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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

PDF Version of Newsletter

Sanctuary in the City News, September 2019


The stories of our lives are made up of the ordinary, daily movements of being human in relationship with the rest of creation. Our lives are about waking up and living each day, experiencing delight and disappointment, anticipating something new and meeting the old familiar, discovering who we are and who we hope to become, loving and being
loved, feeling lonely and being afraid, living into our relationship with God and asking who we are and who God is. At the heart of our each of our stories, is the truth that we do not live them alone. Our stories are a part of the story of God’s people. Every interaction, every response shapes and reshapes our world.

We learn about God and what it means to be human through stories – stories in the Bible, stories shared in our history, stories shared by those who have been oppressed, and those who were not the winners and therefore did not get to write history. We learn what it is to be human through the stories that we create, through poetry, prose, music.

One of the challenges in communities in the 21st century is to speak our stories, to
listen to the stories of others, and to thus come to see the movements of God
in, and through, and around us. When we feel overwhelmed and powerless, we are
strengthened in coming to know who we are individually and together. We are
strengthened by shared laughter and tears.

I look forward to this year of storytelling with you – in all the ways we share our
lives of faith as we reach out together.

Please see the page 4 article on the beginning of Story Circle on September 29!
Blessings to you! Jacque

3rd Millennium World’s Fair Concert
Saturday, September 14 , 7:30 pm

This is the second of two shows celebrating the new Album by 3rd
Millennium World’s Fair, “Friends and Places.” This show will
feature the trio:

Hannah Frey: Violin and Viola
Meghan Yankowskas: Clarinet
Michael Hagmeier: Guitar, didjeridu, & percussion
Plus special guest Stephanie Hunt on cello.

Tickets are $10 and available online at:
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: Millie Slack, Joyce Cole, Sharon Clayton, Karen and John Pitt

Our students beginning school: Xavier Litton beginning Pre-School; Jacob and Ty Woodard beginning college

sept2nd Talya Perry
9th Madeline Haraway,
Becky Klemme-Eliceiri
18th Walter Tarde, Jr.
26th Carolyn Harry


oct9th Penny Miller
15th Monte Abbott
23rd Marsha McGuire
28th Liz Vollmar



Food Item: Cereal                    Beef Stew
Peanut Butter                            Canned Greens

Pantry Essential: Coffee        Salt
(ground)                                     Pepper

Personal Care: Toothpaste    Deodorant
Toothbrush                                Bar Soap
Especially need Toilet Paper!

Cleaning Supplies: Dish Soap Magic Erasers

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

newmembersWe celebrate that Deanna Snowden and Nick Snowden
joined CHCC on Sunday, August 11. Deanna and Nick are
sister and brother and are both coming of the Churches of
Christ tradition (our shared Stone-Campbell history!).
Deanna has recently retired as a librarian with Webster
University, and Nick owns his own business. We give thanks
for the faith and joy that Nick and Deanna bring to Compton
Heights Christian Church!

Sunday School ResumesFALL CLASSES BEGIN SUNDAY, SEPT 8, 10 am

Our Fall Christian Education and Spiritual Nurture classes
are beginning!

We will have a Multi-Age children’s class led by Kathy
Mead, Madeline Haraway, and Darrell Hughes.

Our Adult class will do a study/discussion of “The Prophet” following Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation. We will reflect on the Prophet in scripture and in our current world.

comptonuplift_logoWhat’s Up with Compton UpLift?

Like the old commercial line: “Where’s the beef?” you might be asking: “Where’s the construction?

We dare to say, “It’s Coming!!” We know that work with architects and seeking approvals from the city and glitches and changes and then more approval processes, and then getting new bids from contractors (because of the aforementioned changes) can take a crazy amount of time and energy!

Darrell Hughes and Dave Boger have poured hours and hours into this and it looks like we are “a go!” They have about been ‘driven to distraction so thank them when you
see them!

2019-2020 Pastoral Intern – Madison Peterson

201920CHCCintMPHello! My name is Madison Peterson- I’m so excited to be joining you this year at Compton Heights! I was born and raised Disciple. I call the Kansas City Region home and grew up a Lee’s Summit Christian Church. I first felt a call to
ministry when I was in high school at my beloved church camp, Tall Oaks. After high school, I went to Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri. There, I was fed and nurtured by my campus ministry, Ekklesia, and our interfaith student group, Bears Better Together. I met my husband Orion the day after we moved onto campus our freshman year and over time at MSU, we became partners both in life and in
leadership roles in Bears Better Together. I graduated in May 2018 with my BS in General Business and minor in Religious Studies. Orion and I moved to St. Louis so that I could start seminary at Eden Theological Seminary. He has a master’s in biology and works at Washington Univrsity in an Immunology research lab,
studying Type 1 Diabetes. We were married January 2019 (in the wake of a big
snowstorm) and in May, adopted our beloved chihuahua mix, Ella J, who brings 14 pounds of joy and energy into our home. As we continue to get settled in St. Louis, we really love taking walks in our neighborhood, eating too much Ted Drewes and sushi, and hosting our families from Kansas City and Rockford, IL.

As I begin the start of my second year of seminary, I am still discerning what my call to ministry looks like. I am very interested in chaplaincy and had a great experience as a chaplain intern this summer at St. Louis University Hospital. I am looking forward to learning from the good folks here at Compton Heights and am honored to join a long
lineage of student pastors that this congregation has welcomed and fostered. I have already experienced your hospitality and kindness in my visits, and am hopeful to pour myself and my gifts in to the life of this ministry. I pray that my time with you will be full of learning, grace, and growth for both you and for me!

blessinganimalsIt has been a while since we held a Blessing of the Animals at Compton Heights CC! Several people have suggested that this would be a good time to gather for Pet Blessing! The last time we did this blessing on Earth Day. But it is more traditionally done around the Church’s celebration of St. Francis of Assisi which is October 4. So this year, we will hold a Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, October 5, 1:00 pm on the church lawn.

All pets must be either on leash or in crate. If you have a pet that will not do well around other animals or should not be brought for any reason, you are invited to bring that pet’s collar or blanket (something to represent the pet being blessed.)

bookclubCompton Heights CC Book Group

Next meeting: Saturday, October 12 at 1:00pm at the church
We are reading and discussing:
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

storycircleJoin us for STORY CIRCLE – the last Sunday of the month, beginning Sunday, September 29 LIGHT LUNCH at 12:30 pm Circle at 1:00 pm

A Story Circle is a group of people sitting in a circle telling personal stories of their experience on a particular topic or theme. Each story circle invites stories in response to one simple question. For instance, “When has an experience with art touched your life?” Or “What do you remember about someone caring for you when you needed care?” Or “How has an experience of being outdoors in nature been transforming for you? Or “When have you felt set free to be more fully yourself? Or When have you realized that you were loved by God? The possibility for theme and questions is unending!

Story Circles can help build relationships, strengthen communities, build bridges. In story circles we can share stories that have shaped us, stories of surprise, stories of discovery, stories of challenge, stories of hope, stories of change, stories that make us
laugh, stories that make us cry. We can share stories about our own spiritual challenges, and stories about our faith.

The model is simple and yet profound. It has been used to great effect by the Appalachian group “Roadside Theatre,” in community building, and in congregations. Each story circle is different and is focused around a question. Each circle has a
facilitator and follows simple guidelines to help us listen to each other’s stories.
Story Circle is especially appropriate in the life of a church community because the church is all about Story! We gather around stories of God’s people. The story of the church is grounded in the stories of Hebrew Scripture, the stories about Jesus, and the
stories (parables) that Jesus told. We are constantly telling, retelling, and unpacking stories. Stories have been used destructive ways and in life-affirming ways. We come face to face with stories that have hurt God’s people and stories that have renewed
God’s people.

In this day and time, it is vital that we share and hear our stories. Story Circle is not a place of debate or argument; it is, rather, a sacred and safe place of story. One does not need to commit to participate in every Story Circle in order to take part. Each one
will stand on its own with a particular question. The exception to this would be if we decide to do a series of questions around a single theme or issue of importance to us.

While away for General Assembly, Pastor Jacque worshiped with a congregation that is using Story Circle in wonderful ways.

She came back with a passion to introduce Story Circle into the life of Compton Heights CC.

A poll of the congregation in worship over two Sundays revealed 11 people interested in Story Circle on the last Sunday of the month and 3 interested in a Thursday evening. We will begin meeting on the last Sunday of the month and if more become interested in a weekday evening group, we can explore that option later on!


+ Those who made sandwiches twice a month for people who are un-housed and hungry
+ Those who greeted the community on the street on Friday mornings during “Happy Friday”
+ Those who participated in General Assembly and those who led worship and cared for others during that time.
+ Those who have volunteered with and given to Isaiah 58 Ministries
+ Those who have participated in Break the School to Prison Pipeline work and other community ministry with Metropolitan Congregations United
+ Those who have participated in SIX WEEKS OF COMPASSION – creating Disaster Clean-up Buckets, giving to Week of Compassion to support relief and development ministries.
+ Those who have participated in public witness actions in opposition to gun violence and in opposition to abuse of refugees seeking asylum. Those who have prayed and made contacts calling for justice and peace.

fallWhat’s Happening Here

Weekly Fall 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
4st Tues. Compassionate Listening 6:30 – 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

Sunday, Sept 1
Tues, Thurs Exercise 7p
Wed. Sept 4 Min. Grps 7p
Thurs. Sept 5 –Prayer Shawl Group 7
Happy Fri, Sept 6 – 7 am
Sat. Sept 7 Exer 11:30 am

Sunday, Sept 8
Bible Presentation
Pastoral Intern Begins!
Tues., Thurs Exercise 7p
Wed. Sept 11 Board 7p
Happy Friday Sept 13 7a
Sat. Sept 14 Exer. 11:30a
3MWF CONCERT – 7:30 p

Sunday, Sept 15
Tues, Thurs Exercise 7p
Wed., Sept 18 Elders 7p
Happy Friday Sept 21 – 7a

Sat. Sept 21

Exer. 11:30
Sunday, Sept 22
Tues., Thurs Exercise 7pm
Tues Sept 24 Compassionate
Listening 6:30 pm
Wed., Sept 25 Cabinet 7p
Happy Fri, Sept 27 7am
Sat. Sept 28 Exer. 11:30

Sunday, Sept 29
Reconciliation Sunday
Story Circle – Lunch 12:30
Circle 1:00p
Tues., Thurs. Exercise 7p
Wed., Oct 2 – Board 7p
Thurs Oct 3 – Pr. Shawl 7p
Happy Fri, Oct 4 7 am
Sat. Oct 5 Exer. 11:30a
Blessing of Animals 1:00p

Sunday, Oct 6 World
Communion and Reconcil.
Tues.,Thurs. Exercise 7 pm
Happy Friday Oct 11 7am
Sat, Oct 12 Exer. 11:30 am
Book Group 1pm

Sunday, Oct 13
Tues., Thurs Exercise 7p
Wed., Oct 16 Elders 7 pm
Fri Oct 18 Happy Fri 7am
Sat.Oct 19 Exer. 11:30

Sunday, Oct 20
Tues., Thurs Exercise 7pm
Tues Oct 22 Compassionate
Listening 6:30pm
Fri Oct 25 Happy Fri 7 am
Sat, Oct 26 Exercise 7pm

Compton Heights Christian Church

2149 South Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63104

Ministry Leaders
Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Foster

Ms. Madeline Haraway
Moderator of Congregation
Mr. Monte Abbott
Vice Moderator
Ms. Marsha McGuire

Ms. Marty Hughes
Ms. Leslie Latham
Financial Secretaries
Ms. Kathy Mead,
Mr. Tom Litton

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