Dear St. Thomas’,
The news I have to report today continues to be the ambiguous kind. It’s good news. And it is tinged with grief, as so many things in these times seem to be.
The good news is that a week from today, on Friday 5 June, the Diocese is planning to release a set of guidelines that we, St. Thomas’, can use to begin to plan what the re-opening of our campus will look like. These guidelines will not have dates attached: those dates will continue to flex and change according to the data as interpreted by our Bishop. But the guidelines will be expressed in terms of stages, roughly paralelling the stages laid out by Governor Murphy to restart New Jersey’s economy.
At St. Thomas’ we’re beginning to assemble a small committee whose job it will be to receive those guidelines and turn them into a plan for St. Thomas’.
I have not seen the Diocesan guidelines yet, but I can tell you that the process of moving back into our buildings will be slow and deliberate. There will be firm limits on how many can attend. We will not celebrate the Eucharist at first, and it’s likely going to be some time before we sing together in person. You may be interested to read one priest’s guess about what that will look like.
At St. Thomas’ we will be moving with all deliberateness to re-open our campus as soon as we can do so safely. It will be a (long) process, not an event. In the meantime, we will continue to be Christ’s church, called to ministry in this particular time and place and circumstance, meeting online, through the mail, through the phone, and maybe a little bit in person.
This week is the Feast of Pentecost! Our schedule is changing accordingly. We will have live liturgies online both Saturday night at 5.30 and Sunday morning at 10am. Come dressed in red and, if you speak a language besides English, consider reading aloud from Acts 2.1-4 at the appointed moment in the service! Sunday School for children will meet as usual online at 9am Sunday.
Kitchen of Hope’s mission of combating food insecurity is more important than ever during this time of mass unemployment. We have increased our operations to two distributions per month. If you wish to volunteer, it is imperative that you sign up for a shift instead of just showing up as we did in the past. Please contact Vivian H. to do so (or leave a message with your contact info at the church office).
Anna Marie Wilson is turning 90! Send her a Happy Birthday card at 11 N. Ambler Road; Somers Point NJ 08244.
Long-time members of St. Thomas’, Annette Baker, Alice & Daniel Kapr, little Tyler Nguyan (who hasn’t been a member quite as long, only having been born in 2018!) and the newest baby, Grace, are moving to Pennsylvania this weekend for Quan’s (Alice’s husband’s) new job at the end of this month. Please send them a housewarming note at their new address: 132 Iron Bark Court; Collegeville PA 19426.
If you’re wondering whether the Parish Cookbook is still happening, it is! Keep sending in your recipes! We want to see them! Send in as many as you like, there is no limit. Email them to Sarah T. or mail them to the church office and we will get them!
The St. Thomas’ summer picnic has been canceled (as well as most on-campus events this summer). Thank you to Barbara and Terry for their faithful organization of this annual family favorite!
I want to thank everyone at church for all of their prayers over the past 6 months for my Granddaughter Rylie. She had a telemedicine visit with her concussions specialist on Thursday and he is very pleased with her progress over the past 2 weeks. When she first started seeing him in November she was a 4 on the scale that he uses to judge how severe the concussions is she now is at 39. The top of the scale is 40 so you can see how well she is doing . God bless everyone I can’t thank you enough for your prayers. From June E.
The Diocese of NJ is offering a Diocesan Baccalaureate for graduates from 8th grade, high schools, and colleges. If you know any graduates who should be honored in this way, please direct them to http://bit.ly/DNJGraduates
The Diocese of NJ First Responders/Healthcare Affinity group is starting a fellowship for frontline responders (police officers, ambulance/fire squad, and hospital workers). It begins on June 2 (8-9:15PM). Check out their facebook group.
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: Numbers 11:24-30, Acts 2:1-21, John 20:19-23, Psalm 104:25-35, 37
Lectionary readings for next week: Genesis 1:1-2:4a, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, Matthew 28:16-20, Psalm 8
Please continue in your daily prayers for: Dennis, Marge, Dot, Tina, Don, Brad, Joann, Chester, Ruth, Chuck, Sarah, Jim, Medical Personnel threatened, sickened, and dying from their service to patients with Covid-19, Carol, Bob, Armand, Roy, Joe, Dee, Mike, KOH volunteers and those they serve, Bryan, Bill, Tracy, Sandy, Catherine, Michelle, Kris, Owen Family, Tom, Gwendolyn, Simkins Family, Family of Dorothy Johnson, Tracy, Karen, Dave, Darrell, Janet, Jade, Jimmy, Andrea, Chris
This Weekend Online
- Saturday, 4.30pm: Adult Formation
Join us as we finish our series on “Practical BCP”
- Saturday, 5.30pm: Ante-Communion for Pentecost
With Sunday lessons & homily.
- Sunday, 9.00am: Sunday School for Children
- Sunday, 10.00am: Ante-Communion for Pentecost
- Sunday, 11.15am: Holy Eucharist with Spiritual Communion
at the Washington National Cathedral
- Daily Morning Prayer (Monday through Saturday)
- Podcasts (currently: Sheer Christianity)
- 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.
St. Thomas’ celebrated graduations! Scott C. graduated from seminary last week; a family friend organized a socially-distant drive-by celebratory parade. Congratulations, Scott!
Heather Lanier is published in The Atlantic
Surrendering to Uncertainty
The RNA molecule that causes COVID-19 contains just 15 genes and is responsible for shutting down schools, businesses, weddings, funerals. That our lives could get thrown upside down by something so small seems absurd. But I’m accustomed to my world getting upended by a handful of genes. Eight years ago this spring, I was told my nine-month-old baby would maybe walk someday or maybe not. She might talk someday, or she might not. My daughter has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare condition caused by a genetic deletion in her fourth chromosome, a nonhereditary, could-happen-to-anybody hiccup at the cellular level. In raising her, I’ve learned to embrace uncertainty. And now I notice it in everything. As the pandemic overturns what we thought we knew about our future, we are invited to surrender to a life free of expectations.
THE VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
After the angel Gabriel had announced to Mary that she was to become the mother of Our Lord, Mary went from Galilee to Judea to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth, soon to be the mother of John the Baptist. This visit is recorded in Luke 1:39-56. Elizabeth greeted Mary with the words, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Mary burst forth with the song of praise which we call the Magnificat, beginning, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” We are told that even John the Baptist, still unborn, leaped for joy in his mother’s womb. Thus we are shown, side by side, the two women, one seemingly too old to have a child, but destined to bear the last prophet of the Old Covenant, of the age that was passing away; and the other woman, seemingly not ready to have a child, but destined to bear the One Who was Himself the beginning of the New Covenant, the age that would not pass away.
- Zephaniah 3:14-20;
- Colossians 3:12-17;
- Luke 1:39-49
Father in heaven, by whose grace the virgin mother of your incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping your word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
sources: James Kiefer on satucket
This Week at St. Thomas’
Weekdays, 5:00 am
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 is broadcast live at 9pm.
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 4:30 PM ADULT FORMATION Join us online as we study together.
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 5:30 PM ANTE-COMMUNION FOR PENTECOST Join us online as we worship together.
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 7:00 PM ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS https://zoom.us/j/689139278?pwd=bFBlUjF2NzRIeHJ1YmxIV3BiVTBMUT09
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 9:00 AM SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN If you have little ones (younger than middle school), join us for Sunday School via Zoom.
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 10:00 AM ANTE-COMMUNION FOR PENTECOST Join us online as we worship together.
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 11:15 AM HOLY EUCHARIST ONLINE at the National Cathedral
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 4:00 PM CENTERING PRAYER Meet via Zoom.
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 6:00 PM BOOK GROUP Reading N.T. Wright’s, The Day the Revolution Began.
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 9:00 PM COMPLINE Broadcast by our friends at St. Stephen’s
TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 12:00 PM COFFEE HOUR ONLINE Meet via Zoom. Hosted by Jo-Ann T.
TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 6:30 PM SMALL GROUP Convened by Cole B. online.
TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 9:00 PM COMPLINE Broadcast by our friends at St. Stephen’s
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 12:00 PM STAFF MEETING
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2:00 PM CLERGY BIBLE STUDY
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 6:30 PM PRAYER IN THE EVENING Join us online for a check-in and brief service of evening prayer before the Bishop’s Bible Study.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 7:00 PM BIBLE STUDY WITH BISHOP STOKES Register at: http://bit.ly/StokesBibleStudy
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 9:00 PM COMPLINE Broadcast by our friends at St. Stephen’s
THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 11:00 AM CLERGY TOWNHALL
THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 9:00 PM COMPLINE Broadcast by our friends at St. Stephen’s
FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 5:00 AM 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 is broadcast live at 9pm.
FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 9:00 PM COMPLINE Broadcast by our friends at St. Stephen’s
SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 5:30 PM ANTE-COMMUNION FOR TRINITY SUNDAY Join us online as we worship together.
SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 7:00 PM ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS https://zoom.us/j/689139278?pwd=bFBlUjF2NzRIeHJ1YmxIV3BiVTBMUT09
SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 9:00 AM SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN If you have little ones (younger than middle school), join us for Sunday School via Zoom.
SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 10:00 AM ANTE-COMMUNION FOR TRINITY SUNDAY Join us online as we worship together.
SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 11:15 AM HOLY EUCHARIST ONLINE at the National Cathedral
SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 6:00 PM YOUTH GAME NIGHT via Zoom
Saturdays, 4:30pm: Adult Formation
Saturdays, 5:30pm: Evening Prayer
Sundays, 8am: Morning Prayer (recorded)
Sundays, 9am: Sunday School
Sunday School for children
Sundays, 10am: Adult Formation
Sunday School for adults
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: