On Sunday we said a fond farewell to Nicholas Quardokus, who is leaving us to take up the position of Canon Organist and Director of Music at Grace Church Cathedral, South Carolina. We have only had Nick with us for two years and, of course, a great deal of that time was taken up by navigating the pandemic but, without a doubt, he has endeared himself to so many members of the parish, the Choir School, and Friends of Music. He has been an exemplary organist, grown in confidence and maturity in directing the choir, and also become a loyal and faithful colleague to so many of us. We will miss you, Nick, but also know that this is a wonderful opportunity for you as you take up this demanding post in South Carolina. We hope that we will see you often, and be assured that you go with our love and our prayers.
From Sunday evening, I will be taking a vacation and I hope to visit my family. We have not seen the children or the grandchildren in-person since December 2019 so, although we will have to quarantine for almost a week, it will be worth the wait! In my absence, Fr. Moretz will lead the parish and my assistant, Lizette, will be here most of the time to take inquiries. I shall be returning mid-August for a week to celebrate the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin, then we finish our summer annual leave with some downtime in New England.
As the world slowly starts to open up again, I am delighted that we will be welcoming some visiting preachers. In early November, Canon Robin Ward, the Principal of St. Stephen’s House, Oxford, and a colleague from the University will spend a week with us offering classes, preaching and teaching, and we will host a symposium for a number of seminaries. Fr. Ward will preach on All Saint’s Sunday. The Archbishop of Cyprus and the Gulf will preach on Remembrance Sunday. The Dean of Westminster will be with us in February, and we hope to welcome the Dean of Canterbury. Lastly, the Archbishop of York is also planning a visit, probably during our bicentennial celebrations.
The Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with the Living Church Foundation, which had to be postponed at the beginning of the pandemic, is confirmed for later this year – October 6-16. You can visit the the tour operator’s website where you can find all the details.
Finally, it has been a joy to see more and more people returning to in-person worship and last Sunday we had quite a number of families with children. I have been asked about the pattern of worship going forward. In September we will likely restore the 8am mass on Mondays and Fridays and, when the choir is not singing on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, evening prayer and mass instead at 5:30pm. Music is to be restored to the 9am mass and we will be forming a children’s choir – more about that later in the summer.
We wish to expand our faithful and loyal team of acolytes. If you are a member of Saint Thomas and would like to join the weekday Chantry Chapel team or the High Altar team, please contact our Head Verger, Aaron Koch who will advise the leader of the Chantry acolytes (Tessa Dunning) and the Head Acolyte (Dr. Barry Capella). Serving at the altar is not only helpful to your clergy and vergers, it is also a means of deepening your spiritual life. Chantry Acolytes have the opportunity to read the lesson and psalm as well as assist at the altar; High Altar acolytes have a more involved role carrying the cross, torches, or incense but are not required to read.
Your Priest and Pastor,