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
It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that I must announce that the Vestry has accepted my request to set in motion a timeline for my retirement as your Rector this summer. The Bishop will receive formal notice from the Wardens and the Church Pension Fund will get to work on setting up my transition. They require that notice be given three months in advance for benefits to begin.
I will be actively engaged in the ministry of the parish until the end of June and then I will go on vacation and sabbatical until the three months is completed on August 15.
One great factor in this decision is my health. I am a diabetic and at great risk for the COVID-19 virus. I am unwilling to put my health and the health of my family at risk of this disease. I need to give greater attention to my health in general and to my diet, medication, and exercise to delay the progress of my illness.
May 25th will be the 27th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in Christ’s One, Holy and Apostolic Church. My work has been very fulfilling and life giving. The work is also very demanding. I cannot help but be touched by your lives. I feel your sorrows and your joys. We have worked together to shine Christ’s light in the world. I will continue to serve Christ and this parish with all my heart until the last day of my active duty. I will hold you in my love for the rest of my life.
I am also ready to spend more time in rest and renewal. How and when I will be able to be in the physical presence of my mother and the rest of my family, especially my grandchildren, Penny, Randy, and William, is uncertain. You can be certain that I long for that day. It feels strange to spend so much time with our dearest ones virtually. I am praying for hugs.
I would be remiss if I failed to appreciate and honor my longsuffering wife and partner Cindy. She will be relieved of the invisible and challenging burden of being a Rector’s wife. She has borne with me when my attention was on my work, when I was absent from family gatherings and holidays, and when I was in the way of the full expression of her passion for justice. She is my love and my strongest ally. I want to be free to renew and deepen our love.
St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church is the bearer of a rich tradition. You have loved one another long and well. You are a blessing to this community. You have strong leaders in the Vestry and Wardens. You have faithful and skilled staff leaders. You have a vibrant ministries. And you have Jesus our Lord.
Be faithful. Keep loving and learning. Look to God. Do not be afraid.
In Christ Jesus,
The Reverend Marvin Lee Foltz
Thank you to all who joined in our celebration of Christmas this year and all who participated in the services including the children in the pageant, worship service participants, and musicians.
Photos from the 5 p.m. service
Photos from the 10 p.m. service
Dear Friends of Saint Timothy:
I invite you all to the celebration of a holy Christmas. We are still in Advent, but we are already greeting one another with “Merry Christmas” and carols fill the air reminding us to be jolly. I take great delight in this and my heart swells with sweet memories of Christmases past. As sweet as these are there is something more. Christmas is far greater than merriment, joviality, or an easy joy. There is a deeper and more sober joy to be found here. In this holy feast we open ourselves to what is happening within us: in virtue of our baptism, Jesus continues to be born and grow us. In our flesh we participate in God’s life when we embrace the gift that was given in the Incarnation. Christ within us gives us power to patiently and courageously live God’s life in the world. Each one of us, in the varying, and sometimes difficult circumstances of our lives, embody the gospel we share.
Are you surprised at this? After all, the birth of Jesus did not take place under easy circumstances, but in difficulty and uncertainty. This was not what Mary might have hoped for. She was far from home, without the support and nurture of her extended family. She had heard the strange promise and welcomed it, but until she heard the angels' song pierce the night, she might have felt very much afraid. There in the darkness of the night, her child came to transform the moment. With Jesus' birth the love and all-embracing compassion of God became real, intimate and concrete as a human life.
This is what made the angels sing! This is God’s glory! This is what it is all about!
The schedule of the season is enclosed and as it is one of the holiest of seasons, I encourage all to be present to share this profound joy with us. The heart of our religion is present in these liturgies.
The seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany complete the great cycle of the Incarnation. Through God's great love the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The whole plan beginning with the creation of all things came to unfold in a human life. That life was and is pure love. It was love that brought that saving life to us. It is love that gives us the ability to hope all things and to endure all things. It was Love was that stretched his arms on the Cross. And the love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, as the Incarnation continues to unfold in and through our lives. In us the Word who is Jesus becomes flesh and blood. This is the root and ground of our joy. This is the deeper joy and truth of Christmas.
As we celebrate our Savior's birth may we be bearers, as Mary was, of this Christmas Word. We are to live as signs of God's love to our anxious and divided world. Let us give thanks that Christ, the morning star that knows no setting, continues to pierce the darkness and bring healing in his wings.
Turn. Learn. Pray. Worship. Bless. Go. Rest. These seven pillars of the Episcopal Church’s Way of Love are so appropriate to apply to this beautiful and hopeful season of Advent.
The church calendar naturally invites us to stop and turn to face the nativity in the season of Advent. We turn slowly as we follow Mary on her journey—from the archangel’s announcement to the journey to Bethlehem, to the birth of the incarnate Christ in the stable. And we are called to direct the attention of others to this scene as well, to announce this most wondrous arrival to others; to be angels swooping down on a field of shepherds. It is in the manger that we see the face of hope, the face of love, the face of God. It is a face that looks like ours, wholly human, and still wholly holy. Unparalleled to behold, and yet, still so familiar.
This is the time where our opportunities for learning and prayer can focus themselves on the world and issues at hand. Advent invites us to hold what we know about this world and what we have yet to discover in the same space. To anticipate the birth of a baby whose death and resurrection have already set us free from death and the grave, and whose return keeps us ever gazing on the horizon. We pray for an end to violence, an end to hunger, an end to suffering, for God to usher in God’s final and finest hour—for the Advent of the Kingdom Come.
Worship is a steady and reliable pillar of the Way of Love, because the main reason we show up to church every Sunday is to participate in worship. The way the church is used by the people under the leadership of the clergy should always point to the cross. It is, of course, impossible for the church to point to the cross without first pointing to the manger, to the moment of incarnation; the moment the world would cease to be what it was.
We bless one another any time we have the opportunity to serve or be served. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was the insistence that I allow another person to serve me or offer a gift or blessing to me, because in giving that permission, I was returning the blessing immediately. The holidays are made up of moments for these such opportunities. When you put your dollars in red buckets or give your time to serve the underfed, doesn’t that blessing return back to you in your sense of peace and good work? Advent is a season built for the abundance of blessing, and I encourage you to recognize those moments as they happen.
It is in the blessing that we also find our calling as Christians to “go and do likewise.” Jesus calls us again and again to follow him. We are commissioned every Sunday to exit the church and enter the mission field, and in Advent, we find ourselves called to work and service for those whose lives are lived outside, for those who go without food or other life-sustaining necessities. There are many ways in which you can get involved this season, from the Angel Tree that supports Episcopal City Mission, to Circle of Concern, or Trinity Food Pantry. A season of gift-giving must also be a season of selfless giving.
Rest seems almost futile in all of our going and doing, but this also is a season in which we must find time in our lives to just be still and rest in the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding. The best tool we have in our self-care bag is a ready-to-use plan for rest. It is in our rest that we make room for God to come in and do God’s best work: restoration, revitalization, reunification. This is why God came down in the first place.
It is my deepest hope that this season of Advent marks the beginning of a fruitful and Spirit filled church year at St. Timothy’s. I am honored that this important calendar year in my life will come to a close with you all, and that we will begin together the next year of love and ministry that is so unique to this parish and to these people. I invite you to attend all of the wonderful things that St. Tim’s is doing this season, and to find opportunities to remember the seven pillars of the Way of Love, and to also actively seek opportunities for invitation, to welcome those you haven’t met with charity and interest, and to make connections between people and their gifts and the fields of ministry for which laborers are few. May the peace of God enter your homes and your hearts as we welcome the new church year and say goodbye to the decade.
With gratitude and joy,
The Reverend Camie Dewey