Sermon for The Fifth Sunday of Lent

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“But this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”

 Paul’s words of life and faith frame the doorway into Holy Week. Yet it seems in clear contrast to one of the promises of recovering life from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous – “We will not forget the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.” If I do the soul house cleaning needed that Lent makes space to do, I always unearth something[s] that I SO want to shut the door on, fast, hard, and forever!

See the The Fifth Sunday of Lent sermon in its entirety.

Carpenter’s Helper for March 13, 2016

posted in: Lent, News, Outreach | 0

Dear friends of St. Thomas’s,

Time to Spring Forward! Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 13. Set your clocks AHEAD one hour Saturday night, March 12. We don’t want you to miss church!

This Sunday 4:00 p.m. Lenten Choral Cantata – don’t’ miss!

MANY HANDS NEEDED –  Brian Smith is away, and as always, we miss him! Brian, our most excellent sexton returns on Monday, March 14. Until then, we will need many hands working together to do the things that seem to happen magically!  Those that gather for the St. Thomas’s Saturday Men’s Breakfast will need to do the set-up and take down. If you see something that needs cleaning, please clean it. If the trash is full, please dump it.  Brian’s return is always cause for great thanksgiving!


THANKS FOR YOUR LETTERS TO REPEAL THE DEATH PENALTY– Your letters were delivered to the Delaware Repeal Project and will be delivered to our legislators. As you probably know SB-40 has been “pulled” for this legislative session as it is being reviewed by the Supreme Court of Delaware. Again, thank you for your efforts.

Blessings to you on this beautiful day, See this week’s Carpenter’s Helper.

Cami Seward
St. Thomas’s Parish
276 South College Ave.
Newark, Delaware 19711

Teen and Tween Lenten Gathering

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All current Tweens and Teens (4th -12th graders) are invited to attend.  Come for the whole evening or just the part that fits you.  We will begin going through the stations around 7:45 pm.  Games/Movie will begin around 8:45 pm. See the flyer. Hope to see you all! RSVP: by calling Belinda Young-Payne at 302-832-8834 or e-mailing to

Pop-tabs collection reminder

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Hello friends,
Please help out the CREW’s service project by bringing in pop-tabs–the little tab on top of soda cans, soup, or your beverage of choice.
For more information on the Ronald McDonald Pop-Tab collection, visit:
Ask one of the CREW youth to direct you to our collection canisters.

Jacob J. Capin

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Lent & 174th Annual Meeting of St. Thomas’s Parish

posted in: Annual Meeting, Lent, Sermons | 0

“But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father…”

The Fourth Sunday in Lent is known as Refreshment or Lighten Up Sunday in the church world. It is a little beyond the halfway point of our journey with Jesus and the disciples to Jerusalem … to the power base of the Temple and the Roman world … to reveal God’s TRUE kingdom come on earth plans … to an end that no one expected, except Jesus. I was reminded in another reading that this is also known as Mothering Sunday in which pilgrims would return to the “mother church” for time of reunion, renewal, and feasting.

For me, Lighten Up is less about telling numerous bad church jokes and more about lightening our spiritual loads we carry, still. To come home to God and Jesus in the loving place desired from our very creation, and not in abject guilt, remorse, or shame. Repentance is simply turning round right again, or as the Prodigal of today’s Gospel, “But when he came to himself …” which could be translated as when he came to his right mind and was restored to sanity.

It seems a good thing that this is the day of our 174th Annual Meeting of St. Thomas’s Parish. A day for this family of God to come home, to refresh, renew, and be in relationship with one another again and with our loving creative God.

Let us come home, together.

See the sermon in its entirety.

The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.

Online giving at St. Thomas’s

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We are excited to announce that you can now give to St. Thomas’s online! Giving online is easy. You may set up automatic recurring contributions or make one-time contributions from anywhere you have access to the Internet. Simply follow these easy steps:

1. Visit the church website at

2. Follow the onscreen instructions to create an online profile to manage online gifts.

The site lets you use your bank account or credit cards. If you use a card, please consider electing to cover the 2.75% processing fee to make the most of your contribution to St. Thomas’s.

If you have questions, please send a note to Amy Keach at

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for March 6, 2016

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Dear friends of St. Thomas’s,

Please see the Carpenter’s Helper for this coming Sunday, March 6.


The 174th Annual Meeting of St. Thomas’s Parish

Sunday, March 6, 2016 is the 174th Annual Meeting of St. Thomas’s Parish. We will gather at 12:00 p.m. in the Great Hall with a time of fellowship, and a light lunch with refreshments. The meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. We have activities planned for the children so that parents may participate fully in the life and ministry of our parish.  Please join YOUR FAMILY of faith as we continue to grow in God’s grace and service as the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ! The autobiographies of the Vestry candidates can be found on the name tag table for your further consideration. Absentee ballots are available by request from our Senior Warden – D.J. Ferguson, Peoples Warden – Sue Houghton, Clerk of the Vestry – Jean Runge, and from Cami Seward in the church office.

DEATH PENALTY REPEAL – This Sunday, March 6 is the last Sunday we will be collecting handwritten letters (no envelopes necessary) in support of SB -40 in hopes of repealing the death penalty in Delaware. Our letters will be joined with the letters of multiple congregations and delivered to key representatives the week of March 7 by the Delaware Repeal Project. If you have questions please contact the church office 302-368-4644 or

COKESBURY VILLAGE SPRING SALE – The White Elephant Spring Sale at Cokesbury Village is Friday, March 4, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and Saturday March 5, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 726 Loveville Road, Hockessin, DE 19707. Affordable furniture, home goods, and “unique treasures” are offered to the public. If you have questions please contact Phyllis Rawling at 239-2689 or

Blessings to you this day through Christ,

Cami Seward <>

St. Thomas’s Parish

276 South College Ave.

Newark, Delaware 19711


Mystery to Majesty – Worship for Holy Week to Easter Day

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The journey with our Lord Jesus Christ from Passion Sunday through the Day of the Resurrection is the unfolding story of our Christian faith as the family of God to this day. You are invited to attend all or as many of these important worship experiences as you are able.

  • Sunday, March 20: Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
  • Liturgy of the Palms & Holy Eucharist at 8:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m.
  • Inclusive Language Liturgy & Holy Eucharist at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 21 through Thursday, March 24
  • Evening Prayer at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, March 24: Maundy Thursday
  • Soup & Bread Supper at 6:00 p.m. in the Great Hall
  • Holy Eucharist with Foot washing at 7:30 p.m., followed by Stripping of the Altar
  • Vigil in the Chapel of Repose until the Good Friday Liturgy
  • Compline at 10:00 p.m. Friday, March 25: Good Friday
  • Morning Prayer at 8:00 a.m.
  • Good Friday Liturgy with sermon at 12:00 noon
  • Stations of the Cross at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, March 26: Holy Saturday
  • The Great Vigil of Easter – Holy Eucharist with incense at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, March 27: Day of the Resurrection – Easter Day
  • Festal Celebration of Holy Eucharist at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • NO 5:30 p.m. service on Easter Day

Lenten Cantata

posted in: Lent, News | 0

A new, major choral work, The Stations of the Cross, by Marc F. Cheban will be given its first two performances in March. On Saturday, March 12 the performance will be at Christ United Methodist (401 High Street, Chestertown, MD) at 4:00 p.m. On Sunday, March 13 the performance will be at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church (276 South College Ave., Newark, DE), also at 4:00 p.m. The choirs from both churches will join for the performances.

Marc Cheban Marc F. Cheban is a noted Concert Organist, Composer, and Choral Director in the Mid-Atlantic area. Some of his organ works are published by Warner. For 35 years he has been an organist at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA. For many of those years he has also been a featured organist during the Christmas Season at Longwood. He has recorded many CDs of holiday music, and traditional organ music. Though Cheban has written a great many choral works over his career, this work is his most ambitious. The Stations of the Cross (also known as the Way of the Cross) is a series of fourteen meditations on the final hours of Jesus’ Passion. In this arrangement, each station begins with the singing of a verse of the Stabat Mater (a short plainsong chant associated with the Passion) by the entire assembly. The main musical component of each station varies among choral pieces, organ interpretations, and congregational hymns.

In its breadth of texture and emotion, the Stations of the Cross is a deeply spiritual work of great power, inspired over a ten-month period. Please plan to attend one of the performances and help Marc celebrate this major undertaking. Thank you.
A free will offering will be collected to support an organization founded by a good friend of Marc’s, Chuck Selvaggio. The organization – Neighbors to Nicaragua – helps the poorest areas of that country to build school buildings, provide much needed school supplies, clothing, etc. The organization has really developed good momentum; he and other volunteers have made many trips there over recent years and the Neighbors to Nicaragua website  is full of good pictures.