Reports for February 2022
DARROW (Western) DEANERY
St George’s, Belleville
Episcopal Parish of Alton
St. Thomas’, Glen Carbon & St Bartholomew’s, Granite City
St. Michael’s, O’Fallon
St. Andrew’s, Edwardsville
The Clergy and leaders of the Eastern Deanery have been kept in contact via emails, and in person during the process for nomination and election of the next Bishop.
As only one of our churches now has a priest actively serving, the other churches have actively sought and received services lead by supply priests as those priests pave been available.
The Very Rev. Bill Howard, Dean
St John’s, Albion
The people of St. John’s are now meeting in person every Sunday with a wonderful attendance and participation by all of our parishioners, including two new
parishioners. We wear masks and are well distanced. We are still not having coffee hour but we meet after service for “catching up” with individual concerns, blessings and “how are you”. We have regular mission leadership team meetings. During our “check in” and discussions after service, we also discuss ways in which our ministries are being carried out during this pandemic time and how they may be better implemented and expanded.
We have made regular outreach contributions to those in need, primarily through other agencies.
The Edwards County Ministerial Alliance Cross Walk was held on Good Friday 2021. St. John’s participated fully as a large cross is carried using wheels and labor. In
accordance with our tradition, it was our turn to have the cross end after the walk at St. John’s last year, as that cross was erected in our front yard where it remains until it will be removed for Cross Walk 2022 and then remain at the next church for the following year.
We have been able to continue to take care of the fabric of the church. Our finances remain stable and we finished the fiscal year in the black.
We can no longer continue our gifts of baskets to the residents of the Rest Haven Nursing Home because the nursing home closed, but we have continued to look for
It is our joy to continue to serve Jesus in Edwards County and surrounding areas with worship, fellowship, mission and outreach. We give thanks for each other and our work for the Kingdom.
The Rev. Bill Howard, Vicar
St John’s, Centralia
St John the Baptist, Mt Carmel
Trinity, Mt Vernon
I am writing a brief report for Trinity, Mt. Vernon, not as an authorized reporter, but as a member of council and Trinity, and with assurance that no one else will do so.
We have begun our third year without a rector and are no closer to having clerical leadership than when Father Ben left. In fact, we still haven’t composed a parish profile. But our finances are robust and about a dozen of us attend faithfully. Mother Hannah Armidon comes down once a month and says mass and we are grateful to her. Hopefully, we will do the things necessary to bring a priest to Mt. Vernon, sooner rather than later.
St Mary’s, Robinson
St Thomas, Salem
Since our last report in November, the folks at St. Thomas have held in person Sunday services every week except the Sunday after Christmas, December 26′”. Our Christmas Eve was an Evening Prayer service with a heavy emphasis on music. Accompanying the congregation were the Rusty Dulcimer Group, Cynthia Spenser on harp and Roy Kroezen on the organ. After church the group headed down stairs for our traditional post service party with appetizers and wine. We had decided well in advance that such a gala event on a Friday might indeed tide us over for a good week and we would spend Sunday morning with family and friends.
Our annual meeting was held on January 23’· Two members of the Bishop’s Committee were rotated off and two members were elected to take their places. Our Sunday attendance has been holding steady at about a dozen each week. Not always the same dozen, in true Episcopal fashion, a Sunday off on occasion, though not in the Canons, seems to be a requirement.
We had some dead and dying trees removed from our church yard in December. One very large oak tree and a couple of smaller ones. It proved to be an unwelcome but necessary expense.
As we look out our windows at 15 degree temperatures and snow on the ground we find ourselves looking forward to the Lenten Season, Easter Tide and the warm spring weather that comes with it.
Submitted by Danny Shuler, BW
HALE (Southern) DEANERY
The Church of the Redeemer, Cairo
St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Carbondale
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, West Frankfort
This is the day the Lord has made: Let us rejoice and be glad!
St Mark’s has faithfully continued our ministries of the Blessing Box and the Lunch Bags for children. Most of our members are involved with one or the other – and many help with both! And we have people from the community who assist regularly – it takes a village, right?
St. Mark’s is especially pleased to have gained a few new members this quarter, several of whom helped with the greening of the church for Christmas, and they also assist with our ministries, so appreciated!
I (Mother Sherry) attended a retreat at The White House near St. Louis the weekend of 4 Advent; it was wonderful and refreshing, but I wouldn’t take that Sunday “off” again – I felt behind the rest of the Christmas Season; still we had a beautiful Christmas Eve service celebrating the Birth of our Savior! With the assistance of our organist and Mission Warden, Claudia Byrne, we incorporated our parishioner’s favorite hymns!
Mindful of The Three Kings, for our Epiphany Service, several of us wore crowns, or tiaras, adding a bit of fun to the celebration.
We held our Annual Meeting on January 23rd; we cancelled our service on February 6th due to an ice-covered parking lot; and on February 12, SOUPer Bowl Sunday, we collected cans of soup for our Blessing Box.
St. Mark’s was established in 1920 so this year is our 100th Anniversary! We are in the early stages of planning a celebration on or around the Feast of St. Mark in April.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Harrisburg
Held our annual meeting in Jan. voted on the budget and appointed ED WILLIAMS Bishop’s warden for the coming year. Held once again our outreach called the (shoe box gifting for children of the world.) Provided aid for the relief of the hurricane victims in Kentucky. We collected some 80 cans of soup for our local food pantry. It is a joy – and a thank you to the people of Saint Stephens for raising a 3 and 1/2 increase over our budget last year, even with a lower attendance due to the pandemic. We are beginning to see a small increase in our Sunday church attendance, thanks be to God.
Father Tim Goodman
Priest in charge
Emmanuel Memorial, Champaign
Chapel of St John the Divine, Champaign
Holy Trinity, Danville
St Christopher’s, Rantoul
Christ the King, Normal
St. Matthew’s, Bloomington
Parish of Tazewell County; All Saints, Morton & St Paul’s, Pekin
St Barnabas, Havana
Cathedral Church of St Paul, Springfield
St. John’s, Decatur IL
St. John has begun the new year 2022. Our long-time organist, Dr. Fred Guzasky has been in the hospital since December 2021 and so we have had to make do. We were unable to do our usual Lessons and Carols this year because his absence. We were able to have music for our Christmas Eve service.
St. John’s held our annual meeting on February 13, 2022. We have only one Eucharistic service on that day and the meeting is held immediately afterwards. Because we were not able to meet last year we had to elect 6 people to the vestry. We are very thankful for those who served the extra time on the vestry.
Our new parish administrator joined us at the end of November and has now established a routine.
We have new parish office hours and they are from 10am to 1 pm, Monday through Friday. We are thankful for the expertise of Joy Willett who has returned the office to normalcy.
We have had to update our WIFI system in the office and the church in order to continue our livestreaming of the 10 am Sunday service. People can now follow us on Facebook again without the service dropping.
Trinity Church, Jacksonville
We are eager to start putting the pandemic behind us and begin expanding our ministry to the people of Jacksonville. Our worship continues to run around fifty to sixty percent of our prepandemic levels and we are looking for ways to safely bring our community back together again. We are drawing a reliable crowd via livestream of our 10am Sunday service. We had good attendance at our evening service for Epiphany, thanks to Father Christopher Ashmore being able to take up the service at the last minute after Father Brooks and his family all came down with covid! We will celebrate Mothering Sunday again after a two-year hiatus with a breakfast prepared by the men of the parish for the ladies of the parish. We collected school supplies to support local teachers and cans of soup for our second annual Souper Bowl Sunday. Our Choral Scholar Abby Garrett of Illinois College will offer a former presentation on the role of women in the history of the I.C. music program called She Will Sing Till Echoes Ring via Zoom on Feb. 28 at 7pm. Please contact the Trinity Church office for information on how to join this presentation. Our vestry has honored Father Christopher Ashmore with the title Priest Emeritus, and we thank God for the grace he offers our community!
St. Paul’s, Carlinville
St Luke’s, Springfield
Since our last report, we have continued our regular pattern of worship, operating within the limits prescribed. That pattern includes our two celebrations of the Eucharist at 8 and 10:30 on Sunday as well as 7:30 on Wednesday mornings. We continue to broadcast and post our 10:30 Sunday service on Facebook and YouTube, and we included our Christmas services in this pattern. The participation of members and friends through this medium has been a great encouragement, but we are looking forward to returning to more normal patterns as conditions continue to improve.
We held our Annual Meeting in accordance with Canon on January 30, 2022. We have been pursuing some changes in responsibilities that are still in the works. Our longtime Junior Warden has asked to be relieved of responsibility, although he will continue to assist as he is able. For the time being, we are keeping that position vacant as others have stepped forward to shoulder some of the responsibility.
We have been pleased with the faithfulness of our members in giving even when they are not able to attend. Pledge giving for the year was 30% in excess of budgeted amounts, while expenditures were less than anticipated. We have also received the final payment on generous bequest from a longtime parishioner, which additional amount has been added to our endowment. Because of additional income, we were able to increase our pledge to the Diocese, ensuring that we are contributing at a 15% level.
Members of St. Luke’s are excited with the prospect of the renewal of the Episcopal Church Camp and look forward to identifying and sending campers. Barb Sherman, from St. Luke’s, is a committed camp volunteer. We are all committed to supporting this work, including with financial resources.
We have recently begun additional repair and refurbishment at the Church. Granite tops for the counters and new faucets are being installed in the kitchen. We have recently signed an agreement for the refinishing of the pine floors in the nave and in the chancel. This will address wear from many years of hard use. David Hopper, our Treasurer, and Mary Ann Denney have spearheaded this work. Dave and his fiancée also changed all of the handles on the kitchen cabinets and tightened the doors.
Our kitchen continues to be used on a regular basis by the Episcopal Food Ministry, consisting of volunteers from all three Springfield congregations. The group regularly prepares meals for homeless shelters in Springfield. We have also renewed our commitment of $2400 per year to support our neighborhood food pantry, which is about 5 blocks from St. Luke’s.
Due to a cancellation, Assisting Bishop Paul Lambert was able to be with us for the 10:30 Mass on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, January 9, 2022. It was our first Episcopal visit since 2019. It was a joy to renew our baptismal vows in the presence of a Bishop.
The Rev. Shawn W. Denney
Christ Church, Springfield