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iSeek The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri

     Wednesday, May 15, 2013

We give thanks for Church of the Ascension, Northwoods (1890) and Marc, their priest. In our companion diocese of Lui
we give thanks for the seven archdeaconries of the diocese: Lui, Buagyi, Mideh, Minga, Kediba, Wandi, Lakamadi.


Processing out of St. Matt's, into Grace

About 100 celebrated the last Sunday at St. Matthew's in Warson Woods on May 12. Parishioners and their families, friends from churches around the diocese, present and former clergy, all gathered for Eucharist, and leave-taking from St. Matt's, before joining Grace Kirkwood next Sunday.

There could not be a better reading than this for our last Sunday before we join with our brothers and sisters in Christ at Grace. Today we have Jesus praying to the Father in what is known as the "farewell discourse" (John 14-17). To hear Jesus praying for his disciples to be intimately connected and united as he and the Father are connected and united, is profound. Jesus isn't just praying for his disciples immediately before his death. He is praying for all his disciples that come after his resurrection and ascension. That means that Jesus is praying for us. For you, for me, for all of us sitting here, for all those sitting at Grace, for all the disciples throughout all the world, and throughout all time. In Jesus' prayer, the past, present, and future intertwine. In Jesus' prayer, we hear his desire that we become completely one. --from Rector Doris Westfall's sermon.

Photos: Vestry member Bob Schaefer, Rector Doris Westfall, Assisting priest Keith Raske at the close of Sunday's service at St. Matt's, credit Richard Corbet; Westfall and assisting priest Nathaniel Pyron at Eucharist; St. Matt's members before and after the service.

  • Video of St. Matt's last Sunday includes Westfall's sermon
  • Photos from the last Sunday service
  • Wednesday the 15th was moving day, photos as some of St. Matt's treasures arrive at Grace

Deacons in the diocese

by the Rt. Rev. Wayne Smith, Bishop of the Diocese of Missouri

In the ordination service for deacons, there comes a point when the candidate stands facing the bishop, who addresses him or her with these words:

My brother, every Christian is called to follow Jesus Christ, serving God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. God now calls you to a special ministry of servanthood directly under your bishop. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely. (BCP, 543)

This is an important paragraph for the life and ministry of deacons, and indeed, for the whole Church. Any appearances to the contrary, a deacon’s ministry is not primarily a parish ministry, even when the parish provides the venue for his or her work. The diaconate is first of all a diocesan ministry and, specifically, it comes directly under the bishop’s purview. This understanding of the diaconate aligns with the deep tradition of the Church and with our own Church’s canons. One ancient document describes a deacon as the ear, mouth, heart, and soul of the bishop. Elsewhere in antiquity, the community of deacons is described as if a sort of “special forces,” answerable directly to the bishop and responsive to the needs for ministry wherever needed.

My practice of appointing deacons, to this point, has allowed deacons, once ordained, the possibility of returning to their communities of origin. Most deacons, in fact, serve in their home parishes. With increasing numbers in our community of deacons, and with an eye to what the ordination rite and the tradition suggest, I thought it time to consider expanding the options. So just before Holy Week I met with the community of deacons to discuss the matter with them. They uniformly supported the idea, and many were eager to explore the possibilities.

The geographical realities (no other parish close by) or the presence of specialized ministries will mean that some will continue to serve the parish which identified them for ordained ministry in the first place. And I have no intention of appointing or reappointing a deacon to any venue without consulting the deacon involved and the rector or priest in charge. That being said, I do intend to appoint some deacons outside home parishes. This, it seems to me, is a next step in developing the robust and flexible servant leadership which our Diocese deserves from our deacons.

Most months the bishop writes a column released to parishes for inclusion in Sunday bulletins or newsletters. This column on deacons was May's offering. Archives of past columns are available online.


Missional legacy begins with four $15k gifts

When we were discerning our future, said Doris Westfall, part of our question became, what do we want our legacy to be. That missional legacy was kicked-off on Sunday with four checks for $15,000 each, presented to ministries and non-profits that St. Matt's members were involved with and supported.

  • Trinity Episcopal Church St. Louis food ministry, Director Adrienne Fly, St. Matt's parishioners Bob and Audrey Moller
  • All Saints' Episcopal Church Music and Arts Village: priest Michael Dunnington and All Saints' senior warden, St. Matt's Crancer family: Joan Crancer, Lester A. Crancer III, Susie Crancer along with organist Bobbie Reese
  • St. Martha's Hall: Michelle Shiller-Baker executive director, St. Matt's Bob and Doris Schaefer
  • Magdalene St. Louis: Rebecca Ragland, Magdalene's board member and associate priest at Holy Communion, St. Matt's Tuesday Women's Prayer group-Audrey Moller, Betty Shepherd, Merle Kind, Marlowe Meyers, Kit Kelley, Terri Gilson, Joan Norman

The video of parts of Sunday's service includes these presentations.

Photo of the presentation to Magdalene St. Louis with 6 of the 7 St. Matt's women's prayer group members and Rebecca Ragland, credit Richard Corbet.


Lui Diocese synod meets

Diocese of Lui (South Sudan) held its 6th Diocesan Synod between April 8-10, 2013. Synod attracted members from all seven archdeaconries of the diocese as well as representatives from Juba and Mundri to the meeting at Fraser Memorial Cathedral in Lui. This was Bishop Stephen’s first diocesan meeting since becoming bishop on June 26, 2011.  He explained the diocese holds a general assembly (synod) once every three years. In between synods, they convene an annual meeting known as Diocesan Standing Committee. In addition to considering new business, Standing Committee meetings follow-up on the work of synod--has the work been implemented or not, and if not why not--and offer suggestions on the way forward.

You can read more about some diocesan staff changes on LuiNetwork.

--Evelyn Smith
Chair, Companion Relationship Committee


Grace's Tour de Food II

  • Saturday, June 15, 7:30 AM (rain date:
    June 22)
  • Ride begins and ends at Grace Church Kirkwood
  • $20 / person, collected on the day of the event
  • Reservations are required, contact Ron Ryan in advance.

Cyclists invited to be a part of this fun 10-mile or 20-mile bicycle ride along Grant's Trail. We'll have lots of great food at stops along the way and a breakfast feast at the end. The event begins and ends at Grace Church and proceeds go to Grace's Legacy Fund, with use designated for community outreach. Adults and youth over 18, plus children above 12 if accompanied by a parent or guardian, are welcome. Bike and helmet required. We have two alternative routes (primarily on Grants Trail):  "Ramblers" enjoy a casual ride for 10 miles, and the “Striders” will ride at a brisk pace for 20 miles.

More at


DAH on Saturday's house tour

Deaconess Anne House is on this Saturday's Old North St. Louis House & Community Tour. Billed as the biggest community celebration of the year in Old North, the tour features historic homes, several new businesses in the Crown Square buildings and the five "Sustainable Land Lab" demonstration projects featured widely in the media. Add in the neighborhood's community gardens, and the 100th birthday of Crown Candy Kitchen, and it's a full menu.

When & Where:  10AM to 4PM  The registration table will be at Crown Square corner plaza, at 2719 N 14th Street (63106), across the street from Crown Candy Kitchen. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 on the day of the tour, which includes a scoop of free Crown Candy ice cream at the end of the tour. You can purchase tickets online and read more about the event at the Old North website or on their Facebook event.

Deaconess Anne House director Jon Stratton notes that there will be an additional open house for diocesan members in July, when the rooms are completed. Watch iSeek for details.



Saturday May 18th from 8am-1pm in St. John's Tower Grove parish hall: La Leche League Fundraiser Rummage Sale. St. John's will host a bake sale/coffee sale during the rummage sale. Lots of of gently used baby, children's, and household items.

TREC (Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church) invites conversation through website and social media. Watch these channels for questions, reports on task force progress--and engage in an ongoing dialogue.

In inviting conversation and engagement, the Rev. Joseph Chambers said, "It is our desire that our website and social media pages serve as tools for conversation and a platform for sharing information; a bridge to connect every Episcopalian with the work TREC has ahead. As we share a common love for our beloved Episcopal Church, we invite you to invest in this process. Join us, and share your thoughts, ideas, dreams and hopes for The Episcopal Church you would like to see." Other contact information includes:, Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church, PO Box 11641, St Louis, MO 63105-1641.

+ Processional out of St. Matt's, into Grace
+ Bishop Wayne on Deacons
+ Mission legacy begins: 60K
+ Lui Diocese synod meets
+ Tour de Food II
+ Deaconess Anne on Old North House Tour
+ Newsline
Life of the Diocese

May 17 - 18, Episcopal School for Ministry - Summer Term

Sun, May 19, Pentecost

Sun, May 19, Bishop's visitation to St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ladue

Sun, May 19, 5PM Shepley Series at Christ Church Cathedral Collegium Vocale, Dr. Bruce Carvell, Music Director, free and open to the public.

Sun, May 19, 7- 7:30 PM Compline Service Compline Service, Poetry and Prose, Meditation and Music, Community and Quiet.

Thu, May 23, 5- 7PM Standing Committee, St. Martin's, Ellisville

Sat, May 25, 10AM - 3PM Commission on Ministry St. Martin's, Ellisville

Discernment Conference
  • June 2-3, 2013
  • held at Marianist Center
  • All registrations must be received by Friday, May 17
  • Sponsored by the COM (Commission on Ministry)
  • open to candidates, postulants, aspirants, and those contemplating discernment for ministry.
  • If you are interested in learning about discernment for ministry in this diocese, if you are already in the process, or if you are a priest or deacon new to the diocese and think you will be overseeing discernment processes in your congregation; this conference is for you.

    In addition to talks by the bishop, clergy, and laity of the diocese, there will be time for questions, fellowship, and sharing.

    Registration form online:
    PDF, DOC.

    New Ventures Grants

    June 3, 2013 deadline for submitting abstracts to the Committee, via the
    Offices of the Bishop.

    New Ventures in Community Ministries Grants challenge congregations to make a difference where they are and to improve the quality of life in and with their communities.

    These diocesan grants are meant to be start-up funds to develop new projects. The projects should be do-able, manageable, replicable, and sustainable by congregations.

    Grant awards range from a minimum of $2,500.00 to a maximum of $15,000.00.

    Download PDFs of the
    Grant Guidelines and the
    Grant Announcement and Timeline

    Camp Phoenix

    Camp Phoenix, the official summer camp of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, takes place this year Sunday, July 28, through Saturday, August 3.

    Campers swim, ride horses, hike, canoe, and participate in crafts, archery, and an outdoor adventure course. Each day includes a joyful spiritual connection to our Episcopal faith.

    Registration deadline is May 31, via the registration link on the website, where ALL of the information can be found:

    Prayer Resources
    Daily Office/ Lectionary

    Daily Office(incorporating prayers from Holy Women, Holy Men and images)
    Mission St. Clare
    Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) using the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (NRSV):;
    The Book of Common Prayer includes downloadable and smart phone versions.
    Oremus Bible Resource includes comparisons of versions including the NRSV.
    Holy Women, Holy Men is downloadable in entirety as a PDF.
    Forward Movement: Forward Day By Day meditation; Daily Office; set your own personalized Daily Prayer Preferences. Access three different versions of The Liturgical Calendar.

    Suggest a resource.

    Join the Table

    You're invited to an online networking space for members of the diocese called the table project. It's a place for working group collaboration, for meeting & communicating between face to face meetings--or with folks from churches miles away.

    This week on the table:

  • Feeding/Garden ministries working group getting set up
  • Communications group discussions on free/low cost tools for parishes
  • Ongoing discussions on copyright, and parishes who use Wordpress for their websites
  • It's a private, ad-free area, and diocesan members are invited to register and explore

    Watch a video that describes the philosophy of the space.

    More info...


    Handier than an app, you can use your smartphone browser (one fewer app to download and keep track of).

    The diocesan smartphone widget gathers this in one location for you:
    +Diocesan front page news
    +Diocesan calendar
    +Weekly iSeek news
    +LuiNotes blog
    +Photos and Videos-notice when uploaded
    +Facebook page updates
    +Twitter prayers and news
    +Parish Directory
    +New on the wiki
    +the Deputation's blog

    Download the URL directly to your smartphone using this QR code:


    Diocesan News
    Diocesan Calendar
    Subscribe to email lists
    Lui Network
    Deaconess Anne House
    Twubs-twitter in a browser


    The Rt. Rev. Wayne Smith
    Bishop of Missouri
    Beth Felice
    Director of Communications
    Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
    314-255-1387; 314-398-2209 (cell and SMS)
    iSeek, weekly news,
    Seek (quarterly) and The Bishop's Column(monthly).

    + Processional out of St. Matt's, into Grace
    + Bishop Wayne on Deacons
    + Mission legacy begins: 60K
    + Lui Diocese synod meets
    + Tour de Food II
    + Deaconess Anne on Old North House Tour
    + Newsline

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    Making Disciples * Building Congregations * For the Life of the World

    The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
    1210 Locust Street, 3rd Floor
    St. Louis, Missouri 63103
    phone: 314-231-1220