St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Del Mar, welcomed a new rector on Sunday, May 31. The Rev. Paige Blair comes to Del Mar from St. George's Episcopal Church in York Harbor, Maine. A special service celebrating this new ministry will be held Tuesday, June 16, at 6:30 p.m.
At a time when national church attendance is in decline, Blair, 38, has shown both passion and success in attracting a wide range of new people to the church. A gifted preacher and rector within the traditional Anglican liturgical tradition, Blair was also one of the first clergy in the United States to embrace the "U2charist," a communion service created in 2003 that addresses the challenges of global poverty and features the music of rock group U2.
Since then, Blair has worked with Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, a grass-roots organization that helps churches around the world raise funds for global poverty aid and builds awareness about the Millennium Development Goals.
Blair was born in Riverside County and earned her bachelor's degree, followed by a master of divinity, from Boston University; she has done continuing studies at the Episcopal Divinity School and Harvard Divinity School.
She served at St. George's for eight years, bringing both new growth and new outreach projects to that parish. One such initiative has been Angel Food Ministries, which provides food relief to more than a half million families across the United States.
Blair comes to Del Mar with her husband, Gene Fox, and two dogs. In her free time, she hikes and practices yoga; she also paints icons of church saints and teaches workshops on this ancient devotional activity.