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Lobster Feast
Oct 23rd -
TAKE OUT ONLY!

Weekly Activities

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



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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.

  Sunday Worship 6PM Outdoors
  *Also available via FaceBook or Youtube links



A PRISONER OF HOPE

I write this while I am imprisoned. I am a prisoner because my faith commands me not to surrender to cynicism, fatalism and despair. These forces surround me and us as we tear at the fabric of our community and our nation. We are at odds with one another barely able to speak and when we do speak, it is like we live in separate realities. My hope for a beginning of any reconciliation lies our shared identity as beloved children of God and baptized ministers of the Good News. It is the thinnest of threads and yet, still, the strongest of bonds.

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross. - Philippians 2:4-11

To share the mind of Christ is always to be outwardly focused on the needs of others. It is to be unconcerned about our status in the world because we are not of this world even though we must live in it. To share the mind of Christ is to be generous beyond reason. It is to be generous not only with our money and possession but also with our spirit, with our forgiveness of those who have abused us. Revenge, being out-to-get someone, or get even with someone is not part of our nature as followers of Christ.

Thy Kingdom Come. Thy will be done. - The Lord's Prayer

We can debate the details of what constitutes God's will, but the bible makes it clear, that God's will for our lives has nothing to do with our own lusts for sex, money or power. The story of God's people is the story of liberation from slavery and oppression: both political and moral. Hebrew slaves are freed and in later generations, Jews are rescued from the oppression of foreign armies. The prophets warn Israel of its own sin, when its elites oppress the poor by withholding wages, corrupt judges tip the scales of justice in favor of the powerful, and finally Jesus begins his earthly ministry with a declaration of God's Jubilee - a time when wealth (land) was re-distributed; people sold into slavery to repay debt are freed once again; the blind, the deaf and the lame are cared for.

'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.' - Luke 4:18-19

Finally, we know when we meet a fellow traveler on our spiritual journey, a fellow worker in the Lord's vineyard when we see the fruits of their labor. We can distinguish between our own desires of the flesh and those of the Spirit. As St. Paul wrote: For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other… Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these… By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. - Galatians 5:17-23

As we seek the path of our journey together, there will be always the temptation for the easy, quick answer to the problems that plague us as human beings. There will be the temptation to blame each other or the outsider for things which we ourselves are responsible. But let us, as brothers and sisters, remember to encourage one another and our leaders to be led by the Spirit and lead us by and toward greater love, joy and peace with one another.

I pray you will join me as a prisoner of Hope.

+Jeff


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© Aug 2020 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
       Hugh H. Davis, Clerk
       Ernie Carter, Treasurer
       Becky Johnson
       Carolyn Peele
       Bill Blanchard
       Dr. John Davis
       Linda Blackburn
       Hugh H. Davis
       Barbara Outland
       Cecelia Jones
       Dr. Colin Jones

Parish Commissions:

Administration:
       Bill Blanchard
       Ernie Carter, Treas.

Pastoral Care:
       Carolyn Peele
       Linda Blackburn
       Hugh H. Davis

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
       
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.