Paula Curtis says, “I was born in the church.”
Of course, she doesn’t mean that her mother literally gave birth in the St. Paul’s sanctuary, but the truth is close to that. Paula’s parents were members of St. Paul’s, and her father’s family had been members before that. “I was baptized in the church and married there, and I have been privileged to see several excellent rectors serve St. Paul’s,” she says.
When asked about her involvement in the activities of the church, Paula mentions music first. “I joined the choir in the third or fourth grade, and I played clarinet and guitar in the youth services. I have always loved music.” Paula’s involvement with St. Paul's didn't end there, however. She has cooked at the Pine Street Inn, served on the Altar Guild and the Vestry, and taught Sunday School.
“St. Paul's is family,” says Paula, “People at the church are even closer than friends for me. As a child, I used to watch the adults talking and laughing in Sherrill Hall and there was a feeling of warmth and connection that I loved. They instilled their values in me at that time. That's how my children have grown up as well.”
Paula has come to understand stewardship more clearly over time. “At first, I gave to the church, but I did not pay much attention to the reasons for giving. Then, over the last several years when we began talking about the potential need to cut programs, I began to pledge because I didn’t want to see that happen.” Paula says she feels good about during the stewardship drives for the church because she can see the results: “I like giving to St. Paul's because I want to see us grow and thrive.”
Paula says she has learned a lot about the church’s finances both from the Stewardship Committee and through the TogetherNow campaign. “The leadership has explained how we need a separate campaign in addition to our annual pledges to make needed improvements. I am especially happy that we are going to be working on Gale House,” she says, “because nothing has been done to that building since I was a child.”
Paula Curtis is truly a steward of St. Paul’s and has been for a long time. In fact, though, all of us are stewards, whether we have called St. Paul’s home for a few months or for several years. There are many “stories of stewards”—what’s yours?