About the church
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is an urban congregation located in the heart of downtown Richmond, Virginia. Considered a “destination church,” the edifice is just steps away from the Virginia State Capitol. A church of 887 Active Baptized Members, Sunday worship services are held at 7:45am, 9:00am, and 11:15 am. There are also Holy Eucharist services at 12:05pm throughout the workweek. They have three choirs comprised of members ages 8 to 81: the St. Paul’s Choristers, the Chancel Choir, and the Parish Choir. A very fine Rosales organ from 2001 supports the music at St. Paul’s. Engaging Our Community in Liturgy is the project they will explore.
Engaging our Community in Liturgy
With all the various liturgies that have been experienced under the umbrella of St. Paul’s, there are many directions in which we could proceed. We also recognize that no one service will satisfy the vision of every parishioner. The next step in our new worship design process is identifying what kind of modality will continue St. Paul’s pattern of liturgical renewal and civic encounter while building a strong community that serves the needs of our downtown neighbors.
We anticipate creating a liturgy to meet the specific community-building needs of downtown residents.
Just as our Jazz Vespers liturgy was a liturgical expression of the community that developed around our “Jazz Lunch” program, we could build on successful church-sponsored food truck street festival, to develop a more intimate community through dinner church. Or perhaps another community-focused program is ripe for this kind of “liturgical development.”
Alternatively, this new liturgy could go deeper in enhancing our offerings of tactile worship in our trial Lenten meditation worship, in order to really facilitate creating a worship community around integrating liturgy and body.
In conclusion, participating in the Yale Institute of Sacred Music Congregations Project would enable St. Paul’s to break out of the mode of seasonal experimentation and “trial” worship, and begin to model a depth of commitment to our new neighbors and our new liturgical modes. Our goal is to discern which, if any, of the experimental liturgies we have employed are best suited to being further developed, or if a new mode of liturgy can be developed with what we have learned from our liturgical experiences. Our vision is one of creating a downtown community of God.
815 E. Grace Street
Richmond, VA 23219
David Sinden, Minister of Music
Melanie Mullen, Clergy
Brian Levey, Worship Committee