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St. Thomas' Episcopal Church

January 19, 2022

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The Third Sunday After The Epiphany 10 am Bulletin January 22, 2023

Dear People of St. Thomas’,


Over the past week I have been asked to pray for a lot of people. This, in and of itself, is not an unusual thing: it is quite common for a priest to be asked to intercede with the Almighty on behalf of those in their cure (though it should be clearly stated that intercessions by those who wear the collar are not de facto more potent than prayers by the laity). For some reason, though, the recent request got me thinking more deeply about the nature and power of intercessory prayer. It’s a pretty bold move, when you get right down to it. Origen (c. 3rd century) said something to the effect of when we pray we should have it as our aim to stand where Jesus stood; that’s why Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father,” with the possessive adjective. Those are mighty big sandals to fill, don’t you think? And yet, in our baptism, we are made a part of Christ’s eternal priesthood of all believers, and priests are called upon to pray.


In his book of liturgical theology, Desiring the Kingdom, James K.A. Smith writes, “In intercessory prayer we are reminded of at least two things: First that we are called, even chosen, as a people not for our own sake, but for the sake of the whole world (p. 193).” That is a powerful reminder that we, as baptized Christians, have more with which to be concerned that just ourselves. We lose sight of that perhaps, in the repetition, week after week, of the prayers of the people in which we always pray for the world and its leaders, the church and its leaders, the concerns of our own broader community, those who suffer or are sick, and for those who have died. We do not pray for ourselves alone, but for all of these things. Like I said, we do it so regularly that we can be tempted to lose sight of the sheer audacity of it, as well as be tempted to downplay its power and our own authority.


The second thing Smith says intercessory prayer reminds us of is “in intercessory prayer we are given words to articulate the vision of justice that is at the heart of the biblical vision of shalom (p. 194).” I have often leapt to the defense of the prayer book against that lambasts of my more protestant colleagues who accuse us Episcopalians of only praying by rote and not from the heart. I share with them that such tried and true written prayers teach a vocabulary of faith that serves as an important school for young Christians and a bulwark for veteran Christians who face such trials as to preclude their own words, sighs and groans notwithstanding. (Additionally, they also provide a guard against that ever-creeping adverb “just.”) In the proscribed prayers of the church we are taught language that gives voice to communal concerns of justice of which we may not even have been aware, and in a way that we may not have been able to form on our own.


So when you pray in church this week, at the Prayers of the People or for those who have asked for your prayers, take a moment to be aware of the awesome and potent activity itself. Ask yourself what concern for justice these prayers have called to your attention, and then ask God what you should do about it. Give thanks to God for this access to God’s grace through Jesus Christ, who is the perfect offering for our sins, and not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world.


God bless you!



Fr. Ryan+

Benison Farm Work Day

Annual Meeting 2023 Announcement


Chili Cookoff!


January 29, 2023

Following *ONE* Service at 10:00 a.m.


At this meeting we will be electing three persons to the Vestry Class of 2025. If you would like to put your name forward for election, please notify Fr. Ryan or Senior Warden, Mary Jane Park. The qualifications for Vestry membership are: (1) You must be a confirmed Episcopalian; (2) You must be a pledging member of St. Thomas’ in good standing, and (3) you must be at least 16 years of age.


We will also be hearing various reports from different ministries in our Parish, and it is a great opportunity to find out more about a ministry in which you might like to be involved.


For lunch, we will have our annual chili cook-off. If you would like to enter a chili into the cook off, please let us know in the Church Office. We need to know who will be the chef and what your chili is called. We also need corn bread bakers, so if you’re not into making chili, we invite you to bring a cornbread! We look forward to seeing you there!

Click here to sign up for Chili or other

Music Ministries

Music for The Third Sunday after The Epiphany January 22, 2023


Prelude  "Aria in F Major" - George Frederic Handel                                     

Entrance Hymn “The People Who Walked in Darkness” –126 , 


Hymn of Praise "Glory to God"– S280

Psalm 27 1, 5-13 - David Haas

Gospel Acclamation “Alleluia With Verses” – WLP 847

Offertory Anthem  “Send Forth Thy Light”- Mily Balakirev

Presentation Hymn  "As Those of Old Their First Fruits Brought" –

705, vs. 3, FOREST GREEN

Sanctus  “Sanctus” –S129

Fracture Anthem  "Be Known to Us" - WLP 875

Communion Hymn "I Come With Joy to Meet my Lord" - 304


Processional Hymn "Take My Life and Let It Be” – 707


Postlude "The Heavens Declare the Glory of God" - Benedetto Marcello

About the Anthem, “Send Forth Thy Light”

The anthem this week, “Send Forth Thy Light” was composed by the 19th century Russian composer Mily Balakirev. He was known as a pianist, conductor, and composer.  Perhaps most importantly, he was a leader in Russian nationalistic music, and encouraged and supported many of the great composers we associate with pre-revolutionary Russia. The piece is unusual for the Russian church music style in that it is primarily for SATB chorus. Must Russian church music was written for choirs that divided into many more parts, SSAATTBB or more. Also, the thick and rich harmonies in Balakirev’s piece reflect the instrumental music of the day more than the church music of the day usually based on Russian chant. I realize, considering modern-day world politics, music from Russia may seem inappropriate. But I feel the Holy Spirit speaks through great art regardless of the political world in which the artist find himself. This petite anthem comes from a heart of profound faith and is not related to a political ideology. On Sunday, I hope the text can reflect our response to hearing about Jesus’ earthly preaching in the Gospel lesson.

The Organ Work Continues!

The work on our patient (the organ) continues. The part of the process taking place in a workshop in Lakeland has been completed. The slow and painstaking remainder of the work is taking place each day here in our sanctuary. This major renovation is primarily in the console of the organ, and is required to keep the instrument functioning. It is also a prerequisite for any future improvements. The work should be completed by the end of January.

Mission Trip to Honduras 2023

St Thomas Mission Trip to Honduras, 5/13/23-5/20

Okay, you’ve been reading about this. Many of you have expressed interest. It is now time to take action. If you want to make this trip, of if you want to know more about it before deciding, please contact me, Rick Smith (,, or Grace Smith in the church office, or Russ Martin. And be sure to attend our Informational/ Organizational Meeting on Sunday, 1-22 at 5:00pm in the Founders Room.

Mission Trip Schedule

·        Sunday, January 22, 5:00pm – Informational & Organizational Gathering

·        Sunday, February 5, 5:00pm – Planning Session 1

·        Wednesday, February 15, 7:00pm – Dr. Davila (Clinica Nueva) speaks at “Supper, Song, & Prayer”

·        Sunday, March 5, 5:00pm – Planning Session 2

·        Sunday, April 23, 5:00pm – Planning Session 3

·        Wednesday, May 10, 7:00pm – Packing Night

·        Friday, May 12 – Leaders depart (Rick, Grace, & Russ)

·        Saturday, May 13 – Group departs

·        Saturday, May 20 – Group Returns

Youth Programs

St. Thomas’ Church offers traditional formation (Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, lectionary-based classes for Grades 1-6), guild apprenticeship (this year, focusing on altar server training), and fun activities during the school year. The nursery is staffed at both Sunday services. 

Weekly children's lessons during the first part of the 10 a.m. service continue for kids in Grades 1 through 6. This Sunday, Gina and Mike White will invite children to consider how Paul's words can help them live together as a church group.

Last week, the class learned about service in community. Here are some questions to explore at home around the dinner table:

  • How can you show God's love to others?
  • Why is it important to be in a community?

Next Sunday, Jenny Brouillet will lead the class in reflecting about Jesus' words of good news and what they mean for their lives.

Art Ministry

Please join the St. Thomas’ Art Project in creating origami doves. 

In Christian tradition, doves represent the Holy Spirit, hope, and peace. With members of the Canterbury School of Florida community, we hope to create several thousand doves inscribed with individual prayers and meditations.

All you need is an 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 piece of paper. All birds are welcome!

The doves will be suspended in St. Thomas’ main worship space during Eastertide. 

Meditative Mandala Workshop 

February 4, 10 a.m. - noon 

St. Thomas' Episcopal Church Parish Hall 

1200 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg FL 33704 

The word mandala means “circle.” The mandala pattern is used across most religious traditions. It represents wholeness, holiness and all things encompassed by God. 


Sponsored by St. Thomas' Art Project, participants will create their own mandalas using various materials that will be provided. No artistic experience needed. Cost of the workshop is $10 per person. To register, send email to


Dudley Savage writes, "Thanks very much for all your prayers & support. An amazing weekend as always, many hearts were transformed and seeds planted for the others."

Please continue to keep the Kairos ministry and the people they serve-the incarcerated and their loved ones-in your prayers.


 Thanks to all for your help with Pack-a-Snack at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church


Pack-a-Snack Volunteers for the Week of January 8th:

Purchasing: Ann Leavine, Laura Vrooman

Staging: Marilyn Smith, Linda Davis

Packing: WOW!, Thursday, 01/12/2023

Delivery: Julie Songster, Thursday, 01/12/2023


Pack-a-Snack Volunteers for the Week of January 15th:

Delivery: Pete Calabrese, Thursday, 01/19/2023


Pack-a-Snack Volunteers for the Week of January 22nd:

Purchasing: Ann Leavine, Laura Vrooman

Staging: Marilyn Smith, Linda Davis

Packing: Music Ministry Team, 01/25/2023

Delivery: Nancy Day, Thursday, 01/26/2023

St. Thomas' Sandwich Sunday ministry is back between the 8 and 10AM services in the parish hall. We will begin by making 200 sandwiches once a month for Isaiah's Place, Inc., a local non-profit that ministers to the hungry and homeless in downtown St. Petersburg. For more information, call or text Mtr. Anne at 954-253-4414.

Next sandwich-making event: February 5

Pastoral Care

Would you like to help us reach out to parishioners who can't come to church? Eucharistic Visitors visit parishioners in their homes, hospitals, rehab centers, and assisted living facilities. They visit, listen to, offer to pray with and give communion to fellow parishioners. Eucharistic Ministers serve as chalice bearers during worship services. Text or call Mtr. Anne at 954-253-4414 if you're curious.

We're here for you! If you live alone or need rides or have to go into the hospital, please let the church know so we can pray for you, visit you, bring you communion, and/or arrange for rides or meals. Call Grace Smith in the mornings at 727-896-9641 and call Mtr. Anne anytime at 954-253-4414.

Healing prayers are offered during Holy Communion at the 8AM and 10AM services. After you take communion, you are invited to receive a healing prayer from a parishioner or clergy person in the back of the church. If you would like to join the team, contact Russ Ball at 727-667-5471.


Adult Formation

Women's Bible Study will continue studying the Gospel of Mark from the perspective that they are learning from THE CASE FOR CHRIST. They meet each Thursday at 9:30 AM in the Founders' Room.

Men's Bible Study are finishing their study of Paul's Letter to the Romans and will soon be picking up Genesis. They meet each Wednesday at 7:30 AM in the Founders' Room.

Did you know...

...that recent sermons are posted on St. Thomas' website?

Click the button below. You will need Adobe Reader to read the pdf files.

Download sermons


Virtual Happy Hour

Please join us on Thursdays from 6 - 7:15 pm. Connect through Zoom:

Meeting ID: 969 2031 5905

Password: 06182020

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Happy Birthday Blessings this week go out to: Jack Thompson, Alondra Rios, Lee Harvard, Jackson Ball, Blythe Mitchell, Tim Lowry, Pippa Mpunzwana-Hill.

Happy Anniversary blessings this week go out to: Dick and Sue Malmad.

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The Third Sunday After The Epiphany

Lay Minister Schedule

Acolytes: David Gould, Colin Burkhart, Caroline Whitley, Jace Viera

Altar Guild: Barb Bice, Diane Robinson

Camera Operator 10am: Molly Goodwill

Coffee Host 10am: Laura Reitan

Eucharistic Ministers: Liz Stiles

Flower Guild: Pam Holley, Elizabeth Walters-Alison

Healing 10am: Joan and Bill Barns

Lector 8am: Beth Gould

Lectors 10am: Tom Alison, Grace Smith

Musicians: Chancel Choir

Oblations: Jim and Anne Elstun

Prayers of the People 10am: Joan Barns

Ushers 10am: Tom Brady, Chris Finch

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View the Whole Calendar

Parish Calendar

Friday, January 20

Saturday, January 21

Sunday, January 22- The Third Sunday After The Epiphany

8:00 am - Holy Eucharist, Rite II, Spoken

10:00 am - Holy Eucharist, Rite II, Sung 

Sanctuary, Chancel Choir

Monday, January 23

9:00 am - Morning Prayer

9:30 am - Staff Meeting

Tuesday, January 24

9:00 am- Morning Prayer

Wednesday, January 25

7:30 am - Men's Bible Study

9:00 am- Morning Prayer

5:15 pm - Chapel Eucharist

6:00 pm -Supper Song and Prayer

6:30 pm - Handbell Rehearsal

6:45 pm - Compline

7:00 pm - Adult Education

Thursday, January 26

9:30 am - Women of the Word

6:00 pm - Pub Virtual Happy Hour - On Zoom (See article above)

6:30 pm - Chancel Choir Rehearsal

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