Directions Worship Programs Church Staff Newsletter Church Calendar Schedules E-mail us!
Donate to St.Thomas



Weekly Activities


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 resumes in Sept.

Choir Thurs 6PM
(restarts Aug 29th!)
AA Thurs. 7:30PM
Soup Kitchen 5PM - June 21 & 28



Follow St. Thomas
on Facebook!




>
  Sunday 8AM - Holy Eucharist
      (8AM Morning Prayer on 2nd Sundays)

  Sunday 10:30AM - Holy Eucharist
  (Nursery Available)



A Feast of Martyrs

This week the Church will celebrate all the martyrs and saints through the centuries who have suffered great evil or injustice for righteousness' sake. We add to that list this week: Vickie Lee Jones, 67, and Maurice Stallard, 69, were shot and killed by a white supremacist, on October 24th while shopping at a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville. We also add Joyce Fienberg, 75, David Rosenthal, 54, Richard Gottfried, 65, Bernice Simon, 84, Rose Mallinger, 97, Sylvan Simon, 86, Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, Daniel Stein, 71, Cecil Rosenthal, 59, Melvin Wax, 88, Irving Younger, 69 who were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA by a white man armed with an AR-15 spewing antisemitic slurs as he shot his victims in their observance of the Sabbath. All are martyrs slain by guns held by men motivated by hate.

Praying for the dead is actually borrowed from Judaism, as recorded in 2 Maccabees 12:41-45 of the Apocrypha. Early Christian teachers of the Faith, such as Tertullian, St. Cyprian, and others, testify to the regular practice of praying for the souls of the departed. During the first century, the idea that the martyrs would be resurrected at the beginning at the messianic age had taken root in Judaism. When the messiah came, it would be the beginning of righting all the world's wrongs and the first sign would be that all those servants of God who died from persecution would rise in vindication by a just and mighty God. This theology is found in the gospel of Matthew's description (Matt 27:51-53) of the moment of Jesus' death: "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many."

And so it is appropriate for us to recognize our cousins in the faith as martyrs to the same God we both worship.

The lectionary reading for All Saints Day, the day on which we remember and celebrate martyrs to the faith is the Beatitudes in Matthew. (Matt 5:3-10) For the poor in spirit - theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. The mourners will be comforted, as in those glorious words from Revelation: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away." (Rev. 21:4) The meek will inherit the earth. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled, their hunger satisfied. The merciful will receive mercy, the pure in heart will see God, the peacemakers will be called the children of God, and those who are persecuted for righteousness sake will gain the Kingdom of Heaven. "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven."

As followers of the God whose law is the law of love, we are called to spend our lives working to make this world a little more like heaven and a little less like the hell it so often seems to be. Let us unite with all people of good will, regardless of how they practice their faith, just as those who landed on Plymouth Rock joined with Native Americans in a cooperative feast to celebrate the bounty that the Great Spirit provides us all. Let us unite to treat each other with kindness and justice; compassion and grace. Together our light can push away the darkness, heal our broken hearts and unite a divided land.

Peace

Jeff+




St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina St. Thomas Episcopal Ahoskie Hertford Gates East Carolina

Top of Page

© Oct 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.