175th Anniversary history research: In honor of St. Thomas’s 175th anniversary, we will be continuing the research into the parish’s history that we began in 2015. This will include organizing the parish archives, researching in various sources, and sharing the information with the parish and the larger world. All that is required is an inquiring mind and a commitment to accuracy. An organizational meeting will be held on Saturday, January 28, at 9:30 a.m. in the Parlor. If you’re interested or have questions, contact Connie Cooper at 302-731-7595 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessings in Grace to all in this family of faith!
I have been emerging from what feels like a very bad and persistent hangover from a one night bender, something I have not felt this palpably in over 19 years. Holding my feelings in prayer, and in the conversations with so many who bear your own feelings like this emerging less from who won or did not win the elections this Tuesday past but more from what has happened to us as a nation, as human beings one to another, in this land. A philosopher once wrote about the early emerging nation called the United States of America that “What makes America great is that it is GOOD. When it ceases to be good, it will cease to be great.”
What has emerged from my prayerful bearing of this “hangover” is a pastoral letter I have attached, sharing my journey and given to you as it may be of help, if any. As noted in the latter part of the letter, I will be present for holy listening and speaking with one another for anyone who desires on Sunday, November 13 in the seating circle in the Great Hall between and after the morning services, and will arrive around 4 p.m. for the 5:30 p.m. service this day.
This is not a commentary, it is my best prayerful response, broken and redeemed as I am. My desire is that we not spiral down into the ugly diatribe swirling around us, but as people of Love, be with one another, for one another, in Christ. May this be so. See this Pastoral Letter.
Grateful to all, always, in peace,
Fr. Paul Gennett, Jr.+
Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) and Lutheran Campus Ministry (LCM) students went on a hayride and enjoyed a bon fire at Milburn Orchards with their St. Thomas’s family! Hot dogs and s’mores, apple cider and water were enjoyed around the bon fire. This fellowship activity was recommended by our Young Adult and Campus Ministry (YACM) collaborative “Together at the Table” grant and was hosted by us – Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM)!
On Sun., Oct.. 9, 2016, Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) students joined Presbyterian Campus Ministry students at their church on Main Street to make snacks and toys for service dogs. The Presbyterians suggested this service activity for our Young Adult and Campus Ministry (YACM) collaborative “Together at the Table” grant for which the student ministries are collaborating.
Last Sun., Oct. 23, 2016, the Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) went apple picking at Milburn Orchards. after the 10:30 a.m. service. On Wed., Oct. 26, 2016 during the weekly ECM get together time, they made pies from the apples they had picked. Carla deftly operated the apple corer / spiral slicer and Sarah cut the apples into bite size pieces. Colleen was the spice mix master and Alex was the crust man. Sally baked the pies while the ECM students participated in Evening Prayer. The students and guest extraordinaire Organist Marc Cheban enjoyed dinner together and pies for dessert! A lovely time was had by all.
Each year, in the Fall and Spring terms, we set aside one Sunday to recognize our Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) program and the students involved in leadership and service. This Fall, our ECM Sunday is Sunday, November 13, and on this day the students will serve as greeters, ushers, lectors, fellowship hosts, and preacher. This Fall, Colleen Murray will be our preacher at the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. worship. Colleen has grown up amongst us over her 19 years, and it is a great grace to hear God’s word and work through her. Additionally, we are delighted to welcome home the Reverend Ann Urinoski as our guest celebrant at both services! Please join us in the grace we have to be such a vital partner with our university in this important way.
Since the founding in 1842 of St. Thomas’s Parish, Newark, one principal focus has been our ministering to the faculty and students of the University of Delaware. Moving to our current location on South College Avenue in 1957, we have partnered with the diocese in supporting a Chaplain to this day. The Episcopal Campus Ministry [ECM] has been concerned about fellow students who are food insecure and cannot provide ample nutrition for themselves while paying for tuition, books, and other needs. The ECM students unanimously decided to establish a Food Pantry in the Fall of 2015. Bishop Wright donated the first gift in support to purchase food. Additional food has been donated through efforts of the ECM with the parishioners of St. Thomas’s. The pantry is open and food distributed every Wednesday during the school year from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
This summer the Episcopal Campus Ministry submitted a proposal to the Young Adult Campus Ministry in collaboration with the Lutherans and Presbyterians Campus Ministries to share worship, fellowship and service with a focus on issues of food insecurity. We were blessed to be a recipient, and our program “Together at the Table” begins in September 2016 with a culminating Oxfam American Hunger banquet in the Spring 2017. This is an interactive event between students, the parish, and university officials that brings hunger and poverty issues to life with the opportunity to serve these needs collaboratively and intentionally.
For several years the Episcopal (ECM), Lutheran, (LCM) and Presbyterian (PCM) Campus Ministries have shared a variety of experiences, including “Ashes to Go” on the main campus, Free Cookie Mondays in the Perkins Student Center, the Midnight Pancake program for students during exams, and making fleece blankets and distributing them to children in foster care.
The University of Delaware, through the Dean of Students office and faculty in Nutrition and Agriculture programs, are very interesting in collaborating with us to reach and support the many students who will benefit from the Campus Pantry. It is also possible, as the response grows in usage by students, that a partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware may become a supportive reality.
Grateful always, in peace,
Fr. Paul Gennett, Jr.+
Rector, St. Thomas’s Parish, Newark
As a follow up to our earlier story “Gift for Ann Urinowski“, we wanted to share a picture of Ann in her stole – St. Thomas’s gift to her to celebrate her ordination.
St. Thomas’s is still accepting contributions toward the stole so you can still be part of our celebration. St. Thomas’s online giving site has been updated with an account where you can give specifically to toward the stole. Or, you may give by cash or check.
We received fantastic news regarding our Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) at St. Thomas’s Parish. ECM has been awarded a special program grant from the Episcopal Church. See the July 6, 2016 announcement from the Episcopal Church. “These grants help the Episcopal Church live into an expanding understanding of what it means to be in ministry with young adults on and off college campuses,” said the Rev. Shannon Kelly, Episcopal Church Missioner of Young Adult and Campus Ministries.
The Rt. Rev. Wayne P. Wright, Episcopal Bishop of Delaware, Shared this good news in his July 20 weekly message saying “The grant will support an ecumenical feeding program on the University of Newark’s campus. Under the leadership of Deacon Cecily Sawyer Harmon members of our campus ministry identified the existing need. They developed a plan to address it in partnership with the Lutheran campus ministry. The grant will make this new outreach ministry possible. It is also an important recognition of the good work being done by our ECM.”
See more information, see Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) or contact the Reverend Deacon Cecily Sawyer-Harmon at St. Thomas’s via the Parish Office at (302) 368-4644 or use the Contact Us form on St. Thomas’s web site.