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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

  Evening Prayer 6PM (begins Sept 15)

  Sunday Fall Kick-off Sept. 19!
  Covered dish luncheon and Ministry Fair



WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?

This is the critical question. If, as Jesus claimed, all the Law (Torah) and the prophetic writings hang on the equality of love of God and love of neighbor, it begs this question.

A lawyer once asked it of Jesus and he told him a story about a man beaten, robbed, and left severely wounded in a ditch. Two religious people saw the man and chose to leave him walking by on the other side of the road. But a hated enemy of the religious people, saw him and took pity on him. The heretic, bound the wounds of the poor soul in the ditch and took to a place of rest where he could heal. This heretic, who did not know, love, or worship God in the right way, paid someone else to care for the wounded man and nurse him back to health as the heretic returned to his journey. Turns out the man labelled heretic and sinner by the religious people recognized his neighbor in the beaten man and acted as God would have us.

I have been reading, The Hole in our Gospel, written by Richard Stearns, former President of World Vision, a global charity which tends to the needs off the sick and destitute around the world.

He writes of an atheist Dr. Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University who writes this:

Suppose on my way to give a lecture I notice that a small child has fallen into a pond and is in danger of drowning. Would anyone deny that I ought to wade in and pull the child out? … A plausible principle that would support the judgment that I ought to pull the child out is this: If it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance, we ought to do it. This principle seems uncontroversial.

Nevertheless, [this principle] is deceptive. If it were seriously acted upon, our lives and our world would be fundamentally changed. For the principle applies … to the everyday situation in which we can assist those living in absolute poverty.

From a moral point of view, the development of the world into a "global village" has made an important, though still unrecognized difference to our moral situation… There would seem, there, to be no possible justification for discriminating on geographic grounds.

But we do discriminate between who we help and who gets left by the roadside every day. In her book, Compassion Fatigue, Susan Moeller quotes a shocking statement often hear in newsrooms around the country - In the news business, one dead fireman in Brooklyn is worth five English bobbies, who are worth fifty Arabs, who are worth five hundred Africans. Just 6 % of charitable giving in the US reaches beyond our borders. We turn our heads, roll our eyes, and speak of the needs of our country, our people and the way life has always been in places far flung from our nice neighborhoods.

Today we are facing multiple crises which call out for our attention and charity. Hurricane Ida has slammed Louisiana, which has been rocked by 3 major storms in the last year. The wildfires in the West are destroying huge swaths of forestland, destroying homes, and displacing thousands. Haiti has once again been shaken to its foundations with an earthquake. The recovery process will take months even years in many cases. The exodus of our troops and Afghans that worked with them, from Afghanistan means we will absorb many thousands of refugees fleeing the Taliban into our communities. They will need sponsors, homes, and language skills to make their new country not just a safe haven, but a home.

Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death. Anton Chekov

The opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Elie Wiesel

Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision, used this prayer to keep his perspective as he worked among and for the poor of this world: 'Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God." We all struggle to mourn these losses and grieve with those who are in the midst of them. When people become statistics in our eyes, when we no longer see faces but numbers, our compassion fades, our apathy grows and we retreat into social Darwinism, the survival of the fittest. So, I implore you to keep Bob Pierce's prayer close to your lips and open your heart to generous giving in this time of crisis.

Episcopal Migration Ministries is working to provide for Afghans who have fled their homeland. Click here to donate to Episcopal Migration Ministries!

World Central Kitchen is on the ground in Haiti and Louisiana providing meals to the victims of the Haitian earthquake and Hurricane Ida. Click here to donate to World Central Kitchen!

The American Red Cross is on the ground in Louisiana, Mississippi and other areas affected by Hurricane Ida, as well as, helping those displaced by the wildfires in the West. Click here to donate to The American Red Cross!

Be generous in your heart as the Lord has been generous to you. 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.