A reading from Luke 22:27
“For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?
Is it not the one who is at the table?
But I am among you as one who serves.”
How will you serve?
How will you match your talents to the Lord’s work?
Opportunities to serve in our Church are as follows.
Acolytes (Youth) includes members of the Youth Confirmation Class, as well as, loyal acolytes from previous Confirmation classes continue to serve at the altar at the Sunday 10:30 am service and special holy day services. The Acolytes light and extinguish the candles, participate in processions by carrying torches and processional crosses, help to set the altar with the Liturgical Sub-Deacon’s assistance, ring the Sanctus bells, and carry the incense “boat”. Contact Bob Rys at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adult Education explores topics such as reflections on select bible passages. We offer a summer series. Contact Ronnie Wilbur at email@example.com, Rue Manning at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Larry Duggan at email@example.com.
Altar Guild (Worship Preparation Ministry)
Altar Guild is a ministry the church cannot do without. It is a graceful and quiet ministry and one in which many are honored to serve. We work together as teams sharing responsibility for preparing the sanctuary for worship during one week each month. We make sure there are candles, wine, and bread. We polish silver and brass and wash and iron linens to make sure everything is just right to enhance worship at St. Thomas’s. We continue to update our supply of linens and other articles. We’re training new members to fill the ranks as good and faithful life-long servants retire. We are hoping to encourage families to join in preparing for worship. There are many jobs that can be accomplished by folks of all ages. The only things required of a new member are a good heart and an eye for detail. For all of our members, we are truly grateful. Contact Sally Price at 302-453-9408 or firstname.lastname@example.org or any altar guild member for more information.
Annual Bazaar is traditionally held the weekend after Thanksgiving. Crafts and food goods are lovingly provided for sale and all proceeds go to outreach ministries. See Barbara Graham to help.
Centering Prayer – Centering Prayer is a method designed to facilitate the development of Contemplative Prayer by preparing our faculties to receive this gift. Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer; rather it casts a new light and depth of meaning on them. It is at the same time a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. This method of prayer is a movement beyond conversation with the living Christ to communion with Him. For more information, contact Joe Corsello at 302-369-0330 or email@example.com.
Children’s Ministries – is offered each Sunday during the program year, and provides religious education to children from kindergarten through sixth grade level children. Contact Belinda Young-Payne, Director of Children’s Ministries, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-832-8834.
Climate Change – With the success of the Paris Agreement, we have new goals for vital improvements.The mission will work towards the needs of the whole world for maintaining God’s creation for this and future generations. For more information, contact the Climate Change mail list.
Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow – Awareness-Raising: We host monthly and annual forums, summits, and conferences to raise awareness and understanding of mass incarceration, systemic and institutional racism. Our monthly meetings inform the public of community and state programs and initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty and racial disparities, fostering equitable economic development, and creating safer and better connected communities.
Advocacy: We advocate for changes in state and local policy to rectify the effects of mass incarceration, institutional racism, and economic inequality. This includes supporting fair policing practices, progressive economic policy, livable wages, and communities that value diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Racial Healing: The effects of institutional, structural, and interpersonal racism are pernicious and long lasting. People of color (this includes Black people, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans) have long suffered the effects of social and economic racial discrimination. The Coalition believes that it is necessary for people of all races to acknowledge the need for racial healing and collectively work towards a just society. We do this through educational activities and empathy building programs.
What can I do? Join us as we work together for racial justice and a better understanding of the impacts of racism in our state. The group meets the 3rd Monday of each month with changing locations every month.
If you are interested or would like more information, contact Cami Seward at 907-321-3336 or at email@example.com.
Code Purple Winter Sanctuary is managed by the Newark Empowerment Center (NEC) under the direction of Friendship House of Wilmington. St. Thomas and eight other Newark-area churches participated in the Code Purple shelter this winter. Code Purple is not a traditional emergency shelter. It operates only when the nighttime temperature is expected be fall below 20 degrees. Unlike permanent shelters, there are not beds, showers or lockers. It is simply a warm, safe room where people with no place to go that night can get in out of the cold. To serve this ministry contact Kelly Tompkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-738-5252.
Communication Ministry – St. Thomas’s Communication Ministry propagates information via our communication avenues such as email, Facebook, Facebook events, Google calendar, or our web site. Rectors, Deacons, Ministry leaders, the Church Office, Vestry leaders, or parishioners our should post their information to our mail list which we pick up and propagate. A textual format is preferred over PDF unless your intention is for the printing your announcement. Contact Joy Lynam at email@example.com if you wish to serve on the Communication Ministry. Not sure about writing your news blurb? Write to us for help at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communion Bread Bakers (St. Nicholas Guild) take turns baking bread for Sunday services. Sometimes we’re called upon to bake bread for weddings and funerals. We use a standardized cutter and a standard recipe to ensure the loaves are of the same size and texture each week. Members and other parishioners baked bread for the annual Soup and Bread Supper on Maundy Thursday. St. Thomas’s. Contact Sally Price at 302-453-9408 or email@example.com.
Confirmation is offered each year to provide seventh and eighth grade youth to learn about and proclaim their Baptismal faith in Confirmation before the bishop at the annual visitation. Contact Teri Quinn-Gray firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-266-6069, or Bob Rys at email@example.com or 302-731-2668.
Episcopal Campus Ministry provides an active presence on the campus of the University of Delaware to Episcopal students, while also being present to faculty and staff. The Chaplain oversees an ECM weekly meeting for fellowship, learning, and worship, accompanies ECM student leaders to Province 3 and national church meetings, and shares in planning and participating in mission trips and other special events. The students have created a food cupboard for students who are in need. Contact Denise Burgher, Convening Graduate Advisor, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Episcopal Campus Ministry Dinners – parishioners volunteer to prepare home-made dinners for our college students. It is a great time to meet the students and welcome them into our family. Contact Sally Price at email@example.com.
Finance Ministry prepares the financial documents for the Church. Contact is Teresa Coons or Treasurer Amy Keach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flower Guild provides memorial flowers for Sunday services, special flowers for weddings and funerals, and some decorations for Parish events. Flowers are an important part of the Anglican tradition, and St. Thomas’s has been happily and proudly upholding the tradition of providing living examples of the beauty of Creation for our services and celebrations. See Wendy Campbell to see how you can serve this ministry at email@example.com.
Forward In Faith (FIF) team worked to purchase The Grove. St. Thomas’s continues to work toward our challenge goal. The additional funds will allow us to consider further enhancement of the signage, current building repairs, a playground and a start to funding of the future parking lot.
Fund Management Committee was established by the parish at its annual meeting in March, 1989 to establish and monitor endowment funds held for the benefit of the parish. All parish endowment funds are invested in Master Fund A, which is administered by SunTrust Bank for the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware. The investments are monitored by the Investment Committee at the diocesan level. Members of the committee are Teresa Coons and Amy Keach.
Greeters – for in-person services, Greeters function in addition to Ushers to provide a welcoming presence and reach out to help newcomers in particular by getting them the informational brochure and helping them to navigate our church as well as inviting people to join us for after church fellowship.
Hospitality Ministry members serve the hosting function for parish-wide and diocesan-wide events as needed. It’s very easy work and fulfilling to work elbow-to-elbow with lots of our fellows and sisters. Meetings are held as needed to ensure that overall issues are addressed and Leaders are assigned for the upcoming events. See our Coffee Hour Procedures. Contact the Parish Office at 368-4644.
Intercessory Prayer Chain – Contact is Joline Fincher.
Lay Healing Service Ministry are those volunteers who in their faithfulness and dedication to prayer comfort with those who are in pain, sorrow, or grief, or are standing in for someone else who is in need of prayer. We also share prayers of praise and thankfulness. We are a people who believe that God has called us to pray, in all of its many forms. The Scriptures instruct us to pray for one another, anointing one another in the name of the Lord (James 5:13-16) and we will be healed. Of course, healing takes many forms, and as we have come to understand, is not always a physical cure.
Lay Eucharistic Visitors. Contact is Bruce Finnie.
Lectionary Bible Study is a relaxed and friendly group that meets at the church on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the lessons for the following Sunday. Come every week or drop in when you can for some new perspectives on familiar stories and maybe some speculation about where the sermon will go! For more information, contact Carol Palermo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lights Children’s Choir helps young children build a closer relationship with God through the prayer of song. To accomplish this we focus on fun or emotional songs that will stir their hearts and stay with them in the future. In the process we aim to provide a team environment and nurture the children’s church community. The performances are great, and we work hard to do well, but they are secondary to the kids learning the song and gaining the benefits of the musical prayer. See Mike Houghton at email@example.com or 302-650-3849 about this ministry.
Liturgy Guild volunteers are devoted members of the parish family who serve faithfully at the altar on Sundays, festal days, weddings, and funerals as acolytes, LSDs (liturgical sub-deacons, Communion assistants, readers, and lay eucharistic visitors. They bring Communion to those in hospitals and nursing homes as well as the housebound, and they preside at a Morning Prayer service at Millcroft. Direct your inquiries and enthusiastic responses to Larry Duggan at firstname.lastname@example.org, who also wishes to tender great thanks to all those who already serve readily and quietly. Bruce Finnie coordinates the Eucharistic Visitor team and can be contacted at email@example.com or 302-368-5120.
Manna Offering delivers nonperishable food from the donation baskets found in the Church to the Newark Welfare Committee Food Closet. Contact Susan Hechter at 302-738-9918 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mowing of Old St. Thomas’s Cemetery
Music Ministry/Adult Choir. The St. Gregory Choir is comprised of adults in our parish 16 years and older, and supports the congregation in singing at the 10:30 a.m. worship service throughout the year. They also offer specially prepared anthems each Sunday, and lead the congregation in special musical liturgies during the year. Contact Marc Cheban, Organist and Choir Director, at email@example.com or 302-378-4287.
Newark Area Welfare Committee Christmas Food Baskets is a program that St. Thomas’s participates in with many other community organizations to provide food baskets to those in need. Contact Laura Green at firstname.lastname@example.org 302-737-5455 to help with these efforts or to contribute food.
Newcomers ministry welcomes new members to our parish and incorporates them into parish life as they are ready. Welcoming announcements are in the weekly Carpenter’s Helper and monthly in The Carpenter. Newcomer packets are available at the back of the church and inside gift mugs that include pens and magnets.
Notes & Cards. Contact is Jean Runge.
Novel Theology group meets at 9:15 a.m. on the second Sunday of each month, September-May. At our May meeting we will bring our list of suggested books and select nine to read, beginning in September. For more information, see Susan Hechter at email@example.com.
Office volunteers work to facilitate the flow of communication within the church, and to coordinate and prepare for services. The church office supports the staff and volunteers of the church in their work, is to be responsive to the needs of parishioners, our neighbors, and to facilitate the ministries and programs within the church and in our community. Contact Cana Hartman at (302) 368-4644 to see how you can serve this ministry.
Pastoral care is not only the place for requests for prayers and Lay Eucharistic visits, but also for prayer shawls, notes and cards, phone calls, hospital and home visits, transportation, and meals. The Pastoral Care Ministry and clergy review and ascertain the care needs of parishioners at their home, hospital or nursing facilities. There are many needs within our parish family and we continue to reach out a hand in Christian fellowship to show our love and kindness to our parish family. Contact is Donna Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-753-1910.
Prayer Shaw Ministry
Property Ministry sees to the upkeep and maintenance of our building and grounds. Members work on projects as complex as replacing the roof to as simple as changing a light bulb. This group also coordinates the annual parish clean up. Our grounds are maintained and beautified by volunteers who mow the lawn or tend to the gardens. Contact is Amy Keach at email@example.com.
Stewardship Ministry cultivates our time and talents for the Church. Contacts are Richard Wadman and Mike Grabowski.
Sunday School Teacher or Assistant
Technology supports St. Thomas’s web site, Facebook page and mail list. The sound system and AV is also served by members of this ministry. Contacts are Bob Gilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joy Lynam at email@example.com.
Ushers – for in-person services, Ushers serve members of the congregation on a rotating weekly schedule at the 8 a.m. and the 10:30 a.m. services. Ushers hand out service leaflets, pass the collection plates, assist congregant with seating and provide directions as needed. Ushers are also often called upon to assist with weddings, funerals, and to assist in parking cars when it is anticipated that attendees may be unfamiliar with St. Thomas’s liturgies, facilities and parking arrangements. Contact Ryan Waltz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vestry Leader. See any member of the Vestry.
Worship Ministry includes folks who are leaders of various groups that have a hand in facilitating worship: altar guild, children’s worship, acolytes, prayer ministers, lay worship leaders (such as readers, communion assistants, Eucharistic visitors), clergy, musicians. Those interested in the worship ministry meet regularly to plan for what happens during worship services. Contact Sally Price at 302-453-9408 or email@example.com.
Weekly Offering Counters – St Thomas’s Sunday weekly plate offering represents the primary source of operating income for the parish and is vital to our financial health. The counters process the incoming checks and cash receipts, summarize the count for the Business Manager and Parish Registrar and prepare the funds for deposit in the bank. The Business Manager in turn creates reports for the Finance Committee and disperses the funds as required. The Parish Registrar credits each parishioner’s account and prepares year end summaries for tax purposes. Counters work as two person teams in order to make the overall task less time consuming and to ensure an accurate count. Each team counts once every two months. The task requires about 60 – 90 minutes to complete. The schedule is flexible and changes for vacations, etc., can easily be arranged. We are currently looking for two additional teams. Please contact Teresa Coons if you have an interest in volunteering for this service to the church. Home: 302-738-5574 or cell: 610-585-1238.
Youth Ministry (C.R.E.W.) – The “CREW” (Christians Ready, Equipped and Willing) Youth Group is open to all youth in grades 7 through 12 from the parish, community, and beyond. The goal for our youth ministry is to help the youth develop a deeper relationship with God and one another through fellowship, discussions, service, retreats, prayer, social gatherings, and more.