About one-third of the congregations in the Diocese of Missouri are located in rural communities. These churches can be found as far north as Kirksville, and as far south as Poplar Bluff. We define a "rural community" as a town with a population of 20,000 or less and surrounded by green space.
The joys, challenges, and opportunities for our rural parishes are very different from the parishes based in larger cities like Columbia, Jefferson City, Cape Girardeau, Rolla, and the St. Louis metro area.
The Rev. Annette Joseph is the Diocesan Missioner for Rural Communities. She is tasked with making connections for our rural congregations and lifting up their ministries. She helps introduce new opportunities for our rural communities to grow in faith, regardless of the size of their congregation.
Our rural congregations include:
- All Saints Episcopal Church, Farmington
- Calvary Episcopal Church, Louisiana
- Christ Episcopal Church, Rolla
- Episcopal Church of St. John & St. James, Sullivan
- Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Poplar Bluff
- St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Fulton
- St. John's Episcopal Church, Eolia
- St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Portland
- St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Ironton
- St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Sikeston
- St. Vincent's-in-the-Vineyard, Ste. Genevieve
- Trinity Episcopal Church, DeSoto
- Trinity Episcopal Church, Kirksville
- Trinity Episcopal Church, St. James
- Trinity Episcopal Church, Hannibal
We're developing a list of resources to assist our rural churches. Please click on the links to visit or download materials:
- Small Church, Big God
SmallChurch.org is a free, online resource designed specifically for small congregation worship. Each week, Teresa J. Stewart offers stories of innovation and inspiration. She shares practical ideas, theological insights, and worship help for settings with fewer than 95 worshipers.
- The Urban-Rural Divide: A Guidebook to Understanding the Problem and Forging Solutions
Anthony Flaccavento, who describes himself as a rural progressive, explores the causes of this divide and looks for a way forward.