pentecostAfter months of prayerful discernment and preparations, Grace Episcopal Church, Kirkwood and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Warson Woods will begin worshiping as one congregation Sunday, May 19 — The Day of Pentecost.

“We chose to come together at Pentecost because it is the birthday of the Church and because it is a celebration of the Holy Spirit among us,” said St. Matthew’s Rector, the Rev. Doris Westfall. “Pentecost is a day of new beginnings.”

Our celebration of this special day will include worship services at 8 and 10 a.m. at Grace Church, followed by a special Pentecost picnic in our parish hall. We’ll provide fried chicken and drinks. We’re asking our members to provide the salads, side dishes and desserts:

  • If your last name begins with A-L, please bring a salad or side dish.
  • If your last name begins with M-Z, please bring a dessert.

We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate the power of the Holy Spirit as our two congregations come together as one!

Frequently Asked Questions about the merger:

When will the merger take place?

We will begin worshiping and serving as one congregation on Pentecost – Sunday, May 19, 2013. However, the finances of the two parishes will remain separate until the Diocese of Missouri officially approves the merger at Diocesan Convention in November.

What name will our combined church have?

The merged congregation will be called Grace Episcopal Church and will worship at Grace’s current facilities in Kirkwood. We have several plans to incorporate St. Matthew’s name into our parish life together, including the addition of a new prayer garden. We’ll also be adopting St. Matthew’s Day, September 21, as our patronal feast day.

Who will serve as our clergy?

The Rev. Todd McDowell will serve as the Rector and the Rev. Doris Westfall will be the Associate Rector of the merged parish beginning May 19. Mo. Doris’ salary and benefits will continue to be paid through St. Matthew’s pledges until the end of 2013.

What happens to St. Matthew’s church building and property in Warson Woods?

The Warson Woods building and land will be sold. Important and sacred items from St. Matthew’s history will continue to be used by our joint parish. Items coming to Grace include St. Matthew’s chalice; the Christus Rex, which will be hung in our parish hall; and a brass cross, which will hang in the lower level lobby.

What happens to the money from the sale of the Warson Woods property?

St. Matthew’s is making four $15,000 grants to selected ministries (to be released May 12). They are also generously contributing $140,000 for additions at Grace, including a new prayer garden, labyrinth and an expansion of Grace’s columbarium to include those interred at St. Matthew’s. The remainder of the proceeds from the sale will establish a St. Matthew’s Fund for Mission as part of the Grace Legacy Funds.

Will our ministries remain separate?

We intend to fully integrate our parish families by including ministries from both parishes. The following members from St. Matthew’s have already joined leadership committees at Grace:

  • Lyn Ballard & Doris Schaefer – Vestry
  • Bob Schaefer – Finance Committee
  • Don Neubacher – Endowment Committee

Do you have additional questions about the merger?

Please contact Fr. Todd or Mo. Doris for more information:

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