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The Monacan Indian Nation in Central Virginia: St. Paul's Mission
St. Paul's Mission and the Monacan Indians have a history. When the Commonwealth of Virginia turned it's back on the Monacan Indians in Amherst County, denying their very existence, St. Paul's Mission was there to help.
St. Paul's Mission is the spiritual center for the Monacan Indian Nation. It is an Episcopal Church that sits on land adjacent to the Monacan Nation Community Center. The Episcopal Diocese once owned the land but returned the deed to the Monacan Indian Nation in 1995. St. Paul's Mission is a place of peace and serenity; a place of refuge for the Monacan People.
The Heart of St. Paul's Mission
This article is not written to discuss religion or the relationship of St. Paul's Mission to the Episcopal Church. Instead, I want to tell you about the heart of St. Paul's Mission - it's members. I want you to hear how the members of the St. Paul's Mission support the Monacan Indian community; how they work cooperatively with the Monacan Nation to support families in need, the vision of the Nation, and the future of the Monacan youth. They are a small congregation but they are a congregation that does big work for their members and for the Monacan Indian Nation. When times are tough, the members of St. Paul's are there.
As a small congregation, St. Paul's Mission relies on member pledges and donations to maintain the church and, to help members of the church and the Monacan Nation in times of hardship. Although the Monacan Indian Nation and St. Paul's Mission are two separate legal entities with separate finances, they provide significant support to each other. The hearts of both are the People.
The Homecoming Bazaar - A Tradition
No one likes to talk about it but fundraising but it's a reality. It takes money to run an organization, whether it's a Nation or a church. Fundraising is essential to both the Monacan Nation and St. Paul's Mission. The Monacan Indian Nation's annual Powwow is the primary fundraiser for the Nation. St Paul's Mission holds an annual Homecoming and Bazaar that serves as its primary fundraiser. It is held annually in early October and visitors are always welcome and they come from all up and down the east coast.
The St. Paul's Mission Homecoming and Bazaar is a time of fellowship, celebration, and...lots of fun. Members of St. Paul's Mission work tirelessly all year long canning, crafting, and quilting to provide the wonderful items that are offered for sale at the event. Also for sale are delicious homemade baked goods and a Fall favorite - apple butter that rocks.
The Homecoming and Bazaar also offers visitors an amazing buffet lunch, lovingly prepared by some of the best cooks anywhere. It's a meal that satisfies every taste and fills every belly. Visitors will fill up on chicken, beef, pork, squash, beans, casseroles, salads, homemade bread, yummy desserts, and everything in between.
The buffet is a meal you'll remember and the Homecoming and Bazaar an event you'll look forward to year after year. You will leave with memories of great food and new friends.
Scholarship Auction Promises a Future
Ensuring an education for the Monacan youth is an investment in the future for both the Monacan Indian Nation and St. Paul's Mission.
Monacan youth may apply for and receive a scholarship through both St. Paul's Mission and the Monacan Indian Nation. The scholarship fund managed by St. Paul's Mission was started when they received a generous gift from Christ Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. St. Paul's Mission invested the donation and awards several scholarships each year from interest earned on the investment.
The Monacan Indian Nation also offers a scholarship which is funded annually through the R.G. Bryant Scholarship Auction. This auction is held each year in conjunction with the St. Paul's Mission Homecoming and Bazaar in October. The auction is always well attended and quite successful due to the dedicated work of one man - R.G. Bryant. R.G. works all year securing donations of some rather amazing items to be auctioned. Prior auctions have offered vacations, jewelry, art, housewares, livestock, and more. The auction is lively and always full of surprises.
Located just six miles from the town of Amherst, VA makes the St. Paul's Homecoming and Bazaar an easy day trip from almost anywhere in Virginia, Washington, DC, North Carolina, West Virginia or Maryland. And it's worth the trip. You'll spend the day at the foot of Bear Mountain, the ancestral land of the Monacan Indians while enjoying the tasty buffet lunch, and, you can purchase some delightful early Christmas gifts. There's also the Monacan Indian Museum on site which you can visit throughout the day to learn more about the history of the Monacan Indian Nation. Once the auction begins, you'll not only have the chance to bid (and win) some great items but your purchase will help the Monacan youth get a college education. It's a noble and charitable gift.
If you are unable to attend the Homecoming and Bazaar or Scholarship Auction but still want to help, you can. St. Paul's Mission is always grateful for donors who want to help, whether it's a financial donation or the donation of an item to be auctioned. If you would like to help, contact the Monacan Nation by phone at (434) 946-0389 or by emailing MNation538@aol.com.
Want to Learn More?
- The Monacan Indian Nation In Central Virginia
A brief history of the Monacan Indian Nation in Central Virginia who continue the fight to be recognized by the Federal Government after more than 10,000 years of documented existence.
- The Monacan Indian Nation Web Site Welcomes You
Visit and learn more about our history and our future.