The Ordination of Jeffrey Neal Stevenson

On December 12, 2018 Jeffrey Stevenson was ordained into the priesthood at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri.

Fr. Jeff Stevenson Five-minute read.   Resources
Bishop Marty and Fr. Jeff. Image credit: Gary Allman

My husband Noah and I are recent transplants to the Kansas City area from Alexandria, Virginia outside of Washington DC. We came to Missouri to accept my first call as the new Assistant Rector at St. Andrew’s, Kansas City. I recently graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) after a long-deferred call to the priesthood.

I grew up in the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) in Utah. I don’t remember knowing anyone that wasn’t LDS until I was a teenager and so my notion of what it meant to have faith was tied to that single tradition. This all changed in 1994 when I enlisted in the Navy. In the military my world opened to new realms of possibilities, to new ways of seeing the world, and to new ways of understanding what it meant to “have faith.” It was while I was in the Navy that I came to understand that faith took on many forms and I found myself exploring what it means to believe in God. Looking back on those years, I recognize now that I was being called to ordained life, but at that time I was not ready to hear or follow God’s call.

When I left active duty military, I decided to return home to Ogden, Utah where I begin working on a degree in Social Work. That plan was interrupted by the events of 9/11. My training in the Navy was in intelligence and satellite imagery, these skill sets were suddenly in high demand. I was recalled to active duty and served as an imagery analyst at the Office of Naval intelligence in Washington DC. When the yearlong recall to active duty came to an end, I accepted a position with a consulting firm in the DC area. It was not social work, but it was a way to make an impact in the world, so for the next 13 years I worked as a National Security & Intelligence consultant.

After many years of discernment, I realized I could no longer ignore the call to ordained life. In 2015 Noah and I decided it was time and so I left the intelligence community to enroll in the Master of Divinity Program at the VTS. During seminary I explored my passion for ministry in the context of trauma, writing my thesis entitled “Confession and the Moral Injuries of War.” I also worked as a chaplain at the local hospital, served as the chaplain to the Alexandria Police Department, and began working on Veterans ministries. Academically, I discovered a love of Hebrew and Aramaic; studying deeper meaning in some of my favorite Old Testament stories through translation. Most importantly, my call to walk with all of God’s people has driven me to explore my passion for the ministries of preaching, pastoral care, and community engagement.

Image credit: Gary Allman

Though we have lived in the Washington, DC area for over 15 years, Noah and I are both excited about this new adventure in Kansas City. We are thrilled to be joining St. Andrew’s and The Diocese of West Missouri family.

Meet Mother Terry Deokaran, All Saints’ West Plains, Missouri

On February 26, 2019 Mother Terry Deokaran was installed as rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, West Plains, Missouri.

The Rev. Terry Deokaran Five-minute read.   Resources

You may be asking, “Who is this Mother Terry (Teresa) Deokaran from the Diocese of Western Kansas, and how did she get to be rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in West Plains, Missouri?” Let me see if I can give you a peek into me.

The people of All Saint’s Episcopal Church, West Plains, Missouri. The installation of the Rev. Teresa Deokaran as rector on February 26, 2019. Image credit: Donna Field
Mother Terry Deokaran. Image: Facebook.com

I am a unique woman of 60 years in love with life and God. I am a woman transformed, as are many of you, through loss and love. I am single, divorced 12 years, and I have two children: Sean, 33, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Melissa, 30, in New Orleans, La. I have no grandchildren as yet. My likes include: good food, good wine, chocolate, a good book, conversation, antique shops, coffee shops, outdoor markets, pottery, plants, rocks, old buildings/barns, old churches, lovely liturgy, and God’s beautiful outdoors!

I grew up in the middle of the cornfields in the small town of Mt. Carmel, Illinois. I was baptized at age 16. I attended college in Louisiana and graduated in 1980, the same year that I was married. My married life took me to Guyana, South America (my ex-husband’s home country) and to Hammond, Louisiana.

Mother Terry Deokaran, at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, West Plains, Missouri. Image: Facebook.com

My faith journey has taken me from the Disciples of Christ Church to the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church and to the Roman Catholic Church. For 15 years following my Confirmation into Catholicism in 1998, Christ touched my soul profoundly. I was impacted by the preaching and love-filled ways of Dominican friars and sisters. I pursued and completed theological studies at Loyola Institute for Ministry in New Orleans from 2006-2010. From 2008-2011 I was in discernment with Sisters of Peace, O.P. In 2010 I moved from Louisiana to Kansas. In 2010 I undertook and completed in 2013 a three year Spiritual Direction Program at Heartland Center for Spirituality in Great Bend, Kansas, all the while working as Pastoral Minister at the Catholic Church of Barber County, Kansas, a cluster of 3 sister churches.

It was in December of 2013 that the gentle voice of God laid on my heart the thought of the Episcopal Church. As a Roman Catholic lay woman I had always desired to be at the Altar as the Roman priests were. I listened to God’s calling and I entered a chapter that changed my life. I was received into All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Notice the name!), Pratt, Kansas, on June 12, 2014. I completed a year of Anglican studies at BKSM (Bishop Kemper School of Ministry) in Topeka, Kansas. On December 12, 2015 I was ordained a deacon and on July 9, 2016, a priest. During my period of Postulancy and studies I worked full time at Larrison Mortuaries in Medicine Lodge and Pratt, Kansas. From 2016 – 2018 I served as Vicar of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Medicine Lodge, Kansas and worked full time as Manager of South Wind Thrift Shop in Pratt, Kansas.

Sisters and Brothers, God initiated and I responded. In the fall of 2018 the Spirit moved again … in the parishioners of All Saints’ Episcopal Church of West Plains, Missouri who were seeking a priest to shepherd them … and in me, a priest open to the awareness of God’s next step in my journey and seeking a family to serve and spiritually guide.

The installation of Mother Terry at All Saint’s West Plains. February 26, 2019 Image credit: Donna Field

May the meditations of my heart attuned to the Holy Spirit direct my words and actions as Mother to my new family of All Saints!

Bishop’s Day at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral

Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, hosted the northern Bishop’s Day event on March 9 this year.

Gary Allman Two-minute read.   Resources
Josh Trader leading a discussion on creating a safe church. Bishop’s Day at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. Image credit: Gary Allman
Canon Steve Opens The Day – Bishop’s Day at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. Image credit: Gary Allman

Gary Allman is Communications Director with The Diocese of West Missouri

Christian Formation

New Christian Formation resources have been developed and are now available.

Kim Snodgrass One-minute read.   Resources
Christian Formation Booth at Diocesan Convention Image: Gary Allman

We want you to get excited about formation! The Christian Formation Office is here to provide the support you need for Children, Youth, Young Adults, Adults and Generations in community together. 

Click on Christian Formation at diowestmo.org to find a collection of recommended resources and tools. Our intent is to simplify your research and organize the wealth of information available online today into a single source for individuals, families and congregations.

Kim Snodgrass (second from left) with delegates from Grace Carthage at the 2018 Diocesan Convention. Image: Gary Allman

The Ministry Handbook and Confirmation Guide introduced during convention are included!

In addition to managing the resources of this website, the Christian Formation Office is here to walk with you. Let us help you discover the unique tools you are looking for that will help you incorporate a philosophy of formational ministry and serve Christ. Please contact us at  formation@diowestmo.org  and let us know how we can further support you.  

If you have resource reviews, suggestions or can offer up a “best practice” to help others, please send them to Kim Snodgrass.

Kim Snodgrass is Assistant to the Bishop for Christian Formation..

2018 Gathering Presentations

Brief notes and useful links relating to the three Diocesan Convention Gathering presentations.

Five-minute read.   Resources

What We’re Learning About The Episcopal Church That Can Help Us Grow Spiritually

The Rev. Jay Sidebotham discusses where the church is going. Image: Gary Allman

The church, that wonderful and sacred mystery, is a community brought together by grace, as gift, not because of what church members have done, but because of what God has done in Christ. And the grace is just the starting point. The story doesn’t end there. As Annie Lamott says, the grace of God loves us enough to meet us where we are, but loves us too much to leave us there. So let me pose a few questions we must ask, prompted by the letter to the Ephesians: What is the way of life that lies before us? What is that way for our congregations, for our leaders, lay and clergy? What is the way for each person’s spiritual journey?

Resources

Inspiring Legacy Giving

John Hoskins provides information on establishing legacy giving. Image: Gary Allman

No additional information on legacy giving was available at the time of publishing. We’ll update this article when details are available.

Human Trafficking and the Sex Industry:  A Moral Challenge For The Church

Brittany Zampella details the horrific number of people involved in human trafficking. Image: Donna Field

Our Diocesan Convention was blessed to have Brittany Zampella as our speaker on Sex Trafficking.   She delivered an impassioned presentation imploring individuals to become aware of the “insidious injustice” of sex trafficking and the damage it does to trafficked victims, their families and our society.  Brittany emphasized the importance of abolishing the entire sex industry if we hope to rid ourselves of the horrific evil of young girls and women trafficked for the sole purpose of greed and male sexual gratification. 

Attendees were leaving the room after her presentation shaking their heads in disbelief that the problem of sex trafficking was so severe. Bravo and thanks to Brittany for a making a complex subject understandable. A  job well done. 

Mike McDonnell

Diocesan Convention in Pictures

The people and events of the 129th convention of The Diocese of West Missouri.

Five-minute read.   Resources
Friday, November 2. It wouldn’t be a diocesan convention if we didn’t take a group picture of all the assembled clergy (and clergy to be). Image: Gary Allman

People

Donna Parker, St. Mary Magdalene, and the Rev. Kary Man, Priest in Charge at Trinity Independence. Image: Gary Allman

The Gathering

The Rev. Jay Sidebotham discusses where the church is going. Image: Gary Allman

Convention Eucharist and Ordinations

Opening Eucharist of the 129th Convention of the Diocese of West Missouri. Image: Gary Allman

Banquet

Convention Banquet. Image: Donna Field

Business Session

Fr. Sid gets elected (we’re not sure what for…) Image: Gary Allman

Bishop’s Ball and Youth Awards 2018

Gary Allman Five-minute read.   Resources
Award Winners Image: Gary Allman

Christ Episcopal Church Springfield hosted this year’s Bishop’s Ball on Saturday November 3. There was good food, awards, and dancing to be enjoyed.

Awards

Above and Beyond Youth – Liam McKeown. Presented by Meredith Seaton. Image: Gary Allman
Outstanding Adult Volunteer – Frank Miller. Presented by Rosie Garza and Jayme Trader. Image: Gary Allman
Outstanding Youth – Jayme Trader, presented by Spencer Orr. Image: Gary Allman
Leaving a Legacy – Natalie Telep, presented by Alexandra Connors. Image: Gary Allman
Outstanding YMC Member – Amanda Colburn, presented by Krista Heuett. Image: Gary Allman
Above and Beyond Adult – Alexandra Connors, presented by Josh Trader. Image: Gary Allman
Purple Cross awarded to Fr. Jonathan Callison, St. Paul’s Kansas City. Presented by Amanda Colburn. Image: Gary Allman

Food

Dancing

Awards over, it’s time for dancing. Image: Gary Allman

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

Resources

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New Deacons

Five transitional deacons were ordained at the opening Eucharist of the 129th Convention of The Diocese of West Missouri. Find out more about them.

Gary Allman 15 minute read.   Resources
Friday, November 2. (L-R) The Rev. Bradley Heuett, the Rev. Marco Serrano, the Rev. Chandler Jackson, the Rev. Sean Kim, and the Rev Jeff Hurst with the Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field at the opening Eucharist of the 129th Convention of The Diocese of West Missouri. Image: Gary Allman

The Rev. Brad Heuett

Friday, November 2. Ordination to the diaconate of Bradley Heuett (Nearest to the camera), William Hurst, Chandler Jackson, Sean Kim, Marco Serrano at the opening Eucharist of the 129th Convention of The Diocese of West Missouri. Image: Gary Allman

I was born in Trenton, Missouri where I spent most of my growing years. I moved to Springfield in 1998 to further my higher education at Southwest Missouri State University now known as Missouri State University. While attending classes, I was fortunate to meet my wife Krista of eighteen years. We have been truly blessed by God who has given us two boys Jacob (16) and Hunter (13). We currently reside in Ozark and enjoy movies, games, and experiencing new cuisines.

One of the most important aspects of life that I hold dear is knowledge, and I think that we should always look for educational opportunities. I would consider myself a professional student, and I find myself fulfilled while sitting in a classroom. I have attended many higher-level institutions in search of knowledge and even more programs which offer certifications in a wide array of topics. I have acquired degrees in communication, respiratory therapy, and general education. The licenses, certifications, and training that I have been fortunate to attain range from Presbyteral studies, conflict and dispute resolution, mediation, Certified Respiratory Therapist, CPR instructor, and heavy track operator.

Along with my education, I have also had broad employment experiences. I have worked in many construction fields, sales, education, combat arms, and medical. My most prominent employment experience came while serving in the U.S. Army. In 2003, I enlisted and deployed to Ar Ramadi, Iraq as a Combat Engineer, and after returning home, I changed jobs to Respiratory Therapy. I finished my military career working with patients at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Not long afterward, I received what I know now as my call to ministry. In a split second, I was overcome with and became aware of all of the suffering, strife, and distress of God’s children as well as the anger I was holding in my own heart. In that moment of desperation and with tears in my eyes, I dropped to my knees and prayed for God’s guidance. The next day my search began for a reason for what I saw and felt. It took time, but it didn’t take long for me to be made aware of my path and that with God’s help, I can make a difference. I am most excited to begin my new career as a clergy member of the Episcopal church while learning how I can serve the less fortunate and spread the love of God wherever I am called.

The Rev. Jeff Hurst

Deacons Jeff Hurst,Chandler Jackson, Sean Kim, Bradley Heuett, and Marco Serrano prepare to dismiss those in attendance at the opening Eucharist of the 129th Convention of The Diocese of West Missouri. Image: Gary Allman

I am originally from Southern, Illinois and grew up in a small town of Coulterville, Illinois which had a population of 1,200 souls. My family was Methodist, and I came to experience Jesus Christ at a young age. However, it was not until the end of my junior year in high school that I took my personal discipleship seriously. Through the guidance of my Methodist pastor, Rev. Ralph Anderson, I accepted a call from God to pastoral ministry in 1974. After graduating from high school, I attended a bible college, a liberal arts college, and finally seminary, and began serving small parishes in the United Methodist Church. I served seven churches in the UMC over a span of 17 years. In 2002, my family and I were tired of the mandatory and constant relocating, so I left the UMC. .

My wife Brenda and I moved to the Kansas City area in 2006 and worked briefly with a church ministry in overseas missions until 2009. We both began working for the Park Hill School District in 2007 and continue working there today.

Having sensed a call to return to pastoral ministry for many years, in late 2014 my wife Brenda and I began exploring the Anglican way of life and worship. We found our way to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri in August of 2015, and were confirmed in November by Bishop Marty. I began my studies at BKSM in September of 2015 and graduated in May of 2018. It was thrilling to be ordained as a transitional deacon at our recent diocesan convention!

In the next 6 months, I look forward to being ordained a priest in Christ’s holy church where I can better magnify the Sacramental nature of worship, daily Christian life, and ministry. I can’t forget that John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist societies, was an ordained Anglican priest his entire life and ministry. In a way, I feel I will have come full circle when I’m ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church.

I deeply appreciate the acceptance and love we have experienced from the members at St. Mary’s Church as well as from Christ Church in St. Joseph where I’m privileged to serve for a while as a transitional deacon.

The Rev. Chandler Jackson

The Rev. Chandler Jackson gives Communion to the Rev. Paula Lively. Image: Gary Allman

Like many, my path to ordination was not a simple, straightforward journey. It took many twists and turns. My father was an Episcopal priest, graduating from seminary when I was six years old. Growing up, I was very active in the church, but wanted no part of ministry. In fact, I told God I would do anything else: music, teach, anything but pastoral ministry. Ah, but our God has a sense of humor.

During my brief stint in the Navy, I met a young lady who was of another denomination. Like most guys, I followed her and ended up becoming a minister of music in that denomination. That was fine, no pastoral ministry. Of course, I was asked to take a church, but I declined; Not my calling. After her death at a young age, I found my way back to the Episcopal Church and served the church in many capacities: music, Sunday School teacher, and a whole lot more. I worked at colleges and universities for 30 years as a librarian and professor (that teaching thing again) and sang in professional choirs, but avoided pastoral work at all costs.

Then came a fateful Monday evening. I was at the church to lead evening prayer. As happened occasionally, no one showed up, so I said the Office by myself. As I was going around turning off lights and locking doors, I felt restrained from leaving the sanctuary. I sat down in the back of the church and was puzzled. After some prayer, I left the sanctuary and made it into the parish hall before I was compelled to return to the sanctuary and more prayer. After third try and finally telling God I would talk to my rector the next day, I felt free to leave. God had finally gotten through my thick skull and let me know I couldn’t run from ministry any more.

Due to several factors, I moved to Springfield and began attending Christ Episcopal Church. After some time, I felt it was time to meet with Fr. Ken Chumbley, our rector, and let him in on God’s plan for my life. After going through the discernment process, I enrolled in BKSM in the Anglican Studies program. A little weird for a cradle Episcopalian, but my ministry formation had been in another denomination, so it made sense. I graduated last spring and am glad to be finally pursuing the vocation God called me to decades ago.

The Rev. Sean Kim

The Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field lays hands upon Sean Kim Image: Gary Allman

My path to the ordained ministry has been a long, circuitous journey. I first felt the call in college and marched off to seminary upon graduation. But while in seminary, I soon discovered that my understanding of ministry was narrow and limited; I basically thought that all I had to do was preach once a week (my Presbyterian background may be partly to blame). When I learned about the other responsibilities, especially providing pastoral care to the sick and dying, I realized that I lacked the emotional maturity and commitment. At the same time, I was drawn more to academics and decided to pursue a career as a historian.

While in Boston for graduate school, I found my spiritual home in the Episcopal Church. Trinity Church was near my apartment, and I fell in love with the beautiful liturgy. I eventually joined the Church of the Advent, an Anglo-Catholic parish. The liturgy first drew me to the Episcopal Church, but far more important for me than even the liturgy were the people whom I met. Nowhere else had I experienced the kind of profound and authentic sense of community that I encountered in the Episcopal Church. Here was the Body of Christ.

Fourteen years ago I returned to the Kansas City area, where I had grown up, to teach Asian and world history at the University of Central Missouri. St. Andrew’s in Kansas City became my home parish. As I became involved in the life of the church through its many ministries, I began to feel the call to ordained ministry again. This time, however, the call came through those around me – the voices of fellow parishioners and the clergy. After an extended period of discernment, I decided to take up the call to the bi-vocational priesthood.

In preparation, I studied at the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry (BKSM), focusing on Anglicanism and other areas missing in my previous seminary education. It was exciting to be in school again. I especially appreciated the intellectual rigor and the powerful bonds of community at BKSM. Another formative experience was my Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, where I learned what it means to provide pastoral care at some of life’s most difficult moments.

Before being ordained to the transitional diaconate at diocesan convention, I served as an intern at Christ Church Warrensburg. Currently, I am serving as a deacon at St. Anne’s in Lee’s Summit. It has been an extraordinary blessing to share in the life of the loving, vibrant communities at St. Andrew’s, Christ Church, and St. Anne’s. Looking ahead, I am not sure where I will be serving after my ordination to the priesthood; I am open to the Spirit’s leading.

The Rev. Marco Serrano

Marco Serrano (nearest to the camera). Image: Donna Field

Being raised in the church, I first discerned a call to ordained ministry when I was 17 years old. I was not a member of the Episcopal Church at the time, and I really did not have any idea what ordained ministry might mean for me or my life. And so, while I knew that I loved God and very much wanted to serve the Church, the path to ordained ministry was unsurprisingly not a straight line.

Part of my calling and vocation has been a deep and longstanding desire to serve at-risk and vulnerable populations, and I took that passion with me to law school. While I am grateful for the chance to study and practice law — and my hope is to integrate all my training into a singular vocation — I sensed after law school that I was yearning for something deeper.

God was patiently guiding me to the beauty of Anglicanism. During law school, I lived across the street from an Episcopal church. At my first job, I again lived across the street from an Episcopal church. And while it took a bit of time, I eventually got the hint and fell in love with the liturgy and reverence of Anglican worship. As I did so, my call to ministry was reawakened.

By the grace of God, I have re-learned and remembered that the harvest is indeed plentiful, and that the joys and sacrifices of ordained ministry form a very high call. It has been a singular privilege to join The Diocese of West Missouri in its mission to be God’s loving and beloved community in this time and place. And I anticipate both challenges and triumphs as I seek to serve and love the people of God. Soli Deo gloria.   

(L-R) The Rev. Marco Serrano, the Rev. Sean Kim,., the Rev. Chandler Jackson, the Rev. Bradley Heuett, and the Rev Jeff Hurst. Image: Donna Field

Fall Confirmations at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral

Gary Zumwalt Two-minute read.   Resources
Saturday October 20. Area Confirmations at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. Image: Gary Zumwalt

On Saturday October 20, 2018, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City hosted diocesan Area Confirmations. Taking part were members of Calvary Episcopal Church, Sedalia; Church of the Good Shepherd, Kansas City; St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City; Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Kansas City.

Those Being Confirmed

  • Calvary Episcopal Church, Sedalia: Stephanie Ellen Hull.
  • Church of the Good Shepherd, Kansas City: Russell Suhr, Norman Todd.
  • St. Mary’s Kansas City: Clarence Franklin, Jr., Chad Hunter.
  • Church of the Redeemer: Travis Whetstine, Julieann Hunter.

Those Being Received

  • St. Mary’s Kansas City: E.L. Darling, Michael Ritzel.
  • Church of the Redeemer: Virginia Blevins, John Blevins, Shelli Pierjok.

Gary Zumwalt is a member of the Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs. He volunteers his time and talents to document diocesan events in pictures.

Fall Confirmations at St. James, Springfield

Gary Allman Two-minute read.   Resources
Thursday November 1, Area Confirmations at St. James Episcopal Church, Springfield. Image: Gary Allman

On Thursday November 1, 2018, St. James Episcopal Church, Springfield hosted diocesan Area Confirmations. Taking part were members of St. James Episcopal Church, Springfield; St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Ozark; Shepherd of the Hills, Branson; St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Monett; Trinity Episcopal Church, Lebanon.


Those Being Confirmed

  • St. James, Springfield: Matt Hopper, Reidar Hammond, Julie Giggoly, Tatum Trader, Asha Tharakan.
  • St. Matthew’s, Ozark: Alica Thomas.
  • Shepherd of the Hills, Branson: Blake Smith, Cinnamon Smith.
  • St. Stephen’s, Monett: Kayla Christen, Missy Jones.
  • Trinity, Lebanon: Tiffany Elkins, Joshua Sherrer.

Those Being Received

  • St. James, Springfield: Robert Jackson.
  • St. Matthew’s, Ozark: Laura Rushing
  • Shepherd of the Hills, Branson: Daniel Crawford
  • Trinity, Lebanon: Cody Elkins.

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

Christ Church, Warrensburg Celebrates 150 years

On October 28 Christ Episcopal Church Warrensburg Celebrated their 150th Anniversary.

Julie Johnson Two-minute read.   Resources
Christ Church Warrensburg 150th Anniversary cake. Image: Julie Johnson

Christ Episcopal Church began as a small number of faithful followers in 1857 who gathered to worship, then grew to an organized congregation on May 28, 1868. A wooden structure was built in 1872 and later sold in 1892.

Ground was broken for the current native limestone church in 1893, with the cornerstone being laid in 1899.

Christ Episcopal Church is located in the heart of Warrensburg in Johnson County, Missouri.

Julie Johnson is Clerk of the Vestry at Christ Episcopal Church, Warrensburg.

Blessing Bags for Local Police

St. Stephen’s Monett filled ten blessing bags for police to give to the homeless.

Linda Schelin One-minute read.   Resources
Assembling Blessing Bags. Supplied Image

St. Stephen’s members put together ten ‘blessing bags’ for their local police to give to the homeless. The bags included a $15 gift card for meals at Monett Family Restaurant, food, hygiene items, and an invitation to worship at St. Stephen’s. The restaurant donated a third of the cost the gift cards.

Linda Schelin is a member at St. Stephen’s Monett.

NERM Day Out

NERM churches visit Warm Springs Ranch

Thomas Rose One-minute read.   Resources

The churches of NERM (Northeast Regional Ministry) tour Warm Springs Ranch. Supplied image

On June 30, the churches of NERM (Northeast Regional Ministry) gathered to tour the Warm Springs Ranch (think Budweiser Clydesdales).

The ranch is just a few miles east of Boonville, Missouri. After the tour and run through the gift shop (with free tasting), Christ Church hosted a potluck of enormous proportions. It was a great time of food, laughter, and fellowship.

Fr. Bill Fasel at Warm Springs Ranch Image: the Rev. Kim Taube

Those who attended represented Christ Episcopal Church – Lexington, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church – Fayette, Grace Episcopal Church – Chillicothe, St. Paul’s Episcopal – Clinton, St. Phillips Episcopal Church – Trenton, and Christ Church – Boonville.

Thomas Rose is Bishop’s Warden at Christ Church in Boonville, Missouri.

Resources

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New Regional Youth Ministry Coordinators

Meet our two new Regional Youth Coordinators, Krist Heuett and Meredith Seaton

Josh Trader Five-minute read.   Resources

We are happy to announce the hiring of two new Regional Youth Ministry Coordinators. After several applications, interviews and prayer, we have hired Krista Heuett and Meredith Seaton to fulfill the two open positions. Krista will be responsible for the southern half of our diocese and Meredith the northern half.

The purpose of the Regional Youth Ministry Coordinator is to provide opportunities for our youth community to connect on a local level. They will work with congregations to organize and plan events ranging from picnics to overnight lock-ins. Be on the lookout during the last part of 2018 for more information about meet ups and planning sessions from them. I have asked each of them to share a little about themselves so that you can get to know them.

Josh Trader is The Bishop’s Assistant for Youth Ministry Development for The Diocese of West Missouri and a member of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Springfield.

Krista Heuett

Krista Heuett
I’m a member of Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield and have been a part of The Episcopal Church my entire life. I am currently the Director of Youth Ministry at Christ Church and I’m blessed to share my gifts through the Regional Youth Coordinator position.

I have been married to Bradley for almost 17 years and we have two youth, Jacob and Hunter. I am the daughter of the Rev. Anne Cheffey, who serves at St. Mark’s, Kimberling City. I have an Associates of Applied Science with an emphasis in Dental Hygiene and was an active hygienist for over five years. I left the hygiene field to be able to focus more on our diocesan youth and to continue my college education. I will graduate from Missouri State University in Spring 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and a Minor in English. When I’m not spending time with my family, studying for school, or working with youth ministry, I enjoy volunteering for other ministries in the church, watching Hunter play football, or spending time with our dogs, Jax and Sydney, and cat, Autumn.

I am extremely passionate for our youth and feel everyone can learn a lot through our interactions and modeling of our youth’s love and compassion for all. I feel the youth are not only the future of the church, but they are the present church which welcomes all with open hearts. I’m grateful to be a part of so many amazing youth’s lives through our youth program. By working with the youth, not only have I been blessed to help them on their faith journey, but they have helped my faith to grow and have strengthened my spiritual relationship with God, too.

I am excited to see where this new ministry leads as I share the love of God to all while helping to grow our youth community. Please feel free to contact me for more information on how to become involved in the south network.

Contact Krista: wemoyouthsouth@diowestmo.org.

Meredith Seaton

Meredith Seaton
I am a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City. I have been a volunteer with the youth program at my church from 2003, as well as at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City from 2003-2014. My work included everything from Sunday youth group to the Ski trips and lock-ins. I also had the pleasure of working with the youth of St Anne’s, Lee’s Summit in 2014-15.

I joined The Youth Ministry Commission in the early stages of developing our diocesan youth program. It has bloomed to include many events for our youth, and also provides youth with opportunities to lead worship during the events as well as in their own churches.

I have had the amazing opportunity to accompany our youth to large church events such as the Episcopal Youth Event, The General Convention of The Episcopal Church, as well as on mission trips and pilgrimages. There really is nothing quite like riding together in a car for days to build community and relationships. Summer 2019 we will embark on another pilgrimage exploring our faith and nature.

I am excited about the work that our networks have done over the past few years. The work of the network is to create a place for youth from churches that may not have a youth program to be able to join others from the area in worship, fellowship, and fun. We have the unique opportunity to worship in our own churches and come together in community. I look forward to building this network with the help of the churches in the diocese.

We also need you! We are always in need of volunteers in the youth program. Volunteer as a driver for a youth event or to be a chaperone. We have a variety of ways to be involved both hands on, but also behind the scenes, and many jobs that don’t include sleeping on a church floor!

Please feel free to contact me for more information on how to become involved in the north network. I look forward to continuing on this journey together.

Contact Meredith: wemoyouthnorth@diowestmo.org.

September’s Ordinations

Kim Taube and Warren Swenson were ordained into the priesthood on Saturday, September 15, 2018.

Gary Allman Five-minute read.   Resources

The ordination of the Rev. Kim Taube and the Rev. Warren Swenson Image: Gary Allman

On Saturday, September 15, 2018, Kim Taube and Warren Swenson were ordained into the priesthood at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri, here is a selection of pictures from the service.

September 15, 2018, Kim Taube and Warren Swenson are the most recently ordained priests in West Missouri. Image: Gary Allman

The Rev. Warren Swenson Image: Gary Allman

Walker Adams and the Rev. Warren Swenson Image: Gary Allman

The Rev. Warren Swenson Image: Gary Allman

The Rev. Kim Taube Image: Gary Allman

The Rev. Kim Taube Image: Gary Allman

Gary Allman is Communications Director with The Diocese of West Missouri

St. Augustine’s Celebration of the Renewal of Ministry

St. Augustine’s recently held a Celebration of the Renewal of Ministry.

Gary Allman Five-minute read.   Resources

On August 28, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City held a Celebration of the Renewal of Ministry, which included the Installation of Fr. Chas Marks as their Rector.


Presentation of the new rector. Supplied image.

Blessing Supplied image.

Fr. Chas is having far too much fun sprinkling Holy Water with the aspergillum. Supplied image.

Confession: The Communications Director stole the above pictures from St. Augustine’s Facebook page.

Sunday September 16

I visited St. Augustine’s in September, here are a few pictures from my visit.

The people of Saint Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri. Sunday, September 16, 2018. Image: Gary Allman

Fr. Chas and all the people helping with the service on Sunday September 16, 2018.
Image: Gary Allman

Communion at St. Augustine’s. Image: Gary Allman

Gary Allman is Communications Director with The Diocese of West Missouri

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An Extended Stay Safe House For Human Trafficking Victims

We are ready to begin the next step in our plan: which is to open an extended-stay safe-house.

Dr. Sally Kemp Two-minute read.   Resources

Dr. Sally Kemp, President, LOSHTC.
Supplied image

For the past three years, Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition’s (LOSHTC) goals have been to raise awareness about human trafficking in the Lake of the Ozarks area. We have held monthly meetings for the public to discuss various aspects of human trafficking: how it occurs, how to recognize it, and many other pertinent topics, including victims sharing their stories of being trafficked for many years. We have presented talks across the lake area whenever requested, we have shown movies with discussions following to teach young people how to protect themselves and their friends. We devoted a meeting to the dangers of surfing the web, especially for children and teenagers.

With the help of a grant from The Sharing and Caring Foundation and a donation from Wise Women Who Give to Women, we were able to present a full day’s training to 38 members of law enforcement from across the area. This helped them understand the neuropsychological impact of abuse on the development of the young brain, how this leaves a child vulnerable to human trafficking, the effects of it on those trafficked, how to recognize and approach an individual who appears to be trafficked, and the usual outcomes for these individuals. Because the event passed the Federal criteria for training, certifications with CE credits were awarded to the participating officers.

Along with our on-going awareness training, we are beginning to partner with the SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) program at Lake Regional Hospital to compile figures each month on how many women and girls have been treated in the hospital for injuries consistent with sexual violence and trafficking.

While we will continue to raise awareness, the coalition now feels that we are ready to begin the next step in our plan: which is to open an extended-stay safe-house. Such a place can provide the extra time and treatment needed by women who are having difficulty re-entering normal life. This is usually due to marked PTSD and a complete lack of belief in their own worth, because their survival depended on obeying their trafficker.

In such a haven, over one year and sometimes two, women will receive Trauma-informed Care. This allows a victim to receive intensive and validating treatment that addresses their PTSD trauma and helps her reclaim her life. We are beginning to look at possible sites and are gearing up for intensive training for those who will be working with the victims.

Dr. Sally Kemp is Co-founder and President of the Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition and a member at St. George Episcopal Church Camdenton. She is also a licensed Lay Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor, and Worship Leader.

Area Confirmations at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral

Donna Field Two-minute read.   Resources

On Saturday April 7, 2018, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City, hosted diocesan Area Confirmations.

Image: Donna Field

On Saturday April 7, 2018, Grace sand Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City hosted diocesan Area Confirmations. Taking part were members of St. Andrew’s, Kansas City; Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City; St. Mary’s Kansas City, St. Peter & All Saints, Kansas City; and Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs.


 

Those Being Confirmed

  • St. Andrew’s, Kansas City: Malcolm Bagwell Trigg, Harrison Arthur Gloe, Genevieve Pryatt Hyatt, Alexander James Buck, Emma Elisabeth Angilan, Kristen Leigh Jordan-Hyde, Andrew S. Kim, Phillip H. Park,
    Madalyn Vause.
  • Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City: Nick Smith.
  • St. Mary’s, Kansas City: Raja Reed, John Stanks, Erica Janel, Hayden Heverling, David Higdon, Alisyn Arness.
  • St. Peter & All Saints, Kansas City: Morris F. Dearing (Moe), Jo N. Dearing.
  • Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs: Alexandra Witte, Nicholas Witte.

Those Being Received

  • St. Mary’s, Kansas City: Christopher McQueeny.
  • Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs: Arla Witte, Bob Simpson.

Those Being Reaffirmed

  • Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City: Jeri Hatteberg.

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.

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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

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  • Flickr Album:

Area Confirmations at Calvary Episcopal Church, Sedalia

Gary Allman Two-minute read.   Resources

Area Confirmations a Calvary Episcopal Church Sedalia.
Image: Gary Allman

On Saturday May, 5 2018, Calvary Episcopal Church, Sedalia hosted diocesan Area Confirmations. Taking part were members of Calvary, Sedalia; Christ Church, Warrensburg; and St. Peter’s, Harrisonville.


 

Those Being Confirmed

  • Calvary, Sedalia: Bridget Young, Elizabeth Wickham, Jennifer Harker, Sharon Dawley.
  • Christ Church, Warrensburg: Bailey Tucker, Aaron Bax.
  • St. Peter’s, Harrisonville: Ryan Brotton.

Those Being Received

  • St. Peter’s, Harrisonville: Katie Britton.

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

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