St. Paul’s is a welcoming community which gathers as the “Body of Christ” to listen to the Gospel and share the gifts of the Spirit. An inscription on our door proclaims: “In this church there will be no outcasts.”
This statement of a presiding bishop of the Church has been embraced by the community of St. Paul’s as a commitment and challenge.
We welcome all who seek a community in which to worship. We welcome people by sharing the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Marriage and Burial.
As a community, we gather to hear the word of God and do it in service to one another and in ministry to the community and the world.
St. Paul’s is people more than property or program. It is in the lives of its members that the reason for St. Paul’s is made visible as the presence of God is made more visible in families, schools, places of work and play.
The image of church as the Body of Christ comes to us from St. Paul, our patron saint. This image presents the church as a living, dynamic and interconnected group of people. It also expresses the importance of each individual whose gifts are needed to nurture the life of the community.
St. Paul’s, originally established in 1741 as Union Church, and is a parish of the Diocese of Connecticut. It is presided over by a bishop, assisted by a Standing Committee and councils of clergy and lay people.
The rector presides over the parish with special responsibility for worship and pastoral care of parishioners. The rector is elected by the vestry, subject to the bishop’s approval. The Rev. Dee Anne Dodd is rector of St. Paul’s. Her e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The vestry, elected at the Annual Parish Meeting in January, is the governing body of the parish. It consists of 4 officers: senior warden, junior warden, clerk, and treasurer, elected for one year terms. The nine vestry members are elected for three year terms. The presiding officer of the vestry is the rector. The vestry members are the legal representatives of the parish and work with the rector to help define and articulate the mission of the congregation; to support the church’s mission by word and deed, to ensure effective organization and planning to manage resources and finances. The vestry meets on the second Tuesday of the month
Current Vestry Members are found on the Vestry page.
There are various Vestry committees which help to maintain the programs and property of the church. For each vestry committee, there is a vestry liaison who gives an update at each vestry meeting about what the committee is doing.
We thank you for choosing to worship at St. Paul’s. We encourage you to grow into the life of our parish community and ministry when you are prepared.
Beyond the structure of the Wardens, Vestry members and Committees listed above; there are paid employees of St. Paul’s that contribute to the administration of the parish.
Our parish office manager oversees the day-to-day affairs at the church. She coordinates and directs all office inquiries to the appropriate resources, maintains the parish calendar, records all baptisms, weddings and funerals, oversees correspondence and general office duties, including maintaining the prayer list for Sunday services , producing the Sunday Bulletins and publishing St. Paul’s monthly newsletter.
The newsletter is mailed to all parishioners and is a source of information about church activities, parish and diocesan news, and community notices. It includes a calendar of parish life and other church-related events.
Parish office hours:
Tuesday – Friday: 9am to 3pm / July & August: 9am to 1pm
How to reach us: Phone: (203) 269-5050 or e-mail: email@example.com
Web site: St. Paul’s maintains a web site that contains much information and pictures of the many events that take place here.
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Our Director of Music, James Lindsay, is responsible for the music at worship, including Sunday services. He also leads the Adult choir and is always looking for new voices to join.
He can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“With unflagging energy, in
the love of the Spirit, serve
~ Romans 12:11
Worship is at the heart of St. Paul’s community. The Book of Common Prayer, Hymnal and the Bible provide the basis for all worship services at St. Paul’s. On Sundays, Rite I is used for the 8 am Eucharist and Rite II is used at 9:30 am. In addition, Holy Eucharist is also celebrated each Wednesday at 12:10 pm. This is celebrated in St. Luke’s Chapel and is an informal service.
Clergy have primary responsibility for worship, but the entire parish has a role to play and members are encouraged to become involved according to their talents and desires. Training is available for each of these roles.
Ushers and Greeters
They assist at the beginning of each service. They greet worshipers, distribute bulletins and other service materials, collect the offering and bring it to the altar for it to be blessed.
Acolytes and Crucifers
They serve at both the 8 and 9:30 am services on Sundays. Young people age 8 and up, as well as adults are encouraged to participate in these roles as it offers an opportunity to develop an appreciation of worship; and to learn more about the church’s traditions, practices and disciplines.
Music is an integral part of the spiritual life at St. Paul’s. The Adult Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings and sings at the 10am liturgy throughout most of the year. New voices are always welcome.
At each Sunday service lay persons are scheduled to read the appointed lessons from the Old and New Testaments, and to lead the Prayers of the People.
During the offertory, Eucharistic Ministers gather at the altar for the Eucharistic Prayer. They administer the chalice at Holy Communion.
The Altar Guild is responsible for caring for the linens and altar vessels, as well as preparation of the altar for all church services, from the Sunday Eucharist to Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals. Guild members work in pairs according to a monthly schedule.
OTHER ASPECTS OF WORSHIP
Parishioners share in videotaping the 10 am service each week. The service is shown over Public Access television several times each week. Access via computer is available as well. Members of our parish who are homebound and many other people benefit from this ministry.
The prayer list includes special prayers for individuals as well as groups both inside and outside the parish. Other concerns such as birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions are also recognized.
The flowers at the altar are given weekly in memorial and/or thanksgiving. Following each Sunday Eucharist, flowers are delivered to parishioners who are homebound, in the hospital or nursing homes. There are opportunities at Christmas and Easter to give flowers in memorial as well.
Life at St. Paul’s offers many opportunities for people to work, to pray and to play together. Activities range from classes to meetings and committees. From Sunday school to the newcomers breakfast, to pot luck suppers to a Fall festival that reaches out to the community at large. In all cases, everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate.
Classes are offered for children in pre-k (age 4) through high school. Classes are held each Sunday from 9 – 9:50am. Classes are taught by a team of volunteer teachers who rotate teaching duties. St. Paul’s presently uses a rotational model based curriculum for pre-k through sixth grade. At seventh grade, young adults begin the Journey to Adulthood curriculum.
This is a program planned and led by a parishioner and meets on Sunday between the liturgies at 9am. It provides opportunities for study and discussion of a wide variety of topics. There are generally three sessions each year, at least one of which focuses on an aspect of the Bible and one in which a book is read and discussed.
This is a ministry of concern, shared in prayer, remembering those for whom prayers are desired in times of need, sickness, joy, thanksgiving, distress, confusion, loss or death. St. Paul’s Prayer Group pledges to pray, in confidence, on a daily basis, for those causes and persons made known to them. There is a box on the ledge in the hallway between the church proper and the office for prayer intentions.
Pastoral Care Committee
This group is composed of licensed Lay Eucharistic Ministers who provide visits and communion on a rotating basis to members of the parish who are unable to attend services.
St. Paul’s library is located in the Common Room. Our collection, though small, is open to anyone who wants to browse through it. There are some children’s titles and videos also available. All are welcome to use the library.
Covenant to Care
St. Paul’s is a participant in the Covenant to Care Adopt-a-Social Worker program. Every fall we provide backpacks filled with school supplies for all the children on the social worker’s case load and every Christmas we provide them with gifts. Throughout the year we also fulfill emergency requests for items such as winter coats, furniture and grocery gift cards. We also provide diapers.
every month for families participating in the Nurturing Families Program after collecting money each month on what is affectionately known as “Diaper Sunday.”
St. Paul’s Thrift Shop is a ministry that involves a number of people from the parish. Parishioners volunteer to sort, price and sell merchandise each week throughout the year. The shop provides fellowship and a source of income for the parish, offering quality merchandise at very reasonable prices.
This social gathering is usually held every Sunday after the 10am service. It’s a great opportunity for fellowship and friendship.
The annual Pancake Supper held on Shrove Tuesday has become a tradition at St. Paul’s. Parishioners enjoy homemade pancakes with all the trimmings as well as good fellowship.
For those who are new to St. Paul’s, this is a great opportunity to come together for fellowship and to meet vestry members, the rector and each other. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about the parish and to ask questions. The breakfast is held periodically throughout the year.
In early September, this gathering marks the end of summer and the beginning of the fall season at St. Paul’s. It has traditionally begun with a single 9am Holy Eucharist followed by a brunch or picnic to reconnect with those we haven’t seen during the busy summer months.
The Fall Fair, is synonymous with St. Paul’s famous “mile high apple pies”. It features crafts, games, baked goods, a basket auction and much more while offering an opportunity for the parish to work together to raise funds to support the church’s work and for the community to visit St. Paul’s.
Third Thursday Luncheon
A catered luncheon is held on the third Thursday of each month at noon in Wilkinson Hall. This luncheon provides an opportunity for fellowship while enjoying some wonderful food.
Parish Pot Luck Suppers
Everyone in the parish is encouraged to make their favorite recipe and come to the Parish Pot Luck, usually held on the fourth Saturday of each month at 6pm in Wilkinson Hall. This evening of fellowship provides the opportunity for all age groups to mingle while enjoying some of the wonderful home cooking of St. Paul’s parishioners.
This English High Tea is held in early December on a Saturday afternoon. This event brings together church members and outside guests in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere.
As Christians, we are called by God to be stewards of the Gospel. As stewards, we are asked to return a portion of our time, talent and treasure to God’s work. The purpose of St. Paul’s Stewardship Committee is to educate parishioners about the meaning of being a steward of the Gospel.
We must remind ourselves it is our Lord to whom, in all gratitude, we owe our many blessings. St. Paul’s is blessed with parishioners who have the resources, time and talent needed for the maintenance of parish worship, work, and witness in our community and the world beyond.
Many parishioners offer their time and talent in all aspects of parish life. From volunteers in the Thrift Shop to helping with Sunday services, to painting, gardening and teaching our children, the list is long and varied. Without these gifts, our parish could not carry out its work in the community. Requests for help are made throughout the year and offers of help are always appreciated.
“My house shall be a house
~ Luke 19:46
“What you have learned and
received and heard, do.”
~ Philippians 4:9