Changes this Fall at St. Thomas Episcopal Church!
As summer draws to a close, many exciting changes will be coming to St. Thomas in the very near future. Beginning on September 26th, the Rite I Holy Eucharist will be resuming at 8:30 AM. The change in time of the Rite I is necessary in accommodating my ability to care for my children and help get them up and ready on Sunday mornings.
We will also be resuming Rector’s Forum this Fall between 9:30-10:15 on Sunday mornings and will be reading Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ISBN- 978-0060608521) and discussing what it means for us to be an intentional Christian community in our context today. There will be an additional opportunity to join in this discussion on Wednesdays at 9:00 AM starting on September 29. The book can easily be purchased from many online booksellers and is also available through the library. Even if you are unable to attend these sessions, I encourage you all to read this important and insightful book.
At this time, we have decided not to resume the 5:30 PM Saturday Evening Contemporary Service as we feel that during this time of transition and rebuilding, it is prudent to focus our energy and resources on Sunday morning worship programming. We have, however, decided that the spirit and format of the contemporary service needs to be preserved as it is a vital part of our parish’s ministry. With that in mind, we will be offering a contemporary worship experience, including healing prayer and anointing, on the last Sunday of each month at our 10:30 Holy Eucharist starting on September 26th. This service will closely follow the pattern of worship that was used at 5:30 PM. While I understand that this change may be difficult to embrace for many, I encourage you all to give it shot for the sake of our parish community. During this time of transition, all hands need to be on deck!
The Vestry of this parish was extremely heartened by last month’s parish meeting and feel that such conversation is essential for our health and continued growth. Going forward, we will be conducting such meetings on a quarterly basis in order for us to share thoughts and concerns with one another. The next such meeting will be held on Sunday, October 17th following the 10:30 Holy Eucharist.
My coffee shop office hours will also resume, starting the first week of September and will take place at Café-Ah-Roma or the Baldwin-Wallace University Starbucks on Front Street in Berea. Unless, otherwise noted these office hours will take place on Wednesdays from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM. The location of these “office hours” will be posted each week in the parish bulletin. I am of course also available by appointment at other times during the week so please call, text or e-mail me to arrange a time to talk.
Other programs, such as our Veterans’ Meet-and-Greet ministry as well as STAR are also in the process resuming their ministries. Our first veterans’ event was be held this past Friday and we’re planning to hold them every last Friday throughout the year. Likewise, our S.T.A.R. (St. Thomas’ Adult Recreation) will be resuming on the 2nd Thursday of each month starting in September. Information regarding both S.T.A.R. and Veterans’ Meet and Greet will be available on our parish website. My deepest hope is that, despite the setback of the last 18 months, we will continue to grow and flourish as a parish.