Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for January 17, 2021

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Happy  See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for January 10, 2021. In it, you will see a thank you message from Fr Howie, an update on virtual worship from Bishop Kevin, as well as notes about upcoming events- and a summary of our favorite centenarian’s birthday celebration! We are now in Epiphanytide, and while it is not as vigorous a schedule as the Christmas season, there are some upcoming events to mark on your calendar:

  • Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 9 a.m.: Holy Eucharist, rite II with music, live on YouTube
  • Sunday, January 17, 2021 from 10-11 a.m.: Walk/Drive Through Communion and Prayers, in-person with a mask please
  • Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.: adult education 3-week series, Spirituality in the Lord of the Rings, live via Zoom
  • Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 10 a.m.: 2 Saints readers will begin discussing “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande, live via Zoom
  • Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at noon: Intercessory Prayers with Holy Eucharist, live on YouTube
  • Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 7 p.m.: Evening Compline Prayers with Deacon Cecily, live via Zoom
  • Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 9 a.m.: Holy Eucharist, rite II with music, live on YouTube
  • Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 10-11a.m.: Walk/Drive Through Communion and Prayers, in-person with a mask please
  • Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.: Novel Theology will meet via Zoom to discuss “Season of Wonder” by Rae Ann Thayne

You will receive an emailed invitation to all the above events, 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.  If you have anything to add to the Parish calendar or the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter, email the office.

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

2 Saints Readers book discussion

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Next book for Two Saints Readers: the book discussion group for Sts. Thomas’s and Nicholas.

Do you ever wonder if you and your family will know the best ways for you to approach the time when you do not have the abilities you now have?  Perhaps you have had loved ones pass away in ways or circumstances that continue to sadden you?

The book, Being Mortal, Dr. Atul Gawande, may help some of us to begin the process of figuring out ways to live during our last years and ways to best meet the time we leave our mortal bodies behind to join our God.  The book can help us start the thinking process.  

The Two Saints Readers will read Being Mortal and discuss the concepts it describes of thoughtful ideas, many anecdotes of real people and happenings, and results of studies conducted by caring, knowledgeable people.  We will begin (usually) one-hour Zoom sessions at 10 a.m. on these Tuesdays:  Jan. 19, 26, and Feb. 2, 9, 2021.  We may even end on Feb. 2, 2021, but I can’t promise that. 

The Newark Free Library and the library network have many copies.  All the book sellers online and in stores have the paperback versions.  Even if you do not want to or cannot join us, I urge you to read the book.  However, when we share its concepts together, it could help make them even more real.


Please contact Alice Edgell with any questions, 738-4617; alice.edgell@comcast.net.

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for January 10, 2021

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Happy 2021 faith family! See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for January 10, 2021. We are now in Epiphanytide, and while it is not as vigorous a schedule as the Christmas season, there are some upcoming events to mark on your calendar:

  • January 17, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. – adult education continues the journey through Middle Earth
  • January 24, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. – Novel Theology will meet via Zoom to discuss “Season of Wonder” by Rae Ann Thayne
  • January 31, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. – adult education will wrap up this first 3-week series of 2021

You will receive an emailed invitation to all the above events, 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.  If you have anything to add to the calendar, or the Carpenter’s Helper, email the office.

Please let me know if you have any meetings – virtual or otherwise – that you would like to included on the Parish calendar.   

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

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for December 22, 2020

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Happy Tuesday faith family! While there is no official Carpenter’s Helper newsletter this week, we are an active parish even in these crazy times, and so there are several announcements below. This week, we continue the busy Advent season, preparing our hearts and minds for the arrival of our Savior. Please see the 2020 Advent and Christmas Schedule, which is subject to change. We have to be especially flexible this year because of the pandemic.

  • Christmas Eve service LIVE on YouTube at 11 p.m.
  • Christmas Day service LIVE on YouTube at 10 a.m.
  • Christmas Day Walk/Drive Through Communion and Prayers 11a.m.-noon
  • Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Lessons & Carols for Christmas LIVE on YouTube
  • Sunday, December 27 2020 at 10 a.m. – Novel Theology on ZOOM. ALL are Welcome to discuss “Where Courage Falls” by Jeanette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan.  Reading the book is never a requirement to participate in the lively discussion.
  • Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at noon – Intercessory Prayer LIVE on YouTube.
  • Sunday, January 3, 2021 – Walk/Drive Through Communion and Prayers will pick back up on and continue at least through January.  ALL are Welcome!
  • The Lord of the Rings adult education will be happening, but there is no start date as of yet.

You will receive an emailed invitation to all the above events, 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.  Reminder: in-person worship has been suspended for this time and all worship is offered online.

One more note – earlier this week, a Christmas letter from Fr. Howie was sent out.  In “normal” times, this letter is accompanied by a special Christmas offering envelope, to be gifted in the offering basket.  This offering has always been a significant line in the budget. However, this is not a normal year.  As we are not gathering in-person, the Christmas offerings will need to be given in a different mode.  Any donations may be mailed in to the church building, with Christmas noted in the memo.  Alternatively, you can always contribute using our Giving page.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or Fr. Howie (howell.sasser.jr@gmail.com).  As Fr. Howie notes in this letter: If you have already given all that you can this year, please do not worry or feel guilty.  Instead, I ask for your prayers for the ministries of our church.  If, on the other hand, you can give a special Christmas offering, know that your gift will be received gratefully and applied faithfully to the work we all wish to continue.

Bishop's Christmas CardA few months ago, Bishop Kevin invited everyone in the diocese to submit art to be considered for the Diocese of Delaware Christmas card. We have so many talented artists in our faith family. How THRILLING to announce that Audrey Houghton’s submission was selected!  Way to go Audrey!

The office will be “closed” Dec. 24, 2020 through Jan. 1, 2021, however I will absolutely be available via email or text, and will be happy to open the building if there is a need. There will not be a regular Carpenter’s Helper on Dec. 26 or Jan. 1, but you can still look for a weekly email wrap up.  I’ll see you all virtually!  Have a wonderful week!

Please let me know if you have any meetings – virtual or otherwise – that you would like to included on the Parish calendar.   

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

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for December 20, 2020

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Happy Friday faith family!  I hope this finds you all well.  See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for the week of December 13, 2020. In it, you will find a reminder about Lessons and Carols this Sunday, December 20, 2020, info about the Christmas pageant, being presented on YouTube, a few pics from our entry in Newark’s Festival of Lights display, and a lovely write up of the AMAZING joint venture with the Tarbiyah school to be featured in the Diocese of Delaware’s publication, the Net, in January.

Reminder: in-person worship has been suspended for this time and all worship is offered online.

This week, we continue the busy Advent season, preparing our hearts and minds for the arrival of our Savior. Please see the 2020 Advent and Christmas Schedule, which is subject to change. We have to be especially flexible this year because of the pandemic.  If there are any changes, I will be sure to let you know via email and the usual social media channels.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 7 p.m. – the Christmas pageant, on YouTube
  • Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Rite I with music, live on YouTube 
  • Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. – Walk/Drive Through Communion and Prayers
  • Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. –  Lessons and Carols for Advent, live on YouTube    
  • Wednesday, December 24, 2020 at 5 p.m. – family friendly Christmas Eve service from St. Nicholas, live on YouTube
  • Wednesday, December 24, 2020 at 11 p.m. – a more traditional Christmas Eve service from St. Thomas’s, live on YouTube
  • Thursday, December 25, 2020 at 10 a.m. – Christmas morning service, live on YouTube
  • Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Lessons & Carols for Christmas, live on YouTube

ALL are Welcome in our community!  Please let me know if you’d like a paper copy of any of the leaflets mailed to you.  We may be in different locations, but we are celebrating TOGETHER.  I’d LOVE to see pics of your Names of Jesus Advent activities!

Christmas Pageant- This will be a pageant unlike any other.  It will include a unicorn, Darth Vader, the Spider Man twins, and several of our pets.  You won’t want to miss this!  I’ll be emailing a separate invitation to this event, so that you can share it with your friends and family.  So, get your blankets and hot coco ready – December 19, 2020 at 7 p.m. we will gather virtually to enjoy the talent and creativity of our amazing St. Thomas’s youth.  This presentation will remain available until the end of the Christmas season.

One more note – earlier this week, a Christmas letter from Fr. Howie was sent out.  In “normal” times, this letter is accompanied by a special Christmas offering envelope, to be gifted in the offering basket.  This offering has always been a significant line in the budget. However, this is not a normal year.  As we are not gathering in-person, the Christmas offerings will need to be given in a different mode.  Any donations may be mailed in to the church building, with Christmas noted in the memo.  Alternatively, you can always contribute using our Giving page.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or Fr. Howie (howell.sasser.jr@gmail.com).  As Fr. Howie notes in this letter: If you have already given all that you can this year, please do not worry or feel guilty.  Instead, I ask for your prayers for the ministries of our church.  If, on the other hand, you can give a special Christmas offering, know that your gift will be received gratefully and applied faithfully to the work we all wish to continue.

The office will be “closed” Dec. 24, 2020 through Jan. 1, 2021, however I will absolutely be available via email or text, and will be happy to open the building if there is a need. There will not be a regular Carpenter’s Helper on Dec. 26 or Jan. 1, but you can still look for a weekly email wrap up.  I’ll see you all virtually!  Have a wonderful week!

Please let me know if you have any meetings – virtual or otherwise – that you would like to included on the Parish calendar.   

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

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for December 13, 2020

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Happy Friday faith family!  I hope this finds you all well.  See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for the week of December 13, 2020. In it you will find a Christmas message from Bishop Curry, see a reminder of the Walk/Drive Through Communion and Prayers (yes, this is still being offered though no in-person worship), and the dates for one of our loved traditions, Lessons and Carols (2 this year!).  SO, as a reminder: in-person worship has been suspended for this time, and all worship will be offered online.

This week, we continue the busy Advent season, preparing our hearts and minds for the arrival of our Savior. Please see the 2020 Advent and Christmas Schedule. This should be the schedule, however it is subject to change.  We have to be especially flexible this year because of the pandemic.  If there are any changes, I will be sure to let you know via email and the usual social media channels.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

ALL are Welcome in our community!  Please let me know if you’d like a paper copy of any of the leaflets mailed to you.  We may be in different locations, but we are celebrating TOGETHER.  I’d LOVE to see pics of your Names of Jesus Advent activities!

Please let me know if you have any meetings – virtual or otherwise – that you would like to included on the Parish calendar.   

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

The Church’s Response to COVID-19 – December 2020 update

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Dear Friends,

Greetings to you as we reach the middle of the second week of Advent.  I’m sure that, like me, you have been following with concern reports of the rising number of COVID cases and hospitalizations.  So perhaps it will come as no surprise that the Bishop has decided once again to suspend in-person worship at Episcopal churches in Delaware, effective December 14, 2020.  This seems wise, given the advice we are getting from the Governor and others that we should stay at home just as much as possible.  This is especially hard in a season when we would most like to be with family and friends, and to be gathering with our church family.  Please be assured that St. Thomas’s will continue to worship.  We will return to our pattern over the summer – “broadcasting” services on YouTube with the smallest possible number of people in the building.  We will not reduce the number of services we had planned for the remainder of Advent and Christmas, and Communion at the curbside will continue to be available.  Other meetings and events in the church will also be curtailed, but our service to the community – through Blue Hen Bounty and our new project with the Tarbiyah School, among others – will go on without interruption.

Please know that you are in my prayers as we make our way through this strange time.  I remain grateful for all the ways that we are remaining strong as a community, and I am confident that we will emerge from our COVID experience as a vital part of the Kingdom of God.  Please keep St Thomas’s and the work we do in your prayers.
I wish you health and happiness – and all joy for Christmas.

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

Solar panels installed

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Greening of the Church - Solar PanelsIt is this time in Advent when we typically “Green” the church building. Fragrant boughs of pine and gorgeous leafy green poinsettias with cheery pops of red flowers are an outward showing of the preparations that we make for the birth of our Savior.

Of course, 2020 has to be different. This year, St. Thomas’s Parish is getting green with SOLAR PANELS! That’s right; the long anticipated project has begun. This long anticipated move was sparked by the generous memorial donation from our family member, Jerry Schultz, and has been continued by a wonderful team from the Property Committee and supported by the Vestry. You may remember Jerry Schultz made a generous donation upon his death to St. Thomas’s to be used for solar panels.

Solar panels installedAmy Keach provided this picture taken from the intersection of South College and Park Place this morning. The panels blend right in with the roof!

We are all in this together as stewards of our Earth, and everyone’s efforts are truly appreciated. On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, Clean Energy USA began the installation. They have been hard at work all week. If you drive by the church building, you may see them up on the roof. Please keep Jerry’s love of the earth and St. Thomas’s in mind when you see the panels on the church.

Now, don’t worry, the church building will still be decorated for the season. The beautiful advent candles and wreath can already be seen at every service. The flower guild will be adding more to the display in the coming weeks. We are also participating in Newark’s Festival of Lights, so please, continue to bring in your donations of outdoor Christmas lights and decorations so we can let our light shine!

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

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for December 6, 2020

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Happy Friday faith family!  I hope this finds you all well.  See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for the week of December 6, 2020.  In it you will find a reminder about Drive Through Communion and Prayers, a blurb about the Advent guide and activity you will receive this week, and some EXCITING news about going green.

This week, we continue the busy Advent season, preparing our hearts and minds for the arrival of our Savior:

  • Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Rite I with music, live on YouTube and in-person
  • Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. – Drive Through Communion and Prayers
  • Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. – Advent Evening Prayers, live on YouTube and in-person  
  • Wednesday at noon – Intercessory Prayer live on YouTube
  • Thursday at 7 p.m. – Compline evening prayers live on ZOOM
  • Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Rite I with music, live on YouTube and in-person
  • Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. – Drive Through Communion and Prayers
  • Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. – Advent Evening Prayers, live on YouTube and in-person

ALL are Welcome in our community!  Please let me know if you’d like a paper copy of any of the leaflets mailed to you.  Please do not feel pressure to return to the church building until you are comfortable.  We may be in different locations, but we are celebrating TOGETHER.

Please let me know if you have any meetings – virtual or otherwise – that you would like to included on the Parish calendar.   

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

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for November 22, 2020

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Hello faith family!  I hope this finds you all well.  See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for the week of November 22, 2020. In it, you will find a plea from me for Christmas lights, info about a virtual Bazaar, a virtual Thanksgiving, and a virtual Novel Theology meeting.

This week, we will have our three regular services and Novel Theology:

  • Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship service Rite II with music, live on YouTube and in-person.
  • Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. – Novel Theology via  ZOOM.
  • Wednesday at noon – Intercessory Prayer live on YouTube using a leaflet for Pentecost.
  • Thursday at 7 p.m. – Compline evening prayers with Deacon Cecily live on ZOOM.
  •  Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship service Rite II with music, live on YouTube and in-person. First Sunday of Advent.

As we head into Advent and the season of sharing, there will be many opportunities to give back to our community.  It will be different from our traditional Angel Tree and food drive.  One of the projects being put together is a kids’ gift bag assembly.  You can look for emails about this worthy effort, and others in the upcoming weeks.  If you have questions or if you have a project that needs to be advertised, please contact the office.

ALL are Welcome!  Please let me know if you’d like a paper copy of any of the leaflets mailed to you.  Here is a  link to sign up for in-person worship  for this week, 11.22.20.  Please do not feel pressure to return to the church building until you are comfortable.  We may be in different locations, but we are celebrating TOGETHER.

Please let me know if you have any meetings – virtual or otherwise – that you would like to have included on the Parish calendar.   

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