Meet Gabriel Lawrence
Posted 11/01/2023 by The Rev. Gabriel Lawrence
Dear People of St. Paul’s,
I am thrilled to accept Jeanne’s call to serve among you as Assistant Rector! I so appreciated the warmth and spirit of welcome I felt from the search committee, clergy, and others during the call process. I look forward to being a part of such a vibrant community.
This spirit of welcome I experienced from you all during the call process is not new for me, though. I lived in Cleveland in 2008-2009 and worshiped regularly at St. Paul’s. Though raised in other Christian traditions, St. Paul’s was the place where I knew I wanted to become an Episcopalian. I specifically remember the warm hospitality I experienced at the annual Epiphany dinner for newcomers. This spirit of hospitality eventually carried me into the offices of Rev. Alan Gates and Rev. Lisa Hackney where I had my first conversations about discerning a call to ordained ministry.
A little bit about me before I arrived at St. Paul’s: I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee — Music City, U.S.A., and so music is rooted deeply in who I am. For the last decade, I have lived and worked in the Diocese of Georgia as a parish musician. In addition to parish music, I have worked as a composer as well as a community organizer, coordinating Beer and Hymns groups. (Feel free to ask me about those!) In 2019, I left parish music to head to seminary at the School of Theology in Sewanee, Tennessee where I earned a Master of Divinity degree. During my time in seminary, I particularly enjoyed managing the seminary garden and co-founding a Creation Care Committee. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands in the dirt with the Lay Weeders!
As Assistant Rector for Newcomer, Engagement, Hospitality, and Pastoral Care ministries, I am eager to work with you in continuing to cultivate the spiritual community and radical welcome for which St. Paul’s is so well known. I also look forward to getting to know each of you. If you’d like to meet for coffee, share dinner, or perhaps enjoy a walk around the Coventry neighborhood, don’t hesitate to reach out. I am delighted God has brought me back to Cleveland Heights and St. Paul’s to join you and my fellow clergy in working toward the further building up of God’s kindom on earth!
With a heart full of joy and excitement,