03/29/2020 Fifth Sunday In Lent
The Rev. Deacon Gary Givler
A Pastoral Update from Darren+
God of grace and giver of life look with mercy on all who find themselves in anxiety, distress, isolation, weakness or infirmed. Help us to assist them and our community with hope, help when needed and dignity and peace whether their strength diminishes or in their recovery; increase their faith and assurance of your love. All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
In these challenging days, while we are all learning more and preparing for the days ahead, the uncertainty and anxiety around can leave one overwhelmed. Since last week and my first Pastoral Message to the parish, we have learned more and are taking further steps to keep you and our community as healthy and safe as possible. This health crisis of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is ever evolving. The proactive steps that our Governor, Mike DeWine has taken represent bold action to address the spread of COVID-19. These changes to our daily routines impact each of us and our community in some way.
While we have further enhanced our own health and safety protocols, we are also preparing to best meet the directives our Governor set forth regarding schools and public gatherings. We follow the leadership that our Presiding Bishop has expressed to numerous dioceses in our joint effort to meet the challenges of this crisis in a way that is also exemplary of our values as a Christian community and part of the larger Body of Christ.
Complementing the efforts already underway by our local school districts, we are directing that our parish and Day School suspend their normal activities and programs from Monday, March 16th through at least Monday, March 30th.
In this time, while several smaller groups may still meet, we will not have public worship on either Sunday, March 22 or March 29. The church will be open during the week for private prayer and our weekday Evening Prayer service will continue on Tuesday evenings at 6:15 p.m. We will be communicating more to our parish community in a variety of ways, to better stay connected in prayer for devotionals as well as our Lenten Series, St. Thomas 101. We will continue to monitor information from that comes from the CDC and Ohio Department of Health daily and follow their guidelines as well as what is being directed to our public schools, and continue communicating to you through our web page, email messages and Facebook page.
Preserving and even strengthening our sense of community is a top priority for us in these days. The last thing we want is for anyone to feel cut-off from our faith community, so many touch-points are needed. Now is the time to make sure we have your best contact information to reach you, as well as to make sure that you have not “opted-out” of general information. Even more, I would ask that you reach-out to those who are already in your own “network,” whether by phone or email. We have already been reaching-out on our end here to our seniors and those we know with health issues to check-in and offer pastoral support. You can help us affirm this message as well by letting us know if someone is in need of a visit.
Once again, let me commend that I believe community is an essential aspect of who we are. In these weeks of this virus season, we all wish to be extra safe, so thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work a little harder. May God continue to bless you and the ministry we share in Christ!
Printable Fact Sheets:
What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The Rev. Dr. Carol Pinkham-Oak
The Rev. Heather Buchanan Wiseman
Are you new to the Church or Interested in Officially Joining?
Have you wondered why we do the things we do?
Is your faith reaching a milestone?
Do you wish to be Confirmed, Received or Reaffirm your Baptism?
If you answered, ‘Yes,’ to any of these then we have an opportunity for you!
St. Thomas 101: Discover Faith for the Inquiring Mind
If you are new to the Episcopal Church or have just wanted to learn more about our tradition or simply wish to better understand why we do the things we do in the Episcopal Church, then this group is for you! Join us Sundays during Lent at 9:15 a.m. as we will explore the beliefs, history, worship and practices of our great Church. Are topics we’ll explore include:
3/8 • “Is being an Episcopalian the same thing as being a Christian?”
3/15 • “How did we get here?”(The Early Church to St. Thomas today—fasten your seatbelts)
3/22 • “People of the Book” (The Bible, The Prayer Book and your books)
*meeting in the parlor*
3/29 • “We are what we worship: Praying Our Beliefs”
4/5 • Special Forum on Holy Week & Spiritual Practices
Anyone is welcome to take part in this group, whether or not you have joined, been received or confirmed or desire to do so. Your questions are most welcome and encouraged as we explore together what it means to be a part of the Church. The class will meet Sunday Mornings in Lent through April 5th in the Parish Hall 9:15 a.m. For more information, contact Fr. Darren (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the office at (513) 831-2052. See you there!
August 3-7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. | Performance on August 7 at 3 p.m.
Karie-Lee Sutherland, Director
For ages 9-14
Love to sing, dance or act? Or all three? Get a taste of Broadway with CCM Prep’s Camp Bravo at St. Thomas! Through exercises, classes and games, aspiring performers will learn the ropes and discover their hidden talents in a fun, supportive atmosphere. Theatre is a great way to channel creativity and build self-esteem! Prepare yourself for applause, cheers and rave reviews with an end of the week showcase for families and friends. No audition necessary.
Please note: this camp is designed for beginners or those with little experience, but lots of enthusiasm!