Dear St. Thomas’,
Have you ever known a sermon to go on too long?
That’s what we find in our first reading this week, from Acts 10.44-48.
Peter had been summoned by God to a Gentile house, the home of someone who was enabling the Roman occupation of Palestine. This was exactly the kind of person that many had hoped the Messiah would banish from the land. But God sent Peter, so Peter went. These Gentiles asked to hear the Gospel and Peter was never one to miss an opportunity to preach! But Peter went on so long that finally God interrupted Peter, making the Holy Spirit’s presence so palpable that even Peter, mid-sentence, couldn’t miss it. That’s when Peter stopped preaching. He saw that God’s work had already been done among these people, and his call was simply to confirm that work for his Gentile listeners and his Jewish companions by baptizing those on whom the Holy Spirit was already, obviously at work.
Thus began a whole new era in the life of God’s people, inviting anyone – even their worst enemies, to become not “one of us” but “one of God’s.” Thus was the whole world tied together in a unity of fellowship as God’s children, and any secondary identities such as nationality, race, class, education, or political affiliation, fell away as unimportant.
We love our neighbors as ourselves not because we feel a kinship or sympathy, but because they are God’s beloved. Woe be unto me if I despise or fail to honor God’s beloved. That includes myself, my neighbors nearby, and my neighbors on the other side of the world.
Also, I try not to preach too long. You never know what might happen!
This week we will begin a new Bible Study on the book of Ruth. For 4-5 weeks we will explore this beautiful story together. We will meet on Wednesday nights at 7pm on Zoom. Please join us!
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!
Looking for a way to help the community and the Sunday School? Join us on May 16 (rain date May 23) , to help clean up Gloucester County and raise money for the Sunday School. Clean up includes picking up trash, trimming weeds, etc. Exact location unknown at this time. If interested in helping, we will leave the church at 12:00 pm. Any question see Barbara K.
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.
Kitchen of Hope distributed food this weekend, the St. Thomas’ chapter of Family Promise / IHN is feeding homeless families this week, and the American Red Cross collected blood at St. Thomas’ this week (18 units collected will help up to 54 patients!). Thank you to everyone who gives of themselves, their resources, even blood, sweat, and tears, to serve our communities in these important ministries!
To support the outreach ministries of Kitchen of Hope Inc., St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Glassboro has been awarded two grants totaling about $20,000. All the funds will help KoH in its fight against hunger and food insecurity in South Jersey.
The first is a $14,904 pandemic relief grant from The Food Bank of South Jersey, in partnership with the Community Foundation of South Jersey. The funds will be used to buy fresh fruit and vegetables to supplement the monthly federal and state free food allocations from the Food Bank.
The second is a $4,931 award from the Wakefern Organization, parent company of ShopRite supermarkets. The funds will be used to buy food from Shoprite supermarkets for KoH’s semi-monthly free distribution to families and students in Glassboro public elementary schools who receive free meals at school but may not have food during the weekend.
Congratulations to Connor Crafton-Tempel, a graduating Rowan senior, who is one of four people being awarded their major’s highest service award, the Distinguished Service Award! We too appreciate and honor Connor for all they do to serve others!
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 sooner our community reaches a critical mass of vaccinations, the sooner our state and our Diocese will relax the pandemic protocols. We can do our part by each getting vaccinated as soon as possible!
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 10:44-48, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17, Psalm 98
Lectionary readings for next week: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26, 1 John 5:9-13, John 17:6-19, Psalm 1
Please continue in your daily prayers for: Dennis, Marge, Joann, Andrea, Bob, Jimmie, Bill, Kass, Sandy, Floss, Butch, Mary-Esther, Patty, Dean, David, Lois, Michael, Bianca, Kayla, Evelyn, Jackie
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, Noon: Sunday School County Cleanup
- 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 (online)
- Tuesday, 6pm: Small Group Bible Study: Hebrews (online)
- Wednesday, 5.30pm: Holy Eucharist (outdoors at Lychgate)
- Wednesday, 7pm: Bible Study: Ruth (online)
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: Bible Study: Ruth 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.