December 11, 2020
God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
the all of Christmas, which is Christ.
~Wilda English

In this Season of Sharing...

Do you remember when Bombas Socks donated 2,500 pairs of socks to our Emmaus guests? Bombas policy is to only donate to one organization in a region and because we are that one organization we had the chance to share with others.

In November, we partnered with Second Branch Baptist Church and their ministry at Gateway Homes. Gateway Homes is transitional housing for adults with Mental Illness. Their goal is to assist the residents to live independently in the community. Second Branch Baptist partners with them to provide different events thru-out the year. St. Paul's was able to provide 85 pairs of socks so that each resident had a new pair of socks in the holiday gift bags provided by Second Branch Baptist.

In December, we partnered with Pastor Lauren Ramseur who works with incarcerated teens at the Bon Air correctional facility to provide these socks and composition notebooks for the teens. Here is a note from Pastor Lauren:

Thank you so much for the incredible donation of Bombas socks and composition notebooks to the Voices of Jubilee Christmas prisoner packages. We will include them in our Christmas gift bags for the 143 young people who are incarcerated at the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center. Last year when we shared gifts with the young people there, they were most excited about a nice, soft new pair of socks. This is a tremendous gift. The composition books are something that the youth use all the time, to write songs, poems, stories, letters and to draw. They are an outlet for their worries and for their hopes and dreams. Both of these donations will share so much love with youth who have been through a very difficult year. The Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center was the location of the largest Covid-19 outbreak in a juvenile facility this spring and the youth have been in strict isolation for months. These acts of love in such a difficult time are so important. Thank you for helping make that possible.

with gratitude,

Lauren
Church Engaged! - Ways to Share and Get Involved
Donate to our Emmaus Guests

As the weather changes our Emmaus guests are in need of cold weather items. We are looking for items that are good in the elements; cotton, nylon, etc., hats and gloves that can get wet and keep the cold out. Our most requested items currently are:
·    Hats
·    Gloves
·    VERY Gently Used Jackets
·    Hand warmers

Items can be dropped off at the parish house Monday through Thursday – 9am to 2pm.
Please ring the bell. Contact Lynn Williams with questions: lwilliams@stpaulsrva.org.
Volunteer with the Underground Kitchen

The Underground Kitchen has grown so quickly that they are now in need of volunteers to scoop soup into containers, package meals, transport meals to agencies (COVID safety protocols in place). Food preparation and packaging takes place at Roslyn Retreat Center. Shifts and teams of volunteers are limited to 2-4 people and take place Monday through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Deliveries take place in the afternoon, but there are some morning routes. To sign up or learn more email Barbara Ambrose, Volunteer Coordinator at cats4cats@comcast.net and include your name, email and phone. 
Woodville Gift Card Program | Thank you for your generosity!

WOW! You all are amazing. We have been able to provide more than $4,000 worth of Gift Cards to families at Woodville! Thank you for your generosity.
Put Happy on a Face Campaign | Not Collecting Money in 2020

We wanted to let you know that this December we will not be collecting money for our summer camp program. In collaboration with Page Luxmoore and Heather Brough, a decision was made to not conduct this year's campaign. Since no camps were held this year, all of the money raised last December, along with the 2020 budgeted dollars, went directly into the summer camp fund. Approximately $20,000 was deposited into the fund. We will keep you updated on the 2021 camp season. Thank you for your immense generosity!
Richmond 300 Master Plan | E-mail City Council this weekend

St. Paul's Vestry Member, Maritza Pechin, serves as Project Manager for this very massive public planning process. Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth is the plan that articulates the vision for Richmond at its 300th anniversary (2037) and outlines place-based recommendations to get us that vision. The Master Plan (also known as the Comprehensive Plan) establishes a vision for the growth of the City and outlines place-based policy recommendations to guide its physical development.

City Council will vote this coming Monday, December 14th. E-mail your Council member about what you support. You can find all of the council folk and the liaison email addresses here.
Upcoming Events & Partner Highlights
SAVE THE DATE!

Beyond Good Intentions: Aspiring Ally Development with Keith E. Edwards

Join us Tuesday, January 12th at 6:00 p.m. This virtual presentation is designed to help those who aspire to be allies for social justice to learn, reflect, develop themselves, and move toward action to be more consistent, effective, and sustainable aspiring allies for social justice.

Aspiring allies for social justice work toward justice from places of systemic privilege or dominance such as white folks working for racial justice, men working toward gender justice, and/or middle and upper-class folks working for class justice. This session will explore the foundations of social justice as well as the more complex dynamic of aspiring allyship. More details and registration coming soon.
SAVE THE DATE | Stone Soup - Feb. 21st @ 6 p.m.

This will be an online event, with the option to pre-order and pick up soup from our fabulous soup chefs prior to the online gathering.

With a focus on food insecurity and local solutions, we will hear from Birdhouse Farmers Market, Shalom Farms, and The Underground Kitchen Community First Project. Watch for more details in January 2021.
Articles and Book Recommendations
Article on the school-to-prison pipeline, which our very own Dave Coogan is quoted in.


Recommended by Adrian Luxmoore. "I have just read this book - one sitting. Powerful." You can also read an interview with the Author Jeffrey Blount HERE.
We invite you to join us in praying for the Discernment process with this Congregation Discernment Prayer:

O God, you sent your Son into our world to be a living, breathing example of justice, love, and mercy. As we seek to be more fully your hands, feet, and heart in this community and world, we ask that you walk with us. By the guidance of your Holy Spirit, open our hearts and minds to hear the many voices through which you are speaking; increase our trust and respect for each other; and give us patience and wisdom as you shape us into the church you are calling us to be. We pray these things in the name of the one who came not to be served, but to serve, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

For more information on previous phases and what is next, visit our Discernment Process web page HERE.
Community Engagement Wants to Hear From YOU!

From COVID-19 to social unrest and uprisings, this past year has brought to light within our wider cultures, the ongoing injustices, and inequities that continue to impact our communities. While many of you have long been aware of these issues and others of you are coming into new awareness, everyone is listening and learning from this moment, and we would like to learn from you.

We have created an email address for you to share any ideas and thoughts you might have that further the cause of justice and equity.

Please send your thoughts and ideas to justice@stpaulsrva.org.
Reminder of Online Opportunities

Check our website under the ChurchAway page for more information.

Look at our Advent and Christmas specific offerings here and download the calendar of events here.

We are glad that you are here.