Friday, December 30, 2011

New Service Times

  Here Ye!!
  Here Ye!!

Sunday, January 1st
Services at St. Thomas begin at
8 a.m. Sanctuary
10 a.m. Sanctuary
10 a.m. Harmony

Come one, Come All!!
Posted by PH

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Weekly Events at St. Thomas

Hello Everyone,


Here’s your weekly reminder of all the programs, services and events at St. Thomas during the next several days. Please take particular notice of all events in red.

NEW SERVICE TIMES BEGIN

Beginning Sunday, January 1st, St. Thomas will return to the 10 a.m.

service times for the Traditional Sanctuary and Harmony services.

All Sunday service times are:

8 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary
10 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary
10 a.m. Harmony in the Parish Hall
6 p.m. in the Chapel

Tuesday, December 27th

Centering Prayer meets tonight at 6—6:45 p.m. Come to the Sanctuary at 6 p.m. to experience the “peace that surpasses all understanding” through the silence of Centering Prayer.


Wednesday, December 28th

Men’s Bible Study is at 7 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Holy Eucharist with Healing is at 12 noon in the Chapel.

Supper, Song & Prayer is in the Parish Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome! Join us as we sing of Christmas Carols as the Twelve Days of Christmas continues.

Godly Play is at 6:30 p.m. in the Library. Godly Play is for Pre-K thru 5th grade children. We will continue to explore the story of Advent.

Youth Group meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Room.


Thursday, December 29th

Women of the Word is at 9 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Friday, December 30th

Holy Folders meet at 10 a.m. in the Founders’ Room.

AA Meeting is at 10 a.m. in the Guild Room.


Saturday, New Year’s Eve December 31st

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday, January 1st

Sunday Services are at 8 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary, 10 a.m. Harmony in the Parish Hall, 10 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary and 6 p.m. in the Chapel.

Youth Group will meet at 9—10 a.m. in the Youth Room. Come and be a part of this great group!
Sunday School is at 9:50 a.m. in the Canterbury Library.
Nursery hours are 9:50 a.m. in the Nursery.
Children’s Chapel hours are 9:50 a.m. in the Nursery, coordinating with each service. Children will return to the service a the Offertory time.

Offering Envelopes are in the back of the church.



Monday, January 2nd

Church Office Closed.

Yoga is at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.

See you at many—or all—of these events.

Blessings,
Pam Holley
Parish Secretary

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Men’s Bible Study- 4th week of Advent

Second Book of Samuel 7: 1-11, 16 
Samuel was a Prophet in the time of King Saul and David. Samuel is said to be written or compiled by the J writer in around 10th century BC and by the E writer in the eighth century BC. 

His mom was Hannah, she prayed long and hard for a son; so when Samuel was a few years old she dedicated him to God and handed him over to Eli a senior Levite priest.   Samuel is given the honor of being the first Acolyte.  He was serving Eli as his companion and helper.  In due time God called Samuel, and we have the story of Samuel waking Eli in the night several times and Eli told Samuel it was God calling him.   Samuel’s other claim to fame was the anointing of David (Jesse’s youngest son) as King.  Some difficulties arose because King Saul was very angry and attempted to slay David.  Samuel protected David and it came to pass David became the King. 

This reading, 7: 1-11, 16, is a Covenant story; a revival of the deal between Abraham & God is played out.   The dialog between King David and the prophet Nathan has to do with David’s grandiose plans to build a magnificent temple to house the Arc of the Covenant (GOD).  God forcefully tells David (through Nathen), not for me to build a magnificent house!  I did not ask for this, I do not want this; God wants an intimate personal relationship.  God lives in the heart, the mind, and soul not isolated in magnificent temples.  God gives out a litany of all the acts that were accomplished to preserve the people of Israel.  In closing, he tells King David:  “Your house and your Kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever” (the Covenant restated). In the context of Advent, the story is a good reminder that the real deal is the Covenant of Love in the heart- be prepared in the right way; don’t get lost in the wilderness of building magnificent stuff.      


The Roman Letter is considered by biblical scholars to be the exposition of Paul’s theology, independent of local issues and problems.  It is the last of his many letters and constitutes a summary of Paul’s faith and teachings.   In his grand design, Paul’s aspiration was to spread the Good News in Christ to all; he envisioned his next road trip would be to Spain.  However, Paul was arrested before he got on the road again.  Chapter 16 is the last chapter of this Letter, it includes greetings to fellow followers and an introduction to one of these followers named Phoebe.    

Paul preaches three elements in 16: 25-27:  Standing firm against adversity, you are called to spread the word of Christ to others, and the coming of Christ fundamentally changed the game completely.  Additionally the Gospel of Christ is for everyone, not just one group of people-  Preach the word to all the nations is one of features that is fundamentally different from the earlier prophets.  In the end, Paul concludes that the faith is set in acts of Love of God and fellow man.    



We can easily see that Advent is nearly done and Christmas is not far away by this Gospel that is often referred to as the annunciation-  The Angel Gabriel comes down to a small unimportant village to tell a teen age girl that she is to give birth to GOD’S son, Jesus. WOW!    

Only the Gospels of Luke and Matthew detail the Nativity.  Luke wrote his Gospel around 62 AD for a wealthy patron Theophilus, but targeted a greater audience, the Roman Empire. His Gospel was written in sophisticated Greek.  When Luke was a young guy he hung out with the disciples, his mother was one of the early followers of Jesus.  His story of the nativity is from Mary’s point of view.  It is widely held that Luke and Mary conversed, so the information is first-hand, not passed down folk traditions.  This story is amazing in context of that time.  In those days, a betrothed person was in that status for a year, the aspect of a pregnancy could result in severe penalties and becoming a social outcast in her family and village.  Mary as one imagines was very disturbed by Gabriel’s announcement.  The game was on, Mary accepted the word, and then Gabriel goes on to say that this Jesus will get the throne of David- implications of the Messiah and rule the house of Jacob forever (tying the future to the past).   Gabriel tells Mary that her close relative, Elizabeth at advanced aged is pregnant with a son (John the Baptizer).  “Nothing is impossible with GOD.”  Mary exclaims, “Here I am, the servant of the LORD; let it be according to your word.”  The Magnificant, is a wonderful song Luke 46-49, a personal, expression of Mary’s praise to God and Thanksgiving for her being selected.

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.

For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath magnified me and holy is his Name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations.

He hath showed strength with his arm, he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich he hath sent empty away. He remembering his mercy hath helped his servant Israel as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever. 

Tying this back to our Prophet Samuel, we have a similar expression of gratitude to God by Hannah (1000 years earlier) for her blessing of a son (First Book of Samuel 2nd Chapter: 1-10). 

Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Mother of God (Μήτηρ Θεο) and the Theotokos, literally, Birthgiver of God.   In Islam Mary is regarded as the virgin mother of the prophet Jesus. She is described in the Qur'an, in the Sura as Maryam (Arabic: سورة مريم‎).

Get on board:  the Lord is coming soon!   Thanks be to GOD

Submitted by Walt Jaap

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Two Babies

Sermon Notes

Father John started his sermon relaying a story from the former Soviet Union in 1994…they were trying to re-connect with world morals and ethics and as part of the effort were hosting a tour of American Christians. The Americans visited a large orphanage and shared the story of Jesus’ birth with the children. To help the kids learn the lessons of the Nativity, they had each of the children build a paper manger and then discuss what they built. When they came to a Misha, a six-year old, he shared his manger and relayed the story exactly as he had been taught, but then the teacher noted that there were two babies in the manger and asked Misha who the other baby was:


“When Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn't, because I didn't have a gift to give him like everybody else did.

"But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift. So I asked Jesus, "If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?" And Jesus told me, "If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me." "So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him---for always."
Father John pointed out that today we all celebrate Christmas, but unlike Misha, we can’t seem to get it right. He noted that in John’s Gospel that John the apostle only refers to John the Baptist as just “John.” He does not address Jesus’ baptism and only focuses on his role as a witness…this is our job too. No matter what we are doing, we should be witnesses…so why aren’t we?

God just isn’t on most of our radars. For many of us, God = Amazon.com. Also, we are consumed with our busyness. Father John noted that Americans are so busy, on average, we give up two days of vacation a year…we seem to think that our jobs can’t live without us. Our busyness keeps us from seeing what we should see. God wants us to be happy, so why aren’t we?

It is because our focus is on our things and distracted by our busy lives. Fr. John said we can realize God’s wish for us by changing our focus and making our whole lives prayers. This should be the season for preparing ourselves and finding the manger. We must want to be like Misha and seek to be with the Baby...if we can make Him our focus, he will be with us “for always.”

posted by m white

Women of the Word

Exodus 16:26 - 19




And so our band of unhappy Israelites continues, living on the Manna that the Lord has provided for them. On the seventh day of this diet, the people went out to gather more manna and found none. The Lord reminds them to follow His instructions and rest on the Sabbath, which this is. He had given them enough food for two days to tide them over. Well, they must have forgotten about this, so they went back to the encampment and rested.

Now manna , we are told, is like coriander seed, white, and made in wafers that taste like honey. It had never been encountered before, and the Lord told Moses who told Aaron to keep an omer of it so that coming generations might see the food that He has provided in the wilderness. In case you are wondering, an omer is a tenth of an ephah.

The group next camped at Rephidem, where with great quarreling and complaining, they discovered there was no water. Forgeting all that God has provided thus far, they immediately abandon all hope and decide once again, that Moses has brought them out here to die. A distraught Moses, fearing for his very life, cried out to the Lord, asking Him what to do. Moses is instructed to take some of the elders with him and, with the staff he used to strike the Nile, strike the rock at Horeb. Sure enough, water flowed from the rock. Moses called the place Masseh (test) and Meribah (quarrel) because the Israelites tested the Lord and quarrelled here.

Note here the frequent appearance of the staff. It is a sacred object, and its significance is tied into the bishop's crosier today.

Now for a complete non sequitur, Amilek appeared out of the nowhere and fought with Israel. Moses instructed Joshua, also making his debut on the scene, to choose some men and go fight Amalek. Joshua did as told, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill where Moses directed the fight. It was an all day event, and Moses grew so weary that Aaron and Hur brought him a stone to sit on and helped him raise his hands to direct the fight..

Now here is a curious thing: whenever Moses raised his hand, Israel prevailed.When he lowered it, Amalek prevailed. Why didn't he just keep his hand up and be done with the fight?

Then the Lord told Moses He would blot out the rememberance of Amalek from under heaven. Moses built an altar as a tribute to his faith in the Lord.

Next, Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, a priest from Midian, appears on the scene, having heard all that God has done for Moses and his people. We learn that Moses had sent away his wife, Zipporah with their two sons. Not nice, after all she'd done for him, saving his life and all. Anyway, Jethro apparently bore no umbrage at this, took them in, and brought them along with him. Moses greets his father-in-law warmly, but gives not so mucha as a "Hi!" to his wife and sons. He takes Jethro into his tent to they can catch up on the news. Jethro realizes from Moses' accountings that the the Lord is indeed the God above all gods and Aaron came with all the leaders of Israel to eat bread with Jethro in the presence of God.

The next day, Jethro noticed that Moses held court all day long, listening to the grievances and issues of his people. Jethro said "This is nonsense. You're running yourself ragged. You need help." So he instructed Moses to set up a sort of court system like we have today, with Moses hearing only the major cases and other wise men hearing lesser problems. And so it was.

The message of Exodus we are to perceive, is that God is creating from this ragtag people a whole new nation. They must endure trials to develop faith, to lose old perceptions and habits, and to do this they must face endless travail through the wilderness, trusting in God to pull them through. God goes from a creator God to a"hands on" God: "You will be my people and I will be you God if you keep my laws."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Weekly Events

Hello Everyone,


Here’s your weekly reminder of all the programs, services and events at St. Thomas during the next several days. Please take particular notice of all events in red.

YOUTH CHRISTMAS PARTY

Friday, December 16th
at
6 p.m. in the Parish Hall



CHRISTMAS SERVICE SCHEDULE

Saturday, December 24th

4 p.m. Full Choral Eucharist in the Sanctuary
5:30 p.m. Harmony
10 p.m. Full Choral Eucharist in the Sanctuary

Sunday, December 25th
 
12 Noon Eucharist with Hymns in the Sanctuary

Tuesday, December 13th

Centering Prayer meets tonight at 6—6:45 p.m. Come to the Sanctuary at 6 p.m. to experience the “peace that surpasses all understanding” through the silence of Centering Prayer.


Wednesday, December 14th


Men’s Bible Study is at 7 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Prayer Line Meeting is at 11 a.m. in the Founders’ Room.

Holy Eucharist with Healing is at 12 noon in the Chapel.

Supper, Song & Prayer is in the Parish Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome! Duane Kaufhold will be our speaker. Please support Duane with your prayers and presence.

Godly Play is at 6:30 p.m. in the Library. Godly Play is for Pre-K thru 5th grade children. We will continue to explore the story of Advent.

Youth Group meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Room.

Hand Bell Rehearsal is at 7:30 p.m. in the Guild Room.


Thursday, December 15th


Women of the Word is at 9 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Holy Folders meet at 12:45 p.m. in the Founders’ Room.


Friday, December 16th

Stretching & Toning is at 8:30 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Flower Guild decorating is at 9 a.m. in the Flower Guild Room.

AA Meeting is at 10 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Youth Christmas Party is at 6 p.m. in the Parish Hall.


Saturday, December 17th


The Fourth Sunday of Advent December 18th

Sunday Services are at 8 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary, 9:15 a.m. Harmony in the Parish Hall, 10:30 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary and 6 p.m. in the Chapel.

Sunday School is at 9 a.m. in the Canterbury Library.

Nursery hours are 9 a.m.—11:30 a.m in the Nursery.

Chancel Choir Rehearsal is at 9 a.m. in the Choir Room.

Children’s Chapel hours are 9:15 a.m.—10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.—11:15 a.m. in the Nursery, coordinating with each service. Children will return to the service a the Offertory time.

Offering Envelopes will be in the back of the church.


Monday, December 19th

Stretching & Toning is at 8:30 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Yoga is at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.


See you at many—or all—of these events.


Blessings,
Pam Holley
Parish Secretary















Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Weekly Events

Hello Everyone,


Here’s your weekly reminder of all the programs, services and events at St. Thomas during the next several days. Please take particular notice of all events in red.

Cookies and Caroling

Join us for a fun filled afternoon. Please bring one dozen of your

Favorite Christmas Cookies. We’ll Carol for some Old Fashion

Christmas Cheer for those who might not be home for the Holidays.

Shore Acres Nursing Home

Sunday, December 11th, 10:30—11:30 a.m.

Following the Harmony Service

Meet outside the Parish Hall



CHRISTMAS SERVICE SCHEDULE

Saturday, December 24th

4 p.m. Full Choral Eucharist in the Sanctuary

5:30 p.m. Harmony

10 p.m. Full Choral Eucharist in the Sanctuary

Sunday, December 25th

12 Noon Eucharist with Hymns

in the Sanctuary


Tuesday, December 6th

Centering Prayer meets tonight at 6—6:45 p.m. Come to the Library at 6 p.m. to experience the “peace that surpasses all understanding” through the silence of Centering Prayer.


Wednesday, December 7th

Men’s Bible Study is at 7 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Holy Eucharist with Healing is at 12 noon in the Chapel.

Supper, Song & Prayer is in the Parish Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome! Duane Kaufhold will be our speaker. Please support Duane with your prayers and presence.

Godly Play is at 6:30 p.m. in the Library. Godly Play is for Pre-K thru 5th grade children. We will continue to explore the story of Advent.

Youth Group meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Room.

Hand Bell Rehearsal is at 7:30 p.m. in the Guild Room.


Thursday, December 8th

Women of the Word is at 9 a.m. in the Guild Room.


Friday, December 9th

Stretching & Toning is at 8:30 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Holy Folders meet at 10 a.m. in the Founders’ Room.

AA Meeting is at 10 a.m. in the Guild Room.


Saturday, December 10th

The Third Sunday of Advent December 11th

Sunday Services are at 8 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary, 9:15 a.m. Harmony in the Parish Hall, 10:30 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary and 6 p.m. in the Chapel.

Sunday School is at 9 a.m. in the Canterbury Library.

Cookies and Caroling is at 10:30—11:30 a.m. Meet outside Parish Hall.

Nursery hours are 9 a.m.—11:30 a.m in the Nursery.

Children’s Chapel hours are 9:15 a.m.—10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.—11:15 a.m. in the Nursery, coordinating with each service. Children will return to the service a the Offertory time.

Offering Envelopes will be in the back of the church.


Monday, December 12th

Stretching & Toning is at 8:30 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Yoga is at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.


See you at many—or all—of these events.


Blessings,
Pam Holley
Parish Secretary

Monday, December 5, 2011

Women of the Word


Exodus 15:22 – 16:26

             Having successfully escaped from the Egyptian army, Moses and the Israelites start their journey to the land that God has promised them.  So far, in this story, four things have happened to the Hebrews:

1.      Deliverance from slavery and exile

2.      Grace – their redemption is out of God’s pure grace

3.      Claim – God claims them for His own

4.      Law – a “precept and rule of life.”  This fourth item is a later, but important, insertion mirroring part of the ten commandments: “obey the Lord your God . . . listen to his commands and keep all his statutes.” (15:26)

The journey throughout Exodus is going to be one of ongoing testing and teaching.  The testing starts immediately when the Israelites, after traveling for three days without fresh water arrive at Marah, a way station in the wilderness, and find the water too bitter to drink.  They cry to Moses; he cries to the Lord; the Lord shows Moses a way to sweeten the water, and the first crisis is solved.  Temporarily satisfied, they arrive at Elim, described poetically as a place of 12 springs and 70 palm trees (12 being a magic number and 70 a multiple of the number of completeness).

            Alas, the Israelites’ serendipity is short-lived.  After leaving Elim, they find themselves deep in the wilderness of Sin (Syn) with their rations depleted.  They complain to Moses and Aaron (who is brought back into the story by the P writer) that it would have been better to have died in Egypt where, at least, they had “fleshpots and plenty of bread to eat!  But you have brought us out into this wilderness to . . . starve to death.” (16:4) 

            Moses tells Aaron to gather the whole community, saying, “Come into the presence of the Lord, for he has heeded your complaints.”  While Aaron is speaking, the Lord appears before the assembly in a cloud (throughout Exodus, God will appear to the Hebrew people as a form of light, either a cloud or a pillar of fire).  Moses tells the Israelites that God will send them quail (flesh) in the evening and manna (bread) in the morning.  Everyone is to gather a specified amount and only enough to feed each household for one day.  Moses warns them not to hoard any of the food overnight (some do not heed him and find their leftovers inedible and crawling with vermin).  On the sixth day, each person is suddenly able to gather twice as much food as previously.  Moses explains that the Lord has decreed the seventh day as a day of rest, “a sabbath holy to the Lord.”  On that night, the leftover food remains fresh and edible, and, also, there is no food for them to gather outside the next morning.  Moses tells them: “For six days you may gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none.” (16:26)  [This is the first time the word “Sabbath” is used in the Bible; like the manna, the Sabbath is a gift.]

            Several themes will run throughout the Israelites’ wanderings in the wilderness:

1.      Grumbling:  they whine a lot

2.      Danger: they face threats from outsiders

3.      Self-government:  they make some tentative starts in this direction

Interspersed with the Exodus story is our own story of how do we as humans live to be worthy of being called God’s people.  Today we live in what Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls a world of “cheap grace.”  The popularity of reality television reflects this outlook: rather than work together in community toward a common goal for a higher good, each participant tries to seize the prize for him (her)self with complete disregard for anyone else involved.  Ultimately, the winner is feted, and, theoretically, all is forgiven. 

A second discussion involved the theme of the journey.  The early Celtic churches in England and Ireland (established long before the Roman Catholic missionaries landed) loved to go on pilgrimages.  Their mode of sea transport was most likely a small hide-covered boat, described by Herodotus as “round like a shield,” called a coracle.  Not efficient for long-distance travel, it suited the philosophy of the pilgrims who felt that the point of the pilgrimage was the journey not the destination.

A final thought, returning to Exodus and the journey in the wilderness, is that all of the world’s major monotheistic religions were forged in the desert.



Submitted by Karilyn Jaap

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"O Come, All Ye Faithful" Blessing of the Crib

"O Come, All Ye Faithful"
Blessing of the Crib

Sunday, December 4th
at
10 a.m. in the Sanctuary

Featuring:  The Chancel Choir
The Bells of St. Thomas
The Pageant Choir
Lowell Adams, cello
Esther Brier, flute

Reception following the service 

The special music will begin at 9:50 a.m.


Posted by PH 

Altar Flowers

October 23

The altar flowers are given to the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for the birthday of Haig Yardumian by Louise, Edward, Eva and Ara Yardumian.


Flower designers: Pam Holley and Vicky Steinwender



October 16
The Flowers are given to the Glory of God.



Flower designers:  Julie Songster and Cynthia Fleece





October 9, 2011

The altar flowers are given to the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for Ed's birthday by Marilyn Lanctot.



Flower designers:  Susan Lahey and Joanne Turrell


October 2
The altar flowers are given to the Glory of God in thanksgiving for the sixteenth birthday of Ali Stuckey and Jessica Ball by the Ball Family.



Flower designers:  Barby Field and Teri Coryell

Happy New Year

Sermon notes 11/27

Father John wished the congregation a happy new year, recognizing the first Sunday of Advent as well the first Sunday of the church year.  He then acknowledged that the reading from Mark 13:24-37 dealing with the end of time and reflecting on our relationship with God can be a difficult way to start the new year.  Similarly, the reading from Isaiah dealt with the end of the Israelites’ Babylonian exile which also symbolized their exile from God reflecting their poor relationship with God.



Father John said that Advent is about our preparation for the Son’s coming.  And this time is about where we are looking for God.  Our society’s behavior on Black Friday suggests that for some of us, our relationship is more oriented around our things vs. God.  Father John pointed out that in the heat of the shopping frenzy, a “competitive shopper” actually used pepper spray on her neighbors at a Wal-Mart during Black Friday this weekend.   People are camping out for days and fighting over merchandise with a passion that stands in contrast with the intensity of our relationship with God. 



So what should our relationship with God be?  Jesus’ life was an example of what it should be and was clear in his teaching:  1) love our neighbor as ourselves; 2) love God with our whole heart.  If we can do this, our focus will change away from the things of the world to a relationship with God that will prepare us for the Son’s coming.   

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Weekly Events at St. Thomas

Hello Everyone,




Here’s your weekly reminder of all the programs, services and events at St. Thomas during the next several days. Please take particular notice of all events in red.

“O Come, All Ye Faithful”
Blessing of the Crib

Sunday, December 4th at 10 a.m. in the Sanctuary

A special combined service of Lessons and Carols and the Christmas Pageant will be offered Sunday morning for both the 9:15 a.m. Harmony Service and the 10:30 a.m. Traditional Service.

Those participating are The Chancel Choir, The Bells of St. Thomas, The Youth and Children, and special guest instrumentalists, Lowell Adams, cellist and Esther Brier, flutist.
 
Please join us for this moving and meaningful service.


Tuesday, November 29th

Centering Prayer meets tonight at 6—6:45 p.m. Come to the Sanctuary at 6 p.m. to experience the “peace that surpasses all understanding” through the silence of Centering Prayer.

Wednesday, November 30th

Men’s Bible Study is at 7 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Holy Eucharist with Healing is at 12 noon in the Chapel.

Rehearsals for “O Come, All Ye Faithful” The Blessing of the Crib is at 4:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Supper, Song & Prayer is in the Parish Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome! Dr. Curtis Songster will be our speaker. Please support Dr. Songster with your prayers and presence.

Godly Play is at 6:30 p.m. in the Library. Godly Play is for Pre-K thru 5th grade children. We will continue to explore the story of Advent.

Youth Group meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Room.

Hand Bell rehearsal is at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Thursday, December 1st

Women of the Word is at 9 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Support Our Troops meet at 10:30 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Chancel Choir Rehearsal is at 6:30 p.m. in the Choir Room.

Friday, December 2nd

Stretching & Toning is at 8:30 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Holy Folders meet at 10 a.m. in the Founders’ Room.

AA Meeting is at 10 a.m. in the Guild Room.


Saturday, December 3rd

Rehearsal for “O Come, All Ye Faithful” Blessing of the Crib is at 9 a.m. for children and 9:30 a.m. for the Chancel Choir.

The Second Sunday of Advent December 4th

Sunday Services are at 8 a.m. Traditional, we have a combined service in the Sanctuary at 10 a.m. for our “O Come, All Ye Faithful” Blessing of the Crib and 6 p.m. in the Chapel.


Reception following the 10 a.m. Sanctuary service in the Parish Hall.


Sunday School is at 9 a.m. in the Canterbury Library.

Nursery hours are 9 a.m.—11:30 a.m in the Nursery.

Children’s Chapel hours are 9:15 a.m.—10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.—11:15 a.m. in the Nursery, coordinating with each service. Children will return to the service a the Offertory time.


Monday, December 5th
Stretching & Toning is at 8:30 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Yoga is at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.


See you at many—or all—of these events.



Blessings,
Pam Holley
Parish Secretary















Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christ the King Day

Today was the first time we had our kids lead worship.  They read the Bible readings, led the congregation in song, and acted out the Gospel reading.  They also helped shape Rev. Lisa's sermon with items they selected for the "treasure box" based on what they learned in Sunday school.   In some ways, the service was well-summarized in the prayer Hollis gave at the end of the service:



"Dear God, thank you for being the kind of King who doesn't want gold and power and treasure, but a King who wants our hearts and love.  Thank you for being a King who wants to give everything that is good to his people, and to us, his children.  Thank you for having Christ the King go to the cross for each one of us, to wash away our sins.  And thank you for the home he is preparing for us in heaven.  Amen.

For addition photos, see our Facebook page.

Women of the Word

Exodus 14:26-30; 15:1-21

  At God's command, Moses stretched out his hand and the Red Sea waters closed over the whole Egyptian army, chariots, horses and all.
    Imagine the total astonishment of the Israelites! An abandoned people, or so they thought, with nothing and nowhere to go, fleeing for their lives from the Egyptian army that was loaded for bear. Led by Moses, the Israelites head straight for the Red Sea. No boats, mind you. The direst of straits.
    But what is this? Suddenly the Red Sea waters part. And away go the Isrealites, on dry ground across the sea bed, safe to the other side. Moses has assured them all along that God was fighting on their side and would see them through, but what kind of power must this God have? Then, wonder of wonders, the entire ensuing Egyptian army is swallowed up by the returning sea!  Nary a helmet nor a horseshoe escapes. Surely the God of Moses has more power than any other god they have thought to encounter.
   And that's what this is all about. It is not so much about one group of people against the other, but about our God vesus their multiple gods, i.e."Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
   Keep in mind that the Israelites were just learning about God. He had led them through the desert with a cloud by day and fire by night, and now He had performed miracles such as had never been seen before, Surely no god had ever shown such power over the forces of nature.
   In the face of these miracles, the Israelites sang to the Lord, the better to remember the power and awe of this moment. Rarely in the Bible are men known to sing as they did here. And then the women had their turn, for the prophet Miriam took up her tambourine and sang, all the women dancing after her with their tambourines, "Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously."
   Imagine the victorious feelings and the joy of disbelief of this night. 
   It is noted here that there are not too many women prophets in the Bible, but Miriam is right up there.
  It is also to be noted that if there is one thing we learn from this chapter, it is that the Lord is a warrior.

                                                                                  Submitted by Betty Jean Miller

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reminder for Women's Workshop

Remember the

Women’s Workshop
Destressing the Holidays Tea

Saturday, November 19th

2—5 p.m. Guild Room

Worship, Prayer, Fellowship & Fun

Please call Kelly Kangaloo at 508-245-6647
with any questions.



Posted by PH

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Women of the Word

Exodus 13:17 – 14:31


As the Israelites finally left Egyptian territory on the start of their journey to Caanan, God advised Moses to lead them south into the wilderness toward Succoth, rather than paralleling the shoreline bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This latter route, although shorter, would have brought the ill-prepared Hebrews into direct contact with the warring Philistines, and they might have become immediately disheartened and returned to Egypt. Moses also carried Joseph’s bones with him, fulfilling the oath that earlier generations had made to the dying patriarch (cf. Gen. 50:25) to ultimately bury him in the land of Caanan. All through this time, the Lord was physically present with Israel, guiding them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

At the start of chapter 14, God instructs Moses to have the Israelites reverse course and travel north back through the wilderness to camp at Baal-zephon, on the shore of the sea, where the Egyptians will think they are hemmed in on all sides. God then tells Moses that Pharaoh’s heart will be hardened, he will pursue the fleeing Israelites, and “I will win glory for myself at the expense of Pharaoh and all his army.”

Back in Egypt, when the king and his courtiers heard that their Hebrew slaves had slipped away, he gathered his troops, including his hand-picked chariot corps, and set off after the Israelites, overtaking them at their encampment at Baal-zephon.

(The first four verses of chapter 14 are from the P writer, who has God harden Pharaoh’s heart as the reason for the king’s pursuit of the Hebrews. The next three verses [5-7] are an older insertion from the E writer, where Pharaoh changes his mind about letting the Israelites go after earlier agreeing to their departure.)

The Israelites, seeing the Egyptian army bearing down on them, turned on Moses in terror: “Were there no graves in Egypt, that you should have brought us here to die in the wilderness?” (vs. 11) Thus begins the first of Moses’ problems with the Hebrew people: a constant series of complaints that will plague him throughout his, and their, forty years together in the wilderness. Moses reassures the Israelites that they will never see the Egyptians again, because “the Lord will fight for you; so hold your peace.” (vs. 14)

The next fifteen verses tell one of the most famous stories in all of the Old Testament: the parting of the sea* and the deliverance of Israel from the Egyptian army.

Verses 15-20 give the P writer’s version, where God tells Moses to raise his staff over the sea “and cleave it in two, so that the Israelites can pass through the sea on dry land.” When the pursuing Egyptians come after them, Pharaoh and his army “will know that I am Lord.” God had his cloud-angel move to the rear of the Israelite camp, so that it stood between Israel and Egypt, bringing on early darkness and a loss of contact between the two sides. Mixed into the next five verses (21-25) are the J writer’s version of this event, which is more colorful and dramatic. Here the waters are “torn apart,” and the Israelites walk through the sea safely “while the waters made a wall for them to right and to left.” As for the hapless Egyptians, in the P writer’s version, the Lord panicked them, clogging their chariot wheels, so that they said, “It is the Lord fighting for Israel against Egypt; let us flee.” God then instructed Moses to stretch out his hand and return to sea to its proper place, catching all of Pharaoh’s army halfway across and drowning them. The J writer, in verse 27, has the demoralized Egyptian army actually fleeing into the waters of the returning sea. In either case, “not one man was left alive.”

The Israelites, seeing this miracle of deliverance from bondage and certain death, “put their faith in [the Lord] and in Moses his servant.” Thus, Moses and the Hebrew community, in 1441 BCE (the date most scholars agree on), started on their long journey to the land that God had promised would be their home: Caanan.



*Although most Bible stories identify this “sea” as the Red Sea, scholars are agreed that it was actually the Reed Sea, a marshy area at the southeastern tip of the Nile Delta. This entire area has been changed since the digging of the Suez Canal, and the topography of the ancient Reed or Papyrus Sea has been radically altered. (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 331)



[Note: Because of a lengthy side discussion, the group actually stopped at chapter 14:26. However, the story was too interesting to leave the Israelites and the Egyptians in the middle of the sea, so it was decided to include the last five verses of the chapter in this blog.]



Submitted by Karilyn Jaap

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weekly Events at St. Thomas

Hello Everyone,

Here’s your weekly reminder of all the programs, services and events at St. Thomas during the next several days. Please take particular notice of all events in red.

Festive Meal
 
A Big Big Big St. Thomas Thank You to all who organized, hosted and participated in the Festive Meal.
It was a fantastic and fun filled evening. For those who could not attend look for the pictures on the
bulletin boards.



“O Come, All Ye Faithful”
Blessing of the Crib

Sunday, December 4th at 10 a.m. in the Sanctuary
 
A special combined service of Lessons and Carols and the Christmas Pageant will be offered Sunday morning for both the 9:15 a.m. Harmony Service and the 10:30 a.m. Traditional Service.

Those participating are The Chancel Choir, The Bells of St. Thomas, The Youth and Children, and special guest instrumentalists, Lowell Adams, cellist and Esther Brier, flutist.
 
Please join us for this moving and meaningful service.


Tuesday, November 15th

Centering Prayer meets tonight at 6—6:45 p.m. Come to the Sanctuary at 6 p.m. to experience the “peace that surpasses all understanding” through the silence of Centering Prayer.

Vestry Meeting is at 7 p.m. in the Founders’ Room.


Wednesday, November 16th

Men’s Bible Study is at 7 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Holy Eucharist with Healing is at 12 noon in the Chapel.

Supper, Song & Prayer is in the Parish Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome! John Spotts will be our speaker.  Please support John with your prayers and presence.

Rehearsals for “O Come, All Ye Faithful” The Blessing of the Crib is at 5:30 p.m. in the Choir Room.

Godly Play is at 6:30 p.m. in the Library. Godly Play is for Pre-K thru 5th grade children. We will continue to explore the story of Prophet Job.

Youth Group meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Room.

Hand Bell rehearsal is at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.


Thursday, November 17th

Women of the Word is at 9 a.m. in the Guild Room.
Holy Folders meet at 12:45 p.m. in the Founders’ Room.
Chancel Choir is at 6:30 p.m. in the Choir Room.

Friday, November 18th


Stretching & Toning is at 8:30 a.m. in the Guild Room.

AA Meeting is at 10 a.m. in the Guild Room.


Saturday, November 19th

Women’s Retreat “Destressing the Holidays Tea” is at 2 p.m. in the Guild Room.

Christ the King Sunday November 20th

Sunday Services are at 8 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary, 9:15 a.m. Harmony in the Parish Hall, 10:30 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary and 6 p.m. in the Chapel.

Baptism at the 8 a.m. Traditional Service in the Sanctuary.

Sunday School is at 9 a.m. in the Canterbury Library.

Nursery hours are 9 a.m.—11:30 a.m in the Nursery.

Children’s Chapel hours are 9:15 a.m.—10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.—11:15 a.m. in the Nursery, coordinating with each service. Children will return to the service a the Offertory time.

Christ the King Sunday—Harmony Service this Sunday will be lead by the children of St. Thomas.

Youth Group will meet at 11:45—12:30 p.m. in the Youth Room. Come and be a part of this great group!

Monday, November 21st

Stretching & Toning is at 8:30 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Hand Bell Rehearsal is at 6 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Yoga is at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.

See you at many—or all—of these events.

Blessings,
Pam Holley
Parish Secretary











Monday, November 14, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child


Still time to bring in your Operation Christmas Child boxes

Bring them into the church office by Wednesday, November 16th.

Remember to put in your check for postage.



Posted by:PH

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Festive Meal Name Tags

Festive Meal is at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, November 12th 

Name tags will not be provided.
We will be using our Sunday name tags for the Festive Meal.
If you need a name tag, please let Dee McMahon know as soon as possible.



 
 
 
Posted by: PH

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekly Events

Hello Everyone,


Here’s your weekly reminder of all the programs, services and events at St. Thomas during the next several days. Please take particular notice of all events in red.


Festive Meal, Saturday, November 12th
Decorating for Festive Meal is from 9 a.m.—12 noon
Saturday, Nov. 12th
(If you have a need to decorate on Friday, you may do so during office hours of
9 a.m.—12 noon and 1—4 p.m.)



Festive Meal is at 5:30 p.m.

Children’s Room is open at 5:15 p.m.
All children ages infant to 5th grade will be
located in the Nursery.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
It's that time of the year again for Operation Christmas Child. Please save your shoe boxes and fill them with toys, school supplies, socks, soaps, candies, and other items. We will be collecting the boxes November 7- 11 to be blessed on Consecration Sunday,
November 13th. You can also purchase a plastic box if you don't have one for $1 from the church office.

For more information, please go onto the link below:
http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1116188598001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAADXAyfo~,SV0YHtB7jHHXYpju2uPbvWHbUfA7DOP6&bclid=811285962001&bctid=991488987001



Tuesday, November 8th

Centering Prayer meets tonight at 6—6:45 p.m. Come to the Sanctuary at 6 p.m. to experience the “peace that surpasses all understanding” through the silence of Centering Prayer.



Wednesday, November 9th

Men’s Bible Study is at 7 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Prayer Line Meeting is at 11 a.m. in the Founders’ Room.

Holy Eucharist with Healing is at 12 noon in the Chapel.

Supper, Song & Prayer is in the Parish Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome! Walt Jaap will be our speaker. Please support Walt with your prayers and presence.

Rehearsals for “O Come, All Ye Faithful” The Blessing of the Crib is at 5:30 p.m. in the Choir Room.

Godly Play is at 6:30 p.m. in the Library. Godly Play is for Pre-K thru 5th grade children. We will continue to explore the story of Prophet Ezekel.

Youth Group meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Room.

Hand Bell rehearsal is at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.


Thursday, November 10th

Women of the Word is at 9 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Chancel Choir is at 6:30 p.m. in the Choir Room.



Friday, November 11th

Decorating for Festive Meal—if you cannot come on Saturday to set up, you may come in during office hours to decorate your table. 9a.m.—12 noon or 1 p.m.—4p.m.

Holy Folders are at 10 a.m. in the Founders’ Room.

AA Meeting is at 10 a.m. in the Guild Room.



Saturday, November 12th

Decorating for Festive Meal begins at 9 a.m.—12 noon.

Festive Meal is at 5:30 p.m. Name tags will not be provided. We will be using our Sunday name tags for the Festive Meal. If you need a name tag, please let Dee McMahon know as soon as possible.


 Consecration Sunday November 13th

Sunday Services are at 8 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary, 9:15 a.m. Harmony in the Parish Hall, 10:30 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary and 6 p.m. in the Chapel.

Sunday School is at 9 a.m. in the Canterbury Library.

Nursery hours are 9 a.m.—11:30 a.m in the Nursery.

Children’s Chapel hours are 9:15 a.m.—10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.—11:15 a.m. in the Nursery, coordinating with each service. Children will return to the service a the Offertory time.

Youth Group will meet at 11:45—12:30 p.m. in the Youth Room. Come and be a part of this great group!

Operation Christmas Child Boxes will be blessed during the Harmony service.


Sandwich Sunday is in the Guild Room.



Monday, November 14th

Stretching & Toning is at 8:30 a.m. in the Guild Room.

Yoga is at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.


See you at many—or all—of these events.

Blessings,

Pam Holley
Parish Secretary

Monday, November 7, 2011

Women of the Word

Exodus 13:1-16

The Passover



            In the last chapter, the Priestly writer gave his readers instructions on keeping the feast of the Passover (12:1-20).  At the start of chapter 13, a new writer takes over, known as the Deuteronomist.  Unlike the other three scribes, who are distinguished by the word they use as the term for God, the D writer pulls together the story of Israel’s founding based on a compendium or retelling of the laws.  In this story of the Passover, the significance of the festival is impressed on the reader, and the symbolism of each part is described in detail.  Each father is to tell his son that “this commemorates what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt” (vs. 9).  It is a reminder that a high price was paid for Israel’s freedom (the slaughter of all of Egypt’s first-born).

            The next section describes the ceremony of Pidyon Haben or Redemption of the First-Born Male.  (If the first-born is a female or is stillborn, the ceremony is not required, and subsequent males need not undergo it either.)  To redeem a son from the Lord required a payment of five silver shekels from the parents thirty days after birth.  The silver was taken to the temple where it was accepted by the priest which completed the ceremony.  (Joseph and Mary were following the law of redemption when they brought Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem “to present him to the Lord . . . and to make the offering as stated in the law: a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons” [Luke 2:22-24].)

            In essence, it was “constantly impressed upon the Israelites that they were a people belonging to Jehovah . . . that he had redeemed them from bondage. . . . Therefore all Israel owed service to God, and were to be priests unto the Most High.  But Levi and his descendants being set apart for the service of the sanctuary, all others were to be redeemed in the person of the firstborn both of man and beast.  The firstborn sons [were to be] redeemed for five shekels. . . . The firstlings of oxen, sheep, and goats were to be brought to the sanctuary within a year [of their birth] and sacrificed.” (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 915)

            In the New Testament, Jesus’ death is a metaphor for the ancient five shekels; He redeems the broken relationship between God and man (“the atoning work of Christ as the price paid for human redemption” [cf. Unger]).



Submitted by Karilyn Jaap

Sinners and Saints

Father John’s All Saints sermon from Sunday challenged us to consider what it means to be a saint and what it means to be a sinner.  He said the good news is that we are all saints…the bad news is that we are all sinners too. 


Fr. John noted that in some churches/denominations saints are very important, serving as intermediaries for us in our prayers to God.  But he noted that Paul indicated that we are all saints when he addresses “them who are sanctified in Christ” at the church of Corinth as saints.

Similarly, a standard Anglican hymn reinforces Paul’s perspective that we are all saints of God:


        I sing a song of the saints of God,

        patient and brave and true,

        who toiled and fought and lived and died

        for the Lord they loved and knew.

        And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,

        and one was a shepherdess on the green;

        they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,

        God helping, to be one too.

Fr. John made the point that when we are sinners, we are not bad people, just people who have lost our focus.  When we are saints, our focus is on God.  When we are sinners, our focus is on something else.   We have been reading about the Israelites who too often lose their focus, but we are subject to the very same thing.  We too often let things of the world come between us and God.  And Fr. John noted that it can even be things that are otherwise good.  If we spend too much time with our jobs, this can pull our focus from God…this can even be the case with our families if we are not careful. 
To keep this focus, we must help each other.  Fr. John noted that we will have a baptismal ceremony next week and that the congregation will vow to support the candidate for baptism in their life in Christ.  We are all in this together and should take this responsibility seriously… if we can help one another focus on God, then we can all be Saints of God.     


posted by m white