Adult Education Sunday beginning October 1st

posted in: Adult Education | 0

Come one and all, new and old! Starting on October 1st, the Adult Education group begins to explore the ‘People of the Way: Renewing Episcopal Identify’ by Dwight Szcheile. The discussion aims to explore the ways St. Thomas’s can move into the future beyond these walls as we share our story of God. The book can be easily purchased online via Amazon, B&N or any bookstore.

For any questions, please contact Ronnie Wilbur at or Larry Duggan at

We look forward to seeing you!

Newark Post: St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church celebrates 175 years

posted in: News | 0

“St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church has served the Newark community and University of Delaware students for 175 years — first in a Gothic-style church on South Main Street and later in a more modern building on South College Avenue.

On Sunday, congregants gathered for a special service celebrating that milestone anniversary. They also dedicated a new roadside sign intended to improve the church’s visibility to those passing by.

“The feeling is wonderful,” the Rev. Paul W. Gennett Jr. said.”

See the Newark Post article at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church celebrates 175 years.

Blessing of the Animals on St. Francis Day – Sunday, October 8

posted in: News | 0

“All Creatures Great and Small” – Blessings of the Animals on St. Francis Day — On Sunday, October 8 at 4:00 p.m. we remember and honor the life and ministry of Francis of Assisi, and  will celebrate this feast day with our annual Blessing of the Animals. We will offer a brief liturgy with prayers and blessings for your special furry, or slimy, family members OUTSIDE in the The Grove, weather permitting! If weather is NOT permitting, we’ll move into the Great Hall. On this day at our morning worship services we will bless all those special critters in our life of the stuffed animal variety. So bring your favorite friends to church with you for this special blessing!

Sermon for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost and 175th Anniversary of St. Thomas’s Parish

posted in: Sermons | 0

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ST. THOMAS’S!!! We celebrate 175 years young this year! You do not look a day over … I will take M. C. Hammer’s advice here and say “don’t touch this!” There are many touchstones of this day that are important to know, to remember, so that we may live them forward.

“Come to God, a living stone … precious in God’s sight, and  like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood … acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

See the The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.’s Sermon for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost and 175th Anniversary of St. Thomas’s Parish in its entirety.

See all sermons.

Ladies Night Out

posted in: Women's fellowship | 0

St. Thomas’s Ladies Night Out this month will be on Tuesday, September 26th beginning around 6:00 p.m.

Location: Olive Tree Cafe’

This is in the shopping center with Staples on Rt. 4 and near Marrows Road.

13 Chestnut Hill Plaza
East Chestnut Hill Road
Newark, DE 19713

A Message from the Vestry – September 19, 2017

posted in: News | 0

We welcome everyone to St. Thomas’s as we begin a new program year that will offer many opportunities for worship and service.

The first major event will be our 175th anniversary service on Sunday, September 24, at 9:30 am, followed by a celebratory coffee hour. We will give thanks for 175 years of worship and service in Newark, and commit ourselves to continuing to worship and serve God at St. Thomas’s. The event offers an opportunity to support the Newark Empowerment Center by providing go-bags of meals or financial donations.

On the first four Sundays of October, we will highlight our ministries at the coffee hours—a “Rolling Rally Day” format. Please visit the displays and consider how you might deepen your involvement at St. Thomas’s. Maybe it’s time to try something new this year!

We are now in the last two months of Father Paul’s service with us and are preparing for what will come next.

  • We are beginning to prepare for his final Sunday on October 29. His preferences are modest—the services that Sunday will be as they usually are, at his request. We will give thanks to him and Marilyn for their service, and send them off to their new life, at a gala coffee hour/reception after the 10:30 service. We will be accepting contributions for a gift for Father Paul and Marilyn. We will give Marilyn a nice gift, and the balance will be given to Father Paul and Marilyn to donate to charities of their choice, at their request. If you would like to write a letter or note to them, that would be welcome. The Transition Committee is coordinating the event, but participation and assistance from everyone will be welcomed. More information will be coming.
  • The Rev. Elizabeth Masterson, who heard the call to ordained ministry at St. Thomas’s, will be our supply priest in November and December. She will also do some pastoral care. Her first Sunday will be November 5. We look forward to having her with us for those two months.
  • The vestry is working towards hiring an interim rector, who will begin in early 2018. The vestry is also very close to engaging our consultant for the search process.
  • The Transition Committee has been appointed. The current members are Barbara Eldred, Debbie Grabowski, Cana Hartman, Donna Rotandi, and Justin Sausville. If anyone is interested in joining this committee, please contact me.
  • The Search Committee will be recruited this fall and begin their work early in 2018.

Worship and service—that’s what St. Thomas’s is all about as we seek to live into our mission statement: Nourished at Christ’s table and stepping forward in faith, we are instruments of God’s love, serving our parish family, the University of Delaware, our community, and God’s creation.

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

Connie Cooper

Senior Warden

Children’s Lights Choir practice tonight

posted in: Children's Ministries | 0

Just wanted to remind anyone that is interested that the first Lights practice is tonight at 6:15. Any of the church children from 3yrs thru 6th grade and friends thereof are welcome.

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 or 302-650-3849 about this ministry.

God Bless,

Mike Houghton

Sermon for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – September 10, 2017Year A

posted in: Sermons | 0

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law … Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”

There seems to be a widening chasm in our world and society that is simply becoming more evident and more insidious each passing day. We have The Law standing on the precipice of one mountain, projecting out its fear of the “other” in retribution and rejection. We have Love standing in the valley, inviting The Law to come and reason with it. The Law stands firm, imperious in its belief that it is right because it is written!

Sadly over history, this has been embraced by some as the WHOLE meaning of the Christian faith. Our purpose is to monitor and police society on its morality instead of being a companion and life bearer of Divine Love. If you have not read the  Nashville Statement produced by 150 evangelical Christian pastors, I encourage you to do so. You will read the meaning of what I am saying this day.

“What’s Love got to do with it” plaintively sang Tina Turner. Jesus says EVERYTHING! Love has EVERYTHING to do in our call to be lawfully loving.

See the entity of The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.’s Sermon for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – September 10, 2017Year A.

See all sermons.

Chapter 22, Page 175 – Forward in Faith, September 2017

posted in: Clergy Corner, News | 0

“The place God calls you to be is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC by Frederick Buechner

“Then Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you … You are witnesses of these things. “ Luke 24:44, 48

We return to those routines of life after our summer rest. Vacation memories collected and stored for another season. School supplies purchased and children back to early-to-bed-to-early-to-rise school days [children say “aww” to parents … parents say “yay” to everyone]. Our 20,000+ neighbors of the University of Delaware return as does the rhythm of our campus ministry gatherings. We also return to those rhythms of worship in this place. Yet this time will be different in a few ways.

One way is the BIG celebration of our 175 years of ministry and mission to Newark on Sunday, September 24. PLEASE NOTE we will gather for ONE service this day at 9:30 a.m. We will remember our past while looking to our present and future for God’s onward call in this place, in our time, as this people of the Jesus Movement. We will bless and commission ALL ministries and ministers that serve our parish family! We will admit, bless, and pray onward our 2017-2018 Confirmation Class and their leaders, Bob Rys and Teri Quinn Gray. We will worship with a liturgy crafted especially for this day, and we will gather outside to bless our new welcoming signage at the exit of our driveway. We share our deep gratitude for the leadership of the events of our 175th anniversary year – Tom Fairchild, Laura Greene, and Nicole Cebula. We will remember … commit … bless … now and onward, together.

The other way is our coming closer to my taking leave as your companion in ministry and rector these nine years on October 31. As many have heard me say, I believe I have done, with your help and God’s help, the work and ministry I can in this time and chapter of your lives. The S.W.E.E.P.S. ministries are in place for future service. The finances are healthier for the near-term, while the work of a living stewardship is in the hands of the Vestry servant leaders. The property is in better structural condition, and the Grove is YOURS for the future. I have been blessed and am grateful to have completed these things with you and God in this time, in this place.

At the August 19th meeting of the Vestry, I provided a Covenant of Taking Leave from St. Thomas’s. This covenant is simply, in writing, a clear understanding of our life and relationship in the next pages and chapter of St. Thomas’s Parish. Here are the important points for the understanding of all in our parish family:

  • My resignation signifies that all my priestly, pastoral, liturgical, and administrative duties for the parish are completed. As St. Paul writes to his beloved Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
  • This completion is committed to the transition period before the next rector is called. St. Thomas’s needs time and space between rectors to discover who you are now, where God is calling you onward, and what type of leadership gifts are needed onward for mutual ministry.
  • I will not officiate or assist at any liturgical function in the parish [wedding, baptism, burial office] for at least one year. I may wish to attend a function as a member of the congregation only, and then with understanding of the Wardens, Vestry, and current transition minister. I will continue to exercise my priestly ministry at other parishes as invited at some point, but for a season I am looking forward to being a “pew sitter” with Marilyn.
  • The Rector Discretionary Fund will be returned to the Wardens and Treasurer of the parish to be used by appointed lay representatives as needed.
  • The keys to the church facility will be returned, and clearly marked, for use by future priests. I expect I will be the ONLY person in Newark not to have a key to St. Thomas’s!

This covenant simply gives appropriate space for you to move forward to Chapter 23 in this transitioning time, and gives Marilyn and I appropriate space as we take our steps into this next volume of our life and work together. As Frederick Buechner reminds me, the root of our word goodbye emerges from the 13th century Middle English expression when friends take leave from one another – God be with you!

God be with you, dear sisters and brothers of this place, in this time … God be with you!

With gratefulness always, your servant in Christ

Fr. Paul+


Youth Confirmation 2017-18

posted in: Confirmation | 0

We are making plans for the 2018 Confirmation Class and invite all youth in 7 – 8th grade (or at least 12 years of age) to join us on a spirit-filled journey centered around worship, learning, service, witness and fellowship. There will be loads of dialogue, laughter and fun, too! Weekly classes are held on Sundays at 9 a.m. from Sep to May, and will include a pilgrimage to The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

Stop by this Sunday, September 10th at 9:15 a.m. in the Great Hall to learn more and register for the 2018 Confirmation Class.

Give us a call or drop a note with any questions.

In Service,

Teri Quinn Gray ( and Bob Rys (

1 2 3 4 5 37