9393 Church Road
Grosse Ile, MI 48138
Office: 734-675-0005
Office Hours: 9 am-noon M, W, F
For emergencies, call Pastor Heather: 734-624-3273
For non-emergencies, call Lisa Perry: 734-692-0949
PASTOR HEATHER OBERLIN
Email: pastor@stthomasgi.com
Connect with Pastor Heather!
Cell: 734-624-3273
M: 10 am-2 pm
T: 10 am-12 pm, 6-8 pm
W: 10 am-2 pm
TH; 10 am-1 pm
WORSHIP SERVICES ON
Thursday night and Sunday morning!

SERVICES LIMITED TO 25 ATTENDEES
Sign up for the service
you want to attend by:
  • Use the SignUpGenius form sent to your email
  • Call the office,(675-0005), M, W, F, 9 am to noon
  • Call 734-692-0949 at other times

The Thursday service will begin at 7 pm.
There will be 2 Sunday services--
one starts at 10 am, the other at 11 am.
Covid Protocols in Place for Services

  • Exterior doors open to prevent touching handles
  • Masks must be worn (masks available if you need one)
  • Each person sanitizes own hands before entering sanctuary
  • Maintain social-distancing
  • No nursery or Sunday School at this time
  • Children remain with families during Children's Sermon
  • No Passing of the Peace, Noisy Offering, or Passing Offering Plate
  • No singing at this time
  • Communion host offered by tongs into open hands
  • Order of Worship on screens (no bulletins)
  • Leave church immediately after the service
  • Chairs and high-touch areas sanitized after each service

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it's that the world can be a very scary place. Over the weekend, the kids and I talked a lot about anxiety, fear, and safety. Sam said, "I never realized before how big the world is. It's all evil." I asked him what was evil about it, and he listed everything from bugs to protests to Covid. 

As we talked, I reminded him (and myself, if I'm being honest) that good is always stronger than evil; evil just gets better press.

It would be easy to focus on nothing but the bad news in the world. This pandemic has certainly heightened our anxiety and has shown us how interconnected we all are around the world. That anxiety isn't going to go away anytime soon, I don't think. We're already talking about ChristNet and what to do about our Thanksgiving Eve service. The National Youth Gathering was supposed to be next summer, but they've pushed it back to summer 2022. Schools are still up in the air about what education will look like in the fall. Professional baseball games are being played with no fans in the stadiums. 

Everywhere we look, there is something that we've lost, something that is delayed, something that we can't plan for. Emily and Sam were not encouraged when I told them that the realization that there is evil in the world doesn't go away as you get older. Instead, it gets worse in a lot of ways because adults have a better understanding of global dynamics. (I'm likely not going to get a reward for being "Mother of the Year!" :) ).

Even as we watch the news, listen to the radio, scroll through social media, etc, remember that, in every storm in the New Testament, Jesus calmed the waters. There was no demon that could stay where it was once Jesus arrived. God continued to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, even though they spent much of their time whining and creating false idols. 

There is no storm, no disease, no pandemic that is stronger than God. Period. No matter what the news tells us, good is stronger than we can even begin to realize. We get to be part of the good in the world. 

Good IS stronger than evil; evil just gets better press. Where have you seen, experienced, or done good lately? What has brought a smile to your face? Please send me your stories so that we can highlight them in the newsletter. 

 Peace,

Rev. Heather K. Oberlin
Jeff Kline is keeping St. Thomas
 informed about ChristNet . We will potentially be looking at providing food to ChristNet this fall.

Details will be announced shortly.
MBULU UPDATE
shared by Andrea Stevenson

Daudi Msseemmaa is our regional representative for the ELCA and lives in Arusha with his family.  He shared his observations focusing on COVID-19 in the context of the ELCT, the ELCA, and the other natural disasters facing Mbulu and Tanzania:
 
              •   When the virus was first discovered, some churches took extreme precautions
              which included training of school and hospital staff, and posting lists of precautions
that should be taken.
              •   Some dioceses stopped church services altogether, but most did not.
              •   Overall, Sunday attendance, as well as giving, are down.
              •  ELCT radio ministry continues to be widely used as a way to worship and receive COVID-19
information.
              • Many ELCT churches, hospitals, and schools are in financial crisis.
              •   COVID-19 struck at a time when many were facing flooding and hunger, which
many  churches worked locally to combat.
              •   A Twitter poll by a prominent East African journalist suggests most East African               
consider COVID-19 the least concerning threat when compared to floods and locusts
              •  The health threats of COVID-19 are seen as secondary compared to the economic and       
environmental aspects of the virus.
              •  The economic effects of COVID-19 could last years, sending hundreds of thousands
 into poverty, including those who have worked their way into the middle class.
              •  ELCT members are also losing income due to lack of tourism, as well as the
decrease in funds coming from dioceses.
 
Daudi reminds us, "There is a natural resource that is in abundance in Tanzania.
IT'S HOPE."   He continues to remain hopeful in the ways this virus will strengthen our companionship between the ELCA and Tanzania.
 
Note: **Last February, Pastor Elibariki Duwe of our companion congregation, Basotu, sent an email about the devastating flooding his parishioners were experiencing. His congregation is still struggling but he continually sends his prayers and words of encouragement for the people of St. Thomas. They are usually one or two quick sentences. His last email on July 19, he wrote: “God be with you and your families. He will make the ways as he promised in the Bible”.
BACK TO SCHOOL IN DONGOBESH
LEA Director, Martin Tango, on the first day reopening school with primary students.
Dongobesh Primary Students
Primary Dongobesh Students
Secondary Dongobesh Students
Secondary Students Outside of School
Secondary Dongobesh Students
REMEMBER . . .
The sanctuary at St. Thomas is now open on
Tuesday nights,
6-8 pm and on
Wednesday mornings, 9 am to noon.

Please feel free to stop in for prayer, reflection or meditation!
We are also
GRATEFUL for
FAITHFUL VOLUNTEERS
There are endless jobs around the church
and many of them get done
without acknowledgement .
The refresh of the educational wing was accomplished by the volunteer efforts
of a group mainly made up of helpers
who do NOT attend our church.

But, many, many jobs are done behind the scenes by our congregation members to keep our building
clean, safe, welcoming and beautiful.

The list of these helping members is so vast, that it would fill a newsletter by itself and
invariably would omit someone.
Please know that your efforts are
noticed and appreciated!


If you know of some silent do-gooder,
please THANK THEM!

SIGN-UP COMMUNION
Pastor Heather is offering communion in her office for interested individuals or families. Please check your email for a
SignUpGenius form or contact the office
(734-675-0005 OR office@stthomasgi.com)
to schedule an appointment.
CDC guidelines are being employed.
Masks required!
Bringing It Home: Faith Practices for Real Life

FAITH PRACTICES
you can do
at home , alone or with those who live in your house .

Weekly Sermons...
Get Inspired!

Go to www.stthomasgi.com
to connect to Pastor's weekly online sermons.
Stay connected to and involved in St.Thomas!
Website: www.stthomasgi.com
Facebook: stthomaslutheranchurch

Celebrating this week :
Katie Kujala, July 27
Tim Perry, July 27
Luna Rodriquez, July 27
Ainsley Kolodziejski, July 28
Halena Torosian, July 29
Tiffany Demos, July 30
Carol Figi, July 30
Lindsey Miller, July 30
Sal Finazzo, August 1
Agnes Kujala, August 1
John Sorbo, August 1
Sean Ewbank, August 2
If you want to send a personal note or a card, contact ( office@stthomasgi.com )
Please contact (office@stthomasgi.com) with any omissions or corrections.
Celebrating the marriage
this week of:

Jessica and Philip Mataverde,
August 2

If you want to send a personal note or card, contact ( office@stthomasgi.com )
Please contact (office@stthomasgi.com) with any omissions or corrections.

MONDAY
MORNINGS
9:30 am
FELLOWSHIP HALL
MEDICAL SUPPLIES NEEDED!
Next pick-up is tomorrow-7/28!

Al Skrocki continues to lead the collection of medical supplies and equipment for worldwide relief.

If you have questions about items needed or
want to drop off at the church ,
Contact Lisa Perry (734-692-0949).
COMMUNITY EVENTS
Youth Nights
Women's Lunch Group
Men's Lunch Group
COUNCIL MEMBERS
Bill Stevenson - President
Brian Long - Vice President
Kent Kujala - Treasurer
Becky Arndt
Ben Fogt
Linda Hinzmann
Christine Riley
Betty Ruck
Jim Schiesel
Ethan Bammer - Youth Rep.
Alaina Gartner - Youth Rep.
council@stthomasgi.com
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to a council member or to Pastor Heather.
Family of
Ed Allard
Rose Burchfield
Joan Hoffmeyer
Tamara Howes
Denise Keeler
Tracie Liszewski

Shannon Loso
Bob Malone
Maryellen Nelson
JoAnn Schwenk
Cheryl Shelton
Tracy Snider
Helga Thelen
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a GREAT way.
Martin Luther King, Jr.