Dear St. Thomas’,
I write this week in sadness and hope, thinking of death and resurrection.
As I mentioned in a mailing earlier this week, this weekend we are burying two of our own, honoring the lives they lived among us. Charles Floyd will be buried today, Friday 17 July, at 10am: just three hours after this email goes out. You are welcome to attend this simple, outdoor service. There will be no amplifier, no singing, and no seating. We will wear masks, remain six feet apart, and avoid contact (e.g., hugs or handshakes). It will feel strange and awkward. But it is our presence with one another, our gathering as Church, that counts. Just as some of the earliest Christians gathered in the catacombs, hiding from persecution, so we can take the extraordinary steps required of us to both be present to one another, a community, and to avoid putting lives at risk unnecessarily.
Elsie Hoell’s funeral will take place at DeMarco-Luisi funeral home in Vineland on Monday, 20 July, at 3pm. Attendance is limited to 35 persons. There will be a visitation (not a viewing) beforehand if you want to come by and express your condolences to Elsie’s daughter, Donna, from 2-3pm.
Even as we look to begin meeting together again in the months to come, our meetings will seem strange and small, quiet and sometimes awkward. This will likely be “the new normal” for some time to come. More volunteers than ever will be needed to keep up with critical cleaning and other protocols. Yet again, we can do all these things, because of the value we place on being together as the Church, the Eucharistic community, in a way that preserves life and safeguards the dignity of every human being.
Things are different than they have been. That’s stressful.
God still reigns. In that we can rest quietly.
Adult formation continues this week! Join us on Sunday, 19 July, at 10am as Jonathan Wilson countinues a four-week online series on Light in the East: Exploring the Wide World of the First Christians. The Jesus movement has always called believers from diverse nations and cultures. Yet sometimes Americans imagine that the church’s diversity is the work of modern missionaries. Join us in a four-part historical series as we uncover the original “bigness” of our faith by exploring the surprisingly vast world of Jesus and his early followers. See the bibliography of suggested reading.
Care of the soul and care of the planet are imperative to our lives as people of faith. In Just an Proper Use: A Small Study in Eco-Spirituality, we will talk about ways that we can practice the “Just and Proper Use of Creation” in our daily lives and work. We will also learn how St. Francis and St. Hildegard of Bingen are inspirations for us in the modern day in the care of our beautiful world, and how our actions can and do impact others. Our Deacon Intern, Jeannie Marcucci, will lead this two-week class following Jonathan’s. You can download a copy of the booklet or email or call the church office if you would like us to mail you a paper copy. Then stay tuned to study with Jeannie on 9 and 16 August. (Dates subject to change depending on our schedule adjusting to re-opening the campus! Adult Formation will remain online.)
Sunday School for children at St. Thomas’ is taking the summer off, as is our normal rhythm. However, the Diocese of New Jersey is continuing to offer an online option: if you have little ones, check it out!
Kitchen of Hope’s mission of combating food insecurity is more important than ever during this time of mass unemployment. Therefore we will be offering food distributions on two different Saturdays in July: the second and the fourth (11 July and 25 July). Volunteers are needed but you must sign up with Vivian H. and come only during your assigned shift so that we may continue to comply with state and Diocesan guidelines on social distancing!
Need some more encouragement in this unsettling time? See weekly sermons from Bishop Stokes!
The Stay Safe Committee has submitted its report to the Diocese, so the conversation around parameters for re-opening the campus of St. Thomas’ has begun! If you didn’t catch them last week, you can still watch the training video (about 30 minutes) and/or the video with instructions for communion (about 4 minutes), both provided by our Diocese.
AnnaMarie Wilson would like to thank everyone for their cards and good wishes in celebration of her 90th birthday.
St. Thomas’ is hosting another American Red Cross Blood Drive on Wednesday, 22 July, from 2pm to 7pm. In order to maintain safe and appropriate social distancing, appointments are required: last month people were turned away because the schedule was full. For an appointment call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or go to RedCrossBlood.org with sponsor code “st. thomas glassboro”.
New Jersey Together is gathering more than 300 people from across the state to to ratify a non-partisan agenda focused on racial equity and criminal justice. Our Bishop and the Diocese of NJ have played a significant role in this effort. The group is laying the groundwork for a virtual action in August with 1,000+ across the state. Their desire is for at least five people from St. Thomas’ to join their planning team on July 27th. All you need to do is register at http://www.njtogether.org/july27
Camp CrossRoads is an Episcopal/Lutheran camp serving the Diocese of New Jersey and the Diocese of Newark. This year they are offering week-long “virtual camps” for younger children (Completed grades K-5, 13-17 July, 10am-noon), middle schoolers (Completed grades 6-8, 27 -31 July, 10am-noon), and high schoolers (19-25 July). Learn more at https://www.crossroadsretreat.com/summer-2020/
Announcements for the bulletin or parish email are due into the office by noon on Wednesday of each week. You can email them to email@example.com or call the office at 856-881-9144. Announcements are subject to editing due to limited space.
Lectionary readings for this week: Genesis 28:10-19a, Psalm 139: 1-11, 22-23, Romans 8:12-25, Matthew 13:24-30,36-43
Lectionary readings for next week: Genesis 29:15-28, Psalm 105:1-11, 45b, Romans 8:26-39, Matthew 13:31-33,44-52
Please continue in your daily prayers for: Dennis, Marge, Brad, Joann, Ruth, Medical Personnel threatened, sickened, and dying from their service to patients with Covid-19, Joan, Steven, Tracy, Sofia, Bobby, Mary, Andrea, Nancy, Tamara, Ginny, Donna, Bob, Sandy, Joe, Freidel-Kramer Family
This Weekend Online
- Saturday, 5.30pm: Evening Prayer
With Sunday lessons & homily.
- Sunday, any time: Morning Prayer (pre-recorded)
- Sunday, 9.00am: Online Sunday School with the Diocese of NJ
- Sunday, 10.00am: Adult formation: Light from the East led by Jonathan Wilson
- Sunday, 11.15am: Holy Eucharist with Spiritual Communion
at the Washington National Cathedral
- Daily Morning Prayer (Monday through Saturday)
- Nightly Compline with our neighbors at St. Stephen’s, Mullica Hill
(Monday through Friday)
- Monday, 4pm: Centering Prayer
- Tuesday, Noon: Coffee Hour
- Wednesday, 6.30pm: Prayer in the Evening
Check-in and a brief (5-minute) service of prayer.
- Wednesday, 7.00pm: Bible Study with Bishop Stokes
Events hosted by St. Thomas’ are accessed via Zoom: instructions here.
Our own Heather Lanier continues to let her light shine through her writing. Heather’s newest book, Raising a Rare Girl: A Memoir (Penguin Press) was released just last week. In it Heather offers her authentic, vulnerable self, that is to say, her spiritual self, for others to see as she shares the ways she has encountered God in the unexpected. (See the reviews!)
Jazz: Songs of Resilience and Strength
“Much of the power of our Freedom Movement in the United States has come from [jazz]. It has strengthened us with its sweet rhythms when courage began to fail. It has calmed us with its rich harmonies when spirits were down.” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Watch this concert series from a parish in Seattle live on Youtube every Friday in July at 9:30pm. Or view the concerts archived at this playlist.
- 7/17: Nichole Walters Quartet
- 7/24: Stephanie Porter Quartet
- 7/31: Jeremy Bacon Quartet
We celebrate the saints:
Bishop of Pennsylvania (17 July 1836)
This Week at St. Thomas’
- SINCE FRIDAY, MARCH 13 BUILDINGS CLOSED – NO EVENTS ON CAMPUS
- MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY DAILY OFFICE The Daily Office is the cycle of prayers traditional to Christians (and Jews before us!) that we see hinted at in the Psalms and elsewhere. Join St. Thomas’ as we pray, Monday through Saturday. Morning Prayer is posted online each morning at 5am. You can listen to it at whatever time suits you. Compline (bed-time prayers) is at 9pm.
See a list of upcoming events or check them out on a calendar.
Saturdays, 5:30pm: Evening Prayer
Sundays, 8am: Morning Prayer (recorded)
Sundays, 9am: Sunday School (Diocese of NJ)
Sunday School for children
Sundays, 10am: Adult Formation
Sunday School for adults – some Sundays in summer
Sundays, 11.15am: Holy Eucharist at the National Cathedral
Mondays, 4pm: Centering Prayer
Tuesdays, Noon: Coffee Hour
Wednesday, 6.30pm: Prayer in the Evening
Wednesdays, 7.00pm: Bible Study with the Bishop
Daily on Weekdays: Morning Prayer and Compline
Emergency Pastoral Care: