Steve and Stella Prevost

2016-03-window-baptism-detailWe moved here from Boston for a life style change. We were in search of a kinder and gentler place to raise our young family and Charlottesville seemed the perfect fit. Shortly after we moved, we started to look for a new church. We left behind a Congregation Church in New England, so we were also looking for a new denomination. Our neighbors, Ann and Phil Lawrence, knew of our search and invited our family to church. The Episcopal Church felt like a good blend of our Methodist and Catholic childhood worship experiences and the congregation of St. Paul’s was welcoming. Another perfect fit.

As we thought about writing about our St. Paul’s story, we were given the opportunity to reflect on our relationship with our church. Our St. Paul’s family has been with us in our most troubled times. The night of 9-11 we shed tears together and prayed for a world that was turned upside down. In times of illness, you have supported and comforted us. You have lifted our spirit with your prayers and supported us as we physically and emotionally healed.

You have also shared some of our happiest moments. We have shared food, many bottles of wine, birthday wishes, dinner parties and dances under the stars at Veritas. Our sons love to come to Christmas Eve service to see old friends home for the holidays. When we think about our closest friends in Charlottesville, many are in the community of St. Paul’s.

Our church family is also woven into the fabric of our everyday life. When Alex applied for his first paying job, his letter of reference came from Tim Tolson referencing his work as an acolyte. When our youngest son, Adam, was applying for transfer to UVA, Audi Barlow assisted him with his essays. The community of St. Paul’s has shared wise parenting advice, fashion tips, travel recommendations, legal assistance, favorite recipes- the list is endless. There is no part of our life that has not been touched by our relationship with St. Paul’s.

Recently we took a short break from church. We were overwhelmed with the demands of life and as we prioritized our weekly activities, church didn’t make the cut. Our first Sunday back, we walked into the quiet of the sanctuary and we were filled with a sense of calm. It was as if God wrapped his arms around us and welcomed us home.