Parish Email for Friday, 18 September 2020



Dear St. Thomas’,

Last week we began our fall season of Sunday School. Adults gathered for formation online on Saturday evening at 4.30. Children and teens gathered online on Sunday morning at 9am. Caring adults worked together to lead Sunday School classes that were lively, engaging, and helped each participant to understand that they are loved by God and by God’s people.

Then, at 10.30am on Sunday, 56 members and guests of St. Thomas’ gathered on the lawn to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. We were excited to see one another! It was thrilling to greet people in person whom we hadn’t seen in six months! The church bell rang joyfully. We praised God together, proclaimed the Gospel, and shared communion. The weather was beautiful: a delightful day to enjoy God’s good creation.

AND… We all wore masks and sat far enough apart to keep six feet between people of different households. Ten minutes after the dismissal, the lawn was empty and most people who weren’t helping clean up had left. We refrained from hugging or shaking hands.

It is hard to change long habits and to repress our impulses to show warmth with physical touching and proximity. This represents loss and pain.

But we showed that St. Thomas’ is strong, and that we are capable of putting aside individual preferences and opinions in order to care for the most vulnerable among us. We showed our love of God and love of neighbor in our careful observance of the safety protocols we have agreed to keep together.

As I observed at the beginning of our liturgy, some of our sisters and brothers are not ready to join us: they do not yet feel safe in doing so. I commend their wise discernment and care for themselves and those around them.

Others of our sisters and brothers find our safety protocols to be too rigorous, too strict. They are unable to safely wear a mask for an hour or to refrain from touching others. I commend their wise discernment also, and their care for themselves and those around them.

Yet for all who find the safety protocol to be both sufficient and bearable, it enables us to gather together. This is the commitment we have made to our Diocese and to one another, the condition for our reopening. It reflects the commitment of our parish to be a place of life and flourishing, a place of care and responsibility.

I’m proud of St. Thomas’ and the tremendous way we have pulled together to continue being the church during this pandemic. This thing is far from over, but we have proven that it is not going to stop us. We live in faith that God is bigger than any disease and we will not merely endure through this season, but we will emerge stronger from the experience as well as sadder for the losses it has brought our way.

This is not the time to let up, but to continue our efforts to love one another with phone calls and cards as well as masks and distancing. With all the tools God puts at our disposal, we will continue to respond in faith, inviting one another into God’s Kingdom and making the world a better place.




Sunday School for children and teens meets on Sundays at 9am! Children should log in at the usual place. Teens should contact Dan O. for more information!

Adult Formation continues this week with a study on the idea of peace in the Bible. Join us online on Saturday at 4.30pm.

Another formation opportunity for adults will be offered online on Thursday nights beginning on 1 October (exact times TBD). Sacred Ground is a film- and readings-based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith. Small groups are invited to walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism, while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity. Speak to our Deacon intern, Jeannie M., for more information.

Our turn to host Family Promise is next week. Our guests will not be staying in our building, but we are still providing meals. Thank you to Donna F. for organizing our service this month!

Our schedule of liturgies will continue to be in flux as we adapt to the conditions around us. More than ever, volunteers are needed in order to enable us to continue using our campus. Cleaning, setting up, and maintaining supplies are all tasks that you could help with. Please contact a member of the Vestry if you would like to participate. The more volunteers we have, the more often we can meet together safely without burning anyone out!

Lector Training meetings continue to be on hold due to the pandemic. But readers, and their conscientious preparation, are still needed! Please contact Kathy I. or the church office to sign up as a lector. Presently we are inviting a single lector to read all the lessons and the prayers for the liturgy in which they serve in order to minimize cross-contamination.

The Funeral for Mary Tyers will be in the St. Thomas’ Memorial Garden on Saturday, 17 October, at 11am. (Mary died on 11 May.) In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society.

A message from Episcopal Relief and Development: While the pandemic claims our attention both in the US and abroad, we find ourselves nearing the height of the Atlantic hurricane season. Already, we’ve seen the Gulf Coast devastated by Hurricane Laura, and we’ve also witnessed the tragic wildfires as they rage in California. The weeks and months ahead hold a great deal of uncertainty, and they ask one thing of us: Be ready. So that we can continue to provide relief in communities across the country — and be ready to act in the weeks ahead — I ask you to make a donation to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Disaster Fund.

Amid all the challenging news of 2020, some tragedies linger on from years past. One of these is the Opioid crisis, unabated. The Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse of the Diocese of New Jersey is holding an online workshop entitled The Intersection of COVID-19 and the Opioid Crisis: How Can the Church Respond? with special speaker, Dr. Arnold Washton, MD. The workshop will be held online on Saturday, October 3, from 9:30AM to 1:30 PM. To Register, call 609-921-2420 or e-mail

The Bishop George E. Councell Memorial Golf Tournament will take place this year on Monday, October 12, 2020 at Mercer Oaks Golf Club in West Windsor, New Jersey. It includes 18 Holes of Golf; Continental Breakfast, Box Lunch and Plated Dinner; Fabulous Prizes, Raffle, Silent Auction and what promises to be a day of Great Fellowship and Fun! The cost is $175 per person, which includes meals, green fees and cart. Read more.

Registration for the Soles for the Harvest 5K and Fun Run/Walk is now open. This year it will be a virtual run, at a time and on a course of your choosing between 1-7 November. Sign up online and choose “St. Thomas’ Church – Glassboro” as the recipient for your donation or fund-raising efforts: that way, 100% of your gift will go to Kitchen of Hope!

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.

Lectionary readings for this week: Exodus 16:2-15, Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45, Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16

Lectionary readings for next week: Exodus 17:1-7, Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16, Philippians 2:1-13, Matthew 21:23-32

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, Sandy, Rona, Kathy, Tony, Phyllis, James, Debbie, Virginia, Diana, Alberto, Smith Family, Vasu, Joe, Zachary, Randy, Janet, Connie, Andrea, Joseph, Kelly, those impacted by Hurricane Laura, Janine, Lemmerman family, Livingstone, Lois, Jonnell, Handell, Jimmie


This Weekend Online and at St. Thomas’

Weekdays Online

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


During this season of coronavirus infections, when attending events on campus at St. Thomas’, please demonstrate your love for your friends and neighbors by:

  1. Wearing a mask (covering both mouth and nose)
  2. Remaining six feet apart from anyone you don’t live with
  3. Refraining from touching, hugging and shaking hands – even during the Peace
  4. There will be no singing
  5. Service bulletins you have touched must be taken home
  6. After the service everyone must disperse with no lingering
  7. No sharing of common objects such as pens, paper, etc.




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, 4.30pm: Adult Formation
Sunday School for adults – on Saturday!

Saturdays, 5.30pm: Evening Prayer

Sundays, 8am: Morning Prayer (recorded)

Sundays, 9am: Sunday School for children

Sundays, 10.30am: Holy Eucharist outdoors, rain or shine

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



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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