Making Disciples | Building Congregations | For the Life of the World
iSeek from the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
Thursday, August 30, 2018


How do we grow into God's call for us
in every stage of life?

What does it mean to slow down the noise of the world and find space to ask really big questions "about how God might have a stake in our individual lives," asked the Rev. Mike Angell. He's the chairperson of the diocesan Commission on Ministry and one of the team organizing the diocesan discernment conference on Sept. 15, "Discernment: A Lifelong Spiritual Practice."

Conference speaker is the Rev. Melanie Mullen, who had wide-ranging experience from urban missioner and priest to campaign fundraising. As the Episcopal Church's Director of Reconciliation, Justice & Creation Care she is charged with bringing the Jesus Movement to the concerns of the world. From the perspective of her position, she oversees a lot of how the Episcopal Church works with the everyday world. "She brings a real sense of where Jesus is calling our church at this moment," said Angell.

For many of us, 'discernment conference' is for people who are at the entry point to ordination as deacon or priest. While this year's conference will have specifics for that audience, there is more of a focus on discerning God's deeper call to ministry. About how we sit with life's big questions and trust that God is working better for us than we could ask or imagine.


Baptism calls every Christian to the margins

This week's JesusHacked podcast episode concludes our two-part series about discerning membership in an Anglican religious order.

Host Barbi Click speaks with the Rev. Maria Evans, MD. She's currently the interim assistant priest at St. Luke's and Good Shepherd, before her ministry of interim takes her to the next destination. Excerpt below.

...ME: I tell a lot of people about a favorite place that I like to just sit. There's a place, up in the very northeast corner of the state, little place called Taylor, Missouri, where if you sit on top of the levee, you're sitting next to the Mississippi River, but if you look up to your left you can see where the Des Moines River is flowing into the Mississippi. And when I first kind of discovered that place, I remember sitting out there one day and it was after we'd had a pretty big thunderstorm. And I was watching entire trees float down the river. The power of this current was making entire trees go down the river. And I just had this realization that where baptism was calling me was very powerful. And it was scary because it was like, this thing will sweep you away.

BC:    Yeah. Into places you can't...

ME: Into places you can't even imagine. It swept me into South Sudan, and swept me into a formal discernment pathway for ordination, and it swept me into the Anamchara fellowship. And I think, as the years roll by, God's going to reveal other margins that I'm supposed to be called to. And I think the challenge for us as Christians is to be able to freely step into that water and let the current take us.

BC:    I feel that in my own life, each moment of discernment, whether it began back as a teenager, in the Diocese of Fort Worth, as I went on our journey, as we got here, each level of discernment took me a little bit further away from the life that I had known before. And while it separated me from a lot of things, it also brought me closer to an understanding that I belonged to God. And that as I began to take vows, to look at my baptismal vows more closely. To the vows that I took with the Rivendell community. The vows that I'm looking at as I begin the idea of ordination as a deacon. These things are pulling me away from the life I have known before.
BC:    That's not a bad thing, but it's kind of a frightening thing. Does that make any sense to you?

ME: Yeah. And I would describe it like the old Charles Atlas bodybuilding commercials, dynamic tension. Because I think...



Are you called to diocesan leadership?

At our annual meeting in November, the lay members and clergy of this diocese will elect persons to our governance bodies. Have you thought about nominating yourself or a member of your church?

We'll elect folks to serve on Diocesan Council, Standing Committee, the Disciplinary Board, and the diocesan members of Cathedral Chapter. You can learn a bit more about the positions in our handy nominations flyer (which also works well on bulletin boards in your parish) or online (links from the main convention page).

Want an inside view of the work of Standing Committee or Diocesan Council? Listen to last season's podcasts with Council member Al Ludwig and Standing Ctte member Adam Pearson.

One-stop shopping for all things convention is, and if it's not online there, it's likely not yet available.

New this year, online nomination form! Here's a direct link.

Thinking about submitting a resolution? Here's a quick guide.

Pray on it, discern it, mull it over. Both nominations and resolutions need to be received by 5 PM on Friday, September 28, 2018.



Grants for Young Adult/Seminarians
from United Thank Offering

All UTO grant criteria has moved from the 5 Marks of Mission to The Jesus Movement.

United Thank Offering YAS Grants are designed specifically to fund new small-scale, innovative ministries across the Episcopal Church. From food-truck chapels to Eucharist gardens, magazines to cyberchurch, UTO grants can help you take risks and try new things. Grants of up to $5,000 are available. Who can apply? Young adults between the ages of 19 and 30, with the approval and signature of their bishop Seminarians or people of any age at an accredited seminary, in a diocesan ordination formation program, or from the the Commission for Theological Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (CETALC), with the approval and signature of their bishop (and dean or chair)

Applications now available at



As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, and followers of Jesus' Way, we seek to live like him. We're serious about growing loving, liberating, life-giving relationships with God (evangelism), growing in relationship with each other (reconciliation) and with all of creation (creation care).

TRY THIS: Look around and notice wherever you see people nurturing relationship 1) with God, 2) with each other and 3) with creation. What's happening? What's helping people to heal and live in sync with God, with each other and with the earth? What are the fruits of these relationships? I suggest you also think: "Who's" happening? "Who's" helping people to heal and live in sync w/ God?

Jeanne Lucas King
Diocese of Missouri UTO Coordinator



The Offices of the Bishop will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3. Next week we'll resume our normal hours, M-F 9-Noon and 1-5pm.


Elected officers of the diocesan ECW board (Aug. 25, 2018 annual meeting) are:

  • Deborah Caby, President
  • Shug Goodlow, Vice President & Chaplain 
  • Rica Bond Williams, Secretary
  • JoAnne Harris, Treasurer
  • Jeanne King, UTO Coordinator
  • Kay Fletcher, Scholarship Chair
  • Ruby Downs, Member at Large
  • Doris Goodlow, Member at Large
  • Marty O'Leary, Member at Large
  • Ginger Simmons, Member at Large
  • Cheryl Ward - Ex-Officio for one year 
  • Debbie Smith, Ex-Officio


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