News from Saint Thomas Church Week Beginning September 22

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In this week’s news…

Dear Friends,


Join us this Sunday as we start the 2020 Annual Appeal to raise funds necessary for Saint Thomas to operate and consider making a  pledge online. Each year the Annual Appeal raises needed funds to enable Saint Thomas to fulfill its mission “to worship, love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ through the Anglican tradition and our unique choral heritage.”

Last week we told you about the Annual Appeal 2020 Sermon Series when my colleagues and visiting preachers will explore themes related to our life as a Christian Community. I will begin this sermon series on the Appeal’s opening Sunday preaching about the importance of Worship to all that we do at Saint Thomas. When Jesus was asked by a lawyer what was the greatest commandment he said without hesitation, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40, KJV)

During the Appeal’s ten week campaign, the sermons will focus on the many significant ministries at Saint Thomas that are supported by the Annual Appeal. You will also read below of a Ministry Fair to share the many guilds and volunteer roles at Saint Thomas Church.

We invite you to invest in our future through a pledge to the 2020 Annual Appeal. Your support has never been so important. Pledge cards are in the narthex and reception or you can pledge online.

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This past Sunday, we were very pleased to welcome back a number of familiar faces and many new families to our Sunday School and Nursery. As our Fall Term gets underway, we look forward to growing together as a community of faith.

If would like to know more about our parish’s several activities and programs for children and their families, please follow this link.

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The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys

This term we have made some slight changes to the pattern of weekday evensong, and we are pleased to have received a number of emails from webcast listeners who have noticed and appreciated the changes. The most significant change is that we are now singing the psalms for the day according to the Prayer Book cycle. The psalms are at the heart of the daily office and it is wonderful to hear the many genres of psalms sung to appropriate Anglican chant, or to plainsong, when the gentlemen sing on their own. One of John Scott’s hopes was for a new organ that could accompany the psalmody with great sensitivity and introduce contrast and color by ‘painting the words’ with sound. The Miller-Scott organ is now proving that hope to be a reality.

The much larger portion of psalmody means that we needed to be careful about the length of evensong, particularly when the boys are singing, since they need to go back to the Choir School for their dinner and then for study hall and piano practice. Dr. Filsell and the Rector agreed that, in future, introits and hymns would only be used on feast days when the psalmody is ‘proper’ and usually much shorter in length.

Earlier in the year, the clergy had experimented with expanding the amount of prayer in the service rather than daily homilies or sermons. This has received so much support from parishioners and webcast listeners that it is now the norm.  We also felt that the large number of notices at the greetings was breaking up the flow of the service and working against the prayerful quality of the office.  Since all of that is available on-line, in the Sunday bulletin, on posters outside the Church, and in weekly e-news and on social media, we decided that on weekdays the greetings would be reduced to a simple welcome at the beginning of the service before the psalmody, thus allowing evensong to flow without any breaks. This also allows for the anthem to flow naturally into a time of reflective prayer and intercession.

The daily office is primarily the sanctification of time through the prayer of the Church. The daily office is also one of the glories of Anglican worship, and a church with a choral tradition like ours can help people of all traditions to be still before the Lord and to reflect at the end of the day. Some Christians are perplexed by the lack of congregational participation in the service but, for us, this stillness at the heart of Midtown Manhattan is a gift to our city. Come and experience it yourselves!

“Nevertheless, my soul, wait thou still upon God; for my hope is in him.” (Psalm 62:5)

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Dr. Christopher Wells

Saint Thomas Church is pleased to announce an upcoming lecture series featuring our Guest Lecturer, Dr. Christopher Wells. Throughout the coming program year (2019-2020), Dr. Wells will travel from his home in Dallas, Texas to present his lecture series in Andrew Hall on the theme: “An Introduction to Anglicanism.”

Over the course of a total of nine lectures following Evensong, he will paint a broad and engaging picture of our Anglican history and heritage.

Save the dates below for the first portion of this engaging series. The complete information about our guest lecturer and the full series may be found by following this link.

An Introduction to Anglicanism: The Long Shadow of Augustine

A Lecture Series in Andrew Hall

    • Tuesday, Sept. 24; 6:30-8:00pm
    • Wednesday, Sept. 25; 6:30-8:00pm
    • Thursday, Sept. 26; 6:30-8:00pm

At Saint Thomas Church, there are a wide variety of parish ministries and opportunities for service, some more visible than others. On Sunday, September 29 after the 11am service in Andrew Hall, we will host a Parish Ministry Fair where the various ministries of our community will present themselves to all those who come. It will be a great time to discover more about the full life of Saint Thomas and to consider new ways to be involved.

Our 11am service on Sunday, September 29 is also a time when our Parish  Volunteers will be recognized and commissioned for the new program year. If you serve on a parish guild, committee, or group, please be sure to come!

Join us for this festive day!

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For the Fall season, our parish will take part in a sermon series as a part of our parish’s Annual Appeal for 2020. This series will include our clergy and guests who will preach on themes exploring the joys and responsibilities of our common life. Join us at our 11am services for this fine array of preaching.

    • Sept. 22 – The Rector – Worship – Stewardship Sunday
    • Sept. 29 – Father Spencer – Pastoral Care
    • Oct. 6 – Father Moretz – Community and Belonging
    • Oct. 13 – The Rector – The Choir School
    • Oct. 20 – Mother Turner – Children and Families
    • Oct. 27 – Father Cheng – Education and Formation
    • Nov. 3 – The Rev. Andrew C. Mead, Rector Emeritus – All Saints’ Sunday
    • Nov. 10 – The Rev. Dr. Daniel Heischman, Executive Director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) – Remembrance Sunday and Choir School Centennial Alumni Weekend
    • Nov. 17 – The Rector – The Strategic Plan
    • Nov. 24 – The Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, Vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Field, London, UK – Commitment Sunday

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