Dear People of St. Peter’s Church:
In 2004 you welcomed the Hopkins/Romanaux family to your midst. You welcomed us through your expressions of joy, of concerns, of laughter, of prayer, and of so many, many words of support. Our family felt like we were adopted into a new family! We will never forget our first Sunday here, where, for the first time, we were at a church where the three of us could take Communion together.
Since then you have entrusted us with so much. Many of you have trusted us to plan and order your worship of God, attempting to help you bring your truest selves to the altar of God in worship, expressing your innermost thoughts and feelings through the language of music. Some of you have trusted us with something very personal––your own voice. You’ve allowed us to teach you, support you, and join you in a choral voice greater than the sum of its parts. Some of you have trusted us with your children. We have loved them as our own, and we hope we have been worthy of your trust as we attempted to help you raise them in the knowledge and love of God, and of God’s Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is with a great deal of excitement, and also with no small amount of sorrow, that Paula and I announce that we are leaving St. Peter’s Church this winter. Peter has accepted a call to be the Director of Music at St. Stephen’s Church, Richmond. Paula will also be working with Peter at St. Stephen’s; we begin our new ministry there at the beginning of Lent (mid–February).
St. Stephen’s, one of the largest Episcopal churches in the country, has a dynamic music ministry that they want to develop. They especially want to grow their children’s choirs, and bring greater coordination to the many components of their large group of musicians. Through the search process, we believe that we have experienced a sense of call, that this is the right thing to do.
How can we thank you all for your many gifts to us? Gifts of conversation, laughter, tears, and so many kindnesses. We will attempt to do so in the too–short time we have together; for now, please know that we have held and will continue to hold you in our hearts. In the meantime, let’s make some joyful noises!
With all our love,
Peter and Paula
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As you have read in the letter above, Peter Hopkins has accepted the invitation to serve as Director of Music at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. Thus, after eleven years of glorious music-making at Saint Peter’s, Peter and Paula will be leaving us. With their daughter, Hannah, they will be moving to Richmond early in the new year.
During their time here, Peter and Paula have filled our worship with music, built and nurtured a marvelous choral program, and touched the lives of oh so many of us. Thanks to their passion, faith, guidance, and skill, our worship is an expression of the finest Anglican choral tradition. We will miss them!
This new position is an excellent opportunity for Peter in his career. St. Stephen’s is a large and vibrant congregation that will benefit tremendously from his gifts and abilities. Paula, too, will have opportunity to continue her organ-playing and music-making.
January 18, the Feast of the Confession of Peter, will be their last Sunday with us. We will soon announce a date or dates when we can gather as a congregation and community to offer to them our thanks, appreciation, blessings, and best wishes.
With support from our Vestry and Music Committee, I will act quickly to put together an interim team of musicians (organist, choir director, et al.) to insure that our choirs are supported, and our worship filled with music. I will give special care in finding someone who can nurture our boys and girls choirs. Details will be forthcoming, but fear not; with support from each of you, all shall be well.
With thanks for the many, many ways in which Peter, Paula, and Hannah have shared their gifts and their lives with us.
1 thought on “Peter and Paula Will Move to St. Stephen’s Church in Virginia”
Dear Peter & Paula (and Hannah) ~ I so remember the welcoming party of Vestry members and Ministry heads that Katie and I hosted to welcome you to St. Peter’s….we served hoagies and Tastykakes along with the Fanellis famous Sangria…..so happy that you didn’t turn and run away after your fist sampling of our Philadelphia Tastykake treats! Thank You for sharing with us your wonderful gifts for these last eleven years! We have been truly blessed! Katie and I will sincerely miss you, and want you to know that we wish you the very best in your new adventure.
Joe & Katie Fanelli
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