I attended Murray State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theatre. I am a 2011 graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary. After ordination, I served at churches in the Diocese of Kentucky. After that, I was called as the Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Clarksville, TN. During my six-year tenure, Trinity grew in number and in spirit, with a renewed focus on outreach and evangelism.
I served as the board president of a local nonprofit that provides mental health care to veterans and first responders, as well as serving as the vice president of the ministerial association for several years. I am also a member of Gathering of Leaders, an organization “committed to connecting young, creative, proven clergy-leaders in the Episcopal church.”
Most recently, I served as the Associate Rector of Formation and Pastoral Care at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. It was a wonderful opportunity to work in a large church setting and see authentic church growth in action.
Soon enough you’ll learn what I’m "all about”. But for now, let me say this. So much of what I know about God, Jesus, and the Church comes from being in relationship with other people. Every conversation is a new revelation of the divine, each interaction a new experience of something holy. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s God’s intention for us.
Through my interview and call process with St. Timothy’s, I knew that something wonderful was unfolding. I felt the call of the Spirit. And it didn’t come from your beautiful church building or the wonderful programs or even from the inspiring worship. The call came from being in conversation with the people of St. Timothy’s. The call came from the joy you all have just being with one another. That is special and important. I look forward to being part of many, many of your conversations in the years to come. And I especially look forward to seeing God revealed in our new relationship.
Looking forward in joy and anticipation,
The Rev. Meghan Ryan
Dear Family in Christ,
Mother Liz Meade will be spending her last Sunday with us this weekend on September 11. Be sure to come and wish her well! It hardly seems possible that her two-year interim rector term with us is ending. She led us through so many difficult situations—situations dominated by the Covid epidemic that at the time seemed like they would go on forever.
When Mother Liz arrived in September 2020, we couldn’t even have services inside the church—they were all online. We emerged to parking lot services – with an especially memorable windy Palm Sunday! Then the “baby steps” followed as we returned to indoor worship with one Sunday service, and gradually blossomed into what we have now.
On that long path we benefited from Mother Liz’s leadership in navigating the new and evolving Diocesan rules. Doing the business of the church and taking care of St. Timothy’s was especially challenging in an interim situation during Covid. Remember that first online Annual Meeting?
At one point Mother Liz wrote to Vestry, “I know that many of you are tired and stressed. I am, too. But I know this: God is here. God has not gone anywhere, and God will never leave or forsake us…Stay the course, and look carefully for what God is doing among us, because God is being glorified in all that we do at St. Timothy’s.”
I’m sure that many of us have our own special memories of Mother Liz. Mine include her constant reminders that we are still doing church, but in new ways. She provided wonderful pastoral care and counsel to individuals in need. Her funeral services have a special beauty about them. I appreciated the online Bible studies when she included religious paintings to illustrate the stories. I liked the memorable teaching she did in her sermons, and her closing blessing reminding us to be swift to love and make haste to be kind.
So now it really is good bye, because church rules say that interims are not to check back or stay in touch. Mother Liz, you got this church ready for a new rector. We offer you the biggest possible thank you, our love, and a fond farewell as you travel to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to become a settled rector there. I thank God for the blessing of having you at St. Timothy’s.
How glad I am to join Mother Liz in sharing with you our happiness in welcoming Deacon Erin Pickersgill and her family to our St. Tim’s family. Last Sunday, July 17, was her first service with us, and it really felt right to have her assist at the altar and preach the sermon.
We’ve had so many ups and downs in the past couple of years—changes that were not always positive. We learned how to cope with Covid and our building being closed. We’ve modified how we do things time after time, including having Sunday Eucharist services without Mother Camie joining Mother Liz at the altar.
So now here we are. Deacon Erin and her delightful family, husband David and young daughters Liberty and Frances, will be with us until January 1. Having been in church last Sunday when she preached, I write with assurance that we are most fortunate to have her here!
Deacon Erin’s special interest in and knowledge of programming for children and youth is just what we need. In fact, when she leaves us, she will be going to work for the Diocese in this specialty. We all want to engage our young Christians in learning about the love of God and the stories of our faith. And now to have someone here who’s really good at that—what a blessing!
Beyond all that, she is spending these coming six months as a transitional deacon preparing to be ordained as a priest, so expect to see her regularly assisting at the altar, preaching, and being a part of the full life of St. Timothy’s.
Welcome, Deacon Erin!
Joy Rouse, Sr. Warden
June 6, 2022
What a wonderful two Sundays of celebrations we’ve had at St. Timothy’s! Last Sunday, June 5, we celebrated Father Jack Fleming’s time as rector here by dedicating the parish hall and naming it Fleming Hall in his honor and memory. On Sunday, May 29, we celebrated Mother Camie Dewey’s three years as associate rector here and launched her into a new ministry in her home state of Wyoming. Jack Fleming’s vision, energy and leadership here, beginning when he was called in 1999, was marked by the building of our beautiful new sanctuary and its consecration in 2004. This was followed by breaking ground for the new parish hall and education wing in 2012 and later complicated completion. Be sure to see the photo display marking the progress of these building projects in the colonnade. We admired Jack for the kind of rector he was; we loved him for the kind of priest he was. Take a look at his portrait in the area leading into Fleming Hall. The kindness and compassion in his face speaks volumes about who he was; his pastoral care was beyond measure. Note also the twinkle in his eye—he brought much happiness to St. Tim’s. In his memorable sermons he often quoted Irish poetry or a book he’d just read. I typically jotted down the references on my bulletin to take home.
Camie Dewey drove away from St. Timothy’s on May 29 right after the 10:45 service, with her dog to accompany her on the long trip to Wyoming. I was glad to hear from Mother Liz Meade that Camie had arrived safely in Nebraska Sunday night, and then in Wyoming on Monday. We’ll remember Mother Camie for her smile, her presence at the altar, her wonderful sermons, and, of course, her beautiful singing voice. Camie’s strength was evident as she carried us through the beginning of the pandemic, the building closure, and the interim period between Father Marvin Foltz’s retirement and the arrival of Mother Liz, our interim rector—for whom the challenges continue. We can be sure that neither Mother Camie nor Mother Liz were taught in seminary how to manage such times in our parish and national life. So now we await the calling of a new rector.
I’m very eager to learn who the discernment team and vestry will agree to bring to St. Timothy’s. The discernment team should be receiving lengthy resumes from the bishop’s office this week. Then their work begins again in earnest. Let’s all pray for them every day.
Joy Rouse, Senior Warden
June 6, 2022
April has been quite a month at St. Timothy’s Church, highlighted by glorious Easter services. At the 9:00 service sixty worshippers joyfully welcomed Joseph Harley Shirley and Amelia Quinn Shirley in the rite of Holy Baptism. At 10:45 we had 125 worshippers, the most since before the pandemic, and all the triumphant music from the choir, brass quintet, congregation and clergy! All day we had the feeling of “St. Timothy’s is back”. It really was a glorious Sunday.
After Easter we all learned that Mother Camie Dewey will be leaving us at the end of May to go back to her home state of Wyoming. She will begin a new ministry with their bishop focusing on wellness and mental health resources for clergy. Camie is so talented that we didn’t expect to keep her very long, and know that we are blessed to have had her for three years. I must admit that I am sad that her time at St. Tim’s is ending, but wish her only the best as she answers God’s call for this new work. For here and now, we are working with the bishop’s office on a plan for temporary help for St.Timothy’s and Mother Liz, focusing on Christian formation. Stay tuned…
April also brought two funerals: beloved parishioners Judy Flacke and Blaine Stone died just before and just after Easter. Remembering my mother’s passing at this time of year, I know the beauty of spring and rebirth have special meaning as you relate Christ’s resurrection to someone you love. Please hold these families in your prayers.
You may have been reading in Tim’s Times about the new ministry we have of helping an Afghan refugee family. Our work is through the International Institute with a family of nine—parents and seven sons, ages 3 months to 17. The adults don’t speak English, only Pashto. We didn’t expect this to be easy, and so far, we were right. We are learning a lot! Since the family has been here only a few months, they have many needs. We’ll be sharing ways you can help.
Vestry bits and pieces:
We are in a waiting, yet still very prayerful, phase of our rector search. The position is posted and the discernment team hopes to see new applications early this summer. Mother Liz plans to stay with us as long as we need her.
The minutes of vestry meetings, including financial statements, are available for you to read in a notebook on the coffee table in the library, down the hall near the office. Financial statements are also posted in that hall.
Thank you to Mother Liz for our vestry commissioning in the 10:45 service April 24 and to Mother Liz and Canon Whitney Rice for an inspiring vestry spiritual retreat April 30 to help us serve God and serve you better. Please talk with any of us whenever you have a question or particular interest.
Joy Rouse, Senior Warden
April 30, 2022
Our dedicated discernment team has been very busy leading Vestry and staff through the first round of in-person interviews as we search for a new rector. The outcome of these recent meetings is that the diocese is being asked to re-post our rector position so that more candidates can be considered.
This feels like a long process, doesn’t it?! But we have to be patient and follow the path of discernment. That’s not exactly a simple decision-making process. Discernment means listening for and reflecting on what we hear God calling the parish to be and to do. It means prayer. Let’s keep praying The Lord’s Prayer together. It is perfect for us now and always: “…Thy will be done…”
“Discernment brings about a sense of peace and ‘rightness’ for the whole vestry and parish once the decision is made,” wrote Denis C. Brunelle (Vestries: Listen to God’s Call, Vestry Papers, January 2014.) I especially like that part of the article! Our parish is worth that time and that patience, so we can discern God’s will. We want to call the person who is just the right fit for St. Timothy’s.
I wish you a very happy Easter—it’s coming soon!
Joy Rouse, Senior Warden
What an eventful vestry term we have before us! As I complete my first month serving as senior warden this year, I realize it is going to be a very different experience than when I served in 2020.
Now we are in the midst of transition instead of just starting it. Thank you to our dedicated clergy and staff! Now we have lived through the most stringent Covid-19 restrictions instead of just starting them and are even cautiously relaxing selected limits. Now we have a solid video system and knowledgeable teams in place for broadcasting services, instead of just starting. This all feels like good news to me!
We have a very committed and effective discernment team working hard to find our new rector. What a huge undertaking that is! As we approach the in-person interview phase of this process, we should all continue to support these hearty souls with our prayers and praise.
Gladly it’s time for spring to be arriving soon—my brave jonquils are already beginning to poke up. Probably it’s only choir members and our spirited director, Mark Scholtz, who fully remember that winter has chosen Thursday to be a key day for snow and ice this year! You see, Thursday evenings are when we have our choir rehearsals, and we’ve stayed safely at home more than once instead of venturing out to St. Tim’s to prepare together. Better safe than sorry—thank you, Mark, for coming up with ways to stretch other times instead.
As we head into Lent, we realize that, yes, we are in the midst of unique times for St. Timothy’s. What will we add to what we already love about this parish and this church? God is listening to our prayers.
For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body - whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:13
I have heard directly and indirectly that some members of our church are very concerned that others in this church are attending BLM (Black Lives Matter) vigils and that information is regarding the vigils is included in the church’s communications. I hear two reasons for these concerns.
First, some concerned members think that we should stay out of any controversial policies or issues, perhaps to reduce conflict within our church. In a time where we see and hear conflict daily across our country, I understand the desire for peaceful and friendly fellowship at church. I believe our church celebrates diversity in thought, background, and beliefs as well as that our church is calling us into the work of racial reconciliation. So, I think we need a “both-and” where we both come together in services as a caring community, and we seek to be with our differences gently, while at the same time, standing firm with justice.
Second, some concerned members think that the support for the BLM vigils indicates that we want to defund the police, are anti-police, and/or we advocate for special treatment of Blacks over whites. A few clarifications:
- The MORR group does not have a platform or a set of advocacy objectives. We have diversity within our group about what we can and should do. Attending BLM vigils is one advocacy activity some of us support.
- The BLM vigils are organized by the West County Action Network (WE CAN - https://www.facebook.com/wecanstl) which is not affiliated with the national BLM organization. This organization has been active since 2014 in the St. Louis area and has good relationships with several police organizations with on-going dialog about safer policing practices.
- At the vigils, someone will occasionally shout from a car that “All Lives Matter”. The response from the long-term vigil members is “We agree which is why we are trying to make Black lives matter”. This aligns with their vision to create an equitable, supportive community.
I have attended vigils and find them both disheartening and uplifting. While a very small number of drivers react negatively, some react with extreme anger at those holding signs and waving. At the same time, the vigils are uplifting because the majority respond favorably with smiles, honks, and waves. By holding a sign, I believe I’m showing support for all those striving for criminal justice reform, improved education and healthcare, and the many other needs of our neighbors to live full and happy lives.
If you have these concerns or others, I’d like to have a conversation. Not so I can convince you to change your mind, but so I can understand your concerns. Please contact me- Amy Conard (firstname.lastname@example.org) or reach out to Tony Corey or Lance Kramer who both attend the BLM vigils when possible but also offer up conversation as well.
Bishop Johnson released a statement this week that started with these words:
"Dear Siblings in Christ:
We are all tired. We are all weary. We are all worn. This has been a difficult journey...."
Yes, sir, we are -- and thanks for recognizing that.
These are difficult times. We are exhausted and we long for a return to "normal." We may even wonder what God wants from us in all of this uncertainty. It isn't just the pandemic. It's a divided nation. It's a new rector search. It's grief. It's the underlying fear of the unknown. What we must remember is this: God is very near to us and that God will never leave or forsake us.
Due to a December 27th directive from Bishop Johnson's office, we must make some changes to our protocols at St. Timothy's, effective immediately. Some of the changes include, but are not limited to the following:
+ Masks that cover both the nose and mouth must be worn in the building at all times, not just during worship services.
+ Contact tracing is required for all church events, including meetings and worship.
+ Communal meals and coffee hours are suspended.
+ Parish meetings must allow for social distancing or be held by videoconference.
+ Worship services will be limited to under an hour.
The staff is working hard to implement these changes and we ask for your patience (and for a little bit of extra grace) as we follow Diocesan guidelines. Please do not be offended if we ask you to put on a mask or to adjust yours. Please do not get angry if we have to cancel a meeting or limit attendance or ask you for your contact information. Please check your emails from St. Timothy's, frequently, because we will use email to notify the parish of any changes to upcoming events.
We are called to love one another, and that, itself, is an act of Christian charity and faith.
The entirety of Bishop Johnson's letter can be read HERE.
God bless each and every one of you as we pass through these waters.
Thank you for being kind. Thank you for being patient.
God is very near to you.
December 9, 2021
Dear friends –
I send you tidings of comfort and joy as we anticipate the coming of our Lord Jesus into our hearts this Christmas. After a meeting last week with our bishop and members of the Bishop’s Task Force on the Pandemic, the following changes have been made to the Christmastide schedule that was mailed to you earlier this month.
First, we will now offer two (2) Christmas Eve Services: 4:30 PM & 7:00 PM to promote safer social distancing than could be achieved with one service.(The later service of Holy Eucharist service actually begins at 7:30, following a half-hour of seasonal music.) At Bishop Johnson's direction, all people aged 3 and above will be required to wear masks while on campus.
Some of you may be wondering about whether there will be a pageant this year. The answer is YES, but it will occur on the Sunday when we observe the Feast of the Epiphany: January 9th at 10:00 AM. This will be a "one service Sunday" and the pageant will occur during the service, replacing the homily. There are two reasons for this. The first is theological: The Wise Men were not at the manger on Christmas Eve. (That happened on The Epiphany.) Secondly, we did not want to overburden families with rehearsals before Christmas and we hope that by January 9th, more of our young people will have been vaccinated and able to participate.
Please refer to your Tim’s Times for any updates to our service schedules. We appreciate your patience and ask for a bit of extra grace as we continue to navigate these unpredictable times and try to keep each other safe.
Warmest Christmas greetings to you and those you love,
The Rev. Elizabeth Gordon Meade, Interim Rector
12/24 - Christmas Eve: 4:30 & 7:00 PM Holy Eucharist
12/25- Christmas Day: 10:00 AM Holy Eucharist
12/26 - Christmas 1: 10:00 AM Holy Eucharist
1/2 - Christmas II: 9:00 AM Holy Eucharist (Contemporary) & 10:45 AM Holy Eucharist (Traditional)
1/9 - The Feast of the Epiphany: 10:00 AM Holy Eucharist and Epiphany Pageant