ECM dinners – sign up now!

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The signup sheet is posted so you may sign up to provide dinner for the hungry and appreciative UD students whom we will welcome to take a break from campus life and sojourn for a while in our building.

You can do it as an individual or with a friend or two. Plan to stay to eat and to get to know the kids.

Thank you. Sally Price <>

Carpenter’s Helper Newsletter for the week of May 20, 2018

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See St. Thomas’s Carpenter’s Helper newsletter for May 20, 2018. See all newsletters.

Pentecost Parish Picnic takes place this Sunday, May 20 after the 10:30 a.m. service. St. Thomas’s will provide hamburgers, veggie burgers and hot dogs a well as paper products and drinks. There will also be games and activities for all ages.

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS to help set up, clean up and help facilitate games. We also NEED YOU to bring a side dish or dessert to complete our celebration meal. (Donations will also be accepted toward the cost of the entrees and paper products.) Signup sheets to get an estimate of how many people are coming, who can help with setup and/or cleanup, and who is bringing what will be on the Great Hall door beginning on May 6.

One more thing … you are welcome to bring chairs or picnic blankets for your comfort and enjoyment. Thanks in advance for your help in creating another great fellowship opportunity for our St. Thomas’s family, especially during, this, our 175th year!! Please feel free to e-mail me at or call me at 302-832-8834 with questions or to volunteer to help plan or facilitate the picnic.

Christmas Pageant preparation

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Hello Families,

Thanks to all who helped with the Trick or Treat for UNICEF campaign. I am hoping to collect the last of the little orange boxes this Sunday, 11/13. Then, I will announce the grand total we collected and send it off to UNICEF. If any boxes come in after that, I will send it as a separate donation on behalf of St. Thomas’s Children’s ministries.

Our next big project is the annual Christmas pageant, which will serve as the gospel and sermon during the Christmas Eve service on 12/24.  We will be doing a traditional pageant this year and will need a narrator, 12-14 children with small speaking parts (most a sentence or two) and 4+ participants with no speaking part. I have some ideas about who would be good for the parts and will begin assigning the parts this week and next. I would like to begin rehearsals during Sunday School very soon and in December there will be some practices at time outside of Sunday School.

Please let me know if your child will be available for the pageant and willing/able to play a part. I will be talking to the children myself when I see them. So it would be greatly appreciated if families could make their best effort to attend church for the next few weeks.  The Christmas pageant is one of the greatest gifts that the children give to their church each year and I would love to have everyone be a part of it..

Peace to all,
Belinda Young-Payne
Director of Children’s Ministries, St Thomas’s Parish

Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – August 20, 2017/Year A

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“If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.” These words are spoken by Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, the young woman killed in Charlottesville VA last Saturday. These words framed the prayer service on Wednesday at Bethel AME Church in Wilmington. These words frame the ongoing call to living into our faith as the ones who call Jesus as our Lord.

We continue to allow too much polarizing speech about the others of our country and our world to rule our minds and hearts. Media and political voices dominate the floods of words, words, words, while too many good Christian folk paddle right along these vile streams of thinking and acting. After our remembrance of the Transfiguration and the first atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6, who of good faith would agree with a Christian pastor’s statement that God desires the “nuking of North Korea?” Is this what the God we worship and the Jesus we follow looks like today?

Brian McClaren is Christian pastor, writer, speaker, and advocating voice for the emerging church of open faith dialogue and living together. His book I am currently reading gives pretty clear hint to this faith stance. It is titled Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? I will give you a spoiler alert – it is NOT to separate themselves from the others but to gather in togetherness, one with another, and to move forward into our world.

For me, there are no “the others” when we live and act out of a mature faith. There are no “the others” in the Jesus Movement.

See Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – August 20, 2017/Year A in its entirety.

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Sermon for Feast of the Transfiguration – August 6, 2017/Year A

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This is one of those “special” days in our church year, a day the usual Sunday lectionary gets bumped. Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration. The altar hangings and our vestments shift from the “long green season” to our “dazzling white” versions to reflect God’s holy, radiant, and radical encounters absorbed into the very being of Moses, and revealed from what was always within of Jesus. While this is a great story, our techno-virtual 21st century short-term attention spans may say “Yeah, yeah, big whoop! So what comes next?” A seeming not that big of a deal moment that can be recreated in a minutes with sparks shooting from Jesus, his eyes bulging in radiance … and zombies galore, of course!”

We can choose to follow Jesus, or ….

See the Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.’s sermon for Feast of the Transfiguration – August 6, 2017/Year A.

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Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost – July 2, 2017/Year A

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If you want to GET OUT, you need to GO IN! Some of you may recall this story from past sermons around this time of our lectionary cycle. It is one that does not lose any power of meaning and speaking to me at any time in my faith journey.

Marilyn and I were shopping to begin a week’s vacation at the beach some years ago. We checked out and made our way to the exit when I saw THE SIGN. THE SIGN was not of the fancy four-color poster variety, just a simple, hand-scrawled in black magic marker version taped to the exit door. I suspect THE SIGN was posted by the harried store manager who, after verbally telling about a million people, wrote on THE SIGN the exact words he had said again and again and again. The automatic opener to the exit door was not operating, so THE SIGN on the door gave the following admonition – If you want to GET OUT, you need to GO IN!

It seems to me in our days and times of social, political, and religious dis-ease, proclaiming what is right and good all the while NEVER talking with the other but AT the other. Thus the spin cycle of “blame game” and interagency of views and action continues on and on and one. This way of living is getting us nowhere fast, so if we want change to happen in life around us, we need to be the change we desire THROUGH US in a living faith. The only way that truly happens is participating with our living and loving God.

If you want to GET OUT, you need to GO IN!

See the Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost – July 2, 2017/Year A.

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Sermon for The Day of Resurrection: Easter Day – April 16, 2017/Year A

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The Day of Resurrection is OUR call to know and respond to the truth we see in the depths of human suffering, injustice, and death, and to LIVE in the freedom of God’s promise of the empty tomb. The Easter story is our call, if we are to claim ourselves Christian, to live in this radical new “skin” of faithful living to which we are called right here and right now. This world changing moment becomes real through our world changing lives … Change me, bless you!

The invitation of the angel says best what transformational living really means – “Do not be afraid” … GO … TELL …!!!

See the sermon for Sermon for The Day of Resurrection: Easter Day – April 16, 2017/Year A in its entirety.

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Sermon for Theological Education Sunday, February 5

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The Episcopal Church designates the first Sunday of February as Theological Education Sunday. It is intended to invite our prayers and support for those who follow God’s call into the ordained life, as well as those who exercise their call in ministry through Holy Baptism.

This year, Father Paul invited Francie Thayer as our preacher this day. Francie is the director of The Retreat Center at Hillsboro in Hillsboro MD. The Retreat Center is a ministry of the Diocese of Easton. Formerly St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, this property has been resurrected as a retreat center where people can come for quiet, reflection, prayer, study, overnight retreat, and spiritual direction. All groups and denominations are welcomed. Francie is married to Peter Thayer, Head of School at St. Anne’s, and a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary with a Masters in Theological Studies. She firmly believes and seeks to live out her baptismal vows as her ordination in the priesthood of all believers.

Francine has shared her Sermon for Theological Education Sunday. “What are the bushel baskets in your life that keep you from being the light of the world? that keep you from letting your light shine?” You are invited and encouraged to read the sermon in its entirety.

See all sermons.