Children’s Ministries Family Breakfast

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Join the children and youth of St. Thomas’s for the annual Children’s Ministries Family Breakfast on April 24, 9:30 a.m. Please try to arrive a few minutes early so we can gather our food offerings before we begin. The Breakfast will be held in St. Thomas’s Great Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend but children, youth and their families are encouraged to attend!

Please bring a dish or breakfast item to share. Beverages will be provided.

To RSVP, ask questions or  volunteer to help, email Belinda Young-Payne at or call at 302-832-8834.

See the Children’s Ministries Family Breakfast.flyer.


2016 ECM Mission Trip to Costa Rica — Painting & Playing Power!

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Blessings to all in Easter Week! Here is the latest update with pictures of our ECM students with working hands & hearts at the school in Costa Rica as they are making resurrection happen in being the blessing of Christ, and being blessed by the same in the children, teachers & hosts. Thanks to Hannah for the latest news from sunny and warmer Costa Rica!


With gratefulness, in peace always,
Fr. Paul Gennett, Jr.+

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!

Abroazos y Besos (Hugs & Kisses),
Hannah Watts

Holy Week and Easter 2016 Schedule – UPDATE

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Sunday, March 20: Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

8:00 a.m.      Liturgy of the Palms, Reading of the Passion, Holy Eucharist I

10:30 a.m.      Liturgy of the Palms, Reading of the Passion, Holy Eucharist II

5:30 p.m.      Liturgy of the Palms, Reading of the Passion, Inclusive Language Liturgy & Holy Eucharist


Monday, March 21 through Thursday, March 24

Evening Prayer at 5:15 p.m.


Maundy Thursday, March 24

6:00 p.m.      Soup and Bread Supper in the Great Hall (CANCELLED)

7:30 p.m.      Maundy Thursday Liturgy, Foot Washing, Holy Eucharist II and Stripping of the Altar, followed by Nightwatch hours in prayer at the Altar of Repose

10:00 p.m.      10:00 p.m. Compline


Good Friday, March 25

8:00 a.m.      Morning Prayer

12:00 noon      Good Friday Liturgy with Sermon and Solemn Collects

7:00 p.m.      The Way of the Cross – Praying the Stations of the Cross


Holy Saturday, March 26

7:00 p.m.      The Great Vigil of Easter – Festal Celebration of Holy Eucharist with incense


Easter Day, March 27

8:00 a.m.      Holy Eucharist

10:30 a.m.      Festal Holy Eucharist with Choir

5:30 p.m.      NO SERVICE on Easter Day

The Journey of Holy Week – MAUNDY THURSDAY

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On Maundy Thursday, we commemorate the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The Epistle reading for this service gives St. Paul’s account of the institution of the Eucharist. We experience the Gospel account of Jesus’ washing his disciples’ feet, acting out his own call and of those who would follow him, “not to be served, but to serve.” He gave a new commandment to all: “Love one another as I have loved you.” “Maundy” is the old English word derived from the Latin phrase mandatum novum, meaning “new covenant.” The Eucharist is about our table fellowship – God present with us, and we present to each other. Following the Eucharist, the sanctuary is stripped of all ornaments and furnishings, symbolically expressing Jesus’ utter abandonment by all. We are invited to stay with Jesus “for just one hour” through the night watch vigil until noon on Good Friday.

This Holy Week, I invite you to take a bowl in your home, fill it with water, and place it in a spot you pass by every day. Each day of Holy Week, make a sacred moment to be with Jesus by washing your hands with him in you. Wash your hands knowing the sacred love of Jesus for you, in you, and through you. Wash your hands not in dismissal or guilt, but in the cleansing power of repentance in all that this most sacred week of our life of faith is meant to be.

Come join your community of faith family as we remember this night at 7:30 p.m. in worship, service, and abandonment of Jesus with Footwashing, Eucharist, and stripping of the church into barren darkness.

Walk with Jesus on the Way of the Cross.

Walk with Jesus who loves you to death into new life beyond.

Walk with Jesus …

The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.


The Collect for Maundy Thursday

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Easter Day Coffee Hour

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Dear St. Thomas Family,

We have a few people who have generously offered to bring food for the Easter Day coffee hour after the 10:30 service, but we are still in need of a couple of hosts or a family to host coffee hour. Again, it looks like we will have food, so the host(s) simply need to be able to help set up and clean up afterwards (although you are welcome to bring food also if you would like) . The Easter egg hunt will start shortly after the service ends, so many of the children and parents will likely be occupied with that, therefore clean up may be light.

If you are able and willing to host, please let me know.

The coffee hour hosting schedule through May is now posted on the clipboard at the entrance to the kitchen and on the beverage table each Sunday during coffee hour . Please consider hosting at least one Sunday when your schedule permits. It is a great way to help support our hospitality ministry and get to know your fellow parishioners. If you have not ever hosted, I will be happy to help you learn the ropes.

Keith Fleming

Sermon for The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

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“So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.”

My journey of Lent this year, seeking to “lengthen” my faith by cleaning yet again this littered soul home, I have walked our stations in The Way of the Cross many times. Following the process and progression, fourteen places taking me deeper and deeper into the agony of Christ, yet higher into the redeeming love that loves us even to death. When finished, I always was drawn to return to the First Station. In that ritual movement, that still holds part in our life to this day, Pontius Pilate ritually washes away responsibility for this whole sordid, unjust moment of time. Today, we still wash our hands of the whole mess when we feel we can no longer deal with a situation, and perhaps simply do not want to any longer.

See Father Paul’s Sermon for The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday in its entirety.

The Journey of Holy Week

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The services of Holy Week are individual parts of a single great service in which we remember and celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This foundational event of the Christian faith is the Paschal Mystery. Just as the ancient Passover (Pesach in Hebrew, Pasch in Latin) commemorates the deliverance from slavery and the Covenant established between God and the chosen people of Israel, the Passover of God’s New Covenant celebrates the deliverance of all humankind from the power of sin and death, into the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. Early in our Christian history, the liturgical observance known as the Triduum (Trih-duh-oom, Latin for “three days”), comprising the arrest, trial, execution and burial of Jesus, and his resurrection “on the third day,” came to being. The services of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and the Great Vigil of Easter, together with Palm Sunday, focus on aspects of the Paschal Mystery. None of the services is complete in itself. It is only by entering fully into the commemoration of the Paschal Mystery through the experience of Holy Week worship that its meaning can be truly understood and richly experienced.



Our walk with Christ begins with a festive Procession of Palms recalling his walk from Bethany into Jerusalem. This is not a historic re-creation of an event long past; we are disciples proclaiming Jesus’ saving presence today. When we wave our palms and sing “Hosanna,” we claim our own belief in his presence and power.

The second part of the Liturgy includes a reading known as “The Passion,” the account of our Lord’s suffering and death. This is the only Sunday of the year that the story of our Lord’s death is read. The gospel account is from Matthew, Mark, or Luke, according to our three-year lectionary cycle. From the joy of the triumphal procession, to the intensity of The Passion Gospel reading, this service generates many emotions. This range of feelings will be experienced again and again in the course of the week.

In my homily for this Passion Sunday, I invited all to prepare a simple bowl, filled with water. Much as the First Station of the Way of the Cross, may we wash our hands, not as Pilate to remove any part of Jesus from our life, but to be cleansed in the eternal Love that heals always, and love us to death into life eternal. I have attached the image of the bowl of water from our Interactive Stations of the Cross at St. Thomas’s, along with a copy of my homily for your meditation and reflection.

Collect for Passion Sunday

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Fr. Paul Gennett

Lenten/Easter activities at St. Thomas’s

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Hello Everyone,

Blessings to you as we prepare to begin Holy Week!

I wanted to mention a few activities you and your children are invited to engage in in the coming week.

1) Tomorrow, March 20, is Palm Sunday. Regular Sunday School and CREW youth group meetings will occur at their regular times…with the following additions:.

At 10:30, the children join the rest of the congregation for the Procession of Palms then return downstairs for the rest of their children’s worship time.

After lunch and a meeting, CREW youth will leave at 1:30 for an afternoon skating trip. Permission slips are required for the trip to Christiana Skating Center and can be obtained from one of the youth leaders or me via email or in person on Sunday.

2) Thursday, March 24, is Maundy Thursday. That evening there will be service at St. Thomas which will include the act of footwashing by and for those who choose to participate. This service is a moving one which is an important part of the Holy Week Journey. It is a good one to take older children to who are ready to delve deeper into their faith.

3) On Good Friday there are three services which may be of interest:

Our regular noon Good Friday service.
The Walk to Easter program at St. David’s for younger children (You can get more information abut the St. David’s event from their website or from me on Sunday)

The evening Stations of the Cross Service at St. Thomas .At the evening service, participants will walk the journey through the stations together while scripture and psalms/songs are read or sung.

4) The Great Vigil is on Saturday.This is definitely one of my favorite services. It is an evening service and fairly long for families but it has many things to recommend it…..lots of people participating, our whole history portrayed through scripture, music and drama, light, darkness, renewal of our baptismal vows, asperges, and finally, celebration. If you are able, I highly recommend attending! Bring bells!!!

5) And last but not least, Easter Sunday service. What can I say, beautiful, celebratory…Easter goodies…and an egg hunt for children after the 10:30 service.

Please plan to bring a “basket” and at least 10 filled eggs for each child who will be hunting. We will have collection bins for the eggs stationed outside the sanctuary on Easter Sunday.

We are also seeking someone to host coffee hour on Easter; this would involve setting up and cleaning up afterward. The duties could be shared by more than one person.

I pray that I will see you at one or a few of these events. But most of all, I pray that you are all well.

Peace be with you,
Belinda Young-Payne

Maundy Thursday Soup and Bread Supper – cancelled

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Sometimes we have to do different things so that we appreciate traditions.

It’s been our tradition for many years, but this year we’re not going to have the supper before the 7:30 solemn service.

Please come to church at 7:30. You will be moved by the foot washing experience and by the stripping of the altar. And stay for some of the Watch in the Garden.

It just might change your understanding of what happened to Jesus – who gave his life for ours.