Thursday, April 30, 2009

Church News 1889 New building at Lee's Summit

September 15, 1889


St. Paul's.
The church at this place had a very small membership twenty years ago, and was glad to have a missionary service once a month, at night, of a week day, from the rector of Grace church, Kansas City, the Rev. A. Batte, recently of Snow Hill, Md. Before that about 1867, Rev. Mr.Johnson held service, sometimes in the ball room of an old hotel, in little stuffy halls, up stairs, with horribly low ceilings, etc. We were also indebted later to our Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian neighbors for a place of worship.The obvious inconvenience of this arrangement spurred the ambition of a faithful few to attempt the building of a church of our very own. Encouraged by the good words and blessing of our dear Bishop Robertson, who donated the first $25 for a building fund, by unremitting diligence, audacious begging and the gifts of our fellow towns people, of all denominations, not forgetting other towns in and out of the States from the Atlantic to the Pacific, we obtained enough money in seven long years to build a little church. All gifts were accepted with gratitude, and all moneys expended with care, from a nickel to an hundred dollars; that being the largest sum given by one person. The bell was presented by W. W. Moore, of Kansas City, and the pews by the Church of the Holy Communion of St. Louis.
The property was cleared of debt, and ready to be consecrated three years ago, but the death of Bishop Robertson, the delay in securing his successor followed by the press of work awaiting Bishop Tuttle's attention, prevented until now the consecration.
We were made happy by having two whole days given to us by Bishop Tuttle, who wished to have the consecration services on the Lord's Day. In the face of a threatened rain the house was filled by an attentive and interested congregation, thirty-six accepting the privilege of receiving the Communion from the hands of the Bishop. We now have a regular service and minister, the Rev. J. W. Dunn, a church of our own and a large increase of communicants making us fee very much encouraged, and thankful for our prosperity. We by no means intend to sit down with folded hands. We need a set of cushions for our pews and a larger organ, and have pondered seriously the articles in the Church News regarding proper and pious ways of raising money for church purposes.
Any church that has an old library for Sundayschool to give away, or to sell at a reduction, would do us a favor by writing to tell us about it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Civil War ends and the pioneers return.

1865 - Southern Pacific Railroad is now completed through Lee's Summit.
In a few years surplus wooden boxcars will be available for our St. Paul's founders. They will use the recycled boxcar wood to finish the inside of the church.
"The interior is ceiled throughout with narrow stuff put on diagonally, the timbers above do not show" from 1884 description.
1877 - “ Three women, who raised money by sewing carpet rags, founded Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in 1879. It took Elizabeth Whiting, Belle Jones, (nee Whiting ) and Bessie Gattrell seven years to collect enough money to turn those rags into the riches of a sacred space where 21st century worshipers still gather today.
1877 ca “- - ladies began by forming a sewing society, and each gave five cents. This was the starting point of the church fund. Since then it has steadily increased. The ladies held festivals when they could, took in sewing and when there was none to be had, they sewed carpet rags and sold them. Some called it the carpet rag church. It seemed impossible that they should build; and yet, now they have the handsomest church in town, and have great pride and comfort in it…The contractor was an honest man, and his work was constantly supervised by the ladies. The consequence is a strongly built, neat and tasteful building.”

1884 August - The August 15, 1884, edition of Church News described the building this way: “They have let the contract for the erection of a frame church in Lee’s Summit, 40 x 24 feet and a vestibule 8 x 10 feet, 12 foot sides and 28 feet to the apex of the roof, with a belfry over the vestibule. It is to be ceiled inside, and have stained glass windows. The lot was given on which it is built. The cost of the building is to be $1,060. The business of collecting the money, making the contract and superintending the construction is in the hands of some very energetic and capable ladies.” Spiritual leadership for building Saint Paul’s came from the Reverend. J. W. Dunn, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in nearby Independence.
See 1884 Historic "Prairie Gothic" St. Paul's Episcopal, History

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

St. Paul's Needlepoint Kneelers

Click photo above for full wide view

1978 to1981 The Needlepoint Kneelers Project

In the spring of 1978, members of St. Paul's Episcopal, Lee's Summit, MO, organized a group of interested parishioners to look at kneelers made in other Churches in Kansas City.
They researched what others had done and came up with a plan.They decided to use flowers in keeping with the Victorian mood of the 1884 church and to repeat the oak leaf found in the stained glass.
In October of 1979, the stitching began. By Easter of 1981, a year and a half later, the last piece was finished. Each canvas was blocked and sent to the upholsterer.
The kneelers were dedicated and first used on Sunday, June 14, 1981, Trinity Sunday, a little more than two years after the planning began.
Placed in position at the Altar rail, kneelers from left to right include flowers and plants mentioned in the Bible. They represent the Old Testament on the left and the New Testament on the right. Much more on the site listed below.

The Altar Rail Needlepoint Kneelers
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Lee's Summit, MO