The Farmers Market @ St. Stephen's, our Sunday Community Suppers, our visiting speakers and poets, and other ministries at St. Stephen's Church all contribute to our mission to serve as a "village green" for the community. We want to extend a welcome to all, whether they are members of St. Stephen's, members of another faith community, or not affiliated at all. This is a reclaiming of the role the church has played through the centuries, with "parishes" actually being geographic areas for which the local parish church took a sense of responsibility.
For the past year, staff and volunteers have been discussing a vision for a new village green ministry: a gathering spot for youth and their friends before and after school, as well as for adults and families to come before and after services and events at St. Stephen's.
A project team has been meeting since the summer of 2016 and recently selected Baskervill, a well-regarded local architecture firm, to provide a design for this cafe space (the former choir room at the Three Chopt end of the parish house).
Members of the project team discussed the vision and showed Baskervill's designs during the Sunday Forum on March 26. You can listen to that presentation, as well as to the questions asked, here. It's not too late to ask questions, though. A schedule of Q & A sessions is listed below. We've also got an FAQ sheet.
A generous gift from an anonymous donor provided initial funding of $30,000. The remaining funding must come from additional donors and will need to be raised quickly if a fall 2017 is to become reality.
Based on the construction costs and the size of our community, we are especially inviting donations of $1,000. However, donations of all sizes are welcome. Some families are not in a position to give $1,000, while others can give more. And a few larger gifts will be needed to reach our goal. With a broad base of $1,000 donors and a dozen or so larger gifts, we will reach our target with roughly 150 participants, achievable if this vision enjoys broad support. Those who contribute $1,000 or more are also invited to donate a mug of their choice; the mugs will be displayed artistically in the café as a way of representing this community and its generosity.
It is essential that your gift to the café not affect the fulfillment of your pledge to the annual giving campaign.
(Read a message from a St. Stephen's parent about why her family is excited about this new opportunity.)
Q & A Sessions
Members of the project team have held half a dozen Q & A sessions and have just added several more. You are most welcome to come and ask any questions you have, including questions about the team's detailed business plan. These sessions will take place in the former choir room, where the proposed cafe is meant to be located. (If you've never been there, walk down the hall of the parish house, beyond the Fellowship Hall, veer right, then left, past the Library. The former choir room/cafe is located at the end of the building on the Three Chopt Road side.)
- Wednesday, April 19, at 5:30 p.m.
- Sunday, April 23, at 12:30 p.m.
- Thursday, April 27, at 5:00 p.m.
- Sunday, April 30, at 12:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 2, at 8:45 a.m.
- Sunday, May 7, at 12:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 10, at 6:00 p.m.
Michael Sweeney, Director of Family Ministry // email // 804.288.2867