Finding a Church Home

A Weekly Stewardship Reflection, Sunday, October 29, 2017

By: Bill Huffman

Marilyn and I returned to Richmond in 2012, after a 13 year absence, to be close to family. We purchased a home in Randolph Square where we joyfully hear St. Mary’s bells every hour, and since we were Episcopalians, it seemed right that we should visit St. Mary’s. We were attracted by the history of Little St. Mary’s, the simplistic beauty of New St. Mary’s, and the peaceful serenity of the church grounds. It’s been the last two years that we became active members. For me, the men’s spiritual practice with Bob is one of the most meaningful hours of my week. I also attend the lectionary Bible study led by Frank Eakin, which is an enlightening and thoughtful discussion of each Sunday’s Bible readings. Marilyn joined the altar guild and enjoyed several of Weezie’s tours at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Together, we participated in book studies and CARITAS, enjoyed Choral Evensongs and Lessons and Carols at Christmas and, most recently, Faith & Film with Andrew. Through all of this we’ve met many wonderful people. We were looking for a church home, and we found one at St. Mary’s.

Thinking about this reflection made me realize how significant St. Mary’s has become to us in a short time. Several years ago, Weezie led a book study of Being Christian by Rowan Williams. In my favorite chapter titled “Eucharist”, Williams writes “…when we gather as God’s guest at God’s table, the Church becomes what it is meant to be – a community of strangers who have become guests together and are listening together to the invitation of God.” So, in my prayers during Holy Communion each Sunday, I thank God for his invitation and his welcome and I thank Him for St. Mary’s Church.

Writing this also made me realize how much all of us have to celebrate. St. Mary’s has undergone a significant amount of change over the last few years and has remained a strong and vibrant church. We learned last week that there will be more change in the coming months. As Al Rider stated so well in his letter “…it is our sense of humility, love of place, simplicity, tradition, community, and willingness to embrace change that has guided us…Over time there are changing faces in the pews and at the Altar, but we remain the same place. And it is a good place.” St. Mary’s offers each of us a “good place” to grow spiritually and strengthen our faith.

St. Mary’s is indeed a good and special place. Let us all commit to St. Mary’s future with our gifts of time, talent, and treasure.