Get to Know: Christ Episcopal Church, Cape Girardeau
Members of Christ Episcopal Church in Cape Girardeau have a strong sense of loyalty to the history of their parish as well as a strong commitment to service in their community.
The cornerstone of this church in Southeastern Missouri was laid in 1877. The congregation was officially recognized as a parish in the Diocese in 1909. Throughout the years, the church building has seen several renovations and additions to meet the needs of the congregation. The most recent changes took place about 10 years ago, when the congregation considered moving from its downtown location to the west side of town. But as member Sue Balsamo explained, "The Spirit said, 'No. We need to stay here.'"
Church members appreciate the beautiful stained glass windows that adorn the building, the hand-carved wooden cross that hangs above the altar, the medallions from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair that decorate the lectern, and the beautiful compass rose that's inlaid into the wooden floor of the sanctuary to pay homage to the Archbishop of Canterbury. But there's more to Christ Church.
"It's not the church that makes it so special. It's the Episcopal faith that makes it special," said Sue Balsamo. She points to the generosity of the parish when it comes to serving their community.
In January 2018, Christ Episcopal Church was commissioned by the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri as the Red Door Jubilee Center. To be granted this designation, Christ Episcopal Church and its congregants and network were required to display a ministry of joint discipleship in Christ. Jubilee Centers across the country do so much within their communities "to meet basic human needs and to build a just society."
Christ Church member Cheryl Essner is the coordinator of hunger ministries for Christ Church. She oversees the Red Door Food Pantry, which is opened twice a week to serve their neighbors from the Fountain House, the former rectory that sits across the street from the church. She also coordinates a community supper, which provides a hot meal to anywhere from 25 to 40 people one Sunday evening each month from Christ Church.
"We never turn anyone away," said Cheryl. "We do it because the need is so great."
Christ Church is also beginning a new partnership with Faith Christian Church of India to offer a campus ministry to international students at Southeast Missouri State University, which is just a few blocks from Christ Church.
The Very Rev. Annette Joseph serves as the priest at Christ Church. She also serves as priest at St. Paul's in Sikeston, as the Rural Missioner for the Diocese, and as the Dean of the Elizabeth Dyer Convocation.
Church name: Christ Episcopal Church
Address: 101 N. Fountain St.
City: Cape Girardeau
Email: [email protected]
- Sundays at 10:30 a.m. - Holy Eucharist
- Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. - Evening Prayer on Facebook
- Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. - Centering Prayer
- The Very Rev. Annette Joseph
(numbers from 2020 Parochial Report)