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April/Easter Newsletter – Volume 70, No. 4

We Do Not Lose Heart…..or Hope 

Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD is a Franciscan Sister of Washington, DC and American theologian specializing in the area of science and religion, with interests in evolution, physics and neuroscience and the import of these for theology. Dr. Delio currently holds the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University and is the author of twenty books. She writes:

Christianity can help us realize that death and resurrection are part of the path toward wholeness; letting go of isolated existence for the sake of deeper union. Something dies but something new is born – which is why the chaos of our times is, in a strange way, a sign of hope; something new is being born within. Out of chaos, a star is born. Breakdown can be break through if we recognize a new pattern of life struggling to emerge.1

While we continue to mourn and decry what Dr. Delio refers to as the “chaos of our times,” we do not lose heart or hope.

Though the chaos of our times includes great social division, massive gun violence, the war in Ukraine and the pandemics of Covid-19 and racism, we do not lose heart or hope, for as Dr. Delio says: “Out of chaos, a star is born.” Out of death, new life springs forth…

The sacred story of Jesus dying on the cross and rising again in the lives of those who followed him and who began ministering in the power of his Spirit. The sacred story of death and resurrection that we soon gather to celebrate during Holy Week. The sacred story that gives us the heart and hope to say for ourselves and for the world that there is, as Dr. Delio says, “a new pattern of life struggling to emerge.”

Exactly in these times of chaos – as long, painful and disheartening as they have been – let us come together this Holy Week proclaiming, Christ is risen, Christ is risen indeed, which means that a break through to a new pattern of life is always and ever on its way and hope springs eternal! 

Blessings!

Steve

1 Delio, Ilia. 2020. “Dear God,” The Omega Center, March, 2020 Link to Omega Center “Dear God”

Compton Oneing

Many thanks to everyone who participated in our Compton Oneing day on Saturday, March 26! A great time of food, fellowship and story-telling was shared by all, revealing the “pearl” that is Compton Heights Christian Church! Twenty-six people turned out for this first gathering!

The morning started around the food table with fruit, bagels & cream cheese, Krispy Kreme donuts, juice, tea and coffee.

Then, gathered as ONE in one large circle, Steve offered a brief reflection on two scriptures and invited us into a time of joy and having fun with the activity: “Guess Who Fun Facts.”

  • Guess who used to sing and play guitar in her brother’s band?
  • Guess who was baptized on July 4, 1976?
  • Guess who folded 3,000 origami cranes for her wedding? (answers below)

Moving then, to small groups, everyone shared stories of everyday acts that someone in the congregation has done that have been admired or that have touched people in some way. Out of these stories, lists of values were generated. (e.g. quiet caring, belonging, inclusiveness)

After a break, we gathered again as ONE in the large circle of chairs where each small group shared their list of values.

The next activity was designed for us to identify Five Top Core Values within the life of the congregation. But, alas, we just couldn’t narrow things down. We learned that we value a great many things! ☺

Reflecting on our congregational core values, the final activity was to develop a list of things that might be good for us to be attentive to in this interim time.

And, before we ran out of time, three things were identified, revealing three questions: 

  1. How can we develop more “formal” policies to strengthen our convenantal ministry relationship with Isaiah 58?
  2. How can our individual and congregational gifts, resources and assets feed and fuel our ministries into the future, lessening the likelihood of ministry fatigue and burnout?
  3. What will be our plan for intentional, creative ministry and outreach to children, youth and their families?

Before closing with a prayer, Steve gave us some homework:

“What other things,” he asked, “do you see would be good for us to be attentive to? Call/text/email/ visit with me any time as you think of things!”

Steve Says: Compton Oneing continues! It is a blessed time that we share. All are invited to wonder, imagine and share in what God will continue to reveal along the way!

Answers: 1. Millie Slack, 2. Cathy Hutcherson, 3. DebE Miner-Martin

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Worship Notes

NOTE! Compton Heights Christian Church is worshiping in Person on Sundays 

Volunteers are needed for in-person worship: Live Stream Technician, Greeter, Liturgist, Elders, and Deacons. Click here to go to Signup Genius. If you want to serve but need help with the online signup, let Kathy Mead know and she will walk you through the process. 

Serving Schedule

April Home Communion: Elder: Marsha McGuire; Alt. Joan James; Deacon: Dennis James 

  • April 3: Liturgist: Susan Miller; Communion: Joan James; Stewardship: Carolyn Harry Deacons: Kathy Mead and Liz Vollmar
  • April 10: Liturgist: Darrell Hughes; Communion: Diane Richardson; Stewardship: Judi Linville ; Deacons Celia Pemberton and Darrell Hughes
  • April 17: Liturgist: Judi Linville; Communion: Nancy Obermiller; Stewardship: Millie Slack; Deacons Bud Obermiller and Celia Pemberton.
  • April 24: Liturgist: Theresa McCruden; Communion: Marsha McGuire; Stewardship: Leslie Latham, Deacons: Janet Utley and TBA. 

Prayers of the Community

Please hold in prayer: Audrey and Walt T., Penny and Howard M., Katherine K., Shannon W., Diane R., Ryan O. (husband of Steve R.’s niece.) We Also pray for: An end to violence as Russia invades Ukraine. All who have been killed, injured and driven from their homes to refuge in other countries. Those who are affected by extreme weather events. Everyone who is struggling with loneliness, depression and isolation. All who have lost family to Covid-19 and other illnesses. Workers exhausted and facing burnout. Migrant farm workers suffering unfair wages and labor laws. Anyone who experiences pain and alienation from past experiences: may you know that God loves ALL of us. May we find hope and choose to build healthy relationships within ourselves, with others, and with creation itself. 

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We remember former member Clarence Diedriech, who died to this life on March 14. He and his wife, Wanda, were long-time active members of CHCC. They also led the creation of Helping Hands Day Care Center in 1969 at CHCC, and Wanda was its founding director. It became the first accredited Day Care Center in St. Louis in 1984. In 1993 the center changed its name to Cornerstone Center for Early Learning and moved to its present home at 39th and Russell Blvd. Clarence and Wanda continued to support Cornerstone after retirement and also stayed in touch with CHCC, including contributing to support CHCC and recently, the Lift Project. Wanda preceded Clarence in death in 1997. Clarence’s memorial service was March 18 at Lake of the Ozarks. We send our sympathy to their son Dan, their daughter Linda, and all of the family. 

Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, April 3, Morning Worship, 11 a.m.
  • Monday, April 4, Ministry Groups, 7 p.m. on Zoom
  • Wednesday, April 6 Lenten Worship 7 p.m. on Zoom
  • Saturday, April 9, Book Club 1 p.m. on Zoom
  • Sunday, April 10, Palm Sunday Worship, 11 a.m. with presentation of Children’s Bibles
  • Thursday, April 14 Maunday Thursday Worship 7p.m. on Zoom
  • Friday, April 15, noon, Good Friday Service in the Sanctuary with Isaiah 58
  • Saturday, April 16, 11 a.m., Holy Saturday picnic and community egg hunt on the lawn with Isaiah 58
  • Sunday, April 17, 11 a.m. Easter Sunday Worship
    • Continental breakfast, 9 a.m.
    • Easter Egg hunt 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, April 20, Elders Circle, 7 p.m. on Zoom
  • Sunday, April 24, Morning Worship 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, April 27, Cabinet Meeting on Zoom, 7 p.m. 

APRIL

  • April 20 – Leslie L.
  • April 25 – DebE M.
  • April 26 – Karen P.
  • April 29 – Madison P.

MAY

  • May 14 – Heather S.
  • May 15 – Marty H.
  • May 16 – Bryan R.
  • May 19 – Diane R.
  • May 27 – Sarah H.

News and Notes:

  • From Deacons: The Deacons met after church on March 13. They elected Janet Utley as chair of the Deacons. 
  • Book Club: Compton Heights Book Club will meet Saturday, April 9, at 1 p.m. on Zoom. We are observing National Poetry Month. Bring a favorite poem to read and share! Click here for more information about National Poetry Month
  • Happy Friday is back! After a two year pause, the Happy Friday group will greeting passersby on South Grand from 7-8 a.m. on Friday mornings starting in April. For details, talk to Steve or Bud Obermiller 

HOLY WEEK and EASTER EVENTS 

  • Thursday, April 14: Maunday Thursday worship will be on Zoom with participation from Oak Hill Presbyterian and Compton Heights. It will be a service of Scripture, Song and Communion. Plan to join us at 7 p.m. for this time of holy remembrance.
  • Friday, April 15: Good Friday Please join us for a Stations of the Cross service at 12noon. This service is designed to center ourselves on the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus, spending time in scripture, prayer and reflection. All are welcome and COVID precautions will remain in effect during our time together.
  • Saturday, April 16: Isaiah 58 Ministries and Compton Heights Christian Church will host a community picnic and Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 16 beginning at 11am. Join us for hotdogs, chips and drinks outside on our church grounds. There will be a crafts for the kids and an Easter egg hunt to top off the day. We anticipate the Easter Egg Hunt to begin at 12noon.
  • Sunday, April 17: Unpack those Alleluias! Replace those black paraments! Easter morning will begin with a continental breakfast at 9 a.m. followed by the traditional Easter egg Hunt at 10 a.m. Depending on the weather, these may be held on the lawn or in Fellowship Hall and the education wing. Worship in the Sanctuary will begin at 11 a.m. with live streaming on FaceBook.
  • Sunday, April 24: Special Guests in Worship will be Development Director Dani Smith and Executive Director Karen Lucy from Cornerstone Early Childhood Learning Center here in the Shaw Neighborhood. They will bring us up to date on the programs and plans for this organization which has its roots in the day care center started by Compton Heights Christian Church in 1969. 
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