A reading from Luke 22:27

“For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?
Is it not the one who is at the table?
But I am among you as one who serves.”

How will you serve?
How will you match your talents to the Lord’s work?

Opportunities to serve in our Church are as follows.

Acolytes (Youth) includes members of the Youth Confirmation Class, as well as, loyal acolytes from previous Confirmation classes continue to serve at the altar at the Sunday 10:30 am service and special holy day services. The Acolytes light and extinguish the candles, participate in processions by carrying torches and processional crosses, help to set the altar with the Liturgical Sub-Deacon’s assistance, ring the Sanctus bells, and carry the incense “boat”. Contact Bob Rys at bobrys05@gmail.com.

Adult Education explores topics such as reflections on select bible passages at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Hosts discussions of special topics, in person and on Zoom. Parishioners interested in suggesting topics and/or leading sessions on a topic that interests them are welcomed. We offer a summer series. Contact Ronnie Wilbur at vfwilbur@gmail.com, Rue Manning at rueamanning@verizon.net, or Larry Duggan at lgjd@udel.edu.

Altar Guild (Worship Preparation Ministry)
Altar Guild is a ministry the church cannot do without.
 It is a graceful and quiet ministry and one in which many are honored to serve. We work together as teams sharing responsibility for preparing the sanctuary for worship during one week each month. We make sure there are candles, wine, and bread. We polish silver and brass and wash and iron linens to make sure everything is just right to enhance worship at St. Thomas’s.
 We continue to update our supply of linens and other articles.
 We’re training new members to fill the ranks as good and faithful life-long servants retire. We are hoping to encourage families to join in preparing for worship. There are many jobs that can be accomplished by folks of all ages. The only things required of a new member are a good heart and an eye for detail. 
For all of our members, we are truly grateful.
 Contact Sally Price at 302-453-9408 or sallyeymanprice@gmail.com or any altar guild member for more information.

Annual Bazaar is open to the public and is traditionally held the weekend after Thanksgiving beginning on Friday morning and continuing through Sunday noon. It features unique crafts, quarts of homemade soups, a cookie walk selection, and sometimes white elephant goods, items donated by parishioners or sold by partnering vendors. All proceeds go to outreach ministries. Volunteers are needed to liaise with external vendors and to receive donations from parishioners, set up the display in the Great Hall, collect payments at the sale, and pack up everything after the event.  No special skills are needed; leaders match volunteers with jobs they enjoy and provide any instructions needed.

Blue Hen Bounty is a food pantry, located in the Great Hall, open to students at the University of Delaware and other area colleges who are experiencing food insecurity. Volunteers inventory, solicit, sort, and shelve food items contributed by parishioners. Leader is Teresa Coons.

Centering Prayer – Centering Prayer is a method designed to facilitate the development of Contemplative Prayer by preparing our faculties to receive this gift. Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer; rather it casts a new light and depth of meaning on them. It is at the same time a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. This method of prayer is a movement beyond conversation with the living Christ to communion with Him. For more information, contact Joe Corsello at 302-369-0330 or jmcorsello@gmail.com.

Children’s Ministries – is offered each Sunday during the program year, and provides religious education to children from kindergarten through sixth grade level children. Parishioners are teachers or classroom helpers who provide religious education and formation to children from kindergarten through sixth grade on Sunday mornings and plan fellowship and learning activities for children on special occasions. Volunteers also care for babies and toddlers in the nursery. Training and on-going support are provided. Contact Belinda Young-Payne at belmar43@aol.com or 302-832-8834.

Climate Change – With the success of the Paris Agreement, we have new goals for vital improvements.The mission will work towards the needs of the whole world for maintaining God’s creation for this and future generations. For more information, contact the Climate Change mail list.

Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow – Awareness-Raising: We host monthly and annual forums, summits, and conferences to raise awareness and understanding of mass incarceration, systemic and institutional racism. Our monthly meetings inform the public of community and state programs and initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty and racial disparities, fostering equitable economic development, and creating safer and better connected communities.
Advocacy: We advocate for changes in state and local policy to rectify the effects of mass incarceration, institutional racism, and economic inequality. This includes supporting fair policing practices, progressive economic policy, livable wages, and communities that value diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Racial Healing: The effects of institutional, structural, and interpersonal racism are pernicious and long lasting. People of color (this includes Black people, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans) have long suffered the effects of social and economic racial discrimination. The Coalition believes that it is necessary for people of all races to acknowledge the need for racial healing and collectively work towards a just society. We do this through educational activities and empathy building programs.
What can I do? Join us as we work together for racial justice and a better understanding of the impacts of racism in our state. The group meets the 3rd Monday of each month with changing locations every month.
If you are interested or would like more information, contact Cami Seward at camiseward@gmail.com.

Coffee Hour Hospitality members provide a welcoming gathering for parishioners and visitors following the Sunday 10:30 service. Members make coffee and hot water for tea, mix a pitcher of juice and provide water for those who want something cool, and set out cookies that have been provided for this occasion. The last task is to clean up afterwards. No special skills are needed; we will teach you what you need to know to participate in this welcoming ministry.  Families, individuals, or groups are invited to sign up as available to take a Sunday. You choose the dates you wish to serve. All supplies are provided for you. We hope to have enough volunteers to plan a cycle of every 6-8 weeks. Leader is Jill Englund Jensen at jejensen@udel.edu.

Communication Ministry – St. Thomas’s Communication Ministry propagates information via our communication avenues such as email, Facebook, Facebook events, Google calendar, or our web site.  Contact Joy Lynam at lynam@udel.edu if you wish to serve on the Communication Ministry.

Communion Bread Bakers (St. Nicholas Guild) take turns baking bread for Sunday services. Sometimes we’re called upon to bake bread for weddings and funerals. We use a standardized cutter and a standard recipe to ensure the loaves are of the same size and texture each week. Members and other parishioners baked bread for the annual Soup and Bread Supper on Maundy Thursday. St. Thomas’s. Contact Sally Price sallyeymanprice@gmail.com.

Confirmation is offered each year to provide seventh and eighth grade youth to learn about and proclaim their Baptismal faith in Confirmation before the bishop at the annual visitation. Contact Teri Quinn-Gray at tquinngray@verizon.net or Bob Rys at bobrys05@gmail.com.

Empowerment Center – Area churches make “Go Bags” all year and take them to the Empowerment Center. These are shelf-stable meals in gallon ziplock bags (entrée, fruit cup, crackers, cookies, spoon wrapped in a napkin, and a drink) given to homeless guests to have for dinner as they leave the Empowerment Center after lunch. St. Thomas’s is famous for being a good source of “Go Bags.” Contact Madeline Johnson at mad1240@comcast.net.

Episcopal Campus Ministry seeks to serve students at UD and other area colleges. Students are invited to eat-in or take-out home-made dinners on Sundays. Volunteers contribute dishes to the Sunday dinners. We are currently exploring possibilities for ecumenical college ministries with Newark Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Parishioners interested in the ecumenical possibility would be welcome to join discussions. Leader for Sunday dinners is Amy Keach.   Leader for ecumenical college ministry is Kristin Sausville along with Fr. Howie .

Episcopal Campus Ministry Dinners – parishioners volunteer to prepare home-made dinners for our college students. It is a great time to meet the students and welcome them into our family. Contact Sally Price at sallyeymanprice@gmail.com.

Events Ministry — a new undertaking beginning in 2023—will help parishioners who have an idea for a special parish event to plan and carry out the event by putting together smaller commission groups to bring these events to life. Examples are a movie night in the Grove, a Health Fair, a Newark community Spring Crocus photo contes. Volunteers may contribute ideas for events or serve on commission groups. Leaders are Kristin Sausville and Cana Hartman.

Finance Ministry prepares the financial documents for the Church. Volunteers with professional experience in finance are welcome. Contact is Teresa Coons or Treasurer Amy Keach at iloveoregon@hotmail.com.

Altar Flowers Sep 2021Flower Guild provides memorial flowers for Sunday services, special flowers for weddings and funerals, and some decorations for Parish events. Flowers are an important part of the Anglican tradition, and St. Thomas’s has been happily and proudly upholding the tradition of providing living examples of the beauty of Creation for our services and celebrations. Volunteers select the flowers appropriate for the occasion and use their creative skills to artfully arrange them.  Members serve on average every 4 to 6 weeks during the year with the exception of Advent and Lenten seasons.  Skills required are a love of creative beauty and a willingness to serve.  Training is provided by fellow guild members, if needed.  See Wendy Campbell to see how you can serve this ministry at  wjcampbell7@yahoo.com.

Forward In Faith (FIF) team worked to purchase The Grove. St. Thomas’s continues to work toward our challenge goal. The additional funds will allow us to consider further enhancement of the signage, current building repairs, a playground and a start to funding of the future parking lot.

Greeters – for in-person services, Greeters function in addition to Ushers to provide a welcoming presence and reach out to help newcomers in particular by getting them the informational brochure and helping them to navigate our church as well as inviting people to join us for after church fellowship.

Hope Dining Room serves a free lunch every weekday at noon at the Kingswood Methodist Church in Brookside. Many churches in Newark volunteer to participate in this regularly. A combined team from St. Thomas’s and St. Nicholas serves on the third Monday of every month. A Signup Genius comes out every second Monday to round up a kitchen team and the food items needed for the meal. It’s lots of fun to be part of a team that does such an appreciated service. If you are called to this ministry, watch your email for the Signup Genius or contact the leader by checking this box. Contact Madeline Johnson at mad1240@comcast.net.

Hospitality Ministry members serve the hosting function for one-time events such as wedding and funeral receptions. Events may be parish-wide and diocesan-wide. It’s very easy work and fulfilling to work elbow-to-elbow with lots of our fellows and sisters. Meetings are held as needed to ensure that overall issues are addressed and Leaders are assigned for the upcoming events. Leader is Jill Englund Jensen at jejensen@udel.edu.

Intercessory Prayer Chain

Lay Healing Service Ministry are those volunteers who in their faithfulness and dedication to prayer comfort with those who are in pain, sorrow, or grief, or are standing in for someone else who is in need of prayer. We also share prayers of praise and thankfulness. We are a people who believe that God has called us to pray, in all of its many forms. The Scriptures instruct us to pray for one another, anointing one another in the name of the Lord (James 5:13-16) and we will be healed. Of course, healing takes many forms, and as we have come to understand, is not always a physical cure.

Lay Eucharistic Visitors bring Holy Communion and friendly conversation to parishioners unable to attend services in person, visiting them in their homes and in hospital and nursing homes. Training is provided. Contact Fr. Howie at howell.sasser.jr@gmail.com.

Lectionary Bible Study is a relaxed and friendly group that meets at the church on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the lessons for the following Sunday. Come every week or drop in when you can for some new perspectives on familiar stories and maybe some speculation about where the sermon will go! For more information, contact Carol Palermo at cpalermo625@gmail.com.

Liturgy Guild volunteers are devoted members of the parish family who serve faithfully at the altar on Sundays, festal days, weddings, and funerals as acolytes, LSDs (liturgical sub-deacons), Communion assistants, readers, and lay eucharistic visitors. They bring Communion to those in hospitals and nursing homes as well as the housebound. New members are warmly welcomed in each area and receive training as needed. Contact Larry Duggan at lgjd@udel.edu.

Manna Offering delivers nonperishable food from the donation baskets found in the Church to the Newark Welfare Committee Food Closet. Volunteers are needed to take the donated food to NAWC’s location in the Newark United Methodist Church on Main St. Leaders are Marge and Jack O’Donnell.

Meals Ministry members organize food trains for parishioners who, due to illness, bereavement, or other life changes, need some temporary help with meals.  The members of this ministry contact the recipients to discuss food preferences and plan delivery. A Sign-up Genius is developed and emailed to the congregation who volunteer for specific meals. The responsibility here is to organize the food train and then allow parishioners to make (or purchase) and deliver a meal via instructions found in the Sign-up Genius. Leader is Jill Englund Jensen at jejensen@udel.edu.

Mowing of Old St. Thomas’s Cemetery

Music Ministry/Adult Choir. The St. Gregory Choir is comprised of adults in our parish 16 years and older, and supports the congregation in singing at the 10:30 a.m. worship service throughout the year. They also offer specially prepared anthems each Sunday, and lead the congregation in special musical liturgies during the year. Instrumentalists are also welcome to volunteer. Choir members receive instruction from the parish Organist and Choir Director. Practices are held on Thursday evenings. Contact Marc Cheban, Organist and Choir Director, at a1b2celeste@yahoo.com or 302-378-4287.

Newark Area Welfare Committee Christmas Food Baskets is a program that St. Thomas’s participates in with many other community organizations to provide food baskets to those in need. Contact Laura Green at lauragreene67@comcast.net or 302-737-5455 to help with these efforts or to contribute food.

Newcomer Ministry welcomes new members to our parish and incorporates them into parish life as they are ready. We take a loaf of homemade bread and personal welcome note to people who have newly attended a service at St. Thomas’s. Would you like to be a deliverer of bread or a baker of bread? We have both on this team! You get to choose. Leader is Madeline Johnson

Notes & Cards are sent in Thanksgiving, sympathy, support, and thanks. Volunteers are needed to select and address cards and write a message. Contact Marilyn Prime at mprime@udel.edu.

Novel Theology group meets at 9:15 a.m. on the second Sunday of each month, September-May. At our May meeting we will bring our list of suggested books and select nine to read, beginning in September. For more information, see Susan Hechter at susanahechter@gmail.com.

Office volunteers work to facilitate the flow of communication within the church, and to coordinate and prepare for services. Office angels contribute as many hours (on Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 am to noon) and as often as they would like. Contact Cana Hartman at (302) 368-4644 to see how you can serve this ministry.

Pastoral care is not only the place for requests for prayers and Lay Eucharistic visits, but also for prayer shawls, notes and cards, phone calls, hospital and home visits, transportation, and meals. The Pastoral Care Ministry and clergy review and ascertain the care needs of parishioners at their home, hospital or nursing facilities. There are many needs within our parish family and we continue to reach out a hand in Christian fellowship to show our love and kindness to our parish family. Contact Marilyn Prime at mprime@udel.edu.

Prayer Shaw Ministry members knit or crochet prayer shawls for parishioners and others who are ill, injured or bereaved. We also make baby blankets for newly baptized infants and children. Instruction is provided for knitting these simple but special shawls and blankets; members can purchase their own yarn or choose yarn from a ministry stash. Leader is Barb Eldred at breldred@gmail.com.

Property Ministry sees to the upkeep and maintenance of our building and grounds. Members work on projects as complex as replacing the roof to as simple as changing a light bulb. Volunteers help with repairs ranging from replacing the roof to changing light bulbs; members also mow the lawn and tidy up the parish cemetery. Parishioners skilled in carpentry and simple repairs, as well as folks who can mow the grass about once a month, can be very helpful. Right now, we especially could use help on a commission we are forming to consider the recommendations of a recently completed Reserve Study of our church building and grounds. This group also coordinates the annual parish clean up. Our grounds are maintained and beautified by volunteers who mow the lawn or tend to the gardens. Contact is Amy Keach at iloveoregon@hotmail.com.

Stewardship Ministry cultivates our time and talents for the Church.

Technology supports worship through the parish’s sound system, AV, and video livestream. We really need a few more volunteers to operate the sound and video systems during the Sunday worship services. We will train new volunteers! With the camera presets, there are written instructions that make using the camera easy to learn and remember; and we are happy to provide as much continuing support as a volunteer would like! Contact Bob Gilley at bobgilley@gmail.com.

Transportation Ministry provides transportation for parishioners to church or to appointments.  We haven’t really advertised this ministry because, presently, we don’t have enough volunteers to make it broadly viable. If you are called to this important ministry, please check the box to let Madeline Johnson know. We would LOVE to be able to offer this transportation more widely. Leader is Madeline Johnson at mad1240@comcast.net.

Two Saints Readers – Interested readers from St. Thomas’s and St. Nicholas meet on Zoom to discuss books. Our next book is An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski. This discussion will take place Tuesday, April 11, at 4 PM via Zoom. To join the discussion, contact Madeline Johnson at mad1240@comcast.net.

Ushers – for in-person services, Ushers serve members of the congregation on a rotating weekly schedule at the 8 a.m. and the 10:30 a.m. services. Ushers hand out service leaflets, pass the collection plates, assist congregant with seating and provide directions as needed. Ushers are also often called upon to assist with weddings, funerals, and to assist in parking cars when it is anticipated that attendees may be unfamiliar with St. Thomas’s liturgies, facilities and parking arrangements. Contact Amy Keach at iloveoregon@hotmail.com.

Vestry members are elected at the annual meeting for a three-year term. The Vestry’s responsibilities are to help define, articulate, and support the mission of the congregation, to ensure effective organization and planning, to select the rector, and to manage resources and finances. Vestry is the legal representative of the parish in matters pertaining to our corporate property. Three new vestry members are needed each year. If you are open to considering service on the Vestry, we would appreciate the chance to talk with you. Leader is the rector, Fr. Howie.

Worship Ministry includes folks who are leaders of various groups that have a hand in facilitating worship: altar guild, children’s worship, acolytes, prayer ministers, lay worship leaders (such as readers, communion assistants, Eucharistic visitors), clergy, musicians. Those interested in the worship ministry meet regularly to plan for what happens during worship services. Contact Sally Price at 302-453-9408 or sallyeymanprice@gmail.com.

Weekly Offering Counters – St Thomas’s Sunday weekly plate offering represents the primary source of operating income for the parish and is vital to our financial health. The counters process the incoming checks and cash receipts, summarize the count for the Business Manager and Parish Registrar and prepare the funds for deposit in the bank. Counters work as two person teams in order to make the overall task less time consuming and to ensure an accurate count. Each team counts once every two months. The task requires about 60 – 90 minutes to complete. The schedule is flexible and changes for vacations, etc., can easily be arranged. We are currently looking for two additional teams. Contact is Teresa Coons.

Youth Ministry (C.R.E.W.) – The “CREW” (Christians Ready, Equipped and Willing) Youth Group is open to all youth in grades 7 through 12 from the parish, community, and beyond. The goal for our youth ministry is to help the youth develop a deeper relationship with God and one another through fellowship, discussions, service, retreats, prayer, social gatherings, and more. Volunteers may prepare food, chaperone, provide transportation, etc.—no special skills needed, just a love of young people and commitment to their growth in the faith. Leader is Belinda Young-Payne at belmar43@aol.com.