News from Saint Thomas: week ending in December 15

Dear Friends,

This Sunday is Gaudete Sunday which is beloved of Saint Thomas parishioners and a chance to wear something rose pink! Gaudete is the Latin for rejoice and is the first word of the old Introit for this Sunday taken from Philippians 4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” Although Advent is not strictly a penitential season (we still sing Alleluia, for example) it is most definitely a season of preparation when we look forward to the celebration of Christmas and beyond to the Second Coming of Christ who will make all things new. As Bishop Andrew St John reminded us last Sunday at evensong, the great Advent themes are sobering – Heaven and Hell, Death and Judgement – Advent calls us to take stock and be ready. Like the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) the Third Sunday of Advent is a kind of ‘change of gear’ as we have a glimpse of the joy that comes at Christmas and will surround our Lord as he returns as the Prince of Peace.

Last Saturday, the young adults of Saint Thomas (18-30s ministry) hosted other young adults from local Churches; it was a very enjoyable occasion with over 120 people present. If you would like to know more about the group, please email youngadults@saintthomaschurch.org

A poem by Archbishop Rowan Willians titled Advent Calendar

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to the bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

With every blessing,

Father Carl Turner

Parish-wide Survey

In the next week or two parishioners and friends will be receiving an email invitation to take a brief online survey about our church and choir school. The questionnaire has been carefully created by Wellspring, our Strategic Planning consultant, and we want everyone to take part. So, when you receive it, please take a few minutes to complete our survey and participate in our planning process. More information will be available on the website.

The Blessing of the Christmas Crèche

Come and join the Boy Choristers and our Sunday School on Thursday, December 20, at 5:30pm for a beautiful short service when we shall make and bless the Christmas Crèche, hear the Christmas story, and sing carols.

This service is especially suitable for young children and families and we invite children to come in costume as a character or animal from the Nativity Story.