Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for September 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 September 6, 2020. In it is a call from Bishop Brown to share your artistic talents. I know there are many artists in our faith family who use many different media: photography, painting, collage, etc.  Share your gifts!  Also, the schedule for 2020-2021 Novel Theology is available for meetings via Zoom at 10:30 a.m. on one Sunday a month.  

This week, we will have our 3 regular services, as well as a memorial service:

  • Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Thomas’s on YouTube.
  • Wednesday noon – intercessory prayer LIVE on YouTube a leaflet for Pentecost.
  • Thursday at 7 p.m. – Compline evening prayers with Deacon Cecily.  ALL are Welcome.  Let me know if you need a Zoom link for this calming and prayerful end to the day.
  • Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11 a.m. – Bob Browning memorial live on YouTube
  • Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Thomas’s on YouTube and in-person (in-person guidelines).

In this strange time, the church is aware that some of its members are struggling to make ends meet. If you are in this situation, please let the clergy know of your needs, pray for the church, and feel no guilt about your giving. But if you are able to give, options for giving include mailing a check to your church or online giving. See our Giving page

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.

ALL are Welcome!  Please let me know if you’d like a paper copy of any of the leaflets mailed to you.

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

Novel Theology for 2020-2021

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Meetings will be held on the Sundays listed below at 10:30 a.m. via ZOOM until it is safe and comfortable for us all to meet again in person. Please contact the office at StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com for a ZOOM link.

Oct. 25, 2020: A New Song by Jan Karron
Nov. 22, 2020: The Girls of Ennismore by Patricia Falvey (pp361)
Dec. 27, 2020: Where Courage Calls by Jeanette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan (pp329)
Jan. 24, 2021: Season of Wonder by Rae Anne Thayne (pp339)
Feb. 14, 2021: The Peppermint Tea Chronicles by Alexander McCall Smith (pp310)
March 21, 2021: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Meggoch
April 18, 2021: Dimity and the Heart of Gold by Nancy Atherton (pp228)
May 23, 2021: Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien

Rector’s Summer / Fall 2020 update

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26 August 2020

Dear friends,

At a recent funeral (the first in the church since February) we heard the famous reading from Ecclesiastes that begins, “For everything there is a season.”  More on my mind lately is how it ends: “That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.”  After six months in which it has felt as if the world has been holding its breath and time has been on pause, this seems like a good time to look back and look ahead.

My first and most important message is to say thank you.  We devoted a Carpenter’s Helper issue to this theme, but I must add my own thanks.  Many people have kept St. Thomas’s going through the COVID Spring and Summer of 2020.  The altar has been tended.  Meals have been made and delivered. The grounds have been planted and weeded and cleared of storm damage.  Pledges and other donations have continued to come in.  Our ability to share our events over the Internet has expanded rapidly.  A wonderful new chapter in our cooperation with St Nicholas’s has begun.  To all those who have made these and other things happen, I extend my personal thanks and the thanks of the parish.  Well done, good and faithful servants of our Lord Jesus.

With that as a launching pad, we are ready to begin looking forward.  Committees have been meeting over the summer to work on stewardship and Christian education for children and youth.  They will begin to share the fruits of their work soon. 

The first offerings of the adult education program for the year will also be coming up in September.  For these and other events, we are excited to be able to use what we have learned about Zoom and YouTube to make sure that everyone has a chance to participate. 

Another small group has joined with members of St. Nicholas’s to explore ways we can cooperate on service, fellowship, and worship.  Expect to hear more about this mutual ministry in the coming weeks.

At a meeting of the clergy this week, the diocesan Commission on Ministry rolled out a new program to help parishes organize small groups for the deepening of faith and the discernment of new opportunities to which God may be calling us.  I am excited about this initiative and am confident that many at St. Thomas’s will find it to be a powerful faith fertilizer.

Another diocesan group has been working on our response to racism inside and outside the church.  The first of their recommendations and the programs they inspire will be coming to St. Thomas’s and churches all over Delaware this fall.  I encourage everyone to join in this part of the church’s mission to heal creation.

And I am pleased to report that the Vestry has voted to resume in-person worship at St. Thomas’s on Sunday, September 13th.  A group of parishioners met over the summer to produce a plan for a safe resumption of services.  This plan has been approved by the Diocese and will guide us in helping to make sure those who wish to be present for worship can do so with the least risk possible.

For the present, our weekly schedule will remain the same: Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. and Wednesday at noon.  All services will continue to be live-streamed.  Some details of our routine will look a bit different.  Numbers will be limited and safety precautions like masks and hand sanitizing will be firmly in place.  Look for another communication in the next week to give more information and answer some frequently asked questions.

And so, friends, we approach the end of the summer with a lot to show for the odd “in-between” days we have been passing through.  I hope your summer has been restful and that, like me, you are ready for some new beginnings.  May God shower you with every spiritual blessing as we move toward what is yet to be.

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

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for August 30, 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 August 30, 2020. In it is a write up about our Solar Panels installation!  Also, the 2020-21 Adult Christian Education Program has been announced!  This looks to be an absolutely stellar program with interesting 2-4 week series, as well as some excellent special events with guest presenters.  This year, you can explore topics ranging from world religions to The Lord of the Rings to the history of our own St. Thomas’s Parish.  All of these offerings will be available in person as well as online at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. 

This week, we will have three services.  ALL are Welcome; contact the office to have the leaflet mailed to you.

  • Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Nicholas on YouTube.
  • Wednesday noon – intercessory prayer LIVE on YouTube a leaflet for Pentecost.
  • Thursday at 7 p.m. – Compline evening prayers with Deacon Cecily.  ALL are Welcome.  Let me know if you need a Zoom link for this calming and prayerful end to the day.
  • Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Thomas’s on YouTube.

In this strange time, the church is aware that some of its members are struggling to make ends meet. If you are in this situation, please let the clergy know of your needs, pray for the church, and feel no guilt about your giving. But if you are able to give, options for giving include mailing a check to your church or online giving. See our Giving page

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

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for August 23, 2020

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See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for the week of August 23, 2020. In it, you read a message of thanksgiving.  See the most recent edition of our Diocese weekly newsletter titled The Net, as well as the quarterly magazine, The Communion. And, here is a link to the Diocese’s “regathering” guide.  

This week, we will have three services.  ALL are Welcome; contact the office to have the leaflet mailed to you.

  • Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Nicholas on YouTube.
  • Wednesday noon – intercessory prayer LIVE on YouTube a leaflet for Pentecost.
  • Thursday at 7 p.m. – Compline evening prayers with Deacon Cecily.  ALL are Welcome.  Let me know if you need a Zoom link for this calming and prayerful end to the day.
  • Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Thomas’s on YouTube.

This Tuesday, August 25, 2020, is Ladies’ Night OUT on the front lawn at 6 p.m.  Bring your own snacks, beverage, and chair.  This is going to be FUN!  Please contact me if you have any questions.

The 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge has begun, but you can still participate.  Learn more, and sign up!

In this strange time, the church is aware that some of its members are struggling to make ends meet. If you are in this situation, please let the clergy know of your needs, pray for the church, and feel no guilt about your giving. But if you are able to give, options for giving include mailing a check to your church or online giving. See our Giving page

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

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for August 16, 2020

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See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for the week of August 16, 2020.  In it, you will find a recap of the Great EpisGOpal Race, as well as information on our next challenge from Bishop Kevin- to become more effective disciples in the quest for equity and justice through the 21-day challenge.   See the most recent edition of our Diocese weekly newsletter titled The Net, as well as the quarterly magazine, The Communion

This week, we will have three services.  ALL are Welcome; contact the office to have the leaflet mailed to you.

  • Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Thomas’s on YouTube.
  • Wednesday noon – intercessory prayer LIVE on YouTube a leaflet for Pentecost.
  • Thursday at 7 p.m. – Compline evening prayers with Deacon Cecily.  ALL are Welcome.  Let me know if you need a Zoom link for this calming and prayerful end to the day.
  • Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Nichols on YouTube.

In this strange time, the church is aware that some of its members are struggling to make ends meet. If you are in this situation, please let the clergy know of your needs, pray for the church, and feel no guilt about your giving. But if you are able to give, options for giving include mailing a check to your church or online giving. See our Giving page

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

Support Camp Arrowhead by buying a special edition shirt!

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Camp Arrowhead T-ShirtAs you know, the pandemic forced Camp Arrowhead to cancel its 2020 spring retreat groups and 2020 summer camp. Some of you were personally affected and many more of you shared in our grief. Over the years, many of you have expressed how camp feels like home or that camp is your happy place. Show your support and Arrowhead pride with a special edition acrostic design shirt — C.A.M.P. Camp Arrowhead’s My Place. You can choose from six colors and up to 12 sizes. These are limited edition and shirt orders will close August 26, 2020, and should arrive at your door by September 14, 2020. All proceeds go directly towards relieving the impact of Covid-19 on camp’s operating budget. Order your shirt today!

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for August 9, 2020

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Hello faith family!  2020 continues to throw us curve balls.  This week, we experienced some severe weather.  I pray that everyone came through it unscathed. A large tree to the right of the entrance came uprooted, and a few sizable branches in the grove came down. These issues were already being addressed when I arrived at the church building on Wednesday morning. THANK YOU to all the helpers involved. The phone lines were also damaged during the storm. This problem is also being worked on, but may take until some time on Monday to be resolved.  If you need anything from the office in the meantime, feel free to call or text me (302.354.3277) or shoot me an email, or for pastoral requests, call Fr Howie on 704.578.4724.  I am unable to retrieve messages left to the office phone at this time.

See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for the week of August 9, 2020. In the newsletter, you will find a poem found on the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) website, as well as some ECW history. Please see the August 2020 issue of Proclaim!, their occasional newsletter.

See the most recent edition of our Diocese weekly newsletter titled The Net, as well as the quarterly magazine, The Communion.  In the weekly Net, you will see not one, but two invitations from Bishop Kevin. One invitation is to the online forum, “Speaking of Freedom in Delaware”.  And, the other invitation is to participate in 21-day Racial Equity Challenge.  Check it out! I’ll be giving more information about this challenge in next week’s Carpenter’s Helper newsletter.

The EpisGOpal race has wrapped up, but the donations are still coming in.  THANK YOU!  If you have not yet sent in your donation, please do so this week.  We actually completed way more than one marathon; can you believe it?!  Together, we can do CRAZY good things.  Next week, we will be mailing our Soul Surrenderers donation to The Episcopal Church’s United Thank Offering (UTO).  I will share that total with you.

This week, we will have three services.  ALL are Welcome; contact the office to have the leaflet mailed to you.

  • Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Thomas’s on YouTube.
  • Wednesday noon – intercessory prayer LIVE on YouTube a leaflet for Pentecost.
  • Thursday at 7 p.m. – Compline evening prayers with Deacon Cecily.  ALL are Welcome.  Let me know if you need a Zoom link for this calming and prayerful end to the day.
  • Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Thomas’s on YouTube.

Kind Regards,
Cana Hartman, Parish Administrator
StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for August 2, 2020

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Hello faith family!  See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for the week of August 2, 2020. In it you will receive a lovely blessing, and read about an experience using the Forward Day by Day (the new edition is in!).

This is our newsletter: please let me know your thoughts and suggestions.  And, your letters, stories, and articles are welcome!  Any art or poetry you’d like to share?  How about a book or movie review (church appropriate).
Also, see the most recent edition of our Diocese weekly newsletter titled The Net, as well as the quarterly magazine, the Communion

Tomorrow is the last day to participate in the Great EpisGOpal Race.  St. Thomas’s team, the Soul Surrenderers, has positively been crushing goals!  I’m excited to share the final round-up next week.  Thank you to all those who have sent in their progress.  Please share any pics even if it’s just your shoes.  And, if you still want to join in – you can!  It’s as easy as taking a short walk around the block this evening and sending me a text or email.  Together, we can literally do marathons! Sign up using the sign-up genius

This week, we will have three services, as well as children’s ministries.  ALL are Welcome; contact the office for Zoom invitations. Please let me know if you would like a paper copy of any service leaflet mailed to you. 

  • Sunday, August 3, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Nicholas on YouTube.
  • Sunday at 11 a.m. – children’s worship via Zoom.
  • Wednesday noon – intercessory prayer LIVE on YouTube a leaflet for Pentecost.
  • Thursday at 7 p.m. – Compline evening prayers with Deacon Cecily.  ALL are Welcome.  Let me know if you need a Zoom link for this calming and prayerful end to the day.
  • Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Thomas’s on YouTube.
  • Sunday at 11 a.m. – children’s worship via Zoom.

Please let me know if you have ANY feedback, questions, or suggestions regarding our online worship. Let’s work together to make this “now normal” as great as we can imagine! Your input could make a big difference.

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

Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for July 26, 2020

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Hello faith family!  St. Nicholas friends, I know you don’t usually receive the St. Nicholas weekly newsletter, however there is a message to you in this edition!  All past newsletters are available on the News page of our website.

See the Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for the week of July 26, 2020. In it, you will get a reminder about the Great EpisGOpal Race, and there is a lovely message from Madeline regarding feeding the less fortunate in our community. Also, see the most recent edition of our Diocese weekly newsletter titled The Net, as well as the quarterly magazine, the Communion

This week, we will have two services, as well as children’s ministries.  ALL are Welcome; contact the office for Zoom invitations. Please let me know if you would like a paper copy of any leaflet mailed to you.  Note, there will be no Wednesday service this week, but it will resume on August 5, 2020.  Past Intercessory Prayer services are available on our YouTube channel.

  • Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Thomas’s on YouTube.
  • Sunday at 11 a.m. – children’s worship via Zoom.
  • Wednesday noon – intercessory prayer LIVE on YouTube a leaflet for Pentecost. Cancelled for July 29.
  • Thursday at 7 p.m. – Compline evening prayers with Deacon Cecily.  ALL are Welcome.  Let me know if you need a Zoom link for this calming and prayerful end to the day.
  • Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 9 a.m. – Worship Service, Rite II with music LIVE from St. Nicholas on YouTube.
  • Sunday at 11 a.m. – children’s worship via Zoom.

Please let me know if you have ANY feedback, questions, or suggestions regarding our online worship. Let’s work together to make this “now normal” as great as we can imagine! Your input could make a big difference.

The July Fun fellowship project: Passing the Peace with Postcards, has been launched!  By now, you should have received your envelopes with postcards to pray over and pass along.  And, you may have even started to recieve your own messages of positivity back!  PLEASE, let me know if you have not received any postcards, or if you would like a few more.  I’ll be more than happy to send some more out.

Participate in The Great EpisGOpal Race.  Sign up using the sign-up genius.  In case you haven’t heard me shouting this from the roof, The United Thank Offering is running a virtual marathon from July 24th to August 1st and have called it “The Great EpisGOpal Race”.   It is a relaxed, low-pressure effort that can be done at your own pace, over several days.  You choose the distance you will travel, as well as your modality: walk slow, run fast, swim, bike, roller skate, etc.⁠ We will join together as a team: The Soul Surrenderers, to race for OUR lives and the lives of those affected by COVID-19. ⁠Email the office at StThomassOffice@googlegroups.com or use the sign-up genius to join in the FUN!⁠  Everyone signing up for The Soul Surrenderers will receive a team water bottle, so please let me know the number of people participating from your household.  I’m asking for a suggested donation of $5 per km. Feel free to solicit additional donations from family and neighbors. 100% of the money raised will go to the 2020 UTO Ingathering in support of Episcopal ministries responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.⁠

This is a FUN opportunity for our faith family to join together in a safe and socially distanced way to make a positive difference.   Everything is by the honor system.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

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