The Dayspring Initiative

Fr. Sean K. Rousseau joined St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in 2012, following his service as the priest-in-charge at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Fr. Sean Rousseau brings with him exceptional experience in general parish ministry and management. In addition, the Rev. Sean Rousseau plays a vital role in the Dayspring initiative.

Located in Haymarket, Virginia, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is supported by Dayspring, an initiative set forth by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Dayspring launched in January of 2012 in an effort to reestablish Episcopal properties within the Diocese of Virginia. In doing so, Dayspring aims to support continuing congregations, provide recruitment and placement services for clergy members, and reinvigorate congregations in areas that have existing properties.

To support the initiative, a team has been established to carry out three areas of tasks: vision, resources, and communications. The vision team is responsible for analyzing the current obstacles facing the mission of Dayspring and determining how the plan can move forward. The resources team handles business relations and the logistics of bringing each property back into the organization. The communications team is responsible for telling and marketing the Dayspring story.

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The Dayspring Initiative – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Father Sean K. Rousseau has 19 years of experience in parish ministry, and has overseen the growth of a community to more than 1,150 families. The Priest-in-Charge of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Haymarket, Virginia, since 2012, Fr. Sean Rousseau has fostered an environment where accountability and mutual responsibility thrive. In addition, the Reverend Sean Rousseau is dedicated to active and conscious participation and communication, and has overseen the expansion of liturgical ministries in the parish.

The oldest Prince William County church in continual service, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church serves the areas of Gainesville and Haymarket. The church is a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia’s Dayspring initiative, which seeks to determine how to make the best possible use of Episcopal properties that have been returned to the Diocese of Virginia.

In keeping with the Dayspring endeavor, a number of churches (which include St. Paul’s, Epiphany, St. Stephen’s, Falls Church, and St. Margaret’s) recently met to discuss congregation vitality and growth, and to identify and plan for future challenges.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – Parish Replanting

With more than 15 years of experience in parish ministry and seven years of experience in seminary formation, the Reverend Sean K. Rousseau currently serves as the Priest-in-Charge at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Haymarket, Virginia. In charge of replanting a parish that was previously closed for 10 years, the Rev. Sean Rousseau focuses on active leadership and practical management to bring purposeful change into being. In addition to establishing the Stewardship Program for Time, Talent and Treasure, which resulted in savings in the annual budget, Father Sean Rousseau has expanded the celebration of Sunday Eucharist to include the seasons of Christmas, Lent, and Easter, among others.

An important part of establishing a strong and lasting parish is the encouragement of full and active participation within the church, as the leadership of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has done. Parish office infrastructure has been established. In addition, the leadership’s communication, collaboration, and cooperation with parishioners and staff have helped to foster accountability, transparency, and mutual responsibility.

Key to the parish replanting strategy has been the Stewardship Program for Time, Talent, and Treasure. The program emphasizes volunteering and tithing. St. Paul’s also participates in events in the community, region, and diocese. Furthermore, the parish has seen the expansion of existing social, spiritual, and outreach activities.

The History of St. Paul

Priest-in-charge at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Haymarket, Virginia, Reverend Sean Rousseau joined the team in 2012. Father Sean K. Rousseau leads two services on Sunday mornings: one at 8 a.m. and another at 10:30 a.m.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The church is the oldest continual-use faith establishment in Prince William County and is named after Saint Paul, the early Christian figure who converted from Judaism.

St. Paul was born under the name of Saul. He was a Roman citizen and a devout Jew, and after the death of Jesus, he persecuted Christians as faithless Jews. Famously, when Saul was on a trip to Damascus to attack Christians there, the New Testament tells that he was struck blind by a bright light and heard Jesus asking him, “Saul, why do you persecute me?” It was on the basis of this encounter and the power and the glory of Jesus’ love that Saul became a Christian and changed his name. Going forward, Paul was a devout follower of Christ and established Christian congregations throughout the countries of the eastern Mediterranean area. He was recognized as being a great interpreter of the word of God and the founder of Christian theology. Because of his devotion to the religion, St. Paul was martyred in the year 64 under Nero in Rome, Italy.

The Book of Common Prayers and Seven Sacraments

Fr. Sean Rousseau has been a clergy member for more than two decades. In 2012, the Rev. Sean K. Rousseau became the priest-in-charge at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. There, Father Rousseau leads the congregation through services each Sunday.

A part of the Anglican Communion, the Episcopal church bases its beliefs and services on the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. A main component of the Episcopal faith, the Book of Common Prayer outlines the practice of holy baptism and communion as well as the other five sacraments. Baptism, the first of the seven sacraments, signifies the acceptance of God and becoming a member of a church. Communion follows as the second of the seven sacraments. Also known as the Eucharist, communion is given to those who accept Jesus as their savior as a remembrance of his sacrifice on the cross and to join in communion with him and with God by partaking of his body as the bread and his blood as the wine.

Additionally, the Book of Common Prayer explains the remaining sacraments, which include confirmation, reconciliation of a penitent or confession, Christian matrimony, holy orders, and anointing of the sick.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Participates in Haymarket Day

A clergy member for more than 20 years, Fr. Sean Rousseau was sent to serve at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in September 2012. As the priest-in-charge, the Reverend Sean K. Rousseau utilizes his experience in general parish ministry, stewardship, and outreach activities to deliver the message of Scripture to his community.

Slated for September 20, 2014, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will be participating in the community’s Haymarket Day. The 26th annual event, which is scheduled every third Saturday of September, will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. The festivities take place on Washington Street and include a country-style parade with more than 1,800 participants. Visitors are invited to enjoy food, trolley rides, and craft vendors while listening to bands perform. Adults will also have access to the Haymarket Day Beer Garden and children can experience the animal petting area that will feature alpacas. Local businesses and community organizations will be present to educate guests about their organizations. In particular, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will have a booth with information about the church and will offer a guided tour of its historic building.