Week of April 11, 2021
Beginning this Sunday, April 11, we will be on our regular schedule of gathering for worship at 8:00 am and 10:00 am, in church. Recently issued diocesan guidelines allow us to gather in our church buildings at 25% occupancy. For us, that means up to 50 people. You must pre-register to attend at 10:00 am. To do that you can either call the parish office (if no one is here, leave a message), or go to this Sign-Up Genius link: https://www.bit.ly/STOC10am. Worship is going to be a little different, but we will still hear God’s word and offer the prayers we know and love, we will continue to celebrate Holy Communion, and we will be able to be with one another, albeit in a masked and socially distant manner.
April Outreach Recipient
The Outreach recipient for April is Franciscan Peacemakers. Franciscan Peacemakers, that started in 1995, connects women survivors of sexual exploitation to safe housing, meaningful work, and a healing network of support. They work for an end to human sex trafficking through service and advocacy because they believe that everyone is created to enjoy peace and all good. The jobs created through their storefront on 34th & Lisbon allow women healing from sexual exploitation and addiction to earn a living wage while they rebuild their lives
Community Garden Needs a Coaster Wagon (or two)!
If anyone has an old coaster wagon they are willing to donate for hauling compost and water in the Community Gardens, please call Noelle Gehlhaart at 414-235-9571 or the church office at 414-421-0130 by April 18. We are making plans to get the garden plots ready for planting and the coaster wagons will be huge help! Thank you!
In our Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we pray for St. Luke’s, Racine
O God, who called your servant Luke to be a healer and to proclaim your gospel to all people: We give you thanks for the ministry of St. Luke’s Parish in Racine. Send your Holy Spirit to guide them; help them to know where you are calling them to serve your people; give them grace to proclaim to the good news, both in word and deed; and raise up leaders among them to continue the mission to which you have called them. This we ask through your Son Jesus Christ, the healer of all souls. Amen.
Meeting with Fr. Scott: Would you like to meet with Fr. Scott? Call him (414-379-0632) or the parish office (414-421-0130).
Updating Prayer List
The published prayer list has been intact for many months. Please take a minute to review and if you have someone listed who no longer needs our prayers, let the office know. If you have or know someone needing extra prayers, please give the office a call Monday through Thursday, 9:00am – 1:00pm, or send us the information via email. Thank you.
Parish Prayer List
Please remember in your prayers this week … Adam & Monica, Addison, Alyssa, Andi & Rick, Arthur, Barbara, Bill, CC and Tom, Carol (Lisa C’s mom), Charlotte, Chris G, Dan, David, Dee, Dennis, Edie, Gary H, Jacquie, Jeannie M, Judy L, Karen, Kayla, Kathy & Tim, Ken, Laurie L, Leslie B, Linda S, Lois, Mary, Mary & Peter K, Mike, Mike B, Mike V, Nancy, Nancy S, Nathan, Neil, Norb, Richard, Rick R, Rob C, Robert, Ruth, Salvado, Shelly, Steven, and Suzy. Please pray for all who are ill with COVID-19, for their loved ones, and for all who are treating them.
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK
Tuesday – April 13
8:00am – Morning Prayer (Zoom)
6:30pm—Fr. Scott Standing Committee Mtg.
Wednesday – April 14
Noon – Eucharist in church
6:00pm – Evening Prayer (Zoom)
Thursday – April 15
Noon Prayer (Zoom)
Sunday – April 18
8:00am – Eucharist in church
10:00am – Eucharist in church
April 12—Maggie S.
April 16—Victoria C.
April 16—Rick R.
April 13—Brian & Mandy K.
April 15—Mary & Andy H.
Letter from Father Scott
What a blessing it has been simply to be together again! Having God’s Word proclaimed, celebrating the Eucharist, and seeing one another and being together for prayer may have been something we may have taken for granted in the past. I know that’s the case for me. I had the naïve assumption that our worship would be more or less what I had become accustomed to, until everything changed. I don’t ever want to take that for granted again.
But there’s something else I don’t want to take for granted now that we are in the midst of another transition: all that we’ve learned and experienced. Over the past year or so, we have shared community with one another in many new ways. For some of us (me included) this has involved learning how to use Zoom and other technologies that allow us to see each other and meet electronically. It gave rise to sharing our St. Thomas message with a much broader on-line audience of people, and it called forth creativity in how we share Eucharist and offer each other love and support.
As it became clear that in-person gatherings were not safe, we began conducting Sunday worship as well as Morning, Evening and Noon Prayer once per week, every week. We are continuing to offer Morning, Evening and Noon prayer on Zoom, and I suspect that this will continue indefinitely.
When it came to adult formation, we offered two series that I created, a book discussion group, and two Bible studies with the use of Zoom. Participation rates were very high and because we were able to host the studies electronically, we had some non-members join us and even some people from out of state. I suspect that moving forward when we offer something for adults, we will offer an in-person opportunity along with an on-line option. I would never have known about such a great tool, much less used it, had I not been forced to do so.
Other ways we’ve reached out and met electronically include: Children’s Church, on-line reflections, Ministry Team and Vestry meetings, and more. I have officiated over two memorial services that were offered on Zoom, allowing family members and loved ones from across the country to be together and share prayer, memories, laughter, hope and love.
Another blessing has been that I think in some ways we re-discovered the simple blessing of a phone call and conversation as members of our Tele-Care Team made regular efforts to keep in touch. And the INCREDIBLE outpouring of generosity in the form of outreach donations (both financial and material) has been nothing short of amazing. COVID or not, you have stepped forward time and time again.
So now during this Easter season we’ll learn together about coming back to worship in person. Let’s pray that all goes well and that efforts to combat COVID continue to show success. Our focus will remain on creating an environment of prayer marked by safety, care for everyone, and the worship of our loving God. Please know how very grateful that we are able to start gathering once again.
God’s peace to you,