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iSeek from the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Emmanuel Moru Church, Sosthen and Veronica, and the Shoes project

by Deacon Deborah Goldfeder, R.N., missioner to Lui, and chair of the diocesan Companion Diocese Committee. Photo taken outside the Emmanuel Moru Church at Kiryandango refugee camp in Uganda. The priests now living there from Lui Diocese are in blue clerical shirts. In the center is Sosthen, Ismail to his right. Photo from May 2016 by Anne Powell, Lui Mission Partner from Blackmore Vale Deanery, Church of England.

Husbands and wives were rarely seen together in South Sudan, but Sosthen and Veronica were different. Sosthen was a priest in the Diocese of Lui, but he was also a trained HIV/AIDS counselor and worked at the Lui Hospital. Veronica was a nurse who also worked in pediatrics at the hospital. When I was in South Sudan for six months, and on subsequent trips, I was so grateful she was there because I found myself in the same department. I knew nothing about pediatrics or tropical diseases, so I depended on her a great deal.

They invited me into their home, shared meals with me, and gave me bananas from their garden.

I was distressed when civil war broke out [late 2013] and learned that Sosthen and Veronica had fled to Uganda as refugees. Together they began a new ministry in the Kiryandongo Refugee Camp which is known as Emmanuel Moru Church. The church is a thriving one with many converts and baptisms. Things seemed to be going well. Veronica was the head of the Mother’s Union and was also nursing there, but the people of the refugee camp soon discovered the scourge of the Jigger flea.

Female Jigger fleas burrow into skin most frequently on feet that come in contact with the earth. The egg sac swells under the skin until they are extruded out onto the skin and back into the earth. The embedded female dies and the deflated egg sac becomes infected leading to sepsis and occasionally gangrene. Veronica is spending most of her time cutting out the fleas and their egg sacs in an effort to prevent these infections.

The Companion Diocese Committee has begun working toward several interventions that will allow Veronica to treat those already afflicted by Jiggers, as well as measures to prevent further infestations. The committee has been working with multiple agencies and the Ugandan government for approval of the specific items we hope to ship. As soon as we receive approval, we will be sending out all the information to the people in the Diocese of Missouri for those items we will send to the refugees.

We face an immense task, but trust that the people of the diocese will come together to fill a 20-foot container with the supplies they need.  Our goal is to have the container on its way by mid to late August. The need is great!


Update on the Shoes project

News tonight from Companion Diocese Committee chairperson Deb Goldfeder that, "We are almost ready to start collecting items to ship! There are some details to work out yet but we are getting closer."

All Saints Church in St. Louis' vestry has given permission to be the staging area where we will pack the giant cardboard boxes ('Gaylords') in the choir room.

The Rev. Chris Cobb of St. Matthew's Church in Mexico and Dr. Maria Evans, postulant and member of Trinity Church in Kirksville are moving the 2,000 lbs. of Gaylords from Hannibal to Montgomery City this coming Monday, before getting them to All Saints in the near future.

The committee will soon have ready bulletin inserts and materials for learning more about the project and our relationship with Lui Diocese, and specifics about how and what items we are sending. This material will be posted on the website, and emailed to parish contacts. If you're not sure you're on the parish communications email list, but you want to stay on top of this project, email Beth Felice and we'll make sure you stay in the loop with information as it becomes available.


A prayer for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

Almighty God, in silence our souls wait before You. Forgive us our violence, fed by our fear, distrust, and hatred and for all the ways we seek to hurt each other. Forgive us for celebrating violence as a way of life rather than denouncing it as the way of death. You, Lord, called us to life, light, love, and compassion: awaken us to the call of your gospel to turn our hearts to peace. Give justice to the oppressed, and bring the oppressor to repentance. Guide us, O Jesus, and heal the wounds of our hearts, comforting the cries of those who mourn. Send your Spirit upon all who watch, wait, or weep this day, to comfort those who cry is to you. Amen.

Prayer from postulant to the priesthood, Leslie Scoopmire, who publishes a daily prayer on her blog Abiding Hope and social media sites. Today's prayer was #1262.

The Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism and Reconciliation, Stephanie Spellers, commended a prayer resource authored by St. Tim's rector Marvin Foltz and assistant to the rector Heidi Carter Clark, written in response to the shooting death of Mike Brown in Ferguson.

"Many Episcopalians wonder what our tradition offers to support communities in prayer, in action and in grief, in the wake of the killings of our black brothers Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Here is a link to a comprehensive resource created by the Union of Black Episcopalians in Atlanta. I will be praying with these pages in the coming days."

Download   Prayers for Ferguson, Prayers for our Lives Together: a resource for individuals and congregations.

From the preamble: The Young Adults in the Union of Black Episcopalians wrote a statement in August [2014] responding to the events in Ferguson, and inviting the church to respond. Their call to act, to remember, and to pray provides the foundation for this resource. We invite your use of this for individual or corporate prayer.


making disciples


Trinity CWE offers online daily prayer

They began on July 1, members of Trinity Church CWE praying the Daily Offices of Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline. Each day's recordings are posted before 5 AM.

"Want to do the Daily Offices at home, but need help navigating the prayer book? Want to maintain a prayer discipline but don't know where to start? "

You can find Virtual Daily Prayer online through Soundcloud, available on your laptop or phone through an app.

"You can listen to the prayers on your commute, during your morning coffee, or at the gym. You can pray along with a prayer book, or just listen and let the words soak in."


Episcopal School for Ministry bulletin inserts for July 9/10

Linked below you'll find the bulletin inserts sent to parishes (by email) from the Episcopal School for Ministry for inclusion this weekend, July 9/10. Learn more about the role of ESM in this diocese and their upcoming offerings.

Half sheets, Whole sheets


building congregations


Vacation Bible School at St. Tim's and Holy Cross

Next week! Vacation Bible School at St. Timothy's

Join us for dinner, games, music, and building our faith! Each evening we will focus on a different story about food from the New Testament. We will create art, and engage in mission projects to help address hunger in our own communities. This program is FREE. Free child care is available for siblings 4 and under, and guests and visitor are always welcome. Please call the church office M-F between 9:00 - 3:00 at 314-434-5906 with any questions.

In August at Holy Cross Church in Poplar Bluff

  • August 8-12
  • 9am-1pm

They are using S.P.Y. Parables from LeaderResources. Holy Cross rector Annette Joseph writes, "The theme is based on parables from Matthew and Luke and searching for the Kingdom of God--how we are spies for God when we read and interpret scripture.  There are some wonderful ideas around service and what it means to put our faith into action in serving others.  Tuesday we will be going to the nursing home, as friends are a pearl of greatest price. Wednesday we will be helping out at the food pantry, because we have the faith of a mustard seed. Thursday we will be working with the art museum to discover God in creation separating the wheat from the tares and making a public prayer banner to post outside our church. Friday we will make communion bread and talk about how yeast leavens bread (our bread is not rising bread). Monday will introduce the concept of being spies whenever we interpret scripture. Awesome Fun! Your questions answered at


Changing of the Clergy

June 26th was a tremendous day of celebration around the diocese with the final Sunday services of Rector Dan Appleyard at Emmanuel, Vicar Marc Smith at Ascension and Dean Mike Kinman at the Cathedral. Links to galleries of photos and sound files and texts from the day are on the diocesan Facebook page, where you will also find some images of the Episcopal presence at the STL Pride parade.

Last Sunday announcements were made at Emmanuel and Transfiguration. Emmanuel will welcome the Rev. Doris Westfall as interim rector beginning on September 1. She will wind up her work with St. Luke's in Manchester as their interim later this month.

And Transfiguration's vestry announced they have called the Rev. Lu-Anne Conner who comes to Missouri from her recent post at Christ Church in Gardiner, in the Diocese of Maine. Her work with Transfiguration also begins on Sept. 1.


A special Sunday at St. Paul's

  • July 10, 2016, 10 AM

The next-to-last Sunday of St. Paul Carondelet's priest Robert Ard is also the dedication of the second and third icons of Mary and St. Paul, joining the icon of Jesus over the altar. Written by artist and St. Paul's member Evan T. Smith, he's completed one each summer between his coursework in art at Webster University. The third icon had St. Paul's members young and old brushing on paint and prayers, supervised by Evan. He's even made a video about the whole process which will be shown first on Sunday the 10th and available to view online afterwards.

The installation and blessing will be during the regular 10 AM Sunday service. Also being installed is a ceramic basin that will sit in the baptismal font created by artist and St. Paul's member Jennifer Higerd. Sneak peeks of the icons and baptismal font piece are online and on St. Paul's Facebook event page.



The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr. died on Wednesday, June 29. The former Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina (1990-2008), the 19th Dean and President of Nashotah House (seminary), and President of the Anglican Digest served as rector of the Church of St. Michael and St. George from 1978-1989. His funeral was held at St. Michael and St. George at on July 7.

May his soul, and the souls of all the departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Congratulations to the Rev. Steve Lawler who in addition to serving as rector of St. Stephen's in Ferguson has been chosen to lead Eden Seminary's new Walker Leadership Institute as the founding director. The Institute plans to bring "together top business, faith-based and leadership educators to offer a variety of certificate courses, executive-level classes and educational programs, including a Master of Arts in Community Leadership." More on this news.

The SAJE (Seniors at Advent, Justin Martyr, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary) monthly Lunch and Learn program welcomes as speaker Imam Eldin Susa of the Saint Louis Islamic Center NUR. He will speak about Islam and the presence of Bosnian Muslims in Saint Louis on Thursday, July 14 at Advent Church in Crestwood.  10:45 AM program followed by a Halal lunch. RSVP (for food count) appreciated.

Shirley Tochluk, author of Witnessing Whiteness, is at the Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center, St. Louis YWCA at 5:30 on July 14. She'll be discussing her new book, Living in the Tension: The Quest for a Spiritualized Racial Justice. Free but RSVP is required. Email . Link to the flyer.

Facilities Manager Sought. The Cathedral is currently seeking an experienced facilities manager to care about and take care of our sacred and historic building. If you know someone who would be interested, please read and download the linked job description. The deadline is  July 15  to submit an application.

Breaking news as this newsletter is sent of renewed and heavy gun battles in Juba, South Sudan, and a request from Moru friends to keep praying for them. Sudan Tribune article, July 8.

In our diocesan cycle of prayers, we pray for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Sikeston (1947).

In our companion diocese of Lui, South Sudan, we pray for vocational work in the Diocese of Lui, and Darius.

Pray for peace in South Sudan. Pray for the Moru in Lui Diocese and in the diaspora.


Vacation Bible School

VBS in the diocese 2016, list at Add yours! Mail


Diocesan publications
Publisher: The Rt. Rev. Wayne Smith, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri

Editor: Beth Felice,
Director of Communications
office: 314-255-1387
cell & SMS: 314-398-2209


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