By Rebecca Wallace
As it embarks on a capital campaign to renovate its old granite building, St. Paul’s congregation recently reviewed the many ministries that the church has offered over its 110-year history. It was a reminder to the members just how important the building and the church are to the community. Even members were astounded at just how many ways this church, with a landmark building, but a smaller membership in recent history, has managed to assist and minister to so many different groups and people. Educational ministries include Vacation Bible School, Children’s Sunday School, Adult Sunday School, Contextual Education Site for Candler Students, Seasonal Short Term Studies (Advent and Lent), and Confirmation Class. Community-building programs include Youth Group (UMYF), Youth Spiritual Life Retreat at Camp Glisson, Youth Chow Downs, Boy Scout Troop 150, SPOT (Saint Paul On Tap), Gay Men’s Bible Study Group, Camp SPARC, St. Paul Basketball, Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes, Lake Junaluska Labor Day Weekend Retreat, Sisters In Spirituality Women’s Group, Men’s Bible Study and Prayer Group, St. Paul Easter Egg Hunt, Handbell Choir, Fat Tuesday Pancake Dinner, and Annual Men’s Retreat. Community support programs include Good Neighbor Projects, Golden Age Center, Meal Train, Christmas gifts for the United Methodist Children’s Home, Halloween Hospitality, Alternative Spring Break, Mission Groups, Disaster Relief, and weddings.
St. Paul’s is also proud of its many community partnerships including the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool, Grant Park Neighborhood Association, the Spectrum Atlanta Trans Community Choir, The Paulines, Atlanta Freedom Bands and Colorguard, Grant Park Parents Network, Food Addicts in Recovery, Lifeline Health Screening, St. Nicholas Academy High School Graduation, Atlanta Gender Exploration support group, Summer Shade Festival, Loaves and Fishes Ministry at St. John the Wonderworker Church, Wilderness Works, Meals for the Peachtree-Pine Shelter, Phoenix Flies, the Atlanta Preservation Center, Peachtree Road UMC, and the UMC Great Day of Service.
“We are truly grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with thousands of people and dozens of wonderful community organizations over our long history,” said Pastor Ellen Hopkins. “We are currently working to raise funds to make badly needed repairs to the building so that we may serve the community for many more years to come. Even for someone like me who is fairly new to this community, I recognize that it would not be the same without St. Paul’s.”
If any of these ministries are meaningful to you, perhaps consider attending services at St. Paul’s. In addition to its weekly worship services on Sundays at 8:45am and 11:00am, St. Paul’s offers special services as community-wide ministries, such as its annual Blessing of the Animals and Worship in the Park services. And of course, it is a lovely time to come back to church during Christian holidays such as Christmas and the very special services offered during Holy Week:
- Palm Sunday, March 20: children-led Palm processional, 8:45am and 11:00am
- Maundy Thursday, March 24: optional foot washing and communion, 7:00pm
- Good Friday, March 25: Tenebrae service, 7:00pm
- Easter Sunday, March 27: Sunrise Service at Oakland Cemetery at 7:00am and traditional Easter Worship, 11:00am
St. Paul’s welcomes all its neighbors to worship. For more information, please visit the web site at stpaulgrantpark.org or call the office at 404-688-6501. For nearly 110 years, St. Paul’s has been a community cornerstone in Southeast Atlanta. The church is at 501 Grant Street, where the congregation prides itself on being “built on faith, and sustained through love.”