Monday, December 30, 2013

Pass It On

Happy Monday! Wishing all great peace and abundant blessings in the New Year...
GET CONNECTED


Light

Posted: Dec 30, 2013 01:00 am
Wherever light and life are present, Christ himself is there, because he is light and life. Even when we don’t know him by name.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Spreading the JOY


Cookies and Caroling at Shore Acres Nursing Facitily
As our busy part of the season comes to a close, we're given the opportunity to pause and  take a breath.

Sunday Morning Ministries would like to thank all of our Sunday School teachers and the many volunteers who gave generously of their time all through the Advent season!

To our children and their families: you are beautiful and amazing. Thank you for the giftsof love you have given our parrish and community this Christmas.

Please note that all programs with the exception of Nursery will be taking this Sunday off with the school holiday. Nursery hours will be the usual 9:50 - 11:00 a.m. 


'On That Night' 

The Nativity Story with Eucharist
Christmas Eve Service in Harmony


















Friday, December 20, 2013

Pass It On

Pass It On

Great thoughts to ponder as we prepare...


Clavis David – Key

Posted: Dec 20, 2013 01:00 am
You need not be afraid any more, the fearless one says. The one who is forever unbound, the unbounded one, the one who is our unbinding, comes even now to transform lives riddled with fear into lives of joy. To unbind the winding cloths of fear and to restore us to the path of life.

About Clavis David -
Today’s O antiphon links beautifully with the gospel of the day, Luke’s account of the Annunciation. Both remind us of the freedom we have been given in Christ. Yet how many of us think of ourselves as being really free? We are bound by our history, our genetic make-up, the choices we have made through life, the circumstances in which we find ourselves. These can be both limitation and opportunity, but being human, we tend to concentrate on the limitations rather than the possibilities. The sad fact is, we are often quite happy in our bondage: if we are not free, we are not responsible. We can be moral Peter Pans all our lives.
Or can we? It may not be so much a case of being Peter Pan as a prisoner. The key image in the antiphon is a powerful one. To be locked into a room, even accidentally, can be an unnerving experience. To know that one’s release is entirely dependent on another challenges all one’s belief in one’s ability to impose one’s own will. We are reduced to waiting and hoping that the key-holder will let us out.
Two thousand years ago a young Jewish girl held the fate of all of us in her hands. Would she consent to be the Mother of God, to accept the Key of David who alone could set us free? That she did is the cause of all our joy this coming Christmas. Our liberation is close at hand.
Excerpt from blog entry on iBenedictines.org
 The World seen from the Cloister . . .
This is a blog written by Benedictine nuns from Holy Trinity Monastery, formerly of East Hendred, now at Howton Grove Priory, U.K. We prefer to call ourselves cloistered rather than enclosed because the word ‘enclosed’ may suggest a closed mind. We have a special interest in using contemporary technology to reach out to people who would never otherwise come to the monastery.

For more information link to: iBenedictines.org

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blue Christmas, The Longest Night Service - Wednesday, December 18th, 7:00 p.m.


The children have been making stars to hang upon the tree,
Candles have been gathered in all their beauty and splendor,
The tree will appear in the Sanctuary,
And people will gather...

All for what purpose you may ask. Christmas is a time of joy and anticipation for most. It is also a time of remembrance...

 We remember our commitment to Christ and to our community. We remember loved ones near and far.  And we remember we are meant to lift each other up in prayer.

BLUE CHRISTMAS:
Longest Night Service

In this introductory worship service of the “Longest Night” - the name is derived from the season—during this month of December, we experience the shortest day and the longest night of the year.  It is the “long dark night of the soul,” the winter of our discontent, in which memories of past and present experiences can become overwhelming. Share prayer and fellowship and know that you are not alone and you struggles are not forgotten. 


For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Romans 8:38-39

Following supper this Wednesday we will offer both this service led by Fr. Hayden Crawford and our regular SS&P format featuring The Christmas Story led by Fr. John Suhar.  We hope that you will join us as we share a meal and worship together and continue the journey we call Advent.


Pass It On

As we venture through the final week of Advent -Let us watch, pay attention and listen



Sapientia – Wisdom

Posted: Dec 17, 2013 01:00 am

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits,without partiality and without hypocrisy.

James 3:17

Open your eyes and look for wonder. Pray that the eyes of your heart be enlightened, and look for wisdom. Presume you see only in part, and what you cannot see or understand – because of your soul’s myopia or because of your pain – God sees and understands. In the fullness of time, you will

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cookies and Caroling Vist to Shore Acres Nursing Home

Christmas Cheer 

It is time for our visit to Shore acres Nursing faciltity and this time we'll bring Christmas Cheer to those who may be away from loved ones for the Christmas Season.  The children have baked christmas cookies and they look (and taste) great! 

 We'll bring along the traditional carols and don't forget to wear your red and green.  These visits mean so much to the residents. We hope you can join us!

When: Tomorrow! Sunday December 15th
What time: We'll meet at the back of the Parish Hall near the Guild Room at 9:50 hoping to be ready to go at 10:00 a.m. We'll return before the end of Service.
What to bring: Big smiles, lots of love and singing voices!

Pass It On


Birth
Posted: Dec 14, 2013 01:00 am
Childbirth, at least at one time, was both a life giving, and life threatening event, and the birth for which we wait is no different. It will both give us life and threaten the life that we have come to know, for by it we experience both our beginning and our end. We see in it both manger and cross. We know from it both salvation and judgment.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Waiting with Anticipation...Advent Preparation At St. Thomas

Advent has Begun

Time to take a deep breath. Thanksgiving Holiday is over and somehow we jumped right into the First Week of Advent.  For those of us who have been away this is a bit of a shock even though we knew it was coming! Time to focus, truly FOCUS.

We (as in the parish of St. Thomas) have much happening this Advent Season as we share in preparation, fellowship, and love.You will find offerings by many ministries at varying times with all ages and relations in mind.  Read on  for a listing of all the gatherings and services planned.

This Week

Advent & Christmas, Waiting in Joyful Hope - Silent Saturdays, 7:00 a.m. Each Saturday in Advent beginning Saturday, December 7th, we will come together early in the morning before the rest of your day begins to reflect on the readings of the week and participate in centering prayer. This year we will  follow a daily reflections devotional that can also be used throughout the week. This is a practice that was established last year during Advent and we look forward to our second year. Questions? contact Dee McMahon.


Swinging with the Savior - This Sunday, December 8th  Harmony will be joined by the Helios Swingtet for contemporary worship and an amazing Big Band sound. Traditional carols with original arrangements courtesy of our own Jay Shull.Join us for a wonderful morning of worship,fellowship, and joy.

Each week we will send off a sampling of the weeks events as we did in the Fall, featuring in more detail one of the items listed. Watch for special postings on Family Advent Devotions and Activities and all the events of Christmas.

Looking Ahead
Lessons and Carols - December 15th
Blue Christmas - December 18th

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pass It On

Preparation

Posted: Dec 03, 2013 01:00 am

Advent is a season of waiting, of anticipation, of preparation. We are waiting expectantly for the Lord and preparing ourselves to meet him when he comes. But how exactly do we prepare for the coming of the Lord? The answer suggested by the gospel might surprise us. John [the Baptist] says, “Repent!”

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pass It On

Light

Posted: Nov 19, 2013 01:00 am

The image of light, as we hear it in the Book of Revelation, is not about the sun or moon, nor is it about a candle or an artificial light. This is about the first light, preceding light, in which we have been created to glow. Receive the light.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pass It On

A simple thought to start the day right....

Trust

Posted: Nov 05, 2013 01:00 am

Learning to relax in the water, to trust its buoyancy, to let go of our fear – all these are key to staying afloat in deep waters. In the same way, we could say that to have faith is to trust in God, to believe in God’s ability to sustain us, to hold us up, even in difficult circumstances. Faith helps us to relax and let go, to rest and find peace.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pecan Orders due Tomorrow, 10/27

Reminder Sunday, October 27th is our deadline for turning in pre-order forms for pecans this year. Forms can be found in the church office. We are planning on putting the order in on Monday, October 28th.

Sunday Morning Ministries to visit Nursing Home Sunday 10/27

This is the week to wear your costumes!!

All are welcome to join Sunday Morning Ministries as they visit Shore Acres Nursing Home. This outing will take place during the regular class time. The Nursery will remain open as usual for ages infant to 5 years for those families that do not attend the outing. All other ages will be going on the outing and we ask that parents check in with our teachers to be sure that there is transportation for everyone.

Halloween Visit to Shore Acres Nursing Home

We ask that children dress in costume if possible. Keep in mind that we want to stay on the lighter side of the holiday so no dark,super scary or gory costumes please.

We will meet in the Parish Hall at 9:50 a.m. and return by the end of Service.

We will deliver the cookies made earlier in the month and meet and greet the residents.
Please contact Judi Sayles if you have any questions.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pass It On

Faith that Forms Us

Restoration

Posted: Oct 16, 2013 01:00 am

God so loves us – and the world – that he comes looking for us, like the shepherd who leaves his ninety-nine sheep to go find the one who has gone astray. This is grace: God’s gift of himself to us. It has nothing to do with our efforts, nothing to do with pumping iron or spiritual gymnastics. God longs to restore us to relationship with him, but that is only the beginning.

As we give thanks for a Festive Meal more nourishing in friendship, love and belonging than I can ever remember and the most welcoming and beautiful Consecration Sunday Services we could ask for, a thought of restoration seems most fitting.   What a sense of security, knowing that God comes looking for us! We can show gratitude knowing that our cup is full. So if this is only the beginning what is our next step?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Line Up for this Week in Formation


Featured this Week:

Centering Prayer

Be Still and know that I am God
                                                  Psalm 46:10
St Thomas is fortunate in that we have two offerings of Centering Prayer each week.  The gathering on Tuesday evening is a larger group and follows a traditional format for Centering Prayer. This group has been meeting for a number of years and welcomes new members at any time.

Silent Saturdays originated during Lent last year as a weekly devotional time set aside from the hustle and bustle of the season.  Each week we spend time with the Gospel reading for the following day before beginning Centering Prayer time.    This practice has continued, finding that its position in the week helps to prepare for celebrating Eucharist on Sunday. 

Thomas Keating, Trappist Monk and  leader in the
Centering Prayer movement 
Centering Prayer is a meditative practice where by each individual prepares to enter into a more intimate presence with God.  It is a process of inviting God to that relationship with a word, phrase or image then clearing one's mind of thought in order to experience that exchange.  Each persons experience within the group is very individual in nature yet the group experiences a calmness and support of each other that is quite unique.  Over time  a new awareness can be developed strengthening ones daily devotion to God and Faith.

"In centering prayer,the sacred word is not the object of the intention but rather the expression of the intention of will"Thomas Keating



Tuesday Evening:
Centering Prayer meets in the Sanctuary at 6:00 p.m.
Whine & Cheese meets in the Guild Room at 7:00 p.m.  This is time for the older generation! 40's and up spend time together talking about the topics that are present in their lives, what presses upon their beliefs or brings joy to their heart. Topics change from week to week.  Led by  Fr.John Suhar.
Wednesday Evening:
The usual Supper, Song, and Prayer, Godly Play & Youth Group, begins at 6:00 in the Parish Hall.
Stronger by Angela Thomas, A Women's Study led by Erica Kramer begins at 6:30 in the guild room. Childcare is provided and the children will be picked up from the Parish Hall at approximately 6:25 p.m. 
Thursday Morning:
Women of the Word - Women's Bible Study begins at 9:00 a.m. in the Guild Room led by Barbara Suhar
Thursday Evening:
Raising Kids who Turn Out Right / Part II in Grace Based Parenting, 6:30- 8:00 p.m., Guild Room. Child care provided. Please don't hesitate to join us. Each weeks' discussion is self contained with a tie- in summary to the big picture. Updates at stthomasfaithformation.weebly.com.  Under Relationships/ Raising a Family.
Saturday Morning:
Silent Saturdays  begin at 7:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Last Call For Children's Lock In

Fall is HERE!


And That Means... Children's Lock IN Time
This Friday 7:00 p.m. to 
Saturday 9:00 a.m.

 Come Celebrate God’s Creatures Large and Small

Remember to RSVP to the Church office by Thurs. 3 p.m.

Schedule of Events

7:00 Arrival 
Group Introductions
Snacks/Drinks

7:15 Dinner 
Pizza, Salad, Fruit and Drink


Creative Space
Holy Spirit Pumpkin Carving
Leaf Rubbings
Pet Snack Bags

Dessert: Ice Cream Bar

8:00 Games, Games & More Games
Treasure Hunt
Sardines
Flashlight Tag
Bobbing for Apples



9:00- P.J. Chapel--Worship / Devotions
  
       10:00 Movie
  
       BEDTIME!!!!!

Blessing of the Animals 9:00 am
Outreach to Benefit
SPCA
Food, towels, newspaper, cat litter
Begins at lock in & will be collected all week, Oct 4-13


This Week in Formation



Time

Posted: Oct 02, 2013 01:00 am  God created time, and hallowed time – and I think God likes us to spend time, and not try to beat it!

October 1 begins the start of the new month and a new formation offering. As you look through the list you may find your place to spend time.  Information on our Monday night class is listed below. In addition, please note updates in each area listed with times, places and summaries.

Featured this week:

ADULT EDUCATION
MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD
 
Begins Monday, October 7th at 7 p.m., Guild Room
Presented by The Rev. Dr. Chuck Jones
 

For the next seven weeks we will do an overview of the major religious traditions of the world. Their basic perspectives will be presented along with their particular understanding of the world, concepts of the sacred, and the purpose that humans have in life. We will have one session for each—a handout will accompany each presentation.

Recommended reading for this class is:
God Is Not One: The Eight Religions That Run the World  by Stephen Prothero (Harper Collins Publishers: New York, NY; 2010) and it is  available for $10 in the church office.

Session 1             Hinduism:  The Path of Ancient India
Session 2             Buddhism:  The Way of Enlightenment
Session 3             Daoism—Confucianism
                             Getting at the Yin and the Yang of It All
 Session 4            Judaism:  The Essence of a Tradition
 Session 5             Islam:  Followers of the Prophet
 Session 6            “New Religious Movements:” Why All These New Religions—And What’s So New
                              About Them?
 Session 7             Christianity:  Diversity/Transition/Challenge

Please note that our Guild Room is still under renovation. This week new ceiling tiles are being installed and  it is scheduled to be available by Wednesday. This may change from week to week.  Please watch for signs and posting as we work through the process. Thanks for your patience!


Wednesday Evening:
The usual Supper, Song, and Prayer, Godly Play & Youth Group, begins at 6:00 in the Parish Hall.
Stronger by Angela Thomas, A Women's Study led by Erica Kramer begins at 6:30 in the guild room. The group is under way and numbers are growing. so if you 're thinking about joining the group, now  is the time. Childcare is provided and the children will be picked up from the Parish Hall at approximately 6:25 p.m. 
Thursday Morning:
Women of the Word - Women's Bible Study begins at 9:00 a.m. in the Guild Room led by Barbara Suhar
Thursday Evening:
Raising Kids who Turn Out Right / Part II in Grace Based Parenting, 6:30- 8:00 p.m., Guild Room. Child care provided. In a small intimate setting we pulled apart Faith; great time together talking about important things. this week we'll move on to Integrity. Please don't hesitate to join us. Each weeks' discussion is self contained with a tie- in summary to the big picture.
Pub Theology  will meet at 6:00 p.m. at Gator's Restaurant. This gathering brings 20/30's together to share views and fellowship.  
Saturday Morning:
Silent Saturdays  begin at 7:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Pass It On...


See

Posted: Sep 30, 2013 01:00 am

Often times the truth we know about another person has to be washed. Not washed away but washed clean before it can be fully received. If there is a hard person in your life, pray the cleansing of the eyes of your heart to see them as Christ sees them. Beneath their scars, their surface layer of soil, is this most beautiful person.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Line Up for this Week in Formation


Week three and attendance is building. Please note updates in each area as well as  the info for times, places and summaries listed below. 


Please note that our Guild Room is under renovation. This week new lights are being installed and  it is scheduled to be available by Wednesday. This will change from week to week.  Please watch for signs and posting as we work through the process.  Thanks for your patience


6 days away from Faith in the Maker:Tribute to Dave Matthews Band Service in Harmony, 10 a.m.

FEATURE THIS WEEK:

  TONIGHT in the Founders Room     at 7 p.m,, This is time for the older generation! 40's and up spend time together talking about the topics that
are present in their lives, what presses upon their beliefs or brings joy to their heart. Topics change from week to week.  Led by  Fr.John Suhar. 

Tuesday Evening:
Centering Prayer  meets in the Sanctuary at 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday Morning:
Men's Bible Study begins at 7:00 a.m. in the Guild Room led by Fr. John Suhar
Wednesday Evening:
The usual Supper, Song, and Prayer, Godly Play & Youth Group, begins at 6:00 in the Parish Hall.
Stronger by Angela Thomas, A Women's Study led by Erica Kramer begins at 6:30 in the guild room. The group is under way and numbers are growing. so if you were thinking about joining the group, now  is the time. Childcare is provided and the children will be picked up from the Parish Hall at approximately 6:25 p.m. 
Thursday Morning:
Women's Bible Study begins at 9:00 a.m. in the Guild Room led by Barbara Suhar
Thursday Evening:
Raising Kids who Turn Out Right / Part II in Grace Based Parenting, 6:30- 8:00 p.m., Guild Room. Child care provided. Another great week! Started our 'blueprint' This week we're diggin' in to the first two character traits: Faith and Integrity.
Saturday Morning:
Silent Saturdays  begin at 7:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary. 



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Line Up for this Week in Formation

Thanks to everyone for such a great and smooth beginning to the season. Please note updates in each area as well as  the info for times, places and summaries listed below. 


Please note that our Guild Room is under renovation. This week the doors are off the cabinets but we have the "go ahead" to use it.  This will change from week to week.  Please watch for signs and posting as we work through the process.  Thanks for your patience!


FEATURE THIS WEEK:


GRACE BASED PARENTING-Part II
 Raising Kids Who Turn out Right   by Dr. Tim Kimmel
This is a no nonsense approach to building character in your child that will last a lifetime. The key is God's GRACE
Last week we began with wine and cheese & time together in the library and it was such a hit that we will do it again. Study focused on a recap of Part I as well as the first video of the second series. Reading for this week includes the introduction and Chapters 1 & 2. Quick notes will be available on our Faith Formation website beginning Wednesday, Sept. 18th. at stthomasfaithformation.weebly.com under relationship/raising a family. Books and companion guides are still available. Cost: $20. Contact Elaine Patrick (644-1096) if you are interested in joining the group.

Tuesday Evening:
Centering Prayer returns meeting in the Sanctuary at 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday Morning:
Men's Bible Study begins at 7:00 a.m. in the Guild Room led by Fr. John Suhar
Wednesday Evening:
The usual Supper, Song, and Prayer, Godly Play & Youth Group, begins at 6:00 in the Parish Hall.
Stronger by Angela Thomas, A Women's Study led by Erica Kramer begins at 6:30 in the guild room. This study was postponed one week and will actually begin this week so if you were thinking about joining the group there is still time. Childcare is provided and the children will be picked up from the Parish Hall at approximately 6:25 p.m. 
Thursday Morning:
Women's Bible Study begins at 9:00 a.m. in the Guild Room led by Barbara Suhar
Thursday Evening:
Raising Kids who Turn Out Right / Part II in Grace Based Parenting, 6:30- 8:00 p.m., Guild Room. See above for details.
Pub Theology meets this week at 6:00 p.m. at Beaks, Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.
Saturday Morning:
Silent Saturdays  begin at 7:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary. 

12 days away from Tribute to Dave Matthews Band Service in Harmony!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Line Up for this Week in Formation


This is our kickoff week for new adult education offerings. Please see the info below for times, places and summaries. 


Please note that our Guild Room is under renovation. This week we have the "go ahead" to use it but this will change from week to week.  Please watch for signs and posting as we work through the process.  Thanks for your patience!

Feature this week:

Stronger  by Angela Thomas
Women’s Study - Wednesdays, 
6:30-8:00, Beginning Sept.11
Childcare provided
"God is greater than every struggle you will ever face.  Every.  Single.  One.  Today, because of Christ, you can live stronger.  This 7-session study by Angela Thomas will guide you into biblical truth, so you can live a confident, transformed, Christ radiating life marked by his strength."

Cost: $12 for the workbooks.  Contact Erica Kramer for more info or to sign up at
 EricaKramer526@yahoo.com or 727-458-8032.

Tuesday Evening:
Centering Prayer returns meeting in the Sanctuary at 6:00 p.m.
Whine and Cheese will have it's first meeting in the Guild Room at 7:00 p.m.. This is a time for 40's and up to get together and think about and share  all the questions or thoughts that surface day to day.They will meet every other week led by Fr. John Suhar. Location may change   determined by the group.

Wednesday Evening:
The usual Supper, Song, and Prayer, Godly Play & Youth Group, begins at 6:00 in the Parish Hall.
Stronger by Angela Thomas, A Women's Study led by Erica Kramer begins at 6:30 in the guild room (see above)

Thursday Evening:
Raising Kids who Turn Out Right / Part II in Grace Based Parenting, 7:00 p.m., Guild Room 
Introduction to the video based series by Dr. Tim Kimmel. This week will begin with wine and cheese, time together and a recap of part I as well as the first video of the second series. Books and companion guides will be handed out. Cost: $20. Led by Elaine Patrick.

Saturday Morning:
Silent Saturdays  begin at 7:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary.