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Open House Honors Dean Carroll, Society of St. Paul and Bishop Wolterstorff

Over 200 people attended an open house at the newly renovated Episcopal Church Center on Friday, September 12. Open to the community, the affair mostly drew people from the congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego; pastors from nearby churches and neighbors also attended. The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, blessed and dedicated three areas of the facility: the second-floor office suite in honor of the Very Rev. James E. Carroll, dean emeritus of St. Paul’s Cathedral; the first-floor conference and retreat center in honor of Society of St. Paul, a 50-year-old Episcopal monastic order; and the parish hall in honor of the Rt. Rev. and Mrs. Robert M. Wolterstorff, first bishop of this diocese and his much-loved wife.

The facilities were renovated as part of the diocesan Build the Serving Church capital campaign, which focused, in part, on creating a new center for the diocese. Working with Platt Whitelaw Architects, Canon Nancy R. Holland remodeled the rooms in order to maximize multi-purpose use. Every effort was made to use earth-friendly materials, and to optimize the free flow of air and light.

“The challenge of the Episcopal Church Center project was working within the tight constraints of a modest neighborhood church complex to create an expansive space for the offices, highly functional space for the missional and educational work of the church, and contemplative space for prayer and worship,” said Naveen Waney, principal at Platt Whitelaw. “We have a deep feeling for the values of the Church and are pleased with how we were able to help them express these values in the final built project.”

A string quartet composed of five members of the De la Mott family was the hit of the party. Ranging in age from 8 to 12, the children played pieces from the classical and baroque periods, sacred music and folk songs from America, Ireland, and Eastern Europe.

Volunteers from St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in La Jolla provided all of the food and beverages, including complimentary beer from Green Flash Brewery, a local favorite. An air of joviality pervaded the open house, as people toured the facilities and played trivia games such as “How Well Do You Know the Episcopal Church Center?” and a photo-matching game. Parishioners at Good Samaritan in UTC and All Souls’ Episcopal Church in Point Loma helped clean up the event.

The Episcopal Church Center exists to serve the community of Ocean Beach. Services to people in need include: hot meals, food giveaways, medical services, a legal clinic, haircuts, veterinary services, job assistance, mail services and prayer. Volunteers are always welcome; if you would like to volunteer, please contact Facilities Manager Charles Robinson: http://crobinson@edsd.org or 619-481-5463. More information about the services offered is available here: http://www.edsd.org/ecc.

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