The Dove: August, September, October 2022

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GrowinG in Grace: christian Formation GettinG to Know: elliot Vanhoy GettinG to Know: the reV. thomas szczerba, Jr. choir helped me Find myselF & Feeds my soul wired to connect: a hybrid Friendship spiritual direction: Know and be Known The Dove PUBLISHED FOR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF ST. DAVID’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH Fall: August, September & October 2022 plus: st. daVid’s Fair, summer photos, and Fall KicK-oFF

2 THE DOVE | FALL | AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER 2022 Buff Barnes | Spiritual Direction Margaret Biester | Head of School, SDEDS Jamie Boult | Childcare Coordinator Steve Boyes | Groundskeeper Geoff Chamberlain | Broadcast Manager Amy Van Sciver Darst | Assistant Head of School, SDEDS Roe DeRitis | Parish Receptionist Amy Dolan | Spiritual Direction Diane Dowlin | Office Manager & Calendar Coordinator Jo-Ann Funkhouser | Finance Manager Emily Given | Director of Christian Formation Nereida Gordon | Director of the Gift Shop & Art Gallery Matt Grove | Grounds Supervisor Growing in Grace and Faith Dear People of St. David’s, I pray that you and yours are safe and well. I want to invite you on a new journey into the Christian life as we focus on Growing in Grace as a community over the coming year.Grace is the defining gift of the Christian life. It is the promise that we do not have to earn God’s love. God loves us just as we are – all of us. Grace is God’s love present in our lives to encourage us; to lift us up above our struggles and failings; the door that opens us into God’s presence. Grace is the mercy we are offered even when and especially when we don’t deserve it and have not earned it. Grace is the core of Jesus’ life and teaching, His death and resurrection. Grace is the power of love that overcomes all obstacles and challenges.

Stories about grace and how it has touched the lives of so many people in our community are the focus of this issue of The Dove. This issue also provides opportunities to grow by showing ways that we can offer our time and our talents in response to what God has given us. In this way, we can build up this community of love and learn more about the incredible power and gifts of grace that are ours.

Grace to you and Peace, The Rev. W. Frank Allen, Rector

–Ephesians 2:8 CLERGY The Rev. W. Frank Allen | Rector The Rev. Elizabeth W. Colton | Associate Rector The Rev. Thomas Szczerba, Jr. | Associate Rector The Rev. Nancy Webb Stroud | Priest Associate The Rev. Emily Zimbrick-Rogers | Associate RectorST.STAFFDAVID’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH Natalee Hill | Director of Communications Chris King | Parish Custodian Grace Oh Kraybill | Music Administrator/Librarian Maria Leal | Director of Children’s Formation Eileen Myers | Wedding Coordinator Josiah Pizzo | Groundskeeper Leslie Robertshaw | Parish Administrator Dr. Clair Rozier | Director of Music Sharon Shuttleworth | Communications Assistant Heather Sill | Parish Receptionist Elliot VanHoy | Director of Youth Ministry Bill Watson | Parish Custodian Dr. Elaine Sonnenberg Whitelock | Associate Director of Music Kurt Zampitella | Groundskeeper 763 S. Valley Forge Road, Wayne, PA 19087 610.688.7947 | eNews is our weekly email with events and updates. Sign up at or use the QR code on the back of this publication. You can also find us on: STAY CONNECTED

I hope you will enjoy reading this issue of The Dove and look forward to all of us growing in grace.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”



The Rev. Thomas Szczerba, Jr.

I’m most excited to be with you all and learn about your journeys with Christ. As Christians, we are people of stories, so it is important for me to hear and learn about your story. My hope is that we continue doing the great work we as a church are called to do and find new ways to welcome others into the body of Christ.

I was born in Sarasota, Florida but moved to New Jersey when I was two years old. I grew up in Toms River, New Jersey. Now that we live here in Wayne, I’m going to miss being a New Jersey resident. New Jersey is where me and my wife, Marissa, met and started our lives together and all our family and friends still live there so it’s good that they are only a short drive away.

I am a cradle Episcopalian. I grew up in Christ Episcopal Church in Toms River. I like to say that I did everything a kid could do in the Diocese of New Jersey. It was a valuable part of my formation to be a member of Diocesan Youth Council, attend the Episcopal Youth Event, and be an alternate delegate to the General Convention. I wouldn’t be here at St. David’s if it weren’t for the mentors and leaders of both Christ Church and the Diocese of New Jersey.

The Rev. Thomas J. Szczerba, Jr. has been serving at Grace Episcopal Church in New York City the past three years and is a graduate of the General Theological Seminary. Thomas is a lifelong Episcopalian with significant Youth and Children’s ministry experience. He has also been deeply involved in Outreach and Young Adult ministries at Grace Church. Thomas will be supporting our Family Ministries and Outreach Commissions as our Associate. Thomas is married to Marissa, who is a fourth grade teacher.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON OF THE LITURGICAL YEAR AND WHY? I love the season of Advent. It is a joyous season where we prepare to welcome Christ into the world. Some of my fondest memories as a child were lighting our Advent wreath as a family around the dinner table.


This is a tough question; I tend to read books about theology or sports. Recently I read Universal Christ by Richard Rohr and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. However, I’ve been enjoying a science fiction series called Dune by Frank Herbert. A new motion picture version of it came out recently.

Getting to know

Meet St. David’s new Associate Rector


Above: The Rev. Thomas Szczerba, Jr.; photo provided by Rev. Thomas. Left: The Rev. Thomas with his wife, Marissa.


Join a Choir this Fall


Wednesday, September 7 5 pm – 6 pm | Choir room and Undercroft Choir Children and Youth ages 4 through high school are invited to come to St. David’s to be assigned a choir robe and to meet other choir friends over a pizza supper.


Confirmation Program Registration Open. Program begins September 17. Confirmation for youth is a year-long process of self-discovery and affirming of faith through interactive scripture engagement, mentorship, service, and relationship building. According to The Episcopal Church, confirmation is “the sacramental rite in which the candidates ‘express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop’ (BCP, p. 860). Adults baptized with the laying on of hands by a bishop are considered to be confirmed.” The program outlined online at is open to students in Grade 8 and above. Adults seeking confirmation should consult a member of the clergy. Photos included above by Vincent Dixon of 2022 confirmation with The Rt. Rev. Daniel G.P. Gutiérrez.

The music programs at St. David’s offer opportunities for children, youth, and adults (ages 4 and up) to become involved in the life of our parish through music. Singers and ringers will grow in their faith, develop musical skills, work together in a group setting, and provide musical leadership for the congregation. The choirs all rehearse weekly, lead worship on a regular basis, and participate in special services throughout the year. This year our children & youth plan to visit Orlando in January and the Adult Choir will travel to Wales in July. Our choir programs restart the first week of September, following Labor Day. Visit to learn more!



Above: Elliot VanHoy; photo provided by Elliot. Left: Elliot and our youth bonded on the July 2022 Youth Mission Trip. Here they are while exploring a cavern with the other youth and leaders.


WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THIS COMING YEAR AT ST. DAVID’S? My hope for the coming year is that youth activities here at St. David’s can be a place to have fun and to encounter the faithful presence of Jesus. With these last few years of difficulty, we need to reconnect and be able to just have a good time together! However, my hope is also that we can begin to build a space where we can honestly share and wrestle with our struggles, doubts, and questions and in doing so know we are supported and cared for.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAITH JOURNEY LIKE? I did not grow up in a family that went to church. In 10th grade, I was invited to a youth group camp and heard the Gospel for the first time. Through the work of The Holy Spirit, I was called into faith and began attending a local Episcopal church. What drew me to the Episcopal church (funny enough!) was that I had previously met the youth pastor at my local parish, and I knew he was nice!


Meet St. David’s new Director of Youth Ministry

I am from Charleston, South Carolina!

High school was a hard time for me emotionally. I lost a close relative to cancer in 10th grade and struggled with big questions about life, death, and purpose. I also had a hard time with family and went through a bit of a rebellious streak! Through that all, youth group and the church were spaces I was supported, loved, cared for, and listened to honestly. I hope that’s exactly what I can do for youth here at St. David’s!

Getting to know


Elliot VanHoy

This fall, join Elliot at Middle School and High School youth fellowship and Sunday morning programming. Sunday morning gatherings will be held in the youth lounge at 10:30am. Middle School will gather Sundays at 6pm and High School will gather on Wednesdays at 6pm. All ages of Children and Youth may learn more and register for the fall program by scanning the QR code below or by >

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO NOW? Some of my favorite things include anything outdoors! I love hiking, biking, running, and playing basketball. I also love to read and can be a total bookworm for a day.

Children’s and Youth Choir Helped me find myself

Choir is the reason I broke out of my middle school shell, and it set in motion my love for performing. I will always have a special place in my heart for the community I was a part of throughout my choir years, and I cannot wait to see my peers every Christmas. I plan on performing throughout college and maybe beyond. I never would have found my main hobby if not for choir. I want to thank everyone in choir, specifically Dr. Clair and Dr. Elaine, for being so supportive of me. More importantly, I want to encourage everyone to join choir because it is truthfully filled with the most inclusive and caring people I have met. ...choir has been a safe haven. Every Wednesday night I found solace in knowing that I will see people who will always support me and help me become the best version of myself.



Hello! My name is Ainsley Payne and I just graduated from Conestoga High School. I have been in choir since I was four, and I wanted to write about how much choir has meant to me over these fourteen years. Since I first started, choir has been a safe haven. Every Wednesday night I found solace in knowing that I will see people who will always support me and help me become the best version of myself. Choir is so much more than just a group of kids that sing together. We’re a family. Many of us grew up together, and together we witnessed the creation and execution of our dreams. We’ve seen friends go to many different places in pursuit of their hopes. While in the moment it’s heartbreaking to see them leave, it’s always reassuring to know that they will be back for Christmas to sing by our side once again. My freshman year was the most difficult year of my high school career. I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted to do, and what I loved to partake in. However, towards the end of the year the choir musical showed me how much I truly loved theatre. We did a production of Godspell. After the show my father brought me aside and told me that when I was on stage, I radiated confidence and happiness, something he hasn’t seen in me since I was little. I really took that to heart. It helped me realize that when I am on stage, I am truly happy. I signed up for community theatre and have done shows since sophomore year, or whenever I could, due to COVID.

At left: A Christmas photo of Ainsley with her musical family. Above: Ainsley and her two brothers following the 2022 Broadway Musical Revue. Photos provided by the author.


Being in the St. David’s Adult Choir feeds my soul. I began singing in the St. David’s Choir when we moved here, in January 1990. I, reportedly, have been singing since I could speak. My mother loved to tell the story of how at the age of three, I would serenade the neighbors with a rousing rendition of, “I’ve got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts”. As a young adult, I was a lead singer in a group we formed at work to sing at parties. If you are like me, you sing along with most of the songs that are on the radio while you are driving down the road.

To sing is to pray twice. –Attributed to St. Augustine BY CHERI MCCASLIN

There is something about music that quiets my heart, especially when it is sacred music. As with many pieces of music you hear in church, it is often set to bible verses or is based on specific passages. For that reason, we say the words often attributed to St. Augustine: “To sing is to pray twice”. The words of our hymns are prayers and when we sing them; we add to them a further dimension of honor and praise. When we sing a beautiful anthem like, “When Jesus Wept”, I am moved to tears, and I know I am not the only one. Being in harmony with all our different voices lifts us to a new level of joy and excitement when it all comes together as one well-played instrument to the glory of God. Clair puts her hands over her heart when we have done well. We treasure these moments and, even though it is not a performance, we love it when you in the congregation are moved to show your appreciation. When I travel and have the opportunity to listen to a good choir it transports me; I no longer have the worries of the world but feel the embrace of God. This is our choir’s goal as well. We rehearse each week; always working toward perfection. It’s not always easy, but under the leadership of our exceptional directors Clair and Elaine, we succeed. I don’t have a solo quality voice but all you need to be successful in a choir is to be able to “match pitch”. When the whole choir sings as if we were one voice, it’s magical and we feel it in our hearts and souls.

In July 2023 we are going on a pilgrimage to England and St. David’s Cathedral, Wales. In years past, we have sung in Salisbury Cathedral and Ely and Wells Cathedrals. In July of 2019 we were the choir in residence at Dublin Cathedral in Dublin Ireland. I have also had the opportunity to sing in Bristol Cathedral and Canterbury Cathedral with two friends’ choirs. The experience is amazing, and we are a better choir for it. In closing, just let me say that I can hear you when I am processing/recessing on Sunday mornings, and I (we) know there are some singers out there in the pews. Why don’t you join us and see what the choir is all about? You will not find a more welcoming group.

St. David’s Adult Choir Feeds My Soul

Above: Cheri and a fellow choir member staff the Choir Bake Sale booth each month to raise funds for the trip to Wales in 2023. Left: The choir sings at a special event. Photos St. David’s stock. Visit David’

8 THE DOVE | FALL | AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER 2022 Wired Connectto How two St. David’s members began a ‘hybrid’ friendship BY NATALEE HILL

Tom Devlin loves livestream worship.

Susan Hoaglund started attending St. David’s around the same time in 2000. In 2011, as her mother’s health declined and additional care was required, Hoaglund and her family moved to Rhode Island. They remained loosely connected to St. David’s through oncea-year visits and emails, but Hoaglund never established new church roots in Rhode Island. When St. David’s made the transition to livestreamed worship during the pandemic, she jumped at the chance to reconnect to “her” church.

While we wait for Hoaglund get the correct Zoom link and join us on her lunch break, Devlin begins to regale us with all that Hoaglund has been busy with lately; “Sue has one of the busiest lives. I don’t know whether you’re familiar but this past month she’s had two daughters graduate - one from college and one from high school. She had some other family affair that they went to and of course she goes to the graduation of the school at which she teaches and the graduations of all her two daughters, so it’s been a busy, busy time for Sue.”


“The pandemic came and along with the pandemic’s many challenges came a few benefits. One of which was this Zoom and for me it was a Godsend because the services at St. David’s went online, and I immediately had that ability to participate once again in Sunday worship which was really valuable. We hadn’t found an Episcopal Church up here in Rhode Island that was a good fit,” Hoaglund recounts.

“For me, it’s been a lifesaver and, I have to brag, I have only missed one service since the pandemic started,” Devlin beams. “I look forward to it, I actively participate, I even sing along with the music so, yes, I think the technology is so wonderful.” He especially appreciates the way the livestream allows him to focus on the preacher. “You don’t hear the background noise, so I have learned more from those sermons and remember more of them. It really is a very definite advantage. I also liked the zooming in and out of the whole church. This past Sunday at the end at the processional when they moved the focus back so you could see the whole altar, the organ and all the congregation, it was just so dramatic.”

While Hoaglund lives in Rhode Island, Devlin lives states away here in Pennsylvania at Dunwoody in Newtown Square. They did both attend St. David’s in person at the same time years ago, but they had never met. Their friendship is an unexpected result of St. David’s online worship and Christian formation programs. As Devlin made clear, “Sue and I would never have met if it weren’t for these hybrid offerings.”

“There wasn’t that awkwardness of not really knowing each other, although there were people from St. Peter’s in there as well,” Hoaglund recalls. She continues, “I think one of the things Sue and I would never have met if it weren’t for these hybrid offerings.

A former professor of biochemistry and published textbook author, 93-year-old Devlin has been attending St. David’s since the late 1990s early 2000s. However, he stopped attending in person in 2019 when he stopped driving from his home in Newtown Square. Now, he even hesitates to get a ride from someone else to attend for fear of falling.

It was during one of those book discussions that the Spirit spoke to Hoaglund: “I thought about Tom and his circumstances and Tom’s like the same age my dad would have been had he still been alive. I thought, you know, it would be kind of nice to reach out and just get to know Tom a little bit better and maybe selfishly.”

In the summer of 2020, after worship had moved online, St. David’s decided to hold online fellowship and discussions. Adult forums began over Zoom and both Devlin and Hoaglund would take part. It wasn’t until the fall of 2020 and a book group on Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Love is the Way, led by The Rev. W. Frank Allen and The Rev. Emily Zimbrick-Rogers, that Devlin and Hoaglund began to get to know each other better. “Gosh, we just had a wonderful group,” remembers the Rev. Zimbrick-Rogers. “I think it was about 16 people and it was so good we were supposed to just meet eight weeks, but I think we pushed it to nine weeks or ten because we were all having such a good time together.”


...continues page 14

sent Devlin an email inquiring further about some matter or another – perhaps a question about how he became an Episcopalian, as Devlin recalls – and soon they were emailing back and forth with regularity. At some point that transitioned into Zoom calls. Later, the Rev. Zimbrick-Rogers even made sure they were in the same group when they both joined the Sacred Ground program in the fall of 2021.

Hoaglund indicates that some of her motivation might have been a way to have a relationship like what she might have had with her own father. But it wasn’t only about that for her. “I was intrigued by the kinds of things he said in the group, and I also know from my mother’s experience that being in a long-term care facility…can be very isolating especially in the pandemic. I thought, ‘somebody up there is calling me to reach out to Tom and see whether he would like to correspond once in a while. It would be fun to get to know him Hoaglundbetter’.”

plant: No preparation required to participate. Grow: Commitment to required preparation. water: Minimal preparation requested. * = Registration needed. No cost. ** = Registration and cost for participation. Scholarships available. The Rector’s Bible Study Tuesday | 6:30 am | Virtual Led by The Rev. W. Frank Allen Bible for Everyone Tuesday | 7:00 pm | Virtual Led by Dr. Jane Cannon and Vincent Dixon Women’s Bible Study Wednesday | 9:30 am | Conference Room | Hybrid Led by The Rev. Emily Zimbrick-Rogers Wednesday Bible Study 12:30 pm | Conference Room | Hybrid Led by The Rev. Elizabeth W. Colton Men’s Bible Study Friday | 7:00 am | Harrison Room | Hybrid Led by Mark Lane and Mike Mayer Lectionary Bible Study Sunday | 10:30 am | Quiet Room | Hybrid Led by Dr. Craig Laird Bible Studies Choirs Details and registration As part of God’s creation, our hearts and minds are fertile ground. This year’s theme, Growing in Grace, invites us to consider how we might grow in our knowledge and love of Jesus as a community of faith and in our daily lives. Here is a sampling of the many ways St. David’s Church seeks to provide opportunities for you to flourish and bear fruit. Whether you are new to St. David’s or this has been your home for many years, there is a Bible Study, group, or gathering that will meet you where you are and encourage you to grow. May this be the year you allow something new to take root within you for the glory of God. WorshipSundaysand Stay to Choir Robing & Pizza Night For Age Wednesday, September 7 | 5:00-6:00 Adult Choir Begins September 8 Thursday | 7:15-8:45 pm | Choir Room Primary & Children’s Choirs* Begin Wednesday | 4:45-5:30 pm | Godly Choir Dinner Begins September 14 Wednesday | 5:00-6:00 pm | Undercroft Youth Choir* Begins September 14 Wednesday | 6:00-7:00 pm & Sunday Handbell Choirs Begin September 14 and Wednesday | 7:30-8:30 pm OR Thursday Christian Formation Growing in Grace 8:00 am Worship Rite I | Church 9:15 am Worship with Choirs 9:30 am Family Service | St. David’s 10:30 am Godly Play* | Godly Children’s Formation* Middle School* | Library Confirmation* | Harrison High School* | Youth The Rector’s Forum An interactive teaching Growing in Grace. St. David’s leaders and theologians cycle of spiritual growth “Living Grace,” “Spiritual “The Fruits of the Spirit Who are We? A Lighthearted St. David’s Hall A interactive primer, led on Christian theology, faith, and old timers. Lectionary Bible Study 11:30 am Worship with Music 5:00 pm Worship with Music 6:30-7:30 pm Middle School Youth

Formation Through the Week Grow in Grace The Edge** Grades 4-5 | Quarterly | Watch for Details First Offering: Color Me Mine** – October 16 | 11:25 am Middle School Youth Group* Grades 6-8 | Sunday | 6:30-7:30 pm | Youth Lounge High School Youth Group* Grades 9-12 | Wednesday | 7:00-8:00 pm | Youth Lounge Family and Faith Fellowship Quarterly | Watch for Details An opportunity for families of all ages to grow in faith together in community through food, conversation, and seasonal faith-nurturing activities. Childcare provided. FirstGrowingOffering:inGraceful Parenting** – October 9, 16, 23 | 6:00-7:30 pm Centering Prayer Monday | 7:00 pm | Church Wednesday | 8:15 am | Quiet Room | Hybrid Exercise in Faith Saturday | 10:00 am | Knewstub Parking Lot Grow Groups | Various | Beginning January 22 | Watch for Details Education for Ministry** Monday 6:30 pm | Wednesday 6:30 pm | Conference Room Introduction to The Interior Castle: A Contemplative Journey** Begins October 18 | Tuesday | 7:00-8:30 pm Center for Spiritual Growth Sacred Ground* Begins Mid-September | Wednesday, Every Two Weeks | 7:00-8:30 pm In Person or Virtual (participants will choose one) Sacred Ground is a faith-based small group series on race and American history, offered in partnership with St. Peter’s in the Great Valley. C.S. Lewis Book Group Third Thursday | 6:00 pm | Virtual Mindfulness Meditation Tuesday 9:00 am | Thursday 9:00 am |Virtual Growing in Grace: A Practice** Begins September 15 | Thursday | 6:30-8:00 pm | Undercroft | Hybrid Steadily develop practical, accessible practices such as meditation, prayer, gentle movement, breathing, journaling, and other practices in a supportive group setting led by Amy Dolan, a seasoned spiritual director. Spiritual Direction (Group and Individual)** By Appointment | Center for Spiritual Growth4 through High School 5:00-6:00 pm | Undercroft & Choir Room Room September 14 Play Room & Choir Room UndercroftSunday|11:15-12:15 am | Choir Room and 15 Thursday | 6:15-7:00 pm | Choir Room ChoirsChurch|Chapel & Livestream David’s Hall (Note Time Change) Play Room | PreK4-Grade 1 Formation* | Undercroft | Grades 2-5 Library | Grades 6-8 Harrison Room | Grade 8+ Youth Lounge | Grades 9-12 | Chapel & Livestream series centered on the year’s theme, David’s clergy and staff and local faith will lead reflections on the whole life growth rooted in scripture with series such as “Spiritual Gifts and Servant Leadership,” and Spirit and New Creation”. Lighthearted Look at Episcopal Identity led by The Rev. Elizabeth W. Colton, faith, and beliefs for newcomers Study | Quiet Room | Hybrid | Church | Church Youth Group* | Youth Lounge

An Invitation to Know and Be Known

In spiritual direction, the goal is to deepen a relationship with God and to find ways to nurture a personal sense of spirituality through conversation, silence, prayer, and a number of other tools of self-discovery.


Spiritual Direction

Each one of us is called. The invitation into relationship with God is a universal one. I invite you to consider how you might live into your unique relationship with the God who created and sustains you. God is always calling us back into a closer relationship with God’s self. How might you accept that call?


Over the course of many years, I have found it immensely helpful along my spiritual journey to walk with friends and other valued companions. A life of faith is not a solidary one. It’s important to understand that the relationship with a Spiritual Director is vastly different than therapy. Both are good yet have different end goals.


I love the Psalms. They have the ability to speak into nearly every corner of our hearts and awaken our minds to the ways God is moving within us and in the world in which we live. The sixth verse from Psalm 119 is one that particularly resonates with me and my desire to be known by God, “Our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

I believe this restlessness is a natural part of being human. I urge you not to be afraid of it. I would also venture to say this yearning might actually be the voice of the divine inviting us into a closer relationship. While there are any number of ways to respond to this invitation from God, Spiritual Direction is one that I recommend. It is a place to allow enough space for God to speak in an intimate way. It is a way to be known.

I’ll be honest: Spiritual direction is a gift and a necessity for me. I have an inner drive that can get in the way of hearing God’s voice in my life. Sitting in the chair for spiritual direction places me across from someone who invites me to unclench my fists, literally and figuratively, and simply acknowledge my belovedness as a Child of God and Follower of Jesus. It is an hour during which I can consider how God is working in my life, how I might be called to serve God and others, and how I might deepen a relationship with myself. It is a place to wonder about how my desire to serve might intersect with the world’s needs so that I can live into my call to ministry. It is a way to keep my feet on the ground and my heart in the world. Spiritual Direction is where I allow God to draw nearer to me than anyone else. It is where I quiet my mind and open myself. The world gives us a ton of reasons to close ourselves off and stay endlessly busy. The psalmist (mostly likely King David) tells us in Psalm 119 that rest is possible and that the source is God. How might you grow closer to the source?

I am happy to talk more with you about my experience of spiritual direction. I know the fruit that I see in my life, and it is my deepest prayer that you might know this richness of life too.

Spiritual direction in a group setting has taught me to listen. Having raised four children, I tend to be a ‘fixer’ - but we are not there to ‘fix’ each other. We are there to share, listen, and pray for each other. So, either the Episcopal Church has come a long way in my lifetime by bringing these spiritual formation resources into our parishes, or St. David’s is a special place, or both! I am thankful for such an opportunity for self-discovery, growth, and renewed faith and would encourage others to take advantage of it!

Buff Barnes Amy Dolan Leigh Murray Gillian Waldron Endré Witthoeft

If you would like to learn more about spiritual direction, this ancient Christian practice offering companionship on the journey of faith, or wish to begin spiritual direction in a group or as an individual, please contact the Rev. Emily Zimbrick-Rogers at ezimbrick-rogers@ You are also welcomed to reach out directly to one of our directors.



I would venture to guess that many people don’t know what spiritual direction is - therefore when I was asked to write a few words about my experience, I agreed.


‘My’ group consists of four women and a trained female facilitator/director. I would call it a monthly support group, and I look forward to the hour and a half sessions. During COVID we met (masked and spaced) at our director’s inhome studio, or, weather permitting, on the Narthex porch and even in the Churchyard. The ‘official’ meeting place is The Center for Spiritual Growth, down near the choir rooms. We start with meditation, allowing anything we might want/ need to address bubble up to the surface. Our director offers a quote or passage to elicit reaction and/or response. Then the meeting is opened up to share what is on our hearts - if we choose to. At first this felt very strange and even hard for me because I wasn’t used to admitting to anyone - even to myself - that everything in my life was not totally perfect.


St. David’s Center for Spiritual Growth has both women and men directors, and spiritual direction is for men and women, young adults and those in their elder years, and it is never too late or too early to begin this practice. New groups are being formed for September and individuals can begin at any time of year, as spiritual directors have availability. The Center offers direction for individuals and groups. Both groups and individuals meet with directors monthly from September to June. There are fees associated with spiritual direction and scholarships are available for those in financial need. No matter the format, spiritual direction invites you to a closer relationship with God, and the St. David’s Christian Formation Commission and Center for Spiritual Growth invite you to this fruitful practice. Learn more at

As a cradle Episcopalian, thus far in my life I have attended/ been a member of eight different Episcopal Churches in Ohio, England, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. In all those churches I do not remember spiritual direction being offered. Upon reconnecting with St. David’s last year when I moved back to the area, a parishioner shared with me how much the group experience meant to her, and she invited me to attend a session. And I’m glad I did!


These questions of applying faith to life are ones that Devlin has wanted to address for some time, but without a regular place to do so. “When I came to Dunwoody, one of the things I was told very early on [is that] there are three things you didn’t talk about: you didn’t talk about religion, you didn’t talk about politics, you didn’t talk about sex. You know that they’re forbidden. It’s inhibiting because I have these thoughts, I have these things I’d like to share with people. That’s what I found with Sue; on our chats we can talk about anything. We can, you know, I’m having second thoughts about this belief or that belief or right now I’m really hot on the word hope. It’s been a wonderful experience for me. It has brought me closer to the church because we are both church members and we can talk about the church without hesitation, you know, or our feelings even our beliefs and Theynon-beliefs.”wouldalso

exchange information about their families. They each know one another’s children’s names and generally what is going on with them. Devlin is a storyteller and loves to talk about his life. This is clearly a common theme in their discussions together as they banter on our interview call: “I won’t tell a story...” Devlin starts.

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“You told me you’re going to write them all down though, all your stories,” Hoaglund interrupts.

“The value for me [in hybrid programs],” offers Hoaglund, “was that not only was I reconnecting with the church family that I really missed but also the topics were rich, the discussions were really great, [The Rev.] Emily [Zimbrick-Rogers] did a fantastic job moderating the groups that she presented. And I think there was a real hunger on everyone’s part not just for the social interaction but for the spiritual piece, because so much was uncertain, unsettled, you know? It was a time where we didn’t have much clarity yet about where the pandemic was taking us all and I think that one of the good things that may have come out of the early part of the pandemic was that kind of reprioritizing what your life should be like.”

“I’m still writing them,” insists Devlin “Yeah, there you go. See so, indirectly I’m going to be the catalyst for Tom’s book that he’s going to talk about his life.,” Hoaglund states. “I’m going to dedicate it to you,” Devlin “Oh,adds. there you go, even better,” Hoaglund laughs.

14 THE DOVE | FALL | AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER 2022 that we got going was we oftentimes wanted to chat about what we had or hadn’t been able to say at Sacred Ground and so that was a great followup. I didn’t really feel comfortable saying this in the whole group, but what do you think about this or whatever? Also, this mutual feeling of, now we know all this information what do we do with it? It’s great to have Sacred Ground and become informed but information without action is kind of hollow so we had a lot of conversations along those lines.” Devlin has struggled with this very question. “One of my biggest problems is that I’ve been now for three years sitting in various programs, Waking Up White, for instance, was a book I read before we did it at St. David’s and it was done here at Dunwoody. We still have a group that meets monthly by Zoom and discusses this whole issue of diversity. My argument that I constantly keep raising: we can talk forever, we can read other books, we can console all we want to, but what can we do? What you know, particularly the retirement community, we can’t go out and march. I can send money, and I do, but what else can I do? I pray, of course for this, but I wonder what you can do to change society and it’s not easy.”

KEEPING IT GOING Articles in various mediums have

15 THE DOVE | FALL | AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER 2022 proposed that livestreamed worship and online offerings had their time, and now it is time to return to inperson exclusively. Some go so far as to advocate eliminating absolutely all digital offerings for the sake of inperson socialization.

“You know the question of socialization at church is a strange thing for me,” Devlin responds. “Yes, I shake a lot of people’s hands. I say a good morning to everybody, and I say the peace to a lot of people. It’s a big church, I mean it’s 900 parishioners and the worship service has a couple hundred people and you get to know, you get to talk to the people you sit “It’saround.”funny you should say that because Frank [The Rev. W. Frank Allen] and I were talking in Zoom, oh I don’t know a couple months ago or so,” Hoaglund inserts, “and he was just saying, ‘I wish I had had more opportunities to get to know you better when you still lived in Pennsylvania’ and I said, ‘look, at that time I had two young kids and a husband with Parkinson’s disease (Hoaglund’s husband, Dennis Schmidt, a former supply organist at St. David’s, died in 2015 from Parkinson’s), and you know it was not a time in my life that it was conducive for me to be spending a lot of time at social events at St. David’s. So, we went to choir dinner, and we went to the St. David’s Fair but I worked fulltime also so, it’s now the time in my life I’m in now it just hit perfectly. It aligns perfectly with the pandemic in terms of this is a great opportunity to reach out and have fellowship with people that was just not possible when I was at St. David’s in my first iteration.”

“You know, I wondered when I got to your email about this friendship,” Devlin starts, referring to my interview request, “would it have developed if she and I were both just congregants coming every Sunday? I don’t know whether it would. I really have a question in my mind whether we’d talk about our beliefs, our hopes, our plans. That’s what Sue has done with me so I’m very thankful to have that friendship.”

The Rev. Zimbrick-Rogers has her own thoughts about why continued livestreaming is important. “Just this past Sunday, we heard of a parishioner who turned on the worship live-stream to listen live to the audio on their way home from a vacation out of state,” she says. “At the announcements they heard about our potluck picnic that evening, which they’d missed notice of before. Upon returning home, they contacted a church friend and volunteered to come and help with the grilling.” Would they have come if we hadn’t live-streamed the service? It sounds unlikely. Their in-person presence was made possible because we were also there for them online. Making mental space for online participants is also an important part of the online worship ministry. “I know for me, and I think some of the other clergy too, I am always keeping in my mind people like Tom and Sue who I know are watching on the livestream,” says Zimbrick-Rogers. Making it clear that parishioners are remembered, even when absent, is an important part of supporting the very embodied community we all want from church. “I’m very grateful for the relationship I’ve been able to develop with Tom,” says Hoaglund. “And I’m very grateful that some of my other friends that live around the world that I haven’t been able to physically go and see all of a sudden, I can see them in Zoom. I just think that the significance of the way Zoom has helped relationships can’t be, you know, can’t be downplayed.”

In-person worship and connection remains vital at St. David’s, and this fall looks to be full of face-to-face opportunity. At the same time, St. David’s is committeed to maintaining the new avenues for ministry that have been paved over the past two years.

16 THE DOVE | FALL | AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER 2022 Auction Tent Sale | Flea Market | Sports Center | Second Hand Rose S T D A V I D S C H U R C H . O R G / F A I R 7 6 3 S O U T H V A L L E Y F O R G E R O A D , W A Y N E , P A 1 9 0 8 7 P a i n t i n g | P h o t o B u t t o n s | L i v e F o l k B a n d | M c D a v i d ' s | S t . D a v i d ' s E p i s c o p a l D a y S c h o o l | S t . J a m e s Cake Walk | Inflatables | Train Rides | Midway: Games with Prizes | Pumpkin G i f t S h o p & A r t G a l l e r y a t S t . D a v i d ' s | P l a n t s | T w i c e L o v e d T o y s | H o u s e o f D a v i d | B o o k N o o k | & m o r e ! Join the Fun! Join the Fun! S A T U R D A Y O C T O B E R 1 1 0 A M - 4 P M R A I N O R S H I N E St. David's Episcopal Church 171st Annual Country Fair SHOPPING - FOOD - GAMES - MORE!

17 Mark Your Calendar! SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1st, we will host the 171st Annual St. David’s Church Country Fair, complete this year with all the attractions that make the Fair one of our area’s favorite fall traditions – including our delicious country fair foods! TO LEARN MORE, CONTACT THIS YEAR’S FAIR ORGANIZERS: HILARY DASH, CHAIR - HILARYDASH.000@GMAIL.COM OR 610.937.1613 JENNIFER NEWHALL, CO-CHAIR - JENNIFERNEWHALL171@GMAIL.COM OR 610.547.7866 ST. DAVID’S FAIR IS: • The nation’s longest continuously running church fair • Entirely volunteer-run • One of the best things we do together as a church 100%community!ofproceeds are distributed to our Outreach Partners at more than 20 deserving Delaware Valley and Philadelphia organizations, as well as our international partners in Cuba, Guatemala, and Uganda. VOLUNTEER DONATE SPREAD the WORD! Like and follow @stdavidschurchfair Welcome1!

18 THE DOVE | FALL | AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER 2022 Growing in faith, community, Scenes from Vacation Bible School, Music Camp, and the Youth Mission Trip. Photos by Natalee Hill and Robert Biondi.

19 THE DOVE | FALL | AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER 2022 and in self-understanding.PhotosbyEmilyGiven and trip participants.

Kicking Off the Year! GET ALL THE DETAILS AT STDAVIDSCHURCH.ORG/EVENTS OR SIGN UP FOR ENEWS FOR WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS SUPPORT ST. DAVID’S MINISTRY NEARBY AND AROUND THE WORLD If you would like to make a financial gift in support of St. David’s mission and ministry in Radnor Township, the Greater Philadelphia region, and around the world, please visit or scan the QR code at the right using your smartphone’s camera to learn more or make an online donation. Thank you for your generosity! Sunday, September 11 Picnic immediately following 10 am worship Fairgrounds Come on out to worship on Sunday, September 11 to celebrate ahead of the fall program return. Backpack blessings at all four worship services (8 am, 9:45 am, 10 am, and 5 pm). A celebratory picnic follows the 10 am worship, complete with an ice cream truck and more! We’ll see you there! Sunday, September 18 Fall Worship & Formation Schedule Begins! 8:00 am Worship Rite I | Church 9:15 am Worship with Choirs | Chapel & Livestream 9:30 am Family Service | St. David’s Hall (New Time!) 10:30 am Christian Formation for All Ages* 11:30 am Worship with music |Church 5:00 pm Worship with music |Church *Read more inside! Fall Worship Schedule SIGN UP FOR ENEWS

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