A reading from Philippians 2:1-5
“2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”

Opportunities to serve others are as follows.

Amazon Smile
Amazon Smile is an Amazon.com shopping website that is just like regular Amazon.com except it will donate 1/2% of your purchases to your favorite charity. Episcopal Relief & Development is one of the approved charities that shoppers can designate. All prices, selections, and features are the same as regular Amazon and your same sign-in information will work there. Please consider shopping at Amazon.com and designating ERD as your favorite charity.

Annual Bazaar
The Annual Bazaar is usually be held the weekend after Thanksgiving beginning on Friday through Sunday noon. You will find unique holiday crafts (many under $10), fresh baked goods, a cookie walk selection, quarts of homemade soups, St. Thomas’s t-shirts and hoodies, second-hand Christmas decorations, and exclusive new items. All proceeds from the Annual Bazaar go to St. Thomas’s Outreach Ministries. St. Thomas’s Annual Bazaar is open to the public. Contact Barbara Graham via email at 44graham@comcast.net.

Building Use Ministry
This ministry of demonstrating hospitality by allowing groups to use the church building is an effort and opportunity to serve the community. St. Thomas’s building is enjoyed throughout the week by a variety of groups; most of these meet weekly, a few once a month, or once a year, and some are one-time events. Most of these groups make a donation for the use of space. When people ask, “Do you rent your building?” The answer is “No.” We are the church and value being hospitable and serving the community. We explain that we know, and appreciate the fact that groups budget an amount they can afford to give, and we are grateful to receive that amount as a donation. We do not set that amount, but receive it in support of St. Thomas’s missions, and our ability to keep the lights on.

Christmas Giving: Our Angel Tree
St. Thomas’s Angel Tree provides Christmas gifts for local families. If you would like to help make Christmas brighter for local families in need, please take a Christmas Card tag from the board and purchase the item. Feel the glow of knowing that you have shared the love of Christ by helping our neighbors in need.

Code Purple
Since 2011, St. Thomas’s has been part of the Code Purple Winter Sanctuary, which is managed by the Newark Empowerment Center (NEC) under the direction of Friendship House of Wilmington. St. Thomas’s and seven other Newark-area churches participate in the Code Purple shelter. Code Purple is not a traditional emergency shelter but operates only when the nighttime temperature is expected be fall below 20 degrees. Unlike permanent shelters, there are no 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. However, we do provide air mattresses, and blankets. Guests arrive at 6:00 p.m. at night and stay until 6:00 a.m. in the morning. A staff member from the NEC manages the intake of clients between 5 and 8 p.m., remains on call all night, and then returns to the church at 5:30 a.m. for the end of the sanctuary. We provide a supper in the evening, hot beverages throughout the night, and a light breakfast in the morning.

Episcopal Church Women (ECW) for Veteran Families
In 2015, St. Thomas’s participated in the Episcopal Church Women’s campaign to collect items for the families of women veterans. Items were collected here at St. Thomas’s then delivered to ECW at Parish Life Day in support of the effort.

Episcopal Relief & Development – Gift Giving that Makes Sense
Tired of what can feel like a Christmas rat race at the mall? Episcopal Relief & Development offers a different idea for giving. On the name tag table are catalogs titled Gifts for Life. Instead of giving another sweater or tie as a present, consider giving a gift that will keep giving to those truly in need throughout the year. You are provided with a variety of gifts to choose from. You can shop for the one that will be of most interest to your recipient. A card will be sent by Episcopal Relief & Development in your name that explains this kind of giving and your gift. Most folks are enthusiastic about a new kind of giving and some may adopt the idea for their own family and friends. Please pick up a catalog or see Sister Jackie or Coleen Murray if you have questions. You can also order directly by phone at 1-855-312-HEAL or on line at  www.episcopalrelief.org/giftsforlife.

Food and Gas Cards
Parishioners purchase a gift cards that help provide a tank of gas, groceries or basic clothing at local stores. The Rector dispenses these cards to people in need. This is a wonderful way to meet the needs of others in economically challenging times.

Food Pantry
The Food Pantry provides bags of groceries to needy Newark residents. This is how our Parish non-perishable donations reach needy residents. Often Mothers and children are served, sometimes single folk, including men.The clients are given food for a week and the Hudson Center helps get their needs sorted out for this service.Perishable foods are donated by Newark Area Welfare Committee and are also given out with local church donations. The Food Pantry/Cupboard is located on Main St. in Newark United Methodist Church. Hours to volunteer are from 2-3 p.m. on Mondays-Fridays. St. Thomas’s contact is Susan Hechter.

Newark Area Welfare Committee’s Food Cupboard
Contributions may go in the baskets as you enter the Sanctuary. There is a need for canned tomatoes, canned kidney, red or black beans, instant potatoes, jelly, ketchup, mayonnaise, tuna,macaroni and cheese. Contributions go in the baskets as you enter the Sanctuary. The NAWC Food Cupboard also needs volunteers to distribute food at the Cupboard housed at the United Methodist Church on Main St.The Cupboard hours are from 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information contact Susan Hechter at 302-738-9918 or via email at Susan Hechter.

Ronald McDonald House
For several years the parish has been collecting pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald house. They are very appreciative of our contributions, and I’m happy to say that the number of tabs being turned in has been increasing.

United Thank Offering
The fall ingathering of the United Thank Offering takes place around mid-November. UTO Blue Boxes are available on the name tag table and envelopes will be in your bulletins both this week and next week. If you choose to collect coins in a Blue Box, please write a check for that amount and put it in your envelope next week.

“The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is a United Nations program headquartered in New York City that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.”

In addition to the above areas, St. Thomas’s Parish serves a much broader community service by offering the use of our facility to community organizations. Some of these organizations include: AA, AIDS Delaware Test Site, Al-ANON, Anamchara Fellowship, Dismantling The New Jim Crow, Dusk Patrol, Musikgarten, and UD Ballroom Dance.