Thursday, September 5, 2019
A Letter from our Priest-in-Charge
Dear St. Mary's family,

Summer vacations have largely ended, school is back in session, and the program year is about to begin!  Before we begin this Sunday, I ask for your indulgence as I share with you a few of my thoughts about where we are as a parish and some of our upcoming ministry opportunities.

Each year, every Episcopal parish submits a report to the national church that includes various metrics and statistics about parish life. The 2018 statistical numbers were released last week, and it doesn't take a statistician to know that things are dire. The Episcopal Church's Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) declined by 4% over the past year and has declined by 24.7% over the past ten years. The Diocese of West Missouri has declined 7.2% in the past year and 34.6% over the past ten years.   The good news is that St. Mary's is bucking the trends.  We've grown from an ASA of 55 in 2014 to 79 in 2018 (this includes all Sunday services) - that's 43% growth. We grew 32% from 2017 to 2018, and as of 8/31/19, have grown an additional 18%. There many contributing factors to our growth trend, but the single most important way any church grows is by  word-of-mouth invitation . The fact of the matter is that a good number of you are sharing your faith and inviting your friends. I encourage you to seek out opportunities to  begin praying for specific friends  in your life who are unchurched or looking for a church, and then ultimately  invite them  to join you at St. Mary's.  

Stewardship  is another metric that helps shed some light on the health of a parish. Last year's stewardship campaign was overwhelmingly positive, and through the end of August (66% of the year), we've received 57% of our committed pledges. Thank you for your financial commitment to St. Mary's! The 2020 Stewardship Campaign will begin in the coming weeks. I encourage you to  begin thinking and praying  about how you might support the life and ministry of St. Mary's financially. If you have not pledged before, please consider pledging! If you gave this year, please consider increasing your pledge for next year.

Since January 2018, the Bishop has accepted two St. Mary's parishioners as postulants for ordination: Lynda Hurt (deacon), Isaac Petty (priest). We have another parishioner who has formally started the process, and I'm aware of three others who are in the early stages of discernment. For a parish our size, it is somewhat amazing that we're raising up this many for ordained ministry!

This Sunday, the  St. George's Choir  is back in full force! We have several new choir members, including Molly Bruner Hon, Jim Ismert, and Jonathan Daniel. You may notice a few small changes to the liturgy, especially the change in the congregational Mass setting. After being on hiatus for the summer, Compline begins this coming Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m, sung by a schola of sopranos and altos. In October and November, Compline will be sung by guest choirs (of the highest quality!) and will include additional choral music before the service begins. The William Baker Festival Singers will sing Evensong and Benediction in both November and January as well as a concert on All Saints Sunday. There are also several concerts sung by outside groups on the schedule including Songflower Chorale, the American Guild of Organists, Summerfest, and more.  

John Simpson is leading the charge in discerning how we might best minister to our community in terms of  social justice . This coming Sunday after the 10:00 Mass, there will be a second Social Justice Committee meeting in the nave. Some of our members feel led to pursue  social action  (advocating for justice issues) while others are more interested in  social services  (directly serving the poor, those in prison, etc.). All are invited to come to this important meeting as we continue to discern how God is calling us to cast down the mighty and lift up the lowly in Jesus' name!

We continue in the long-standing St. Mary's tradition of having an Immaculate Reception each week after the 10:00 Mass, providing parishioners an opportunity to welcome new folks and share in food and fellowship. Raja Reed, Richard Liantonio, Sylvia Augustus, Betty Iorg, Todd Chenault-Wiseley, and many others provide a lovely spread each week!

Led by our own Todd Conklin, there are four  Alcoholics Anonymous  groups that meet at St. Mary's: Sunday at noon, Monday at 8pm, Friday at 7pm, and Saturday at 10am. If you have family or friends struggling with alcohol addiction, please let them know that there is help for them at St. Mary's!

We are very close to starting a formal  children's ministry  during the 10:00 Mass. The kids will be at Mass with the adults, except between the gospel reading and the offertory. Many thanks to Bonnie Haupt, Ros Powell, Chris Steinauer, and Michael Ritzel for being willing to help with this important ministry. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks, and once it's up and running, please let your friends with children know!

The St. Mary's Belles, the parish's  women's group , meet regularly for both matters of faith and fun. In particular, please mark your calendars for the Retreat scheduled for November 16th (more information below).

Thanks to the leadership of Fr. Sean Kim, Isaac Petty, and David Wilcox, there are multiple opportunities for  adult formation  this fall. The schedule through the end of the year is published below. 

Last but not least, the Mass, also called the Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion, is the heartbeat of our parish.   Mass is offered daily  (schedule below), providing an opportunity for prayer, contemplation, and spiritual nourishment throughout the week.  

I am so grateful for your faith, and for your devotion to St. Mary's Church! I hope and pray that you continue to grow in your faith this coming year, and as you do, that we as a parish continue to grow in faith and in numbers.

See you Sunday in church!

Peace,

Fr. Charles Everson
Priest-in-Charge
Sung Compline
Sunday, September 8, 7:00 p.m.

Compline is the final prayer service in the Church's ancient prayer cycle that marks the hours of the day. This month's service will be sung by a choir of sopranos and altos. It lasts about 25 minutes, and provides a peaceful way to end the weekend in contemplation and beauty.
Adult Formation
As we enter the fall season, we have a rich offering of adult formation events. Unless otherwise indicated, these events will occur immediately following the 10:00 Mass. Please mark your calendars:

September 22: “Instructed Eucharist”
One of the distinctive marks of the Anglo-Catholic tradition is its glorious liturgy. Our worship is beautiful and dignified but also complex and mysterious, filled with various ritual acts and gestures. In this “instructed Eucharist,” Fr. Charles and Fr. Sean will lead us in examining the theology behind the worship. Even cradle Episcopalians are not always sure why they do what they do during the service. This forum will provide us with an opportunity to walk through together the basic features of our central act of worship, the Holy Eucharist.

October 20: The Benedictine Theology of Work
Benedictine spirituality has profoundly influenced and shaped Anglicanism, from its Daily Office to its monastic orders. This forum focuses on the Benedictine theology of work . With its slogan ora et labora (pray and work), the Benedictine way of life is grounded in the integration of prayer and work. Fr. Charles and Nancy Wagner, our fellow parishioner and a member of the Worker Sisters of the Holy Spirit, will lead us in this exploration of the value and nature of work in the Benedictine tradition.

November 10: Funeral Planning
It is never too early to plan your own funeral! Please join us as we walk through the various decisions that need to be made about a funeral service. We will provide the forms you need to make your wishes known, and keep a copy on file in the church office.

November 23: Advent Quiet Day
The Northwest-Metro Deanery is hosting a day of quiet reflection in preparation for the Advent season. The time, location, and facilitator is TBD and will be announced in the coming weeks.

December 15: The Season of Advent
Dr. Douglas Hardy, Professor of Spiritual Formation at the Nazarene Theological Seminary, will present a lecture on the spirituality of Advent observance. Drawing on his scholarly work as well as his personal spiritual practice, Dr. Hardy will discuss the history and theology behind Advent observance in the various Christian traditions.
St. Mary's Belles
SHOPPING TRIP TO PARKVILLE
Saturday, September 14th
Meet at the church at 9:30 to carpool
__________________________________

Please save the date for our annual retreat:
"Preparing for Advent"
Deacon Linda Yeager, Facilitator
Saturday, November 16 
9:30-4:00
$30.00, includes lunch
St. Mary's Arts & Crafts
Thursday, September 26
10am-2pm
Bring a sack lunch and a craft project...or just come for coffee and fellowship.
Bring a friend!
This Week in the Church Calendar
Mon, Sept 9 - Constance and her Companions, Martyrs, 1878
Tue, Sept 10 - Alexander Crummel, 1898
Wed, Sept 11 - Harry Thacker Burleigh, Composer, 1949


Click here for more information about these celebrations, including Mass readings and short biographies of the saints.

Click here to pray the Daily Office!
Sermons
We post sermons preached on Sundays and Major Feasts on our website. You'll normally find both an audio recording and the text on  this page .
Pastoral Care
I f you experience a pastoral emergency and need to speak to a member of the St. Mary's clergy, please call 816-974-8082. This is a phone service that forwards the call to the clergyperson-on-call.

If you are scheduled for surgery or a serious medical procedure, or if there is a death in your family, please let us know via phone (816-842-0975) or email .
Donate to St. Mary's Online!
Weekly Service Schedule

Sunday
Low Mass: 8 a.m.  
Solemn High Mass: 10 a.m.
Sung Compline: 7 p.m. (2nd Sunday of the month)

Weekdays (except Wednesday)
12:00 p.m.: Low Mass

Wednesday 
6:00 p.m.: Evening Prayer with Holy Communion

Saturday
11:00 a.m.: Low Mass
Clergy and Staff

Priest-in-Charge

Assistant Priest for Formation
 
Rector Emeritus

Priest Associate
  
Deacon Administrator

Artist-in-Residence/Choirmaster
 
Organist
 
Sexton
Ms. Rosalyn Powell
Vestry

Mrs. Sharon Hunter-Putsch, Senior Warden
Mr. Donald E. Clark, Junior Warden
Bonnie Haupt
Mrs. Betty Iorg,
Mr. Chris McQueeny, Treasurer
Mr. Raja Reed
Mr. Dennis L. Robinson
Canon John L. Schaefer
Mr. David S. Wilcox II
                                                  
Mr. Isaac Petty, Clerk
Postulants for Holy Orders

Mr. Richard Liantonio
Mrs. Lynda Hurt
Mr. Isaac Petty
(816) 842-0975 | Website