This is an interview with Fr. Ric and Val Bowser by Julie Green. Both are newly-retired from the staff at St. Augustine’s. Val shared significant music responsibilities for several years, and Fr. Ric led the healing ministry at the parish.
March 8, 2021
What do you see at St. Augustine’s greatest strengths?
Val: I think one of St. Augustine’s greatest strengths is our sense of community and love for each other. Because of that, we are able to make visitors feel truly welcome and bring them into our church family. I also see Fr. Phillip and our Kenyan parishioners as a treasured strength in our identity as an Anglican church. Fellowship with them makes us who we are. Finally, the music ministry we have had over the years is a valuable part of St. Augustine’s.
Ric: Fr. Kevin is also one of St. Augustine’s greatest strengths. He has been the driving force behind St. Augustine’s from the outset. Even when we were just meeting in a classroom at Hondros College, he and Dondra worked diligently to create a sense of kinship through picnics and other gatherings. Diversity is also one of our strengths. To be open-minded to a variety of backgrounds, political viewpoints, etc. is the nature of the Anglican Church and St. Augustine’s.
What do you love most about St. Augustine’s?
Val: I value the opportunities I have had to be part of the music ministry. I was given the freedom to be creative and encouraged to use my gifts to serve the church. I also love the community life of St. Augustine’s—the parties, picnics, celebrating life and family together.
Ric: I love the way the Eucharist is celebrated at St. Augustine’s. It is beautiful and meaningful—especially the way Fr. Kevin presents it to us. And I agree, the community life is a great part of the church.
What is your vision for St. Augustine’s and how do you thing our new church home will impact that?
Val: The location of our church will be a wonderful presence to the surrounding neighborhoods. We can welcome and minister to various groups of people—single mothers, for example. Rather than only being open on Sunday morning, we can be available throughout the week.
Ric: I see the location of the new building as making a critical difference in our future. We looked at many different buildings over the years, but none were situated in a neighborhood like this one. I envision St. Augustine’s operating on a parish concept and becoming a hub of community activities. Ministry to families is so important. We can be a church family ministering to families.