Class of 2025 Vestry Nominees
Below are the nominees for our Vestry Class of 2025. There are four positions that will need to be filled. We will provide more details on the voting process shortly. Our Annual Parish Meeting, when we typically vote in new vestry members, was originally scheduled to be held on Sunday, January 23rd following worship. However, due to the current surge in COVID cases and our desire to have as many people involved in the meeting, we will be postponing our Annual Parish Meeting to Sunday, February 20th to allow for us to prepare for it to be virtual, if necessary, or in person, if possible.
STEPHANIE HILL BLACKWOOD | Stephanie Hill Blackwood initiated her commitment to St. Paul’s as a member of the choir in June 2006. She has happily served with her colleagues and under the directorship of several great musicians in ministry for nearly 16 years. She later joined as a parishioner of the church in Spring 2016. When not singing at St Paul’s, she also sings freelance around town at several liturgical communities and as a guest soloist with regional choirs. She worked extensively in live theatre for a number of years prior to her greatest accomplishment, becoming mom to Ian Jr. With a background primarily in music, early childhood development and now business, Stephanie currently serves as an Associate Technology Business Services Assistant with Wells Fargo Bank. When she’s not working or making music, Stephanie enjoys time with her friends and family; and most especially her son Ian Jr. and their sweet pup, Bob.
Stephanie’s Prayer for St Paul’s: May we continue our unwavering effort for racial reconciliation and social equity. May we challenge and support each other in active love. And may we create space and safe refuge for others in search of a faith community.
RANDY BLANKENSHIP | Randy is from Lynchburg, VA and graduated from the School of Architecture at The University of Virginia in 1978. He moved to Richmond, VA in 1979, and began attending St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in 1980. Randy was confirmed in the Episcopal Church under Craig Biddle with his first involvement in the church working with Sally Ray on the Senior High youth group team. He has also volunteered with the Lenten Lunch program for many years in various positions and presently serves on the Altar Guild. Professionally, Randy is a consulting Architect with Wendel Companies and Owner/Architect/Interior Designer for Bespoken, LLC.
Randy’s Prayer for St. Paul’s: Dear Lord thank you for the opportunity in Life to be of service to those other than Myself. Please guide and direct me to be a better person and to be a shining example of what you would have us be. Thank you for such a blessed place as St. Paul’s where many wonderful opportunities await us as we serve you for the better good of our world. Watch over us and help us make the World a better place. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
BRIAN CARR | I’ve been a real estate attorney in Richmond since moving here in 1993, and a member of St Paul’s since 1997. During that time I’ve enjoyed serving the church through a wide range of activities, committees and groups. Some of these include prior vestry service; youth ministry and mentoring; Shrine Mont weekend planning, and serving as a long-time member of the Property Committee. My most extensive involvement was serving as the co-chair of the Worship Space Renovation Project from its inception in 2010 until its completion in 2019.
Brian’s Prayer for St. Paul’s: I pray that St. Paul’s will continue to understand that a healthy and vibrant congregation can only come through a willingness to grow and change to meet the spiritual needs of its people, wherever that may take us.
MITCH OXFORD | Mitch Oxford has been a member of St. Paul’s since arriving in Richmond at the end of 2019. After the pandemic began, he and his wife Lea Lane were faithful digital communicants until in-person worship thankfully returned last year. Mitch is a Ph.D. candidate in the history of American religion at William & Mary and has recently been involved in the tour guide ministry in light of the excellent work produced by the History and Reconciliation Initiative.
Mitch’s Prayer for St. Paul’s: That we grapple with the history of our parish, it inspires us toward more faithfully following Christ’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves.
TOM SMITH | 2022 is my 22nd year at St. Paul’s. My wife Joyce and I were married here in 2001. The St. Paul’s community has been a wonderful home for our family. Our five children thrived with the youth program, Sunday morning breakfasts, confirmation, mission trips, Shrine Mont and the loving community we found here. Over the years I’ve served as Annual Giving co-chair in 2011 and 2012, one term on Vestry, assisted with the community food pantry, taught Sunday school, led nature walks for annual auctions and Shrine Mont, and currently serve as secretary for the Home Board. I’m also active with a small group “Marketplace” organized by Fletcher and carrying on, and the Global Missions Committee.
Tom’s Prayer for St. Paul’s: My prayer for St. Paul’s and our community is for peace, a reduction in gun violence, and I pray that our youth find here a loving, nurturing community and one that fosters social and environmental awareness and opportunities.