Parish Email for Friday, 21 April 2023

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PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE:  Our student choir director, Chris S. will be holding their senior recital in the nave tonight, Friday, 21 April at 7:30pm.  A light reception will be held afterwards in the parish hall. Please join us for this entertaining evening of music!


This Sunday is our Easter pageant! Come to the 10.30 as our children proclaim the Gospel message for us this week.

Following the 10:30 service this Sunday, the Sunday School will be having lunch and spring crafts for the kids. Both classes are welcome.

We will be collecting monetary donations to give as a gift to both Bishop Stokes for his retirement/discretionary fund and Bishop-Elect Sally French for vestments and other supplies needed for her new position.  If you would like to donate, please contact Donna F.  Be sure to indicate to whom you’d like your gift to go to.  Deadline to donate is Sunday, 7 May.

This week, we continue our 2 concurrent, 4-week Adult Forum programs:

Are you interested in a practical conversation about the Basics of Bible Study? (This is part of our ongoing “ABCD’s of the Faith” series.) Join us for a 4-part conversation on the four Sundays following Easter (16 April-7 May), at 9am in the Parish Hall, followed by Coffee Hour.

In celebration of Campus Pride Month, join us for the 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.  We will be exploring 4 new stories, setup in a fun, informal reader’s theater – no costumes or props!  Readers needed!  Contact Sarah T. for questions/more info.  Starting 16 April at 9 AM in the Lower Level Parish Hall. See this week’s script here.

The Episcopal Church Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) is continuing its work to prepare The Episcopal Church for the election of the 28th Presiding Bishop at General Convention in 2024. To that end they are releasing three essays this month to help inform the church about the ministry of the Presiding Bishop.  Read the third and final essay regarding The Basic Timeline and Steps of the Nominating and Election Processes here.  You can also read the first essay here and the second here.

The Sunday School will be having a Community Clean Up Fundraiser. This is done in conjunction with Gloucester County. The Sunday School will recieve $500 from the county for a couple hours of trash pickup in the area.  It helps our community look better, and the Sunday School gets needed funds which is a win/win! If you would like to join their efforts, please contact Barb K.

Rowan University’s two largest singing groups, RoVo and Profecy will be presenting an end-of-year, send off concert on Sunday, 30 April in the nave.  Reception to follow after.  Stay tuned for more details!

Mary Elizabeth Clark

Clark was born in June 1938 in Pontiac, Michigan and assigned male at birth.  In 1957, she enlisted in the United States Navy and rose to the rank of chief petty officer (E-7), serving as an instructor in anti-submarine warfare. Clark had an 11-year marriage which produced a son, but ended acrimoniously.  She married again, and later revealed her gender dysphoria to her second wife, who helped her through self-identifying as female. Upon learning of her psychological evaluations, the Navy discharged her honorably. In 1975, she underwent a sex reassignment surgery and took the name Joanna Michelle Clark. A U.S. Army Reserves recruiter who was aware that she was transgender enlisted her as a woman in the Army in 1976.  A year and a half later, she was nominated for promotion to warrant officer. Her enlistment was voided when her transgender status became known to higher-ups. She brought suit against the Army and won a settlement of $25,000 and an honorable discharge.  During the 1970s, she was an activist for the rights of transsexual people and was instrumental in winning the right of Californians to have their gender changed on their birth certificates and driver licenses. In 1980, she founded and led the ACLU Transsexual Rights Committee.  She had been raised Southern Baptist, but left the church due to disillusionment with racism in its congregations. In the 1980s, she felt a religious calling and worked to become an Episcopal sister. Conflict with the Episcopal diocese over the validity of the order she sought to found led to her leaving the denomination shortly after she took her vows in 1988, and she later became a sister of the American Catholic Church, a small independent Christian denomination following Catholic rites.  Also in the 1980s, she continued the work of the Erickson Educational Foundation, aiding transgender people.  In 1990, inspired by meeting an isolated young man with AIDS in rural Missouri, she returned to her family home in San Juan Capistrano, California, taking on the bulletin board system AEGIS begun by Jamie Jemison and eventually building it into the “most definitive – and perhaps the most accessible – source of information on” AIDS.  She is the recipient of the Award of Courage from the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Jonathan Mann Award for Health and Human Rights from the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care, the Crystal Heart award from the San Diego GLBT Center and the Joan of Arc award from the Orange County Community Foundation.


Latin for “one who reads” Lectors are an important part of every worship service, yet they execute an extremely easy task!  Reading lessons and leading prayers of the people, the only skill you need is to be able to read.  If you attend services regularly, this can be an easy, impactful commitment.  Contact Kathy I. for more information and to get on the Rota!

Interested in joining a new ministry but don’t know where to start?  Every week, a different group will be highlighted at the end of the newsletter.  Information about meetings, what they do in the church or community, contact info and more!  If you have content you want to share about your ministry, send it to to be featured in an upcoming newsletter.

Lectionary readings for this week:  Acts 2:14a, 36-41, 1 Peter 1:17-23, Luke 24:13-35, Psalm 116:1-3, 10-17

Lectionary readings for next week:  Acts 2:42-47, 1 Peter 2:19-25, John 10:1-10, Psalm 23

Please continue in your daily prayers for:  Dennis, Marge, Joann, Lou, Jennifer, Cameron, Jane, Richard, Bea, Sue, Becky, Bob, Andrea, Bill, Heather, Stacey, Antoinette, Tal, Barbara, Brenda, Neil, Tammy, Walter, Andy, Ruth, Cyril, Jim, Bob

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 8am & 10:30am!

Full-text of the liturgy is available at


Spring at St. Thomas’

  • Holy Eucharist (Nave – now with music!): Saturdays, 5:30pm
  • Holy Eucharist in the Nave – Rite I (Nave):  Sundays, 8am
  • Adult Formation (Parish Hall):  Sundays, 9am
  • Children’s Sunday School (Parish Hall):  Sundays, 9am
  • Coffee Hour (Parish Hall): Sundays, 10am
  • Holy Eucharist (Parish Hall): Sundays, 10:30am
  • Centering Prayer (Nave): Mondays at 4pm (also on Zoom)
  • Holy Eucharist at Lych Gate (most times):  Wednesdays, 5:30pm



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