We Are St. B's

Stop in each week to read a story of how St. B's has been a place of healing, community and growing in faith.

Finding Spiritual Direction

My husband and I came to St. B’s from a non-liturgical church in December 2009. Our former church was sermon-focused with less emphasis on worship. In conversation at St. B’s I got to know a woman who told me about opportunities for Spiritual Direction in town. I had never heard of Spiritual Direction and was intrigued. I signed up for a Spiritual Direction group and consequently spent nine months being led through the 19 Annotations of St. Ignatius. Experiencing the love of Christ through Spiritual Direction changed my life. It took me from a head-centered faith to a heart-centered faith. Worship at St. B’s has become much more rich and meaningful to me as a result. It has given me such a deeper knowledge of God’s love for me and His calling to follow Him from a place of gratefulness instead of from a place of duty.

Beth Heimburger serves on Vestry and is our vestry Liaison to our South Sudanese community. Beth is also active with Women's Bible study, as a Greeter and providing hospitality. She and her husband Doug led one of our Refugee Response Teams through Siloam Health.

Integrating Faith & Work

In 2012, with a young child at home and another on the way, I left the world of touring full-time as a guitar tech to get into the local non-profit world. Soon after I started my new job in development at the Nashville Symphony, God inspired me and encouraged me further through a conversation at a St. B’s men’s retreat.

We were speaking about what our names meant and I shared that Philip has a Greek origin and means “through love is mastery” or “lover of horses.” I picked up on the common thread that there was love in the origin of my name. The next day Fr. Jerry preached about the different versions of love (agape, eros, philos, etc). I had begun to learn about philanthropy and always understood it to be about people giving money. The dots connected for me that morning when I realized that the root origin of “philanthropy,” my new line of work, meant “love of people” (“philos” + “anthropo”). It blew my mind and has served as a sign post and a compass for me knowing that my work can make a difference in the world. 

Phil Shay serves on the Stewardship Committee and worships at St. B’s with his wife Sonnie and their three children. He is grateful to Fr. Jerry, Tom Mahan, Rodger Dinwiddie, Langley Granbery, and others, who made time to talk to him about his career change back in 2011.

Finding Healing

Our family joined St. Bs on Pentecost of 2021, after 17 years of working in churches in youth ministry and weary from years of service. We were eager to be parishioners again and were taken aback by God's generosity towards us as we worshiped, prayed, and rested on Sunday mornings. St. B’s gave us permission to simply be present and enjoy God's healing grace through music, liturgy, classes, and conversations.

I found healing this past year at the women's Thursday morning Bible study. Each week I was cared for with childcare, thoughtful conversation, sharing, and prayers. This outlet of reflection and support allowed me to grow deeper in my relationship with other women as well as providing insight and perspective in the midst of so many challenging and disturbing world events. This is one example of how God through St. Bartholomew’s has had an impact on our family greater than words can convey.

Jill Altom serves on our Stewardship Committee, attends worship with her husband and three young children, and is grateful for St. B’s quiet days, the children's ministry, music offerings, holy week services, and much more.

Giving More Grace

What is an example of how a specific St. B's volunteer opportunity has changed the way you view yourself, others, or God? 

In the 1980s, when Randall Ferguson and Jim Stranch invited me to spend the night with 12 homeless people, I said yes because all night poker was part of the offer. God surprised me that first night with the men and I learned many things.

I was somewhat surprised to learn that few of our guests were alcoholics and some form of mental illness was the most prevalent trait. I was more surprised to learn that most of our guests frequently had jobs. They were earning money but not enough to pay regular rent or to purchase a house. My greatest surprise was the story of Father Strobel and how Room In The Inn was started. It is amazing how God convicted one man and his response grew into Room in the Inn.

I am grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with the Room In The Inn ministry at St B’s and have changed my view of homelessness and the people experiencing it. Hopefully, I have also grown to give more grace to those without shelter.

Bob Garth serves on our Rector Search Committee and our Vestry’s Finance Committee. On a Sunday morning you may see Bob ushering and his wife Shirley welcoming worshippers at the door.