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Weekly Activities


Boy Scouts Mon 7PM
Book Club 2nd Mon 5PM
Julian Prayer Group 3rd Mon 5PM

NA Tues. 8PM
Vestry 3rd Tues 6PM

Night Prayers Wed 6PM

Choir Thurs 6PM
AA Thurs. 7:30PM
Soup Kitchen 5PM - Feb 15 & 22



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  Sunday 8AM - Holy Eucharist
      (8AM Morning Prayer on 2nd Sundays)
  Adult Sunday School 9:15AM
  Sunday 10:30AM - Holy Eucharist
  (Nursery Available)
  Wed. 6PM - Evening Prayer (excluding Dec. 20 & 27)

  Ash Wednesday: Imposition of Ashes 6PM @ 1st   Presbyterian
  Lenten Soup Suppers begin Feb. 21 6:30PM


Preparing for Lent

Is this what getting ready for Lent looks like for you? Gorging on chocolate candy because you are going to try and give it up during Lent? I've experienced the same thing many times. Whenever I think about trying to lose a few pounds, the first thing my mind focuses on is potato chips. Now, normally, I might eat a small lunch bag size bag of chips or have an order of French fries with lunch once a week. But now that I'm trying to commit to an eating discipline, the first thing I start craving is potato chips and I don't just want a small lunch sized bag of chips, oh no! The first thing I want to eat is a huge party sized bag of chips! Salty/savory foods are much more tempting to me than sweets and candy but they both are not healthy, particularly in the quantity that will begin to satisfy my cravings.

I believe that this instant irrational craving has a lot to do with our mind and body's desire for what scientists call homeostasis. Once a harmonious state is achieved in body and/or mind, we human beings want very much to keep things the same. It's a very physical manifestation of our deep resistance to change. Our bodies, just like our minds, like things the way they are, thank you very much, and are determined to only allow change only in the direst of circumstances. Like the old joke: How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb? Change?! We don't like change.

And yet, change is what the core of Christianity is all about. In baptism, we say we are buried to our life in the old ways and raised to a new life in Christ. If we continue to act in the same ways as other human beings, what evidence do we provide for the reality of a new life in Christ? This hypocrisy is at the core of the decline of the mainstream Church in the United States. Christians act no better (and often worse) than the non-believers around them and so why should anyone believe that we are any closer to God or that God even exists based on the evidence his self-proclaimed followers and defenders exhibit in their habits and behaviors?

Lent is our time for examining how our habits and actions conform to the ways of the world and not to those of Christ. Abstinence and fasting are ways to remind us not only of the things that tempt us in this world but they are also an opportunity for us to change where we get our natural highs from as well. Instead of getting our shot of endorphins (things that make our brain feel good) from chocolate and chips perhaps we can get them by helping an elderly person get their groceries or bring soup to a sick person, provide a warm blanket and place to stay for the homeless?

Instead of filling our bodies, we can opt to fill our souls? Lent is about making a little more space in our lives so that Jesus can fill us up instead of what the world says is so good. And maybe some day, the craving of our souls for peace and contentment will override our body's desire for salt or sweets. Good luck on your Lenten journey. May your hunger grow for the Bread of Life.

Peace.

Jeff+




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© Feb 2018 by The Rev. Jeff Douglas


St. Thomas is a vibrant, welcoming, Christian community cultivating mind, body & spirit through worship, fellowship, and service, loving our neighbors as ourselves

The Rev. Jeff Douglas, Rector

Our Staff:
       Parish Secretary
       Julie Bazemore
       Musician:
       Jonathan Johnston
Our Vestry:
       Buddy Jones,Sr. Warden
       David Simons, Jr. Warden
       Brenda Hewitt,Clerk
       Ernie Carter,Treasurer
       Rob Outland
       Martie Tayloe
       Dr. Charles Sawyer
       David Shields
       Becky Johnson
       Carolyn Peele

Parish Commissions:

Administration:
       David Simons
       Ernie Carter, Treas.
       
Parish Life/Communications:
       Brenda Hewitt
       
Pastoral Care:
       Martie Tayloe
       Carolyn Peele
       
Worship:
       Dr. Charles Sawyer
       The Rev. Jeff Douglas
       
Buildings & Grounds
       David Simons, Jr. Warden
       
Christian Education & Youth
       Buddy Jones
       Rob Outland
       
Outreach
       David Shields
       Becky Johnson
If you would like to volunteer or have ideas about how St. Thomas' can have a more effective ministry in these areas, contact the appropriate person and make St. Thomas' ministry even better.