Youth, Employment, Keep Walking

This walk focused on 22nd Street.  One neighbor pointed out that there are more programs needed for youth.  This has been a repetitive theme:  concern for the youth of Church Hill.

Another younger male resident with a young child emphasized the need for local employment opportunities in Church Hill.  This is a conversation about employment opportunities for residents in Church Hill that we are hearing frequently.  It is one of the focuses of the Mayor’s Community Wealth Building initiative in RVA.

One elder resident discussed with us the local civic association with actually meets at St. Peter’s on Thursday nights.  They do things like clean up days.

Finally, a barber down the street from the church said he was actually married at St. Peter’s in the 70’s.  There seem to be a lot of people with connections to our church in the community that are not currently connected with us.

When asked what the church could do for the community, he said just more of what you are doing now:  keep walking around the neighborhood.  Be a part of the neighborhood.

Introducing Listening to the Residents of Church Hill

St. Peter’s is an Episcopal Church currently located at the corner of 22nd and X Streets in Church Hill.  The church has a long history in Church Hill, over 100 years, and has been located on 27th Street, 28th Street, and Venable Street.

At this time in our life, after being in this neighborhood for a long time, we are reaching out to neighbors in a renewed way.  We are walking around the neighborhood on Monday afternoons to meet, greet, and hear from residents about what they see in the neighborhood.

We have started with a small group of walkers.  But it is our hope that this listening will connect with other listeners both to join us in walks and to follow along virtually to be connected with our neighborhood.  As one frequent walker said recently: “The key is to listen to the neighborhood rather than listening to what other people say about the neighborhood.  The neighborhood speaks!”

Our goal is to listen attentively to our neighbors, while going out to be a good neighbor in Church Hill.  We will see where God leads us from here.