News from Saint Thomas Church for the Week of February 2, 2020

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In this week’s news…

A Message from the Rector

Rector Turner
The Reverend Canon Carl Turner

Dear Friends,

This Sunday is the Feast of Candlemas. It is one of the most beautiful feasts of the Church’s year and comes in the depths of winter. We commemorate Mary and Joseph bringing the child Jesus to be presented to the Lord in the Temple. He is received by the priest Simeon and his song, the Nunc Dimittis, has been sung in the church at Evensong or Compline ever since. The prophetess, Anna, speaks powerfully about the child, but her words are not recorded. Our words, instead, take up Simeon’s message of hope. Jesus is a light in a dark world and we are called to proclaim that light of the world.

Recently, I turned on some of the ‘smart’ devices in my home (much to the annoyance of my wife because the Google assistant had not yet learned to recognize her voice!). The initial excitement of having a house that responds to voice commands has already waned; no longer do I get the feeling I used to get as a boy when I watched Star Trek. Now I have to remember what commands I actually taught the device! One of the unexpected things, however, has been a reflection on the Book of Genesis; for the first time I am able to say “Let there be light” and there IS light! The light is good (even though Alison prefers an old-fashioned switch) and I marvel at what it means to say that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World.

Simeon proclaimed Jesus as the light that would enlighten the nations and the glory of Israel. This Sunday, as we light our hand-held candles, we shall hear again that same song of Simeon. Let us make it our own and, with our own voice, proclaim Jesus as the light who casts out all darkness.

Here is another sonnet by Malcolm Guite:


They came, as called, according to the Law.
Though they were poor and had to keep things simple,
They moved in grace, in quietness, in awe,
For God was coming with them to His temple.
Amidst the outer court’s commercial bustle
They’d waited hours, enduring shouts and shoves,
Buyers and sellers, sensing one more hustle,
Had made a killing on the two young doves.
They come at last with us to Candlemas
And keep the day the prophecies came true
We glimpse with them, amidst our busyness,
The peace that Simeon and Anna knew.
For Candlemas still keeps His kindled light,
Against the dark our Saviour’s face is bright.

Please bring friends and family to Church this Sunday, and share that light with them. The 4pm service will include the Blessing of Light, and will be held in candlelight. In our busyness, let us stop for a while this Sunday, and, as the flame is kindled, glimpse the love that God pours into our lives through his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

With best wishes,

your priest and pastor.

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Burns Night: an Evening of Delight and Dance

This past Friday night, our parish hosted our third annual Burns Night in beautiful Bonnell Hall at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. This dinner celebration has become an institution in the life of Saint Thomas Church, including great food, festive Scottish cheer, and good company. We enjoyed a variety of toasts (including an Ode to the Haggis) inspired by the poet, Robert Burns, and danced the night away to pipe and strings. Thank you to all who made this event such a special evening of delight!

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EAST Speaker Event: the Rev. Winnie Varghese

Join us Thursday February 13, 6:30pm in the Living Room of the Parish House for the EAST (Episcopal Asian Supper Table) Speaker Event. “How do you make sense of things in troubled times?”, with the Reverend Winnie Varghese, Strategic Clergy for Global Initiatives at Trinity, Wall Street. She will offer a personal reflection about how Asian-American Christians can consider our global citizenship in ways that lead to active engagement in movements for liberation. Join us for prayer, discussion, and suppers. RSVP by Tuesday, Feb. 11 using this email: [email protected]

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Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Meeting

We will have a pre-pilgrimage meeting for all who are registered on Sunday, February 16, at 12:30pm (after the 11am mass) on the Fifth Floor of the Parish House. If you have any questions, please bring them; alternatively, you can email them to [email protected].

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Mark Your Calendars for  certain Lent/Easter Dates ahead

Ash Wednesday
February 26, 2020

Palm Sunday
April 5, 2020

Easter Sunday
April 12, 2020

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