in is marking its early success in rebuilding its congregation by inviting its many neighbors to come celebrate.
The church plans to kick off its first full-program year, since reorganizing, by hosting a service and picnic open to all on Sunday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“It’s a celebration of rebirth. Come, join us for Sunday services and stay for the fun,” said the Rev. Lou Hays, a priest-in-charge at St. David’s.
The festivities will begin with a Holy Communion service, led by the Rev. Kris Opat McInnes, who attended St. David’s as a youth and currently serves on its ministry team.
The cookout, which follows, will offer grilled meats, sides, desserts and vegetarian options. Activities including a bounce house and face painting will be provided for children. All events take place at the church, located at 905 East McMurray Rd.
A postcard invitation is being mailed to every household within one-and-a-half miles of the church.
St. David’s just three months ago, after its former clergy and others in the congregation who had left the Episcopal Church moved to a new location.
From a small core of members who decided to remain at St. David’s as Episcopalians, the congregation has grown.
“We have a very welcoming community and we see a lot of newcomers,” said Hays, noting that some say they had attended St. David’s in the past and are now returning, while many others are brand new to the parish.
Young families and children are well-represented in the new congregation, which Hays describes as spanning the generations. “We have babies, children, teens, young adults, parents and grandparents,” he said.
St. David’s Sunday School classes, which also resume on Sept. 9, are just part of the offerings geared toward younger families. One of the first activities hosted by the reorganized congregation was a Vacation Bible School. The parish runs a thriving pre-school and has a director of Children’s Ministry, Jennifer Yoon, on staff.
Both priests, Hays and McInnes, share their time between St. David’s and as part of a larger diocesan-sponsored effort to help congregations rebuild. St. Paul’s parishioners have been volunteering at St. David’s, and are among the many invited to the Sept. 9 celebration.