St. Paul’s is a small community. It reaches out to embrace members and nonmembers through housing, through the Interfaith Winter Welcoming Center, through meals shared at the VFW and Just Soup, …
St. Paul’s is a small community. It reaches out to embrace members and nonmembers through housing, through the Interfaith Winter Welcoming Center, through meals shared at the VFW and Just Soup, through music, through celebrations, and through worshiping together in that beautiful little church with the red doors.
During COVID, it became painfully clear that there were adaptations needed. We are getting older and less mobile, or entirely homebound and reliant on online services for worship and connection. Our eyes are dimming, our ears are failing.
After many meetings and conversations — including in parish homes — to problem solve, a Sacred Space Core Design group worked with the diocese and the city, and finally architects, on a plan that would not only honor parish history, but also support, and make more accessible, a building with many uses.
The floor will be leveled for walkers and wheelchairs. The side stained glass windows will return to their original clear glass to provide more light. Eight windows will go to homes. The Jefferson Street windows will go to the parish hall where worship services are frequently held. The hall will be linked electronically to services. Cushioned chairs will replace the benches which were removed during the pandemic; the benches will be respectfully repurposed.
Remote services for homebound worshippers will be upgraded — no more telephone video! — and live-streamed.
As with any change, some embrace it, some grit their teeth and accept, and some are heartbroken.
I have never been part a renovation so committed to being respectful, inclusive, and responsible. The fact that over the past couple of years, the fundraising has exceeded expectations is another tribute to the willingness of people to care for each other’s needs, to continue to worship together, and to leave no one out.
Sincere thanks to all who have been part of the process.