Rector’s Blog: (Y)our Stories

(Y)our Stories

By Charlie Dupree

For the past several weeks on Sunday mornings, members of the St. Paul’s community have been telling their stories. But the stories they’re telling are not just the typical stories we might exchange over drinks or during casual introductions. These are stories about faith. “What is your first experience of church? What are your spiritual practices?” These are the questions our storytellers have been contemplating and putting into words – not always an easy thing to do.

The search for spiritual awareness and spiritual connection is one of the things I love most about our call to be disciples. These are not surface endeavors. The spiritual community calls us to wrestle with meaning-making . . . what makes meaning in our own lives? . . . What provides depth and substance? . . . Where do we allow our roots to really sink in? How is God really moving in our past and present? How is God shaping our future?

In listening to our story tellers each Sunday, I have learned so much about them, about St. Paul’s, and about our church community. From Matt Stehle this past Sunday, I was reminded of a quote that I use on my email signature:

Thankfulness is a soil in which pride does not easily grow.

In the stories of these few parishioners, I have heard deep gratitude for families, friends, and this community that cultivates a spirit of exploration, conversation, study, and service to others. We REALLY DO live out our faith, St. Paul’s, and that’s what it is all about.

For what in your life and/or your faith community are you thankful?

We each have a story to tell – it is a story of God’s love for us, for creation, and for humanity. If we are in touch with that for which we are thankful, we cannot help but tell that story – if not with our lips, then with our lives.

This Sharing (Y)our Story formation series was intentionally planned alongside the Community Giving Campaign. Our hope is to continue to broaden our understanding of stewardship to not only sharing our money, but also sharing our stories with one another. Here’s an update on our Community Giving Fund from Sarah Nolan, our Director of Stewardship. . .

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“Only two weeks left in St. Paul’s Community Giving Campaign. Help us make our financial goal and join fellow members and friends of the parish by making your pledge today. Your participation matters and makes a difference! Please make sure to get your pledge in by NOVEMBER 15th.

For more information about this campaign, what it means to pledge or to make a pledge, email snolan@stpaulsrva.org or click here.”

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See you in church,
Charlie+

Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Richmond, Virginia

Preferred pronouns: he, him, his