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
Episcopal Campus Ministry hosts a food closet for UD students who are food insecure and cannot provide ample nutrition for themselves. Food insecure students may come to Episcopal Campus Ministry’s (ECM’s) food closet every Wednesday from 4-5 p.m. at St. Thomas’s Parish located at 276 S. College Ave (directly across from UD’s Student Health).
ECM has collected many donated food products including garden fresh vegetables that they share with those students in need. All that they ask is that students bring their student UD ID for verification as a UD student and then ECM students will share whatever amount of food fulfills their need.
If you have any questions or cannot make the designated time and would like to set up an appointment, please contact Carson Hannah of ECM by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, come to the Church at 276 S. College Ave., Newark, DE 19711 or call the Church at (302) 368-4644. Please help us spread the word!
Welcome back students! Please see this week’s Bishop’s blog from The Rt. Rev. Wayne P. Wright, 10th Bishop of Delaware, and see his welcoming comments and visits to Delaware’s two Episcopal schools. This Bishop offers the following prayer from the Book of Common Prayer:
O Eternal God, bless all schools, colleges, and universities, that they may be lively centers for sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom; and grant that those who teach and those who learn may find you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, page 824)
St. Thomas’s sends a special welcome to our Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) students. University of Delaware Classes start next week and ECM activities will begin shortly thereafter. Be sure to look for our ECM students in Church and extend your personal welcome.
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.
On Wed., April 13, 2016, St. Thomas’s ECM-ers had a great time with the Lutheran Campus Ministry and the Presbyterian Campus Ministry. They came to chat with us some even before our Evening Prayer time, and it was so much fun to have a few new faces. It was a great turn out of the ECM regulars too, which made for all the more fun; we even filled three pews for evening prayer! We had a fantastic dinner and a wonderful UDairy dessert, and we all sat with someone new at our tables. Each table shared “God moments” or “New and Goods” with one another, which is when each person gets to share something positive from their week so that we can celebrate it as a group. We wrapped up a satisfying dinner and discussion and helped the LCM and PCM-ers make some Fleece-tie blankets that would be donated to foster children. Since this meeting was in the middle of the week, it was so nice to take a break for arts and crafts!
Feeling satisfied with the food and the company of one another, we made sure to invite the LCM and PCM-ers to come again if they ever felt so inclined, and they also invited us to their Tuesday dinner and Wednesday Bible Study if we ever felt the need. Tonight was another wonderful reminder of how blessed I am to attend a school and a congregation that places such importance on fostering relationships with other students, constantly challenging me to expand my social networks inside and outside the classroom!
– Hannah Watts
Blessings to all in Eastertide Grace! I heard from Deacon Cecily that she & the ECM Mission students are back in USA again safe, sound, and truly blessed by their experience & service in Costa Rica! Here is the last word …
Fr. Paul Gennett, Jr.+
Dear Father Paul and the St. Thomas Community,
Hard to believe it’s our last day and it ended with an amazing view. We went to the Poas Volcano National Park, where we viewed the most acidic lake in a volcanic crater.
as well as a lagoon of collected rainwater. It was a physical challenge but the view was worth it.
We concluded our volcano adventure with a taste of the local strawberries and lunch.
I’m sending this email over our last dinner here. While we were eating, the power went out in a small part of San Jose. The restaurant carried on business as usual. I guess that’s what it means to live “pura vida”! Alex even called it “the full Costa Rica experience”. 🙂
We’re on our way to Newark, NJ and eventually DE. Thank you so much for helping us get here and we’ll see you soon!
Bishop Héctor did a Eucharist mass when we got back to the Diocesan home. He preached about how he was elected and how our work and the church is similar to surfing. Coming across the right opportunities to help the most people is like catching the perfect wave. We came to Costa Rica at the right time and my hope is that we can apply this to many other locations, including Delaware. He gave us handcrafted cross pendants to remember our time here.
We concluded our day with an energizing dance lesson, learning various Costa Rican and popular techniques from the bachata to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. We’ve got a talented bunch out here! It was a lot of fun and gave us some much needed R&R. Today we went to the beach in Manuel Antonio. It was a long drive (3 1/2 hours!) but it was worth it.
Blessings in the Grace of Easter Thursday, the fourth day of our making resurrection happen in our life, in our world … and our ECM students & Dazzling Deacon Cecily continue to serve, share, and grow in Spirit of Love in their ministry in Costa Rica. Today’s update from Carson Hanna.
Buenos tardes Father Paul y St. Thomas!
Dear Father Paul & St. Thomas,
Hola! Day 3 in Costa Rica is complete, and today we wrapped up our work at the Escuela Hogar Episcopal. We finished some painting jobs and disassembled a flowerless flower bed, giving the children some more color and space to play in their home away from home. We’ve discussed as a group that it’s been very satisfying to have sore muscles and paint-covered hands after a long day of work with such visible results. We also got to enjoy one of the teacher’s grateful smiles seeing her newly-painted classroom, and more of us played with some of the children today. As we tossed balls and shared smiles the language barriers diminished and it was not long before a class of students shared their English singing songs for us!
No need to worry about us being comfortable and well-fed. It’s Costa Rica’s “dry season” here, so we’ve been avoiding any rain, and the highest the temperature climbs is around 80 degrees, but always with a breeze. We’re fed beautifully-seasoned, generously-portioned meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we’re always surrounded by the good company of each other, the Bishop, or Sarah and Kate (our guides here).
I’ve attached some of the pictures we snapped today. Tomorrow we’re off to another school with similar-aged children, and I’m looking forward to be meeting some new people and serving a new community. Please continue to pray for us and especially for the people we’re serving, that we may know how to best support them and show them God’s love!