Reconciliation Weekend | October 15th-17th

Dear Friends,

As we prepare for our second annual Sunday Service of Reconciliation on Sunday, October 17th, the Community Engagement steering committee has been working with a variety of folks in and outside of St. Paul’s to offer a series of compelling events to deepen how we experience our new tradition, a tradition begun last year through the diligent work of Linda Armstrong and the History and Reconciliation Initiative (HRI). While the HRI task force’s direct work has come to an end after its defined period of four years, the Spirit continues to flow through all that we do and say and pray here at St. Paul’s, and what we have learned and are committing to is emerging and growing into new initiatives throughout the church.

Below you will find more information about different opportunities the weekend of October 15th-17th for the people of St. Paul’s for participation, reflection, and renewal of our commitments to justice and racial equity. As we join together as part of God’s beloved community to move into the next year, even the next 175 years, with grace and renewed strength, we ready ourselves to do the work as asked of us by Jesus, and so sweetly encapsulated by our brother, Bishop Jack Spong, “to live fully, love wastefully and to be the best we can be.” We welcome you to consider how you might prepare your hearts and minds ahead of our Reconciliation Weekend.

Sue Bland
Community Engagement Steering Committee Member


October 15-17

  • Friday, October 15th – Sunday, October 17th | Mending Walls Public Art Project
  • Saturday, October 16th – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Slave Trail Walk w/ Rev. Ben Campbell
  • Sunday, October 17th at 10 a.m. | Service of Reconciliation
  • Sunday, October 17th following Worship | Social Hour hosted by CE Committee

Scroll down for details on each offering

Mending Walls at St. Paul’s Collaboration

Friday, October 15th through Sunday, October 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

St. Paul’s has joined the Mending Walls project as a sponsor and partner to support one of our 2021 Lenten Speakers Hamilton Glass, his team and this important work of imagination and reconciliation in our city.

In addition to supporting the city-wide vision and activity of the Mending Walls project, St. Paul’s has an exciting opportunity to add to our own continuing story and serve as one of their temporary public art sites.

During the weekend, the Mending Walls team will bring together local artists from different cultural backgrounds to our St. Paul’s grounds to transform plywood panels and canvas into works of art. The goal of the event is to bring more attention and awareness to the inequities of racism along with inspiring more people to get involved in the conversation.

  • You are invited to show up at any time throughout the weekend from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., to visit and watch the artists work on their public art piece.
  • Ribbons of Hope Installation | This is an opportunity to write a hopeful message of solidarity for our community on a ribbon and tie it onto the Church’s Sanctuary fence. Yellow ribbons will be used for this installation, as Yellow is associated with hope and can be seen in some countries when yellow ribbons are displayed by families who have loved ones at war. The hope is a display of ribbons around the church filled with the voices of hope for our community. As people attend the 3-day art event to see the artwork from the artists come to life, ribbons and markers will be provided for all who attend and would like to participate and write their message of hope.

To learn more, visit the Mending Walls project and the artists involved at and check out their social media @mendingwallsrva.

Slave Trail Walk and Discussion w/ Rev. Ben Campbell

Saturday, October 16th – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This walk is a kind of pilgrimage that will be led for St. Paul’s by the Rev. Ben Campbell and Rev. Charles Williams, head of the Office of Black Catholics.

  • The 2 ½ hour walk closes with reflection and conversation over box lunches at Capitol Square. The Richmond Slave Trail is a nearly 3-mile walk that runs from the Manchester Docks, where enslaved Africans both entered and left Virginia, to Robert Lumpkin’s Slave Jail and the site of the hanging of Gabriel, who attempted to complete America’s half-revolution in 1800.
  • The 17 guides and plaques along the way tell the story of Richmond’s first 250 years of history – a history that was buried and hidden from the entire city until the first decade of the 21st century.
  • NOTE: The Slave Trail Walk is appropriate for 6th Graders and older youth, but not for younger children.
  • You will need to be able to walk 3 miles and go up and down steps.

Meet at the church at 9:00 a.m. A van will take us from the church to the beginning of the Slave Trail and then back. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water bottles and snacks. Box lunches will be provided by St. Paul’s. Registration is required for this event with a limit of 20 people. CURRENTLY FULL.

Service of Reconciliation

Sunday, October 17th @ 10:00 a.m. (in-person and live-streamed)


We are honored that we will be joined by Rev. Sylvester “Tee” Turner as our guest preacher. The Slave Trail noted above was developed in the early 2000s by Rev. Turner, along with the Rev. Ben Campbell and former St. Paul’s member Rob Corcoran, among many others.

We will have a Recommitment to the Ministry of Justice and Reconciliation, along with a renewal of vows and the “Litany of Repentance.” We will be introducing a newly commissioned Hymn by the Rev. William “Bill” Roberts. The hymn will be sung at the Reconciliation Service, then a full performance with brass on November 7 in commemoration of St. Paul’s 175th anniversary.

Following the service, the Community Engagement team will be highlighted in our Sunday social hour and available for conversation and connection. Join us on this very special Sunday!

Click Here for more information about the History and Reconciliation Initiative (HRI) Task Force and its work in previous years.