VERO BEACH — St. Paul’s Church will become the first new church on the barrier island when its bishop and its rector lead the congregation in the blessing of the ground on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 5 p.m. The last church built on the island was Holy Cross Catholic Church in 1982.
To be built on the site of the former Ocean Oaks Dental Group offices, 999 Flamevine Lane, the new 6,550 square foot building will seat 159 people for Sunday services, holy day rites, baptisms, weddings, and funerals. The building will also house the parish offices, multi-purpose rooms, a nursery, and a kitchen.
“We have a real focus on missions, both near and far,” said Fr. Robbins. “It is my hope that St. Paul’s will continue to serve the community. You need a home base in order for that to happen. We love our new neighbors.”
The Rt. Rev. Ron Kuykendall and the Rev. Jonathan Robbins will conduct the ceremony using both ancient and modern rites. They will lead a litany of prayers in procession to start the ceremony. Parishioners will outline the new building’s footprint with four stakes. During the ceremony the Bishop will sprinkle holy water on the ground at the four corners as parishioners stretch string diagonally from corner to corner. The string will then form an “X,” the Greek letter chi, the symbol of both the Cross and the first letter of the name of Christ.
As the Bishop blesses the ground, the modern symbol of a shovel will be visible in the ground at the site of the main altar. At a later time, an authentic widow’s mite (circa AD 32), which Jesus mentioned in Mark’s Gospel, will be interred under the altar. That coin represents the sacrifice of the givers to realize both the parish’s mission and its building.
Designed by Alan Matthews, of C. E. Block Architect, Inc, the new building will harmonize with its beachside surroundings.
“I think that the building committee has been very sensitive to the goals of the zoning district – being careful to make sure they would complement and help achieve the goals of the special zoning district,” Matthews said.
To be built by Helmet House Construction, the new building will be in “a very limited space,” according to Jan Jelmby of Helmet House. Known for creating award-winning custom homes, Jelmby said, “This is going to be a multi-purpose, systematic, beautiful facility that can grow. It’s extremely welcoming.”
Scheduled to be ready in June of 2017, the new building will cost about $2 million, of which 75 percent has been raised to date. An anonymous benefactor of the parish donated the Ocean Oaks building and land.
About St. Paul’s Church: St. Paul’s Church welcomes all who want to know peace and joy in their lives. We are friendly, compassionate people who are called to bring the love of Christ Jesus to Vero Beach and the world. Our worship includes a blend of traditional and contemporary music and Pastor Jon Robbins delivers messages that make the Bible come alive. A variety of Sunday services and mid-week ministries for all ages are available to help people to grow in their relationship with the Lord.