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.


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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:

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:

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


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Roanridge Trust Award Grants Announced For Innovative Leadership Development Programs

The Roanridge Trust was established by the Cochel family, who originally gave a working farm in Missouri called Roanridge to The Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church Ten-minute read.   Resources

The Roanridge Trust was established by the Cochel family, who originally gave a working farm in Missouri called Roanridge to The Episcopal Church. Income from the trust generates the grant funds. The purpose of the Roanridge Trust is for specific use for the training of town and country clergy and rural Christian workers of the nine provinces of The Episcopal Church.

The Roanridge Trust Award Grants are provided annually for creative models of leadership development, training and ministries in small towns and rural communities across The Episcopal Church.

At the beginning of May the Roanridge Trust Award Grants were announced. The grants were awarded to twelve projects in ten dioceses and two provinces, totaling $211,210.


The twelve projects receiving 2018 Roanridge Trust Grants are:

  • Diocese of Oklahoma, ELCA Joint Oklahoma Small Church Leadership Summit: $5,000
  • Diocese of Long Island, Rural & Migrant Ministry’s CASA: $20,000
  • Diocese of North Carolina, Lee County Literacy Council/Augustine Literacy Project: $10,000
  • Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, Dismantling Racism in Southwestern Virginia: $9,210
  • Diocese of Virginia, Lay Pastoral Leader Training Program: $8,000
  • Province IX, The Episcopal Asset Map for Spanish-Speaking, Non-US Dioceses: $12,400
  • Diocese of Western North Carolina: Stewardship of the Entirety of Our Lives in a Rural Setting: $10,000
  • Province 1 ( Dioceses of CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT, West MA), Models of Ministry in Small Vital Congregations: $7,000
  • Diocese of Northern Indiana, Becoming Beloved Community: $74,600
  • Diocese of Western Michigan, Center for Christian Spirituality: $15,000
  • The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, SmashGlass: $15,000
  • Navajoland, Online Gratitude Formation Program – UTO University: $25,000

Dioceses, congregations, and Episcopal-related organizations and institutions were invited to apply for the grants. Although previous recipients were eligible to apply, priority was given to new applications.

Questions about the Roanridge Trust can be addressed to Ann Hercules, Associate for Ministry Beyond The Episcopal Church and Grants.

The Public Affairs Office of The Episcopal Church

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.


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St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Independence — 50th Anniversary

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Independence, recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding.

The Rev. Dr. Douglas P. Johnson One-minute read.   Resources

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Independence — 50th Anniversary

St. Michael’s feast day is generally observed throughout the wider church on September 29th each year, but in striving to be faithful to remembering the anniversary of the actual date of the first worship service at St. Michael’s (September 3rd, 1967), our St. Michael’s feast day was transferred to September 3rd.

It was a grand day. We invited folks from far and wide — really anyone who had ever been touched by the life, history, and ministry of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. We invited former clergy, we prayed for clergy and former parishioners alike who have had their heavenly birthday and entered into larger life. St. Michael’s Church was full and each person there was loving and praising the Lord of Life.

This was not just another day in the life of St. Michael’s, but rather a day in which we could strive to attract both former and potential new members. The celebration was a day to not only remember our patron saint, Michael, but also to give thanks for the life, history, witness, and ministry of this community of faith as it has offered itself to the work of God down through the years.

We wanted everyone to think of this as a kind of “Reunion Sunday”. We wanted everyone who was currently an active part of St. Michael’s or had been in the past, or who would like to be in the future to come and join us in our celebration. We especially wanted to welcome any who had been baptized, confirmed, or married through the ministry of St. Michael’s.

We had lots of pictures and videos providing a living description of the life of St. Michael’s throughout the last fifty years. They showed us praying together, laughing together, learning together, praising God together. Many pictures as well showed our living ministry in our food and necessity pantries which are very active in the Independence community, and are one of our most vital outreach ministries. I am constantly amazed at the amount of work this small group of people does — it seems there is more outreach happening here than in most churches three or four times our size.

Following our very lively worship, we had a barbeque dinner under a tent in the church grounds — all catered by a loving and grateful God. The day was certainly a time of God’s grace, hope, and vision for our small church as we continue in our mission to win souls for Christ. Many thanks to our 50th Anniversary Committee who worked so wonderfully and with such loving devotion to make our day such a great day of offering to the Lord.

Fr. Johnson has been the Priest in Charge of St. Michael’s, Independence, since 2016 and has previously served the diocese as the Vicar of Christ Church, Lexington, as Canon to the Ordinary, Chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital, and on more diocesan departments, committees, and commissions than he can count.


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St. Augustine’s 135th Anniversary (1882-2017)

On October 22, 2016, Edward L. Warner 3rd Rector of Saint Augustine’s Church spoke at the 135th anniversary of the church. The program included liturgical dancers and Choristers from the William Baker Festival Singers.

Brett D. Kynard Five-minute read.   Resources

Fr. Warner (left) with Fr. Chas Marks, and Sylvia

Saint Augustine’s Episcopal Church celebrated its 135th anniversary on Sunday, October 22, 2017. Fr. Chas Marks, the priest in charge opened the Evensong service explaining that it was a time for the congregation and visitors to reflect on this Church’s illustrious and historical past, the present, and a faithful vision for its future. Fr. Edward L. Warner, 3rd Rector of Saint Augustine’s was the guest speaker.

Saint Augustine’s is the 5th oldest African American church in Kansas City, Missouri, and one of 31 Episcopal Churches over the age of 100 years in the organization.

The program included Saint Augustine’s liturgical dancers and beautiful singing by the Choristers from the William Baker Festival Singers.

Noted guests included Fr. Patrick Perkins of St. Mary’s, and a number of its parishioners. Also attending was Pastor Charles J. Briscoe, Pastor Emeritus of Paseo Baptist Church, a colleague of Father Warner, in both the pulpit as a minister, and as Kansas City School Board members. Pastor Briscoe was President and Father Edward. Warner was an elected representative in the turbulent 1970s.

Fr. Edward L. Warner, preached eloquently and passionately about the role the Church played in the surrounding neighborhood and community. One of the major themes in Fr. Warner’s message was for the Black church to remember and practice its historical role in serving its community as both a beacon of hope and as a refuge for persons adversely affected by the conditions of the day.

Fr. Warner.

Saint Augustine’s began as a Mission church and is named after Augustine of Hippo (354-430) a North African who was one of the greatest thinkers and theologians the Church has known.

The first cornerstone of the Saint Augustine’s was laid on August 27, 1882, by Bishop Charles Franklin Robertson and the one-story brick building was completed in 1883. Saint Augustine’s Episcopal Church was first admitted as an organized Mission in union with The Diocese of Missouri in 1882 with Fr. Charles E. Cummings as the Founder and priest in charge. Fr. Cummings was a former educator, graduating from Yale University then later becoming a priest. The first confirmation took place at Saint Augustine’s on the first Sunday after Easter, April 30, 1882. Ten people were confirmed. The first baptism was that of Mary Virginia Johnson on March 4, 1883.

There were 13 missionary priests, and two lay readers who served St. Augustine’s during the sixty-seven years the church was located on 1025 Roost Boulevard. The Church helped its growing community by spreading the word of God through the Gospels, and by assisting the poor in the surrounding area. With a growing congregation and the space limitations of its first home, Father’s M. Spacthes, Bernard Whitlock and Robert Martin (who would become Saint Augustine’s first Rector) ably assisted by the members of the vestry contributed to the vision and reality of Saint Augustine’s relocation from 1025 Roost Boulevard to 2732 Benton Boulevard in the neighborhood known as Santa Fe Place, in 1950.

In that year Saint Augustine’s communicants gathered at Saint Mary’s church and voted to become a self-sustaining Parish. At the 1950 Diocesan Convention held at Saint Paul’s church in Kansas City, Missouri, Saint Augustine’s Mission was then formally admitted into The Diocese of West Missouri. Saint Augustine’s purchased prime real estate by acquiring the J.H. Foresman residence, an impressive mansion built in the Santa Fe area in 1910. On June 18, 1950, a Dedication was held at Saint Augustine’s new church. Bishop Edward R. Wells officiated.

After a proposal in 1960 by the Brotherhood of Saint Andrew, Fr. Birney Smith started an annual fish fry that was conducted and quickly gained citywide popularity. This annual event usually held in August was a tremendously successful fundraiser. Saint Augustine’s Brotherhood organization, the vestry, and the Women of the Church worked this fundraiser into something uniquely special. It was an event that Kansas City had not seen before. The Church’s collective vision and goal through Fr. Smith, its vestry, and the members was to build a new church on its adjacent land. This fish fry required a very large skillet specially constructed for the purpose. This skillet was advertised and touted to be the world’s largest at the time — measuring six feet in diameter. The event drew support from all parts of the city. Over 800 pounds of fish were prepared and served to more than 1,600 people annually. Beautiful lawn tables were spread over the grounds that would eventually be the home of the new church. It was a social event everyone looked forward to and wanted to attend. The church goal was to raise $75,000. Four years later On September 22, 1960, the Rt. Reverend Edward R. Well’s the II, officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for Saint Augustine’s Episcopal Church’s new home. Kenneth O. Von Aachen was selected as the architect, and Wesley Elders Construction Company were appointed as the general contractor.

It is believed the architect and the general contractor, with the vestry’s advice, wanted the new church to resemble round churches that were built in Sweden, Denmark, and England in the 11th and 12th centuries.

The first cornerstone was laid on November 24, 1960, on Thanksgiving Day. On November 23, 1961, the altar was blessed, and the church was formally dedicated on March 11, 1962.

Fr. Robert A. Martin was St. Augustine’s first parish rector. Ten loyal and faithful rectors would follow from the 1960s to the present. These priests all served with love, dedication faith in God, and spreading the words of Christ through the Gospels. Special emphasis has always been on providing spiritual health, and comfort by word and deed to the members and the surrounding communities.

Saint Augustine’s has served the Santa Fe Community and the surrounding area for sixty-eight years. It is committed to its surrounding community and has served it well through its Food Pantry, vacation bible school classes, educational and cultural activities for the youth, bible study, regular and special church services and celebrations. The Church has always been a beacon for Pastoral care, counseling and assisting the poor.

The Parish House that served not only as its second church home and later its administrative office was listed on the Kansas City Register of Historic Places on May 30, 1986. It was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Santa Fe Place Historic District of Kansas City, Missouri.

St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri, Parish House Image credit: Gary Allman

Saint Augustine’s Church is now led by Father Chas Marks, formerly of Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church. Under his strong leadership and vision, Saint Augustine’s, its vestry, and faithful members stand firm and committed to sharing the Gospel to the Santa Fe community and the City of Kansas City, as it has for the last 135 years.

Brett Kynard is a cradle Episcopalian representing the 3rd generation of his family to attend Saint Augustine’s Church. He was confirmed with his father in 1964. He is a long term vestry member serving as Junior Warden and Church Historian.

Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition Makes Plans to Begin a Safe House

The Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition is now ready to pursue the second part of the dream they had at their founding: that of developing a safe house for women who have been trafficked.

Sally Kemp Five-minute read.   Resources

Three years ago, when Mike McDonnel and I founded the Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, our immediate goal was to raise awareness about human trafficking. From the beginning, we wanted the coalition to include people of all faiths and beliefs so we could attack this evil together.

Through meetings each month for the coalition we have provided speakers, including survivors, to educate us about human trafficking. We have held events to help hotel and motel personnel recognize trafficking, and we have spoken to numerous local organizations, as well as at The Diocese of West Missouri’s Annual Gathering, and to state and federal meetings. We have met with young people to teach them how to protect themselves and their friends. We have shown films and discussed the trafficking depicted. It has been very gratifying to see our membership grow and become so involved in spreading the word about human trafficking.
Now, however, with the help of a very able Board of Directors, we feel that while we will continue to raise awareness, we are ready to pursue the other part of the dream we had at our founding: to develop a safe house for women who have been trafficked. Our vision is to provide an extended-stay safe house where women who have been terribly traumatized and are having a particularly hard time putting their lives back together, could heal and face the world again.
This will call for an extended program of one to two years during which time the victim can feel welcome and safe while rebuilding confidence in herself.  A safe house would establish an emotionally safe environment, develop trustworthiness, restore choice and control so that the victim could believe in her ability to solve problems, support the development of coping mechanisms, facilitate connection with others, build strength, and allow her to respond to different situations and types of people.
The safe house we envision would be welcoming and appropriate to the special needs of trauma survivors. All aspects of the program would be responsive to the deeply-seated effects of trauma.
At the outset, 4-6 women would be a part of the extended program. After several years it might extend to 10. This year we will begin to look at possible answers to housing and begin training members who wish to work with victims, as well as begin to raise the considerable sums of money that will make this possible. With God’s help, the help of our able board, members, and the generosity of the people of the lake area, we hope to open our extended-stay safe house within the next two-three years.
To donate to the safe house, please visit our website.

Sally Kemp is President of the Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition (LOSHTC), and serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and Lay Eucharistic Visitor with St. George Episcopal Church, Camdenton.


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.


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Area Confirmations at St. Mary’s, Kansas City

Gary Allman One-minute read.   Resources

On Thursday November 2, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, hosted diocesan Area Confirmations Image credit: Gary Allman

Confirmations, receptions and reaffirmations were held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church,Kansas City on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Taking part were members of St. Mary’s, Kansas City; Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs; Church of the Good Shepherd, Kansas City; and Trinity, Independence.

St. Mary’s, Kansas City

On Thursday November 2, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, hosted diocesan Area Confirmations Image credit: Gary Allman

Confirmed: Thomas Ham, Erica Hurst, Betty Iorg, Spencer Jasper, Isaac Petty, Matthew Plummer, Levi Tosh.
Received: William Govered.

Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs

On Thursday November 2, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, hosted diocesan Area Confirmations Image credit: Gary Allman

Confirmed: Jayden Morris.
Received: Sherrie Brooks, Lyn Jandt.

Church of The Good Shepherd, Kansas City

On Thursday November 2, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, hosted diocesan Area Confirmations Image credit: Gary Allman

Received: Janet Moore, Marcia Applegate.

Trinity, Independence

On Thursday November 2, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, hosted diocesan Area Confirmations Image credit: Gary Allman

Received: Dayton Saunders, Hedda Sutherland.
Reaffirmed: Joyce Gillespie, Maudie Saunders.

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


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Ordinations at the Diocesan Convention Eucharist

Photographs: Gary Zumwalt Ten-minute read.   Resources

L-R The Rev. Larry Ehren, Bishop Marty, Fr. Jonathan Callison and The Rev. Kary Mann Image credit: Gary Zumwalt

On the Evening of November 3, 2017, during the diocesan convention opening Eucharist, Fr. Jonathan Callison was received into The Episcopal Church, and Larry Ehren and Kary (Karen) Mann were ordained into the diaconate.

Below you can read a little bit about each of them written in their own words.

Fr. Jonathan Callison

Fr. Jonathan Callison with Bishop Marty Image credit: Gary Zumwalt

My call to priesthood in the Episcopal Church is the story of seeds planted; some bore fruit, others may have gone awry, but God will get some harvest from me I pray! Very early in my life, I remember attending Mass with my Grandmother and praying the Rosary with her. She was a farmer and rancher from Western Kansas and a faithful communicant of St. Joseph’s Church in Ashland. She was a patient woman of prayer, compassion, and endurance. I remember, too, my experience attending Mass with my mother and siblings. We were a handful but she persevered! She took our formation in the faith seriously but also taught us to think about what we were asked to believe.

I attended Catholic schools and couldn’t wait for the day to serve Mass as an acolyte. The dedication and compassion of the priests and sisters that I came to know informed my life in ways that will be with me always. I remember asking – 2nd grade, I think- if dolphins were aware enough to be baptized. I don’t remember my pastor’s answer, but I still wonder at the incredible mercy of God, redeeming all creation. It was that sense of compassion and nurture, so strong in my rather matriarchal family that inclined my heart toward service. Others in my parish as a young man noticed my sensitivity and asked me to consider a call to the priesthood.

My years in the seminary were some of the most amazing of my life. I grew as a person and, eventually, after ordination, as a deacon and then priest. The people I ministered to formed me, and I will never forget those early lessons as a young priest. One of the lessons I learned was transparency and openness. I eventually had to come out to my bishop and share the growing concerns that I had about my sexual orientation and call to celibacy. Bishop Stanley was a loving, pastoral bishop, and he made sure I got the counseling I needed and the leave of absence to explore this new awareness of myself. I did not return to ordained ministry as he had hoped, but the seeds so many planted were not in vain. They just took a while to grow and mature.

Some years later, my partner and I were looking for a spiritual home and my sister, Heather — Yes! I notice the pattern of female evangelists in my life! — suggested the Anglican way. I have found it to be the way that I can most closely follow Jesus as a member of the Body of Christ. I will be forever grateful to the openness and love of reason, as well as Scripture and Tradition that inform our Anglican way. Chris and I were received into the Episcopal Church and have received so many blessings, especially the blessing of our marriage, surrounded by our parish family. In 2016, after much prayerful reflection with my family, my husband, and my parish family, I entered a process of discernment that culminated at the last diocesan convention.

I rejoice to serve this diocese as a presbyter of the Church, and I pray that all those seeds of mercy and compassion, planted by so many at so many times in my life, may finally bear fruit. Please pray for me as I preach, bless and preside at the Holy Sacraments.

May God be blessed Who is Compassionate and Merciful!

The Rev. Larry Ehren

The Rev. Larry Ehren with Bishop Marty Image credit: Gary Zumwalt

My first introduction to the Commission on Ministry was: “His is a unique situation.” To be honest, I was unsure how to understand that. Was I a stranger from a strange land, a variation of an adult mutant ninja turtle, or some other version of a church oddity? I chose to understand this as having a unique history and background in approaching ordination in The Episcopal Church.

The reality is that I was approved for ordination in the Roman Catholic Church exactly forty years ago. After ten years of education and formation in the Jesuit order, it was normal to be ordained a priest. I found myself struggling at that moment of my journey with a continued commitment to celibacy while being drawn to marriage and family life. All the while, I sensed a desire to serve in ministry. I completed my M.Div. at Boston College, and sought helpful guidance. This was a delicate moment of discernment in my life, and clearly a turning point.

Many years have passed since that time. For over ten years, I was a lay professional minister in Catholic parishes and on the Bishop’s staff here in Kansas City. I completed my MBA at Rockhurst University during that time in organizational development. My aim was to learn how the church could be more effective in its mission. I then served one year in Missouri State government, a time that clarified my call to return to formal ministry. I followed good advice to pursue a year-long Clinical Pastoral Education residency, which I did in a large medical center in San Francisco. It was there that I met fellow resident chaplain Christy Dorn, now my wife. We have been married over twenty years, roughly the same time she has been an Episcopal Priest. Our marriage has included the adoption of two daughters from China. Family life and ministry seem to be my rightful path in life.

After my clinical training, I served for over twenty five years as a board certified chaplain, Vice President of Mission or Director of Chaplaincy in several medical centers. My last position was Director of Spiritual Care at Truman Medical Center, Hospital Hill in Kansas City.

On my return to Kansas City, I experienced a renewal in my own spiritual journey. Although I was involved in the Episcopal Church for many years due to Christy’s ministry, I finally sought to be formally received at Easter Vigil in our own cathedral five years ago. Dean Peter DeVeau and I facilitated the Adult Catechumenate, called ‘The Way’, for a number of years together. I pursued Anglican Studies at Bishop Kemper School for Ministry and began the ordination process. I am currently half way through my Doctor of Ministry studies in Christian Spirituality at Virginia Theological Seminary. I look forward to many years ahead as an ordained person in The Episcopal Church.

And yes — what a unique but meaningful journey it has been — and it will continue to be!

The Rev. Kary Mann

The Rev. Kary Mann with Bishop Marty Image credit: Gary Zumwalt

I was born and raised in Olathe, Kansas. I remember feeling called to ministry at a very young age but I was not closely affiliated with any church at that time. After graduating from high school, I left Kansas City for about 10 years. Initially, I attended Fort Hayes State University and completed my general studies requirements. While attending college I was deeply involved in youth ministry. Eventually, I returned to Kansas City and earned a Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine from the Cleveland University, Kansas City. I had my own practice for six years. During that time I began teaching biology at Colorado Technical University. This opportunity allowed me to discover that teaching was my passion. Healing and teaching, hmmm, not an accident I would say. I’m currently working as an adjunct professor of biology at Metropolitan Community College, Penn Valley.

The year was 2008 and as I was driving past St. Mary Magdalene every day to go to work I felt God nudging me toward the church and possible ministry. I began attending worship. It was the ancient liturgy that spoke to my heart. After about a year, I talked to Fr. Jason Lewis about my feeling of a call to ministry. I began an informal discernment process with Fr. Jason and Deacon Peisha, and a year later, I started the process in earnest. At that time Fr. Jason accepted a call with the Diocese of Kentucky – and I was without a sponsor and Mary Mag was without a priest. My forward progress was stalled for about six months. Finally, I asked Fr. Marshall Scott if he would be my presenting priest, and he agreed. So with support from Mtr. Virginia Brown, as my spiritual director, and Fr. Marshall as my presenting priest, I began the multiple twists and turns that would lead to ordination.

I thought I would attend Sewanee: University of the South, but God had another plan, as He called me to Bishop Kemper School for Ministry (BKSM). I was drawn to this new and potentially powerful idea of priestly formation that would allow postulants to keep their jobs while preparing to serve as bi-vocational priests that would then meet a great need in the church. I started BKSM and became a postulant. At the end of my first year I was clear as to my call, that of becoming a bi-vocational priest. I completed my studies on May 13, 2017 and was ordained a deacon on November 3, 2017. I am currently completing my transitional deaconate at St. Paul’s in Lee’s Summit. I am grateful for all the positive and powerful mentors in The Diocese of West Missouri. I feel I am in good hands. God willing, I hope to be ordained into the Sacred Order of Presbyters mid-year, 2018.

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.


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Diocesan Youth Gathering and the 2017 Bishop’s Ball

Josh Trader Five-minute read.   Resources

Bishop’s Ball 2017 Image credit: Gary Allman

What does the birth of Jesus mean to you? What was it like to be a disciple? How can we relate Jesus’ miracles to life today? What was it like to be there when Jesus was nailed to the cross? This year youth and volunteers sought to answer some of these questions at the Diocesan Youth Gathering.

Friday evening youth and adults from around the diocese gathered at Saint Paul’s, Lee’s Summit, for the Diocesan Youth Gathering. Our weekend began with a balloon scavenger hunt throughout the church involving word puzzles and ending our first evening with Compline lead by the members of the Youth Ministry Commission (YMC). On Saturday morning, we led Morning Prayer at the diocesan convention. Once we arrived back at Saint Paul’s, we began our journey through a series of stations in four rooms.

The first station (room) focused on discussing the life of Jesus from his birth to the Wedding at Cana. While at the first stop, youth discussed what it’s like to be faced with inconveniences, how we respond to them, and where we see Jesus turning the ordinary into extraordinary things.

In the second room, the youth immersed themselves into the story of Jesus calling his disciples and discussing how we can best be a disciple for Christ with ultimately striving to be an apostle.

The third room required the youth to participate at their own pace through a series of stations. Each station invited them to read a passage about one of the many miracles of Jesus followed by an interactive activity. One of the stations that spoke deeply to the participants focused on Jesus stilling the storm and how Jesus stays with us through our fears. At this station, youth were asked to write their fears on dissolving paper and then place them into the water. This allowed the youth to watch their fears disappear while reminding us that Jesus is always still present.

Our last room focused on the Passion of Christ through imaginative prayer. Using this form of prayer, we were able to attempt to feel what it was like to be there during the crucifixion.

Morning Prayer & Diocesan Report

Bishop’s Ball

On Saturday night we were joined by clergy, other youth leaders, parents, former youth, and Bishop Marty and Mrs. Donna Field for the Bishop’s Ball. YMC members Brett Wilson and Marie Evans did an outstanding job as our emcees for the evening as we started with serving dinner. One of the highlights of the ball is the annual awards ceremony. Our honorees this year were; Christine Escobar and Brett Wilson for Outstanding YMC Member, Lily Julian and Isabelle Morrison for Outstanding Youth, Spencer J.T. Orr for Outstanding Volunteer, and Mother Megan Castellan was the recipient of the Purple Cross. Bishop Marty surprised everyone with an award of his own, by presenting the very deserving Duchess Wall with the Bishop’s Shield for her countless years of dedication to the young people of our diocese.

Josh Trader is Youth Network Coordinator for The Diocese of West Missouri and a member of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Springfield.


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Bishop’s Shield Recipient – Duchess Wall

Bishop’s Shield Recipient Duchess Wall with Bishop Marty. Bishop’s Ball 2017 Image credit: Gary Allman

Each year, it is my honor as Bishop to consider the presentation of a special award to folks from around our diocese. The award is known as “The Bishop’s Shield”. It is awarded to those who have contributed significant and sustained leadership in the life of the diocese (or in the life of the general church beyond the diocese) for which they were not compensated. This award may go alike to members of the clergy or members of the lay order. The key criteria are those words in boldface above: significant, sustained, and leadership. Nominees for the award are solicited each fall from the clergy of the diocese and from past, Bishop’s Shield recipients (who serve as a nominating committee of sorts), but anyone may nominate a person they believe to match the criteria. Usually, the awarding of Bishop’s Shields takes place at the banquet on the first evening of the diocese’s Annual Convention.

This year only one person was nominated who met the criteria, and it was immediately crystal clear that awarding the Bishop’s Shield at the banquet would not be as appropriate as another, very available setting.

Each year the youth of the diocese come together on the same weekend as our Annual Convention for a Diocesan Youth Gathering (or “D.Y.G.” as it is more commonly known). The person who was nominated and selected was going to be volunteering as a youth leader at DYG, so the Saturday evening banquet at DYG was the perfect place to present the award.

Here’s what I said on that occasion:

“Tonight, I have the honor of presenting the Bishop’s Shield to someone who is here at the DYG banquet. Before I announce his name, I want to share with you some of the things this person’s nominators wrote about him, and there were several nominators.

‘I have to wonder how many hours each day this person is in intercessory prayer. It must be a substantial portion of his waking hours. If he says, “I’m praying for you,” he really is praying every day. And you’d better let him know if your problem has been relieved, or he’ll still be praying for you next year.

What a privilege it is to be his priest. He brings to me people … who need God’s help so that I can pray for them too. Often, it is his presence in the lives of others that is the avenue of God’s grace in their lives, and his loving relationship with many who are now adults, whom he has known since he was their teacher in grade school, is what often keeps them on healthy paths. Sometimes, I think that God uses his loving obedience as the answer to those prayers.

His ministry to youth in the diocese is legendary. He is part of everything youth-related and has been for decades. Whenever I have attended a diocesan youth event, he is there. From planning events to taking aside a single kid who needs special attention, he is there. Whenever the other youth leaders need a leader, he is there, and has been for decades.’

Have you guessed yet? Would it help, if I told you that ‘he’ is actually a ‘she’? Now do you know? To end the suspense, it is my great pleasure to announce to you the newest recipient of the Bishop’s Shield is Duchess Wall.”

ASIDE – this announcement was followed by squeals of delight, thunderous applause, and a roar of approval from the youth and adult leaders present. Duchess responded with open-mouthed disbelief. After placing the award around her neck, I continued …

“My introduction to this award was written by Fr. Jonathan Frazier, the Rector of St. Peter & All Saints, KC, Duchess’ home parish. I played fast and loose with the pronouns to enhance the surprise, but I am grateful to Fr. Jonathan and the many folks who think so highly of Duchess that they nominated her for a Bishop’s Shield.

Here are a sample of more comments from Duchess’ many nominators:

‘If there are youth involved in any kind of activity in the Diocese of West Missouri, Duchess Wall has been, is, and always will be there. The fact that she has been and still is a teacher and can walk into almost any school and see “her kids” is amazing. At times it seems that Duchess invented the Youth Group! Those of us in our late 50s, and our grandchildren as well, know Miss Duchess as a Youth leader. She will share stories with you about her kids that are veterinarians, teachers, nurses, and priests. We will never outgrow being her kids and that’s absolutely fine with us! From Happening to Cliff Springs, from Missionpalooza to WEMO, from EYE to parish lock-ins, “Duchess is here, we can start now!”’

Ann Lagrange, vestry member, St. Peter & All Saints, Kansas City

‘What can one say about Duchess Wall? I have known her many years, and of course, there are stories, but nothing speaks more about her than what she has done for and with all of the youths in this Diocese for a long time now. When asked to help with any youth event, her answer is always “yes”. So many children who have become adults now in this diocese know her still as Miss Duchess, including my own adult children. I still call her that myself all the time. She never tires of serving the youth of the Diocese of West Missouri, and we are indeed blessed by her presence with those youth for all of these many years.’

Rob Walker, Clerk of the Vestry, St. Peter & All Saints, Kansas City

‘What a wonderful choice Duchess is to be a nominee for the Bishop’s Shield. Though my history with Duchess is shorter than others, I have been able to observe Duchess as well as spend some time with her to know some of her spiritual heart and love for the Church and especially the youth of our parish and Diocese. I have never seen Duchess without a smile. Ever. She speaks and thinks so caringly about others and especially of children and young people. Her background in education seems to have been less of a job to her and more of pure passion. She has great empathy for children. Her work with youth groups goes back years. She willingly and selflessly still gives of her time and talents for encouraging and directing youth activities. She is a great example of God’s love to them. Duchess and I were in a small group during one Advent season doing some spiritual direction. I remember thinking her heart and spirit shine through her eyes and smile. She lives her faith and spreads a positive spirit in all that she gives. She believes in her faith wholeheartedly and by that she is contagious in her love of Jesus. She ends all her e-mails “Jesus loves you more”. Unspoken and in speaking she talks with grace and truth. She has been and continues to be a special advocate, leader, and teacher of young people.’

Carol Miller, Sr. Warden, St. Peter & All Saints, Kansas City

‘Right Reverend Sir, I would like to nominate Duchess Wall for a Bishop’s Shield award. Duchess has been a stalwart of youth ministry in the Diocese of West Missouri for the more than 30 years I have known her. She has seen all the changes in youth ministry in the diocese, from the early days of Cliff Springs Camp through the early days of Happening being introduced in the diocese. She has continued to be involved as youth ministry participation has risen and fallen through the years. She continues to be involved to this day as a chaperone at youth events. Her ministry of presence for those she refers to as “my kids” has never lagged. I know that I would not be the person I am today without her ministry of presence in my life, both as a youth participating in the diocesan youth ministry program in the 1980s and early 1990s and as a someone still involved in youth ministry today. All of this work is in addition to her ministry at her local congregations of All Saints, Kansas City, and now at St. Peter & All Saints, Kansas City.’

Curtis Hamilton, Secretary of the Diocese & member of Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City

Congratulations, Duchess, and thank you for your many years of caring for and nurturing the youth of West Missouri. Your Bishop’s Shield is well deserved and fully earned. May God bless your future ministry in the name of Christ Jesus.

The Rt. Rev. Martin Scott Field (Bishop Marty) is the eighth bishop of The Diocese of West Missouri.

Installation of Fr. Jos Tharakan at St. James’, Springfield

Fr. Jos Tharakan Five-minute read.   Resources

Fr. Jos Tharakan was installed as the new rector at St. James’ Episcopal Church, Springfield, Missouri on December 1, 2017 Image credit: Gary Allman

Fr. Jos Tharakan was installed as the new rector at St. James’ Episcopal Church, Springfield, Missouri on December 1, 2017.


About Fr. Jos Tharakan

Fr. Jos Tharakan Image credit: Gary Allman

I was born in Kerala, India into a Roman Catholic Family. I went to a Capuchin Seminary at the age of 15 and was ordained a priest at 30. I then served in many congregations in Kerala and northern India before being called to serve in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas in 1997. I served in Fort Smith until 2001.

I came into the Episcopal Church in 2004 after completing two years of Clinical Pastoral Education in San Antonio, Texas and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. After being received into the Episcopal Church, Bishop Larry Maze appointed me as Missionary Chaplain to Christ Church, Mena. Later on, I was called as the rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Russellville, Arkansas. Where I served for ten years. 

While I was at All Saints’, I founded the House Of Blessings Foundation, a retreat and renewal center in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I also founded a Clergy Vacation Home, for pastors in active ministry so that they can take a few days of rest and renew themselves and their families. It is free for any priest/pastor in active ministry.

I love art, music, and design. I’ve developed several educational programs, composed music, and designed websites. My educational program called, CAMPaM: A Complimentary Alternative Method for Pastoral Ministry is approved for continuing education for chaplains, pastors and other healthcare professionals through the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. I presented this innovative program to the National Conference of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains in Kansas City, Kansas. 

I also produce Episcopal Daily, an aggregation of news, articles, stories and videos suggested by Episcopal bishops, clergy, and laity from across the world. It is available by email and online for anyone interested in knowing what Episcopalians are doing around the world.

I have two children. Asha (a girl, Hope, 13), Amrit (a boy, Divine Nectar, 9). They attend school in Springfield and are involved in youth programs in the Southern Deanery and children’s ministries at St. James. 

I believe in ‘God in all things, and people of all kinds,’ a Thomistic Theological conviction I coined as a slogan for the Episcopal Church’s attitude towards the world when the Rt. Rev. Katherine Schori visited Little Rock after she was elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. My motto in ministry is “Passionate personal Love for Jesus and His people.” I’m excited to be the rector of St. James, a community that lives the gospel and loves the people. 

Fr. Jos is rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Springfield.

Installation of Fr. Jim Lile at All saints’, Nevada

Gary Allman One-minute read.   Resources

The Installation of the Rev. Dr. James Lile, Jr. as Rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Nevada, Missouri Image credit: Gary Allman

The Installation of the Rev. Dr. James Lile, Jr. as Rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Nevada, Missouri took place on Sunday December 3, 2017.


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