Nearly 10 months ago, we kicked off the St. Paul’s reNEWal Campaign with a simple question posed in the words of Charles Kuralt: What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? We suggested then that what binds us to St. Paul’s is more than just the bells or the stone walls or the memories that are created here; that our love for this place is based on the fact that it is, as it was meant to be, a home for all people to know and to love Christ as he loves us and to share that love with one another and with others. And it was our hope that through this campaign and the sharing together of time, resources and love, we would all experience and enjoy a sense of reNEWal, Inside and Out, our theme for the campaign.
On this 90th anniversary service today, let us assure you that during the past 10 months we have witnessed an outpouring of love and commitment, of sacrifice of time and resources and of a sense of renewal at St. Paul’s that we know will continue to bind all of us and generations to come together for at least another 90 years. We will never be able to thank all of you enough, but thank you.
We are forever grateful for all of the time and energy that so many people have contributed towards the reNEWal campaign and related projects. In particular, we want to thank our campaign cabinet: Jonathan and Kristie Blanco; Jimmy and Grace Broughton; Morris and Colleen Friedman; Ricky and Sally Shore; Scott and Lauren Wierman; and Kevin and Aimee Williams. We also want to thank the many volunteers who helped call on parishioners, hosted events or assisted in many other ways. Thank you also to Allan Burrows, Tom Connors, Henri Brown, Jim Ruffin, Steve Ashworth, Tom McDowell, Bill Goodson, Joe Opperman, Larry Robbs, Jeff Allen, Kerry Nesbit, Todd Davis and so many others for their tireless work on the projects and the campaign. Thank you to Dixon and to all of the clergy and staff of St. Paul’s for all of their work, especially to Margaret Turner who has been such a tremendous help and a pleasure to work with throughout this campaign.
We are pleased to report that thanks to the generosity of more than 350 individuals and families at St. Paul’s, the $10 million campaign goal has been exceeded. St. Paul’s has received more than $10,200,000 in gifts and pledges. In addition, St. Paul’s has already received cash payments of almost 50% of that amount or nearly $5 million. As a result, St. Paul’s will realize significant savings on the interest expense it will have to pay under its line of credit that is being used for some of the campaign projects. Such generosity has enabled St. Paul’s to up-fit the building across the street, which we are excited to unveil today; to restore, renovate and preserve this beautiful church, with the work expected to be completed next year; to renew Dalton Memorial Garden, which is expected to be started and completed next year; and to add to St. Paul’s unrestricted endowment. Thank you to all for your faith, for your love and support, and for your generosity. We are truly grateful.
While today marks the conclusion of the reNEWal campaign, it also signifies the beginning of a new era in the life of St. Paul’s. As we celebrate the first 90 years we also begin setting the course for what the next 90 years might bring for St. Paul’s. It is our hope that just as our beautiful, life-giving spaces are being renewed so too will each one of us continue to be renewed and reinspired to fill these spaces – to fill them with our presence and the presence of our families, friends, neighbors and others who we do not even know; fill them with prayer and song; and fill them with volunteerism, outreach, love and compassion so that we might welcome others in and offer help to those in need. And to remember that what binds us to St. Paul’s is more than just the bells or the stone walls or the memories that are created here; that our love for this place is based on the fact that it is, as it was meant to be, a home for all people to know and to love Christ as he loves us and to share that love with one another and with others.
Click here to see more photos from the 90th Anniversary and ReNEWal update.