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.

Icon: “Mama” by Kelly Latimore

We are honored to be the home of the original icon “Mama” by local iconographer Kelly Latimore. The icon was written earlier this summer, after the death of George Floyd.

Holy Communion, through our commitment to becoming Beloved Community, continue to work to reflect the diversity of our congregation and our neighborhood in sacred art on display in the church. We are so grateful to Kelly Latimore for choosing our congregation to be the home of this icon.

You can buy prints of the icon through Kelly’s store. All proceeds go to these organizations: Mothers Against Police Brutality, ArchCity Defenders, Inc., and the NAACP legal defense fund.

Rector’s Book

Our rector has written a new book: “How Can I Live Peacefully with Justice? It’s part of the “Little Books of Guidance” series from Church Publishing. The book narrates several stories from the life of Holy Communion, talking about how the rector first came to know the church at a Ferguson protest, the development of our Laundry Love ministry and our relationship with El Salvador.

The book is dedicated: ““to all the folks with whom I’ve marched (in church or the streets), and especially to Ellis and Silas.”

Trans 101 Training

Holy Communion partnered with St. Louis Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) to provide a Trans 101 virtual training. The archived video is available below and on our YouTube Channel. 

This training is part of our ongoing work as a congregation around building “Beloved Community,” safe and welcoming space for justice and equity. The MTUG Trans 101 presentation is designed to answer basic questions about Trans people and experiences, and to clarify terminology and define best practices for Trans cultural competency. It does so with plenty of time for personal narrative from the facilitators and Q & A for the participants. The training is presented by the Director of MTUG, Sayer Johnson.

The slides are available here. (Please contact MTUG for any permission to use slides beyond your own education)

Bishop-Elect Deon Johnson’s Statement on the Killing of George Floyd

Dear sisters and brothers,

The last few weeks have been painful. We have watched in disbelief, anger, horror, sadness, shock and outrage, the public lynching of George Floyd in the street of Minneapolis, MN. Those emotions were further exacerbated by the actions of the President of the United States and the escalation of violence in cities across our nation. All the while peaceful protesters have taken to the streets to demand justice and to call our nation to live more fully into its ideals.

These past few weeks I have ranged from profound sadness to a simmering anger; sadness that this is happening in 2020 and anger because I am George Floyd, my eight year old son is George Floyd. I have marched with clergy of our diocese to call for justice and I have lamented the countless men, women, and children whose names and lives have been sacrificed to racial inequity. We have been here before.

While I do not condone the use of violence, I know that at the heart of the protest and acts of vandalism lives the festering sins of racism and white supremacy, the legacies of chattel slavery. At the core of racism and white supremacy, lives fear. Fear often masquerades as conviction and certainty. Fear would tell us that dignity belongs to some and not to others. As followers of Jesus, we must live and know that perfect love casts out fear. We must, in the words of the Prophet Micah, “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”

As we see through the glass of this time dimly, we as followers of Christ are called to defend the rights and dignity of all God’s children, seeking and serving Christ in all people, even those with whom we disagree. We must be about the mission of working for justice and showing God’s love in this time and place. We must be about the mission of speaking truth to power and making no peace with oppression. Lest we get distracted by the schemes and gimmicks of those who peddle in fear, we must be about the business of the loving our neighbors as ourselves in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Therefore, my sisters and brothers in Christ, let us work tirelessly to eradicate from ourselves, from our churches, from our neighborhoods, and our nation the fear which denies, divides and destroys. May we work towards the beloved community and together pray that God might, “grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour.”

May God’s peace be ours today and always.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Deon K. Johnson 11th Bishop-elect

View the statement in pdf form.

I invite congregations in the Diocese of Missouri to pray for the healing of our nation and an end to the sin of racism and white supremacy:

God of justice, in your wisdom you create all people in your image, without exception. Through your goodness, open our eyes to see the dignity, beauty, and worth of every human being. Open our minds to understand that all your children are brothers and sisters in the same human family. Open our hearts to repent of racist attitudes, behaviors, and speech which demean others. Open our ears to hear the cries of those wounded by racial discrimination, and their passionate appeals for change. Strengthen our resolve to make amends for past injustices and to right the wrongs of history. And fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

NO-CONTACT KIDS’ CLOTHING EXCHANGE

As the seasons change and the weather warms, you may notice that your child’s clothes from last summer don’t fit! Here’s what we know: 

  1. people should not be entering stores to purchase spring/summer clothes while we are on stay-home orders.
  2. budgets are tight with 22 million Americans filing for unemployment.
  3. kids are still growing!

To address these needs, we want to invite you to participate in our No-Contact Kids’ Clothing Exchange.

UPDATE: We have decided to make May 7 the deadline to sign up for “round one.” (With another round later in May). Please sign up soon!

Here is how it will work. This link takes you to a Google form to fill out. You can list clothes you need, clothes you have to offer, or both. Once we have this information collected, we will connect people based on needs and donations, and share contact information so you can arrange porch drop offs. Grandchildren, friends, and neighbors are welcome to participate!

Questions? Contact our office.

Theology on Tap Feb. 5: Reclaiming Dr. King with Prof. Ben Sanders

Join us for a conversation with The Rev. Dr. Ben Sanders III of Eden Seminary as he leads us in an exploration of Dr. King’s legacy. In 1967, Dr. King stated that his “dream had turned into a nightmare.” On the heels of this year’s celebration, how would King evaluate the state of our union? 

Professor Sanders’ PhD thesis seeks to “reestablish black theology as a resource for contemporary churches in need of a robust theological approach to race and racism.” 

Location Change: Theology on Tap will meet for the first time at the Schlafly Bottleworks. 

Theology on Tap seeks to create a “low pressure” environment for conversations about faith, ethics, politics, and life today. Join us and bring friends! 

rsvp

Ofrenda de Muertos: Altar of Remembrance (bring your photo/recuerdito)

In Latin America, the dead are remembered – and celebrated – in a unique way every year.  Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is celebrated on November 2,  All Soul’s Day, with colorful, joyous altars filled with mementos and photos of the beloved  to honor and remember those who have died.

Over the next weeks at Holy Communion, we will be decorating an altar in our parish lounge as we prepare to celebrate the Feast of All Saints and Dia De Los Muertos.

All are encouraged to bring a photo or other memento of a loved one who has died and place it on the altar.  You are also welcome to light a candle in this special place. and take a few minutes to rest and remember all those important people who have graced our lives..

We’ll bless the “ofrenda” on All Saints Sunday, November 3 during both services. Join us that Sunday at 9:15am for an intergenerational formation activity, exploring the roots of the holiday and finishing our decorations.

August 18: Remembering Michael Brown (5th Anniversary)

Watch the Sermon:

On August 18, The Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, co-chair of the Ferguson Commission was our guest preacher at both services. Michael Brown died five years ago this past August 10. Holy Communion marked the anniversary of his death, and of the start of the movement that arose in the streets of Ferguson.

Watch the forum:

At 9:15am, between the services we held a forum with Dr. Wilson and our own Rudy Nickens, who served as the governor’s staff representative to the Ferguson Commission. We asked, “five years since the Ferguson Uprising, what has changed and what work still lies ahead?”

The Episcopal Presence at Pride St. Louis 2019

For details about where to find us at the various Pride events. Click here.

Dear Fellow Episcopalians,

Yesterday we learned that Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) was stepping down from their role as grand marshal for the 2019 St. Louis Pride Parade, in response to the decision to allow police to march armed and in uniform. As the priests in charge of the congregations organizing this year’s Episcopal presence at Pride, we met the news with sadness and concern. Too often the voices of our Trans siblings are ignored or silenced, even within the LGBTQ+ community. MTUG’s decision made us question whether we could still ethically participate in Pride.

After discussion with MTUG leaders, we have decided the following: 

  • We will continue to co-host the 10:00am Interfaith Service at the Pride Main Stage. It is important that affirming people of faith show up wherever the LGBTQ+ community gathers. It is important that we stand together for love and make room for religious expression that embraces LGBTQ+ folks. The service has always been independent from the parade.
  • As clergy members, we will join Friday in MTUG’s “Trans and Gender Free Pride March,” starting at 5:30pm at the corner of Arsenal and Oregon. We will march together to Benton Park to hear speakers from the Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) community. We invite our congregations and communities to join in this rally organized by Trans and GNC people and centered around Trans and GNC voices of color.
  • We will still participate in the Pride Parade, but we will endeavor to carry the spirit of the Friday march with us. We will not be entering a “float” or playing loud music, as in years past. We will walk, carrying banners and signs. Our message in the parade is two-fold. We will say clearly to the thousands who are gathered: “God loves the LGBTQ+ Community.” We will also say: “We stand with MTUG and our Trans Siblings.”

Between the Interfaith Service and the Pride Parade, all are invited to join us for lunch at Christ Church Cathedral. As we wait for the parade to step off, we will hold a discussion about continuing the work for justice and equity with LGBTQ+ people in and beyond our church communities. 

Losing MTUG as a leader for this year’s Pride Parade is a real disappointment. As people of faith, we know we need to do a better job centering the voices and leadership of trans and gender-expansive folks. We are sorry not to be led on Sunday by MTUG, but we hope in the coming years to follow the organization’s lead as we work to make St. Louis a more embracing place.

In Faith,
The Very Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd
Dean, Christ Church Cathedral

The Rev. Mike Angell
Rector, The Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion

The Rev. Beth Scriven
Chaplain, Rockwell House Episcopal Campus Ministry