Our family moved to Charlottesville in 1996 after living in Richmond in the same house for 12 years. Our daughter was 10th grade and our twin boys 7th grade, an extremely challenging time. My husband is a UVA graduate and so like many alumni was enthusiastic about working for the University. For the rest of the family the transition was rough. As a lifelong Episcopalian, I looked to join a church quickly as a way to get assimilated into the community so I joined the closest, St. Paul’s Ivy.
I started singing with the choir and enrolled the kids in youth group, confirmation class, and as acolytes. They quickly made friends and so did I. The church was in transition at the time. Miller Hunter had been rector for only a couple of years and the number of children was fairly low but growing. There were funny life bumps along the way – my boys still hold the record for setting their hair on fire on the same Sunday and for each eating an entire large pizza at Youth Group! The church has been here for us during deaths of grandparents, aunts and uncles, the empty nest and the joyous births of our two grandsons. I took the 4-year Education for Ministry course, became a mentor for EFM, helped with Outreach, Altar Guild and the Library, served on the Vestry and Rector Search Committee and have watched our church become filled with people of all ages. My prayer life and faith have deepened as I have moved through the last 20 years. As Eric told us during his interview process, he wants this church to be with his congregants from birth to death and St. Paul’s has definitely been that support for us. St. Paul’s has also helped with my continual search to see trains with my oldest grandson, Charlie. For those not in the know the bottom of the yard at Kirklea is a wonderful viewing spot!
I look forward to St. Paul’s continuing to grow and support me through the next chapters of my life.