“A person is a person through other persons. None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are. A person is entitled to a stable community life, and the first of these communities is the family.” – The late Archbishop Desmond Tutu,

Dear Woodlawn Chapel family and friends,

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s words seem especially appropriate this year. We give thanks for his witness and faith, even as we mourn his life. But we also give thanks for the gifts he has given to us, particularly the reminder above of the importance of community.

I give thanks for the gifts that we share together at Woodlawn Chapel. Your gifts of love, faith, imagination, and commitment take my breath away. Thank you for the ways you give of your time, talent, and treasure in sustaining God’s work in building community. Obviously, the pandemic has challenged us to rethink what it means to be part of a church community. Thanks to the gifts of technology, our online worship now attracts visitors from across the country. More importantly, it allows us to remain connected to God and each other.

A goal that I have for 2022 is that we will each deepen our commitment to God, to each other, and to the ministries of our church. We will hold important conversations about the values we’ve identified as being essential to the church – spirituality, hospitality, and service/leadership, and will ask how we will allow God to guide us into new paths of service.
As Archbishop Tutu reminded us, “we need other human beings in order to be human.” We discover what it means to belong to each other in at least two ways:

• We need each other’s presence. Your presence online, in person, in fellowship groups, in meetings, in mission, in prayer — is the secret to our continued growth as a church. We are learning new ways of being present to each other, while cherishing traditional experiences.

• We discover who we are as a church by sharing gifts. We excel in sharing gifts of time, talent, and treasure.  Thanks to careful planning and exceptional giving, God’s mission through us has continued. While we are facing challenges in 2022, I am confident that God’s presence is greater, and am grateful for any way that you can help.

If you are able to make a year-end gift today, you can either drop it by the church, mail it, or give through our secure online giving site. We are grateful for the many ways that persons give to the church, including the gifts of stock and securities, which can offer significant tax advantages. For 2021, the IRS is allowing a 100% deduction for qualifying charitable donations. (Please consult your tax advisor for details.) All gifts – large and small – make a difference!

Here is a link to our online giving site.   (At this time, memorial gifts can not be processed online, but can be mailed directly to the church). 

All of us had hoped and prayed that by now the pandemic would be easing. That is not to be, however. Infection rates are soaring in St. Louis County and will liely remain high for several weeks. Please remember that masks are to be worn at Woodlawn Chapel. If you are not feeling well, please participate online and let us know so that we can hold you in prayer.

May God continue to guide us and direct our paths, and may you be blessed by God’s love and peace!

Chris Keating