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OFFICE HOURS
Monday: 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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



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  Sunday Worship 8 & 10:30
  *Recordings also available via FaceBook or Youtube links

   Wednesday Evening Prayer 6PM



That Wonderful & Sacred Mystery

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This is one of my favorite prayers. It is said on Good Friday and at Easter Vigil, a time when we are in the midst of darkness and death and we hope against hope for something good to come. It shows the expectant nature of the Church, the unreasonable and holy hope that God is redeeming the darkness that pervades our world. It is confident that God is at work, in unexpected ways to bring us to our perfection and the whole creation to its full glory. It asserts the Church's place in that great work.

I must admit however, that 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, 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.

As disturbing as our times seem to be, we must consider the possibility that the Holy Spirit is working through these times as the Spirit has in other troubled centuries. Indeed, if the Holy Spirit is the creative spirit that works into the chaos of the world to bring about the peaceable Kingdom, then perhaps this is God's way of shaking up the Church, and us, to prepare the way for a new thing, the new reality where we are challenged to do new things in different ways to be church in the 21st century. Perhaps the words of Isaiah are appropriate to our times as well as his: Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19

Peace.

+Jeff


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© Sept 2021 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:
       Becky Johnson, Sr. Warden
       Dr. Colin Jones, Jr. Warden
       Cecelia D.M. Jones, Clerk
       Ernie Carter, Treasurer
       Bill Blanchard
       Dr. John Davis
       Linda Blackburn
       Barbara Outland
       Carolyn Wiggins
       Sue Liverman
Parish Commissions:

Administration:
       Bill Blanchard
       Ernie Carter, Treas.

Pastoral Care:
       Linda Blackburn
       Sue Liverman

Worship:
       Dr. John Davis
       The Rev. Jeff Douglas
       Dr. Colin Jones
       
Buildings & Grounds
       Dr. Colin Jones, Jr. Warden
       
Christian Education & Youth
       Cecelia Jones
       Barbara Outland

Outreach
       Becky Johnson
       Carolyn Wiggins

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.