St. Thomas Updates - November 19th, 2020
Christmas Giving Tree Wish List

1. Click on the link below to see the online Giving Tree Wish List.

2. Sign up for a gift or two.

3. Purchase, wrap and label gift with who it is for and what the item is.

4. Drop off at the church office by Wednesday, December 16.
Dear Friends,
 
This afternoon St. Thomas received a letter from Bishop Brian. Effective now, he has directed every congregation in the Diocese to suspend in-person worship. As you will read in his letter, his reason for doing so is as follows:
 
Over the last sixteen days, COVID-19 infections across our state have risen to over 1000 per day, far exceeding the statistics when the outbreak began. Hospitalizations are increasing exponentially. Regional hospitals are diverting normal admissions to larger Idaho or out-of-state hospitals; elective surgeries have been postponed. 
 
Given the cascading manner of this pandemic – from infection to hospitalization to infection of healthcare workers to reduced workforce to overcrowded/understaffed hospitals to potential crisis triage - we must join the effort to keep as many people as safe as possible.  
 
However, the Bishop has granted St. Thomas permission to continue our current outdoor in-person worship services.  Therefore we will continue to provide three weekly worship opportunities:
 
Thursday outdoor in-person Eucharist at 1:30pm
Sunday outdoor in-person Eucharist at 9:30am
Sunday Virtual Worship Offering
 
Our Glorious Gatherings for children and youth will also continue on Sunday mornings.
 
Looking ahead, I am pleased to report that this week the Vestry approved a plan to resume in-door worship, which we will implement as soon as the Bishop permits. In the meantime, I encourage you to participate in the offerings St. Thomas is providing. We are still a church. We are still a community of faith, hope and love. And, as those who have attended our outdoor Eucharists can attest to, God’s Spirit of joy is with us!
 
In Christ,
Jonah +
The Nominating Committee for new Vestry members and Delegates to the Diocesan Convention are working on coming up with a slate of nominees. If you would like to be considered for one of these positions or would like to submit a name for consideration, please reach out to Judi Fuller (jfuller@stthomassv.org). She will pass the information along to Brad Musbach, chair of the Committee. Submissions are due by November 30th. Thank you for your consideration
Virtual Compline and Taize Services are in production and will be released in the Season of Advent.
BALD MOUNTAIN DEVOTIONS

Beginning December 4th, join Jonah as St. Thomas offers a simple prayer service at Bald Mountain’s Lookout at 11am on Wednesdays.
Dear Friends,

We light candles and count days during the season of Advent to mark the passing of time in anticipation of the coming of Christ at Christmas. But Advent isn’t only a season of anticipation. It is also a time of preparation, in which we prepare ourselves to welcome Christ. As the Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Advent says so eloquently:

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation,
that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion
prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you,in the unity of the
Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, page 212).

Our tradition helps us with this preparation by giving us a different word each week of Advent to center our lives and prayers on. These words are hope, peace, joy and love. Please join Kathleen and me in an Advent Christian education offering in which, we will take turns facilitating a contemplation of what these words signify to us and our world.

The schedule is as follows:

Hope, Jonah
Sunday, November 29th at 11am

Peace, Kathleen
Sunday, December 6th, 11am

Joy, Jonah
Sunday, December 13th, 11am

Love, Kathleen
Sunday, December 20th, 11am

These sessions will take place via Zoom and will last not more than one hour. I hope you will join us.

In Christ,
Jonah+

At the Diocesan convention last week we watched a series of short videos from some of Bishop Brian's good friends and colleagues reflecting on this year's theme, "Still the Church, still a Eucharistic people." Watch Below:
Morning Prayer continues on Facebook every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 a.m. and remains online after airing. Join us!