Lenten Devotional 2016

dean 2016Every year, the parishioners, clergy and staff of St. Paul’s Ivy create a set of devotions for the Lenten season.

The devotions will be available daily here on our website, along with links to the scripture readings for each day. Or, for a printable copy of our Lenten Devotional, please click here.

Lenten Worship Series at St. Paul’s Ivy

il_fullxfull_270186792Sundays in Lent at 5:30 p.m.

Music has a way of inspiring us to imagine the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of our lives. One of the most popular books in the Bible is the Book of Psalms, poetry meant to be sung, filled with verses calling the faithful to praise God with voice and instruments. The worship series offers different ways of praising God in order to experience adoration: “an intensified and active awareness of God’s presence and work” (EfM Reading and Reflection Guide, Volume C, p. 79).

In response to our 2015 parish survey that revealed our desire to experience different worship services as well as intergenerational events, this Lent we will gather on Sunday evenings at services featuring varying styles of music with liturgy that will hopefully open our hearts to follow God with renewed thanks and praise. Each service will last about fifty minutes and be followed by hospitality where you can meet the musicians. Come as you are, and friends are welcome! Childcare is provided in the nursery through age three. These special Lenten services give us an opportunity to enjoy intergenerational worship – families with children, singles, couples, teenagers, and people of all ages are encouraged to attend!

February 14: Celtic Eucharist
February 21: Bluegrass Mass
February 18: Jazz Mass
March 6: Taize service
March 13: Celtic Eucharist

Lenten Women’s Bible Study Begins February 16th

between-midnight-and-dawn-a-literary-guide-to-prayer-for-lent-holy-week-and-eastertide-29Join the Rev. Sarah this Lent as we read together Sarah Arthur’s compilation: Between Midnight and Dawn: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide. The book is described as:

“[a] collection of daily and weekly readings from classic and contemporary literature completes the church calendar. New voices such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Benjamín Alire Sáenz join well-loved classics by Dostoevsky, Rossetti, and Eliot. Light in the darkness, illuminating the soul. Between Midnight and Dawn: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide will use imagination to draw you deeper into God’s presence. Read it through, then use it as a resource for years to come.”

The Lenten Bible study will meet in the parish hall on Tuesdays at noon from February 16th until March 15th.

Report from the Strategic Planning Committee

Click here for a printable version of this important committee report.

Lenten Music Series: Celtic Eucharist February 14 and March 13

celtic-cross-picture-46Lenten Worship Series at St. Paul’s Ivy
Sundays in Lent, 5:30 p.m.

February 14 and March 13
Celtic Eucharist

The Celtic Eucharist is a candlelight service using sacred music to provide a meditative worship experience. You are invited to this quiet, contemplative evening worship experience, which is steeped in tradition. This service invites one to enter into a place of rest, prayer and reflection. The atmosphere is one of stillness and calm. Musically, we will hear a variety of “gentler” instruments that may include a Celtic harp, flute, hammered dulcimer, or other stringed instrument. Most of the hymns sung are of a Celtic origin.

Services are the second Sunday of every month. The candles are lit at 5:00 p.m. for quiet time in the church until the service starts at 5:30 p.m. Child care in our church nursery is available at this service. All are welcome at the Eucharist.

Children’s Lenten Book Challange

515-KTw3qkL__SX333_BO1,204,203,200_In an effort to continue raising awareness and use of the collection of books in our Children’s Library, we are again challenging children to read books from our Children’s Library. Throughout Lent children can check out books from our Children’s Library and read (or be read aloud to by parents). You’ll find reading logs in a basket next to the card catalog for you to use in recording the books you read. Present your reading log on Easter Sunday to receive a prize!

WomanKind 2016 February 26-27 in Richmond

thistle-sq-300x300Every two years, St. James’ Episcopal Church in Richmond hosts a conference for women called WomanKind. This year it will be held February 26th and 27th and the speakers will be the Rev. Becca Stevens and the Rev. Nadia Bolz Weber.

The theme this year will be Cultivating Compassion: for the Saint, the Sinner, and the Self. Many talented women will lead workshops around these issues. For more information or to register, visit

Volunteers Needed for Continental Breakfast, Coffee Hour and Friends with Flowers

coffee 03We are in need of volunteers to host Coffee Hour, Continental Breakfast and deliver flowers. Please see below to sign up or call the church office to volunteer.

Continental Breakfast Hosts are needed for this ministry which provides light fare and coffee in the parish hall after the 8:30 a.m. service on Sunday mornings for the attendees of Adult Forum. Please volunteer online.

Friends with Flowers Friends with Flowers has several empty slots this winter.  Please check your calendars and see if you are able to bring someone nearby some comfort with a beautiful bouquet of our altar flowers. You’ll get a reminder a few days before. It’s such a simple task, and it means the world to many that receive it.  Click here for the online signup. Thank you for considering! Questions? Contact the church office

Coffee Hour Coffee Hour is hosted by church families on a rotating basis. The hosts make coffee and lemonade (supplied by the church) and provide cookies or other light snacks on the scheduled Sunday morning following the 10:30 a.m. service. Click here to sign up.

Easter Choir

il_fullxfull_270186792Would you like to sing with the choir at Easter? We can use extra voices for the festive time!  Rehearse with the Parish Choir on Wednesdays during March and sing with choir and Easter brass on Sunday, March 27. Contact Daniel Brinson, Director of Church Music.

Lenten Music Series: Jazz Mass on February 28

winnLenten Worship Series at St. Paul’s Ivy
Sundays in Lent, 5:30 p.m.

February 28
Jazz Mass with John Winn & Jazz Musicians
from St. James, Richmond

Jazz for worship means more than musical style. The element of improvisation can affect all our responses – openness to hearing and responding in the moment, going with God’s rhythm. Worship always includes an element of improvisation, as we enact ritual together and respond to each other. Including musical jazz means that the congregation and musicians are freer to respond in the moment as we create liturgy together.

When John Winn steps on stage, he brings an element of versatility that is seldom heard amongst jazz bands. Renowned throughout central Virginia and  the mid-Atlantic both as a saxophone player and vocalist, he’s just as comfortable ripping through selections by Stevie Wonder or John Mayer as he is leading his band, the Winntet, through their vast repertoire of jazz standards.

At night, John Winn stays busy writing songs and legit classical music for commissions or fame and glory . During the daytime, he can often be found teaching at St. Christopher’s School. He lives in Richmond with his wife, violinist Susanna Klein, and rambunctious two boys.

Lenten Music Series: Taize Service on March 6

8493584444_f364bbf6d8_bLenten Worship Series at St. Paul’s Ivy
Sundays in Lent, 5:30 p.m.

March 6
Taize service with chants from the Taize community (Taize, France)

The Taize community in southern France has become famous for its meditative chants, mantra-like in their simplicity and in their ability to lead one deeper into prayer. Despite the contemplative atmosphere, this service is not meant to be austere. It should be warm and inviting for all ages, and the chants are simple enough for even young children to learn.

Lenten Music Series: Bluegrass Mass on February 21

bluegrassLenten Worship Series at St. Paul’s Ivy
Sundays in Lent, 5:30 p.m.

February 21
Bluegrass Mass with the Vassar Family Singers &
Bluegrass Musicians from St. Thomas, Richmond

Worship can use music with deep roots in our geographic area. The Vassar Family Singers are aiming for an intimate setting, authenticity, face to face worship; something simple, rhythmic, and holy.

The Vassar Family Singers are an old time gospel singing group from Richmond, Virginia. They play a blend of southern gospel, old time, and bluegrass gospel — everything from Carter Family, to Bill Monroe, to traditional hymns. Jonathan Vassar: guitar, harmonica; Antonia Vassar: accordion; Nate Mathews: banjo; Matt Presson: washtub bass.

The Vine: February 2016

Click here to view The Vine, our quarterly news magazine.

YOU Can Help Our Food Pantry Families!

food pantry 03Are you looking for an opportunity to serve your church in the New Year? We are inviting families to volunteer for packing the cleaning, paper, and extra supplies in the Outreach pantry. We all know that it is hard to find a time that doesn’t conflict with work, school, or other obligations. This is an opportunity that would contribute greatly to the Outreach pantry and you can do it on your own time during the week. Plus you sign up for the month that is convenient for you. It promises to take about an hour, tops! A list of instructions will be posted in the food pantry for you to follow, and an experienced volunteer can work with you your first time if that would help you to feel more comfortable. To volunteer, please visit our online signup. If you have questions, please contact Peggy Williams.  Thank you for considering this opportunity!

A Global Covenant of Religions? The 2016 Dawe Lecture on March 14

Peter OchsMarch 14th, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond

Recent news headlines seem to give secularists more courage to say “We told you so!” Is religion itself really dangerous to humankind? Or has it taken western diplomats too long to realize that religious groups do not necessarily act like other social groups: that there are religious resources for peace as well as conflict, that it takes special knowledge to understand religions, and that new coalitions of government AND religious AND civil society leaders are needed to engage religious groups in times of peace as well as conflict. This talk. led by Peter W. Ochs, Ph.D., Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia, introduces the work of the “Global Covenant of Religions, Inc.,” a new NGO dedicated to drawing on religious as well as governmental and civil society resources to reduce religion-related violence.

This lecture is free and open to the public; registration is not needed.