St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Steamboat has big plans for 101st year


If you go

What: The public is invited to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church's 100th anniversary celebration

When: 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: In the new sanctuary, 846 Oak St.

Colorado’s Bishop Robert O’Neill officiating, music by Yampa Valley Chamber Singers

Reception and appetizers to follow

— Even as the congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Steamboat Springs celebrates the centennial of the church on Oak Street, it is looking forward to an exciting new development that will bring five college graduates to Steamboat in August 2014 for 10-month internships with local nonprofits.

Already, LIFT-UP of Routt County and Partners in Routt County have signed on to participate, the Rev. Scott Turner said, and pledges of more than $400,000 are in the bank to fund the program for the next three years.

“The internships are part of the Colorado Episcopal Service Corps,” Turner said. “They are young adults who want to apply their spirituality through service in the world. This will be a huge gift to the community.”

Episcopalians began worshipping in Northwest Colorado as early as 1889 when a bishop would arrive either on horseback or by wagon to hold services, according to a written history of St. Paul’s. Throughout the course of years, local worshippers met in various locations including The Welcome Inn, the old courthouse, the United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs and later in the Masonic Hall.

By 1910, the congregation in Steamboat had resolved to build its own church, and the Episcopal Church at the state level helped the local members buy sufficient land. The ladies guild published a cookbook with display advertising, native stone for the church was donated from the Emerald Mountain Quarry, and the completed sanctuary was ready just in time for Christmas 1913.

St. Paul’s was consecrated by Bishop Benjamin Brewster on Dec. 7, 1913.

Turner told Steamboat Today in September 2011, soon after he transitioned from temporary priest-in-charge to a permanent assignment here, that typically 120 people worshipped at the church each Sunday. That number has not grown in the past two years, he said, though new members have entered the church.

“We’re holding steady,” he said. “Some have moved away, and we add some new people.”

Eight new members of St. Paul’s will be welcomed Saturday during a service of confirmation associated with the centennial observations, Turner added. They include three couples and a mother/daughter pair.

St. Paul’s is about halfway through its funding campaign to retire the debt on its new sanctuary and to fund the new internship program. One of the goals is to lease intern housing in a home to be known as Centennial House.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1


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