Communion at the Curb

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Dear friends,

As Anglicans, we have a deep attachment to the sacraments.  It has been a source of great sadness that so many in our parish community have not been able to receive the Eucharist since the COVID pandemic began.  It has not been possible for all of us to gather in the church, and it was and is impractical (and not advisable for public health reasons) to bring the sacrament to everyone individually at his or her home.  But after conferring with parishioners with liturgical and medical expertise, I am pleased to have another option to offer.

On Sundays, the Eucharist will be available in front of the church portico from 10:00 a.m. (or the end of the 9:00 service) until 11:00 a.m. The formalities will be simple – we will read the confession, I will offer absolution, and we will read the Lord’s Prayer (from a card to be provided), and then the Host will be offered as we do presently in church – in small plastic cups.  Masks and hand sanitizer will be in use.  The normal assumption will be that those coming to receive the Eucharist will have attended the 9:00 a.m. service virtually, but there won’t be a quiz about the sermon!

I look forward to seeing many more of you in person!

Peace and be well
Howie+
The Reverend Dr. Howell C. Sasser, Jr., Rector

Regathering – Again

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Dear friends,

As you may have seen in The Net (the weekly e-newsletter from the Diocese), the Bishop decided last week that public health conditions now permit the resumption of in-person worship in the churches under his jurisdiction.  This comes with a few caveats.  First, the same precautions that were observed in the last regathering (for us, the period from September to mid-December) will still be in place.  Second, efforts to make worship available to those who cannot attend in person will be continued.  And third, each congregation’s leadership will decide if and when regathering is the right choice in its particular context.  

The Vestry and clergy of St. Thomas’s met last Sunday and decided to resume in-person worship this coming weekend.  With Bruce Finnie’s funeral on Saturday and church on Sunday, this will be a “soft opening,” as we pick up the various threads of what worked well for us in the fall.  

For the foreseeable future, we will continue to have one Sunday service at 9:00 AM.  We will also continue to use SignUp Genius (our on-line sign-up system) to have an idea of how many people to expect and to make sure we do not exceed a safe number.  Other precautions, like the sign-in sheet and abundant hand sanitizer, will still be in use too.
And even as we resume services with more people in the room, we remain committed to making every service of public worship available via YouTube or Zoom.  “Communion at the Curb” will also continue.  We are determined to make sure everyone feels as present and prayerful as possible as we move – God-willing – toward the post-COVID future.

If you have questions or concerns about any of this, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the parish’s leadership. I am grateful for your faithfulness and dedication and patience through the past year. You are in my prayers and I hope St. Thomas’s will remain in yours.

Peace and be well
Howie+
The Reverend Dr. Howell C. Sasser, Jr., Rector

Worship service for February 28, 2021

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Second Sunday in LentHello faith family!  February 28, 2021 is the First Sunday in Lent. We will be streaming LIVE from St. Thomas’s at 9 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. on our YouTube channel. Here is the service program and the service program in large print for Sunday morning worship. At 5 p.m. on every Sunday in Lent, there will be evening prayers on our YouTube channel. 

Starting this Sunday, services will be open to in-person worship with all precautions in place, and with sign-ups.  However, please do not feel pressure to return until you are ready; all services will still be available on YouTube.  Please do not hesitate to contact the office or Fr. Howie with any questions or concerns about these options.

If you have anything to add to the Parish calendar or the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter, please email the office at StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com.

To see all events or news, visit our website, check FaceBook, or check out the posted events on the board next to the name tag station. Recent Newsletters, Sermons, or Announcements are also available.

Regardless of whether we are together in-person or virtually, we are connected by the Holy Spirit:  Always together; never apart…maybe in distance, but never in heart.

I look forward to worshiping together on Sunday! 

Kind Regards,
Cana Hartman, Parish Administrator
StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com or (302) 368-4644

Pilgrimage Windows

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Life is a journey for every human being, but for believers of all stripes it is also a pilgrimage with a Purpose and a destination. Christians are called to a life of love and service here on earth, with the Hope of salvation in the next life.

On the north wall or left side of the nave of St. Thomas’s Parish is a continuous glass bank of unique stained-glass windows at eye level, vividly reminding us not only that we are all sojourners, but also that we are not at all alone. Indeed, among this great “crowd of witnesses” are traditional saints whom we can venerate but often prefer to think we cannot possibly emulate, but also less heroic women and men who can inspire and guide us along our own path.

Enjoy the Pilgrimage Windows online.

See the windows in person by visiting the north wall or left side of the nave at St. Thomas’s Parish at 276 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19711. Since the procession and the inscription move from left to right (as one faces the windows) and it is suggested that the viewer also proceed this way. Each of the five groups is chronologically ordered, moving from the recent to the ancient. As one moves from one bay to the next, therefore, one will find one self propelled from Apostolic to modern times.

Booklet contributors:
Text by Lawrence G. Duggan, Professor of History, University of Delaware. Member of St. Thomas’s Parish (1982-), Head of the Liturgy Guild (2003-), and Grand High Thurifer.
Photos by Robert Gilley, Member of St. Thomas’s Parish (1996-)
Graphic Design and Layout by Jason J. Malago

Community Blood Drive March 10, 2021

posted in: Outreach, Service | 0

Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 beginning at 1 p.m.
Price: Free
Open to the public but must register.

ALL are Welcome to BE A FIRST RESPONDER! Your one donation can save three lives! Every drop counts.
Call 1.888.8.BLOOD.8 or register online.

To care for the health and safety of our community, donations are by appointment, social distancing will be observed, and masks are required.

This event is sponsored by St. Thomas’s Episcopal Parish, Newark, Delaware and Blood Bank of Delmarva.

Questions? Call or write St. Thomas’s Parish at:
Cana Hartman, Parish Administrator
StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com or (302) 368-4644

Wednesday noon Intercessory service cancelled this week

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The Intercessory Prayers with Holy Eucharist is cancelled on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

There will be a Evening Compline Prayers with Deacon Cecily at 7 p.m. and the regular 9 a.m. worship service this Sunday, February 28, 2021 with Walk/Drive Through Communion and Prayers at 10 a.m. plus the additional 5 p.m. Sunday service of Lenten prayers.

Also, by now you should have received in the mail, your ballot for this year’s annual meeting.  Please send it back as soon as you can, or you may stop in the building Monday-Thursday between 9 a.m.-noon to drop it in the ballot box in the lobby.  If you have not received your ballot in the mail and are concerned, please contact the office.  It is important that all eligible voters be able to make their voice heard!

Kind Regards,
Cana Hartman, Parish Administrator
StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com or (302) 368-4644

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for February 21, 2021

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Happy Friday!  See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for February 21, 2021.  In it you will find a reminder to SAVE THE DATE FOR THE ANNUAL MEETING on Sunday, March 21, 2021 via Zoom at 11 a.m., and info about Fr. Bill’s Lenten Adult Education offering.  And, a new “Eye Spy” where we will take a look at a feature within our church building; I believe this will be especially nice to see as we are not able to spend as much time as typical in the building right now. Do you have a favorite vignette you’d like to see and learn more about?

  • Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 9 a.m.: Holy Eucharist, rite II with music, live on YouTube
  • Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 10-11 a.m.: *No drive through communion this week*
  • Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.: week 3 of adult education 3-week series, Spirituality in the Lord of the Rings, live via Zoom
  • Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 5 p.m.: Lenten evening prayer, live on YouTube
  • Wednesday at noon: Intercessory Prayers with Holy Eucharist, live on YouTube
  • Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 11 a.m.: Lenten Adult Education study of Jon Mechams, “The Hope of Glory”, considering the last words of Jesus on the cross, lead by Fr Bill.  email the office for a Zoom invitation.
  • Thursday at 7 p.m.: Evening Compline Prayers with Deacon Cecily, live via Zoom with leaflet
  • Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 9 a.m.: Holy Eucharist, rite II with music, live on YouTube
  • Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 10-11 a.m.: Walk/Drive Through Communion and Prayers, in-person with a mask please

You will receive an emailed invitation to all the above events except Fr. Bill’s study (you have to email a request for that one) and their accompanying leaflets.  As always, there are copies available to be mailed, so please let me know if you’d like a paper copy. 

The new Forward Day by Days are available.  Please feel free to stop into the lobby for a copy, or let me know if you’d like one mailed out to you!  There are plenty in both large and small print.

If you have anything to add to the Parish calendar or the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter, please email the office at StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com.

To see all events or news, visit our website, check FaceBook, or check out the posted events on the board next to the name tag station. Recent Newsletters, Sermons, or Announcements are also available.

Kind Regards,
Cana Hartman, Parish Administrator
StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com or (302) 368-4644

Worship service for February 21, 2021

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First Sunday in LentHello faith family! February 21, 2021 is the First Sunday in Lent. We will be streaming LIVE from St. Thomas’s at 9 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. on our YouTube channel. Here is the service program and the service program in large print for Sunday morning worship. At 5 p.m. on every Sunday in Lent, there will be evening prayers on our YouTube channel. 

There will be no drive through Communion this Sunday.  It will resume next week on February 28, 2021.

Please see our parish prayer list. These names are read aloud and prayed for each Wednesday at the service of intercessory prayer, and sharing this list each week in the Sunday leaflet gives us all the opportunity to participate.  Please take a moment to look over this list and send me any updates or additions.

This Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 10:30 a.m., week 3 of adult education 3-week series, Spirituality in the Lord of the Rings, live via Zoom (for real this time)  by Mark Eddy Smith.  Please contact Rue, Larry, or the office with any questions.  Reading the book is not a requirement, and you can participate in one or all of the sessions.

At this time, all services and gatherings have been moved to online.  Please do not hesitate to contact the office or Fr. Howie with any questions or concerns about the decision to move back to online worship. Regardless of whether we are together in-person or virtually, we are connected by the Holy Spirit:  Always together; never apart…maybe in distance, but never in heart.

If you have anything to add to the Parish calendar or the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter, please email the office at StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com.

To see all events or news, visit our website, check FaceBook, or check out the posted events on the board next to the name tag station. Recent Newsletters, Sermons, or Announcements are also available.

I look forward to worshiping together on Sunday! 

Kind Regards,
Cana Hartman, Parish Administrator
StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com or (302) 368-4644

Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday 2021

posted in: Lent | 0

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 is Shrove Tuesday.  It is a day to finalize one’s Lenten sacrifice, as well as, eat pancakes and other sweets.  I know I for one am looking forward to celebrating this feast with my faith family next year – oh what a sweet sweet celebration it will be!  

But, for 2021, we will be eating pancakes at home and enjoying scenes from New Orleans’ Yardi Gras!  Because they were not able to hold their annual parade with decadent floats, many New Orleans residents have decorated their yards in the style of floats.  The colorful and over the top decorations are not only fun to view and a boost to morale, but it is a much needed support to the hundreds of artists whose livelihoods revolve around this celebration that is famous around the world.  If you search for “Yardi Gras 2021,” you can see this year’s festivities.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021 is Ash Wednesday.  There will be three opportunities for you to join in prayer to begin this season of Lent: 7 a.m., noon, and 7 p.m. Here are service leaflets: 7 a.m. leaflet or Noon and 7 p.m. leaflet to accompany the services.  There are a few printed service leaflets in the lobby available to pick up.


You will receive invitation emails to all three services tomorrow.  The YouTube link is the same as always.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

Kind Regards,
Cana Hartman, Parish Administrator
StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com or (302) 368-4644

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for February 14, 2021

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See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for February 14, 2021.  In it you will find a reminder to SAVE THE DATE FOR THE ANNUAL MEETING on Sunday, March 21, 2021 via Zoom at 11 a.m., and info about Fr. Bill’s Lenten Adult Education offeringAnd, I’m excited to kick off the new Carpenter’s Helper newsletter segment, “Eye Spy” where we will take a look at a feature within our church building; I believe this will be especially nice to see as we are not able to spend as much time as typical in the building right now. Do you have a favorite vignette you’d like to see and learn more about?

Check out the Diocese of Delaware’s weekly publication The Net.  This week you can find an article written by one of our faith family, Emily Bange, with her thoughts on Ash Wednesday.

You will receive an emailed invitation to all the above events except Fr Bill’s study (you have to email a request for that one), and their accompanying leaflets.  As always, there are copies available to be mailed, so please let me know if you’d like a paper copy. 

The new Forward Day by Days are available.  Please feel free to stop into the lobby for a copy, or let me know if you’d like one mailed out to you!  There are plenty in both large and small print.

If you have anything to add to the Parish calendar or the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter, please email the office at StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com.

To see all events or news, visit our website, check FaceBook, or check out the posted events on the board next to the name tag station. Recent Newsletters, Sermons, or Announcements are also available.

Kind Regards,
Cana Hartman, Parish Administrator
StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com or (302) 368-4644