Until a recent “miracle of light” occurred at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lancaster, nightfall left this high-desert parish’s parking lot and campus pitch-dark. But new exterior lighting installed with a grant from the diocesan One Body & One Spirit Annual Appeal has increased visibility and security for the congregation and its ministries serving L.A. County’s Antelope Valley.

The Corporation of the Diocese, which administers Annual Appeal funds, awarded St. Paul’s a $7,150 grant, allowing the parish to install the lighting. In the note below, Steve Armitage, vestry member responsible for church growth and men’s ministries, expresses his gratitude for the grant and the donors who made it possible.

Adding her appreciation, senior warden Candyce Amos credits the men’s group for proposing the project, and the parish’s former priest-in-charge, the Rev. Julie Bryant, for filing the grant application with the vestry’s direction. A rotating supply clergy team of the Rev. Jim Seipel and two pastors from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Rev. Jim Fuller and the Rev. Donella Silveira, now serves the congregation.

Please join those 184 donors who, to date, have raised $247,289 in 268 gifts to the 2022-23 Annual Appeal, which makes grants to congregations and institutions seeking to meet unbudgeted expenses. Click here to make a gift or download a grant application packet, and watch The Episcopal News for word of the next round of grants to be awarded in the fast-approaching Lenten season.

From vestry member Steve Armitage, on behalf of St. Paul’s, Lancaster:

“A miracle of light! Our church sits in an empty field, there are no signs of human life closer than a half mile from us. It is very dark. Evening meetings are a source of concern, with several of our members expressing fear for their safety. Like other churches in the diocese, we are short of funds to perform some urgently needed improvements to our church campus. The best estimate we obtained that would remedy our situation was north of $7,000. And so we remained in darkness.

“But because of the generous gift of the One Body & One Spirit Annual Appeal donors we have received both light and safety! This gift allowed us to install seven beautiful 12-foot-tall light poles in and around our parking lot and church. The difference is just amazing. Now when people drive down what was a very dark Avenue K in Lancaster, they see a bright oasis of light and hope.

“We at St. Paul’s, Lancaster, extend a very warm ‘thank you’ to the Annual Appeal donors. You have given us a powerful moral lift, a new reason to be hopeful and an increase in faith to be applied as God leads us through these times.”