Making Disciples | Building Congregations | For the Life of the World
iSeek from the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Applying for Emergency Grants from Episcopal Relief

April showers were supposed to just bring May flowers, right? Somehow Missouri's weather didn't touch base with that old adage this year.

The flooding that began earlier this spring has continued unabated and increased in intensity, and in the latter half of May devastating tornadoes hit the region as well.

Many of you either know of someone directly impacted by these weather events or are personally impacted by them. And all of us are aware, through news reports, of the on-going impacts on individuals and communities throughout our diocese and beyond. We hold all those affected in our prayers.

Soon after the events began, we also began to ask the very practical question, "how can we help?" Your recently-appointed diocesan Disaster Relief Co-Coordinators, the Rev. Maria Evans and Janet Thompson, have been working with Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) to ascertain how grant assistance from ERD can be deployed within the diocese.

Please consider how ERD's funding can be a part of your congregational efforts to help those in need in your community. For additional answers to your questions or to apply to ERD for emergency funding, please contact either Maria or Janet:
The Rev. Maria Evans:
Janet Thompson:



Emergency Grant Information
Episcopal Relief & Development's emergency grants should be used to fund immediate needs in the relief phase of a disaster response. We work with diocesan leadership to develop response plans across the diocese, and the diocese then works with congregations to implement the work. Episcopal Relief & Development doesn't fund congregational projects directly. These projects should be able to be completed as soon as practicable after the funds reach the responding congregation.

Emergency funding CANNOT be used for

  • Repairing church buildings
  • Funding another community agency without the church being involved (pass-through)
  • Projects that benefit only Episcopalians
  • Long-term recovery work such as housing reconstruction

Potential Projects/Ideas for Grant Usage

  • Hosting a community meal and perhaps hiring a disaster-impacted restaurant to cater the event. Maybe there can be a guest speaker to provide information about the disaster, community resources, psychological impacts, etc. Consider inviting musicians to play and/or trained listeners to talk if anyone wants to share their stories.
  • Scaling up congregational food pantries or meal programs to provide more food or more days per week
  • Providing gift cards for families to replace flooded belongings such as clothing or kitchen supplies or gas cards for people with longer drive times due to closed roads. These can be distributed quietly at community meals or in community walk-abouts.
  • Providing clean-up and safety supplies (e.g. masks, gloves, bleach -- these can often be donated from other organizations).
  • Providing supplies so that people can prevent further damage to flooded properties -- tarps for a roof, shovels or brooms to clean-up, tools to remove flooded carpet, etc.
  • Storage units (such as PODS) so that people can store their salvageable belongings in a clean and dry place while their homes are repaired.
  • Hosting respite days at the church where people can be in the air conditioning/heat, get coffee and snacks and use the church's wifi (and maybe skilled volunteers) to apply for FEMA and other benefits.
  • Security deposits for particularly vulnerable people to get into safe housing.
  • Replacement of necessary belongings for homeless people who lost their camps (e.g, tents, blankets).


  • Congregations should track how many people they serve each day and how you served them generally (feeding, housing, etc.).
  • They do not need to gather the names of each person receiving services valued below $50 and should be mindful about the ways that asking too many questions can prevent some people from feeling comfortable accessing services (such as people without legal documentation). It might be helpful to keep names and contact information for people who particularly need follow-up or referrals if they're comfortable sharing that information.
  • Keep all receipts: itemized receipts are preferred.
  • Make sure that at least two people involved in the process know where the money is going. For example, one who keeps the cash/gift cards and another who distributes them.

If you have further questions or to make an application to ERD, please contact the Diocesan Disaster Co-coordinators:
the Rev. Maria Evans at 660-216-2727 or or
Janet Thompson at 573-864-5197 or

(Photo of tornado damage in Jeff City from Jonathan Sanders, used with permission.)




The Way of Love: new podcast with the Presiding Bishop

"The way of Jesus is the Way of Love. And the Way of Love can change the world," Presiding Bishop Michael Curry says in his new podcastThe Way of Love: with Bishop Michael Curry, which launches on Pentecost. [June 9] These weekly conversations, featuring Bishop Curry along with podcast hosts Kyle Oliver and Sandy Milien, explore living a life committed to living the way of God's unconditional, unselfish, sacrificial and redemptive love. Hear stories of people from around the Church as they put the Way of Love practices of Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest, into action.

  • Watch the trailer here.
  • New episodes air Tuesdays through July 30.
  • The Way of Love: with Bishop Michael Curry, is available on all podcast apps and at the Way of Love podcast webpage.


building congregations
Diocesan Budget Request 2020

The process has begun for the preparation of the 2020 Operating Budget of the Diocese of Missouri. The 2020 Budget Request Letter and Guidelines have been sent out to churches and diocesan organizations. You can find a copy of them online, as well.

Budget requests must be received in the Diocesan Office by July 15, 2019. Diocesan Council will review and evaluate all requests and a final budget will be presented at Convention in November.

With any additional questions, please contact Desiree Brattin, Executive Director of Finance & Administration,



Apply for a Constable Grant through Province V

Each province of the Episcopal Church is allowed to submit one application to the Constable Grant Review Committee by August 30.

The Province V Executive Board is now receiving applications for consideration. If you would like to submit a grant through Province V, please return your submission to the Province V office by August 10, 2019.


Grant Application for the Constable Fund

The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget of the Episcopal Church, as approved by General Convention 2018.  In 2018 Constable Grants ranged from $17,000 to $71,000 for a total amount of $200,000 distributed among six grant recipients.  Applications can be submitted by: (1) a program office of the Episcopal Church; (2) one of the interim bodies of General Convention; or (3) one of the Provinces of the Episcopal Church.

Deadline for application to PROVINCE V is August 10, 2019

Grants will be reviewed by the Executive Council's Constable Fund Grant Review Committee, and its recommendations will be submitted for review to the Executive Council's Joint Standing Committee for Mission Within the Episcopal Church and then to the Executive Council for action.  Recipients will be notified after the Executive Council takes final action on the grant recommendations.  

Named for Miss Constable

The Constable Grants are named for Ms. Marie Louise Constable, who was a visionary philanthropist.   In 1935, during the Great Depression, Ms Constable made a monetary gift to the Episcopal Church to establish the Constable Fund. Her desire and intent to add periodically to the fund during her lifetime was realized and culminated with a very generous final gift at the time of her death in 1951. The language of Ms. Constable's will provides that the fund exists "in perpetuity … to apply the net income for the purposes of the Society, preferably for the work in religious education not provided for within the Society's budget."




March to Prevent Gun Violence. Saturday, June 8, 11 am. There will be a family friendly, 1 mile march along Grand Avenue to stand in solidarity against gun violence. Several diocesan churches are participating. -from St. Paul's-Carondelet.

June 7 is Wear Orange for Gun Violence Prevention Day, and all weekend there will be designated activities and gatherings throughout the country and in our area to raise awareness for gun violence prevention. Wear Orange Weekend (June 7-9) is part of a national movement supporting gun violence prevention and raising awareness of lives lost by gun violence.  Wear Orange, sponsored by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, was inspired by friends of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old Chicago high school student killed by gunfire. They decided to honor her life by wearing the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from being shot.  Wear Orange events take place around the country around the time of Hadiya's birthday, which is June 2. The 2019 St. Louis Wear Orange events take place at various times and places June 7-9. Text Orange to 644-33 to find events with dates, times and locations near you. --from Christ Church Cathedral


This Saturday is also the Komen annual walk to support breast cancer research, treatment, and survivors. "More than Pink" starts right outside Christ Church Cathedral's front door and offers an opportunity for evangelism and mission. Help decorate the cathedral's parking lot fence and the front door with pink bunting at 3 pm on Friday, June 7. On Saturday, they'll be ringing the tower bells and hand bells and waving streamers as participants run, walk, wheel, and skip by. Spend anywhere from half an hour to a few hours to help, or simply show up to support the cause. Cathedral activities will begin around 8 am Saturday, June 8, with the walk starting at 9:30 am.



Margo Guernsey is the director of The Philadelphia Eleven (working title), a feature documentary film in development about the women who were ordained Episcopal priests in 1974 against church rules. She writes, "In the public limelight, each woman had to decide how to live out her priesthood. We are looking for support to bring this project to life and show there is an audience hungry for this film." You can read more about the documentary at their Kickstarter funding site.


Episcopal Softball League. Let's play ball! You are invited to participate in an Episcopal softball league this summer at Tower Grove Park in St. Louis. Games are scheduled for July 12th, 19th, and 26th from 6 - 8 PM in Tower Grove Park. If you want to play or would like more information, please contact Trinity Church CWE's rector, the Rev. Jon Stratton at or 314 619 4216. There will be a trophy!


churches online
Advent-Crestwood | All Saints'-Farmington | All Saints and Ascension-Northwoods | Calvary-Columbia | Calvary-Louisiana | Campus Ministry-Wash U | Christ Church Cathedral | Christ Church-Cape Girardeau | Christ Church-Rolla | Deaconess Anne House | Emmanuel-Webster Groves | Grace-Jefferson CityFaith Christian Church India of St. Louis | Grace-Kirkwood | Good Shepherd-Town&Country | Holy Communion-Univ. City | Holy Cross-Poplar Bluff | St. Alban's-Fulton | St. Barnabas'-Florissant | St. Francis'-Eureka | St. John's-(Prairieville) Eolia | St. John's-Tower Grove (St. Louis) | St. John & St. James-Sullivan | St. Luke's-Manchester | St. Mark's-Portland | St. Mark's-St. Louis | St. Martin's-Ellisville | St. Matthew's-Mexico | St. Michael & St. George | St. Paul's-Ironton| St. Paul's-Sikeston | St. Paul's-Carondelet (St. Louis) | St. Peter's-Ladue | St. Stephen's-Ferguson | St. Thomas' Deaf Church | St. Timothy's-Creve Coeur | St. Vincent's-in-the-Vineyard | Trinity-De Soto | Trinity St. Paul's-Hannibal | Trinity-Kirksville | Trinity-St. Charles | Trinity-St. James | Trinity-Central West End (St. Louis) | Transfiguration-Lake St. Louis
(c) 2019 Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
1210 Locust St., St. Louis, MO 63103
phone: (314) 231-1220 | web: