My family has been coming to St. Paul’s since 2007. We first arrived looking for a place to baptize and raise our newborn son Sam. While my husband Thomas was raised Episcopalian, I was raised in another Christian faith that I walked away from when I became an adult. It was about fifteen minutes into the service when I first thought that this was the place for us. And after the service, we were approached at coffee hour and welcomed so warmly! All around us we saw happy people greeting each other and the connection between them was obvious and deep and real. In other words, we saw community!
I am a person who craves community, a place where I am known and where I know others. I yearn to connect with others, foster my relationship with God and find ways to serve Him and those around me. All those things were and are front and center in St. Paul’s. I have learned how to love more fully and to accept love and walk in love and serve with love. My heart is full whenever I think of the people and the works of our wonderful church. I am so proud to be a member of this congregation!
On the day that Sam was baptized, I remember being moved to tears at the service. I felt such gratitude for him being accepted into God’s family. But more than that, I loved the idea that the people of St. Paul’s would be his community too. You would accept him as a toddler, making noises during services. You would teach him in Church School, backing up the spiritual lessons we talk about at home. You would guide him through SPY and Confirmation and mission trips, helping him find his way to be with God. And you will welcome him into adulthood, accepting his choices and supporting him as he serves and gives back to this community which gave him his spiritual grounding.
In short, I love St. Paul’s. I love that we hire clergy who are walking a spiritual path and will share their experience with us through thought-provoking sermons and acts of good works. Our clergy help us find our own spiritual path, no judgement or damnation given. I love that our good works are works of both Outreach and In-Reach, giving to the community and to each other. I love my annual getaway to Greenfield, New Hampshire for the Women’s Retreat and the rejuvenation I receive over that wonderful weekend. I love serving on Vestry and Stewardship, teaching Church School and serving on the Steering Committee and all the other places I have volunteered over the past twelve years. But most of all, I love seeing all the people I have grown to know and love at church. My people, my community, one of my life’s many blessings.
I support St. Paul’s financially so that all of these things will continue. I hope when you consider your pledge, you give according to your ability but also according to the place St. Paul’s holds in your heart.