Poet’s Corner – JoAnn Balingit

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JoAnn Balingit reading poetry by her favorite poets
Saturday, September 16, 4:00 p.m.

Free-will offering.

JoAnn Balingit grew up in Florida and lives in Delaware where she served as poet laureate from 2008 to 2015. She’s the author of Words for House Story (WordTech, 2013) and was a 2017 VONA/Voices resident in prose, working on a memoir. She coordinates Delaware’s Poetry Out Loud program, and teaches poetry and creative writing at libraries and nonprofit organizations.Her latest poems appear at Poemeleon,TheRumpus, Vallum Magazine and www.poets.org or her web site at joannbalingit.org.

Co-sponsored by St. Thomas’s Parish and the University of Delaware Department of English.

Hurricane Harvey Relief

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Episcopal Relief & Development has set up web donation page to begin the long journey of relief for Houston & the Texas Gulf Coast. More than 90% of donations go to support those in need. Please pray and be generous as you are able. Go to www.episcopalrelief.org.

Come and See at Bible Study!

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St. Thomas’s offers TWO bible study groups to fit most schedules. The Early Risers group meets on Tuesday from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. in the Parlor – a great way to start you day and make it to work or class at the university in plenty of time! This time of study will resume again on Tuesday, September 5. The Not-As-Early-Risers group meets on Wednesday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall classroom, and will resume on Wednesday, September 6.

No preparation needed nor seminary training required – just bring yourself, your soul, your interest, your wonderings, your hunger for sharing and knowing YOUR story that is the Bible, and sharing this sacred story of you with others in this journey.

Blessing of the Backpacks

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On Sunday, September 3, Father Paul will be blessing backpacks for all students who bring them to any of our three services as a way to start and continue your school year on the right path. All who desire are welcome to participate, regardless of age or type of “backpack” you bring — briefcases will get blessed too! “The love of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honor.” Proverbs 15:3

Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – August 20, 2017/Year A

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“If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.” These words are spoken by Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, the young woman killed in Charlottesville VA last Saturday. These words framed the prayer service on Wednesday at Bethel AME Church in Wilmington. These words frame the ongoing call to living into our faith as the ones who call Jesus as our Lord.

We continue to allow too much polarizing speech about the others of our country and our world to rule our minds and hearts. Media and political voices dominate the floods of words, words, words, while too many good Christian folk paddle right along these vile streams of thinking and acting. After our remembrance of the Transfiguration and the first atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6, who of good faith would agree with a Christian pastor’s statement that God desires the “nuking of North Korea?” Is this what the God we worship and the Jesus we follow looks like today?

Brian McClaren is Christian pastor, writer, speaker, and advocating voice for the emerging church of open faith dialogue and living together. His book I am currently reading gives pretty clear hint to this faith stance. It is titled Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? I will give you a spoiler alert – it is NOT to separate themselves from the others but to gather in togetherness, one with another, and to move forward into our world.

For me, there are no “the others” when we live and act out of a mature faith. There are no “the others” in the Jesus Movement.

See Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – August 20, 2017/Year A in its entirety.

See all sermons.

Children’s Worship begins on September 11

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Hello Church Family,

Our fun summer times are almost at an end and the time for fall preparation has come. I’m excited!

Regular Children’s Worship will begin again on September 11 for children 3 years (potty trained) to 6th grade. Sunday School normally runs from 9:30 to 11:10 a.m. Registration for Sunday School will begin at 9:15 a.m. in the Great Hall on September 10.

Our goal is to have three Sunday School classrooms this year. In order to do this in the best way that we can, we need at least two more teachers. I am praying we can find some new faces to join our children’s ministry team.Teaching involves an average commitment of two Sundays a month and an hour or two of preparation the week you are the lead teacher. We teach in teams of two so you would be lead teacher an average once a month. If you are more comfortable being the helper teacher each time, that is fine too. This ministry is an act of both giving and receiving. The children teach and inspire us as much as we do them. And, the team members are tremendous supports and inspiration to each other. Training for Godly Play and training for Living the Good News for anyone who needs it will be held in late August/early September and as needed. If you feel called to be a part of children’s ministry in any way, please contact me. I can be reached via email at belmar43@aol.com or by phone at 302-388-4017 (cell) or 302-832-8834 (landline).

Thank you for all the support that you, as a congregation, provide to our children and their families.

Blessings,

Belinda

Sermon for Feast of the Transfiguration – August 6, 2017/Year A

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This is one of those “special” days in our church year, a day the usual Sunday lectionary gets bumped. Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration. The altar hangings and our vestments shift from the “long green season” to our “dazzling white” versions to reflect God’s holy, radiant, and radical encounters absorbed into the very being of Moses, and revealed from what was always within of Jesus. While this is a great story, our techno-virtual 21st century short-term attention spans may say “Yeah, yeah, big whoop! So what comes next?” A seeming not that big of a deal moment that can be recreated in a minutes with sparks shooting from Jesus, his eyes bulging in radiance … and zombies galore, of course!”

We can choose to follow Jesus, or ….

See the Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.’s sermon for Feast of the Transfiguration – August 6, 2017/Year A.

See all sermons.

Sermon for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – July 30, 2017/Year A

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In 1492, Columbus sailed the oceans blue. In 1842, St. Thomas’s opened in faith new, too … in Newark! I suspect Devon Miller Duggan might have a word or two to say about my poetic prowess, or lack thereof. I guess will take off  the next great American poet off my post-ministry bucket list. Yet my somewhat poetic attempt is to point us toward the beginnings of St. Thomas’s on August 1, 1842. On Tuesday, we celebrate 175 years in the seed planting business.

We were founded by a vision of a few men, with mustard seed faith, to bring an Anglican/Episcopal worshiping community to Newark and then small Newark College student body. In the words of the article about St. Thomas’s written in the Delaware History pamphlet in 2010, St. Thomas’s was formed on the need to bring “a true religious experience to Newark.” The article notes at the time there were two Presbyterian churches along Main Street, while the “rowdy” Methodists were put off onto a side street. The community wanted to provide religious experiences that offered “reasonable and refined expressions of faith.” Our liturgical practices fit the bill, and the property at the point of Main Street and Delaware Avenue was purchased to build our church.

175 years later, and here we still are bearing the “mustard seeds” of faith, seeking to live into and out of God’s grace and love in this new/old home of St. Thomas’s. The call to our living faith is as powerful now as it was August 1, 1842 when we incorporated. To paraphrase a favorite theologian Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places we have been … Oh, the places we will go and grow, together!

See The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.’s sermon for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – July 30, 2017/Year A in its entirety.

See all sermons.

Vacation Bible School update

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Hello Church Family,

Vacation Bible School (VBS) is going to be really fun this year! A mixture of fun, faith and fellowship. Several of our adults and youth will be volunteering. I hope many of you or your children will be joining us for a few evenings or the whole week. There is lots of info and registration forms on the Great Hall doors at St. Thomas’s. You can also email me, call me (302-388-4017) or come talk to me tomorrow at church.

See our announcement and flyer.

Blessings
Belinda

Building use requests now due for St. Thomas’s ministry groups

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Grace and peace to all! We hope your summer is going along “swimmingly” (yes, pun intended…)

One of the ways St. Thomas’s lives into its ministry of welcome is by allowing it’s space to be utilized by the wider community. That being said, the first priority for space use is to groups that are connected to ministries here at St. Thomas’s. So, we need to know when our space is needed for these ministries. If you lead a ministry or group who meets in this building, please take a moment to complete a “pink form” for the coming program year. This will assist the office staff in determining what space is available and when for community use. “Pink forms” are also available on the parish website at StThomasParish.org.

Thank you for attention to this matter and we look for to hearing from you.

Peace,
Adele Meredith
Parish Administrator

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