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 (email@example.com) 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
St. Timothy's, in compliance with the CDC recommendations for indoor spaces, and to keep each other safe, we require masks to be worn in all parts of the building during church gatherings and worship services regardless of your vaccination status.
As we seek to act for the common good, we set aside our personal preferences and/or convictions about our "rights to personal expression" by masking up while in the building.
Beginning Sunday, December 5th coffee hour will be held in the Gathering Space with disposable cups and limited snacks.
Love God. Love your neighbor. Stay safe.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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,