PARKERSBURG - Moving from New York City to Parkersburg could come as a culture shock for some, but for newly assigned curate at Trinity Episcopal Church, the Rev. Josh Saxe, the transition has been pretty smooth.
Saxe, who is originally from Culloden, W.Va., went to seminary school in New York City and was assigned to come to Trinity for two years last July.
"I was coming back, basically, to something that was similar to home," Saxe said.
Photo by Emily Balser
The Rev. Josh Saxe sits with his dog, Jake, in Trinity Episcopal Church’s library.
Saxe was ordained last June and has been working under Trinity's rector, the Rev. Larry Jackson, who serves as Saxe's mentor.
"My primary role here is with the religious education, primarily with the children and youth group," Saxe said.
Saxe said since he has been at Trinity, he has worked with other church members to revitalize the youth program.
"I think there's a larger education component now than there had been," he said.
Saxe said that the church had so much energy about it and he wanted to expand on that energy through doing more work in the community and outside of the community.
"My goal when I first came was to start branching out a little bit more," Saxe said. "And we've done that."
He recently organized a mission trip with 28 youth and adult church members to McDowell County to help residents in need.
Locally, more church members have been getting involved with causes the church already supports like its soup kitchen and assisting homebound parishioners with things they need around their homes.
"We're in a good place I think and again, capitalizing on some of the energy that this church already has," he said.
Along with the mission work, Saxe has also worked to bring back the youth choir, which used to be a large part of the church, but phased out sometime after the 1950s.
"This past Sunday we had our youth choir back, fully vested," he said.
The choir is made up of a mix of 17 youth members, mostly between first and fifth grade.
"They sound so wonderful," he said.
Aside from working with the youth, Saxe also delivers the Sunday message about once a month and will deliver the message this Easter Sunday.
Saxe said he has enjoyed his time here and he wants to keep working to improve aspects of the church before his time is up, at which point he may be assigned to a different church somewhere else.
"It's been a good ride," he said. "And the Parkersburg community is a really nice community."