Parish Email for Friday, 11 March 2022

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This is the week to change your clocks and “Spring Forward” so you don’t miss church on Sunday!

Dear St. Thomas’,

My Lenten challenge to you is from the Rev. Christopher Martin’s suggestion of “20-1-4”: 20 minutes of prayer per day, 1 hour at worship each week, 4 hours of service each month. Last week I wrote a little about prayer, with some suggestions about how to engage that challenge.

This week I want to speak to worship. I’ll begin by asking, why do you come to worship? There are as many reasons for coming to church as there are people who come. What is it that gets you out of bed, out of the house, on a Sunday morning to gather with others?

We gather to be changed: to learn, to grow, to enjoy fellowship with one another, to encounter the mysterious presence of God.

We gather also to change the world: every time we celebrate the Eucharist or a prayer Office, we are lodging a sacramental protest against everything that is wrong in the world today, and faithfully enacting a vision of God’s promises for how things will be in the end.

I asked a local rabbi recently which is the most important Jewish holiday. She said, “the Sabbath.” That weekly gathering is the central practice of the Jewish faith. While I can clearly identify Easter as the central celebration of the Christian year, each Sunday is for us a “little Easter”: a celebration of that holy day.

When you were baptized, and as you renew your baptismal covenant several times a year, one of the promises we make is to go to church. Church is where we find God’s presence “in the apostles’ teaching [reading Scripture in community] and fellowship, in the breaking of bread [Holy Communion], and in the prayers [everything else!]”.

The pandemic has made attending church complicated and sometimes difficult. At St. Thomas’ we have striven to make church as accessible to everyone as possible. We meet indoors on Saturdays and Sundays, outdoors on Wednesdays (weather permitting), and streaming online during the weekends. I invite you to commit to at least that one hour of
worship with the church per week in our Lenten challenge, engaging that hour in the way that makes the most sense for you.

I’ll look for you in Church!




Our Covid protocol has changed! We will be following the CDC guidelines for Gloucester County, which will vary based on the local infection rate and, secondarily, the availability of our local hospitals to cope with current cases.

We will additionally wear our masks while singing whenever the daily new cases count  for Gloucester county exceeds 15/100k.

As of this past Monday, the CDC COVID-19 Community level was Medium and the daily new case count was 8.8. This means that masks are optional for those who are up-to-date on the COVID-19 vaccinations and who are not at high risk for severe illness.

You are encouraged to wear a mask if you are at all concerned about it. You will not be the only one!


Join us this Sunday night at 7pm on Zoom as we begin our Lenten series, “Growing in the Wilderness.” Each week we will begin with a video from the Diocese of Atlanta, followed by conversation in prayer. We will close with Compline at 8pm.

Kitchen of Hope is tomorrow, Saturday, 12 March.  Contact Vivian H. (856-366-8461) if you’d like to help!

Are you interested in Confirmation? The Bishop will be in our neighborhood on Saturday, 9 April, at St. Stephen’s, Mullica Hill. Speak to Fr. Todd if you would like to undergo this rite affirming your mature decision to belong to the Episcopal Church.

The Easter Vigil (16 April 2022) is one of the four days set aside in the Episcopal calendar as especially appropriate for baptisms. If you would like to be baptized, or have a child baptized, please speak to Fr. Todd as soon as possible.

In honor of all our mothers, the ECW is supporting Mothers Matter, a nonprofit which aids moms in need.  One of their projects is to give out lovely gift bags to moms at Ronald McDonald House, daycares, and cancer patients in hospitals.  We are collecting toiletries to fill their bags and we invite you to help!  There are collection boxes in the Nave and Parish Hall.  Their Wish List includes: Liquid Hand Soap, Mini Hand Sanitizer, Small Hand Lotion, Facial Wipes, Chapstick, Lipstick, Emory Boards, Nail Polish, Nail Polish Remover Packets, Playing Cards, Puzzle Books, and Journals.  These items can all be found at Dollar Tree!  If you prefer to give a monetary donation, please put it in the collection plate in an envelope marked ECW/Mothers Matter.  Thanks so much!!

Did you miss the Diocesan Convention live stream this weekend?  Watch it here!

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: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18, Philippians 3:17-4:1, Luke 13:31-35, Psalm 27

Lectionary readings for next week:  Exodus 3:1-15, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9, Psalm 63:1-8

Please continue in your daily prayers for: Dennis, Marge, Joann, Jennifer, Lou, Mary Esther, Chuck, Ethan, Mack Family, Don, Amelia, Andrea, Gene

Daily Covid Cases can be found for Gloucester County here.

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!

Watch us live on Twitch Saturdays at 5:30pm and Sundays at 10:30am!

Full-text of the liturgy is available at


Winter 2022 at St. Thomas’

  • Holy Eucharist in the Parish Hall and Streaming online: Sundays, 10:30am
  • Lenten Series “Growing in the Wilderness”:  Sundays, 7pm
  • Centering Prayer Online: Mondays, 4pm
  • Holy Eucharist in the Nave: Wednesdays, 5.30pm
  • Holy Eucharist in the Nave and Streaming online: Saturdays, 5:30pm



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