuted. As a martyr he died as one persecuted for his faith. Help us to be mindful of our 245 million brothers and sisters in Christ who are experiencing high levels of persecution for their faith today.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Pastor Linda Crowder, Rector
I love being the rector of St. Stephen’s! I’ve been here from the congregation’s beginning in 2003, and I can’t imagine any other life. St. Stephen’s came to be by the grace of God and the gifts of a small leadership team, formed during the turbulent Anglican realignment. It has been a privilege to lead a band of faithful Christians as we worship, pray, and fellowship together.
I am excited about “contagious faith” – producing disciples who make disciples. In my experience, faith is learned and lived out in community, and I am honored to provide leadership to one faith-producing community.
I love our Anglican worship for many reasons. It is historic, reflecting ancient practice in contemporary language. It is musical, calling on the leadership of talented musicians. It is participatory, inviting the participation of the whole congregation. Lastly, I value the teamwork required to conduct an Anglican worship service.
I aspire to love the congregation, the larger church, and the whole world with the love that Jesus has shown for all of us. I can most readily do this in the context of personal relationships near to me: my church and my family. Both are precious to me!
I met my husband, Charles, when we were both students at Pomona College. We graduated in 1977 and were married two years later. We have two grown daughters, Allison and Jessica, a son-in-law, Tyler, and two beautiful grandchildren. All of them light up our lives. Charles and I live in Tustin with our “family” of four cats.
I came to ordination later in life, after a career managing a computer center, and spending some wonderful years as a full-time mom. Seminary studies fascinated me, and I earned my MDiv from the Claremont School of Theology in 1997. I was ordained shortly after graduation, and have served two church besides St. Stephen’s.
The Reverend Steven C. Sterry, Assistant Priest
I have been a member of the Anglican Communion ever since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior at the age of eleven as a newly baptized member in the Episcopal Church. My path to the priesthood, however, began very late in my lifetime after God, I believe, put me through a rather lengthy training period to prepare me for some unique ministry activities.
I am a disabled military veteran who served first in the Navy during the Vietnam War, second as a member of the California Army National Guard during the Los Angeles Riots of 1992, and finally as a Lieutenant Colonel in the State of California Military Reserve from 2006 to 2015. From the years 1987 through 2007, I was employed by the State of California Employment Development Department in their Veteran Services Programs and served, as well, in other field office assignments and division staff support positions.
While helping veterans with employment and employability issues, I felt that God was calling me to something more important, and in 2005, I entered seminary at Biola University where, finally, after retirement from the State, I was ordained as an Episcopal Deacon and then, in 2014, as a Priest in the Old Catholic Church, after completion of my master’s degree at the age of 71.
In my work as a Deacon, at the special request of the Chief Chaplain, 79th Theater Sustainment Command, I served for eighteen months as acting chaplain for the 6/52nd Army Reserve Air unit at Los Alamitos, California until their regular chaplain returned from active duty in the Middle East. In my first assignment as Priest, I served for eighteen months as Visiting Priest at Christ the King Reformed Episcopal Church at Arroyo Grande, California while their selected priest completed his seminary studies.
I currently serve as Community Sponsor of all three Veterans in Prison groups at the California Institution for Men, Chino, California and the one Veterans in Prison group at the California Institution for Women, Corona, California. I am the Director of Ministry and Education for the United States Conference of Chaplains and am an Affiliate Member of Cru Military Ministry. I also serve as Ombudsman and military outreach specialist for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a volunteer agency with the U.S. Defense Department, where I mediate conflicts between military reservists and their employers that are related to potential violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
In December of 2016, I was accepted as both Deacon and Priest in Good Standing by the Anglican Diocese of the West where I now serve as Associate Priest at the Anglican Church of the Epiphany, La Mirada, California and an Assisting Priest at Saint Stephen’s Anglican Church in Tustin, California. I am also a member of the Bishop’s Executive Committee for the Anglican Diocese of the West.
People best know me because of my Canine Companion for Independence Service Dog, Montera, who travels with me wherever I go. All are welcome to greet and pet her. Although she is a service dog, I consider her to be a Chaplain’s Assistance Dog, as well, and her availability to our congregations and my Veterans in Prison is an important part of her job.
Allison Carls, Children and Youth Ministry
Hello and greetings to you!
My name is Allison Carls and I am the Director of Children’s Ministry at St. Stephen’s. I have always had a heart for teaching children and have served as a Sunday School teacher since I was 16. I truly believe that God has called me to teach and guide the young so that they may begin to develop their own personal relationship with Him, so much so that in 2015, I obtained a teaching credential and am an 8th grade History teacher at a middle school in Chino.
At St. Stephen’s, I have taught Sunday School to children as well as facilitated a teen bible study.
I have been a member of St. Stephen’s since the very beginning, although I was still in college at the time. Over the years, my faith has been deepened and strengthened by this community. This growth in faith and trust in God eventually led me to marry my husband, Tyler, in 2017.
Janice Ann Massatt, Music Director
From a tender age I loved listening to the organist at church, and I knew that my vocation lay in the world of pipe organ music that is firmly entrenched in the history and traditions of the liturgical church. My early formation in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church gave me an appreciation for and knowledge of hymnody, which has provided me with an internalized “data bank” that I constantly draw on when planning worship services. The years I invested in musical studies and in life in general have coalesced into a broad understanding of many musical styles and sources of “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,” which I draw on when planning music for services at St. Stephen’s.
My personal spiritual journey took off during the Jesus Movement in the early seventies with its growing body of spiritual songs. While working on the Bachelor of Church Music (Organ Performance) at Valparaiso University (Mo. Synod) in northern Indiana, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Cambridge, England, for a semester. Once there, I entered into the Anglican experience by getting involved with the CICCU (Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union) through Bible studies, fellowship, and Evensong services. I forged several deep, lifelong friendships. I continued my organ studies in France for two years, earning the First Prize in Organ Performance at the Conservatory of Toulouse. I formed lifelong friendships with several French people, and I gained a new understanding of Roman Catholic liturgical practices, music (e.g. Taizé), and prayer. From there I went to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, from which I emerged with the Master of Music in Organ Performance. Over the years, my career as an organist encompassed work in many churches around the country including Presbyterian, United Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, and Episcopal congregations.
I found that my years spent in both England and France worked fundamental changes in me. During that time, I embraced new forms of music, I became more sensitive to cultures different from my own, and I experienced the overarching love of Christ transcending geographical, political, religious, and cultural boundaries. As a result of this broadened perspective, I enjoy incorporating music from many traditions into our services at St. Stephen’s with the goal of reflecting the readings of the lectionary to enhance worship for everyone.
None of this music would be possible without the dedicated commitment of our choir members at St. Stephen’s, who lead worship faithfully every week, accompanied by our talented keyboardist. I am thankful for everyone who supports the work of our “small but mighty” band of musicians at St. Stephen’s! (We would be happy to welcome into our ranks any interested parties!)
Heather Moore, Pianist
When I was young, I never really had a “home” church. That is, until my mom, sister, and I found St. Stephen’s. For the first time, we felt like part of the congregation; we were welcomed and accepted by a group of truly loving and faithful people. So it was an honor, over ten years later, to be offered a position at St. Stephen’s as church pianist. I’ve been playing piano as long as I can remember: I have a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees in music, and I’m currently working on my PhD. I’ve played piano for weddings, church services, funerals, arties, formal concerts, and performed as part of jazz, rock, new music, and early music ensembles. But none of these is quite the same as playing hymns and worship music for the wonderful St. Stephen’s. Here, the music takes on a whole new meaning, and it’s beautiful. I am so grateful to be part of this congregation, and to be able to contribute in my own special way.
Rev. Alison Barfoot, missionary to Uganda and beyond
Alison Barfoot is God’s gift to the expansion of the Kingdom. Read more about her in Outreach.
Rector: The Rev. Linda A. Crowder
Senior Warden: Diane Bollinger
Junior Warden: Janice Massatt
Clerk of the Vestry: Terry Dixon
Treasurer: Bob Taylor
Other Vestry Members:
St. Stephen’s is grateful for all tithes and offerings to help us help others.
Checks may be made payable to:
St. Stephen’s Anglican Church
and mailed to or dropped off at the church office.
Thank you and God bless you.