Adult Education – A Visit to Middle Earth Re-Scheduled

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See original announcement and update below.

Well, dear friends, last Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, we tried to have the first class on “Tolkien’s Ordinary Virtues”, but attendance was very low. After a 15-minute wait, we decided to postpone the beginning. I’m going to start over this coming Sunday.

The new dates will be January 17th, January 31st, and February 2nd, 2021, all at 10:30 a.m.  Novel Theology will be January 24, 2021. 

Please read the Introduction and Parts 1 and 2 prior to Sunday, January 17, 2021 (they’re a quick read).

The info on the book is: “Tolkien’s Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings” by Mark Eddy Smith.

Stay well; I’ll hope to see you in Middle Earth!

Rue Manning
Co-chair Adult Education

Adult Education – A Visit to Middle Earth

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Greetings, Friends!

See an UPDATE to this article.

On January 10th, 17th, and 31st, 2021, our Adult Education offering will be the exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien’s use of spiritual themes in his great trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings”. 

Have you ever thought of wonder, humility, or imagination as virtues? How about mirth?  Or perseverance?  Mark Eddy Smith’s “Tolkien’s Ordinary Virtues” describes those, as well as many others, using the attitudes and actions of the trilogy’s characters as examples.  Mr. Smith’s writing is straightforward and easy to read, but the themes are deep, encouraging us to re-examine our own attitudes and actions from a point of view possibly not considered before.

If you have the book, or can get it by Sunday, January 10, 2021, please read from the Introduction through Part 2. We will attempt to cover two parts during each of the three weeks of class.

“Tolkien’s Ordinary Virtues, An Explorations of Spiritual Themes of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings” by Mark Eddy Smith is available from Amazon, and, I would guess, from other booksellers as well.

A Zoom link will be sent out a bit later in the week, and will open at about 10:15 AM on Sunday.  We hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us for an enjoyable, satisfying, and perhaps enlightening excursion through Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

See you Sunday!
Rue Manning, Co-chair, Adult Education

Spiritual, learning opportunity: “The Saint John’s Bible Series”

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For five weeks in June, pray with the illuminated manuscript of The Saint John’s Bible, through a collaboration with The Urban Well at Saint James; Rev. Jim Strader-Sasser, Priest-in-Charge at Christ Memorial Episcopal Church in Danville, PA and The Rev. Dr. Howell Sasser, Rector at St. Thomas’s.

The series is free. You must register to receive the Zoom invitation. “The Saint John’s Bible Series” series will be held on five Tuesday evenings beginning at 7 p.m., starting tomorrow Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Each session will be about 75 minutes and will include learning, guided viewing of art, and contemplative worship. 

“I have contributed to the content, along with others who are much smarter than I am!  And best of all, it’s free!”, says Fr. Howie.  To register, anyone can go to and click on the spiritual growth tab. And, if they have any questions, they can contact Fr. Howie at or the Parish Administrator at   

Kind Regards,
Cana Hartman, Parish Administrator

Novel Theology on May 17, 2020

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Greetings friends.  You are invited to the May meeting of St Thomas’s Novel Theology group.  This month, the meeting will be held via Zoom on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 10:15 a.m.   The novel titled Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline will be discussed.  Reading this novel is not required to participate in the discussion.  However, do note that this book is available via download from the public library.

Please email the Parish Office at if you are interested in attending and you will be emailed the Zoom link.

Christian Education for Winter / Spring 2020

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The Christian life is a source of endless fascination. Just when we think we have seen and heard everything it has to offer, something new turns up. Committing to a life of learning and growing in the faith is an excellent way to make sure there is always enough fuel in the spiritual tank.

Ask, Seek, Knock from Matthew 7:7-8
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

All events are open to the public and are held at St. Thomas’s Parish, 276 S. College Ave., Newark Delaware 19711. See our web site at for more information and updates. Questions? Call the Parish Office at (302) 369-4644,

Lecture Series

An Absurdly Short History of Christianity
Six-Week Series on February 16 and 23 & March 1, 8, 15, 22, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.

Who invented church? How did we go from a few fishermen to billions of faithful people? And, what relevance can the church have in a time when belief seems to have become a dirty word? In six sessions, we will follow the development of the Christian Movement from the time of the Apostles to the Electronic Age.

Along the way, there will be a few heretics and councils, but we will also talk about how our past shapes us and what we believe. Come along for new insights on familiar stories and maybe some new information too.

Guest Lecturer at noon

Prayer Beads: Touching Holiness on February 9, 2020

Most of us know about rosaries and how they are used in prayer, but there are many practices (in many faiths!) that incorporate beads as a way to connect the spiritual with the physical. This session will suggest a few prayer techniques you might try, but will also be hands-on. Beads and stringing materials will be provided and a knowledgeable beader will be on hand to guide us in making our own aids to prayer.

Faith and Fear: A Primer on Sentencing Reform on March, 29, 2020

Mandatory minimum sentences, “three strikes” laws, and the war on drugs. These and other social forces have combined to fill our prisons beyond their intended capacities. These are places that most faithful people rarely see of even think about. And yet our faith calls us to a special concern for prisoners. This session will give us an update on current conditions and future possibilities.

Novel Theology 2020 Spring schedule updated

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Novel Theology is a lively discussion group that meets at 9:15 a.m. in the Classroom. Meetings are generally the second Sunday, September through May. The April 2020 Novel Theology date falls on Easter and the May 2020 date falls on Mother’s Day so those two months will meet on the third Sunday. The January 2020 date has been moved to January 19, 2020, due to a parish meeting scheduled on January 12, 2020.

The reading list for the 2019-20 is:
Sept. 8, 2019 – The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan
Oct. 13 , 2019 – Love Heals by Becca Stevens
Nov. 10 , 2019 – The Walk by Richard Paul Evans
Dec. 8 , 2019 – Gabriel’s Angel by Nora Roberts
Jan. 19, 2020 – An Irish Country Love Story by Patrick Taylor
Feb. 9, 2020 – Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans
March 8, 2020 – Miracle at St. Andrews by James Patterson & Peter de Jonge
April 19, 2020 – Lamb by Christopher Moore
May 17, 2020 – Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Please join us! Reading the book is not a requirement. For more information, contact Susan Hechter at

Adult Education on Dec. 22 and 29, 2019

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Dear Friends,
       Adult Ed will be meeting neither Sunday, Dec. 22nd nor on the 29, 2019. On Jan. 5, we will begin our considered discussion of, and reflections on, the first chapter of Robin DiAngelo’s book, White Fragility. Please join us then, and in the interim have a blessed Christmas and  joyous new year.
Pax,Ronnie wilbur, Rue Manning, and Larry Duggan

Adult Education on Sunday, December 1, 2019

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Dear Friends,
        In adult education tomorrow, we will begin reading and talking about an important new book, Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, a dense and meaty short book about something that involves us all. WWJS (What would Jesus say)? “Read it, and weep!” We gather in the parlor at 9:15 a.m., but latecomers are always, always welcome. At 6 p.m. tomorrow evening, we will begin a new, regular prayer service, which hopefully will become a regular service on Sunday evenings (and perhaps at other times as well). We all have people and causes to pray for, and it is good, very good, to develop the regular habit of praying for them. We rarely know whether our prayers seem to do “any good” for others; but what has been long known and appreciated is that the act of regular prayer for others does change us, and always for the better.  Think about that–and act on it.
Pax,Larry Duggan

Coffee Hour Series Begins on Sunday, Sep. 22, 2019 at noon

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Quaker Spirituality by Dr. Annemarie Carr

The Religious Society of Friends (also known as the Quakers) has a rich history of encouraging personal faith and engagement with the world. Professor Annemarie Carr, a scholar and practicing Quaker, will speak about her own personal experiences and the gifts that the Friends Movement offers to Christians of every denomination.

ALL are welcome- bring a friend!