By Georgine Wallace
Over the last two years, Southwest has welcomed several new faith leaders to our community. One new addition, Reverend Scott Lipscomb of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, arrived in Southwest in the fall of 2019 with his wife, the Reverend Anne Nicholson, and their daughter Maggie.
Ordained in 2018, Reverend Scott first served as the Assistant Rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill. He is enjoying life in Southwest and finds the neighborhood “flexible and welcoming” with a “strong sense of community and a real identity as a neighborhood.”
“If we value this identity, I think it’s important that as development occurs, we take steps to ensure that people who have been living here for decades can continue to live here,” Lipscomb said.
Leading a church with a rich history of service to the community and a deep commitment to social justice resonates with Lipscomb. “St. Augustine’s was founded as an intentionally interracial church at a time when that was still something pretty radical. It’s really an honor to help lead such a community because the basic drive that was at the heart of this community’s formation remains so important…It’s a real gift to have joined a community that has spent 60 years trying to be part of the solution.”
St. Augustine’s is known as the “pancake church” in honor of the pre-pandemic full pancake breakfasts they served every Sunday as part of their Bread for Life Program. Started over 35 years ago to promote communication among the congregation, Bread for Life has evolved over the last two years into a lifeline for children and adults in Southwest. The volunteers leading the initiative, Virginia Mathis and Terry Crabtree, still create Sunday breakfasts, but amidst the pandemic, the food is served in to-go bags containing fresh egg sandwiches made by Mathis, juice, fruit and homemade cake.
In response to the pandemic, every Saturday, the group also provides over 100 lunches and meals for children at the Aya, a short-term family housing site in Southwest. During school breaks, such as Christmas, St. Augustine’s works in conjunction with Christ United Methodist and Ward 6 Mutual Aid to provide a lunch of a sandwich, chips and fruit to children at the Aya during the week to ensure they do not miss a meal. According to Mathis, a grant in 2020 allowed St. Augustine’s to briefly provide Saturday lunches and meals to area children at the King Greenleaf Recreation Center.
Information about Bread for Life and the opportunity to contribute can be found at https://www.staugustinesdc.org/donate. To volunteer, email Virginia Mathis via Reverend Scott at Priest@staugustinesdc.org.
St. Augustine’s Sunday worship is currently held at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom and Facebook Live. To obtain the Zoom link, email Reverend Scott at Priest@staugustinesdc.org. The Facebook Live link is www.Facebook.com/StAugustinesDC/live (no login needed).
St. Augustine’s welcomes newcomers to either platform, and also offers an open monthly Bible Study session every second Tuesday via Zoom. Special seasonal courses and events, such as their acclaimed Shrove Tuesday pancake suppers in early March and the October Blessing of the Animals, are posted on Facebook or their website, www.staugustinesdc.org.