Inviting With Profound Welcome at the
An Interview with Kay Pulatie
The Bookstore is currently open on Sunday mornings, from 8:30am to noon.
The Saint Barnabas Bookstore, located across the courtyard from the main Sanctuary doors, opened in 1979. Parishioners came together to purchase and install everything from the showcases to the shelving, and the store has been run by a team of volunteers ever since.
Kay Pulatie, who has been volunteering at the Bookstore for the last 3 years, sees the Bookstore as a key piece of the profound welcome offered by the Saint Barnabas community. “It’s part of the ministry of the church,” Kay says, “to be a kind and welcoming face” for anyone who stops by. A regular worshiper at the 7:45am service, Kay begins her volunteer shift in the Bookstore right after the early service concludes, and helps ensure that it is staffed and stocked throughout the morning for anyone who wishes to come in and browse. “Our ministry is to be there in a welcoming way” – to ask questions and learn what people are seeking, often providing information to first-time visitors or passers-by about worship services or activities going on in Hutton Hall, the parish hall next door.
The store offers art pieces including carvings, paintings, prints, sculptures and more. The Bookstore maintains links with MAFA, the Memorial Acceptance and Fine Arts committee at Saint Barnabas. Artwork by numerous parishioners has long been featured for sale in the store, and every art purchase is accompanied by a write-up about the artist and their history.
Local, regional, and nationally recognized artists, both amateur and professional, continue to donate a variety of artistic works to benefit Saint Barnabas. Native American artists from reservations around the country have contributed pieces for sale. Kay recalls one artist who recently donated a painting to the store specifically in aid of the recent capital campaign revitalizing the Saint Barnabas buildings and grounds. As the Advent season approaches, it’s well worth checking out the beautiful selection of handcrafted Nativity Creches, including some by Peruvian craftspeople – available for purchase year-round.
… and don’t forget the books! In addition to a range of Bible translations, Books of Common Prayer, and liturgical materials, the Bookstore offers a thoughtful range of printed matter to support and complement the many courses, workshops, worship groups and talks taking place each week throughout the church. Over the years, Saint Barnabas has played host to many visiting speakers – including Fr. Richard Rohr, James Finley, and the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, to name just a few. The strong Contemplative community at Saint Barnabas is well represented in the Bookstore.
Kay describes the Bookstore as a metaphor for the profound welcome offered at Saint Barnabas. It’s often a first point of contact, or point of entry: Kay notes that “people are often searching for something.” Quite a few meander through several times before eventually asking a question. Some are sure of what they are looking for in the store and go straight to it, while others come in with a sense of curiosity, even uncertainty about what they seek. If someone seems drawn to a book yet hesitant, Kay offers them the chance to take it next door to The Other Cup café area and spend some time looking through it in peace. As in the church at large, all are welcome in the Bookstore.
Do you feel a call to give of your time serving in the Bookstore? With the store’s hours now reduced to Sunday mornings since the onset of the pandemic, the small team of volunteers who staff it would love to welcome you to this ministry. (Do you know of any teens looking for some retail experience to include on their first resumé? Volunteering at the Bookstore could be a useful fit!) Through this simple ministry, you’ll touch people’s lives. As Kay says: “God works in ordinary ways as well as mysterious ones.” To get involved, contact the church office.
Written by Amber Leima.
Welcome to www.saintbarnabas.org, our church community’s online expression of our life and mission. If you are looking for a place that feels like home, a place where friends remember your name and become excited when they see you across the patio, a place where members share the value of deep, life-changing faith in Jesus, you’ve come to the right place. All are welcome.
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