All posts by Donna Cook

Greetings from Pastor Wanda Lawry

Dear Friends,

I am very excited to be serving the Oak Hill Presbyterian Church. I wanted to share a little bit about my background and my faith journey as we begin an exciting new adventure.

“Not all who wander are lost” (J.R.R. Tolkien). The name Wanda means wanderer. In me, it rings true. I have always enjoyed walking, traveling, finding new adventures around every corner. I guess that is why I like to talk about my faith as a spiritual journey.

I grew up in a Christian family in Des Moines, Iowa,  who were very involved in the life of the church. We were at church every Sunday morning for Sunday school and church, as well as the mid -week service, supper, and activities. I have always been very outgoing, energetic, and curious. 

When I was in high school, I had many opportunities to deepen my faith. I was involved in a two-year leadership development program with youth from many churches across the region. I had the opportunity to go on several summer mission trips which involved working with long term partnerships for 12 weeks in several different countries, including Venezuela, Scotland, and Japan. I developed a heart for mission, and social justice. These opportunities helped me to recognize a call to ministry. My call was recognized, affirmed, and nurtured by the leadership of my church.

Throughout my college experience, my call to the ministry continued to be affirmed and I knew I would pursue a seminary education. Following college, I was invited to work at my home church for three years as a ‘minister of youth, missions and Christian education! In addition to receiving a wealth of experience, I had some wonderful mentors who taught me how to do ministry in the trenches before I attended seminary in Chicago.

One of my favorite passages of scripture has always been Isaiah 40:31 which proclaims: ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary-they shall walk and not faint.

There are times in our lives when we experience mountain top experiences, times when we feel God’s presence with us in unmistakable ways – time when we feel as if we can soar with the eagles. I remember times like these in my ordination into the ministry, the birth of my amazing son, Matthew and the ups and downs of parenting, the privilege of walking with people in times of great joy and times of great sorrow and knowing that my presence made a difference in their lives.  The opportunity to travel to other countries as a part of an interfaith team to study and learn from one another. But that is not the only way that God gives strength. There are times when we feel like we have the energy to accomplish great things, times when we will run and not grow weary. I have helped people to discover their gifts for ministry and empowered them to move beyond their comfort zones to put their faith into action in both small and large ways. I have challenged the status quo and helped people to reach out to people who were experiencing displacement, working with refugee families from Central America, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. I have helped to change church structures that no longer fit the needs of the congregation and guided them to new ways of working together in smaller teams. I have worked tirelessly to build relationships and partnerships with neighbors and communities in interfaith circles and in businesses. I have experienced the excitement of ministry without growing weary. God gives us strength in many ways. And yet there are times in our lives when God promises to help us to walk and not to faint. I have had to learn how to practice self-care after years of moving full steam ahead. I have walked with families coming to grips with loved ones experiencing cancer and other illnesses, mental health issues, addictions, and many other challenges. Those are the times when God’s promise to walk and not faint means the most.

Pastor Wanda and Matthew, Back to School!

All of these experiences have been a part of my spiritual journey. As a lifelong learner, I am aware that I am continuing to learn and stretch and grow. I have not lost my ‘wander lust’. I still enjoy finding new adventures around every corner. I have learned that sometimes the greatest spiritual  experiences happen at the most unusual times, often what seems to be an ‘interruption,’ is indeed an opportunity. I have learned to look for sacred time and sacred spaces everywhere, in a conversation with a friend, in a walk around the block, in the beauty of a sunset, in the art gallery. All of life is sacred, for in life and death we belong to God!

Pastor Wanda and Jazzy

After nearly 25 years of pastoring churches in Long Island, New York, I am excited to return to the mid-west.  I am honored to be serving in partnership with the session and everyone who is a part of the Oak Hill Congregation. I look forward to getting better acquainted with each of you. I hope to have the opportunity to learn more about the story of your lives as individuals and as a community of faith.  Please do not hesitate to give me a call or reach out to me so that we can schedule a time to meet together for coffee, lunch, or a walk in the neighborhood.

Blessings & Peace

Pastor Wanda

Pastor Wanda On the Road to Saint Louis

Pastor Wanda Heads to St. Louis (Actually she was off to see her son in upstate NY.) and stops for a quick photo op.

Come meet up with Pastor Wanda Lawry and enjoy an evening of fun Team Building Games and Activities. Change your calendar! Our Summer Excitement event scheduled for Monday, June 20, 6:30 – 8:30 PM will now be held in the Large Assembly Room at Oak Hill. (You guessed it, the weather!) Bring your own dinner, we’ll eat socially distanced, at 6:30 PM. Games begin at 7:00 PM. We’ll have some snacks and beverages. Come enjoy the fun and say hi to our new Interim Pastor! (She’ll be in town a few days looking for housing!)

Holy Week

vectezzy.com

Join us for worship throughout this Holy Week.

Palm / Passion Sunday , April 10. Sunday School is at 9:30 am and worship is at 10:30 am. Both are offered “in-person” and Zoom. Meeting ID: 768 992 383. You can find our bulletin on the front page of the website under “Worship at Home”.

Check the Weekly Update for a copy of our Good Friday Stations of the Cross Devotional from Illustrated Ministries. Contact the office if you can’t find the link.

Oak Hill Book Club will meet Tuesday, April 12 at 6:30 pm at the Barrow residence on on Zoom. Meeting ID: 259 777 226 Passcode: Disciple (case sensitive) . Bring your dinner and join us as we discuss “Still Life” by Louis Perry. It’s the first of the highly acclaimed Inspector Armand Gamache books.

Wednesday Bible Study continues this week . Meet us on Zoom. Meeting ID: 259-777-226. Passcode: Disciple (case sensitive). We continue our study of Amy-Jill Levine’s book “Witness at the Cross”

Session Meeting, Wednesday, April 13, on Zoom. Session members check your email for the Zoom link.

Maundy Thursday worship is at 7:00 PM on Zoom with Compton Heights Christian Church. Join Zoom Meeting ID: 895 0892 7296 Passcode: 529096

Community Easter Egg Hunt, is April 16, 10:00 am in Tower Grove Park, at the Turkish Pavilion. Center Cross Drive is often closed Saturday mornings for the Farmer’s Market, so enter the park from the Grand Ave. entrance for easiest access.

Holy Saturday Vigil – April 16. Sign up for a one hour shift to hold vigil in the sanctuary and await the Resurrection. Shifts are available from 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Sign up link is on the Home Page.

Easter Sunday – April 17. Worship is at 10:30 am via zoom. There will be no Sunday School. Worship is in person and via Zoom. Meeting ID 768 992 383. We will be decorating the cross with flowers. Bring your own if you have some blooming. We’ll have plenty of flowers are available if you forget. We will not have an Easter Sun Rise service this year.

Sunday! In-Person Worship!

In-Person Worship!

We are open again for in-person worship effective March 20, 2022!!  And we will be singing!!  We are opening with previous safety precautions still in place.   Our COVID-19 Task Force has reviewed the status of the virus and feel it is safe to return to in-person worship.  (See the guidelines listed below that  we plan to follow for our in-person worship.)

(We will continue to worship on Zoom for those who are unable to join us in person and the worship bulletins will still be posted on our website www.oakhillpcusa.org.   (See Worship At Home).  If you’d like to join us remotely, please use Meeting ID: 768 992 383. (You can also call in, by phone, at  312-626-6799, then enter the same meeting ID.)

The Rev. John Harrison will be preaching on March 20. 

Pastor Alan will be leading other parts of the service.  

Sunday school for all ages is at 9:30 a.m. (in person and on Zoom). 

We will be collecting dried or canned beans for Isaiah 58 Ministries on Sunday, March 20.

Articles and pictures for the April newsletter on due on Monday, March 21.

Wednesday Bible Study is at 11:00 a.m. on March 23.  During Lent they will be reading Witness at the Cross by Amy-Jill Levine.  Zoom ID # is 259 777 226, Password:  Disciple.

The Mission and Justice Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23, on Zoom.

The Stewardship and Property Committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23, on Zoom.

Please consider donating a bag of individually wrapped (plastic egg or smaller sized) candies for Oak Hill’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Turkish Pavilion in Tower Grove Park on Saturday, April 16, at           10 a.m.  (Candy may be place in the box outside the sanctuary (next to the chairlift) or in the church office beginning March 20.)

GUIDELINES FOR RE-OPENING THE CHURCH

MARCH 20, 2022

  1. Masks will still be required for the congregation.
  1. Social distancing still required.  Everyone sitting in the pews is required to maintain a 6’ distance from those outside your inner circle.  If you are not comfortable next to people, please feel free to move to another location.
  1. The congregation will be allowed to sing, but masks are still required.
  1. Communion will be served using the pre-packaged communion units provided by the church.  People may also bring their own elements.  Hand sanitizers will be widely available.
  1. Sunday School will be hybrid (in person and on Zoom), following these guidelines.
  1. The nursery will be re-opened pending notification from the Worship and Christian Education Committee.  (Nursery care is provided during our Sunday 10:30 a.m. worship service.)
  1. On Sundays there will not be an indoor time of fellowship following worship.  Everyone will be encouraged to visit with one another outside following the service.
  1. Church group and committee meetings may resume following the same rules that apply to worshipping in the sanctuary.  It is up to the group to decide if they wish to meet in person or online.  If you plan to meet in person at the church, please notify the office so your meeting may be put on the calendar, thus avoiding any conflict if another group/committee is meeting.
  1. Non-church group meetings may resume following the same criteria as mentioned above.  Groups wishing to meet at Oak Hill should contact the church office.
  1. We will continue with hybrid worship services until further notice.

Transfiguration Sunday

The Rev. Rebecca Klemme Eliceiri will be preaching on February 27. 

Pastor Alan will be leading other parts of the

Compton Heights Christian Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Ash Wednesday Service

Time: March 2, 2022, 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86504401632?pwd=L2cvOU5Eejdmc09ESERSVm1UQnNYdz09

Meeting ID: 865 0440 1632

Passcode: 744290

Dial by your location

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 865 0440 1632

Passcode: 744290

.

Sunday school for all ages is at 9:30 a.m. using the regular Sunday worship Zoom link (see above).  You will then be put into a breakout room.

Wednesday Bible Study will not meet March 2.  The next session will begin March 9. The group is starting a a new study “A Beginners Guide to Holy Friday: Witness at the Cross , by Amy Jill Levine.” A Kindle edition is available.  Zoom ID # is 259 777 226, Password:  Disciple.

Oak Hill has been invited once again to share in an Ash Wednesday service with our friends at Compton Heights Christian Church on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. This will be an online service.  The Zoom login information is given below.

Also: if you should wish to participate during the service in the traditional Ash Wednesday imposition of ashes on forehead or hand, here is a link to a video that gives instructions on how to prepare ashes for this purpose: https://youtu.be/Hq3zZyOvCbo. It is the same video, prepared by Madison Peterson, that was made available for Ash Wednesday last year. We are grateful to Madison and to Compton Heights for this help.

Compton Heights Christian Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Ash Wednesday Service

Time: March 2, 2022, 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

The Touchy Topics book club will meet on Thursday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. 

on Zoom. Normally to club meets the first Wednesday of the month, but for March, the first Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, so the meeting has been moved back a day. The book selected is Assata: An Autobiography, by Assata Shakur. The book traces Shakur’s early childhood to her current status as a political refugee in Cuba. For April, the book is Heartland: 

A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country in the World, by Sarah Smarsh. This book, which focuses on cycles of poverty and social class in Kansas, was a National Book Award finalist for nonfiction in 2018.

The Zoom ID # is 259 777 226, Password: Disciple.

Next Sunday, March 6, is the First Sunday of Lent.  We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper (Communion).

Sunday, February 19, 2022

Share your Hearts!

The Rev. Julie Allen Berger will be preaching on February 20.  Pastor Alan will be leading other parts of the service.

The worship bulletins are posted on our website www.oakhillpcusa.org.  (See Worship At Home) If you’d like to join us remotely, please use Meeting ID: 768 992 383. (You can also call in, by phone, at 312-626-6799, then enter the same meeting ID.)

Sunday school for all ages is at 9:30 a.m. using the regular Sunday worship Zoom link (see above).  You will then be put into a breakout room.

Wednesday Bible Study is at 11:00 a.m. on February 2.  They are continuing to follow the lectionary readings.  Zoom ID # is 259 777 226, Password:  Disciple.

Mission and Justice Committee Meeting on Wednesday, February 23, at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Stewardship and Property Committee Meeting on Wednesday, February 23, at 7:00 p.m. o Zoom.

2022 Worship Volunteer Sign-Up

The new Sign-Up Genius form is ready to go for 2022. Please consider signing up to help greet guests, serve as liturgist, supervise children in the nursery (vaccination & safety screening required for nursery duty), or lead the Adult Sunday School Group. Sign up early and often! You can sign up easily online at this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0545ABA722A4FD0-ohpc . If you would rather sign up “off-line” you can call Lisa Thompson or leave a message on the church answering machine.  

Our Minister of Music, Susan Brown, is always looking for volunteers to provide “Special Music” for Sunday Worship.  If you are interested in singing or playing a musical instrument during worship, or have any questions, please contact Susan.


Presidents’ Day Mission Project

Join us on Monday, February 21, 2022, from Noon – 2 PM for a mission project or two. We’ll have a drive by neighborhood food drop off for Isaiah 58 Ministries. In addition, will fill water bottles with laundry detergent for I58, make go bags for our own outreach and tied blankets for various groups and do a meal prep or two for the Grace Women’s Shelter. We’ll spread out in the Smylie Room and Large Assembly Room.  If you like to join us please sign up on  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/508094BAAA62CA0F94-service