Important Announcement to the Parish

A Letter to the Parish from the Rev. David H. May

Friday, April 16, 2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

Blessedly, these next months look to be a time when we will be renewing our life in Christ as we regather after this long season of absence. It is a time that, to me, feels ripe with promise and hope with new life out ahead of us. And, it is a time of continuing change.

About a month ago, Emily Bruch, our Director of Youth Ministries, announced that she had just become engaged. And shortly after, Emily let me know that she would be moving to Charlotte, North Carolina in the early summer to join her fiancé, Scott. Emily had a clear sense of God’s call for her to come to St. Mary’s at the end of 2018. She has an equally clear sense now that she is following a new call from God to a new life in North Carolina with Scott. We rejoice with her in this!

Of course, I am terribly sad to see her leave us and the rich ministry she has shared particularly with our young people and their families. Her ministry has been deeply faithful and her loyalty to her call here has been complete. She has brought a kind of ‘soul-fullness’ to her devotion to our young people during a very, very challenging time, which I have treasured. I have a deep sense that ‘God will provide’ in our shared life in Christ. God certainly provided for us in calling Emily to come here and be here during a time that none of us could have anticipated. I am deeply grateful to God for that grace and to Emily for sharing this season in our lives.

At Emily’s suggestion, we have commenced a search process where, with God’s grace, we envision that our new Director of Youth Ministries will have a brief time to overlap with Emily. Emily’s last day in her ministry here at St. Mary’s will be June 10. I hope that as we go forward over these next weeks that we can each take an opportunity to thank Emily for her faithfulness to her call to come to St. Mary’s, for the wonderful ministry we have shared with her, and to wish her God’s blessings and peace as she and we go forward into this new season of promise and hope.

Your brother in Christ,

The Reverend David H. May


A Letter to St. Mary’s Youth and their Families from Emily Bruch

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Dear St. Mary’s Youth Families,

These past few years have been an amazing, grace-filled experience for me. Richmond has always been my hometown, but it has truly become home—largely due to my love for this parish and for each of you. While we have faced ups and downs over the years, our youth ministry has remained faithful, sharing so much joy and laughter. So, it is with a sad but grateful heart that I share with you that my last day as the Director of Youth Ministries at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church will be June 10, 2021.

Last month, I became engaged to my fiancé, Scott. With this exciting new time in my life comes change. After much prayer and conversation, I have decided to follow my call to move to Charlotte, North Carolina to join Scott.
When I was called to St. Mary’s in December 2018, I had no idea of the wonderful ways in which my life would be impacted. The congregation’s passion for their youth to grow in a loving, all-welcoming Christian environment is incredible. And the youth of St. Mary’s are filled with spirit, curiosity, and compassion. I know that without a doubt each and every one of these young minds will make a difference in this world! I am exceedingly grateful to have had the honor and privilege to serve the youth and church family at St. Mary’s. You all have become a tremendously important part of my life.

During this time of transition, I understand that there may be questions about what the future may hold for this ministry. I know that under the strong leadership and devotion of the staff and youth leaders that St. Mary’s youth ministry will be in good hands. God truly is working through each of you here at St. Mary’s. It is through God’s work that I know the programs here will continue to flourish. The St. Mary’s family will always be in my prayers with much love and gratitude.


Emily Bruch

An Important Message from the Rector on Coronavirus

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today, in light of the growing coronavirus outbreak, our Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesial Authority, the Rt. Rev. Susan Goff, held a Zoom call with some 185 clergy of the diocese. In the call, the Bishop announced that all public worship services of the churches of the diocese should be cancelled for the next two weeks, specifically for Sundays, March 15 and 22. This is a highly unusual decision and, in my opinion, the right decision to make. We have all been trying to find the right place to land between healthy and unhealthy fear. I think this decision provides time to consider with some thoughtfulness how we will be a worshiping community together going forward.

The principal concern is the risk of the spread of the virus in gatherings of people. So, for these next two weeks any gatherings larger than 10-15 people or so will also be cancelled. Our staff gathered this afternoon to brainstorm these different gatherings at the church and to make plans for communicating directly with each group or committee. The staff has also begun to think about how we might gather virtually for worship. I hope to be able to let you know more about this over the next two days. I also want to make clear that the church office is opened. The staff will continue to come to work and you are certainly welcomed to come by if you like. I am also making plans for a called meeting of the vestry over these next days to discuss and pray about how God is calling us to be the church in the midst of current uncertainties. We are all committed to communicating clearly and perhaps frequently with you over these next days and weeks.

Please be assured that you are in my prayers, and I urge you to keep one another in your own prayers. Please pray as well for all those affected by this outbreak wherever they may be, for those who are sick and for all those caring for them. Please pray for all those who hold the public trust of elected office that they may be given wisdom to make decisions for the welfare of all people.

Though we may not be meeting for worship together, we are still God’s Church in this world and with and for one another. Remember that Jesus said, ‘in this world there will be tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world’. And so, we always live in hope.

Your brother in Christ,

The Reverend David May