Calendar

Outreach Events

Sunday, May 1, 2016

THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

The Sixth Sunday of Easter is often called Rogation Sunday, as it precedes the three rogation days that always fall on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Ascension Day. You'll notice hints of prepartion for the rogation days in the morning services today, when at times there is an emphasis on God our creator and provider. For example, pay attention to the words of the psalm and the hymns. See also the words of the collect, which, through petition and gratitude, approaches God as the provider of all things.

Among the sermons in the archive that can help you understand God as creator and provider, consider these:

The Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth (2011) by Fr Spurlock
On Providence (2010) by Fr Austin
Bread and Life, Freedom and Friendship (2009) by Fr Austin
All Ours as Gift (2008) by Fr Austin
Food in the Wilderness (2003) by Fr Mead

Collect:

O God, who hast prepared for those who love thee such good things as pass man’s understanding: Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee in all things and above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church (meet in Narthex, just inside the Fifth Avenue entrance)

Monday, May 2, 2016

SAINT PHILIP & SAINT JAMES

Collect:

Almighty God, who didst give to thine apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rogation Tuesday

To learn about Rogation Days, consider listening to this Rector's Weekly Message from 2011.

That we should remember to be thankful for, and good stewards of, the earth on these three days before Ascension Day makes a good deal of sense. After all, on Ascension Day we commemorate Christ's ascent to the right hand of the Father, thereby leaving us to go forth throughout the world, and (among other things) to care for the world.

So Rogation Days remind us of our placement in time and space, and prepare us for the physical absence of Christ, who will come again, but who for the present moment is not with us in the way he once was. He has sent the Comforter to guide us in our work, and Christ remains with in the Eucharist, and the Father provides all we need (and the Father and Christ remain accessible to us through prayer). Yet, the work we have been given is for us to do, and this work is very much tied to our lives as physical creatures in time and space. Therefore, by reminding us of our earthly responsibilities, Ascension Day, and these Rogation Days leading up to Ascension Day, ground us.

Collect:

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life shared our toil and hallowed our labor: Be present with thy people where they work; make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land responsive to thy
will; and give to us all a pride in what we do, and a just return for our labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

7:45 am – 8:45 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rogation Wednesday

To learn about Rogation Days, consider listening to this Rector's Weekly Message from 2011.

That we should remember to be thankful for, and good stewards of, the earth on these three days before Ascension Day makes a good deal of sense. After all, on Ascension Day we commemorate Christ's ascent to the right hand of the Father, thereby leaving us to go forth throughout the world, and (among other things) to care for the world.

So Rogation Days remind us of our placement in time and space, and prepare us for the physical absence of Christ, who will come again, but who for the present moment is not with us in the way he once was. He has sent the Comforter to guide us in our work, and Christ remains with in the Eucharist, and the Father provides all we need, the Father and Christ remain accessible to us through prayer. Yet, the work we have been given is for us to do, and it is very much tied to our lives as physical creatures in time and space. Therefore, Ascension Day, and these Rogation Days leading up to Ascension Day, ground us.

Collect:

O merciful Creator, whose hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature: Make us, we beseech thee, ever thankful for thy loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of thy bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Thursday, May 5, 2016

ASCENSION DAY

As you contemplate the ascension, consider these sermons:

He Ascended into Heaven (2011) by Fr Spurlock
Ascension Day Greetings (2010) by Fr Mead
A Presence within an Absence (2008) by Fr Austin
The Ascension, the Church, and the World (2006) by Fr Austin
The Ascension: Christ Fills All Things (2002) by Fr Mead

Collect:

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Friday, May 6, 2016

6:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Saturday, May 7, 2016

9:30 am – 12:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
10:00 am – 11:00 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Sunday, May 8, 2016

THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

The Seventh Sunday of Easter is also called The Sunday after Ascension Day. Because Ascension Day is always the 40th Day of Easter and Pentecost is always the 50th Day, The Sunday after Ascension Day is always the Sunday preceding the Day of Pentecost.

These last 10 days of Easter are called Ascensiontide, the period of time after Christ ascended to the Father, yet before the coming of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. To the contemporaries of Christ, it was therefore a time of waiting.

Collect:

O God, the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven: We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless, but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Savior Christ is gone before; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church (meet in Narthex, just inside the Fifth Avenue entrance)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Gregory of Nazianzus

Bishop of Constantinople
d.389

Lesser Feasts and Fasts summarizes the life of this great theologian as follows:

Gregory of Nazianzus, one of the Cappadocian Fathers, loved God, the art of letters, and the human race — in that order. He was born about 330 in Nazianzus in Cappadocia (now Turkey), the son of a local bishop. He studied rhetoric in Athens with his friend Basil of Caesarea, and Julian, later to be the apostate emperor. Gregory, together with Basil, compiled an anthology of Origen’s works, The Philokalia. Two years later, he returned to his home, a town then rent by heresies and schism. His defense of his father’s orthodoxy in the face of a violent mob brought peace to the town and prominence to Gregory.

In 361, against his will, Gregory was ordained presbyter, and settled down to live an austere, priestly life. He was not to have peace for long. Basil, in his fight against the Arian Emperor Valens, compelled Gregory to become Bishop of Sasima. According to Gregory, it was “a detestable little place without water or grass or any mark of civilization.” He felt, he said, like “a bone flung to the dogs.” His friendship with Basil suffered a severe break. 

Deaths in his family, and that of his estranged friend Basil, brought Gregory himself to the point of death. He withdrew for healing. In 379, Gregory moved to Constantinople, a new man and no longer in despair. He appeared as one afire with the love of God. His fame as a theologian rests on five sermons he delivered during this period on the doctrine of the Trinity. They are marked by clarity, strength, and a charming gaiety.

The next year, the new Emperor Theodosius entered Constantinople, and expelled its Arian bishop and clergy. Then, on a rainy day, the crowds in the Great Church of Hagia Sophia acclaimed Gregory bishop, after a ray of sunlight suddenly shone on him. 

Power and position meant nothing to Gregory. After the Ecumenical Council of 381, he retired to Nazianzus where he died in 389. Among the Fathers of the Church, he alone is known as “The Divine,” “The Theologian.”

Collect:

Almighty God, who hast revealed to thy Church thine eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like thy bishop Gregory of Nazianzus, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

7:45 am – 8:45 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Living Room, Parish House

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Thursday, May 12, 2016

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Saturday, May 14, 2016

9:30 am – 12:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
10:00 am – 11:00 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Sunday, May 15, 2016

THE DAY OF PENTECOST (WHITSUNDAY)

Today we mark the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, the Comforter, an arrival which (2,000 years ago) transformed fearful and self-conscious men and women into fearless and selfless evangelists for Christ. Pentecost is, in many ways, the birthday of the Church. But it is not merely that. It is the acknowledgement and celebration of the on-going action of God in our lives, through the Spirit.

To gain a richer understanding, consider these sermons:

I Believe in the Holy Ghost (2011) by Fr Daniels
A Sermon for the Day of Pentecost (2010) by John Polkinghorne
The Holy Spirit Gives us a Future (2010) by Fr Austin
From Pentecost to Pop Hale to Fifth Avenue (2009) by Fr Mead
Three Points about Pentecost (2008) by Fr Mead
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, There is Freedom (2006) by Fr Austin

Collect:

O God, who on this day didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church (meet in Narthex, just inside the Fifth Avenue entrance)

Monday, May 16, 2016

First Book of Common Prayer

Lesser Feasts and Fasts recounts the history of the Prayer Book in this way:

The first Book of Common Prayer came into use on the Day of  Pentecost, June 9, 1549, in the second year of the reign of King Edward the Sixth. From it have descended all subsequent editions and revisions of the Book in the Churches of the Anglican Communion. 

Though prepared by a commission of learned bishops and priests, the format, substance, and style of the Prayer Book were primarily the work of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1533-1556. The principal sources  employed in its compilation were the medieval Latin service books of the Use of Sarum (Salisbury), with enrichments from the Greek liturgies, certain ancient Gallican rites, the vernacular German forms prepared by Luther, and a revised Latin liturgy of the reforming Archbishop Hermann of Cologne. The Psalter and other biblical passages were drawn from the English “Great Bible” authorized by King Henry the Eighth in 1539, and the Litany was taken from the English form issued as early as 1544.

The originality of the Prayer Book, apart from the felicitous translations and paraphrases of the old Latin forms, lay in its simplification of the complicated liturgical usages of the medieval Church, so that it was suitable for use by the laity as well as by the clergy. The Book thus became both a manual of common worship for Anglicans and a primary resource for their personal spirituality.

At Saint Thomas, all Eucharists utilize the 1979 Prayer Book, either Rite I or Rite II, depending on the service. The relevant words are printed on service cards so that worshippers may fully participate. We keep 1928 Prayer Books in the pews because the Daily Office (Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Evensong) are carried out according to 1928 language, and also because the Psalter in the 1928 Prayer Book is close to the language of the Coverdale Psalter used by the Choir.

Collect:

Almighty and everliving God, whose servant Thomas Cranmer, with others, did restore the language of the people in the prayers of thy Church: Make us always thankful for this heritage; and help us so to pray in the Spirit and with the understanding, that we may worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

7:45 am – 8:45 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ember Wednesday

A series of three Ember Days (on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) are observed four times a year:

(1) following the Third Sunday of Advent
(2) following the First Sunday in Lent
(3) following the Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)
(4) following Holy Cross Day

A major feast day overrides an Ember Day if they fall on the same day.

Ember Days, traditionally seasonal days of fasting and prayer, became over time associated with ordination of clergy and with prayer for the Church.

Collect:

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed various orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all who are called to any office and ministry for thy people; and so fill them with the truth of thy doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name and for the benefit of thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dunstan

Archbishop of Canterbury
b. c.909
d. 988

From Lesser Feasts and Fasts of the Episcopal Church:

In the ninth century, under King Alfred the Great, England had achieved considerable military, political, cultural, and even some ecclesiastical recovery from the Viking invasions. It was not until the following century that there was a revival of monasticism. In that, the leading figure was Dunstan.

Dunstan was born about 909 into a family with royal connections. He became a monk and in 943 was made Abbot of Glastonbury. During a year-long political exile in Flanders, he encountered the vigorous currents of the Benedictine monastic revival. King Edgar recalled Dunstan to England in 957, appointed him Bishop of Worcester, then of London; and, in 960, named him Archbishop of Canterbury. Together with his former pupils, Bishops Aethelwold of Winchester and Oswald of Worcester (later of York), Dunstan was a leader of the English Church. All three have been described as “contemplatives in action” — bringing the fruits of their monastic prayer-life to the immediate concerns of Church and State. They sought better education and discipline among the clergy, the end of  landed family interest in the Church, the restoration of  former monasteries and the establishment of new ones, a revival of monastic life for women, and a more elaborate and carefully ordered liturgical worship.

This reform movement was set forth in the “Monastic Agreement,” a common code for English monasteries drawn up by Aethelwold about 970, primarily under the inspiration of Dunstan. It called for continual intercession for the royal house, and emphasized the close tie between the monasteries and the crown. This close alliance of  Church and State, sacramentalized in the anointing of the King, was expressed liturgically in the earliest English coronation ceremony of which a full text survives, compiled for King Edgar by Dunstan and his associates.

The long-term effects of this tenth-century reform resulted in the development of two peculiarly English institutions: the “monastic cathedral,” and “monk-bishops.”

Dunstan is reputed to have been an expert craftsman. His name is especially associated with the working of metals and the casting of bells, and he was regarded as the patron saint of those crafts.

Collect:

O God of truth and beauty, who didst richly endow thy bishop Dunstan with skill in music and the working of metals, and with gifts of administration and reforming zeal: Teach us, we beseech thee, to see in thee the source of all our talents, and move us to offer them for the adornment of worship and the advancement of true religion; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Friday, May 20, 2016

Ember Friday

A series of three Ember Days (on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) are observed four times a year:

(1) following the Third Sunday of Advent
(2) following the First Sunday in Lent
(3) following the Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)
(4) following Holy Cross Day

A major feast day overrides an Ember Day if they fall on the same day.

Ember Days, traditionally seasonal days of fasting and prayer, became over time associated with ordination of clergy and with prayer for the Church.

Collect:

O God, who didst lead thy holy apostles to ordain ministers in every place: Grant that thy Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may choose suitable persons for the ministry of Word and Sacrament, and may uphold them in their work for the extension of thy kingdom; through him who is the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

6:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Ember Saturday

A series of three Ember Days (on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) are observed four times a year:

(1) following the Third Sunday of Advent
(2) following the First Sunday in Lent
(3) following the Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)
(4) following Holy Cross Day

A major feast day overrides an Ember Day if they fall on the same day.

Ember Days, traditionally seasonal days of fasting and prayer, became over time associated with ordination of clergy and with prayer for the Church.

Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of thy faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all members of thy holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

9:30 am – 12:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
10:00 am – 11:00 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House