The Diocese of Missouri offers workshops and conferences for parish leaders on many different topics throughout each year. You will find resources from those events, as well as other resources of interest on this page.
If you have information you'd like to include, or if you are looking for resources you can't find, please contact Communications Director Janis Greenbaum.
The Diocese of Missouri has developed a policy on the use of alcohol at church functions. This policy applies to all groups hosting events on church premises.
Bishop Kemper School for Ministry
Are you looking for classes to prepare you for mission and ministry in the church? The Bishop Kemper School for Ministry has programs for those who are on the path to ordained ministry, seeking education for a licensed lay ministry, taking a class or two for personal enrichment, or needing coursework for continuing education.
Disasters can and do happen in our diocese. The bishop has appointed the Rev. Dr. Maria Evans (interim rector at Christ Church, Rolla) and Janet Thompson (Calvary, Columbia) as our diocesan disaster coordinators. Their role is to help people and parishes respond and recover when disaster strikes.
Historical Land Acknowledgement
The following statement was crafted by the Rev. Leslie Scoopmire, Missioner for Indigenous Ministry Engagement, and the Rt. Rev. Deon Johnson, Bishop of the Diocese of Missouri. The Standing Committee approved the updated acknowledgement on September 22, 2022. We encourage our parishes and ministries to use this text during their worship services and other public events.
Click this button to download our Historical Land Acknowledgement Statement:
Do you have something new, creative, or simply logical that's working well for your parish? If it's working for you, it will probably work for others in the Diocese, too! Share your ideas and get ideas on our "idea toolbox" page.
Mutual Ministry Review Guide
A Mutual Ministry Review is a disciplined time of reflection on how the life of a congregation is going, including a look at the goals for the congregation and the roles and responsibilities of those working toward those goals. The main purpose is to clarify objectives and consider how best to make changes that will lead to more effective ministry aimed at those shared goals.
Click this button to download a guide and fillable workbook:
Rural Ministries Colloquium:
Lay and clergy leaders from our rural congregations come together on June 26, 2021 to pool knowledge and strengths to enhance all our ministries.
Click the headline to open a list of resources from the Rev. Canon Whitney Rice:
Rural Ministries Resources
Click on the links below or download this list.
Websites & Organizations:
- International Rural Churches Association
- The Turner Center for Rural Ministries
- Arthur Rank Centre: Confident Rural Christians (Church of England)
- Big Lessons from Little Places: Faithfulness and the Future in Small Congregations, by Kay Collier McLaughlin
- Reclaiming Rural: Building Thriving Rural Congregations, by Allan T. Stanton
- Transforming Church in Rural America, by Shannon O'Dell
- Places of Promise: Finding Strength In Your Congregation's Location, by Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce
- Small Town America: Finding Community, Shaping the Future, by Robert Wuthnow
- Rural Ministry Conference, sponsored by University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and Wartburg Theological Seminary
- Rural Ministry Course (Church of England)
- Community Action Guide for Thriving Rural Communities, by Duke Divinity School
- Smarter Rural Ministry, by Marty Giese in Christianity Today
- I'm a Rural Pastor: What Now?, by Brian Wechsler in Christianity Today
- The Anatomy of a Rural Church: 10 Lessons from Prayer Walks, by S. Roy Kauffman in The Mennonite
- Rural Church Buildings Guide
- Rural Ministries UK Online Presentations
- Planting Churches in Small Places, podcast episode from Small Town Summits
- Germinate Conference Recordings (Church of England)
Small Group Gathering Strategies:
The Rev. Canon Whitney Rice has put together effective tips for planning and managing successful small group gatherings.
Click the headline to read and/or download her strategies:
Small Group Gatherings
There are 4 “dials” you can turn up or down to influence how successful your small group gathering will be:
Dial #1: Accessibility
Turn this dial down as much as possible. Lower the barrier to entry as far as you can.
- How easy is it to register for the group?
- How many channels of communication have you used to invite participation? (Remember that one-on-one invitation brings the highest chance of success.)
- Is this just for congregation members or are non-members invited? How have you equipped your members to recruit non-members?
- How will people get their materials for the gathering? (book, workbook, training or orientation if it’s a service project)
- Is there a cost? Is there scholarship assistance available?
- What is the time commitment for participation? Best practice is an hour-long meeting once a week for 6-8 weeks, followed by a break and then an invitation to reengage
- What is the participating population in this group? How will you attend to different needs based on literacy, internet or technology access, physical or cognitive abilities?
- Are you providing different times/places/models for different ages and stages of life? Are you thinking about driving after dark for older members? Child care for younger members? During the workday vs. evening vs. weekend? If you want this group to be intergenerational, how can you attend to all of these elements?
- How are you attending to different learning styles?
- How are you attending to dynamics of race and gender?
- How have you communicated the gathering location? What is the parking situation like and how have you prepared people for that? (particularly relevant for rotating between parishioners’ homes)
- What is your inclement weather policy?
- Have you oriented people to the location of the restrooms or other facilities as they arrive?
- Is the zoom link set up well ahead of time and easily accessible?
- Do you have a tech troubleshooter identified ahead of time?
Dial #2: Atmosphere
Turn this dial up as high as possible. Place yourself in the shoes of a participant and ask how to make this meeting as warm, safe, and inviting as possible physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
- Have you arrived early enough to adjust the temperature in the room?
- What is the lighting? Strive for “bright enough to read materials and see each other clearly” balanced with “not so bright it feels like you’re in an operating room”
- What is the furniture like? Is it accessible and comfortable for all body types and abilities?
- Are you serving refreshments? Have you taken dietary restrictions into account? It’s helpful to have water at a bare minimum, and coffee/tea if possible
- Creating a warm, inviting atmosphere on zoom requires extra intention
- Invite participants to light a candle (having oriented them ahead of time they will need one!)
- If your church has a stash of unused prayer shawls, make sure each participant has one and invite them to use it during each gathering
- Create a “goody bag” with art supplies, a book or pamphlet, snacks, etc. and mail it to them or have them pick it up at church ahead of time
- Utilize music and/or art to open and close gatherings—YouTube videos of a favorite hymn to open and Bishop Deon or Bishop Curry offering a blessing to close are good options
- Discern ahead of time or with the group whether the sessions will be recorded. Recording can make the content accessible to those who cannot attend every session. Not recording can creating a safer environment for confidentiality and deep sharing.
Dial #3: Skills
Turn up this dial gradually throughout the course of the small group sessions. Support the leaders and participants in building their skills and they will be better equipped to go deep together.
- What norms will govern this group?
- What types of confidentiality are expected?
- What level of sharing, “fixing,” holding open-ended questions, etc., will the group commit to?
- Are you as the group leadership setting the norms, suggesting them, or letting the group self-generate the norms?
- Will any topics be deliberately set aside and not discussed?
- What training are you providing to group leaders ahead of time?
- What is the dynamic/balance between clergy and lay leadership? How will this affect the nature of the group?
- Will leadership rotate among the group or stay consistent?
- If members want to lead, will they need to do administration (set up zoom meetings, set up space, etc.)? Or primarily facilitation content/discussion? Both?
- Free-form discussion groups with no particular goal require a different skill set from groups that are designed to move from Point A to Point B
Dial #4: Content
Dial up your content by discerning carefully ahead of time and taking into account feedback as you go.
- How will the content for this group be chosen? By the clergy? By lay leaders?
- If it’s a book, are there discussion questions already in the text? Will additional questions be generated by group leadership? Will members have access to those questions ahead of the meeting?
- What type of prep time is required for full participation in this group? How many hours a week will it take to read the book or watch the videos? Have you communicated that?
- Can people still participate fruitfully if they can’t put in much outside prep time?
- To what extent can you adjust the content as you go? If people are finding two chapters of a book too much for one week, can you dial it back? If the program isn’t working or people aren’t finding it valuable, can you switch to another curriculum?
Many congregations get small group ministry going by starting with a book group or Christian Formation curriculum. What’s next? How do you help people continue to go deeper in faith and begin to truly walk through life together? In a 6-8 week gathering, by session 4, invite the group to begin discerning what their next gathering might be. So perhaps after a week off, they regather for a 4 week service project ending in a fellowship opportunity, and then back to a book study, and then a Taize or Evening Prayer series, and begin to create a rhythm.
If you’d like additional help to build out your congregation’s small group ministry, please be in touch with The Rev. Canon Whitney Rice, Canon for Evangelism & Discipleship Development at [email protected]. Happy ministry!
The Diocese of Missouri is a member of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS), which offer many resources for parishes to incorporate into their stewardship programs.
Bishop Deon Johnson has collected several examples of policies and guidelines your parish vestry can modify and personalize to suit your needs.
Click the headline to select and download resources:
Click to download examples of policies and guidelines that can be modified and personalized for your congregation:
- Alcohol Usage Policy
Please note: Your congregation's alcohol policy must also contain all the elements of our Diocesan Alcohol Policy.
- Financial Policies & Procedures
- Key Policy
- Vestry Covenant
- Vestry Resource Guide
- Vestry Responsibility
- Vestry Stewardship Statement
- Welcome to the Vestry
Vestry University Resources:
Diocesan staff and parish leaders came together on March 6, 2021, to offer a workshop on Vestry leadership.
Click each session title to open list of resources.
Vestry 101: Who ya gonna call?
2022 Diocesan Leadership
Eleventh Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson
314-231-1220 / [email protected]
Canon to the Ordinary
The Rev. Canon Doris Westfall
314-231-1220, ext. 1377 / [email protected]
Canon for Finance & Administration
314-231-1220, ext. 1371 / [email protected]
Canon for Evangelism & Discipleship Development
The Rev. Canon Whitney Rice
314-231-1220, ext. 1383 / [email protected]
Executive Assistant to the Bishop and Canon to the Ordinary
314-231-1220, ext. 1370. / [email protected]
Finance Assistant & Benefits Administration
314-231-1220, ext. 1384
Receptionist & Administrative Assistant
314-231-1220, ext. 1330 / [email protected]
Diocesan Archivist & Registrar
Susan G. Rehkopf
314-230-1220, ext. 1375 / [email protected]
Director of Communications
314-231-1220, ext. 1385 / 314-651-1843 (cell) / [email protected]
Ministry Developer for Children and Youth Ministry
The Rev. Erin Pickersgill
314-231-1220 / 314-434-5906 (cell) / [email protected]
Ministry Developer for Young Adult Ministry
The Rev. Aaron Rogers
314-231-1220 / 314-420-4851 (cell) / [email protected]
Archdeacon of The Diocese of Missouri
The Venerable Harry Leip
314-361-4655 / [email protected]
Dean, Christ Church Cathedral
The Very Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd
314-255-1640 / [email protected]
314-2259-2706 / [email protected]
Al Ludwig, Andrew Bleyer, Jean Hamilton
314-231-1220 (contact diocesan office)
314-231-1220 (contact diocesan office)
Assistant to the Treasurer
314-231-1220 (contact diocesan office)
Standing Committee Chair
Carter Whitson (2023)
Diocesan Council Vice-Chair
Angela Breeher (2023)
Missioner for Creation Care and Stewardship
- Creation Care Ministry Chair
The Rev. Kevin McGrane
Missioner for Hispanic / Latino Ministry Engagement
The Rev. Dr. Valori Mulvey Sherer
Missioner for Indigenous Ministry Engagement
The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire
Missioner for Jubilee Ministries
The Rev. Deacon Barbi Click
- Task Force on Hunger Chair
Missioner for LGBTQIA+ Ministry Engagement
Missioner for Racial Reconciliation and Social Justice Ministries
The Rev. Shug Goodlow
- Dismantling Racism Commission
The Rev. Aaron Rogers, Harrison Hagen Heil, Kurt Greenbaum
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
Missioner for Rural Ministries
The Very Rev. Annette Joseph
Companion Diocese Chair
The Rev. Deacon Deb Goldfeder
Episcopal City Mission
Nathan Ivy, Director
Episcopal Church Women
Episcopal Recovery Ministries
The Rev. Deacon Loretta Go
Province V Executive Board Representative
Vestry 102: You're a Vestry member -- now what?
Vestry 104: Vestry Toolbox