Parish Email for Friday, 27 May 2022

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Dear St. Thomas’,

The “unthinkable” happened again this week in Texas. A large class of second, third, and fourth graders were killed and injured, along with their teachers. I invite you to read the response of our own Bishop Stokes.   I invite you to read the response of Bishop Reed of West Texas.

As the news swirls around Uvalde (with no mention of Ukraine or Buffalo or the shooting in Philadelphia last week!) we see the same impotent responses from politicians and the media. There’s no power there.

But there is power. Our Bishops call us to prayer – but not a faithless prayer of despondency and cynicism. Because even the quietest, stillest, most wordless prayer is a site of God’s Holy Spirit at work. That Spirit changes us, empowers, and compels us to “go forth in power” “to love and serve the world.”

In a democracy, we have the capacity to influence opinions and make decisions: to decide what kind of country we want to live in — and what kind of country we want to create for our children and our neighbors. For Christians these are moral, ethical, and very much spiritual choices.

Why should the United States be such an ugly exception in the prevalence of gun violence and mass shootings among “developed” and wealthy nations? God has given each of us power, agency, and responsibility. We are called to mourn with God, to experience Jesus’ righteous anger on behalf of others, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit to make an effective response. We pray: and our prayers lead to words, votes, and actions.

What is God’s call to you today?




The CDC COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH. This means masks are required at any indoor gatherings at St. Thomas’, including gatherings for worship.

Our Sunday worship gatherings have moved outside for the summer! Bring a chair and dress for the weather!

Sunday School is cancelled for 29, May 2022 for the Memorial Day weekend.

Beware what you encounter online. One member of St. Thomas’ reported this week being approached by someone on Facebook who was fraudulently adopting the names and identities of multiple other St. Thomas’ members and clergy. Even when you think you know who you’re communicating with online or via texts, you may not. Requests for or offers of money, personal information, or the sharing of links to websites all merit great skepticism. Make contact offline to do any needed business.

In celebration of Pride Month, join us for a new Adult Formation offering, Hearts Unbound.  The overwhelming message of the Bible, in story after story, is that of God’s radical love and welcome. Every time we think we know who’s in and who’s out, God does something to challenge those assumptions, to unbind our hearts and minds from old ways of understanding, and to draw the circle ever wider.  This is setup in a fun, informal reader’s theater – no costumes or props!  Readers needed!  Contact Sarah T. for questions/more info.  Starting 5 June at 9 AM in the Parish Hall.

The last day of Sunday School is Sunday, 12 June.  In celebration, we are inviting you to join us as Launch Trampoline Park in Deptford at 12:30PM  The Sunday School will be covering the cost for all kids.  If interested, please contact Barbara K. by 5 June.

Help Wanted: due to several reasons, the Sunday School will be cancelling it’s Spring Flea Market indefinitely.  The Fall Flea Market is scheduled for 17 September (rain date of 24 September) and we are looking for and organized person to spearhead the planning of this event (a position formally filled by Debbie L.).  Interested candidates should be able to copy and mail out sign-up forms, keep track of those who want to rent tables, collect funds and be the contact person by either phone or email.  Forms, maps and contacts are already completed.  Contact Barbara K. if interested.

We want to hear from you! The Strengths and Interests Committee is conducting a survey so we can learn more about our parishioners – what are your strengths or talents?  What are your interests?  Your prompt participation is appreciated, however, please submit no later than June 5th.

  • The survey is streamlined and takes no more than 10 minutes to complete
  • Each family member should complete the survey individually
  • Easily completed on a computer, mobile phone, iPad
  • A summary of responses will be shared (anonymously) after survey completion
  • Survey Link:
  • You may scan the QR code below to access the survey
  • If you require a paper copy to complete the survey, please contact Jo-Ann T. at (856) 889-7855 or Devin D. at (856) 745-0291.

The Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing recently put on a special program for Asian American & Pacific Islander month. Our friend from the Diocese of New Jersey, the inimitable Canon Barbie Bach, was a featured panelist. See the recording here:

The USPS is offering another round of free Covid at-home tests.  You can apply for your free tests here.

Centering Prayer (Mondays, 4pm) will be online only through the end of May. If you would like to host the in-person portion of Centering Prayer occasionally through the summer, and connect it with our online cohort, please contact Father Todd.

Our COVID protocol is following the CDC guidelines for Gloucester County. Masks are presently required. Please be sure to stay on top of your recommended vaccinations and masking to protect all those you love.

If you would like to contribute to the work of Episcopal Relief & Development serving refugees from Ukraine, you can donate here.

Lectionary readings for this week: 
Last Sunday of Easter – Acts 16:16-34, Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21, John 14:8-17, (25-27), Psalm 97

Lectionary readings for next week:  Pentecost – Genesis 11:1-9, Acts 2:1-21, John 14:8-17, (25-27), Psalm 104: 25-35, 37

Please continue in your daily prayers for: Dennis, Marge, Joann, Jennifer, Lou, Mary Esther, Chuck, Marie, Ruth, Craig, Ethan, Erin, Jason, Michael, Catherine, Kimberly, Lois, Hope, Jack, Ginny, Cheryl, Steve, Eddie, Chase, Kathy, Jack, Stacey, Jim, Donna

Announcements for the parish email are due via email by noon on Wednesday of each week. You can email them to

The church calendar can be seen at for a list of upcoming events. Please help us keep it current (and avoid hurt feelings) by sending updates to the church office (

Are you serving in liturgy? Check the rota!

Prayer requests can be sent to

Watch our livestream here Saturdays at 5:30pm and Sundays at 10:30am!

Full-text of the liturgy is available at


The Great 50 Days of Easter at St. Thomas’

  • Holy Eucharist Outdoors and Streaming online: Sundays, 10:30am
  • Centering Prayer Online: Mondays, 4pm
  • Holy Eucharist in the Nave and Streaming online: Saturdays, 5:30pm



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