2021 Nominations

The nominations committee of Holy Communion is pleased to announce our vestry nominees for 2021. The Annual Meeting on January 31 at 4pm will elect members of the vestry.

The Following People are nominated to serve on the vestry

Fran Caradonna

Nominated for a first term

I come from a long line of Episcopalians on both sides, and the church has always been a central part of my immediate and extended family’s life.  We sing the doxology before large family meals, and I’m related to a number of active and retired priests and vestry folk.  

When I moved to St. Louis in the early 80s, my new “raised Catholic” husband and I were regulars at the 8:00 a.m. service at St. Michael and St. George.  When our children were little, we attended Emmanuel in Webster and became active at Transfiguration when we moved to O’Fallon.  I grew up knowing that if (when?) the going got tough, my church family would be there for me.

And it was.  When my world fell apart, I could always find my place in the sanctuary, hear the comfortable words and be surrounded by people who knew me and could love me back to some kind of new normal.

But over time my connection to the church began to unravel.  I had a meaningful spiritual awakening in entirely different context and found myself drifting away from my Episcopal roots.  My children grew up, my 30-year marriage ended, and my career languished.  In 2016 I pulled up stakes in O’Fallon, moved to University City and started over.  

Still…I felt the need to find a church home.  Even with ties that were tenuous, the connection seemed important.  So I visited the Episcopal church closest to my house and, before we celebrated the Eucharist, I knew that I’d found a new place at Holy Communion.  

What I find so attractive at HoCo is that together we walk the talk, we do the work, and we show up…not just on Sunday morning, either! We make a difference — to each other, but also to our neighbors and the community at large.  

I am so grateful for this renewed appreciation of our church traditions, and I’m happy for the new relationships and opportunities to serve that I’ve found here.  I look forward to our shared journey and trust that God is with us every step of the way. 

Courtney Dula

Nominated for a first term

In 1984 Courtney Dula-Pearson was baptized in Oakland, California at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. Her family moved to St. Louis in 1989 and began attending All Saints Episcopal church with other family members. After spending nine years out of state for school, she began regularly attending services at Holy Communion in 2010. At Holy Communion, Courtney has acted as lay co-organizer of the Holy Communion Parents And Caregivers of Kids (HoCo PACK), joined the Grant Committee and in 2020 was a lay delegate for the parish at the 181st Convention of The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri.

Outside Church, Courtney works as a research coordinator in the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. When not working or learning a new hobby, she enjoys spending time with her husband (Adam), daughter (Vivi) and son (Phin). She is delighted to have been nominated to Vestry.

Rudy Nickens

Nominated for a second term

I wasn’t looking for a church home when I first visited Holy Communion in 1998. I was happy to be an occasional visitor. But it did not take many visits to recognize that this is the parish for me.

I was raised in a family that was faithfully Christian, and unchurched.  Seeking something more, I  started attending church as a young adult and was confirmed at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, where I served in a variety of roles there, including cook, vestry, Junior Warden, and representative on the diocesan task force on AIDS.  Since joining Holy Communion, I have also served on a variety of committees including the Diocesan Search Committee for Bishop.

My vocation is in the field of diversity and inclusion.  Currently I serve as Chief Diversity Officer for the Missouri Department of Transportation and as Executive Coach and head of Equity for the California based consulting firm, Evolution. I am fortunate to work locally, nationally and internationally on a variety of programs especially in the areas of racism and sexism.  In my volunteer roles, I serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Deaconess Foundation, board member of David Dorfman Dance and I lead the equity committee of the Missouri Historical Society’s tribute to the LGBTQ+ community, Gateway to Pride.

It has been my privilege to serve as a member of the vestry and I am honored to serve a second term.

A Message from the Rector: Uncovering White Supremacy

Today is the feast of the Epiphany, marking the end of the Christmas season. The word Epiphany means “to reveal” or “to uncover.” I had originally planned to go live today from Church to say some prayers to bless chalk, so that folks could come by our office entrance to pick up that chalk and use it to bless their homes, a centuries old tradition at the Epiphany. But today another house, the US House of Representatives is under siege by rioters who seek to terrorize our democracy.

For some of us today’s news comes as a surprise, a shock. For others, less so. Today is an Epiphany, an uncovering. What we are seeing play out on TV, and on the internet, is an uncovering of a sickness that has been festering on our shores for centuries. The current president and administration have emboldened racist, xenophobic, and other bigoted ideologies, and the actions of elected leaders that egged on and supported the rioters deserve to be condemned.

But these ideas didn’t start four years ago. These four years have been an uncovering of an ugly reality present in this land for centuries. We don’t need to simply reckon with what is happening today, but with the 400 years that have lead to this moment.

Before I moved to St. Louis, I served a church in downtown Washington. I still have dear friends and parishioners who live and work on capitol hill, as staffers, as reporters, as clergy. I pray today they are safe. I pray today for our country, for our nation’s capitol, and the people I know and love who make it their home.

The Epiphany is a day for an uncovering, but it is also directional. Friends, we get to choose which star we follow. I’ll say more about this in my sermon on Sunday. But as you see the scenes playing out today, if you are shocked today, I want you to get curious. Ask yourself, “what can I do to challenge our nation’s legacy and present reality of oppression?” How can I fight \the suppression of the votes and voices of black citizens, women, differently abled folks, queer people, immigrants, and people of different religious traditions? What can I do to enforce their voices and votes?” If you are angry, in the spirit of the Epiphany, ask yourself, “What road will I choose next?”

I’ve blessed the chalk offscreen today. It felt more important to use this video to say these few words. I’ll say more, we’ll pray more this Sunday. For now, would you pray with me this prayer from the The Book of Common Prayer?

Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this
land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as
their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to
eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those
who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law
and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of
us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

– Book of Common Prayer page 826

Annual Meeting 2021

We will gather for a combined annual meeting and parking lot Eucharist on Sunday January 31st at 4pm at Jackson Elementary School. (Click here for directions).

This year’s annual meeting will have to look different from years past. (Click here for a full video of last year’s meeting). Reports will be made available in written form and in video form online.

Annual Meeting is an important moment in the life of an Episcopal Church. As a denomination, we are governed by our members. At the Annual Meeting we make important decisions together. We elect our representatives to the wider church governance body: the diocesan convention. We elect members of our vestry, the board which governs the parish throughout the year. The list of nominees will be available soon.

We will post annual meeting reports below as they become available:

Report of the Nominations Committee (Vestry Nominees 2021)

Post Election Prayers

Wednesday November 4: Join us in prayer

The Day after the election, we will have two opportunities to come together

  • 12:10pm In the middle of the day we we gather on the front lawn of the church for a brief service of prayer.
  • 5:30pm We will Gather at the Sons of Rest Pavilion in Tower Grove Park. We’ll have time for prayer, and to process together about the state of the election. 

Meet our new seminarian Emilee Walker-Cornetta

Emilee Walker-Cornetta is a postulant for holy orders in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. She holds a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently studying for a Masters in Sacred Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary. She is a board-certified healthcare chaplain and the former Coordinator of Pastoral Care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York City. As a chaplain, she has had a special interest in improving access to hospital-based spiritual care for underserved populations. Her spouse, Andrew, is a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University. Emilee and Andrew live with their daughters Reggie and Mona in University City.  Her recently adopted and new favorite hobby is making handbuilt pottery at home.

Join “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God” our whole church Hymn for All Saints Day

This All Saints Day, you are invited to join the virtual choir! We are asking all the members of Holy Communion to video themselves singing along to “I sing a song of the saints of God. Simply plug in your headphones, start your recording, and sing along to the video below.

Download the sheet music here.

You can download detailed instructions for virtual choir here. *Just be sure to upload the file using the link below.

When your video is done, upload it here.

Interfaith Immigration Webinars

For decades, faith communities have been on the front lines of immigration justice and refugee resettlement in the United States. The 2020 election may be one of the most consequential elections regarding foreign-born populations in this country. This presents an important opportunity for people of faith and good will to prophetically live into their values through careful discernment and intentional action amidst the complex decisions before us. Join us for the final two sessions of our interfaith webinar series, “Immigration & the 2020 Election,” as faith leaders and experts come together to discuss existing policies, the global crisis, and the role of religious institutions and individuals. 

Oct. 21 at 5:30pm “Not Just the Wall: Barriers Faced by Migrant Communities”

This webinar will explore the realties throughout the phases of the migrant journey: along the US-Mexico border under “zero tolerance” policies, in immigrant detention, and through interior enforcement right here in St. Louis, Missouri.

Oct. 28 at 5:30pm: “Why People of Faith Should Care about Immigration”

This webinar will feature a robust panel of theologians and diverse faith leaders who will explore the histories of some traditions and the teachings that propel the faithful to action in matters of justice.

Make a Difference Day

Saturday morning, October 10th , (rain day Saturday October 17th) Holy Communion will participate in the 2020 SHED (Safe Homes for the Elderly and Disabled as part of University City’s 2020 Month of Service. The event is being organized in collaboration with the City of University City, the University City School district, and other local churches. We are looking for volunteers who are willing to help with gardening, home maintenance and repairs.  No advanced skills needed. All work will be outside and volunteers will wear masks and be socially distanced.
For over a decade SHED has helped coordinate this community-wide effort to assist seniors and disabled residents with home maintenance and repairs. Past events have drawn hundreds of volunteers to work on as many as 40 homes in one day, addressing code violations, health and safety issues, as well as supporting seniors to age in place and maintain the value of their homes.

Worship in a Pandemic

Our pandemic advisory committee continues to monitor the state of the virus. Until the numbers go down significantly in Missouri, we have postponed planning to worship together again in our building. In the meantime you are invited to worship with us online each Sunday at 10:30am. Our homepage puts out a high quality stream from a service called Vimeo. If you don’t have the strongest internet signal the video may skip. If you’re having issues, try streaming from our YouTube or Facebook pages. (On facebook a number of our parishioners comment live, and it’s fun to say “hi” to one another and pass the peace virtually).

Outdoor Worship

On the some Sundays and Feast days, in addition to our morning livestream, we have an outdoor Eucharist service at 4pm at Jackson Park elementary’s parking lot. Registration is required, and there are limited spaces. Click here for more and to register.

Here is an archive of past services: