Morning Prayer March 15


The congregation is invited to say the words together in bold.

Jesus said: “If any of you would come after me, deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me.”

Opening Hymn

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

Officiant and People together, all kneeling

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.

O Lord, Open our lips.

And our mouths shall proclaim your praise.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: as it was in the
beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Opening Psalm

Come, let us sing to the Holy One;

let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving, 

and raise a loud shout with psalms.

For you, O God, are a great God; 

you are great above all gods.

In your hand are the caverns of the earth, 

and the heights of the hills are yours also. Refrain. 

The sea is yours, for you made it, 

and your hands have molded the dry land.

Come, let us bow down and bend the knee, 

and kneel before God, our Maker,

For you are our God,

and we are the people of your pasture and the sheep of your hand. 

Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!

Harden not your hearts,

as your forebears did in the wilderness, Refrain. 

at Meribah, and on that day at Massah,

when they tempted me;

They put me to the test, 

though they had seen my works.

Forty years long I detested that generation and said, 

“This people are wayward in their hearts;

they do not know my ways.”

So I swore in my wrath, 

“They shall not enter into my rest.” Refrain.

The Lessons

A Reading from the book of Exodus

The whole Israelite community broke camp and set out from the Sin desert to continue their journey, as the Lord commanded. They set up their camp at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people argued with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why are you arguing with me? Why are you testing the Lord?” But the people were very thirsty for water there, and they complained to Moses, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What should I do with this people? They are getting ready to stone me.” The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of Israel’s elders with you. Take in your hand the shepherd’s rod that you used to strike the Nile River, and go. I’ll be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Hit the rock. Water will come out of it, and the people will be able to drink.” Moses did so while Israel’s elders watched. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites argued with and tested the Lord, asking, “Is the Lord really with us or not?”

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Hymn after the reading

A Reading from Pauls letter to the Romans

Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. While we were still weak, at the right moment, Christ died for ungodly people. It isn’t often that someone will die for a righteous person, though maybe someone might dare to die for a good person. But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us. So, now that we have been made righteous by his blood, we can be even more certain that we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. If we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son while we were still enemies, now that we have been reconciled, how much more certain is it that we will be saved by his life? And not only that: we even take pride in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, the one through whom we now have a restored relationship with God.

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Hymn after the reading

A Reading from the Gospel according to John.

He came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, which was near the land Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus was tired from his journey, so he sat down at the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.” His disciples had gone into the city to buy him some food. The Samaritan woman asked, “Why do you, a Jewish man, ask for something to drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (Jews and Samaritans didn’t associate with each other.)

Jesus responded, “If you recognized God’s gift and who is saying to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would be asking him and he would give you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you don’t have a bucket and the well is deep. Where would you get this living water? You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave this well to us, and he drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again.

The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will never be thirsty and will never need to come here to draw water!” Jesus said to her, “Go, get your husband, and come back here.” The woman replied, “I don’t have a husband.” “You are right to say, ‘I don’t have a husband,’” Jesus answered. “You’ve had five husbands, and the man you are with now isn’t your husband. You’ve spoken the truth.”

The woman said, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you and your people say that it is necessary to worship in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you and your people will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You and your people worship what you don’t know; we worship what we know because salvation is from the Jews.

But the time is coming—and is here!—when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth. The Father looks for those who worship him this way. God is spirit, and it is necessary to worship God in spirit and truth.” The woman said, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one who is called the Christ. When he comes, he will teach everything to us.” Jesus said to her, “I Am—the one who speaks with you.” Just then, Jesus’ disciples arrived and were shocked that he was talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

The woman put down her water jar and went into the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who has told me everything I’ve done! Could this man be the Christ?” They left the city and were on their way to see Jesus. In the meantime the disciples spoke to Jesus, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” Jesus said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” The disciples asked each other, “Has someone brought him food?” Jesus said to them, “I am fed by doing the will of the one who sent me and by completing his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘Four more months and then it’s time for harvest’? Look, I tell you: open your eyes and notice that the fields are already ripe for the harvest. Those who harvest are receiving their pay and gathering fruit for eternal life so that those who sow and those who harvest can celebrate together. This is a true saying, that one sows and another harvests. I have sent you to harvest what you didn’t work hard for; others worked hard, and you will share in their hard work.”

Many Samaritans in that city believed in Jesus because of the woman’s word when she testified, “He told me everything I’ve ever done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. Many more believed because of his word, and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this one is truly the savior of the world.”

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Sermon: the Rev. Mike Angell Rector

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Prayers

The Lord be with you
And also with you

Let us pray

Our Father, who art in heaven,
     hallowed be thy Name,
     thy kingdom come,
     thy will be done,
         on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
     as we forgive those
         who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
     but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
     and the power, and the glory,
     for ever and ever. Amen.

A Litany

God the Father, 
Have mercy on us.

God the Son,
Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, 
Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Most merciful God, we come to you in this time of anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19. As the sorrows of our heart and mind increase, we beseech you to save us from all trouble and fear. Cast away all works of darkness. Be our rock, a castle to keep us safe. For the Lord is our stronghold and sure defense, and he will be our Savior.

For all who have died: receive them into the arms of your mercy, grant them eternal peace, and surround those who mourn with your healing grace. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For those directly infected with the virus: help them recover in good health and restore them in body, mind and spirit. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For those at high risk of infection, especially the elderly, those with underlying illnesses, the marginalized, and the poor: keep them healthy and free from all sickness. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For those in quarantine, the shut-in, and the infirmed: help them find peace, keep them in good health, and renew their mind and spirit. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For all hospitals, doctors, nurses, and staff: protect them as they minister to the sick, relieve all stress, and provide the resources and space to meet the needs of all the infirmed. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For first responders: guard them from all harm, and grant them strength and courage as they respond to all calls for help. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For service industry workers and those forced to work as their community shuts down: keep them healthy, bestow the resources to best care for themselves and their families, and assure them in times of financial and medical anxiety. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For those experiencing financial loss and uncertainty of resources: have mercy on them, alleviate any fear, and provide for them daily bread and wage.  
Lord, hear our prayer.

For the leaders of this nation and the world: help them make sound and safe decisions to best secure the future of our planet.  
Lord, hear our prayer.

For all schools, students, teachers, administrators and school staff: as schools remain open, keep them healthy and in good spirit to learn; as schools close, feed those who will go hungry without guaranteed meals and shelter all students have no place to live. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For all scientists and those working to find a cure: inspire them towards your truth, and help them discover and disseminate a vaccine and cure. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For all media and journalists: protect them from all harm in their reporting, and move them to be a vector of truth and certainty, and never fear or panic. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For all places of worship: embolden them to be beacons of hope and love, and help us to gather however and wherever we can – be it in person or online – to give you praise. For Michael, our Presiding Bishop; for George Wayne, our Bishop and Deon our Bishop-elect. We pray for our seminarians, Meg Goldstein and Mary Haggerty. For Friendly Temple, Missionary Baptist Church in our city who this week endured a moment of violent disruption as they hosted a polling place. For our partners in the church in El Salvador. In the Diocesan cycle of prayer for Trinity Church in Desoto.
Lord, hear our prayer.

For the leaders of our church: help them minister to their flock; fortify them to be faithful pastors, to persevere in prayer, and to build up the family of God in new and creative ways.
Lord, hear our prayer.

For the young: spare them from harm and fear, and keep them a joyful sign of your love and light. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For all parents: build in them strength and fortitude for the time ahead, and give them the words and witness to be wise counselors and compassionate caregivers. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

For calm amidst the storm: as the waves toss our boat and we wonder “do you not care?”, remind us to not be afraid, that with you all things are possible, and that even the wind and sea obey you. 
Lord, hear our prayer.

Stir up in us a spirit of compassion and tenacity for the time ahead. 

Move us to check-in with loved ones at high risk of infection and those in quarantine. 

Ease our fear and anxiety, that we may share our resources rather than hoard them, and extend a helping hand to those in need. 

Inspire us to share the Good News of your love and hope. 

All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord: healer of the sick, ruler of the tempestuous sea, and Savior of the world.  

The congregation is invited to add their own prayers silently or aloud.

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Announcements: the rector shares announcements

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one
accord to make our common supplication to you; and you
have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two
or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the
midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions
as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of
your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely
more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from
generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus
for ever and ever. Amen.

Music reprinted and broadcast with permission by OneLicense. Litany for Coronavirus adapted from the original by the Rev. Michael Kurth.

Godly Play Introductory Prayer Evening March 5

This Lent, Holy Communion invites adults to try a new prayer form in a Godly Play on Thursday, March 5 from 7-8:30 pm. Participants will hear a sacred story and wonder about its meaning for their lives. Then, through small groups, they will discuss their experience and its possibilities for the children, families, and congregation of Holy Communion.

Children’s religious education can conjure images of memorizing verses or coloring worksheets. However, Godly Play, the approach Holy Communion uses for children’s religious formation, differs from traditional “Sunday School.”

In Sunday School, a teacher tells children what they need to know. Godly Play locates each story in the whole system of Christian language and involves the creative process to discover each story’s depth of meaning. Sunday School may focus on entertaining children or coaching them to cute congregational performances. Godly Play emphasizes understanding how each story of God’s people connects with the child’s experience and relationship with God. 

While initially designed for children, adults who experience Godly Play speak of their deep connection to the Divine during the session. Godly Play offers silence and space for personal, creative responses to scripture stories in a circle of community. This is a gift which many adults sorely need.

Faithful Action

Join the Faithful Action group

The Faithful Action email and text alert group lets you know ways the church is organizing. Join the list so you are kept up to date about the latest ways to act.

Current Campaigns:

Demand Governor Parson Protect our Frontline Workers

We are working with the folks at Missouri Jobs with Justice in the midst of the pandemic: Thousands of essential Missouri workers are working every day and coming into contact with the public. These workers–no matter what field they work in–need:

  • Priority access to COVID-19 treatment and testing
  • Access to Personal Protective Equipment
  • Access to child care

Thousands more Missouri workers have been forced out of work by this pandemic. These workers need Missouri to expand unemployment benefits to at least 20 weeks beyond this current crisis.

Email Governor Parson and let him know that all Missouri workers deserve to be protected during this unprecedented crisis!

Working against Voter Suppression

In 2020 Holy Communion will be joining in a coalition with congregations from the AME Zion denomination, and with the local chapters of the NAACP to register voters, get out the vote, and work against voter suppression. On February 9, we held a well attended screening of the film “Rigged” and a conversation with Denise Lieberman, which you can watch below.

Past Actions:

Summer 2019: A Stand against Immigrant Detention

July 31-August 1 Rev. Laurie Anzilotti lead a delegation from Holy Communion on the Jewish Federation of St. Louis‘s Take Action in Oklahoma trip, to protest the detention of immigrant families and children.

April 2018 Interfaith Leaders Say No to Open Carry in Houses of Worship

Read the article from the Post Dispatch.

From our Rector’s Pentecost Sermon:

We are making a difference

This is a movement for love, and we are making a difference. I have to take just a moment to say thank you to members of this congregation. Many of you made phone calls, sent emails, even wrote letters to our Missouri legislature this session. We were working against the so-called “guns everywhere” legislation, that would have expanded Missouri’s conceal-carry automatically into houses of worship, into college campuses, and in day cares. People could have come in with concealed weapons. You stood with religious leaders from across our State, and I heard yesterday that the legislature finished its session without passing that dangerous proposed law.

This is a small incremental step, but it’s an important one. If we are going to build on this win. If we are going to build a coalition of people of faith who will stand together for love, for justice. We also need to take time celebrate the victories, and we won this day. Justice won. Love won. When we continue to hear about shootings, while our gun laws still do not protect enough of God’s children, we have to celebrate the wins, and we have to build momentum. Thank you for continuing to stand for sensible gun reform. You won this one. Keep the faith.

March 2018 The March for Our Lives



Here for the #marchforourlivesstl #marchforourlives #stl #episcopal

A post shared by Holy Communion on Delmar (@holycommucity) on

Mardi Gras Pancakes for a good cause

Join us on Tuesday February 25 from 5:30pm-7:00p for our annual Pancake Supper. Our youth group will be grilling pancakes, and we’ll have a Mardi Gras themed dinner.

This year the suggested donation for pancakes is $5 for an individual $10 for a family. All proceeds will benefit the Trinity Maundy Thursday Foot Washing Ministry to the homeless.

Bring your masks, beads, and wear your favorite Mardi Gras attire. We’ll also have a Mardi Gras trivia contest with fabulous prizes.

After dinner, we’ll participate in another great tradition: preparing the Ashes for the next day’s Ash Wednesday services. We’ll build a fire out on the front patio. The ashes for Ash Wednesday come from palms from the previous Palm Sunday. If you saved any palm branches and palm crosses, bring them along. (If you didn’t, don’t worry, we saved plenty at the church.) We’ll say a few prayers and enjoy the bonfire, weather permitting.

The night before Ash Wednesday is traditionally a big time for celebration. Known in the Episcopal Church as “Shrove Tuesday” the day is also called “Fat Tuesday,” “Carneval” in Spanish, or “Mardi Gras” in French. Traditionally the day is a day to eat your last round of sweets and fats before the great season of fast, Lent, which starts the next day: Ash Wednesday. What better way to get sweets and fats than pancakes!

Photos from last year’s celebrations:

Candlemas February 2

One of the most ancient celebrations for Christians comes 40 days after Christmas, the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the temple. Traditionally it is marked with the blessing of candles, which are lit throughout the year to remind us of Christ’s light which has come into the world.

The congregation is invited to bring any candles they would like blessed from home.

At the 9:15a Forum the rector will lead a discussion about Candlemas, and the life on liturgical time. Children in Godly Play will also learn a bit about Candlemas.

All are invited to begin the 10:30am service in the back of the nave. We will hear from the choir, and then all can join in the procession.

2020 Nominations

Brian Barnhart (running for second term on Vestry)

Brian grew up in an Episcopal Church in London Ohio. He joined the Holy Communion family when he moved to University City in 2012.  He has been serving as Treasurer for the Parish since the summer of 2016 and has enjoyed getting more involved with the congregation in that role. Brian is most excited about helping grow the income of the Church through innovative ways to and continue to improve its sustainability for years to come.  He is also eager to see the church increase its involvement and impact in the community.Brian can typically be seen at the 8 am service, following his daughters, Daphne (age 7) and Clara (age 5), and Penelope (age 1). These ladies, and his wife Cynthia, keep him busy and happy. Professionally, Brian has worked as a Management Consultant, specializing in Mergers and Acquisitions, for Deloitte Consulting.  He now helps Deloitte with their Financial Planning & Analysis. 

Sherifa Hardware Bethune (running for first term on Vestry)

Sherifa emigrated to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica at the age of 7, and her family settled in Camden, New Jersey. She moved back and forth between New Jersey and St. Charles, Missouri, finally settling in our state in 1988. She moved to University City in 2007.

Sherifa has foundational roots in the Catholic faith and non-denominational roots with the Salvation Army, where she developed her love for helping others. She started attending Holy Communion 10 years ago, to provide a church community for her daughter, and was confirmed in 2011 by Bishop George Wayne Smith. She has been a proud member since. Sherifa is a member of the Diocesan Dismantling Racism Commission and Holy Communion’s Beloved Community Task Force. She also serves as a door person for Godly Play.

Outside of church, Sherifa is a member of the HR department in the Department of Public Health of St. Louis County. She is the proud mother of Sherifa Olivia, and enjoys spending time with family and friends. Sherifa appreciates the welcoming diverse community of Holy Communion and looks forward to raising her daughter in this environment.

Patricia Redington (running for second term on Vestry)

My husband Randy Mariani and I joined Holy Communion when we moved to St. Louis in 1983, being drawn in by the very welcoming community and the diversity of people and ideas. Over the years I’ve served on the Vestry, participated in our Episcopal City Mission birthday parties for youth in detention, been an usher, and worked with several of the food ministries (Sunday breakfast, emergency meals, social events).  I’m looking forward to continuing the new growth we’ve been enjoying and seeing what new activities and ministries will come from that. I’ve been retired for five years after thirty years as an attorney with the County Counselor’s Office, and am enjoying the chance for a little extra physical fitness time, volunteer legal work, and more time with my family.

Courtney Dula-Pearson (running for Diocesan Delegate)

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. Recently Courtney has taken on the role of lay co-organizer of the Holy Communion Parents And Caregivers of Kids (HoCo PACK) group seeking to develop friendship and build a community of support.
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).




The Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion and Kol Rinah Congregation are co-hosting a screening of the documentary: “Rigged, the Voter Suppression Playbook” at 5pm on February 9. The event will be held at Holy Communion.

We are grateful to have the perspective of civil rights attorney and nationally recognized voting rights expert, Denise Lieberman, who will lead a discussion after the screening about current voting issues in our community and ways in which ordinary citizens can get involved.

We will also hear from clergy at both congregations who will lead a discussion about the role of the faithful in tackling issues like voter suppression.

Annual Meeting 2020

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. During the annual meeting, the parish receives reports from ministries, the vestry, the treasurer, and a “State of the Church” report from the rector.

The nursery and Godly Play will be available for children during the meeting.

Below, you will see our Annual Meeting Booklet broken down by report. (Reports links will become active as reports are submitted).

 Sign up to let us know what you’re able to bring.