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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



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

  Wednesday Evening Prayer at 6PM



Christ Focused

Today I sit in my office, just as last year, and I wonder what the future will bring. Last year, I was hopeful that we would be re-opening in mid-June. Little did I know or understand what was happening then and I suspect that I know equally as much about the future today as I did a year ago.

It does seem now that we are moving towards a post-pandemic future in our area. We all have adapted and adapted again to our new and ever-changing situations as the pandemic surged and re-surged over the past year. I want to thank everyone for your patience as we have tried to be safe over this past year. I think we all are tired and I thank you for your graciousness during this time. I think I am still in grief over the loss of routine and what we used to think of as normal.

I am disturbed by the new pandemics of racism and gun violence that wrack our society. It seems many days as if a kinder, gentler American is even farther off now, than before the COVID-19 crisis. I am saddened that our divisions seem more at work even though what many tell me they long for is interaction and relationship. If we are called to love our neighbor, then certainly justice – treating each other with equanimity and respect is part of love. And when we fail, as individuals, and as a society to do this the Church must step in as a voice of truth, to point out the failure and help forge a reconciliation, if possible. When one segment of society acts with impunity against another, that is oppression, and the Church must stand and speak as a voice for the oppressed. To do less, would be a violation of our baptismal vows and a denial of the Church’s reason to exist.

Beyond the over-arching national issues, we have so many in our area who have suffered loss and are grieving, not necessarily directly because of the pandemic, but by having to endure the isolation of being sick, and recovering, alone or being isolated from a loved one who died without family at their bedside. There is so much grief that has yet to be fully expressed as funerals have been delayed or canceled because of the pandemic. I think that the reason many are tired is that the weight of grief is exhausting us. I know I have felt that way periodically.

As Christians, the only way forward is to remain focused where Jesus was focused – on the people he lived with and met every day. Jesus focused on people who were lonely, afraid, sick, tired, unwanted and unloved. Jesus served these people and promised abundant life is found in serving our brothers and sisters, mending their wounds and giving them the amazing grace that saves you and me each day. Matt 11:29-30 says ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ Now that’s a hope we can all grasp for ourselves and one another. That’s the new reality that I choose for myself as the new dawn of a post-pandemic world rises.

The Lord is risen indeed!

+Jeff


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© Nov 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
       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.