Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost – July 2, 2017/Year A

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If you want to GET OUT, you need to GO IN! Some of you may recall this story from past sermons around this time of our lectionary cycle. It is one that does not lose any power of meaning and speaking to me at any time in my faith journey.

Marilyn and I were shopping to begin a week’s vacation at the beach some years ago. We checked out and made our way to the exit when I saw THE SIGN. THE SIGN was not of the fancy four-color poster variety, just a simple, hand-scrawled in black magic marker version taped to the exit door. I suspect THE SIGN was posted by the harried store manager who, after verbally telling about a million people, wrote on THE SIGN the exact words he had said again and again and again. The automatic opener to the exit door was not operating, so THE SIGN on the door gave the following admonition – If you want to GET OUT, you need to GO IN!

It seems to me in our days and times of social, political, and religious dis-ease, proclaiming what is right and good all the while NEVER talking with the other but AT the other. Thus the spin cycle of “blame game” and interagency of views and action continues on and on and one. This way of living is getting us nowhere fast, so if we want change to happen in life around us, we need to be the change we desire THROUGH US in a living faith. The only way that truly happens is participating with our living and loving God.

If you want to GET OUT, you need to GO IN!

See the Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost – July 2, 2017/Year A.

See all sermons.

Vacation Bible School – 2017

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See our 2017 Vacation Bible School flyer about the vacation bible school that St. Thomas’s is hosting this summer with St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. I have also included a list of supplies needed in the flyer.

The VBS will run from July 30 to August 3, 2017. All St. Thomas’s children are welcome to attend and bring their friends. There is no cost and will include dinner. I am hoping that many St. Thomas’s teens and adults will participate by volunteering to help and/or by providing supplies.

I hope you are all enjoying a safe summer and I hope to see you soon!


A Message from the Vestry – June 2017

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To St. Thomas’s Parishioners,

As we move into the summer, your vestry would like to update you on several issues.

First, great thanks and appreciation to all for our big events in May and June—the 175th anniversary gala, the tribute to Bob Rys, and the Pentecost/175th anniversary picnic. All of them were wonderful expressions of joy and fellowship, the result of many hours of work by dedicated parishioners.

Many of you are probably wondering about the transition process as Father Paul prepares to retire. First, we have the gift of his presence until the end of October. It’s a time to reflect on and give thanks for what his ministry has meant for the parish and for each of us personally.

The vestry is beginning to work on transition plans. We’ve met with the Rev. Canon Gary Rowe of the diocesan staff and we’re studying the diocesan guidelines for parishes in transition. We are working on arrangements for a priest to be with us beginning the first Sunday in November.

Some things in the transition process will be as they have been in the past, but there have been some changes. One big change is the form of the parish profile. In the past, it has been a printed document. Now the diocesan procedure is for the profile to be on the parish web site, as a separate section of the site. Prospective candidates for the position of rector will first meet us through the web site. The web site is also how most visitors and prospective members get acquainted with us. That’s why a welcoming and accurate web site is essential—it’s our front door, in a manner of speaking, and we want to make a good impression on all who seek us out.

Finally, the transition process requires two committees, the transition committee and the search committee. These committees are appointed by and responsible to the vestry. The transition committee, with three to five members, will be in operation from late summer through the first year of the new rector’s tenure. It will handle tasks like farewells, welcomes, and assisting the new rector to settle in to life at St. Thomas’s. The search committee will begin its work after Fr. Paul leaves. It will develop the parish profile and handle the search and interview process, ending up with a candidate to recommend to the vestry. The search committee will have eight to ten members.

The vestry is in the early stages of developing these committees. If you have suggestions of people who might be possible members of the committees, please inform me or any vestry member. You don’t need the person’s consent at this point—once the vestry chooses the possible candidates for each committee, they will be contacted, given a full description of the task, and will be free to make their own decision on whether to accept the call. All suggestions will be held in confidence.

Thank you for your support of St. Thomas’s. Please hold the church in your prayers.

Connie Cooper
Senior Warden

Summer Children’s Worship: Son Treasure Island begins on June 25

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Summer Children’s Worship for children 3 years and older will begin on June 25 and run through August 20, 2017 during the 10:30 a.m. service. Children are invited to join the children’s worship leader in the Undercroft between 10:25 and 11:10 a.m. The children will then rejoin their families during the Peace. Our theme this year is Son Treasure Island: Discovering God’s Love. Throughout the summer we will have fun engaging in stories, art, drama, music and games while learning about the Greatest Treasure ever: God’s Love. Check out I Corinthians 13!

Parents and older family members are encouraged to sign up to assist with children’s worship a one or two Sundays this summer.

Summer Coffee Hour

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The Hospitality Ministry is looking for volunteers (two persons each Sunday) to host Coffee Hour starting June 25, 2017 thru Labor Day weekend. This will be a down scale from the regular Coffee Hour. Finger foods such as cookies, donuts , fruit(grapes or strawberries). We will be using paper plates only. Juice, lemonade and coffee will be supplied by St Thomas. There is a signup sheet on the Hospitality board next to the kitchen. Please try to be at Church by 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. to set up.

If you have any questions, please contact :

Oneta Applewhaite
Joe Corsello
Regina McCann

Graduate recognition for the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter

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We are in the throws of the graduation season. What a wonderful time to celebrate the accomplishments of our youth and young adults as they move on to the next chapter in their lives. Your family that is St. Thomas’s Parish would like to celebrate with you!! We will be running the list of graduates through the month of June in the Carpenter’s Helper. So, there are only 2 weeks left to see your graduate’s name in print. Please let the office know as soon as possible by writing to about your family’s graduates so we can celebrate with you.

Adele Meredith
Parish Administrator

Sermon for The Day of the Pentecost – June 4, 2017/Year A

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Come Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in us the fire of your love! Send forth your Spirit, and we shall be created; and with you, we will renew the face of the earth. AMEN

“When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house … Divided tongues, as of fire … rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit …”

Author Annie Dillard writes, “Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a pack aged tour of the Absolute? People who come here should be equipped with safety helmets and life vests, and the pews should all have safety harnesses. For if we come to church to be transformed, hang on tight for that is what the Spirit of the living God will do!”

For all these things that do not seem quite the same as that first Pentecost Day, here is what will be equally and importantly the same for every single one of us gathered this day, in this place, and at this time — we shall be created; and with you, we will renew the face of the earth TOGETHER!

Together we will do this through the presence and power and purpose of Love that is our Triune God!

See the Pentecost Sunday Sermon in its entirety and see all sermons.

Sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Easter & Memorial Day Weekend – May 28, 2017/Year A

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Too often we get stuck in a paradoxical time between times of the first and second coming of Christ. In this two-thousand year stretch of transition ministry and expectation of Christ coming again “in power and great glory to judge the earth”, we are called to carry on the mission that Jesus began. We are not to sit idly by twiddling our thumbs as an important part of this mission is to welcome the stranger as Jesus himself showed us how to do, since the essence of our faith is expressed in community. Sometimes the Church, and that is you and me, forgets that we are called into community. Without each other, we fall far short of the heaven-on-earth vision of what we might be for each other.

See the sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Easter & Memorial Day Weekend – May 28, 2017/Year A.

See all sermons.

Children’s Ministries Summer 2017 Newsletter

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We anxiously await the end of the school year and the advent of summer, exciting things continue to happen in Children’s Ministries. See our Children’s Ministries Summer 2017 newsletter and find out how your family can be involved!!

Please contact Belinda Young-Payne or any of the Children’s Worship Team Leaders with any questions or comments you may have about any of our activities. Belinda can be reached at 302-832-8834, 302-388-4017, or

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