Following services and a delicious luncheon January 19, the first Vestry Meeting of 2014 was conducted at St. Francis Church.  Many items were addressed in a full agenda.

Reports were given on attendance averages over the last nine years and  Bishop Hartley reported he had traveled 3,179 church miles during the past year.  Appreciation was expressed for several special gifts to St. Francis Church during 2013.  It was suggested, as much as possible, to treat this year as a “year of austerity.”

The Vestry voted to provide expenses for our delegates to attend the National Convention this May.  And plans are underway for a new Christmas eve service book.

Spring work day was set for April 6 with April 13 as the rain date.  Our annual Pancake Day will be March 2; great stress was given to the idea that the men of St. Francis should do the cooking.

Also, a sampling of small Jerusalem cross pins was distributed as part of a “silent witness” project now underway.  It is assumed that the unusual shape of the pins will encourage questions that will give the wearer an opportunity to talk about St. Francis Church.

The vestry meeting was held following a delicious chili/soup dinner. The meeting was opened with a prayer by Bishop Hartley.

Vestry members present were Tom Berthold, Laura Berthold, Gary Kester, Anna Meador, Rita Fancher, Carrie Compton, Stephanie Connell, Anne Sasko and Jordan Willard.  Also Joe Criswell, Penelope Willard, Chandler Connell, Rudy Sasko, Jennie Berthold and a friend of Jennie’s from England, James Wilcox.

The minutes were read and approved.

The treasurer presented the financial statement.  September was a bad month for income.  However, all the big bills have been paid, so things are looking up.  The United Church Women are asking for our biannual contribution and $200 was agreed upon. This money will be used for travel expenses for clergy to the Arizona general convention. Also a donation of $100 to the DOW Foster Parents Support Group organization. The money is to be used for clothing and Christmas gifts for foster children. Laurie Hartley suggested a new faucet for the kitchen sink and Joe Criswell volunteered to check out the situation and see if one is needed.  Jordan Willard suggested that maintenance problems be approved by the Bishop without vestry involvement. 

Ordo Calendars are on sale for $7.  The Bishop said that we will in future round off saints’ days and special occasions to the nearest Sunday.  The Bishop cleared up some confusion by stating that when there are more than 24 Sundays in Trinity, certain Sundays in Epiphany readings are used.  He commented that next Sunday will be the Sunday next before Advent.

The calendar of events for next year are on the church website –

The meeting was closed with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Anne Sasko, Clerk

Convention The Missionary Diocese of the South & Ozarks –

Meeting 27 September 2013 at St Francis Church in Ava, Missouri


After Morning Prayer – Communion Service and following a lovely luncheon prepared by the

Ladies of St. Francis, the business meeting was opened with a prayer by Fr. Tom Bradshaw.


Bishop Hartley then determined that a quorum was present, there being 5 out of 6 churches

represented: St. Barnabas, Christ’s Chapel, St. Francis, St. Joseph, and St. Matthews.


It was moved that a 12 member Council of Advice be established. Each church to be

represented by its priest and a designated lay person. This was moved by Fr. Jim McTaggart

and seconded by Deacon Tom Hiter. Motion passed.


It was also moved and seconded that our next year’s convention location be in Branson,

Missouri, at St. Joseph’s Branson. Motion passed.


There was discussion regarding the date of the 2014 National Convention to be held in Prescott,

Arizona. Dates suggested for the Nationals Convention were not available at this time.


There was a motion that the day’s offering ($104.50) be used for the Bishop’s Travel

Fund. Moved by Fr. McTaggart; Seconded by Jack Sotallaro. Motion passed.


Bishop Hartley gave a brief report on the status of the diocese. Briefly summarized:

1 newly ordained priest, Rodney Jackson in Boaz, Alabama; 1 ordained deacon, Tom Hiter;

lost 2 priests: Fr. Caley and Fr. Dunklee; lost 1 parish, Fr. Dunklee’s; 1 new church building–St. Joseph’s in Branson; 2 new postulants; and a new mission in Bristol, Tennessee.


The Anglican Bible and Book Society was mentioned.


Discussion followed on “how to plan for the future of the Church”. Bishop Hartley stating that

a critical inflection point may be reached making us unable to plan for a decade ahead.

Technology has progressed so rapidly leading us to a point of “creative destruction”.


The bishop mentioned three specific things that has led us to this point: a runaway technology,

globalization and increases in living standards, and environmental concerns.

In this brand new world faith, scripture, and sacraments remain the same, but we are unable

to look back, only forward to the future.


Fr. Jerry Ellington led us in Evening Prayer.


Convention was adjourned at 2 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, Barbara Leever



Note: Christ Chapel Council of Advice Members are: Deacon Tom Hiter and Lay person:

Judy James.


Discussion period


The 2013 annual convention of the Missionary Diocese of the South and Ozarks was held September 27 at St. Francis Anglican Church, Ava, Missouri.

Following Morning Prayer and Holy Communion clergy and delegates met for informal discussion on topics having impact on church life.  The first topic was the ageing out of church members, when many leave the church.  One likely age is 16 years when young people get their driving license and their first taste of independence.  Another is 21 years, the legally adult age when the demands of career and family take top priority.  Age 65 is another time when members leave church.  Retirement often leads to a move to a new community.  The present average age in many mainline churches is around 57 years.

Another topic was the general secularization of society.  We now have three generations with little or no church experience.  Many young people are afraid of church services and church buildings.  Each generation has more freedom and independence.  Non-traditional locations can bring people in, like cowboy churches.  One problem is that traditional churches must compete with modernized shallow churches.  Another challenge is how to reach out to the community.

With the general disbelief of society, good times do not require the church.  Among the young, traditional cycles of life are not important.  Such cycles showing life’s progression like baptism, confirmation, marriage, etc. have given way to getting a driver’s license and legally becoming an adult.

Young people communicate through social networks, so it is helpful to use facebook and twitter.  Publicity is important, being visible to the public is a must.  Working with other liturgical traditions keeps us in view of the community.  A possible means of being visible is to play up the English connection; Americans are anglophiles and at present there is much interest in England.  We should target special interests.

Another challenge we face is finances, especially as it relates to the need for full-time priests and paying for them.  People today just don’t contribute to church like they used to.  One solution in fund raising is to have set goals rather than just asking for money.

Most people, it seems, find churches on the Internet.  For the young facebook is very attractive.  On our websites, we need to remember to change them often, keep them current, and not be too churchy.


The September combined meeting of the Vestry and the annual Parish Meeting took place September 8 after services and a wonderful luncheon.


At the Vestry session we voted to donate $150.00 to the local Meals on Wheels project.  Also a new vestry was elected.  The new vestry consists of Tom Berthold, Rita Fancher, and Carrie Compton for one year; Stephanie Connell, Anne Sasko, and Jordan Willard for two years; and Gary Kester and Anna Meador for three years with Laura Berthold serving as our youth representative to the vestry.  Anne Sasko is our clerk and Debbie Berthold is the treasurer.


At the Parish Meeting we reaffirmed our affiliation with the UECNA and elected delegates to the diocesan convention.  Penelope Willard and Anna Meador were selected.

We have a new clergyman in the Missionary Diocese of the South and Ozarks, Deacon Thomas Y. Hiter of Kentucky.  Deacon Tom, his wife, Millie, and several members of his congregation made the trip to St. Francis Church for the special event.  Following the service a reception was held in Heigham Hall in honor of the new deacon.  We hade a wonderful afternoon of fine food, visiting, and getting acquainted with our new Kentucky church family.


Bishop Glen Hartley Visits St. BarnabasBishop Glen and Laurie Hartley traveled to Heber Springs, Arkansas October 20-21 for a  visit to St. Barnabas Anglican Church.  It was a wonderful weekend. 

Saturday evening began with dinner with the vestry at Café Klaser on the patio overlooking the river.  The meal was very good and the fellowship remarkable.

After dinner we watched a movie, “October Baby.”  This was followed by dessert and more fellowship.

Sunday services began with Morning Prayer which was followed by a lively discussion  hour.  Then the Communion service followed  and included two baptisms.

As always, it was a delight to visit St. Barnabas and all the great people there.




Missionary Diocese of the South & Ozarks (UECNA)


The 2012 annual convention of the Missionary Diocese of the South & Ozarks began September 20 with Evening Prayer at St. Matthew’s Church in Rogers, Arkansas.  A fine dinner at Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant followed with fellowship, visiting with friends, meeting new clergy and visitors.

Next day, September 21, the meeting began with Morning Prayer and Holy Communion in honor of the feast of St. Matthew.  Afterward, new clergy and visitors were introduced and Bishop Glen Hartley announced the appointment of Fr. Tom Bradshaw to the position of Canon to the Ordinary.

Canon Bradshaw then addressed the convention about two projects he has been working on.  One of these projects is an Introduction to the Anglican Church: A Summary for Inquirers.  This is a course for newcomers and confirmands providing a starting place on which to build.

Sections include a brief history of the Anglican Church, the Book of Common Prayer, Creeds, Articles of Religion, the Reformation, the Caroline Divines, the Oxford Movement, the American Revolution and the Episcopal Church in America, the Affirmation of St. Louis and the establishment of the Continuing Church and the Anglican Church in America today.

Canon Bradshaw’s second project is a diocesan in-house clergy training program consisting of two levels.  It begins with an advance preparation section, then the first level is a one-year program leading to the diaconate.  Level two is a two-year program in preparation for the priesthood.  He also included a study guide for Anglicans in his presentation.

Now that a clergy training program is in place it will be easy to merge it with the national program when it is completed.

After a delicious luncheon provided by St. Matthew’s Church members, the business session began.  Bishop Hartley gave a state of the diocese report including a new parish in Oklahoma and some interest from outside the UECNA.  Representatives from five of the seven churches in the diocese attended:  St. Matthew’s, Rogers, Arkansas; St. Barnabas, Heber Springs, Arkansas; St. Francis, Ava, Missouri; St. Joseph’s, Branson, Missouri; and St. Thomas, Moore, Oklahoma.  Visitors were Tom and Millie Hiter of Kentucky.

Next year, the convention will be held at St. Francis in Ava, Missouri on a date to be determined later.

The meeting was adjourned and closed with Evening Prayer from the family section of the Book of Common Prayer.

On Sunday, May 13 the Vestry of St. Francis Anglican Church met for the regular bi-monthly meeting.

The minutes of the last meeting were read by Anne Sasko, secretary, and approved.  Debbie Berthold, treasurer, presented us with a new form for the treasurer’s report.  After some discussion, it was agreed that the new form was clearer and easier to understand.

Topics of discussion for the day included a new building for our creche at Christmas.  Eric Fancher has a design and may have the construction done by the time we need it.

The broken post at the entrance to our drive was discussed again and a post will be purchased locally.  Picket panels will be purchased for the south side of the cemetery and installed.

A summer picnic was scheduled for July 8 at the Hartley home following services.

As usual, the vestry meeting followed a wonderful carry in luncheon.


On Sept. 11 St. Francis Parish had its annual Parish Meeting and a regular Vestry Meeting following service and a wonderful luncheon.

Special thanks went out to Gary Kester for his weekly articles in the local newspaper
which lets everyone in the community know what is going on at St. Francis.  And special thanks were extended to Brian
Connell for the extremely nice file cabinet he installed in the sacristy.  Now we have a place for all our files
currently housed in small file cabinets and paper boxes.

We also set a date for the annual Fall Work Day on Oct. 2 with a rain date of Oct.9.  In connection with the work day, new paint for the church doors and the porch floor were discussed.  Also, we asked Eric Fancher to take a look at the cross on the roof to see if he might make us a new one, as the one we have
now is beginning to show its age.

Our new vestry was selected at the parish meeting. Serving are:  Tom Berthold, Rita
Fancher, and Carrie Compton for three years; Gary Kester, Anna Meador, and
Lincoln Connell (youth representative) for two years; and Stephanie Connell,
Anne Sasko, and Penelope Willard for one year.

After services and a wonderful luncheon on May 15, the St. Francis Vestry met in regular bi-monthly session with all Vestry members present.

The treasurer’s report for March and April was accepted with notice that we are doing well.

A vote of thanks was extended to Eric Fancher for the wonderful job he did on the new kitchen cabinets.  Not only are they very attractive but also quite efficient.  In addition, we now have enough storage for our supplies and space left over.

The path to the grotto was discussed and a suggestion by Lincoln Connell that we rebuild the steps on the path with lumber for greater stability and safety was well received.  Eric will be approached for help in the design and construction.

We were reminded that the Spring Picnic is set for June 12 in the picnic area of the church.

The Vestry also voted to award a $400 college scholarship to Chandler Connell who will be heading off to college in June.