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Ahoskie Rotary Club - 2nd & 4th Mon @ noon
Boy Scouts Mon 7PM
Book Club 2nd Mon 5PM
Julian Prayer Group 3rd Mon 5PM

NA Tues. 8PM
Vestry 3rd Tues 6PM

Wed Evening Prayer

Choir Thurs 6PM

AA Thurs. 7:30PM
Soup Kitchen Thursday Sept 19th & 26th



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   Worship Schedule

  Sunday Worship 8AM & 10:30AM - Holy Eucharist*
  2nd Sun. 8AM Morning Prayer & 10:30AM Holy Eucharist*
  Wed. 6PM Evening Prayer
  (*Nursery Available)



Just Do It!

One of my favorite sayings from that Lutheran turned Episcopalian storyteller and sage, Garrison Keillor is: "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more that sitting in your garage makes you a car!"

The American version of Christianity seems to have become a twisted mess where what defines being "a Christian" has less to do with what Jesus said and further, even less to do with what he did during his life. The label "Christian" was perverted into an ideology that has more in common with resentment and hate than it does with the God of Love. The label has more to do with finger pointing, blaming, ostracizing, shunning and dividing God's people rather than forgiveness and reconciliation.

As a minister of the Gospel and priest in the Church, I am shamed by this circumstance. I am embarrassed to use the label Christian and I even avoid businesses that open tout their faith as an adjective for whatever service or product they are trying to sell. How can the Church reclaim the ministry to which Jesus has called us? How can the Church become the fellowship of love, forgiveness and reconciliation it was meant to be rather than the arbiter of who is acceptable in God's sight and who is not? How can the Church cooperate with the workings of the Spirit in transforming this world from the hell it tends to be into the heaven to which we all aspire?

For me, there is only one solution and it comes from an old Nike commercial – Just Do It! Only then will the term "Christian" be redeemed from an ideology back into a movement, a force, working with the Holy Spirit for the transformation not only ourselves, but our planet was well. Only when we care more about acting like Jesus will the words, "Jesus is Lord" regain the power they had to shake an empire in the 1st century AD.

Much of the time, the Church is a mystery to me. I am frequently disturbed by its humanity. But it doesn't surprise me when the Church falls prey to the prejudices of the human beings that inhabit it. We are, after all, merely the bits of fallen clay that too soon will return to the dust from which we came. The Church's journey, like that of Israel's 40 year wandering through the desert to the Promised Land, is filled with tales of our worship of golden calves, our longing for the flesh pots of Egypt, our forgetfulness of the Holy One who rescued us from the chariots of the latest "Pharaoh" and who led us through the waters of chaos and confusion on firm dry land.

And yet, I firmly believe that the Spirit of God is at work in the Church: forming, informing and reforming it through the centuries. Despite our human trappings and failings, the Church is where resistance to totalitarian regimes, oppression and slavery has been born, nurtured and triumphed. And despite the many wars in which religion has been used as a cover for the struggle for power between kings, dictators and nations, the Church has been a strong voice for peace. The Church has been a locus of compassion for people facing the ravages of earthquake, fire and floods. The Church has been a prophetic voice on the fragility of our environment and our need to leave our children and grandchildren a habitable world.

This All Saints' Day, may the memories of our forebearers of the faith, those saintly souls who cared for us in the early days of our faith, remind us of our common bonds as disciples and as human beings. May we learn to draw on each others' strength and courage to continue bringing light where there is only darkness, hope to people who have lost it and unity in spite of the differences that might divide us. And finally, bound together in the Spirit, may we be a blessing to the world and a joy to each other.

Thanks be to God.

Jeff+




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© May 2019 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 Shields, Jr. Warden
       Carolyn Peele, Clerk
       Ernie Carter, Treasurer
       Martie Tayloe
       Dr. Charles Sawyer
       David Shields
       Becky Johnson
       Carolyn Peele
       Bill Blanchard
       Dr. John Davis
       Linda Blackburn

Parish Commissions:

Administration:
       Bill Blanchard
       Ernie Carter, Treas.
       
Parish Life/Communications:
       Carolyn Peele
       
Pastoral Care:
       Martie Tayloe
       Carolyn Peele
       
Worship:
       Dr. Charles Sawyer
       Dr. John Davis
       The Rev. Jeff Douglas
       
Buildings & Grounds
       David Shields, Jr. Warden
       
Christian Education
       Buddy Jones
       
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.