The Very Rev. Scott Richardson shares his enthusiasm for worship in the community of the Cathedral of St. Paul in San Diego, CA in SignOnSanDiego News:
The Very Rev. Scott Richardson stood at the doors of St. Paul’s Cathedral on Sunday, shaking hands with many of the 271 people filing out after the midmorning Christmas service in Hillcrest.
“I had three hours of sleep and I’m full of life right now,” he said as the final worshippers left.
The 75-minute service was Richardson’s fourth in about a 17-hour span. It began Christmas Eve with a 5 p.m. family service, followed by a midnight Mass that began at 10:30. Richardson made it to his Del Cerro home about 1 a.m., only to return to St. Paul’s at 7 a.m. in time for two more morning services. The string of Christmas worship wrapped up in the afternoon, with a Spanish service concluding about 2 p.m.
Richardson, dean of St. Paul’s Episcopal and Anglican Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, was one of several clergy around San Diego County completing a marathon of Christmas services over the holiday weekend. It’s a schedule many congregations do every year around Christmas and Easter to provide a meaningful service for as many members as possible.
A sense of inclusiveness drives Richardson, 56, to maintain the five services. He said this year the idea was floated to cancel the early morning service due to low attendance, but St. Paul’s did not want to turn away some senior citizens who can only make it then.
“We thought for those handful of people for whom this would be an important service we’d do it anyway,” he said. “It means we have to push ourselves, we have to get up and get going again, but it’s OK, that’s how it is.”
Richardson said the congregation’s three main goals are to be good neighbors to the gay and lesbian community in Hillcrest, helping people who live in Mexico, and being responsible environmental stewards. The church maintains a foster home in Tijuana, Dorcas House, that provides aid to 40 children whose parents are incarcerated.