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.
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!
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
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
- Masks will still be required for the congregation.
- 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.
- The congregation will be allowed to sing, but masks are still required.
- 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.
- Sunday School will be hybrid (in person and on Zoom), following these guidelines.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- We will continue with hybrid worship services until further notice.
December 1 – Worship Service to welcome new members coming from Tyler Place Presbyterian Church. Pastor Robert Hagel will give the sermon as we welcome Tyler Place’s assimilation into Oak Hill. A reception will be held in the Large Assembly Room following worship.
December 8 – Christmas Cantata. The Chancel Choir presents “The Other Wise Man” under the direction of Susan Brown, our Minister of Music.
December 15 – Children’s Program. The children and youth of Oak Hill present the musical “Star of Wonder”, Darrell Yearwood and Susan Brown directing.
December 24 – Christmas Eve Service will be Tuesday, December 24, at 6:00 p.m. with a reception immediately following the service in our Large Assembly Room. Bring an appetizer or dessert to share if you are able. Everyone is welcome to our time of fellowship.
Expert Face Painting
A little watercolor crafting for a misty day.
Experiments with crayon resist watercoloring.
Pony rides for all ages, including Interim Pastor Kathy Riley
Yummy pork steaks, a south side specialty
Time to clean up!
Join us for Spring Fest, May 4, 2013
Oak Hill Presbyterian Church
4111 Connecticut, St. Louis, MO 63116
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Barbeque, Games, Pony Rides, Arts & Crafts and more.
Fun for all ages. We hope to see you. Bring your friends and family!
On Good Friday, March 29, Oak Hill will join other local congregations for a Community Stations of the Cross Walk. We will gather at 12 noon at Compton Heights/Tyler Place at 2149 S. Grand. Blvd. @ Flora Place. We will walk a path that leads us back to our starting point. The walk will last approximately two hours and will be a healthy public exercise of faith as together we walk through our neighborhood tracing the final steps of Christ.
Photos above are from a previous walk on the south side of Tower Grove Park.
Oak Hill will host an ecumenical worship service, March 28, at 7:00 PM. We will follow the ancient tradition of Tenebrae (Shadows), which includes a gradual extinguishing of lights as we move into our observance of Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and finally, on to Resurrection Sunday.
Joining us this evening will be:
Compton Heights Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Isaiah 58 Ministries, Inc.
Oak Hill Presbyterian Church
St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship
Tyler Place Presbyterian Church
4111 Connecticut Street, Saint Louis, MO 63116-3926.
Phone: (314) 664-5525
We are located at the corner of Oak Hill and Connecticut, three blocks south of Tower Grove Park. Directions to Oak Hill Presbyterian Church
Whether you are a visitor, someone looking for a little more information about our church or a member checking on an event date or time, we hope you find helpful information as you visit with us on line. If you can’t find what you are looking for, feel free to contact us via phone or email.
Come join us this Sunday
10:00 a.m. Sunday School for children, youth and adults (September – May)
11:00 a.m. Worship Service. Fellowship time will follow worship
Child care is available during our worship service.
Church e-mail: email@example.com
Copyright 2014 Oak Hill Presbyterian Church
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