Messenger - December 2019
Reconciling Team Update
By the time you are reading this update, the team will have begun small group conversations. We’re very encouraged that people have been willing to talk directly about a divisive topic. The team’s goal is to hear from at least 100 people as the church prepares to make a decision in February about how we are going to be in relationship with the LGBTQIA+ community. We realize that there are some of you who do not participate in small groups, and some people may not be able to attend their small group on the designated day for their conversation. In order to provide as many opportunities as possible, we are offering an open invitation to attend one of these additional opportunities:
Wednesday, January 8th at 11:00am in the Great Hall
Wednesday, January 22nd at 6:30pm in the McKelvey Room (childcare will be provided).
Our team wants to encourage as many people as possible to attend these discussions. This is a “church” decision and every voice matters. It is also an excellent opportunity to better understand exactly what the team is trying to accomplish and why.
Messenger - January 2019
From Amanda’s Desk
Happy New Year. As we move into 2019 I wanted to make you aware of some changes happening with the Facilities Department. Remodeling Solutions Unlimited, LLC (owned by Tim Ahearn and Family) has revised their contract and will continue to be with us for scheduled maintenance and emergency repair. This means that Tim will no longer be here every day. Just as needed. Tim has been a loyal and consistent presence her at Webster Hills and I am grateful for his teams commitment to our facility through the years.
I am pleased to announce, Randy Reed will be joining the Webster Hills staff full time as our Custodian starting 1/1/2019. Randy will be handling our maintenance and cleaning. In addition he will be responsible for daily repair needs, event preparation, setups, and cleanup.
Randy and his wife, Victoria live in Crystal City, Missouri and have three sons, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren, both of whom were born this year. Congratulations, Randy and welcome!
If you have any facilities related questions or needs, please always contact, Amanda Hancock, Facilities and Office Director, first in the church office at 314-961-3164 or after hours via cell phone at 314-807-8832.
What does it mean to have a church home?
I grew up at Webster Hills United Methodist Church. Or, more appropriately, I was raised there. My family attended worship and participated in programing, but my church family and religious life were so much more than that. Growing up, church was the place where I felt most safe, most seen, and most loved.It was and is always a place that was full of joy and community. A place where I am known, not only by my peers, but by a whole collective that spanned generations, interests, and political perspectives.
I first felt God’s call on my life as a young child. My mom likes to tell the story of losing me at Wednesday Night Live to later find me praying at the alter in the dark. This call was ferociously supported throughout my childhood by dedicated Sunday School teachers like Connie Ward and Susie Garrison. It was supported by members of the Joyners class who showed me new perspectives and different ways of living out faith. I was pushed to find answers to my own questions by youth leaders like Bob and Elaine Wagner. I learned how music can help us express complicated emotions and questions from the loving choir that always let me sing with them, even when I was away at college and unable to attend rehearsal.
Words cannot express how grateful I am for the role that Webster Hills and its people have played in my life. Community is vitally important to me; I run a community house that houses five adults and hosts larger meals every week. We support one another and watch each other’s children. We cry through breakups and struggle together in our attempts to build adult careers. I’m often asked how I ended up with this commitment to justice and community, and I can only find one answer—the faith that was nourished at Webster Hills.
Webster Hills has always been my church home, but as is always the case in this life, the time to move on comes. I’ve recently moved my membership to a new congregation (Manchester United Methodist Church) where I am helping to co-lead a new, alternative-style young adult ministry. I get to imagine and experiment with new forms of ministry and share God’s words of love and justice with folks from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom have never experienced a church home or community. This opportunity has also made God’s call on my life clearer and has prompted me to start the ordination process.
I may no longer be a member at Webster Hills United Methodist Church, but it will always be home. Thank you. I love you.
by Nicki Reinhardt-Swierk
NAMI FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP
Karen Kayser and Judy Larson are co-facilitators of the NAMI Family Support Group that meets the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the CLC. This group just celebrated its second -year anniversary and is growing stronger each month and usually have between l5-20 people at each meeting. Those who attend have a loved one in their family or a friend who has a mental illness and need the support that this group gives to them at each meeting.
Statistics show that one in five adults in America experience mental illness. Nearly one in twenty-five adults in America live with a serious mental illness, and one-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of l4. A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.
Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process. Our support group gives the members an opportunity each month to express their concerns for their loved one and to know that they are in a safe environment with other individuals who are experiencing the same thing for their loved one.
If you have a family member with mental illness or know of someone that you care about that has mental illness, feel free to contact Karen ( or (314) 210-4552) or Judy ( or (314) 922-4693) for more information and all are always welcome to the meetings. We believe that knowledge is powerful and the more you can learn about mental illness,
the more you can help your loved one.