I have two things on my mind today that I want to share with you. The first is how I’m responding to all that happened in the Capitol and in Washington, DC, last Wednesday. I know I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed and upset; my heart is heavy and my mind is full.
Part of my response has been and still is to turn to God. Getting to sleep at night has been a challenge—my mind is buzzing. I have gotten help through the service of Compline. These night prayers appear in the Book of Common Prayer beginning on page 127. The first line of Compline is “The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end. Amen.”
What I love about Compline is that we can hear it spoken by Mother Liz in a brief 8 minutes by going to the St. Timothy’s website (saint-tims.org). Scroll almost to the end of the home page to the Latest News section following the statement of the parish Vision, then click on Compline. This is a very comforting, soothing presentation of the service: you hear Mother Liz praying, and on the screen you see the words of the prayers and one lit candle. I urge you to add this to your nighttime routine, especially on nights that you feel upset or worried.
My second note has to do with your role in the latest business of St. Timothy’s parish. Each January we hold the Annual Meeting, which is everyone’s opportunity to learn about the highlights in all areas of parish functioning and to participate in setting the course for the future. On Sunday, January 24 at 9:00 a.m. we will elect four new members to the vestry, a delegate and alternate to the Diocesan Convention, and a member to the endowment committee. We need you to vote! You can get to know the outstanding candidates at the Adult Forum this Sunday, January 17, at 9:45 a.m. The vestry candidate bios also appear on the website in the Vestry section under the Information tab.
So how do we do this when Covid-19 keeps the church building closed to meetings? Zoom is the answer—you link to these online meetings on the Zoom app on your computer or smart cell phone. Call the church to have the link emailed to you (314-434-5906). The Zoom application is free. If you need help accessing the application, call Mother Camie at church.
Mark your calendar now:
Adult Forum January 17, 9:45 a.m.
Annual Meeting January 24, 9:00 a.m.
Contact the church at email@example.com for zoom info.
We need your voice! See you then!
In love and peace,
January 12, 2021
A greeting from the Sr. Warden…
“Oh, Holy Night.” Waiting. “Oh, Holy Night.” Waiting is difficult! Preparing is important, but this year preparing is difficult! “Oh, Holy Night” and all it really means after the waiting and preparing—beautiful!
How can it be that I approach this Christmas with such mixed feelings? I’ve had a lot of conversations with myself (maybe you have, too). I love Christmas. I like decorating. I enjoy shopping in stores with the decorations, music, and the bustle of other shoppers, some with children full of anticipation. I like sending greeting cards. It’s an opportunity to focus on one special family each time I address a card. I love going to church with the Advent lessons and music, and especially on Christmas Eve, which is glorious in celebrating the birth of Jesus.
This year, however, these are mostly memories and the promise of next year minus Covid-19. But what about now? How can I talk myself into feeling genuinely happy? Shopping online is more comfortable than in stores. Ok, but it can be tedious and somewhat boring. But even online, when I find just the right gift and it’s still available, it’s a good feeling.
Decorating in my house is minimal this year—I don’t like to admit that. But having a festive-looking house goes with joyous gatherings of family and friends celebrating together. But we can’t have those. What I’m beginning to realize, though, is that home decorations also remind ME that Christmas is coming, and to look at my house differently and smile! So now I have to go back down to the basement and bring out more happy reminders that Christmas is almost here! And yes, we can still share church, though differently, on line.
It may not feel like a merry Christmas without festive gatherings and hugs, but it can still be a happy Christmas. “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright.” (Silent Night). “Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light” (O Little Town of Bethlehem). “Peace on earth, good will to men” (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear). That is a happy Christmas, a very happy Christmas, loving the story and celebrating the birth of Jesus.
With love and peace,
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…