Wondering what the vestry has been up to lately? Are you ready to consider joining this important group? I can assure you it is a busy and interesting time for all of us as we support the life and ministries of St. Timothy’s Church. The biggest and happiest accomplishment to date is calling Liz Meade to be our priest in the interim period between Marvin Foltz’s retirement and the calling of a new rector. What a find!
The property committee, headed by Jr. Warden Steve Crock and Rick Sharp have managed major projects, especially getting rid of the mold and putting preventive measures in place for the future. Re-roofing the sanctuary was covered by insurance, and included handling problems of leaking around the steeple. But now the sanctuary is dry, and the leaking and puddling in the elevator shaft was also resolved. All three of these projects involved some serious “detective work” seeking causes of the problems.
Oh, the things I’m learning in this role of Sr. Warden! We are so fortunate to have a committee of knowledgeable and willing parishioners to manage our property, with the support of Tess Jones, our parish administrator. The list of facility accomplishments in 2020 is quite long beyond the three that I’ve highlighted.
We have submitted multiple plans to the diocese in hopes of regathering in person for worship, learning, and fellowship inside our church. But these high COVID-19 numbers keep pushing the reality of coming inside further and further away. Our clergy, staff and volunteers have been amazing in coming up with ideas to help us be engaged through online and outdoor offerings. I hope you’ve noticed the latest development in the Sunday service: new equipment for livestreaming and recording has made this viewing even better. Rick and Karen Sharp have been the leaders in this effort—hats off to them!
As the calendar pages continue to turn, we are already approaching the beginning of a new year. At the annual meeting in January we will thank four retiring vestry members and elect four new members to join the remaining eight in serving as the lay governing board of our church. But now it’s “nominating season”. Do you have a friend in the church who would be good in this role? Or how about you? Are you ready to have something new and important to do to fill your COVID gap time, and to fill your mind with new and important thoughts and prayers?
Hmm. But what’s really involved, Joy? This year the vestry spent time developing documents that lay that out pretty clearly. Below is a link to a page where you will find the responsibilities for vestry members, the norms we follow in and between meetings, and a covenant that addresses how we are as Episcopalians working in service to God. Please read these documents, think about them, and give me a call. Or call Mother Liz, or call the office and get the names and numbers of those on our nominating committee. Please step up or ask a friend you recommend to let you be a nominator. We all need to be involved in naming willing and qualified parishioners to serve St. Timothy’s in this very fulfilling way. Let’s all pray about it.
With love and peace,
Vestry Information and Documents
In-Gathering Sunday for our 2021 Stewardship Campaign is Sunday, October 25th. That day, we will bless the pledges we have already received at our 10:45 AM online service. If you would prefer a personal blessing for your pledge, you may also come to a “drive-by ingathering” that day from 12:00 – 12: 30 PM.
This year more than ever, your pledge to St. Tim’s is a pledge of faith. The future is bright for St. Tim’s. We continue to make an impact on the world and we are still making excellent disciples; I see proof of that every day. In the next 18 months, you will choose a new rector to assist you in shaping the future of St. Timothy’s. What will your legacy be? Your next Rector will bring new energy, new ministries, and new opportunities to change the world! You can watch each week's stewardship testimonials on the church's youtube channel.
Remember, In-gathering Sunday is October 25th. Watch online at 10:45 as we bless your pledges or drive-by St. Tim’s from 12:00 – 12: 30 if you’d like your pledge blessed in person. Your pledge is a promise that will continue to bear fruit; a pledge that will ensure a vital and faith-filled future. When we respond with hope and gratitude, good stewardship becomes our attitude. Please think about these things, and let your pledge reflect your faith.
The Rev. Elizabeth Gordon Meade
September 25, 2020
Dear Beloved in Christ,
With the cold weather approaching and COVID-19 infections on the rise in the St. Louis region and across the nation, the clergy of St. Timothy's have come to the realization that resuming In-person worship services at this time is neither safe nor prudent. We will continue to watch the numbers diligently and will strive to make the safest and most informed choices for the St. Timothy's community.
We understand that for many of you, it has been six long months without the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. However, the table still stands, still invites, and still calls us to be the Body of Christ. As you continue to pray the prayer of spiritual communion with us each Sunday, know that Christ's body is still broken, and Christ's blood is still shed for you.
To quote Presiding Bishop Michael Curry: "The Church is not closed. Our buildings are not the Church; the people are the Church." In making this difficult decision, your clergy and staff are committed to offering plenty of opportunities to be a part of the life and ministry of St. Timothy's. Come on a prayer pilgrimage, walk the labyrinth, attend a Bible study, join a MORR gathering, and worship with us. God will be glorified.
It is our job, as Paul says in his letter to the Hebrews, to "run with endurance the race that is set before us." The race set before us is one that includes loving our neighbors enough to be diligent in our safe practices and grieving well the things we dearly miss. Our prayers are with each of you as we continue to strive toward that heavenly Kingdom that Christ has promised to us, especially in these uncertain times.
Grace and peace -
The Rev. Elizabeth G. Meade
The Rev. Camie M. Dewey
Greetings, friends in Christ –
I cannot tell you how happy I am to be here in St. Louis and I am looking forward to our two years together as we do the work of discerning what St. Tim’s might be seeking in a new rector. This pandemic has changed the way we meet and greet one another, but that will not prevent us from doing the work of the church. Bishop Deon and I have talked about how he introduced himself to the Diocese of Missouri during a quarantine, and how that might translate into the work an Interim Priest must do. Together we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
My first few days at St. Tim’s will be spent in diocesan clergy meetings and just getting to know the comings and goings of the staff and the physical plant. After the initial few days, there will be meetings set up for various parish committees and groups via Zoom. These will be open-ended conversations that will give you an opportunity to educate me about your areas of expertise and me an opportunity to get to know you. If you are not on a committee and wondering when we will connect, do expect to hear from me at some point in the near future, either by phone or by email inviting you to a small group discussion.
As most of you are aware, the work of the Interim is to “poke around” and make observations and ask questions about how a parish operates, what its priorities are and where its growing edges are. Ultimately, my work among you will bring us all to a better understanding of what St. Tim’s hopes to become and what type of leadership you will need to dream big in the coming decade.
Please feel free to reach out to me via email at REVLIZMEADE@gmail.com at any time or call the office to leave me a message. I look forward to our work together and for a time that we can all process together into your beautiful sanctuary to praise and worship God together.
Grace and peace –
Dear St. Timothy’s Family,
“Come and Pray”. That is a more descriptive name than “Prayer Pilgrimage” for the wonderful new opportunity we have at St. Timothy’s. I write this to you on Wednesday, having just experienced our first Come and Pray.
What a moving time in church. The peace that I felt when leaving church today lingers this evening. I have never before experienced such an intense quiet and stillness as I did in the sanctuary this afternoon. Our church really is beautiful, and to be there with just a few other people for individual silent prayer was the perfect way to feel God’s loving presence.
Mother Camie has compiled a beautiful set of prayers that are given out by an usher for us to use and keep. You can also bring your own Prayer Book, or only pray what’s in your heart. Part of the time I just sat there feeling and listening. Today made me think of the blessing we receive at the end of the Holy Eucharist service: “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord…”
I encourage you to call and sign up for next Wednesday’s Come and Pray at either 4:00, 4:30, or 5:00. Details are available here. You’ll be so glad you did.
With peace and love,
St. Timothy’s sanctuary is opening for Prayer Pilgrimage on Wednesday afternoons. This is an opportunity for individual silent prayer in our holy space. You are invited to bring your own prayer book, use the available handout with printed prayers , or use the words that are in your head and heart. Use the time to sit quietly and listen to God and feel God’s loving presence.
Safety precautions will be in place to protect everyone’s health. Masks will be required for the duration of your prayer time, social distancing will be observed, hand sanitizer will be available and space sanitizing will be done.
The number of people in the sanctuary will be limited to ten in accordance with the directive from the Bishop’s office. To help organize that, those who want to come will sign up for a 30-minute time frame: 4:00, 4:30, or 5:00. The first five minutes will be for arrival through the main entrance of the church; the last five minutes will be for departure through the door to the right of the altar (no steps there, just a sidewalk). Call Susan Moenkhaus, 636-399-3136, to reserve your place and ask any questions.
Pews will be marked so you will know where to sit. Specific sections of the sanctuary will be designated for each prayer session. An usher will show you to the proper section. An usher will also greet everyone in the parking lot, and another usher will be at the door to take temperatures and ask the typical health screening questions. Safety precautions will be posted. Conversations with others should occur outdoors.
These measures ensure that you can choose to come with confidence, and that when you arrive you can focus on your own prayer. We believe this can be a special time to be in church. This plan will likely evolve as we learn what is of interest to parishioners and what is needed. If you would like to attend one of these sessions, but find the timing to be incompatible with your schedule, please let us know.
Remember: Prayer Pilgrimage on Wednesdays at 4:00, 4:30, and 5:00 in the St. Timothy’s sanctuary beginning August 26. Call Susan Moenkhaus, 636-399-3136, to reserve your spot.
Dear St. Timothy’s Family,
Last Sunday’s live streamed Eucharist service was wonderful! It was, indeed, a more fulfilling experience than I had expected. I knew I missed participating in Holy Communion, but I did not realize how much watching the service on my laptop was going to impact me. It was very special, as others will confirm! I hope you will try out this new way of attending church for a communion service.
You can read here the Bishop’s pastoral letter about his new directive delaying in-person worship services in the Diocese of Missouri until September 1. Just click on the link in this email. We can continue with live streaming services as we did so successfully last Sunday, but we cannot come together for services in St. Timothy’s. When I first learned of this my heart dropped. But now my initial disappointment has been replaced with the acknowledgment that Covid-19 case numbers in Missouri are rising, and that delaying in-person worship services is an important step in keeping everyone safe.
Please turn on your computer this Sunday at 10:45 and click on the link to the live streamed service. It is also recorded so you can watch it later. Pray in conjunction with other parishioners. Enjoy seeing our beautiful St. Timothy’s church and hearing the moving music. Learn from the lessons and sermon. And thank God that we have each other and are helping each other stay healthy.
Peace and love to you,
Dear St. Timothy’s family,
Rev. Liz Meade, our soon-to-be Interim Pastor was in town this week looking for housing. Good news! She found a house to rent that she loves in Ballwin. Mark Scholtz took her around, and the second house they visited was a winner. What a relief! Thank you, Mark. Mother Liz will return to St. Louis in mid-August with her dog, Scrabble, and begin working with us September 1.
Thank you to the many, many people who returned the reopening survey. Yes, we are being cautious about the reopening process; we all want to be safe and have all our parishioners, staff, and visitors be safe. It’s definitely a time to take care of each other as well as take care of ourselves.
I will send you regular updates along the way. We are entering Phase 2 now. We will have one Sunday service at 10:45 that will be live streamed, meaning that instead of being prerecorded in various locations, this service will be shown as it happens—live with no retakes! The plan for this week is for Mother Camie, Mark Scholtz, and musicians to be in the sanctuary. The Reverend Jim Purdy will join them next week. This Sunday we will view our first holy communion service.
What about our next steps? First of all, the live streaming will continue and is in our “every Sunday plan” for the future. We believe the science and will follow the requirements from the Bishop’s office for masking, distancing, and sanitizing. In August we hope to be ready for parishioners who are ready to return as a small congregation, depending on the St. Louis County coronavirus numbers at the time. Stay tuned…
Dear St. Timothy’s Family,
June 28 is planned to be the last of our prerecorded Sunday services. On July 5 we will begin live streamed services from the sanctuary, with Rev. Jim Purdy and Rev. Camie Dewey officiating. This is Phase 2 of our reopening, and includes communion with only service participants in the church. Those of us who are ready to be in the congregation will still have to wait! Everyone will be patiently watching from home. (Yes, patience is a virtue.) In Phase 3 we will move to broader participation. When that can happen depends on the state of the coronavirus in St. Louis County at the end of July, with everyone’s personal safety the key consideration.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
A note from the Senior Warden
I am delighted to announce that The Reverend Elizabeth Gordon Meade has accepted the Vestry’s call to become the Interim Pastor of St. Timothy’s Church. She will begin her ministry with us on September 1.
It is actually amazing how quickly everything came together for this part of our transition. God’s hand is evident in how smoothly the process transpired and how this process brought us someone I perceive as an excellent fit for St. Timothy’s. I look forward to our future. Enjoy the introductory letter from Reverend Liz Meade!
May 29, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ –
I was thrilled to receive an invitation from your Vestry last week to become your Interim Pastor. I look forward to being with you after September 1st.
I am curious about you and I imagine you’re curious about me, so here is a brief synopsis. Raised in New England, I raised my children in Seattle, moved to Chicago for my husband’s career. I am a widow, having lost my husband of 35 years to liver cancer five years ago. We have two grown sons, both in Seattle. Currently, I live with an obstreperous Portuguese Water Dog named Scrabble who is also known as “the parish pup.” (I hope she and Kharma will become fast friends.)
Since your Vestry has already vetted me and my qualifications, I hesitate to list them all again, but Joy asked that I do so, so here goes: I hold two (2) Masters’ Degrees from Loyola University in Chicago, and a Certificate of Anglican Studies from Seabury Western Theological Seminary. (Seabury had dropped their MDiv. program while I was in formation.) I am also certified as an Interim Minister, having completed two residencies and fieldwork through the Interim Ministry Network (IMN, Inc.)
I love the work of interim ministry and felt I would devote my whole priesthood to it. I did serve in that capacity at two large Chicagoland parishes. Then my husband died and I discerned the need to settle down. I accepted the job as Rector at the small suburban parish where I currently serve. I am happy here, and was not seeking employment elsewhere, until your Canon to the Ordinary called and asked me if I might consider a return to Interim Ministry. (She and I trained together.) After a lot of prayer, I agreed to interview at St. Timothy’s, and we are now where we are.
The job of an interim pastor differs from that of a “settled” rector. I come as priest, yes, to serve while you look for a new rector, but I also come as one trained to assist you in honoring your past, evaluating your present, and developing your dreams for the future of St. Timothy’s. It means that I get to ask a lot of questions. It means that we get to experiment with change. This comes not from power or ego, but as a way to help your community move from “what was” to “what might be.” It is a wonderful yet sometimes daunting experience because we Episcopalians like to avoid change, but the truth is, with the departure of your rector and the arrival of a new one, St. Timothy’s will have changed and the needs of the greater community will have changed. I hope you will find this work as energizing as I do.
Until we meet in September, stay well, and stay faithful.
Grace and peace-
The Rev. Elizabeth Gordon Meade
730 North Randall Road Aurora, IL 60506