Dear St. Thomas Family and Friends,

Welcome to St. Thomas. As I write this note, I am listening to my neighbors do their final leaf blowing of the year. In good times, a choir gets together at church and produces a wonderful sound. In my neighborhood, the leaf blowers sing their tune together for almost two months. My neighbors are preparing their yards for the long stretch of winter. If they don’t prepare, the leaves left on the grass can do damage. If the yard is not picked up, families look out their windows all winter long and wish they had done more work while the weather permitted. 

I’m sure most of you are preparing for the holidays, albeit in different ways than in years past. You might be thinking about meals for the holidays. You might be wondering if the pandemic will allow you to have company for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or for you to be company at someone’s house. Then there is the normal work of getting our living spaces festive and uplifting. I’ll confess that my normal autumn household chores are not done. Some screens remain to be taken down. The upstairs windows still need to be washed. Pandemic fatigue has made many normal tasks more tiring than they usually are. Yet, the tasks need to be done. Or, it could be true that only some of them need to be done. It’s more work to figure things out these days. 

The church will soon enter the season of Advent, our time to prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ. We are preparing how we will celebrate the wonderful liturgies of Advent and Christmas. I offer another confession. Doing this during a pandemic is uncharted territory for me. My prayer is that the attempts made will facilitate your connection with the presence of God. I encourage you to pray for the church. Pray for your bishop and leaders. Take part as much as you are able. 

One way St. Thomas hopes to prepare is to upgrade our livestreaming capabilities. Many of you have painfully experienced the times when our service experienced interruptions. I can tell you that is painful for those of us who work to make it happen successfully. The vestry has just approved the purchase of new cameras and equipment to make our Sunday services more reliable for everyone and to make your experience more comfortable and connected.

St. Thomas' Livestream Page

This will happen in the next few weeks. We should be up and running before Christmas! It is an expensive, but necessary part of our preparations. You are probably aware of how an unexpected expense affects your budgets at home. The same is true for our church home. If you would like to participate in helping with the cost, I invite you to do so. Any offering will help. You can send a check to the office, or make a donation online and let us know that it is for the livestream. If you can’t help at this time, be at peace. Attend the services. Let us know how we are doing.

St. Thomas' Online Giving Page

We are praying for you. We are praying for your holiday preparations. We are praying for your connections to your families in a time when connecting is so much more complicated than ever. We are praying that we can all see and know that the kingdom of God is very near.

May the peace which is beyond our understanding be filling us day by day,

Fr. Ralph+
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