Convention 2023: Bishop's Medal Recipients
November 8, 2023
Bishop Deon Johnson awarded the Bishop's Medal to eight individuals and one community of faith during the 2023 Diocesan Convention. The medal recipients were selected by the bishop to recognize and honor outstanding ministry and service to the Diocese of Missouri. Here are the 2023 recipients of the Bishop's Medal:
Grace Episcopal Church, Jefferson City
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” –Proverbs 31:26
For outstanding ministry and service to the Diocese of Missouri in embodying and modeling humble service to others as a dedicated follower of Jesus. You have been an outstanding champion for leading with kindness and leaning on wisdom. Through you, God’s delight, joy, and humor permeate every aspect of your ministry. You have shown care, compassion, and courage in being fully the beloved Child of God who empowers others in their belovedness. Holy hospitality has been the hallmark of your ministry and you continue to dig deep into the richness of God’s grace to grow and share the bounty of love you have discovered in serving others in Jesus’ name.
The Rev. Tamsen Whistler
Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Charles
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.” –James 3:13
For outstanding service to the Diocese of Missouri and the wider church in ordained leadership for over forty years. Like the Apostle to the Apostles Mary Magdalene, you have walked with Jesus along many journeys and have cared for God’s people across generations. From enlightening the minds of young people as a chaplain to serving as the spiritual rock of a community for over 30 years, yours has been a ministry of hospitality, inspiration, and wisdom. Your ministry has been and continues to be one of enabling others to find their place, expand their faith, and discover their voice. You embody wisdom and strength in your dedication to bearing witness to the spectacular power of resurrection.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Ferguson
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” -Matthew 6:21
For outstanding service to the Diocese of Missouri in serving as Treasurer and financial advisor to your faith community, the Diocese, and beyond. Your treasure lies not simply in your financial acumen but in your compassionate care and selfless dedication to ensuring that for everyone there is a place and a place for everyone at Christ’s table. You have offered yourself in service to others always with a willing smile and an infectious laugh. Not only have you sought to care for the financial legacy of those who have gone before, but you have always planted seeds of hope for those who will come after. Your unwavering dedication to sound financial practices is matched by your acts of kindness and care for those on the margins and your joy in faithful living. You have been and continue to be a treasure at the heart of your community as you seek to serve Christ in all.
The Rev. Carrol Davenport
Trinity Episcopal Church, Kirksville
“Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” –Colossians 3:12
For outstanding service to the Diocese of Missouri in caring for and modeling Christ’s presence through compassionate chaplaincy, dedicated pastoral care, and generous hospitality. Through your presence and your prayers, you have met others at the intersections and crossroads of the most joyful and distressing times in their lives. You have shown the compassion of Christ as you minister to those on their final journey and comfort their loved ones with compassion, kindness, and humility. You have often been a pillar of strength enabling others to discover gifts that they themselves often miss. You continue to name and claim the presence of the Holy Spirit active and present in ministry to the dying and their families. Your ministry inspires and models the best of what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus.
Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Charles
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” -2 Corinthians 4:7
For outstanding dedication to the Diocese of Missouri and for offering Christ-centered hospitality in caring for holy things. You have been the example of one who serves as a dedicated member of the Altar Guild for over 30 years. You have cared for Christ and your faith community by preparing a place for others to worship in the beauty of holiness. Your deep love and dedication to the Episcopal Church extends well beyond the confines of the Sacristy, as you have become an important voice for advocacy and a spark for joy as you inspire and mentor others in their journey of faith.
The Rev. Sally Weaver
St. John & St. James, Sullivan
“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.” –Psalm 32:11
For outstanding service to the Diocese of Missouri and for embodying the bold joy of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Your service to Christ and to the Church stems from a deep well of gratitude and an abiding sense of joy. You have dedicated your life to serving others, drawing wider the circle of God’s love, and expanding the reign of Christ to those in deepest need. From planting and redeveloping faith communities to sharing the leadership of the Diocese and beyond, you have embodied the virtues of love, hope, faith, gratitude, and joy. As an example of one who knows Jesus and makes him known. Even in retirement, you continue to be a free-range priest through your passion for sharing and being Good News. Your deep-abiding faith and dedicated ordained ministry are a testament to the presence of the Holy Spirit as you incarnate Christ’s faithful joy.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Sikeston
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28
For outstanding service to the Diocese of Missouri in serving as a dedicated lay leader through the giving of your light so that others may shine. You have been the face and presence of Christ in offering a space of holy hospitality and welcome. Through your dedicated, compassionate, and deeply pastoral servant leadership, you have guided your community of faith through storms and smooth sailing, through grief and joy. In your ministry, you embody the hospitality of Christ's presence in many ways, particularly by encouraging others to claim their voice and discover their call. In many ways, you have been a healing balm in times of trouble and triumph.
The Venerable Harry Leip
Trinity Episcopal Church, Central West End
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.” –Philippians 4:4-5
For outstanding service to the Diocese of Missouri in embodying the ministry of caring and compassion in leadership. Your ministry in defending, and championing those who have been forgotten by the world is an inspiration to others. Yours is a faith that stands up, speaks out, and holds fast in its commitment to serve the marginalized, the powerless, and the voiceless. Through your deep dedication to caring for the Community of Deacons, empowering and centering the needs of LGBTQIA+ siblings, and companioning those seeking ordination, you have expanded the vision of compassion and joy among your siblings, inviting others to claim their ministry of servant leadership. You have been a trusted advisor, a loving companion, and a shining light as your life proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Trinity Episcopal Church, St. James
For outstanding ministry and service to the Diocese of Missouri in being a beacon of hope, hospitality, and holiness. For 140 years the light of Christ's love has shone forth from this bastion of hope. This community of faith in many ways reflects God’s dream of a Christ-centered community. This has been a community that has been and continues to be focused on service to those outside the confines of their walls. This self-proclaimed small church with a “big heart for God” continues to reinvent itself to serve the needs of the community. In many ways, they embody their purpose as a place that seeks to be a community that lives and knows that, “An open heart is an open mind and an open mind is one that can practice tolerance, experience gratitude and feel the glory of God.”
Through bible study, pollinator gardens, and engagement with young people, they are a faith community that is “dedicated to the service of God and all God’s people” and whose goal is to inspire others through sharing the compassionate love of Jesus Christ.