Rev. Diane Kenaston
New hours beginning 8/21:
University UMC Young Adults are on Facebook! Join the group's page to see events and information.
8/20: Welcome Statement Vote
UUMC is in the process of becoming an official Reconciling Ministries church. Reconciling Ministries advocates for full inclusion of LGBTQIA persons in the
denomination. Adopting a new welcome statement is the key part of this process. Our proposed statement is below:
We invite people of all ages, races, cultures, gender identities, and sexual orientations to be you, be loved, and belong.
After worship on 8/20 we’ll vote on 1) this statement and 2) joining the Reconciling Ministry Network in the United Methodist Church. Please stay in the sanctuary to cast your vote!
What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus and what discipleship opportunities does UUMC offer? Read Tom Mitchell's blog post here.
Reconciling Ministries Organizers' Meeting at Webster UMC
Webster UMC has graciously agreed to host a meeting for St. Louis area Reconciling (LGBTQ+) organizers on Tues., Aug. 22. We'll meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in their Fellowship Hall, 600 N. Bompart, 63119.
Check out the Reconciling Ministries Network Facebook page for more information.
New Sign for UUMC at the Corner
By Tom Mitchell
We are closing in on plans for a new sign for UUMC at Trinity and Washington.
You can see full details on the sign and the process in the Leadership Announcements Blog and in a binder placed in Fellowship Hall showing how the sign might appear and several design options
This sign would replace the two existing signs (the old, steel and stone foundation sign from the 1950’s and a newer, maroon sign, taller and narrower).
The sign would be parallel to Trinity and perpendicular to Washington. This provides best visibility from eastbound Washington, and imperfect but best possible visibility in both directions on Trinity, both for pedestrians and cars.
The placement of the new sign and removal of the old also opens up our lawn at the corner for better use.
Pray with us! Visit the secure online prayer list and keep our church family in your prayers. Note: a password is required. The password can be found in your bulletin insert on Sunday mornings, or you may contact the office at 314.863.8055 to obtain it if you are a UUMC member.
Against the Death Penalty?
The United Methodist Church opposes the death penalty (capital punishment) because it denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore, and transform all human beings (read the full UMC statement here.)
The Missouri Clergy Alliance for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is encourages all Missouri United Methodists to call, mail, or email Governor Greitens and Attorney General Josh Hawley to stop the execution of Marcelles Williams.
What you should know: Marcellus Williams is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. He was convicted of the August 11, 1998 robbery and murder of 42-year-old Felicia Gayle in her St. Louis home.
Is Missouri Executing an Innocent Man? There is no physical evidence linking him to the crime - none of the DNA evidence matches Marcellus. Marcellus was convicted based on the testimony of two individuals with troubling pasts and who received monetary compensation. Marcellus’ case needs the governor's intervention to save his life.
Beyond the question of guilt, Missouri’s death penalty is broken for many reasons, including but not limited to racial injustice, disparities in representation and sentencing, prosecutorial misconduct, public opinion. These issues are all present in Marcellus Williams’ case.
Learn more about this case here.
Take action and save Marcellus’ life: sign the petition and share it with your social network.
How to Communicate with Elected Officials
Want to get talk to your elected officials about social justice issues but don't know where to start? The League of Women Voters has put together a handy guide that you can download here.
Health Protection and Education Services (HPES)
Know a Dietician?
HPES is looking for a dietician or dietetic student to answer clients' questions about nutrition and food. Please spread the word to friends and family who may be interested in volunteering. Potential volunteers should contact Diane Berry for more information.
UUMC members Dr. Bob and Jane Paine founded and our congregation continues to support Health Protection and Education Services (HPES). HPES provides free health screenings one Saturday morning each month at the U-City Library in the Delmar Loop. Additional free services include education and treatment referrals, mammograms, sickle cell testing, and free STD, HIV and AIDS testing.
HPES consists of volunteer medical professionals, including doctors, dentists, nurses, medical technicians and health educators and medical students. Non-medical volunteers greet, keep records, and help as needed.
Next Screening: August 19, U-City Public Library
Missouri Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
If you are 60 years and older you may qualify to receive supplemental food once a month to meet your nutritional needs. Items in the food package include canned meat, vegetables, fruits, cereal, cheese, pasta, rice or potatoes, liquid and dry milk, juice, dry beans and peanut butter.
In order to participate in this program and be a designated pick-up location, UUMC needs to enroll 25 people who need food. To qualify through CSFP, one needs to be a resident of the state of Missouri and meet income eligibility requirements. Detailed information is available on the table outside Fellowship Hall. If you or anyone you know could use additional food, please complete the application form and return it in the enclosed envelope to the Church Office.
As soon as we enroll enough people we will begin distributing food. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Greening.
Open Door Food Pantry Update
The food pantry continues to be busy! Last week we gave out 16 bags of food to 8 adult guests and 1 child. We especially need donations of the following to keep our shelves stocked:
- Canned pasta (This is a popular staple. Last week we started with more than 30 cans. By 2:30, they were all gone!)
- Soup, stew and chili
- Laundry detergent
- Granola bars
- Canned tuna and canned chicken
- Maple syrup
- Dishwashing detergent
- Dry milk
- Canned fruit
Want to volunteer?
Open Door operates from 2:00-4:00 pm on Wednesdays. Please contact Bonnie Muren to volunteer.
Choir Rehearsals and Kickoff
Do you love to sing? Come and sing with friends at UUMC! Our choir rehearses on Wednesday at 8:00 and rehearses and sings on Sunday mornings during worship. Choir at UUMC is like taking a college course in singing, as we are directed by Dr. Nicole Aldrich, head of choral music at Washington University. Our first rehearsal of the season is Wed., Aug. 30.
But wait! Our first get-together will be Wed., Aug. 23, with a meal and maybe a little sing-along! We will gather at the Hershey house at 5:30. They will provide meat and beverages. All attendees are welcome to bring salads, vegetables or dessert. Knowing that everyone has different dinner schedules, we will have a smorgasbord...eat when it works for you!
We will also be celebrating good news for Laura and Doug Griffith (and saying good-bye, as well. The choir will miss Doug's humor!) They are moving to Ohio in late August.
Please us know if you will need a ride. Family and friends are invited as well! Please RSVP to Phyllis.
New Monday Night Small Group, 9/25-10/30
Tom Mitchell is heading up a new short-term study using the book Always We Begin Again. The group will meet at the St. Louis Bread Company outside of Plaza Frontenac on Mondays, 9/25-10/30.
The purpose of this group is to develop personal spirituality through the writings of John McQuiston, who summarizes the Rule of St. Benedict in modern terms. The book is simple, straightforward and eminently practicable. Contact Tom Mitchell at 314-858-1020 for details.
Trivia Night Save the Date
The next Trivia Night will be Saturday, November 11th. Save the date! More information and sign-up links coming soon.
Upcoming LOGOS Topics
August 20 & 27: "Dr. Jesus: What Does It Mean to Be Healed?" with Rev. Dr. Adam Ployd
September: (no class on Labor Day)
"Junk: It's What's for Dinner! - Exploring Issues of Hunger and Food Access in St. Louis" with Julie Strassman, Kingdom House. Read more here.
October: "Faith and Mental Health" with Ellen Boone
November: "History of University UMC" with Marty Braeske
Summer Surge Pictures
The Center for Social Empowerment thanks UUMC for hosting a second site for Summer Surge Academy. Check out pictures of the academy from both sites (UUMC and Ferguson) on their Facebook page.
August Microcredit Club Update
On July 27, the club met and distributed their 500th loan and brought their cumulative loans to over $40,000. Read about the individuals and communities whose lives will be transformed through these loans on the Be You Blog.
Upper Room Available
Look on the table in the Fellowship Hall with the blue tablecloth to get your copy of this daily devotional!
Justice Ministry Workshops
Four UMC-sponsored workshops are designed to encourage lay and clergy to act on meeting the basic human rights of all God’s children. Carlos Ziesel, a local sociology professor, and David Hyatt, a well-known consultant, will facilitate the workshops. Both are United Methodist members with hearts for social justice.
The workshops will be held from 10am-12pm on the dates listed below. Members of UUMC will be attending the 8/19 session at Fenton UMC. Talk to Rev. Diane if you'd like to carpool.
August 19 Fenton UMC, map
August 26 First Union UMC, map
One of our values as a congregation is to learn with an open spirit.
Prayer for Korea
August 13th is the Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Please pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula, for peace in the hearts of our leaders, and for peace among all peoples. Read more on the United Methodist Church's call to exhaust diplomatic efforts before turning to military action.
Way Forward Commission Issues Status Update
The Commission on a Way Forward has released a slideshow status report on its work to foster unity in The United Methodist Church amid divisions on issues related to human sexuality.
Read press release and report
Read UMNS coverage of last meeting
Way Forward gets input on church future
Trans-forming the Church
Reconciling Ministries Network has produced a series of short videos: "Trans-forming the Church: Blessed Bodies and Gender Justice."
These videos, featuring Rev. Liam Hooper, use personal experience, scripture, theology, and gender theory. They can help us learn how to better support trans and gender non-conforming people in our church and in society.
Praying for Refugees
Read a short reflection on the "Marawi Siege" in the Philippines, as we hold all refugees in prayer, whether they are crossing international borders or being internally displaced, dislocated and dispersed.
Our proposed welcome statement includes "gender identity." These links will give you some background on gender identity in the UMC and resources to learn more about gender identity.
Gender Identity within the UMC
No official policy excludes people from United Methodist ordination based on gender identity. Whether or not someone's gender matches the gender assigned to them at birth, they are eligible to be ordained and serve as pastors. An attempt in 2008 to deny ordination to transgender persons failed at the General Conference.
Transgender ministers currently serve United Methodist churches. You can read one transgender pastor's story here.
You can also read more from the United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion (UMATI) (part of Reconciling Ministries Network).
Transgender Person Commissioned as a Deacon in Northern Illinois Conference
Rev. M. Barclay is the first openly non-binary transgendered person to be commissioned as a deacon by the UMC. Read their story here.
General Resources on Gender Identity
Confused about the terminology? Check out this fun graphic: the Gender Unicorn (printed image available in Fellowship Hall).
Listen to "Discussing changing conceptions of gender identity and how to talk about it" from St. Louis on the Air in Podcasts.
Looking for more?
We're moving older Headlines Learning articles to the Be You Blog.