Poets’ Corner Reading Series – Saturday, October 21, 2017

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Poets’ Corner Reading Series presents Phillip Bannowsky reading poetry by his favorite poets.

Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church, 276 S. College Ave., Newark, DE

Free-will offering.

Phillip Bannowsky is a retired autoworker, international educator, and human rights activist. His most recent work, now seeking a publisher, is Jacobo the Turko: a Novel in Verse, which earned him the 2017 Delaware Division of the Arts Established Artist Fellowship in Literature: Poetry. Published works include The Milk of Human Kindness (poetry), Autoplant: a Poetic Monologue, and The Mother Earth Inn (novel). Recent poems have appeared in Dreamstreets Magazine, Broadkill Review, Currents, The Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies News, and the anthology Bad Hombres and Nasty Women. Having spent thirty-one years on Chrysler’s assembly line, Bannowsky retired to teach high school English in Ecuador and Lebanon and now teaches The Poetry of Empowerment at the University of Delaware.

Co-sponsored by St. Thomas’s Parish and the University of Delaware Department of English.

Newark Post: St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church celebrates 175 years

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“St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church has served the Newark community and University of Delaware students for 175 years — first in a Gothic-style church on South Main Street and later in a more modern building on South College Avenue.

On Sunday, congregants gathered for a special service celebrating that milestone anniversary. They also dedicated a new roadside sign intended to improve the church’s visibility to those passing by.

“The feeling is wonderful,” the Rev. Paul W. Gennett Jr. said.”

See the Newark Post article at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church celebrates 175 years.

Blessing of the Animals on St. Francis Day – Sunday, October 8

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“All Creatures Great and Small” – Blessings of the Animals on St. Francis Day — On Sunday, October 8 at 4:00 p.m. we remember and honor the life and ministry of Francis of Assisi, and  will celebrate this feast day with our annual Blessing of the Animals. We will offer a brief liturgy with prayers and blessings for your special furry, or slimy, family members OUTSIDE in the The Grove, weather permitting! If weather is NOT permitting, we’ll move into the Great Hall. On this day at our morning worship services we will bless all those special critters in our life of the stuffed animal variety. So bring your favorite friends to church with you for this special blessing!

A Message from the Vestry – September 19, 2017

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We welcome everyone to St. Thomas’s as we begin a new program year that will offer many opportunities for worship and service.

The first major event will be our 175th anniversary service on Sunday, September 24, at 9:30 am, followed by a celebratory coffee hour. We will give thanks for 175 years of worship and service in Newark, and commit ourselves to continuing to worship and serve God at St. Thomas’s. The event offers an opportunity to support the Newark Empowerment Center by providing go-bags of meals or financial donations.

On the first four Sundays of October, we will highlight our ministries at the coffee hours—a “Rolling Rally Day” format. Please visit the displays and consider how you might deepen your involvement at St. Thomas’s. Maybe it’s time to try something new this year!

We are now in the last two months of Father Paul’s service with us and are preparing for what will come next.

  • We are beginning to prepare for his final Sunday on October 29. His preferences are modest—the services that Sunday will be as they usually are, at his request. We will give thanks to him and Marilyn for their service, and send them off to their new life, at a gala coffee hour/reception after the 10:30 service. We will be accepting contributions for a gift for Father Paul and Marilyn. We will give Marilyn a nice gift, and the balance will be given to Father Paul and Marilyn to donate to charities of their choice, at their request. If you would like to write a letter or note to them, that would be welcome. The Transition Committee is coordinating the event, but participation and assistance from everyone will be welcomed. More information will be coming.
  • The Rev. Elizabeth Masterson, who heard the call to ordained ministry at St. Thomas’s, will be our supply priest in November and December. She will also do some pastoral care. Her first Sunday will be November 5. We look forward to having her with us for those two months.
  • The vestry is working towards hiring an interim rector, who will begin in early 2018. The vestry is also very close to engaging our consultant for the search process.
  • The Transition Committee has been appointed. The current members are Barbara Eldred, Debbie Grabowski, Cana Hartman, Donna Rotandi, and Justin Sausville. If anyone is interested in joining this committee, please contact me.
  • The Search Committee will be recruited this fall and begin their work early in 2018.

Worship and service—that’s what St. Thomas’s is all about as we seek to live into our mission statement: Nourished at Christ’s table and stepping forward in faith, we are instruments of God’s love, serving our parish family, the University of Delaware, our community, and God’s creation.

Thank you for your support of St. Thomas’s. Please keep the church in your prayers.

Connie Cooper

Senior Warden

Chapter 22, Page 175 – Forward in Faith, September 2017

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“The place God calls you to be is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC by Frederick Buechner

“Then Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you … You are witnesses of these things. “ Luke 24:44, 48

We return to those routines of life after our summer rest. Vacation memories collected and stored for another season. School supplies purchased and children back to early-to-bed-to-early-to-rise school days [children say “aww” to parents … parents say “yay” to everyone]. Our 20,000+ neighbors of the University of Delaware return as does the rhythm of our campus ministry gatherings. We also return to those rhythms of worship in this place. Yet this time will be different in a few ways.

One way is the BIG celebration of our 175 years of ministry and mission to Newark on Sunday, September 24. PLEASE NOTE we will gather for ONE service this day at 9:30 a.m. We will remember our past while looking to our present and future for God’s onward call in this place, in our time, as this people of the Jesus Movement. We will bless and commission ALL ministries and ministers that serve our parish family! We will admit, bless, and pray onward our 2017-2018 Confirmation Class and their leaders, Bob Rys and Teri Quinn Gray. We will worship with a liturgy crafted especially for this day, and we will gather outside to bless our new welcoming signage at the exit of our driveway. We share our deep gratitude for the leadership of the events of our 175th anniversary year – Tom Fairchild, Laura Greene, and Nicole Cebula. We will remember … commit … bless … now and onward, together.

The other way is our coming closer to my taking leave as your companion in ministry and rector these nine years on October 31. As many have heard me say, I believe I have done, with your help and God’s help, the work and ministry I can in this time and chapter of your lives. The S.W.E.E.P.S. ministries are in place for future service. The finances are healthier for the near-term, while the work of a living stewardship is in the hands of the Vestry servant leaders. The property is in better structural condition, and the Grove is YOURS for the future. I have been blessed and am grateful to have completed these things with you and God in this time, in this place.

At the August 19th meeting of the Vestry, I provided a Covenant of Taking Leave from St. Thomas’s. This covenant is simply, in writing, a clear understanding of our life and relationship in the next pages and chapter of St. Thomas’s Parish. Here are the important points for the understanding of all in our parish family:

  • My resignation signifies that all my priestly, pastoral, liturgical, and administrative duties for the parish are completed. As St. Paul writes to his beloved Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
  • This completion is committed to the transition period before the next rector is called. St. Thomas’s needs time and space between rectors to discover who you are now, where God is calling you onward, and what type of leadership gifts are needed onward for mutual ministry.
  • I will not officiate or assist at any liturgical function in the parish [wedding, baptism, burial office] for at least one year. I may wish to attend a function as a member of the congregation only, and then with understanding of the Wardens, Vestry, and current transition minister. I will continue to exercise my priestly ministry at other parishes as invited at some point, but for a season I am looking forward to being a “pew sitter” with Marilyn.
  • The Rector Discretionary Fund will be returned to the Wardens and Treasurer of the parish to be used by appointed lay representatives as needed.
  • The keys to the church facility will be returned, and clearly marked, for use by future priests. I expect I will be the ONLY person in Newark not to have a key to St. Thomas’s!

This covenant simply gives appropriate space for you to move forward to Chapter 23 in this transitioning time, and gives Marilyn and I appropriate space as we take our steps into this next volume of our life and work together. As Frederick Buechner reminds me, the root of our word goodbye emerges from the 13th century Middle English expression when friends take leave from one another – God be with you!

God be with you, dear sisters and brothers of this place, in this time … God be with you!

With gratefulness always, your servant in Christ

Fr. Paul+


Poet’s Corner – JoAnn Balingit

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JoAnn Balingit reading poetry by her favorite poets
Saturday, September 16, 4:00 p.m.

Free-will offering.

JoAnn Balingit grew up in Florida and lives in Delaware where she served as poet laureate from 2008 to 2015. She’s the author of Words for House Story (WordTech, 2013) and was a 2017 VONA/Voices resident in prose, working on a memoir. She coordinates Delaware’s Poetry Out Loud program, and teaches poetry and creative writing at libraries and nonprofit organizations.Her latest poems appear at Poemeleon,TheRumpus, Vallum Magazine and www.poets.org or her web site at joannbalingit.org.

Co-sponsored by St. Thomas’s Parish and the University of Delaware Department of English.

Come and See at Bible Study!

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St. Thomas’s offers TWO bible study groups to fit most schedules. The Early Risers group meets on Tuesday from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. in the Parlor – a great way to start you day and make it to work or class at the university in plenty of time! This time of study will resume again on Tuesday, September 5. The Not-As-Early-Risers group meets on Wednesday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall classroom, and will resume on Wednesday, September 6.

No preparation needed nor seminary training required – just bring yourself, your soul, your interest, your wonderings, your hunger for sharing and knowing YOUR story that is the Bible, and sharing this sacred story of you with others in this journey.

Blessing of the Backpacks

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On Sunday, September 3, Father Paul will be blessing backpacks for all students who bring them to any of our three services as a way to start and continue your school year on the right path. All who desire are welcome to participate, regardless of age or type of “backpack” you bring — briefcases will get blessed too! “The love of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honor.” Proverbs 15:3

Building use requests now due for St. Thomas’s ministry groups

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Grace and peace to all! We hope your summer is going along “swimmingly” (yes, pun intended…)

One of the ways St. Thomas’s lives into its ministry of welcome is by allowing it’s space to be utilized by the wider community. That being said, the first priority for space use is to groups that are connected to ministries here at St. Thomas’s. So, we need to know when our space is needed for these ministries. If you lead a ministry or group who meets in this building, please take a moment to complete a “pink form” for the coming program year. This will assist the office staff in determining what space is available and when for community use. “Pink forms” are also available on the parish website at StThomasParish.org.

Thank you for attention to this matter and we look for to hearing from you.

Adele Meredith
Parish Administrator