St. Paul’s has been in existence in Carondelet for over 150 years. That’s a long time to be in continuous community! The church was founded by four prominent local families who were tired of riding in their carriages all the way to Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday mornings, in snow, heat or rain. They saw the Carondelet neighborhood growing, and they longed for an Episcopal church here. From that humble beginning, into a small wooden church, to the current building, our congregation has cycled between seasons of growth, retraction, adaptation, and growth again. There were a few decades, not so long ago, when the Rector, Liew Heigham, begged the bishop to keep the doors open. Thanks be to God, the doors stayed open, and consistent growth is happening!
Today, we are facing almost unprecedented change. Being a Christian is a minority identity; one which many of us prefer to phrase in other ways (Jesus followers is our Presiding Bishop’s favorite). No longer does anyone attend church to “be seen”, or to network, or to fulfill some societal or family obligation. Personally, I’m delighted that’s the case. Now, we are doing what Margaret Wheatley is naming: effectively gathering to act on what we care about; actions based on our values and faith.
Here are examples of our values and faith in action:
On June 18, three of the five members of your Requiem and Renaissance team began our journey as liaisons between the Diocese and St. Paul's. Through this program, we’ll be leading St Paul’s as we continue in revitalization. This will look a lot like “discovering what we care about”. The above bullet points are mile markers in the journey so far.
In the coming months, you'll be invited to engage in questions and conversation that help us gain momentum and clarity on next steps and new steps. Don’t let the name, Requiem or Renaissance make you nervous! This process is not about closing the church! It’s about lovingly saying goodbye to the old ways that no longer apply and walking into new life in community. I’m so excited to be on this journey with you!
Most of the blog articles are written by our Rector, The Rev. Rebecca Ragland