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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!)

First Sunday after the epiphany

The Baptism of the Lord

Ruling Elder Josh Smith will be leading us in worship this Sunday. Josh will be leading our Time for Growing Disciples and preaching the Sermon. The word is that other exciting events will take place as well. Don’t miss out on the Installation of our newly elected elders, Brian Heuckroth, Dena Roper, Avery Smith, Valery Welch and Christine Woodward. Thank you to Rev. Dr. Alan Meyers, (Pastor Alan, to all of us!) for coordinating worship leadership, moderating session meetings and working with the Worship and Christian Education Committee as we move forward into 2022.

We’re still worshiping virtually so sign into Zoom with code number 768 992 383 and our host will admit you! Last week we had some technical difficulties. Thanks for sticking around while we worked out the problems. In the future we hope to post technical difficulties to facebook so you know what’s up. If you haven’t done it yet, be sure to follow/like us on facebook for up to date info.

Coming up this week is Wednesday Bible Study. The Oak Hill Book Club and Touchy Topic Book Club will discuss Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Book of Longings” Tuesday evening. Don’t forget our monthly session meeting Wednesday, January 12.

Josh, Avery, and Kim Smith – Christmas Eve 2021 at Oak Hill

Spring Fest May 4 High Lights

 

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Family Fun!

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Expert Face Painting

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A little watercolor crafting for a misty day.

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Experiments with crayon resist watercoloring.

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Pony rides for all ages, including Interim Pastor Kathy Riley

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Yummy pork steaks, a south side specialty

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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!

Community Stations of the Cross Walk

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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.

Maundy Thursday Service

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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

Oak Hill Presbyterian Church PCUSA

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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: office@oakhillpcusa.org

Copyright 2014 Oak Hill Presbyterian Church

Peanut Butter Sunday!

Girl Eating Peanut Butter Sandwich

January 6 is Peanut Butter Sunday at Oak Hill. We’ll be collecting peanut butter in plastic jars for Isaiah 58 Ministries during the Time For Young Disciples. You are certainly welcome to bring any food item from your pantry stash!

See you Sunday!

January 6 – Peanut Butter (plastic jar)

January 13 – Jelly (plastic jar)

January 21 – Pears (canned)

January 27 – Whole Grain Bread