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Sanctuary in the City Newsletter, vol. 68 no. 1

Learning from Story Circles

We have had a season of storytelling at CHCC that has engaged almost half the worshiping congregation in the sharing of stories of our lives. In monthly Story Circles through the Fall and then in three weekly Advent Story Circles, and two Sunday morning Adult Class Story Circles, we have shared laughter and tears, simple stories, and amazing stories. We have shared our times of waiting, times when we were afraid, our experiences of feeling different and how we navigated them. We have told stories of gift giving and receiving, and we have shared stories of expectation and hope.

In almost every Story Circle, people have reflected on the themes that are common between us, as different as we may think we are. I believe our relationships and our sense of community has moved to a new place. Many of us have learned to listen to
another person’s story and to honor and respect it by letting it stand without our judgment of it. Some of us found that hard to do at first, simply because we had become accustomed to placing our seal of approval or suggesting what we think someone must
surely feel or mean, rather than simply honoring the story they tell. In short, we have been working on a deeper way of listening for the story of another. And, we have learned to tell a piece of our story briefly, and then to listen while the other speaks.

Some in the congregation did not get to, or choose to participate in this season of storytelling. But my hope is that All of us – the whole community will experience the ripple effect of half the congregation spending a season telling and listening deeply to each others story. In essence, we have added to our ‘toolbox’ a way of being present.

Hopefully, we will take storytelling and inviting the stories of the other into our visiting, into our building relationship with those who new to us, into our way of creating ‘radical

Having spent the autumn and now the Advent and Christmas season with Story Circle, it is my suggestion that we take a break and allow space for other ways of living out ministry together. We will keep the practice of Story Circle as something that we continue to weave into our community life. Just as the idea of our Advent Story Circles came from someone who was participating in monthly Circles and thought that this would bring a new dimension to our Advent, so I expect and hope that we will create Story Circles for other special times and needs in the life of the Church! Blessings as you keep listening for and telling stories!


prayersWe hold each other and our wider community, nation, and world in prayer. It is more than a turn of phrase to say that we “pray without ceasing.” This is a community grounded and centered in prayer in such a way that we hold each other and those we do not know in God’s Restorative Light day and night.

Please pray for: Joyce Cole – Delmar Gardens Chesterfield, Dennis James, for healing following his hand surgery, Carolyn Harry who is doing so well in her knee replacement recovery, Don Harry with recent time in hospital and continuing to recover, Diane Richardson who has been ill, Leslie  Latham’s mom and dad who are both facing health challenges. We also pray for those who are struggling with jobs, job loss, and who are in the job search process. Peace for those for whom the Christmas season was difficult and has stirred tender places of grief and loss. For those who are grieving the loss of beloved pets in these recent weeks – Brenda and Leslie in the unexpected death of the of their dear cat Taz, and Bob and Linda Lewis in the death of their dear cat Sidney.

insympathyWe celebrate the life of Sharon Lee Sack Clayton
and we grieve our own loss in her death on
November 15, 2019. Sharon was long-time and
beloved member of Compton Heights Christian
Church. She brought laughter and love to our
lives and to the lives of all her family and friends.
We hold in prayer, Sharon’s son John Clayton and
his wife Jill, as well as her sister Caroline Hicks and
her husband Jon. A Memorial Service was held in our sanctuary on November 23. Gifts have been made to Isaiah 58 Ministries and to the Compton Uplift fund in loving
memory of Sharon.

JANUARY                                FEBRUARY
Food Items:   Oats                                         Tuna
Dried Beans                           Tuna Helper
Pantry Essentials: Cooking Oil                   Spices
(Canola, Olive, Vegetable)
Personal Care: Body Lotion, Lip Balm      Razors, Shaving Cream
Cleaning Supplies: Laundry Soap               Toilet Bowl Cleaner

You are invited to bring any of these items to place in the
ISAIAH 58 Offering Basket in the sanctuary on Sundays.

comptonuplift_logoSAVE THE DATE: Dinner Celebration!
Sunday, March 1st following worship
Bring a Favorite Dish to Share!
“Valet Dish Delivery” to the downstairs kitchen!
(If you would like your food dish taken down and placed in warming oven, fridge, or table at room temperature, we will have “Lift Valet Service” and people to take care of it for you! Just bring your dish to the narthex before worship and place on the designated shelf of the food cart)

Come expecting to:
Celebrate and be energized for the UpLift Renovations for Ministry!
Help Lift our ministry to the community!
Help identify OUR Epiphany Sparks of Light!
To receive A SURPRISE in celebration of one of our ministries!

(PLEASE NOTE: This was previously scheduled for January 26, but has been moved to allow us to finish the Fellowship Hall and Kitchen work!)

protagonistThe Compton Heights CC Book Club
Saturday, February 8, 1:00 pm
Protagonist Café – A Literary Cafe
1700 S. 9th Street
(corner of 9th and Lafayette in Soulard)
Discussing Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Come join us!!


Refreshment/Coffee Hosts for 2020
I am currently working on the coffee hosts list for 2020. If you currently are not a part of this ministry and would like to be added to the schedule, please let me know. If you are currently on the schedule from 2019 and would like to be removed, please let
me know.

The coffee hosts provides snacks and juice on your designated Sundays for coffee time following worship service. You are responsible for setting up the snacks before coffee time and cleaning up afterwards. I usually assign a minimum of two people for each Sunday so you are not doing this by yourself. The snacks are just that, snacks – can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose, homemade or store bought. Cups, plates, napkins,
utensils and coffee are provided so you don’t need to bring these items. Please let me know by January 19, 2020 if you would like to be a part of this ministry.
Marsha McGuire

Sunday Adult Bible Study: The Gospel of Matthew: A Six Week Series January 12 – February 16 10:05 – 10:45 am – Join us in the library for study and discussion.

MCUMCU: METROPOLITAN CONGREGATIONS UNITED 2020 Annual Membership Assembly: Tuesday, January 28, 5:30 to 8:30 pm
New Northside Conference Center, 5939 Goodfellow Blvd; St. Louis, MO 63147
Our congregation is a member of MCU – Metropolitan Congregations United. You have heard from Becky Klemme Eliceiri who is engaged with MCU’s work to stop the School to Prison Pipeline. You have heard from Kathy Mead, who has worked with MCU’s work for Medicaid Expansion. Our congregation took part in MCU’s Sacred Conversations on Race. We served as a Safe Space and Sanctuary Space with MCU’s coordination. We have worked with MCU for responsible policing in our communities. All in all, MCU brings together congregations to work together on the issues of faith and justice that impact everyone in our area.

MCU’s Annual Membership Assembly, our annual business meeting, is every member congregation/organization’s opportunity for the coming year to shape MCU’s work of confronting systemic powers together to create a better St. Louis region.

All are welcome, including interested non-member people, congregations, and organizations. As a member congregation, we are urged bring as many as would like to participate , and we will have 2 voting representatives. We will celebrate MCU’s 2019
victories and go over what’s on the agenda for 2020: Unlock the Vote, EXPO, Raise the Age NOW, and the 2020 general election! We’ll also vote on new cabinet members review the budget for the year, and approve our 2020 agenda.

The meeting includes a light supper for $10 each, REGISTRATION DEADLINE – JANUARY 13 Make reservation at or 314-367-3484

Again this winter, our congregation is working with Winter Outreach and Oak Hill
Presbyterian Church to provide winter shelter on especially cold nights.

Our night is Wednesday – when temperatures are 20 degrees or below (25 degrees with
precipitation). As these cold days are anticipated, we receive a sign-up request from Dena
Roper at Oak Hill. We then send an email with the link to “Sign Up Genius” for you to sign
up for the time you can help – just two hours means so much! The time slots extend from
4 pm (for Set-up) through early evening (for help serving supper) to late evening and
overnight presence to early morning breakfast help and clean-up.

Two people are needed for each two hour slot of time. This Winter Shelter Ministry is
vital and life-saving for those in our community who would otherwise be on the streets.

If you have questions, please ask Pastor Jacque.

Wow – the work we have been doing …
It should be no surprise that the Compton UpLift project is not all the work of contractors!

1. First, before anything else, we all made the daring decision to do this project – creating accessibility to the lower level of the building, putting in new restrooms with shower, replacing the fellowship hall floor and ceiling, and taking our first steps to make
the kitchen more usable. Our decision together to do this was a commitment to strengthen ministry in this community!

2. Then we made financial pledge commitments to underwrite the work! We are still in need of pledges; we’re not quite there! But we had enough confidence to take out the loan and do the work. Now we have the opportunity for more to pledge to financially to the project!

3. Darrell Hughes has been overseeing the work of contractors and maintaining communication to make the project happen.

4. Recently so many of you have done just plain ole super hero work! There was the day we took down the ceiling tiles in the fellowship hall! Picture CHCC folks with masks and goggles, hoes and rakes — arms in the air for hours ripping down the tiles, and others cleaning up the mess and loading them in wheelbarrows and on dollies to haul them out to the dumpster

Then there was Sunday afternoon, January 5, when we gathered after worship to clean the dirt (accumulated from construction) off all the chairs and tables and set up the fellowship hall for Isaiah 58 Ministries to be able to re-open and serve
clients after the laying of the new floor!

5. Now before the contractor hangs the metal framing for the ceiling, some of us will need to paint at least the top 18 inches of the fellowship hall walls.

6. Then, after the contractor hangs the framing for the drop ceiling, Darrell Hughes and Dave Boger will be installing new fellowship hall lights and vents – before the new ceiling can go in.

7. Diane Richardson has volunteered to paint fellowship hall walls and so others are invited to help in this project!!

8. Then we will need to get the kitchen ready to go again before our March 1 meal celebration!

No doubt there is much that is not listed here! You see! It truly takes a village to do all parts of ministry and to create the space for ministry.

Weekly Winter Schedule
Sundays 9:15 Choir Prep.
10:00 Classes
11:00 Worship
12:10 Refreshments
12:30 Choir Practice
Each Tues. & Thurs. 7 pm Exercise Group
2nd Tuesday Compassionate Listening 7:15 – 8:30 p
1st Wed. Board or Min. Grp
3rd Wed. Elders Circle 7 pm
1st Thurs. Prayer Shawl Grp
Each Friday –Happy Fri. 7 – 8 a
Saturdays Exercise 11:30 am

Compton Heights Christian Church
2149 South Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63104
sanctuary in the city

Contact us: 314-771-5071
Check us out on Facebook

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