Weekly News and Notes

September 17 – 24, 2020

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Weekly COVID Update & 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).  We have many new safety protocols and guidelines, 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 have effective contact tracing as 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.

Outreach: Our Commitment to Mission Remains Strong – Thanks to YOU!

The pandemic has had an impact on almost every facet of life, including the way we live into outreach.  How we put our faith into action and take the mission of Jesus to care for the most vulnerable remains a top priority – just how we can go about it has changed temporarily.  So many of you have stepped up to help, whether through creating masks, the toilet paper challenge with ERS (still happening) and your direct contacts through cards and other means of support.  While our outreach partners still cannot have volunteers onsite quite yet, we have maintained our commitment and support, both as a parish and through your personal advocacy.  We are now able to once again collect food items for Inter-Parish Ministry.  St. Vincent de Paul is able to take any clothing donations. Want to do more?  Contact any of the clergy or just call the parish office at (513) 831-2052.

Prayers and Readings for The Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Proper 20A

The Collect of the Day

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Jonah 3:10—4:11  (NRSV)

When God saw what the people of Nineveh did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” And the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city. The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.” Then the Lord said, “You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?”

Matthew 20:1—16  (NRSV)

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

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

Beverly, Bob, Carol, Courtney, David, Dick, Gary, Jayne,  Jeff,  John,  Jim,  Lauren, Maret, 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, the first responders and the aid and relief efforts that continue around the world, especially for everyone affected by the Coronavirus and recent storms and fires,  

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.

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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!