What does ‘give back’ mean? It suggests that we have been blessed and want to share our wealth, time, and/or labor with others. Most of us feel that way, and we don’t have to be reminded to give back-we want to. We are compassionate people, but we just need to be given the right opportunity.
We are looking for Front Office Ministry Volunteers.
The Office Ministry Volunteers will not only be responsible for the execution of the administrative tasks in the church office at Webster Hills UMC but also be in support of its mission. Working in close collaboration with the church staff, this position will work to engage the community to build relationships that connect people to WHUMC. This is a part-time volunteer ministry position that requires strong communication skills, and attention to detail.
Primary responsibilities will be to execute and preform the functions that occur in the church’s front office. Hours are from 9am - 2pm. One or more days a week.
Handle incoming/outgoing calls, deliveries, mail, emails and messages to the Church Office. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Proof, edit and print church publications (newsletter, bulletin, letters, handouts, etc.)
Enter weekly worship attendance into in-house.
Enter attendance in district/conference tracking
Oversee volunteer Money Counters and maintain quarterly schedule.
Check paper supplies.
Check all office supplies that may need to be replenished.
Provide administrative support to the Pastoral and Ministry Staff and the servant leader teams under their direction. Maintain confidentiality of confidential conversations, correspondence and records.
More help is needed. If you are interested please contact Amanda Hancock at email@example.com.
Thank you so much to the current Front Office Ministry Volunteer team. Your work is so important and I appreciate every moment of your time. May Webster, Elizabeth Bacon, Beth Herreid, and Donna Reinhardt volunteer in the office every week.
Throughout millennia, people have gathered to worship God. The earth and its people have changed and evolved over time but a constant has been the desire to acknowledge a higher being. In our United Methodist faith, we give glory and honor to Jesus Christ, God’s own Son. We worship in grand sanctuaries like our own while others worship in a shack or a warehouse. We worship with choirs and bands, with youth and elders. Styles can change, but the recipient of our praise never has and never will.
This is a trying time for our denomination, our conference, our congregation, and our people. We are concerned about the future and what makes this even more difficult is that we can feel helpless and sometimes uninformed. While there are many things happening around this and other conversations within our denomination, our conference, and our congregation, one thing remains steadfast: the worship of God will never cease to exist.
I believe worship exists in many forms. I’ve worshiped in stunning cathedrals throughout the world and in backyards during a small group gathering. The only thing required for worship is a heart and mind open to the presence of God. It’s always there, like the air we breathe. We just have to choose to feel it.
I first stepped into the stunning sanctuary of Webster Hills in 2009 and I remember the feeling when I experienced the sun shining through the extraordinary windows. Our space truly invites the Holy to be present. Now that I am serving as your Director of Worship Arts, that feeling is always with me each time I’m in that space. Each day during the week, I park in the CLC lot and as I enter the building, I walk past the gorgeous chapel and then through the sanctuary to get to my office. Every time I walk that long aisle of the sanctuary, it centers me and prepares me for the work of the day. Every time I see the windows in the chapel representing the disciples, I’m reminded of my call to discipleship.
Symbolism is important in worship. Not just for Christians, but for all religions and beliefs throughout time. Think about the symbols of faith that are important to you. Is it the biblical stories and historical figures in our windows or is it the cross, the symbol of Christ’s sacrifice? Perhaps the banners and colors remind you of the beauty of God’s creation or our stunning building may represent God’s unshakable foundation. In addition to the windows, the stunning woodworking is something I really enjoy seeing!
A few weeks ago, I added some banners to our sanctuary. I did this to help brighten up the space and to introduce more symbols and the seasonal liturgical color. Right now, we are in “Ordinary Time” which is green. You’ll notice banners which feature a cross, dove, fish, trinity, Alpha & Omega, and the wheat and chalice. It was also important to me that we recognize and celebrate our liturgical season. We will change the banners out each season and so if you would like to contribute to the purchase of our blue, red, purple, and white banners, please talk with me about that. Another addition to our worship spaces are the lighting which also celebrates our seasonal colors. We are also working on a way to hang our historic banners to display their beauty and to honor their heritage. More news on that to come!
As you come to worship this week, take a moment to look around and bask in the beauty of our worship space. After I read my Morning Words, I always invite you to “prepare your hearts and minds for worship” and I pray our symbols are meaningful to your faith journey.
Leadership Board Updates
Our next Leadership Board Meeting will be Tuesday, June 11th in the CLC. We are starting the meeting early at 6pm. We will have an update on events and actions that have been taken around the globe and within our own congregation since the special General Conference and then discuss a recap of the workshops and conversations that have taken place recently around planning for our congregation’s future. After those discussions we will continue with our regular meeting reporting on facilities, finance and ministries of the church. All meetings are open and all are welcome. Please join us. If you have questions, please email Leadership Board Chair, Kristin Lamprecht at
p.s. THANK YOU to all who attended the congregation workshop Saturday, May 18th. We had
great discussions that opened our minds and hearts to the future of Webster Hills.
Dates to know:
In the Know
A set of updates will be offered prior to the regular meeting of our Leadership Board on Tuesday, June 11 in the Christian Life Center.
6:00-6:30 pm: A look at the actions that are taking place around the globe and within our own congregation since the special General Conference that was held in February.
6:30-7:00 pm: A recap of the workshops and conversations that have taken place recently around planning for our congregation’s future.
7:00-8:30 pm: Our board meetings are always open and held on the second Tuesday of the month. We’ll start this month’s meeting at 7:00 pm. You are welcome to attend.
So Many Questions
It’s been said that a good question is a key that can unlock many doors. The trouble is, sometimes you have to try many keys before a door opens. Over the next several weeks, we are going to use many keys to as we look for the doors that will open toward our future. We ask two things.
Your participation matters. Please take the time to respond to each survey that comes your way. We will make them available electronically and on paper. Your responses will guide us in many ways.
We also ask for your patience. We realize that it may seem we are asking a lot and the truth is, we are. We want to gather as much information and input from you as possible as we make plans for ministries, care of our property, our Sunday morning experience and more.
It’s an EXPLO!
We’ll gather again in July for a workshop that will clarify our church’s “personality” and identify our best approaches to ministry. We’ll understand our church’s spiritual profile, our ideal practices for working together, and optional ways for us to equip ministry teams for faithful and effective service. We will discover how we each fit in to the work of ministry and fellowship at Webster Hills UMC.
Mark the dates and begin to make your reservations.
RSVP to Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, July 12 6:30-8:30 pm
Saturday, July 13 9:00 am to Noon
Christian Life Center
Webster Hills Kids
We are looking for leaders!
Our team of small group leaders for our PreK and Elementary groups can be summed up in just three words: AH. MAZE. ING!
They commit to teach, champion, and love our kids throughout the school year. While they won’t disappear completely over the summer we want them to take some R&R while we show them love!
There are 13 Sundays in June, July, and August. Would you prayerfully consider committing to leading a small group (with another adult) one of those Sunday mornings from 9 AM – 10 AM? You will receive the lesson ahead of time, the materials will be prepared for you, and you MIGHT even have fun! All you have to do is email Jeremy Melton at with the date you want to serve (June 9 – August 25) and you will receive more information. Thank you for leading our kids, but also serving those who lead our kids!
Webster Hills Youth
Is your student looking to serve the body of Christ in a meaningful way? A great place to jump in is by starting as a Student Deacon! We will have a brief, 20-minute walkthrough training on June 30 from 9:50 AM – 10:10 AM. Email Jeremy Melton at for more information or just show up on the 30th!
The Webster Hills Youth Group does not meet weekly over the summer months, but we have many fun things planned throughout the summer. Check out the Youth Group Calendar at
for more details. All students from incoming 6th graders to 12th grade are invited to each event unless otherwise noted on the calendar.
Our mission trip caravan to West Virginia leaves early on Sunday, June 23rd , and we are pumped! With the help of our generous congregation and community, we raised $3,347.90 to help with the cost of the trip. That’s over 50% of our total cost! Now all we ask for is prayer. Prayer for safety, prayer for relationship building, and prayer that God, in His wisdom, will turn those dollars into changed lives. We are extremely grateful and can’t wait to share our experiences with you all when we return!
Congratulations to our class of 2019 graduates, Emma Pritchard and Madison Damann! We can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings!
Is Your House Consuming You?
Are your closets overflowing? So your drawers barely shut? Do you have way more than you need or can take care of? We have a solution for you -- The United Methodist Women’s Rummage Sale! Now that the spring sun is brightening all our spirits, take time to set aside your ‘extras’ to be turned into money to help others.
The UMW Rummage Sale will be held on June 14 and 15 in the Christian Life Center. Bring your donations to the CLC June 10 to 14.
Happy Sorting! Lightening your load will truly lighten your life! (NO large furniture at this time.)
Contact Terry Waggle (314) 965-5342 or Barbara Matt (314) 968-1465 for more information.
How Should We Love our Neighbors? Survey Says...
The Missions team is currently conducting a survey to ask our local communities (Webster, Kirkwood, Glendale, Rockhill, and Crestwood) what are the needs close to Webster Hills. Once we identify unmet needs, we will also identify skills, interests, and talents in our congregation. When we match our talents with the needs in our area, we believe we can develop sustainable new missions and ministries. Watch for more information about these surveys this summer.
Don’t Wait…Be in Mission Now
While we are gathering information to plan new missions, there are many ways to serve our church and local communities in June and July. Here are some summer mission opportunities that just need YOU added:
Sunday, June 9th - AGE TO AGE: GOING THE DISTANCE
Sanctuary Worship 10:30 am - A worship service acknowledging and honoring two special groups of WHUMC members: those who are the oldest in years, and those who have been members the longest; stories, hymns and leadership by the Congregational Care Team.
Offer to drive people to worship who need assistance to get to church-contact Robin Tellor 822-8217 or Pastor Martha.
June 10th – 14th Vacation Bible School for kids 4 years to 5th Grade
6 PM - 8 PM – New evening program-more of us can serve!
Serve by working with kids or behind the scenes-contact Jeremy Melton to lend a hand at email@example.com.
June 30 Bethesda Dilworth Chapel Service - See above for more info.
June 14th-15th United Methodist Women’s Rummage Sale
This annual event provides funds for missions and ministries, but needs many hands to make it successful. Volunteers are needed all week to set up, sell, and clean up. You can help by donating, working, and buying! Call Susie Garrison (314-965-4882), Robin Tellor (314-822-8217), or Barrett Schroeder (314-961-7470) for more information.
July - Backpacks and School Supplies Collection
Donate needed supplies to be shared with kids attending Camp Asbury and other neighborhood organizations. Watch for more details and collection bins.
July 22nd-26th – Volunteer at Camp Asbury
Only one week this year – volunteers are needed to work with kids in the historic Ville neighborhood and support the program run by Asbury UMC. Contact Trish Wright at / 971-0552.
More ways to be in Mission anytime this Summer:
Our corner Blessing Box – keep it full all summer! Food insecurity is higher in the summer when children are not in school.
Help out in worship, the church office, children’s ministries, or around the building and grounds – staff and volunteers may be taking vacations and you can help by filling their spot in the summer or as a one-time helper. Contact any staff member or Amanda in the office to make a mission connection.
Still looking for ways to be in mission? Contact Trish Wright with your ideas (firstname.lastname@example.org / 971-0552) or consider looking into these local organization:
St. Louis Area Food Bank
Home Sweet Home
Webster Rockhill Ministries
Less Stuff—More Peace of Mind
It’s amazing how much easier a home is to maintain when you have only what you need—or cherish. Our place is becoming sleeker and more functional. How about yours?
There is, however, clutter in our basement, where I have gathered items for the United Methodist Women’s June 14/15 Rummage Sale. After cleaning out her mother’s home, a friend gave me boxes of items for the sale. Included are some good linens, nice glassware, and cute craft items. This friend is glad that her mom’s stuff will make money to help others.
If you are downsizing or just feeling that your stuff possesses you, donate to the Rummage Sale. If you are having an estate sale or your own garage sale, donate good items that don’t sell.
Helpful hint: Package sheet and pillow cases together, tie ribbon around them, and indicate size on masking tape stuck to the set. For table cloths, masking-tape size to the folded cloth.
Pre-sale storage will be available in UMW members’ garages. Pick-up and of furniture and other items can be arranged. Call Susie Garrison (314-965-4882), Robin Tellor (314-822-8217), or Barrett Schroeder (314-961-7470) for more information.
UMW Rummage Sale
As a rule, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I did decide to do some serious decluttering this year. One reason is that I know my stress level will go down with less “stuff” in every nook and cranny of my house. I do a pretty good job of keeping the visible surfaces cleared but I can’t escape the feelings I have when I open closets and cupboards and drawers, Oh My! (sorry as a big fan of the Wizard of Oz I couldn’t resist throwing that in). I also have to admit that another driving force is the best reason of all: The UMW Rummage Sale that we’re having June 14th and 15th.
All our profits are used to benefit the various organizations that we support:
Church Women United, Webster-Rock Hill Ministries
Asbury United Methodist
Epworth Children & Family Services
Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood Center
Red Bird Mission
Midwest Distribution Center
Susanna Wesley Family Center
PET (Personal Energy Transport)
UMCOR and the Gateway Central District UMW.
We also donate 10% of our profits to Webster Hills.
These people are doing the work Jesus asked us to do, “feed, clothe, tend to the least of these.” I’ve been on several mission trips and have seen how being the hands and feet of Jesus makes a difference in the lives of the ones we go to help. It also makes a big difference in our lives when we realize how happy they can be with little or nothing, and we re-examine what we take for granted. I can’t easily go on mission trips anymore but I can get a lot of satisfaction from letting go of stuff I don’t use or even need. We encourage all of you to start doing the same.
We will be accepting your donations starting on Monday, June 10th from 9:30 to 4:00 through Thursday, June 13th. We have receipts you can list your donations on to use for tax deductions. When I say donations I’d add that includes just about everything you can think of except for adult clothing. We do take adult accessories and shoes though.
I would also urge you to shop on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning for all the unbelievable bargains we will have. I joke about buying more stuff than what I donate but it’s a good place to find really nice things for yourselves or for gifts to your family and friends. You won’t be able to beat the prices!
Pictures Are The Big Picture
Growth Starts with making a connection. Creating meaningful connections is an important step in building and growing our church community. Lifetouch is our partner in preparing our newest and most up to date directory to help us put names with faces!
Our family photography event is coming on May 8-11, 2019. Lifetouch will be in our Christian Life Center Great Hall to photograph our church families to help complete our 2019 directory.
You can schedule your photography session today on our website OR watch for our table in the Lobby to schedule in person.
Dates and times are Wednesday, May 8th to Friday, May 10th from 2pm-9pm and Saturday, May 11th from 10am-5pm.
Food Packing Event
You all rock! We have packed a total of - drum roll please - 53,736 meals for the St. Louis area! We are going to continue to make a huge impact with our neighbors in need that are food insecure this year. Your Easter offering will go to pack even more meals. Let’s step out of our comfort zone and see how many families we can impact with our generosity. Join us for our next food packing event! We will meet in the CLC on April 28th at 2pm. Bring your family and friends for this fun-filled event. The meals will be sent to the St. Louis Food Bank which is preparing to serve even more households now that our region is facing the near-certain threat of flooding. Contact Leslie Chalupny (email@example.com) with any questions.
Easter Lilies Ready to Order!
Orders Due by April 5th.
The magnificent white Easter Lily has long stood as a symbol of purity, hope, innocence and peace. We place these lilies near the altar on Easter as a sign of happiness and faith. Order your Easter Lily today at www.websterhillsumc.org or call Amanda in the office 314-961-3164.
Join The Craze! Order Your Webster Hills T-Shirt Today!
T-shirts are $10 each and can also be ordered online at our website or by filling out an order form at the Connect Desk in the Lobby. Must place order by 4/8. Delivery on 4/14. Grab one now for your whole family! Just in time for great Spring weather.
Pictures Are The Big Picture
Pictures are the big picture. We want to kick off spring by building fellowship and faith. Lifetouch will be here to help us connect families through a new church directory and family photography event.
SAVE THE DATES!
May 8-11 Lifetouch will be here for our family (with pets if you like), photo secessions. Lifetouch offers professional family photography and an 8x10 photo of your choice at no cost. A free church directory print and mobile, as well as $30 to spend at Shutterfly.com with any Lifetouch photography purchase. We will also be offering 20% off photos ordered for all families.
It gets better! If you bring can goods or toiletries for our Blessing Box you will be supporting Lifetouch’s Feed the Need program and you will receive an additional $5 off your order.
Dates and times are Wednesday, May 8th to Friday, May 10th from 2pm-9pm and Saturday, May 11th from 10am-5pm.
Watch for upcoming communications on how to schedule your time and best practices for great
We will need volunteers to help communicate, schedule, and execute all family photo secession days. Please let Amanda Hancock in the office know if you are available to help. or via phone at 314-961-3164.
Plan for your family to participate in a professional photography session and make memories that will last forever!
Lay Leader for 2019
My Uncle John has always been very good at seeing a need and rising to the occasion. As he was preparing the church for worship one Sunday morning, he noticed the substitute pastor was cutting time pretty close. This was the pastor’s first time at the building, so Uncle John assumed the pastor was just running late. Uncle John led the regular preparations and said a quiet prayer to himself. Surely the pastor would arrive shortly.
With the congregation assembled and the time to start service passed, Uncle John took the initiative to begin worship. He and the church leaders began the introit and the processional. No pastor and more silent prayer. Uncle John welcomed the congregation and lead the opening prayers. Still
no pastor and more emphatic silent prayer. As the other lay leaders were reading the first and second readings, Uncle John said another silent prayer. “Lord, thank you for this chance to lead, but how do I improvise a whole sermon?”
Luckily, the hope-filled messages of the gospel resonated with Uncle John’s personal and professional life. When you see a need and rise to the occasion, it’s amazing how quickly your focus shifts from personal needs to the needs of others.
Uncle John read the gospel and preached about finding hope during his travels to the most remote parts of the world as well as just down the street to serve as a counselor in a psychiatric ward. Many of his long-time friends and fellow congregants were surprised by his experience and insight.
While leadership and the message of hope is nothing new to Uncle John, he admitted that even HE didn’t know he was capable of leading an entire service on his own, quite successfully, I might add. A number of first time visitors attending the service expressed an interest in becoming members after hearing him preach!
Uncle John never did encounter that substitute pastor, but he did encounter a talent he may never have known if not for a need, a call to action and a few prayers.
Like many of us, Uncle John doesn’t have all the answers. With your help, and as Lay Leader for 2019, I look forward to seeing the needs of our congregation and rising to the occasion to connect, grow and serve our community.
by Cate Hanford
Cate Hanford and her husband, Casey began attending Webster Hills UMC in 2015. Cate spends her days at the St. Louis Science Center partnering with educators to ignite a passion for science and technology. She also has a passion for leadership and is exploring ways to develop leaders in today’s church. Cate and Casey share a passion for music and you can find both of them in the choir loft on Sunday mornings. When worship ends, Cate can be seen bolting from the chancel into the congregation, looking for people she hasn’t yet met to build up connections within the church. You can give Cate a hand by lingering in the lobby or the sanctuary and introducing yourself to her.
Throughout my life, I have experienced being an “outsider” to a community. Starting with growing up in a Chicago suburb as a transplanted Southerner, moving to southern Illinois as the first new teacher at the rural high school in several years, to being widowed at a young age, and then launching a new career that took Paul and me around the country as newbies in many regions, ending with the position I have now, I have experienced many novel and unconventional twists and turns in my life. I have learned to bloom where I am planted. I am blessed, and God is good.
The “welcomes” in each of these places have been varied, and I have learned from them to draw increasingly wider circles for those I endeavor to welcome as I get to know them and understand them. The most telling example of exclusion, as it turns out, was in my church life.
My first husband grew up in a Missouri Lutheran Synod family and congregation. While he made an attempt to become comfortable in the Lutheran Church I attended (ELCA), he could not embrace the practices and the theology without pain. I made the decision to transfer my membership to preserve harmony between us. This may have been one of my first experiences with drawing my circle wider than I would have imagined.
In just a few short years after we married, my husband died of cancer. We were both active in our congregation, and I continued there. What I was not prepared for was that I lost all status as a “head of household” when I no longer had a husband. I could still sing in the choir, and the pastor asked me to teach the confirmation class. I could make financial contributions. What I could no longer do was vote on any issues in the congregation. Only heads of households could vote, and only men could be heads of households. When my former Lutheran congregation asked me to deliver a guest sermon when their pastor was traveling (merely reading the pastor’s message), I had to receive formal approval from my new church’s board because women were strictly prohibited from speaking in the pulpit.
When Paul and I decided to marry it was a comparatively easy decision to join the United Methodist Church because they made fewer distinctions of status based on my gender. I felt welcomed as a full and equal member, able to participate fully in the life of the church as I had since I was confirmed in my home Lutheran congregation years before.
Our United Methodist Church faces what is a defining issue of where does the line get drawn in instances of ordination, ceremonies of marriage and union. I can only remember the kinds of biases and stigmas that I experienced because of a fact about myself which, in some eyes, merited my exclusion.
As I interact with colleagues and students every day about the broad topics of diversity and inclusion, I often reflect that each of us has different perspectives on what we know and understand about each other as unique human beings. In turn, these different perspectives contribute to how closely or how widely we “draw the line” in the circle of our friends, community, and even congregation.
For my part, I believe that the body of Christ is an inclusive one, and that all should find their welcome here.