Dear St. Thomas’,
This coming Sunday, our first reading is of an encounter between a Deacon of the Church (Philip) and a man who is identified in the Bible not by his name or his accomplishments, but by his “exotic” nationality (Ethiopian) and by his sexual identity (a eunuch). This person has an important government position at home, being a court official, and he gets to travel in first class (seated in a chariot). But in Jerusalem, his reception is probably more ambiguous.
The law of Moses would restrict this person’s participation in the worship of God (cf., Deuteronomy 23.1). On the other hand, the prophet Isaiah promises that someday God will honor both the foreigner and the eunuch with a place in God’s house even as that house is called “a house of prayer for all peoples” (Isaiah 56.3-8).
The eunuch is someone who is seeking God. The eunuch has made the journey to the Holy Land, is reading Isaiah, asks Philip for help in interpreting Scripture and, hearing Philip’s proclamation of the Gospel, demands to be baptized. God was already at work in the life of this nameless person, a foreigner, a sexual minority. He was simply awaiting a sufficiently full proclamation of the Gospel to find that he, too, was included in its call.
Philip’s faithful obedience was the missing piece of the puzzle, that which God used to do God’s redemptive work.
Maybe you can identify with the eunuch from Ethiopia. Maybe you have been rejected or felt unworthy before God or other people. No matter: God has God’s eyes on you. God is sending people into your life (including your church community) to invite you into God’s redemptive work in your life.
Maybe you can identify with Philip. Do you hear God prompting you to carry God’s love to others?
There is some of the eunuch and some of Philip in each of us. We are wonderfully made by God, and wonderfully loved.
This weekend (1-2 May), besides Birthdays and Anniversaries, we will offer blessings for those Graduating from College. If that description fits you (or someone you love), come to church this morning to tell us about it and receive the prayers of St. Thomas’ on this momentous occasion!
The Burial Eucharist for Tina Lawton will be held on the Rectory lawn at St. Thomas’ on the Day of Pentecost, 23 May, at 6pm. Just like Sunday mornings, please wear a mask and bring a chair.
The Diocese, following the advice of the CDC and medical professionals, has given us permission to use our hymnals once more! We will only use them outdoors, since we may only sing outdoors.
The hymnal you receive outdoors will have been untouched by anyone else for at least four days, and will remain untouched for at least four days after you turn it back in. This period of quarantine is believed to mostly eliminate chances for transmission of the coronavirus by surface contact. If you would prefer not to take a hymnal, the lyrics for our hymns are available, along with the entire liturgy, on https://sharedprayers.net. Just scan the QR code on the front of the worship bulletin with your phone’s camera to go straight there!
Hymnals should be returned after the service to the same place where you received. A volunteer wearing gloves will receive your hymnal and place it back in the cart. Would you like to volunteer to help hand out and collect hymnals next week?
Rowan Students have finished their classes for the semester. Today may be your last chance to express goodbyes and well wishes to those who are headed home for the summer and those who are going off to new adventures. We wish all students at Rowan a successful conclusion to their semester and God’s blessing as they continue their journeys.
Graduating High School Seniors will be recognized by St. Thomas’ on 16 May at the 10.30am service. Please plan to attend! Additionally, the Diocese of NJ is recognizing seniors with a Diocesan Baccalaureate at 3pm on 23 May. Join us online!
St. Thomas’ is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, 4 May, from 2pm-7pm. Sign up online or use sponsor code: St. Thomas Glassboro
The Diocese of New Jersey has a crack team available to help you get an immediate appointment for vaccination against Covid-19. Use this form to get signed up for an appointment right away.
The CDC has provided guidance for those who have received the Covid-19 vaccine. Some protocols are relaxed among “fully-vaccinated” persons in private settings. For as long as not everyone has access to the vaccine, we will as a parish observe the protocols that keep everyone – including the unvaccinated – safe. This is a matter of justice: we do this in order to be in solidarity with all God’s children.
Announcements for the bulletin or parish email are due into the office by noon on Wednesday of each week. You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 856-881-9144. Announcements are subject to editing due to limited space.
Download this week’s bulletin or see the online version.
Lectionary readings for this week: Acts 8:26-40, 1 John 4:7-21, John 15:1-8, Psalm 22:24-30
Lectionary readings for next week: Acts 10:44-48, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17, Psalm 98
Please continue in your daily prayers for: Dennis, Marge, Joann, Andrea, Bob, Jimmie, Chuck, Jimmie, Jerry, Gary, Carl, Bill, Jeannie, Zenaida, Kass, Joan, Michael, Dee, Carmela, Howard, Kass, Sandy, Floss, Butch, Mary-Esther, Patty, Dean, David, Lois, Michael, Bianca, Kayla, Evelyn
|May Birthdays||May Anniversaries|
|1 Zenaida C.||7 Richard & Kelly R.|
|2 Liane C.||23 Glenn & Trudy G.|
|2 Wayne R.||26 John & Susan H.|
|2 Aaron H.||26 Chuck & Jo-Ann T.|
|4 Ajia H.||30 Jeremy & Sandy O.|
|5 Dan S.||31 Father Todd & Becky F.|
|7 Ethan R.|
|8 Gwen J.|
|8 Sandra H.|
|9 Hannah G.|
|12 Ginny G.|
|16 Rachel S.|
|17 Robert S.|
|23 Elizabeth M.|
|25 Tal K.|
|26 Maryann S.|
|30 Sara J.|
|31 Petra L.|
|31 Theresa V.|
|31 Jean M.|
This Weekend at St. Thomas’
- Saturday, 6.00pm: Holy Eucharist in the Nave (limited capacity: RSVP here)
- Sunday, 8.00am: Holy Eucharist in the Parish Hall and on Zoom (limited capacity: RSVP here)
- Sunday, 9.00am: Online Sunday School for pre-school to pre-teens
- Sunday, 10.30am: Holy Eucharist Outdoors at St. Thomas’
- Sunday, afternoon: Holy Eucharist at St. Thomas’ (recorded)
- Sunday, 6.00pm: Youth Group Online
Contact Dan O. for details.
Weekdays at St. Thomas’
- Daily Morning Prayer (Monday through Saturday)
- Monday, 4pm: Centering Prayer
- Tuesday, 6pm: Small Group Bible Study: Hebrews
- Wednesday, 5.30pm: Holy Eucharist (outdoors at Lychgate)
- Wednesday, 7pm: Foundations of Faith via Zoom
Online events hosted by St. Thomas’ are accessed via Zoom: instructions here.
Diocesan Baccalaureate Celebration with Bishop Stokes May 23, 3:00 p.m.
This year‘s Baccalaureate with the Bishop will feature the presentation of scholarships, a virtual parade of graduates featuring your submissions, a multi-language reading of Acts 2:11 for Pentecost, and more!
If you are graduating this year (or know someone who is), please contact us at email@example.com so we can include you in this year’s celebration!
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, 6pm: Holy Eucharist
in the Nave: limited to 12 pews of up to two people each
Sundays, 8am: Holy Eucharist
in the Parish Hall and online
Sundays, 9am: Sunday School
online: for children
Sundays, 10.30am: Holy Eucharist
outdoors, rain or shine
Sundays, 6pm: Youth Group
online: for teens
Mondays, 4pm: Centering Prayer online
Tuesdays, 6.30pm: Small Group Bible Study online
Wednesday, 5.30pm: Holy Eucharist
outdoors, rain or shine
Wednesdays, 7.00pm: Foundations of Faith online
Daily on Weekdays: Morning Prayer
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.