Parish Email for Friday, 26 November 2021


Dear St. Thomas’,

14 months of meeting outdoors: This is a story that I will tell the rest of my life. Perhaps you will, too!

But things have changed over the last 14 months. On the one hand, our hope that Covid would “go away” or be eradicated has been crushed. On the other hand, God has enabled a confluence of background work to come together to provide effective vaccines in record time. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives have been spared by these vaccines already. So it seems that Covid-19 is destined to become just one more of the numerous perils that make up the background of our daily lives.

To that end, we are striving to return to some of the practices we have missed.

This Sunday we will meet indoors. On the one hand, we will wear masks, covering nose and mouth, and we will meet in the Parish Hall (where there is more space and better ventilation). On the other hand, we will sing more and share a more familiar practice of Holy Communion.

For communion you will be invited to come to the front. You are invited to sanitize your hands on the way there. At the front, there will be two options:

For one option, you will be offered the bread and the wine separately. You may choose to receive just the bread. Receiving the wine has always been optional. If you wish to receive the wine, you will be invited to sip from the common cup.

For the other option, you will be offered bread and wine simultaneously, by intinction. You may receive the bread dipped in wine in your hand or upon your tongue.

I don’t actually expect a lot of people to sip the wine from the cup while Covid looms so large in our minds. However, we will begin to offer the cup this week, because we are allowed to do so. As Covid fades into the background of our lives and we feel more comfortable together, that cup will continue to be available to us to access, each one as they feel called.

Our obligation to love and care for one another never ends. It is a key feature of the Kingdom of God. Even as we acknowledge our human frailty before another vicious disease, we continue to look out for one another and to feast on the presence of Christ in our midst.

I invite you to join us as we do so this coming Sunday at 10.30am.



Revised Guidelines for Communion in Both Kinds
During the COVID19 Pandemic—Effective November 19, 2021


KoH mourns death of Trustee

The trustees of Kitchen of Hope, Inc. mourn the loss of their dear colleague, the Rev. James D. Gowland, Deacon, who died November 21, in Turnersville, NJ. Deacon Jim was involved in the fight against hunger and food insecurity for decades. He also served on the diocesan Deacon’s Hunger Task Force.

Ordained on June 9, 2007 by The Rt. Rev. George E. Councell, Jim served as Deacon at Grace Church in Haddonfield, St. Mary’s Church in Haddon Heights, and Holy Trinity Church in Wenonah.

Celebration of Life will be on December 9, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at Church of the Good Shepherd, 315 Highland Terrace, Pitman, NJ 08071.

Please pray for the repose of Deacon Gowland’s soul and for his wife, Janice and the family as they grieve his passing.

Thank you to everyone who came out and helped with Kitchen of Hope.  This past weekend, over 100 families were served food and turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday!  Next giveaway is 11 December.

Wanted: Families to light the Advent wreath each week of Advent! Email with the week you would like to light the wreath (28 November, 5 December, 12 December, 19 December) and which service (Saturday or Sunday) .

The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd (Pitman) is hosting its annual Hol-Lee Fair on Saturday, 4 December, 2021 from 9am to 3pm.

The leaves are falling: that means it’s almost time for Grungy Sunday! Join us right after the 10.30 service on Sunday, 5 December as we clean and beautify the St. Thomas’ campus in preparation for the winter months.

On Thanksgiving Day (25 November) we will celebrate a brief Eucharist at noon in the Nave. Masks covering nose and mouth are required.

Daily Covid Cases can be found for Gloucester County here.

Lectionary readings for this week: First Sunday in Advent – Jeremiah 33:14-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Luke 21:25-36, Psalm 25:1-9

Lectionary readings for next week:  Advent 2 – Baruch 5:1-9, Philippians 1:3-11, Luke 3:1-6, Canticle 16

Please continue in your daily prayers for: Dennis, Marge, Joann, Lou, Jennifer, Jackie, Gary, Paul, Rita, Marie, Carl, Gerry, Joe, Jennifer, Gage, James, Walter, Robert, Kevin, Yomaira, Jared, Sandy, Karen, Bob, Janet

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!

Full-text of the liturgy is available at


Fall 2021 at St. Thomas’

  • Holy Eucharist in the Parish Hall and Streaming online: Sundays, 10:30am
  • Bible Study on the prophet Isaiah Online:  Sundays, 6pm (not meeting 28 November)
  • Compline Online:  Sundays, 7pm (not meeting 28 November)
  • Centering Prayer Online: Mondays, 4pm
  • Holy Eucharist at the Lychgate: Wednesdays, 5.30pm
  • Compline & Pizza (especially for Rowan students) at the Lychgate: Wednesdays, 8pm
  • Holy Eucharist in the Nave and Streaming online: Saturdays, 5:30pm


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