Weekly News and Notes ~ September 17 – 24, 2020

September 25 – October 2, 2020

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Weekly COVID Updates & In-Person Worship – Register to Reserve Your Seat!

Hamilton County continues to be designated as a Level-2 alert with the Ohio Public Health Advisory System (OPHAS).  Please remember that if Hamilton County experiences a set-back and we are once again designated as Level 3 (red) or Level 4 (purple) with the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, we will once again need to suspend in-person worship and resume higher-level protocols.  This would be communicated through our website, telephone greeting and by email to the parish.

St. Thomas continues to hold two in-person services Sunday with a Liturgy of the Word & Prayer (no Communion at this time) at 8 am (Rite I) and 10:15 am (Rite II).  The Diocese has announced new guidelines which take effect October 18 allowing for a gradual resumption of Holy Communion!  We have many new safety protocols and guidelines to follow, such as enhanced cleaning & sanitation practices, health checks, face masks, physical distancing and safety measures, including registering (reserving a seat) through our website or by calling the office at (513) 831-2052. 

Your health & safety matters greatly!  We realize that not everyone can or should return to join us for in-person worship at this time, so please rest assured that in addition to in-person worship on Sundays, we will continue to provide worship online via our YouTube channel for both for Sundays as well as our Midweek Evening Prayer Services. 

How We Worship Safely Involves Each of Us Working Together!

“Liturgy” means the work of the people.  While a common value of our worship life, it has a special meaning and even higher importance at this time.  Even with all the enhanced health & safety protocols we have, our success comes down to what we each can practice:

Reserve Your Seat – Call the parish office at 513-831-2052 or register online available through our website at https://stthomasepiscopal.org This is essential to ensure we can accommodate everyone within our capacity controls and health protocols required of us.

Wear your mask – Please practice good hygiene at home and wear a mask to church.

Enter through the correct door – When you arrive for church this Sunday, please use the archway entrance on Miami near the parish hall.  This will be our main entrance for the building this year while there are COVID restrictions.  Entering through these doors not only provides an easier entrance for those with physical challenges, but also allows a clearer access to hand sanitizers, the self-health check station and easier access to both restrooms as well as worship itself.

Self-Health Check – A health assessment with a temperature check will be required as well as the use of a face mask and maintaining physical distancing of 6′ apart (we have mandated capacity control and we can reserve seats for up to 50 people for each service).  

Find your seat – Seating will be marked to ensure physical distancing.  At the end of the service, we will dismiss people from the back of the nave to the front, exiting via the narthex and the red doors.

Save the Date: CVS Flu Shot Clinic Coming to St. Thomas Saturday, October 17th (10am-Noon)

• Regular Vaccine & High Dose Vaccine (65 +) available

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

• Registration is suggested and preferred, but walk ups are welcome

• 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

Additional information and a link to register on our website at https://stthomasepiscopal.org or call the church office at 513-831-2052.

Prayers and Readings for The Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

Proper 21A

The Collect of the Day

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32  (NRSV)

The word of the Lord came to me: What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”? As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die. Yet you say, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.

Matthew 21:23-32  (NRSV)

When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. “What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

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

Anne, Barbara, Beverly, Bob, Carol, Courtney, David, Dick, Gary, Jayne, Jeff, John, Jim, Maret, Mark, Matthew, Penny, Phil, Rick, Sandy, Sean & Reyna, Terry 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, for the first responders and the aid and relief efforts that continue around the world; especially for everyone affected by the Coronavirus, recent storms and wildfires  

A Prayer for Our Own Vocation and Work

Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and show forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth: Deliver us in our various occupations and roles from the service of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; keep us mindful and responsive to the needs of others; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord who came among us as one who serves, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Click here for this week’s lessons

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!

Flu Shot Clinic ~Saturday, October 17 ~ 10 am-2 pm

Walk Ups Welcome

St. Thomas Flu Vaccine Clinic in Partnership with CVS Pharmacy 

  • Regular Vaccine & High Dose Vaccine (65 +) available
  • The clinic will take place outdoors at the archway entrance on Miami Avenue
  • Registration is suggested and preferred, but walk ups are welcome
  • Most insurances cover 100 percent
  • Bring insurance card

To help ensure the safety of patients and pharmacy team:

  • Immunization area will include well-established physical distancing
  • Pharmacists will be wearing masks, gloves and face shields
  • Patients will be required to wear face coverings and answer COVID-19 screening question

Why get a flu shot?

More important than ever this year: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highly recommends getting your flu shot this fall not only to reduce your risk from flu but also to help conserve potentially scarce health care resources.

To stay ahead of changing viruses: Because influenza viruses are always changing, the flu vaccine is reviewed annually and updated, as needed, to keep up.

 Helps protect friends and family: By getting your flu shot, you avoid exposing those around you, especially those who are unable to get the flu shot themselves.

Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.

Walk Ups Welcome

Contact the church office with any questions 513-831-2052

Outreach ~ Faith into Action

A Message From Our Deacon

The Toilet Paper Challenge for Thomaston Woods, Meadows and Affordable Living Communities

Living into Jesus’ new commandment to love that we read in John 14 is embracing opportunities to not only walk with, but at time step-up or step into action.  One such opportunity is with us now:  The Toilet Paper Challenge for Thomaston Woods, Thomaston Meadows and the other Affordable Living Communities of ERS.

No doubt you have read or heard about the fact that during the unprecedented times of COVID-19 quarantine, low-income individuals are suffering greatly.  Many lack support systems to help them access critically needed supplies and necessities.  Others, particularly older adults, fear the risks associated with going into public places. Even when they do venture out, they often find certain staples to be sold-out.  For the low-income seniors and families residing in Affordable Living by ERS, including the communities of Thomaston Woods and Thomaston Meadows – both communities were founded by Terrace Park parishioners of St. Thomas Episcopal Church and is still a proud outreach ministry partner – the services accessed and provided by ERS, parish and community partnerships are a true lifeline.  Toilet paper continues to be an item that is difficult for our residents to purchase and low-income individuals are not allowed to spend food stamp dollars to purchase this necessity.

An anonymous donor has committed $5,200 to fully fund 2 months of TP needs of the residents in our Affordable Living Communities served by ERS.  The donor has asked other friends of ERS to come forward and collectively match this gift to provide for the months of July and August.  St. Thomas Episcopal Church has committed an additional challenge to church members and the community of Terrace Park: St. Thomas will match additional gifts, up to $2,600, to fulfill this challenge. You can you help us reach this important goal and help some of our most vulnerable neighbors by donating online directly by visiting: https://www.episcopalretirement.com/corporate/donate/online and designate  your gift to “Emergency Response Fund” and enter “St. Thomas TP Challenge” in the comment section.  Or simply mail a check to: ERS Foundation, 3870 Virginia Avenue, Cincinnati, OH  45227 (memo: “St. Thomas TP Challenge”).  If you’d like more information, please contact Susan Cleverly, Manager of Foundation Relations and the Annual Fund, scleverly@erslife.org or call her directly at (513) 979-2309.

Card Ministry remains something your whole family can participate in. All the seniors and residents of assisted living and supported communities are presently unable to receive visitors, have no personal contact with their family and friends and have reduced group activities. They are feeling quite isolated. If you would like to write a short note of greeting and encouragement to them, this is your chance.  Oasis Senior Advisors Cincinnati continue to coordinate a card campaign for the seniors who are presently sequestered in their Assisted Living situations. Oasis can drop off blank note cards to you, along with instructions, and then pick them up again, “contact free.” Oasis can then then deliver the cards to an assisted living community in the area. The personnel of the community will distribute them to the residents.  If you would like your cards to go to specifically residents of Thomaston Woods, let us know and we will make sure that happens. You can find more information on our website or either email Oasis at: KRobinson@youroasisadvisor.com  or call them at (513) 302-6957 with any questions or to get started.  Thank you for your willingness to help our vulnerable seniors!