One of the best-kept shopping secrets in the Lewes-Rehoboth Beach area is something called Seekers.
It’s a unique shop off Second Street in Lewes, housed in the historic St. Peter’s Episcopal Church parish hall. It specializes in all things spiritual for all faiths from places such as Haiti, Kenya, Peru and beyond.
The shop is tiny. It was formed six years ago out of a 12-by-12-foot storage room. Now, there are spiritual cards, crosses, classical books, wall hangings, Bibles and prayer aids, among other things, at eye level and even on the walls and ceiling of the shop.
“Since we are small, we don’t order large quantities of things,” said Natalie Kerr, store manager and St. Peter’s member. “We encourage our shoppers to buy when they see something. It may not be there when they come again!”
A Seekers standing committee works with Kerr to decide which items the shop will order, and to determine where net proceeds will go, to places such as the Cape Henlopen Food Basket, or to support those in need in places such as Haiti or Mexico, or causes such as Doctors Without Borders, etc.
Sheila Bravo, wife of St. Peter’s rector, the Rev. Jeffrey Ross, was very active in the startup phase of Seekers. “We had been involved in a shop in our previous parish,” he said. “Sheila has a doctorate in business administration and is a professional marketer.” Now, she is executive director of the Rehoboth Art League, and Kerr and others have taken over shop duties, including the ordering of supplies.
“We have 20 volunteers, but not all are active in shop duties,” said Kerr. “We need more volunteers to staff the shop, and they can come from any faith.”
Seekers is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, and Monday, Tuesday and Friday from noon to 3 p.m. On Saturday, it’s open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “We want to be open more hours, not less,” Kerr said. “That’s why we need more volunteers to serve as salespeople.”
In the formation of Seekers and its decision-making process, feedback has come from other local churches such as Epworth United Methodist Church. “Beth Cohen, spiritual leader of the Seaside Jewish Community in Rehoboth Beach, has also been helpful to us,” said Kerr.
Seekers now also helps sponsor a yearly St. Peter’s summer spirituality series in the parish hall. This year, hymns, yoga, ethical wills, prayer and other topics were featured.
“The dialogue and conversation enrich us,” said Ross. “The series has grown, and now we often have record attendance, even standing room only.”
“Many people have stepped through our Seekers doorway to find a gift, explore their own or another’s spirituality, or simply to browse,” said Kerr.
“Our mission is to be a spirituality center for all faiths through the shop, and our sponsorship of and participation in spirituality-related events, and networking with other faith organizations,” Kerr said.
“And, furthermore, our mission is to be a ministry for our volunteers, the people who seek spiritual knowledge of their faith, or others, the recipients of gifts from the shop, and recipients of net profits from the shop.”
Kerr can be reached at 302-645-9916 or www.seekerslewes.com.