Ministry Minutes: 2015 Dio Convention transcript

December 10, 2015
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We tried something new during a break at our annual meeting as a diocese this November, sharing a "ministry minute"--literally one minute of a ministry we're passionate about or that needs some help from the diocese. We heard 21 minutes and here is a transcript with links.

Rich Mayfield: I have been a member of St. Francis Episcopal Church for 25 years, almost since it was founded. We’re a growing congregation. Under Pastor Sally’s leadership, we’ve grown to the point where we’ve purchased land in Eureka and have an active plan to build a church. No longer a ‘pie in the sky.’ We are a viable, growing church for Eureka and west county.


The Rev. Pamela Dolan, Rector of Church of the Good Shepherd in Town and Country. I would like everyone to find a copy of “From the Mountain” (Sewanee publication) and look on page 18 where there is a picture of Shepherd Farm, the Good Shepherd Garden. And COGSley, our mascot, is here to say that we need you in the garden. We know a lot of churches are starting gardens or have garden ministries and we would like that to be a collaborative effort. We’ve had people come out and talk to us about gardening and we’ve been happy to give of our time to help teach people. We’re hoping that you will come in the spring and the summer and the fall and even in the winter if only for an hour and take part in our ministry and let us help you grow your garden, too.


Ms. Adrienne Dillon, All Saints’ Church, St. Louis. We have a ministry, started about three years ago called All Saints’ Music and Arts Village. We offer free music lessons to children in our north St. Louis neighborhood and some children of our members. We give them instruments to take home so that they can practice. We have instruction in guitar and in keyboard. I teach the keyboard classes. We started small but we’re hoping to grow and attract more children from the neighborhood.


The Rev. Sally Weaver, Rector of St. Francis Church in Eureka. I want to talk about the Episcopal Recovery Ministries Committee. We are reconstitution this committee. Our current alcohol policy has been in effect since 2010. We need a group to help serve on that committee. If you are interested, talk to me. Here is the bishop’s vision for this committee: We will serve as an available resource for matters of addiction and recovery; we will insure that attractive materials are provided and we will provide gentle reminders to parishes about how to publicize events, store alcoholic products, etc. Please join us in this endeavor.


Mr. Paul Jokerst, Church of the Transfiguration, Lake St. Louis. Last year at diocesan convention we saw a video about a new ministry start-up called Laundry of Love. We fell in love with at Transfiguration. We contacted Trinity in St. Charles to consider joining forces with us. We are now starting a ministry of Laundry Love, not only in our two communities, but to all the communities in St. Charles County. Our goal is not only to get the homeless but offer this to low income families, helping these families to wash their laundry and redirect their money to other bills. We encourage other parishes to try this too.


Mr. Tony Corey, St. Timothy’s Church, Creve Coeur. I’d like to purchase the unused minutes [laughter] About two years ago two unstoppable forces converged on St. Timothy’s: Deacon in training Chester Hines with his passion for dismantling racism and the Rev. Marvin Foltz with his passion for social justice. Helped us, guided us, formed a new ministry earlier this year, a ministry of racial reconciliation. We started at 0 and are now at 18 members. We’re actively engaged in visioning and mission, we have set goals for this coming year, and we have grown as individuals in our own discernment of what racism means to us. We’ve formed as a team and are reaching out to others in the diocese in this coming year.


Ms. Carol Fox, St. Timoth’s Church, Creve Coeur. At Marvin’s behest we applied for and received a New Ventures in Community Ministry grant from the diocese. We’re trying to develop a young adults group which will bridge young adults in high school with young adults after graduating high school. It’s a destination group. We’re reaching out to diocesan high school kids, for instance those involved with Camp Phoenix. This is not just for Episcopalians. There are three types of activities planned: social, service, and doing high adventure. Monthly planning will be young adult led, so they can be self-directed and take pride in their efforts and accomplishments.


The Rev. Robert Ard, Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Carondelet. About three years ago we started doing these free BBQs in our neighborhood. St. Paul’s is in Carondelet, I like to call it the ‘dirty south’, right on the Mississippi River, the deep south side of the City of St. Louis. We wanted a ministry that wouldn’t cost much, that would have almost no administrative overhead, and that would connect our church with the neighborhood. And we wanted it in some ways, to run itself. Three years ago we started with three BBQs. Low and behold we put a grill out in front of the church, we put meat on it, and the neighborhood came out and said, Can I have a hamburger or  hot dog? This past year we had 12 BBQs and we had usually about 200 people on our front lawn. The city and the church working together to build community. We saw it as a low cost way of extending the Eucharist to the neighborhood.


Mr. Bruce Ward, St. Luke’s Church, Manchester. We have a contemporary music ministry. Similar to ‘Joy 99’ music, but amped up. We’re looking for more musicians, and for people to share this music ministry. A lot of our youth who are playing instruments and singing are going to be aging out, going to college. Our musicians range in age from 15 to 63. We worship at 11 am. We’ll take all comers: vocal, guitar, drums, band and orchestra instruments.


Mr. Peter Armstrong, Deaconess Anne House corps member, and intern as digital missioner at Christ Church Cathedral. Good morning all you Twitter folk out there! We’ve started a new initiative called #STLprays. The idea is to get local, interfaith prayer going around St. Louis. Church A tweets prayers with the hashtag. Church B prays along with Church A, and also retweets the prayers with the hashtag. We hope this will create a stronger interfaith prayer community in and around St. Louis.


Mr. Paul Vanden Elzen, Trinity Church, St. Charles. This year we’ve taken on a big project. We’ve reached out to food pantries in the St. Louis and St. Charles areas and we’ve identified the need for over 1000 families that need to receive a holiday meal this Christmas. That was a lot more than we were expecting. We’re working with a food wholesaler to raise funds to be able to supply these meals to local pantries. It’s a hard time of year, not only for the families, but also for the pantries that are often overlooked with other holiday charitable giving. If you’re interested in helping us, please talk to us and get involved in this outreach.


Ms. Julia DeLancey, Trinity Church, Kirksville. We have been at Trinity the North Star of this diocese since the 1860s. We have a beautiful, architect designed historic building that was consecrated in 1917. As those of you who have a historic building know, it is not ADA compliant. I’ve been a member for 20 years and we’ve been discussing for that time making our building accessible to anyone with mobility issues. I’m very excited and very proud to say we completed our renovation this year. We started the project 3 or 4 years ago and the bishop blessed that space at his visitation just two weeks ago. We have photographs of the historic building and the new addition. We invite three things from you, we invite your prayers for us as we finish our fundraising efforts, we invite your donations to our fundraising efforts, and if any of you know of any youth who are students at Truman State University, if they are not already joining us, please invite them to come join us.


The Rev. Janet Schisser, Deacon at Calvary Church, Columbia. Two ministries that fit in with the reconciliation theme. Kairos prison ministry goes into the three prisons here in Missouri and take in God’s transforming love and forgiveness to the residents there. I am involved in Kairos Outside, which is a sister ministry. Women on the outside who have a loved one or spouse who is incarcerated most of the time feel alone and are isolated, are looked down upon. Kairos Outside provides opportunity to bring them to a weekend, give them transforming love and relationship with Jesus. It’s purposely ecumenical. Our guests are often amazed that we can all work together. We’d love to have women clergy come work with us and there are many lay positions—we even need a few men from time to time. Come all! 


The Rev. Annette Joseph, Rector of Church of the Holy Cross, Poplar Bluff. I was driving down the road one day and listening to NPR--which is a miracle in SE Missouri that we have NPR at all—and I heard about this wonderful thing that was going on in Detroit called ‘mass mobs’. The Catholic Church has tried to get together and re-energize the Catholic Church with these mobs that use social media to organize going once a month to a different church. .And I thought, how wonderful would this be for our downtown churches. We get together every year for an ecumenical Lenten series, but wouldn’t it be nice to go a bit deeper. We started something called the worship mob, we did it quarterly this year. We get together at each others’ churches and we do a service that at some point in the service you should feel like you’ve been at your own church. Each church gets to present its own way of worshiping. We do it all together. Now this last one we held at Lively Stone which is a Pentecostal Holy Spirit Church. So we have to adjust ourselves—quite a bit—to go there. But they’ve been adjusting themselves to come to our liturgical stuff all year. As we stood together worshiping, Bishop Price looked out amongst the crowd and he said, “I have been dreaming of this my whole life. To see the races come together. To see the denominations come together. I have been dreaming of this forever.” That’s reconciliation.


The Rev. Helen Ludbrook, Assisting Priest at Christ Church Cathedral. We have begun a pilot program of providing all that is required for one person to move out of homelessness for one year. It’s an idea that came to our group from Winter Outreach. It’s our hope that we might be able to share this know-how--after we get through this first year—with other congregations. We are grateful for the New Ventures diocesan grant assisting us in this endeavor, it’s means we’re able to put two people out of homelessness this year. Our goal is to provide all that is initially needed, rent, utilities, furniture, all that is needed. We’ll assist them with guidance, resources to find employment if that’s applicable, so that we might slowly be able to decrease the amount of money that we are providing each month. By the end of the year our hope is that they will be independent. All during the year one or two members of the committee will meet with this person on a regular basis to offer encouragement and non-monetary support. There is a covenant that both parties sign and it states a clear responsibility and our expectations from both sides. This  includes that we will respect the privacy and confidentiality of our housing partner. This ministry has the approval of chapter but is independent of the budget.


Ms. Annie Brock, Rockwell House Campus Ministry, Washington University. We have been going through a lot of transitions this year. We lost Joe as our Chaplain but we have a new Chaplain, Beth Scriven, who is absolutely wonderful. We’ve been doing a lot of new things this year, we’ve started twice monthly Bible study. We’ve always had a great community at Rockwell but this year we’ve been doing a lot of discussion about Jesus and Scripture and getting to understand each others’ faiths and challenges in our understanding of Jesus, all of which has been really great.


Ms. Annabel Dolan, Church of the Good Shepherd, Town & Country. I’m here for the Diocesan Youth Advisory Council specifically to talk about visitations for your church. The Youth Council is here as a resource for all of you and for your congregations. We are available to preach, to talk to an adult forum or just to talk to your youth or your adults or both together. We want to make ourselves known and make sure that all the churches understand why the youth are here, why we are important, and how you can use us. We all want to be very involved in your church. Utilize us!


The Rev. Chris Slane, Assistant to the Rector at St. Martin’s Church, Ellisville. We started a 7-11 club, an elementary school youth group. We meet once a month. It’s a really great ministry and I encourage anybody who has elementary schoolers, it’s an enthusiastic bunch to start ministry with. You can join ours if you want, but I’d encourage everybody to start one. Start small and the kids will bring friends and friends of friends. Now with that group we started a winter wheat garden, and even though the deer ate 99.9 percent of our wheat last year—in one day—we still had enough to make communion bread with the 7-11 club and we did a communion class, so we had a bunch of kids who did first communion with the bread that they made from wheat that we grew. 2. We did a pumpkin patch this year, we made $10,000 selling pumpkins. $6000 of that will go to the Navajo Nation ministry. Check our Facebook page at St. Martin’s during Advent because our youth group is making a video Advent calendar and it’s going to be really awesome.


The Rev. Kevin McGrane, Deacon at St. John’s Church, St. Louis. Starting 2016 I will be the new chair of the Task Force for the Hungry. I am here this morning to recruit you. We have a tremendous need for hunger associations and assistance in the Diocese of Missouri and the Task Force for the Hungry is going to respond. We started this year with a CROP walk, we had a hunger awareness month, and with those activites we gathered close to $6000. This coming year 2016 we’re going to do more CROP walks, we’ll have another hunger awareness month, we’ll do empty bowls and a number of other things, but I need your help to be able to do this. I hope to be able to recruit at least one person per convocation. I would love to be able to recruit one person per parish to join our association. This isn’t a committee, this is a fellowship. Please think about joining the task force.


The Rev. Rebecca Barger, Deacon at St. Francis Church, Eureka. We’re blessed with a lot of outreach ministries and the one I’d like to focus on is our tutoring ministry which runs for the school year. It is held in the basement of the Masonic Lodge, soon to be held in our new building. Led by Jackie Selle, there is a link on our website. We are always looking for more tutors. We have more students than tutors—the need is great.


Ms. Jeanne Lucas King, St. Martin’s Church, Ellisville. I’m here to promote the UTO. I want to remind you that grateful giving is a sacrament, and that your change changes lives.

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