Parish Email for Friday, 12 February 2021




Dear St. Thomas’,

Ash Wednesday is next week.

Most years there is an odd mixture of emotions on Ash Wednesday.

It’s a fast day: one of only two on our calendar. Do you fast? You might consider trying it this year. Pro-tip: if you begin the fast on Tuesday evening, you can fast the “whole day” and still eat after the liturgy on Wednesday evening.

Most years we get Ashes pasted on our foreheads. That’s kind of fun and different. We even offer “Ashes to Go” which is appreciated by many of our neighbors! Even though the words are words of death: Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

For some those ashes look like a cross. For others, it looks like we forgot to wash. Then we hear a scripture reading about not showing our piety before others. This makes me feel conflicted about walking around with a cross plastered to my forehead.

This year, in accord with pandemic restrictions, we will not be offering ashes. If you want to burn your palm leaves at home and apply ashes to yourself and those “in your bubble,” feel free (and be careful playing with fire!). But this year we have been constantly surrounded by reminders of death in our hand-sanitizer, six-foot-distances, take-out meals, and more. This year we have worn signs of our mortality on our faces, the masks that protect us and protect those around us. We have had more than enough of death this year: we need no more. Those masks, and all the other precautions we take, speak loudly to us every day: Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Lent is a time to look death in the eye. It is a time to mourn and repent. It is a time to remember that God walks through the dark places with us, and there is perfect joy waiting on the other side. But first, we wait patiently through these 40 days.




Ash Wednesday is next week: 17 February. We will have an outdoor service at noon at the Lychgate and an indoor service at 7pm in the Parish Hall and on Zoom. There will be no Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, and the imposition of ashes will not take place either; instead we will notice the masks we wear when meeting in person are powerful reminders of our mortality.

One month from today, on Laetare Sunday, 14 March, at 10.30am, Bishop Stokes will make a visitation to St. Thomas’ for our outdoor service. This is a time for Confirmations, Receptions, Reaffirmation, or even Baptisms. Please contact Fr. Todd right away if you are interested in taking part in any of these rites.

Lenten Worship and Formation Opportunities:

  • Wednesday, 17 February: Fast for Ash Wednesday
  • Wednesday, 17 February, Noon: Ash Wednesday (outdoors)
  • Wednesday, 17 February, 7pm : Ash Wednesday (Parish Hall, Zoom)
  • Mondays, 4pm: Centering Prayer (Zoom)
  • Wednesdays, 5.30pm: Holy Eucharist (Lychgate)
  • Wednesdays, 7pm: Lenten Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Zoom)
  • Fridays, 7pm: Stations of the Cross (Zoom)
  • By Appointment: Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) (Zoom/Telephone)

We continue to offer two outdoor Eucharists per week: Sunday at 10.30am and Wednesday at 5.30pm. These meet in rain or shine: please consider your clothing, your health, and the weather before joining us outdoors for 30 or 60 minutes. If the weather makes an outdoor service impossible at 10.30am, we may choose to move it into the Parish Hall and broadcast it on Zoom. We also offer two indoor Eucharists per week with very limited seating. Please reserve your seat on the church website.

Kitchen of Hope is distributing food this weekend under a foul weather protocol: speak to Vivian Hanson if you would like to support their work!

The state of New Jersey has open a “pre-registration portal” for residents to sign up to receive vaccination against Covid-19. Sign up at

Numbered pledge envelopes have arrived! Pick yours up at an in-person liturgy or from the table in the lower level of the Parish Hall. If you are unable to pick them up, your number will stay the same: please write that number in the memo line of your check and you will receive full credit for each gift.

Announcements for the bulletin or parish email are due into the office by noon on Wednesday of each week. You can email them to or call the office at 856-881-9144. Announcements are subject to editing due to limited space.

Download this week’s bulletin or see the online version.

Lectionary readings for this week: 2 Kings 2:1-12, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Mark 9:2-9, Psalm 50:1-6

Lectionary readings for next week: Genesis 9:8-17, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:9-15, Psalm 25:1-9

Please continue in your daily prayers for: Dennis, Marge, Joann, Sandy, Andrea, Bob, Jimmie, John, Lou, Marie, Marla, Helen, April, Sarah, Dean, Chris, Jack, Nancy, Bruce, Sheila, Les, Patty, Chuck, Valerie


This Weekend at St. Thomas’

Weekdays at St. Thomas’

Online events hosted by St. Thomas’ are accessed via Zoom: instructions here.


Every week during Lent we will have a brief video from the Holy Land followed by a discussion.


Join us online, Wednesdays at 7pm sharp, in a virtual pilgrimage to the land of the Bible!
Come early to visit!



The Earl B. Scott Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians of the Diocese of New Jersey invites you to attend A Virtual Commemoration Service for The Rev. Absalom Jones

Absalom Jones service
The Rev. Absalom Jones Virtual Commemoration Service
Feb. 14, 6:00 p.m.





See a calendar of Saints of the Episcopal Church.
Which Saint will you remember today?


See the official St. Thomas’ calendar or a list of upcoming events.
Are you serving in liturgy? Check the rota!


Saturdays, 6pm: Holy Eucharist
in the Nave: limited to 12 pews of up to two people each

Sundays, 8am: Holy Eucharist
in the Parish Hall and online

Sundays, 9am: Sunday School
online: for children

Sundays, 10.30am: Holy Eucharist
outdoors, rain or shine, unless below freezing

Sundays, 6pm: Youth Group
online: for teens

Mondays, 4pm: Centering Prayer

Tuesdays, Noon: Coffee Hour

Tuesdays, 6.30pm: Small Group Bible Study

Wednesday, 5.30pm: Holy Eucharist
outdoors, rain or shine

Wednesdays, 7.00pm: Bible Study with the Bishop

Daily on Weekdays: Morning Prayer
online: recorded



Office telephone:

Emergency Pastoral Care:
Call this number if you have a pastoral emergency, such as an alert about an ailing parishioner, a hospital stay, a death in the family, or to request last rites. Leave a message and with a phone number for your call to be returned.


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