Capital Campaign Questionnaire

Our parish is considering a capital campaign. In order to assess the level of support for
campaign, we are asking members and friends of Holy Communion to compete a survey.
All answers will be kept confidential and at no time will you be asked for a binding pledge.

In order to fill out the survey, you will need your Unique ID number. You should will received the ID in a packet picked up at church on Sunday September 23, or mailed to your house with the paper questionnaire. (The goal of the unique ID is to ensure we receive one questionnaire response per household). If you need your unique ID, or any other help contact the parish office: 314-721-7401 or

Answers from the congregation to this survey will directly impact the leadership’s
decisions. Your thoughts and opinions matter.

Fill out the questionnaire today.

If you have questions concerning this study or the campaign, please contact the rector,
Mike Angell:


Campaign Materials

Download a copy of the rector’s letter and Case Statement

See a high resolution copy of the architect’s drawings from the proposal

El Salvador Weekend October 7-8

This year, we will celebrate our partnership with Cristosal and El Salvador October 7-8. There are many opportunities for folks to get involved.

On Sunday October 7 Noah Bullock, executive director of Cristosal, will be our guest preacher and the speaker at our Adult Forum.

Columbus day has come into controversy in recent years. We thought there was no better time to look at issues of justice that continue to connect North America and Central America, and to talk about Human Rights. Noah Bullock, executive director of Cristosal, will talk about the Human Rights based approach his organization has been taking in the region, and will talk about ways that people of faith can make a difference.

On Monday October 8, Noah will present at a forum co-hosted by Holy Communion and Washington University’s Danforth Center:

Please join us when Noah Bullock, Executive Director of Cristosal, discusses how a human rights-based approach, grounded in faith systems, informs work in El Salvador and with U.S. Policy. How are the systems of economics, migration, and violence connected between Central America and the U.S., and what can people of faith can do in response?

A panel of local leaders will join the conversation to discuss some of the promise and challenges to implementing these strategies in the St. Louis area.

Please register by following this link (registration will give you parking information, and access to a free reception after the event.)

Presiding Bishop’s Director of Reconciliation at Holy Communion

On Sunday September 16, The Rev. Melanie Mullen WAS our guest preacher, and presented at our Adult Forum. Melanie serves as the Presiding Bishop’s Director of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation-care. In this role she lead the Episcopal Church’s work on racial reconciliation and justice, domestic poverty, stewardship of creation, and the United Thank Offering. She talked with the congregation about ways our “Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement” is working practically across the world, for justice, reconciliation, and God’s dream. How can we be involved in the wider work?

Hear her forum discussion:

You can hear her sermon using our Sermon Player.

Farewell Connor

One of the dangers in hiring talented young professionals involves knowing you will one day have to say goodbye as they continue their career. On Monday, our organist Connor Scott submitted his resignation to me and our Music Director Mary Chapman. He has been called as the organist of Webster Hills United Methodist Church where he will accompany a large choir program and contemporary worship.
It has been a joy to work with Connor these past two years. He has brought not just musical talent, but a real gift for teaching and laughter to his work. Connor will be especially missed for the work he did to lead our littlest children in the occasional “cherub choir.” Over the past two years Connor has also helped us get a much better understanding of the work we need to do to repair and update our historic 1924 Möller pipe organ. (Watch a video below of Connor describing the work ahead for the organ).

Mary and I have already begun assembling a committee to interview and audition candidates to be our next organist. Connor’s last Sunday with us will be September 9. We will have a light reception after the 10:30a service that day. We wish him godspeed in all of his endeavors.

In Christ,
Mike +

Message from the Rector Regarding the Olive Development

Earlier this month, I preached a sermon taking a position on the current debate about a proposed development at Olive and 170 in University City’s third ward. Later the same week I spoke at an open meeting with members of the City Council and the mayor present, announcing a clergy statement in support of a Community Benefits Agreement process that we hope will be attached to the approval of this project.

There is an important meeting on Thursday August 23rd at 6:00pm at University City high school. Please plan to attend, if you can.

Yesterday I sent a letter to the council and TIF Commission. You can read the entire letter here. I sent the letter because our original clergy statement has not been handled well. In my letter, I apologize for the poor organization around the clergy statement. Below you will see an excerpt from my letter to the council and commission. I wanted to make these remarks public, because they speak not only to the council, but especially to the wider community.

From my latest letter to the Council and Commission:

Sometimes we learn from our mistakes. In this case, I learned that the discussion about a TIF in University City has devolved into a wholly uncivil affair. In the days since I made a comment, I have had my motives and my integrity questioned in person, over the phone, and online by advocates of the Olive project. I have reason to apologize, but my deepest regret is that my actions played into a wider climate of incivility. I regret the whole environment of distrust, anger, and point-scoring which has come to characterize our public life in University City. I lament that this is the way we are choosing to engage the biggest economic decision our city will make in a generation.

The journalist Krista Tippett has called civility “an adventure, not an exercise in niceness. It is a departure from ways of being and interacting that aren’t serving in our age of change.”   We could use such a departure and such an adventure in University City. I still believe a Community Benefits Agreement could be a morally useful tool in the process of negotiation with the developer. But I believe a CBA process could be more. The work to build a Community Benefits Agreement for this project could also help change the atmosphere of distrust we have created in our community.

I believe a CBA could be a useful tool, if the TIF goes forward, to bring us together for an adventurous conversation, one where members of the community could meet on an even playing field with the developer and city officials. If the council remains opposed to using the name “Community Benefits Agreement,” we can find different language. I am more concerned about the content and the process of developing such an agreement than the name. If the project goes forward, I want to see our community brought together, not driven further apart.

On Thursday night, we will likely learn if the TIF Commission will approve funding for this project. If they do, I remain committed to working with city officials to bring people of faith from across our city together. Council members have said they will plan a series of meetings, asking residents for their input about the kinds of commitments we hope to see in the final agreement between the city and the developer. If the TIF passes, I will work with my fellow clergy members to organize the community to attend and contribute to that process.

I still believe an independently negotiated Community Benefits Agreement would be a better tool, but if the TIF is approved without an independent CBA, I hope we will come together to negotiate a strong development agreement, insuring that if the project finally goes forward, the most vulnerable of our community will see new opportunities for living wage jobs, education, and safe affordable housing for years to come.

I hope you will join me in standing up at the meeting Thursday evening, so that if the TIF Commission approves the project funding, the council knows the community is ready to engage a conversation about justice and breaking the cycle of poverty.

Pardon our Construction

Holy Communion is making some minor updates to Mitchell Hall and the Lounge. We anticipate opening the hall and the new nursery September 9. Please pardon the construction and, for your safety, respect the barriers that mark the construction area while these projects are underway.

Recently crews removed the worn and stained carpet in Mitchell Hall and uncovered the historic wood floor. The vestry has approved a plan to repair and refinish the hardwood, which should be complete by the beginning of September. Mitchell Hall will be closed for the next few weeks as the work is completed.

The new nursery space, carved out of the lounge, is almost completed. At the moment the space is being utilized as temporary storage for much of Mitchell Hall’s furniture, and the space remains closed. We plan to open the nursery on September 9. If you’d like to know more about the nursery, email Heidi Olliff.

Music Festival: Celebrating the Church Year through Scripture Readings and Music

Join us for the second of this year’s Festival Choral Eucharist on November 18 at 10:30am. In this service of Readings & Music, we will revisit all the seasons of the church’s liturgical calendar year, from Advent thru Ordinary time, as we prepare for the cycle to begin again. We’ll hear a piece of music and a reading from each season.

Music Festivals are a wonderful opportunity to experience different kinds of music, and will be presented periodically throughout the program year. Invite your friends and neighbors to join us for some great music. Postcards outlining the festival schedule can be found on the round table in the Lounge; take one for yourself, and take several to give to friends and family!

Lessons and Carols for Christmas

Join us for a special music festival service Sunday December 16. Our choir and clergy will lead us in lessons and carols for the season as we turn from Advent toward Christmas. There are no tickets, and like all services at Holy Communion there is no charge for admission. All are welcome, but you may want to plan to arrive early to get a good seat, this service tends to fill up.

Where does this tradition come from?

The tradition of the service of Lessons and Carols comes from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, where it was first observed on Christmas Eve, 1918. Since 1919 the service has begun with the hymn “Once in royal David’s city.” Most often this was introduced by a boy chorister, singing alone, unaccompanied. Custom has it that no one knows which boy will sing the famous opening verse, including that boy himself, until the conductor gives him the signal to begin.

The service was adapted from an Order drawn up by the Reverend E.W. Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, for use in the wooden shed that then served as his cathedral in Truro, at 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1880. Beginning in 1928 the service was broadcast by the BBC, and except in 1930, it has been heard annually. Sometime during the 1930s, overseas broadcasts were begun, resulting in millions of world-wide listeners each year.

A worldwide Anglican tradition.

Since its beginning the service has been adapted for use around the globe. One correspondent reported hearing the service in a tent on the foothills of Mt. Everest; another, in the desert. King’s College Dean Eric Milner-White, who instituted the services in Cambridge, points out, “The main theme is the development of the loving purposes of God. . .[seen] through the windows and words of the Bible.” Many of those who took part in the first service must have recalled loved ones killed in the Great War when it came to the famous passage “all those who rejoice with us but on another shore and in a greater light.”

This December 24 marks the one hundredth service at King’s College, Cambridge. In addition to those present for the service, and those listening to the broadcast, thousands more will celebrate with Lessons and Carols in local services, as we do in this parish. So it is that we at Holy Communion, in University City, in this year of our Lord two thousand and eighteen, join the throngs of pilgrims to the Manger, preparing for the coming of Messiah by means of this Service of Lessons and Carols. God with us. Emmanuel.

Announcing a new Senior Warden

I am pleased to announce the appointment of your next senior warden: Shirley Mensah.  The Senior Warden serves as the rector’s advisor, and leads the vestry (the parish’s governing board) in the rector’s absence. Shirley accepted my appointment earlier this summer, and we shared the news with the vestry at their last meeting.
Scott Ferguson had been senior warden since the beginning of my tenure in 2015. Scott’s term on vestry finishes in January of 2019, and together we determined it would be prudent to make the transition while Scott still has several months left. I am grateful to Scott for his patient and consistent advice these three and a half years, and I look forward to working more closely with Shirley, already a trusted leader in the congregation.
In the weeks and months ahead, the vestry will continue discernment toward a capital campaign. You can read more below about the process here. We hope you will take some time in the coming weeks to speak with a Shirley, Susan Norris our Junior Warden, or another Vestry member about the work.
We are first and last a diverse and welcoming community seeking to walk in the way of Jesus. I am grateful for my fellow leaders in this work of walking with God. Please keep the vestry in your prayers in this season of transition and of goal-setting. And please join me in thanking both Scott Ferguson and Shirley Mensah for their leadership!

In Christ,
Mike +

Concert to End Gun Violence

On Sunday, September 23, 2018, at the 10:30 service, our Music Festival will remember the forgotten victims of America’s gun violence epidemic with The Concert Across America, a series of live music events of all sizes from coast to coast. We are joining places of worship across the country who are holding their own music event, be it humble or humongous, to raise the volume on the national effort to save lives from gun violence.

A Featured Piece that will be sung in the festival:

This is the first in our 2018-2019 season of Music Festival Services (click for the full list).