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A Message from The Reverend Lisa Hunt

Andrés Herrera sat down with the Reverend Lisa Hunt to discuss envisioning the future and direction of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and School on our neighborhood block. The following is Reverend Hunt’s message and invitation to the Church and School communities. This is Part 2 of 3.

Our Values

The core values of St. Stephen’s Church and School were collectively derived through conversations with the School Board and Vestry over time and periodically since the creation of the values over six years ago. Collectively, we contemplated and refined our values, and we’re in that process again right now as part of this Mission Real Estate Initiative. 

Our values are shared between the Church and School. We value personal relationships with each other and the broader community. We recognize that St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is grounded in the Christian faith, but we also know that our School community and our broader Houston community embrace a variety of faiths and no faith. Nonetheless, belief is an important component that we share, and that creates a sense of purpose beyond ourselves. We affirm individuality. We are curious, and so we question everything. Our final core value is we look to the future. 

These key values have shaped our curriculum at our School and our ministry at our Church. Our core values also impact how we think about land and our facilities, the goals of the master plan, and our collective, comprehensive look at our real estate and its purpose.

When the architectural firm Gensler was hired to create a master plan for the St. Stephen’s campus, it was guided by the Steering Committee in conjunction with the Vestry and School Board and input from small group meetings with over 300 people in St. Stephen’s community. These were the principles that we gave to the architects to drive a master plan with an eye toward stewardship into the future.

Together, we created principles that would guide and inform our architects and their vision. 

  • It was important for us, collectively at St. Stephen’s, to see the campus being used fully, as close to 24/7 as practicable, so that we weren’t creating spaces that were sitting empty. 
  • We wanted to utilize universal design so that whether you’re 18 months old or you’re 98, you can get around the campus with ease, which is not the way that our current campus is. 
  • One of the values of design that we had was intimacy. A hallmark of Montrose, unlike much of Houston, is that it exists on a human scale, and you can walk in it. We wanted to keep that feel so that the campus wouldn’t be institutional and would be green, both in terms of energy efficiency and a relationship with the natural world. 
  • We didn’t define what beautiful was, but we wanted the community to know that people who cared about the Creator and creation gathered here. 

Reverend Lisa Hunt, Rector