Have I Told You Lately?

Have I told you lately that I love you? Well, Darlin’, I’m telling you now.

Mary Chiles Two-minute read.   Resources
Image credit: Gary Allman

Recently I said goodbye to a longtime friend and co-worker. I’m not sure that we’ll meet again on this earth. The words of an old Willie Nelson standard just came out of my mouth. Kind of corny, right? And yet the words were so right that we nearly wept with the truth of them.

The words just came out of my mouth. Because they were true. This friend and I have had a lot of interaction over the years. That’s code for sometimes it’s been rough—still code for the reality that all relationships have their ups and downs, aches and pains, joys and heartaches. Isn’t that the nature of love?

In this leave-taking suddenly I was poignantly aware of how much our friendship meant to me. I realized that at the heart of it all was love.

Have I told you lately that I love you? Well, Darlin’, I am telling you now.

Willie Nelson

So even if you’ve got reasons to be angry or hurt, don’t ignore the love. By all means acknowledge the importance of boundaries. Speak the truth kindly. And in the midst of the messiness of true friendship, tell them how you feel.

Mary Chiles serves on the vestry at Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield Missouri.

Area Confirmations at Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage

Gary Allman Two-minute read.   Resources

On Saturday April 21, 2018, Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage, hosted diocesan Area Confirmations.
Image: Gary Allman

On Saturday April 21, 2018, Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage hosted diocesan Area Confirmations. Taking part were members of Christ Church, Springfield; Grace, Carthage; St. Nicholas, Noel; St. Philips Joplin and All Saints, Nevada.


 

Those Being Confirmed

  • Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield: Emily Cobb, Isabelle Dunn, Esperanze Garza, Jacob Heuett. Lauren Hoaglin.
  • Grace, Carthage: Kassandra Gonzalez, Pamela Williams, Michael Sisson, Elaine Wurst, Dana Frazier, Cynthia Martin, Max Hill, Cheryl Hill.
  • St. Nicholas, Noel: The names of those presented are not currently available.
  • St. Philip’s, Joplin: Ryland Dermott, Adam Turney, Nicholas Turney, Stacy Turney.
  • All Saints, Nevada: LeAnnis Fox, Justin Pryor, Ashley Melech, Mary Norman, Jessica Stone, Cheryl Martin, Roy Norman, Mark George.

Those Being Received

  • Grace Carthage: Maria Cruz Gonzalez, Polo Portillo.

Please note that you can click/tap on any of the above pictures to see a bigger picture. You can also download print quality images from the diocesan Flickr page.

Gary Allman is Communications Director with The Diocese of West Missouri

Resources

Back to Contents

  • Flickr Album:

Introducing The Rev. Mark Ohlemeier

Mark Ohlemeier was ordained into the Sacred Order of Presbyters at Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield on Saturday, January 13, 2018.

The Rev. Mark Ohlemeier Two-minute read.   Resources

The ordination of Mark Ohlemeier into the Sacred Order of Presbyters at Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield
Image: Gary Allman

As the grandson of an Episcopal priest, I was raised with a healthy faith in the risen Christ. I regularly attended church with my family, went to Sunday school, served as an acolyte, and my parents instilled within me a strong belief in the love of God and of my role as a servant to the Lord. Throughout my childhood, however, there was a small, quiet voice in the back of my mind calling me to something even greater, but that voice gradually faded as I replaced it with other interests during my adolescence and college years.

I stopped attending church while I was in college, enjoying a new found freedom to make my own choices, but a few years after my graduation I felt as though something was missing in my life. I returned to regular Sunday worship and was instantly reminded of God’s unfailing love for me, even during those times when I was distant. Furthermore, the soft voice I had heard as a child returned, but I quickly dismissed it as simply a fanciful notion from my past. I eventually married a wonderful woman, and a couple years later we were blessed with a beautiful daughter. My new family became faithful and devoted members of the church, and as far as I was concerned, that was enough — more than I deserved — and each day I thanked the Lord for everything I had been given in my life.

The quiet and small voice, however, continued unabated. I tried to satisfy it by getting more involved in various lay ministries — lector, vestry member, ceremonial verger, etc. — but the urge for more would not cease. I also began to perceive similar suggestions from family members and friends, people who saw some sort of pastoral quality within me that I could not see and had been denying for years. The heavens then converged when I was facing a decision in my employment and a crossroads in my life. I was having a very difficult time ignoring the voice this time. After countless hours of consultation with family and clergy, and even more time spent in deep personal prayer, I entered the discernment process to convince myself whether or not ordained ministry was the path where God was leading me to.

I emerged from discernment with a confidence that the priesthood was, indeed, what God was calling me to pursue. My three years of seminary at the School of Theology in Sewanee, Tennessee, were some of the most joyous in my life, even with all the struggles and heartbreak and challenges that I faced during this time. I was ordained to the diaconate on June 17, 2017, in Grace Cathedral in Topeka, Kansas — coincidentally, my sending parish — and was ordained to the priesthood on January 13, 2018, at Christ Church in Springfield in the warm embrace of the congregation where I have been serving as curate. And through it all, I have continued to be surrounded by a loving and supportive group of family and friends, a body of Christ that, as I look back, has been with me on every step of my journey. I can only hope and pray that this new chapter in my life is devoted to reflecting on all of the blessings I have been given throughout the years, and that I may be strengthened to spread the joy of God’s love and mercy to others.

The Rev. Mark Mark Ohlemeier is Assistant Rector at Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield.


Resources

Back to Contents

Area Confirmations at St. John’s, Springfield

Gary Allman One-minute read.   Resources


On the afternoon of Sunday October 22, 2017, Confirmations and Reaffirmations into the Episcopal Church were held at St. John’s in Springfield. Churches taking part were: Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield and St. John’s Episcopal Church, Springfield. Image credit: Gary Allman

Confirmations, and a reaffirmation were held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Springfield on Sunday, October 22, 2017. At the service members of St. John’s and Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield were confirmed.

Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield

Presentation of the candidates from Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield Image credit: Gary Allman

Confirmed: Rachael Dockery, Gwen Kearns, Abram McGull.

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Springfield

Presentation of the candidates from St. John’s Episcopal Church, Springfield Image credit: Gary Allman

Confirmed: Steven Freeman, Eric Swanson.
Reaffirmed: Amy Smith.

Gary Allman is Communications Director with The Diocese of West Missouri.

Resources

Back to Contents