Something new is happening at St. Paul's. In fact, that something new is on the top of the many tried and true traditions and activities that we have long enjoyed. As parishioners, we have an opportunity every year to renew our support and faith in our spiritual home by giving of our time and treasure. This year is no different - it is indeed another chance to show our support. Over the past several Sundays, parishioners have reflected on the importance of St. Paul's ministries. You can read their thoughts below.
Remember, you can pledge online anytime.
Thank you for your continued support.
Chip Hydrick and Heather Braugh | 2013 Annual Giving Campaign Chairs
In MUSIC | John S. Davis
Under the direction of our "rock star" minister of music, David Sinden, and very talented assistant director, Karen Harris, our church is blessed with, three strong and faithful choirs on Sundays...and that's just the beginning...with jazzlunches in the spring, jazz Vespers, jazz mardi gras, and Jazz outdoorson First Fridays...new evening services, like Choral Evensongs; new Tuesday organ recitals; new performances at other churches, and a new Spring Music Festival, we may soon take our place as the Music Capital of Capitol Square.
There's a prayer in the prayer book for church musicians. "Grant to them even now," it says, "glimpses of your beauty." At St. Paul's we look for new glimpses of God's beauty in music every week. And we are just getting started, singing a new song. Your generosity makes it possible.
In DOWNTOWN MISSION | Doug Calloway
Driven by our mission, "To proclaim Christ in the heart of the City", the Vestry created this position to serve the community of residents, workers, government offices, and businesses located here in downtown Richmond. In furtherance of this mission, the Vestry recognized the influx of new residents to the downtown community - whether in Church Hill, Shockoe Bottom, Tabacco Row, or the new residential condos and apartments being created in many of the cities' older, established downtown buildings - and was moved to provide a resource of spiritual support and guidance for these newcomers and all those working within the downtown community.The Vestry sought a spirited, energetic and enthusiastic minister to answer this call, and we are delighted that Melanie is the new Downtown Missioner at St. Paul's. The generous giving of our church community allows for this ministry within the larger downtown communiy and helps us fulfill our mission.
With FAITH IN ACTION | Steve Micas
Our location dictates the importance of our social justice ministry. We are surrounded by numerous places where powerful people make decisions every day that affect the lives of the less powerful. Even if we wanted to, we cannot escape our legacy, the the words of Amos 5:24 to, "Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream."The Amos and Micah programs afford us the opportunity to do justice and promote righteousness: to see that the hungry are fed and the less fortunate are given the time and attention they deserve.
As a long-time proponent of social justice, Steve shared a new experience while driving some Micah campers home on the bus this summer...Despite being told that the ride would be a quiet one (presumably the children would be exhausted from their week at camp), the ride was quite animated. The girls and boys debated who should be elected President: Obama or Romney...serious and thoughtful comments were made about which candidate would create more jobs and care for the poor. This lively debate was followed by a game of reciting phrases with an English accent. Clearly, these children are curious and desire to be part of the bigger world. These children desperately want to throw off the limits of their circumstances. The Micah summer camp program affords them the chance to see the bigger world and live beyond their circumstances.
With CHILDREN & YOUTH | Jennine Sherrill
God is certainly doing new things here at St. Paul’s Church with Children’s and Youth Formation. In the past year we have hired two new staff members – Claudia and Penelope – to support our Christian formation – for adult, youth, and children – and they are bringing a lot of faith, thought, and depth to our programming. Through a recent expansion of the Godly Play program the young children of St. Paul’s have more of an opportunity to slow down and look inward, at a time when their lives are becoming increasingly overscheduled and plugged-in. Godly Play offers them a contemplative, quiet, time apart to ponder Biblical stories and share experiences with each other. On two recent Sunday mornings I sat in on Godly Play and saw this in action. The children actually physically slowed down as they removed and lined up their shoes, entered the room quietly, sat in a circle, lit the candle, and prayed together. They then sat entranced by the storyteller’s presentation of the Bible story. There is space and time for them to wonder aloud, share what is in their hearts, and pose their own questions. It was truly powerful to see. The youth of St. Paul’s spend Sunday mornings together with each other and their mentors. Through intentional spiritual practice and time for building relationships they are encouraged to listen to each other and grow together as they find their places in God’s world. Penelope and the youth mentors are creating opportunities for a more intentional and ongoing focus on service. The youth are joining together in joy, to serve each other, the parish, and the world. From Hull Street and Emmaus meals with our guests, to mentoring and nurturing girls from Woodville Elementary School through the Saturday Sisters’ program, to planning an urban adventure, and helping with the youngest at St. Paul’s… there is a lot of laughter and love taking place in the youth center and well beyond its doors. Thank you, to each of you at St. Paul’s, for guiding and supporting our children and youth with joy and faith and love through these programs.