Weekly News and Notes ~ October 16 – 23, 2020

October 16 – 23 , 2020

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Weekly COVID Updates & Operational Status: In-Person Services are Suspended

Unfortunately, Hamilton County has experienced a set-back in terms of COVID Health Advisory Status with Hamilton and Clermont Counties being designated as Level 3 (red) with the Ohio Public Health Advisory System (OPHAS).  
As such, we once again need to suspend in-person worship and resume higher-level protocols
We continue to provide worship online via our YouTube channel for both for Sundays and our Midweek Evening Prayer Services.  Following a temporary ‘upgrade’ to a higher OPHAS Level of 3, once Hamilton County has been ‘downgraded’ back to Level 2, St. Thomas Church would evaluate the conditions for 21 days before resuming the lower level to determine an actual recovery trend.

Following our guidelines for Level 3 (red) of OPHAS, the church remains open for individual prayer (Tuesday & Thursday afternoons 3pm-5pm); and our parish office continues to have limited staff on-hand to coordinate essential ministry services, including pastoral care on call and by appointment.  Due to heighten health & Safety protocols, St. Thomas Nursery School (STNS) remains operational with our full school schedule.  For more information, please reach out to us by email office@stthomasepiscopal.org or calling the office at (513) 831-2052.

CVS Flu Shot Clinic This Saturday, October 17th at St. Thomas

Even with our current Level 3 (red) status, CVS will be here with additional health & safety measures. 

The biggest change is that we will not be able to accommodate walk-ups for the clinic.  Also, the online registration and paperwork will be the only paperwork (now already completed) which further reduces possible cross-contamination.

• The clinic will take place outdoors at the archway entrance on Miami Avenue

• Bring insurance card – most insurance plans cover 100%

To Help Ensure the Safety of Patients and Pharmacy Team:

• Immunization area will include well-established physical distancing, PPE and health protocols

• Patients will be required to wear face coverings and answer COVID-19 screening questions

• When you arrive, please remain in your car until your designated appointment time. 

Solemn Evensong for All Souls’ – Sunday Evening, November 1 – on YouTube  

Following All Saints’ Day on November 2 is All Souls’ which is the feast day of the Church dedicated to all the faithful departed.  This has also been the traditional day in which the Church remembers those from our community who have died in the past year.  At St. Thomas, we have remembered All Souls’ as a special evening service on the Sunday closest to November 2.  Even with the pandemic, St. Thomas is planning to commemorate All Souls’ with Solemn Evensong to be presented online via our YouTube channel.  As in years past, you are invited to contact the church office with the names of any family or friends that you would like to have remembered, and their names will be read as part of a special video service. You can click on this special dedicated link on our website https://stthomasepiscopal.org/2020/10/15/solemn-evensong-for-all-souls/ or call the office at (513) 831-2052 by October 28.

Financial Dollars & Sense

Information regarding our Annual Giving Pledge Appeal for 2021 was mailed last week.  Included is a letter from our Sr. Warden, Jim Davis which provides an overview of this year and as we begin planning next year’s budget.  This is the time we ask one another to prayerfully consider how best to answer the call to support the ministry we share with time, talent and treasure as we consider the year ahead.  An Annual Pledge is what allows our parish to best plan the ministry priorities and resources for the work we have – everyone’s contribution is great blessing and matters greatly. 

Please note that updated Pledge Statements were emailed last week (reflecting contributions made in 2020 through September 30). In an effort to be better stewards, we have moved to electronic statements.  One more convenient way to help support St. Thomas is with pledge contributions made directly online.  This feature is always available on our website at http://www.stthomasepiscopal.org/  As always, thank you for what you do to help keep us connected and supporting the ministry we share! 

Prayers and Readings for The Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

Proper 24A

The Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 45:1-7  (NRSV)

Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes, to open doors before him—and the gates shall not be closed: “I will go before you and level the mountains, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.”

Matthew 22:15-22  (NRSV)

The Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?”  But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites?  Show me the coin used for the tax.”  And they brought him a denarius.  Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?”  They answered, “The emperor’s.”  Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

Readings taken from The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible © 1989 by The Division of Christian Education of The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., used by permission.

Parish Prayer List

Allison, Anne, Barbara, Beverly, Bob, Carol, Courtney, David, El, Gary, Gerry, Jayne, Jason, Jeff, Jerry, Joanne, Joe, John, Jim, Kay, Kim, Marilyn, Mark, Penny, Reyna & Sean, Steve, Rick, Sandy, Terry, Todd, Verneida and our shut-in parishioners and their care-givers; those serving our community and nation, including Will, Steven, Harrison, Matt, Becky, Jeff, Jennifer, Steve, Phillip and Perrin, as well as all those affected by natural disasters and human tragedies, the first responders and the aid and relief efforts that continue around the world; everyone affected by the Coronavirus and recent storms and wildfires.

A Prayer for an Election

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States (and of this greater local community) in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all people may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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Seeking to keep you up-to-date on the latest news from St. Thomas.

Need to contact us? Email or call (513) 831-2052, and we will get in touch!