2017 – 2018 Advent and Christmas Worship

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The angel came to Mary and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 

Luke 1: 28-31

 

To the people of St. Thomas’s Parish,

Greetings to you and your family as once again the year has come round to Advent and Christmas. Just as Mary was perplexed by what it might mean when the angel Gabriel visited her, we wonder, too. We wonder at God’s love in sending us His only son, who entered the world just as all of us do, as a baby. It’s beyond human understanding—so we wonder, and we celebrate and give thanks. We know that God has shown favor to us.

At St. Thomas’s, 2017 has given us much to reflect upon and be thankful for. We celebrated 175 years of mission and ministry to Newark and the University of Delaware with worship, fellowship, and service, thanks to the leadership of the 175th Anniversary Committee. Our Episcopal Campus Ministry has continued, with strong support and commitment from the University of Delaware, to develop its Blue Hen Bounty program, which provides food to students in need. We also said farewell, with love and gratitude, to the Rev. Paul W. Gennett, Jr., who concluded nine years of mutual ministry with us at the end of October. God has indeed been with us for 175 years, and we trust that God’s presence will continue.

In our diocese, we have just elected the Rt. Rev. Kevin Brown to be our next bishop. We’re wondering what his ministry might mean for St. Thomas’s, for all Episcopalians in Delaware, and for our church’s role in the community. Again, we believe that God’s favor will be with our new bishop and our diocese.

But as we wonder about all of these things, just as Mary wondered at the visit from the angel, we aren’t always sure what they mean for us, for our church, for our world. And we’re not always sure about God’s favor—how can we experience it or know it? One way to find God’s love is by participating in the regular and special services that will be offered at St. Thomas’s during the Advent and Christmas seasons—a listing of those services is enclosed with this letter. Your presence, in wonder, celebration, and thanksgiving, will enrich our parish family’s observance of this holy season.

We also give thanks for the wonderful generosity of the people of St. Thomas’s, who unsparingly give their time, talents, and treasure to fulfill our mission and vision of a community “nourished at Christ’s table and stepping forward in faith” as “instruments of God’s love, serving our parish family, the University of Delaware, our community, and God’s creation.”  Every contribution, whatever it may be, is a reflection of God’s grace to us. We invite you to prayerfully consider making a special offering this season to support our continuing mission and ministry, using the envelope enclosed with this letter.

May god bless you and your family at Christmas and in the New Year. We look forward to your presence and participation at St. Thomas’s in 2018.

In the peace and love of Christ,

Connie Cooper, Senior Warden
The Rev. Deacon Cecily Sawyer Harmon, Episcopal Campus Minister

2017 Annual Christmas Bazaar Update

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Join us for our 2017 Annual Christmas Bazaar at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Parish, 276 South College Ave., Newark, DE on

Friday, December 1 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, December 2 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, December 4 after the 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. services

We will be selling unique holiday crafts – many under $10, fresh baked goods, cookie trays, quarts of homemade soups, St. Thomas’s t-shirts and hoodies, second-hand Christmas decorations, and exclusive new items.

Breakfast buffet on Saturday 9 – 10:30 a.m. (See breakfast details.)

Lunch available for purchase from 11 – 1 , Fri. & Sat.

All proceeds go to St. Thomas’s Outreach Ministries

Please share our 2017 Annual Christmas Bazaar flyer! Hope to see you at the bazaar.

Christmas Worship Schedule

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I pray you will join us for worship throughout the Christmastide events and that God will brighten your heart and soul to continue in the days to come in worship, fellowship, and service with our parish family. See St. Thomas’s schedule of worship for this holy season.

A most blessed Christmas season to you and your family. Fr. Paul+

Advent Lessons and Carols – Sunday, December 11

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Come and enjoy our ceremony of Advent Lessons and Carols on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. The choir and congregation will participate by hearing Bible passages that tell about the coming of Christ. All will sing carols and the choir has prepared some anthems that further enhance the experience. It’s a quiet hour in which you can anticipate the arrival of our Savior. Refreshments will be served afterward.

Donate a turkey and/or canned goods

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The Newark Area Welfare Committee’s Holiday Food Box Program requests your help in acquiring frozen turkeys and/or non-perishable food for the estimated 350+ food boxes we expect to assemble for local families in need this season. We hope the centerpiece of each basket filled with canned goods and other non-perishable food will be a 10-15 lb. frozen turkey.

You may store the non-perishable food items and/or frozen turkey in your home or contact the person listed below who will gladly arrange storage for you.

If you would like to participate by donating a turkey, canned goods and/or to help with SORTING, ASSEMBLING, or ASSISTING with PICKUP at First Presbyterian Church of Newark, please fill out the sign-up sheet and return it to Laura Greene or call Laura at 302-737-5455.

If you purchase and store a turkey, please bring it to First Presbyterian Church of Newark, 292 West Main Street, Newark between 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Saturday, December 17th.

If you are collecting non-perishable food for us, please deliver it to the church listed above by 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 15th or simply contact the person above and we will gladly pick it up.

If you would like to volunteer help sorting, assembling or assisting with pick up, please volunteer for ONE TIME SLOT ONLY. We have numerous volunteers and would like everyone to be able to help.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to this project, please mail it to: Newark Area Welfare Committee, P.O. Box 951,Newark, DE 19715-0951.

You may also donate online at our secure website newarkareawelfare.org.

Thank you for your kind consideration and generous help.

Be a Christmas Angel – help area families

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Have you always wanted to be one of those generous anonymous people who do wonderful things for people they’ve never met? Here’s your chance. St. Thomas’s will help several area families have a good Christmas by providing gifts for them. Look for the Angel Tree. Take a tag or two or three. KEEP THE TAG. Purchase the items and wrap them. Please put the tag with the gift so that we can get the right gifts to the right people. Please bring your gifts to the church by Sunday, December 18. It’s that easy and our neighbors will appreciate your generosity. If you have any questions, contact Cami Seward at the church office or Connie Cooper at 302–731-7595 or cjcooper15@verizon.net.

Episcopal Relief and Development – Gifts for Life

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On the name tag table are Gifts for Life catalogs. Instead of giving another sweater or tie to the person who needs nothing, consider honoring your loved ones with gifts to those in need. This offers the opportunity to give something that keeps giving all year round!

A gift card is sent to explain the gift you have chosen. Some of your recipients may adopt the idea as their own tradition. Please pick up a catalog or see Sister Jackie if you have questions. You can also do this by phone at 1-855-312-HEAL or on line at www.episcopalrelief.org/giftsforlife.
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Annual Christmas Bazaar – this weekend!

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Visit us at our Annual Christmas Bazaar!

Friday, December 2 from 10-5 p.m
Saturday, December 3 from 9-5 p.m.
Sunday, December 4 after the 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. services

We will be selling crafts, fresh baked goods, cookie trays, quarts of homemade soups, St. Thomas’s t-shirts and hoodies, second-hand Christmas decorations, and exclusive new items!

Oh, and Santa will visit on Saturday from 9:00-10:30 a.m. to join us for breakfast and pictures – all for a nominal fee! Won’t you bring the children of all ages for breakfast and to have pictures taken for $5 with Santa? On Friday and Saturday, join us for lunch, which may be purchased between 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Please share our printable Annual Christmas Bazaar announcement.

All proceeds from the Annual Christmas Bazaar go to St. Thomas’s Outreach Ministries. See you at “The Best Little Bazaar Around!”

Bake Sale at the Christmas Bazaar

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We are asking for volunteers to bake items (cookies, cakes, mini breads, fudge, cupcakes, and so forth) for our bake sale. Please bring items packaged for sale, except for some of the cookies which we will use to make up cookie trays with a varied assortment. If you bring a cake, please cut it in half or quarters as the smaller size will make it easier to sell. If possible, bring items to the church on Thursday morning when we will be doing setup. If that isn’t possible, bring them Friday morning before the 10:00 a.m. start.

Questions? Contact Carol Palermo at cpalermo625@gmail.com