Craft Fair Planning Meetings

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It is never too early to be thinking about St. Thomas’s Annual Holiday Bazaar. This year the fair will be held on November 30 and December 1.

If you have any wine corks or buttons that you could donate, we would appreciate receiving them. There will be a donation box in the great hall.

Our first meeting of the year will be on May 24, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. We will gather at Sister Jackie’s house.

Questions or directions: contact Barb Graham at 302-598-4143.

Pentecost Picnic on Sunday, May 20, 2018

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Hello Church Family,

Please join me at our annual Pentecost Parish Picnic! The picnic will take place on May 20 after the 10:30 a.m. service. St. Thomas’s will provide hamburgers, veggie burgers and hot dogs a well as paper products and drinks. There will also be games and activities for all ages.

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS to help set up, clean up and help facilitate games. We also NEED YOU to bring a side dish or dessert to complete our celebration meal. (Donations will also be accepted toward the cost of the entrees and paper products.) Signup sheets to get an estimate of how many people are coming, who can help with setup and/or cleanup, and who is bringing what will be on the Great Hall door beginning on May 6.

One more thing … you are welcome to bring chairs or picnic blankets for your comfort and enjoyment. Thanks in advance for your help in creating another great fellowship opportunity for our St. Thomas’s family, especially during, this, our 175th year!! Please feel free to e-mail me at or call me at 302-832-8834 with questions or to volunteer to help plan or facilitate the picnic.

Belinda Young-Payne

Episcopal Campus Ministry and Blue Hen Bounty

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Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM) is a place where our college-age students explore and live spirituality in community with other students, faculty, staff and parishioners. Through service projects, regional and national events, and weekly gatherings, they connect to the world and to one another. There is always food and fun, time to worship and time to just hang out. ECM students meet on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. for Evening Prayer and then enjoy dinner prepared by parishioners at 6:00 p.m.

The Reverend Deacon Cecily Sawyer Harmon became the chaplain for Episcopal Campus Ministry in 2009, the same year she became a deacon in the Episcopal Church.

One of ECM’s service projects is called “Blue Hen Bounty,” which is a food pantry for food insecure UD students. ECM wants to share their Blue Hen Bounty web site and a recent article published in UDaily, the UD newsletter.

ECM thanks parishioners who donated food items recently. Blue Hen Bounty food pantry is well stocked and ready to serve students in the Spring term.

If you see ECM students on Sunday, please introduce yourself and extend a warm welcome as St. Thomas’s church family is their family away from home.

The Rev. Edward E. Godden, Interim Rector beginning January 1, 2018

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The Wardens and Vestry of St. Thomas’s Parish are pleased and honored to announce that the Rev. Edward E. Godden has accepted our call to serve as Interim Rector beginning January 1, 2018. Father Ed has been in the area for many years, serving parishes in Delaware and Cecil County, Maryland. He is also well acquainted with St. Thomas’s, most recently as supply priest twice this past summer. Father Ed is trained and experienced in interim ministry.

Father Ed will serve the parish on a half-time basis. His focus will be on worship, pastoral care, and guiding us through the transition process. In order to make the best use of his time, and to expose the parish to a broad variety of experiences in worship and preaching, supply priests and guest preachers will supplement his liturgical ministry.

Father Ed is looking forward to being with us, helping us to grow into a stronger parish during the interim period as we seek our next full-time rector. Please keep him and the parish in your prayers. We also encourage you to maintain–and perhaps increase and deepen–your commitment to the ministry of St. Thomas’s during the very interesting time that lies ahead for all of us.

Connie Cooper
Senior Warden

Pilgrimage Windows Booklet online

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Life is a journey for every human being, but for believers of all stripes it is also a pilgrimage with a Purpose and a destination. Christians are called to a life of love and service here on earth, with the Hope of salvation in the next life.

On the north wall or left side of the nave of St. Thomas’s Church is a continuous glass bank of unique stained-glass windows at eye level, vividly reminding us not only that we are all sojourners, but also that we are not at all alone. Indeed, among this great “crowd of witnesses” are traditional saints whom we can venerate but often prefer to think we cannot possibly emulate, but also less heroic women and men who can inspire and guide us along our own path.

Enjoy the Pilgrimage Windows Booklet online. To purchase a printed copy, please call the Parish Office at (302) 368-4644. A copy is $10, which includes postage and handling.

See the windows in person by visiting the north wall or left side of the nave at St. Thomas’s Parish at 276 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19711. Since the procession and the inscription move from left to right (as one faces the windows) and it is suggested that the viewer also proceed this way. Each of the five groups is chronologically ordered, moving from the recent to the ancient. As one moves from one bay to the next, therefore, one will find one self propelled from Apostolic to modern times.

Booklet contributors:
Text by Lawrence G. Duggan, Professor of History, University of Delaware. Member of St. Thomas’s Parish (1982-), Head of the Liturgy Guild (2003-), and Grand High Thurifer.
Photos by Robert Gilley, Member of St. Thomas’s Parish (1996-)
Graphic Design and Layout by Jason J. Malago

Newark Post: St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church celebrates 175 years

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“St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church has served the Newark community and University of Delaware students for 175 years — first in a Gothic-style church on South Main Street and later in a more modern building on South College Avenue.

On Sunday, congregants gathered for a special service celebrating that milestone anniversary. They also dedicated a new roadside sign intended to improve the church’s visibility to those passing by.

“The feeling is wonderful,” the Rev. Paul W. Gennett Jr. said.”

See the Newark Post article at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church celebrates 175 years.

Vacation Bible School – 2017

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See our 2017 Vacation Bible School flyer about the vacation bible school that St. Thomas’s is hosting this summer with St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. I have also included a list of supplies needed in the flyer.

The VBS will run from July 30 to August 3, 2017. All St. Thomas’s children are welcome to attend and bring their friends. There is no cost and will include dinner. I am hoping that many St. Thomas’s teens and adults will participate by volunteering to help and/or by providing supplies.

I hope you are all enjoying a safe summer and I hope to see you soon!


A Message from the Vestry – June 2017

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To St. Thomas’s Parishioners,

As we move into the summer, your vestry would like to update you on several issues.

First, great thanks and appreciation to all for our big events in May and June—the 175th anniversary gala, the tribute to Bob Rys, and the Pentecost/175th anniversary picnic. All of them were wonderful expressions of joy and fellowship, the result of many hours of work by dedicated parishioners.

Many of you are probably wondering about the transition process as Father Paul prepares to retire. First, we have the gift of his presence until the end of October. It’s a time to reflect on and give thanks for what his ministry has meant for the parish and for each of us personally.

The vestry is beginning to work on transition plans. We’ve met with the Rev. Canon Gary Rowe of the diocesan staff and we’re studying the diocesan guidelines for parishes in transition. We are working on arrangements for a priest to be with us beginning the first Sunday in November.

Some things in the transition process will be as they have been in the past, but there have been some changes. One big change is the form of the parish profile. In the past, it has been a printed document. Now the diocesan procedure is for the profile to be on the parish web site, as a separate section of the site. Prospective candidates for the position of rector will first meet us through the web site. The web site is also how most visitors and prospective members get acquainted with us. That’s why a welcoming and accurate web site is essential—it’s our front door, in a manner of speaking, and we want to make a good impression on all who seek us out.

Finally, the transition process requires two committees, the transition committee and the search committee. These committees are appointed by and responsible to the vestry. The transition committee, with three to five members, will be in operation from late summer through the first year of the new rector’s tenure. It will handle tasks like farewells, welcomes, and assisting the new rector to settle in to life at St. Thomas’s. The search committee will begin its work after Fr. Paul leaves. It will develop the parish profile and handle the search and interview process, ending up with a candidate to recommend to the vestry. The search committee will have eight to ten members.

The vestry is in the early stages of developing these committees. If you have suggestions of people who might be possible members of the committees, please inform me or any vestry member. You don’t need the person’s consent at this point—once the vestry chooses the possible candidates for each committee, they will be contacted, given a full description of the task, and will be free to make their own decision on whether to accept the call. All suggestions will be held in confidence.

Thank you for your support of St. Thomas’s. Please hold the church in your prayers.

Connie Cooper
Senior Warden