Celebrating the Virtues of the Starlit Heavens

About Starfield Ministries

Meet Steve and Terry

Steve and Terry grew up in Lee's Summit, Missouri, and together attended the University of Missouri at Columbia. Steve earned his B.S. in Recreation and Park Administration, and Terry holds a B.S. in Nursing. Steve went on to receive his Masters of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa. His doctoral project was, "Utilizing Astronomy to Teach Discipleship Principles to Junior and Senior High Youth in a Church Camp Setting". Steve and Terry have many years pastoral ministry experience serving local churches in Mid-Missouri, Southwest Missouri and North Kansas City areas. They have directed and counseled in summer youth camping ministries for over 34 years combined service including Astronomy Camp at Wilderness Conference and Retreat Center, Lawson, Missouri. Their current home is near Holden, Missouri, where the night skies are quite beautiful.

A "retired" ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Steve House currently pastors the Holden U. Methodist Church part-time. Under an "Extended Ministry Appointment", Steve previously served as the Director for the Center for Christian Ministry Studies at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. In addition to teaching and developing CMS courses, he gave support to students through advising, pastoral counseling and sponsorship of several general and campus Christian organizations.

Having special interests in the witness of creation to the character and purposes of God, Steve is passionate about exploring the complimentary roles of science and faith in understanding the universe and experiencing God. An additional special interest is celebrating Christian unity among all followers of Jesus Christ. His personal research pursuits and avocations include Celtic Christian spirituality, astronomy, telescope making, mineralogy, backpacking, nature photography, fly-fishing, canoeing, herpetoculture, beekeeping, model railroading and bonsai.

Terry's nursing career has included many years of pediatrics, newborn and newborn intensive care nursery, and school nursing. She recently worked in the St. Charles School District as a substitute school nurse, but now flourishes in her role as "pastor's wife". Her interests include helping children discover the wonder and awe of the night sky, and developing children's astronomy resources. Terry and Steve have two adult children, Jennifer and Christopher, and two grandchildren, Dylan and Audrey. Together they are committed and passionate about developing Starfield Ministries and sharing the exciting experience of listening to God through the virtues of the starlit heavens.

Mission and Vision

Our Mission

The mission of the corporation is to provide educational astronomy programming and access to dark night skies to groups, families and individuals from a Judeo/Christian faith perspective and worldview. (From Section 2.1 of the Starfield Ministries Bylaws)

To expand further, the mission of Starfield Ministries is to do the work of the Kingdom of God by providing special access to dark night skies and biblical astronomy programming to groups, families and individuals, bringing the beauty, witness and experience of the vast universe to people who need that witness, and joining with the witness of the night sky to illuminate God's redemptive plan and to glorify God's name.

Our Vision

We envision:

  • Groups and individuals traveling from all over the Midwest to experience the witness of creation and the wonder of the night sky in a safe, welcoming and beautiful environment.
  • Children and youth growing in their knowledge and experience of God through the witness of the starry heavens, which "declares the glory of God."
  • A multitude of adults and older adults finding refreshment and restoration in the message of nature in a safe, beautiful, affordable and accessible natural environment.
  • Pastors of God's flock (ministers, rabbis, priests) and their families refreshed and restored without excessive cost to themselves.
  • People of all ages gathered beneath God's starry heavens, beholding his beauty, hearing his witness, experiencing his cosmos through the service of amateur astronomers and their telescopes.

Strategies

  • Two primary outreaches:

    • Mobile astronomy programming and stargazing through special events for people- "Have Telescope Will Travel."
    • Establish and maintain a property and astronomical observatory- an astronomer's dark-site observing destination from which to provide access to the night sky and present a biblical view of nature and the witness of the starry heavens.
  • Create and provide summer camping programming and curriculum to existing denominational and parachurch camp sites.
  • Serve area and regional astronomers with accessible dark sky location for viewing the starry heavens, and provide the opportunity for them to serve others with their knowledge and equipment.
  • Serve churches and church-related small groups with programming and astronomy related services onsite or offsite.
  • Serve churches with three-day Starfield Ministries workshops, including stargazing, teaching and preaching.
  • Serve public and private schools, and home school organizations with biblically-based astronomy programming.
  • Serve clergy and their families needing personal renewal by providing retreat facilities and restorative nature programming, including access to the night sky.
  • Serve scouting organizations and youth organizations, service clubs and other nonprofit groups with a high quality night-sky experience.
  • Organize volunteer teams of amateur astronomers and telescope operators to serve at stargazing events.

Core Values

We value the witness of the starry heavens to the glory of God and to the worth and potential of humankind in living relationship with the God of creation.

  • We value growth in appreciation of creation, and promoting stewardship of human, environmental and financial resources.
  • We value the principle that "before you can educate, you must inspire."
  • We value the understanding of science and faith as two different yet complimentary ways of knowing, and believe that all knowledge is God's knowledge.
  • We value the inestimable worth of an ongoing and unfolding relationship with God in Jesus Christ, Ruler of all nature, Creator of the starry heavens, Light of the cosmos and Lover of our souls.
  • We value the imminence of God who is present in and through all nature, without being nature.
  • We value God's revelation through the gifts of the two great books, the book of God's Word and the book of nature.
  • We value dark nighttime skies filled with stars, and oppose the wasting of energy that mars God's witness and denies millions of people access to beauty and knowledge.
  • We value practical Christian unity, and seek to carry it out.
  • We value the God-given worth of humanity, a culture of life, a Beloved Community and a Peaceable Kingdom in the hearts of God's people.

Why Starfield Ministries?

Millions of children and young people in the cities and suburbs do not have access to the original beauty of the night sky and the virtues of the starlit heavens. God has a message to communicate, but it is so often obscured through the sinful and careless acts of humankind. God's light, his created brightness- streams within and through the things that he has made, calling the universe to completion and perfection. You are invited to join us in removing the barriers to God's message.

"Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
And calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing."

- Isaiah 40:26 NIV

What Makes Us Different?

There are many great Astronomy Clubs offering service events that show the wonders of the sky to the public. We have been part of them often in the past. They do a tremendous service.

Starfield Ministries takes access to the night sky a step further. SM is different in that its mission is to bring these wonders to people in the context of a biblical witness and understanding of the created order. A typical evening program might look something like this:

Arrive no later than 8pm.
Park pointing cars outward.
Use running lights to leave (no headlights until main road)
Bring red covered flashlights. (Red cellophane provided)
Sunset ~8:30pm CDT
End of astronomical twilight is ~ 9:45pm

  • 7:00 pm - Beginners "How to Use Your Telescope" workshop
  • 8:15 pm - Gather, Group Bible Study and Astro-Orientation- What will we see tonight?
  • 9:15 - 9:30pm - Station rotation begins observation at the telescopes. Approximately 15 minutes at each telescope station.
  • 10:30pm - Gather for All Sky Show (30-40 minutes) (Constellations, asterisms, meteors)
  • 11:10pm - Break
  • 11:20pm - Rotation resumes
  • 12:30pm - Official end with praise and prayer
  • 12:45pm - Die-hard Astronomers observe until 2am

What Do We Usually See?

From a recent promotion:

During the main event we will gather for a group study outlining the basis for "astronomical grace." We will take a look at what the Bible says about the "witness of the starry heavens" and end with an orientation for what we will see in the night. Large telescopes will be on hand and a station rotation begins at 9:15 p.m. as we view the moon and planets. Rotation continues about every 15-20 minutes, and at the end of twilight, we will see scores of Deep Sky Objects such as Globular Clusters, very distant Galaxies, Emission and Reflection Nebula, Open Clusters, "Planetary" Nebula, colorful Multiple Star Systems, Dark Nebula, Comets, Meteors, and the moons of other planets in our solar system. With any luck, we will see the passing of the International Space Station. At 10:15 p.m. we will gather for a 30 minute "All Sky Show" to celebrate the grand picture of summer constellations, asterisms, meteors, and "The Gospel in the Summer Stars." Observations through the telescopes continue until we end with reflective prayer and praise about 12:30 a.m. Diehard astronomers are welcome to stay until 2am.

Board of Directors

Starfield Ministries Board of Directors

Wow! What a great fellowship and spiritual event Starfield Ministries provided for our church! Steve and Terry were wonderful to work with and designed an evening that captivated and inspired all who attended. The night was very educational and at the same time was a meaningful spiritual experience as we explored God's awesome creation in the starry heavens!



-Randy Meyer, Executive Director of Education, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection