Religion News: October 2023

Candice Johnson is the director of youth ministries at Crozet Baptist Church. Photo: Malcolm Andrews

New Director of Youth Ministry at Crozet Baptist

Candice Johnson has plenty of experience in religious leadership. She became familiar with the duties of the ministry as a child through the work of her mother, has been a youth advisor at Rising Sun Baptist Church in North Garden, and was valedictorian of her class at Safe Haven Interdenominational Bible College.

Despite (or maybe because of) her experience, when Johnson became the director of youth ministries at Crozet Baptist Church a couple of months ago, she didn’t arrive with a list of expectations or concrete plans. “Instead, I asked them what they wanted and what they needed.” She said they didn’t hold back. “That’s why I love working with this age group,” she said. “They’re very straightforward.” 

Candice Johnso meets with the young people of Crozet Baptist Church. Photo: Malcolm Andrews

Her charges range from 6th to 12th grade, and together they planned trips, get-togethers, and service projects. Mixing religious guidance with fun projects directs the significant energy of the youth and builds trust, Johnson said. “I want them to be able to talk about whatever is on their minds.”

Johnson, who works at U.Va., wanted to expand her experience in Christian leadership and was asked by a life-long friend to submit a resume for the open position. “It was a God thing,” she said. When she assumed the position, she began to realize the outsize role of Crozet Baptist Church in the community. “It’s a central hub for the community even for people not of our faith,” she said.

They’re in! Project manager Tom Herlihy and volunteer Brad Grant work on upgrading the flooring at Our Lady of the Rosary’s new home in the former Bank of America building. Photo: Malcolm Andrews

Catholics Transforming Former Bank

The purchase of the former Bank of America by Our Lady of the Rosary became official with the closing on Sept. 25. Workers and volunteers lost no time going about the business of transforming the bank into a church. Within a few days, the space was cleaned, counters removed, the carpet replaced, electricity repaired and the altar constructed. Building Committee Chairman Frank Cerrone said the church is right on track for its first Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7.

The Crozet Cares Closet, a project of Crozet Interfaith Outreach Council, offers personal and household care products on the first Saturday of every month. Submitted photo.

Small Blessings

The Crozet Cares Closet, a joint project of Crozet churches, asks for donations of personal care products as well as household cleaning items. The Scott House adjacent to Emmanuel Episcopal Church will be open for those who need these products on October 7 from 9 to 11 a.m. In addition to the drop-off locations at Denise Ramey Realty in Clover Lawn, Crozet Baptist Church in Crozet, and Emmanuel Episcopal Church, which are open for donations all month, the Scott House at Emmanuel is open for donations on the Monday before the first Saturday of each month. Currently the need is great for paper towel rolls, laundry detergent, men’s and women’s deodorant sticks, body wash, and feminine hygiene products. In September, 43 households with 175 people were served by the closet. For a complete list of items needed, go to the Crozet Cares Facebook page.

Once again, the Crozet Farmers Market was able to donate $1,000 to Grace Grocery, the food ministry of Crozet United Methodist Church. Market vendors donate a portion of their sales every year to sustain the grocery. The market, made up entirely of home-grown or homemade products, was open behind the Blue Goose Building in downtown on Saturday mornings from May to October. 

Diane Pace accepts the yearly donation by the Crozet Farmers Market to Grace Grocery. With her is Al Minutolo, market manager. Submitted photo.


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