tidings.gif (9317 bytes)

February 2000

From the Interim Rector
February Parish House Kitchen Cleaning Committee
February Altar Care
Vestry Ministry Teams & Club Reports
The Endowment Fund
Finance Report
Notes from the Search Committee
Vestry Summary
Thoughts on Stewardship
News from The Episcopal Day School
Thank You Notes
Summer Camp at The Summit
EDS Applications
"Supporting Me to Support Myself"
A Thoughtfull... by Bettie Rhodes, DCE

From the Interim Rector

Dear Friends:

As I write this for the February Newsletter, we have survived the fourth and worst snowfall in one week, plus a weekend of freezing rain, the beauty of the snow is beginning to wear off. Thankfully none of us has lost life or electricity or home but we have become more aware of the simple things we have taken for granted.

There have been many instances of "neighborliness" in that we have shared what we have to make life more meaningful for others. For example, on Sunday the 23rd when I arrived for the early service I found two people shoveling the steps and walks. On Sunday the 30th, I found the driveways and parking lots plowed and between the services, the steps and sidewalks were shoveled by five of the fifteen people present! Others have made 4x4s available to people needing transportation. Some shared food and hospitality. Many have called to make certain others are safe and warm. It seemed to bring out the best in us! I am proud of this since Episcopalians are often considered to be cold. It appears to me that hospitality, a welcoming acceptance, is spontaneous for the people of St. Thomas’.


Despite the canceling of services by most Churches in Reidsville recently, I felt it was important to maintain our schedule. As it happened, we had visitors at the 11 o’clock service those two Sundays! I do not expect you to risk your life getting to Church, but if it is possible for you to make it we do not want you to experience the disappointment of a darkened Church with a locked door. (This is especially easy for me since I am able to walk to Church.)


The Diocesan Convention which was scheduled January 27th-29th has been rescheduled February 9th –11th. Our Delegates, Mary Brent Trigg and Bill Sutton, will have the opportunity to vote for a successor to Bishop Johnson who will retire as Diocesan Bishop this summer, and on other actions and resolutions. They will give their report to you on February 20th.


Following the 11 o’clock service February 6th, 13th and 20th, Chuck Rhodes and I will continue refreshing our Acolytes training followed by designing and planning new banners and a website for St. Thomas’.


On February 13, we welcome members of our Cub Pack #738 and Boy Scout Troop #738, their leaders and their families. They will take part in the 11 o’clock service. Each week they are learning many things which will help them as they deal with all the temptations and distractions of their daily lives.


Laymen are planning the annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper March 7th. Ash Wednesday will be on March 8th. More on this later. For six Sundays beginning March 12th I will conduct an Inquirer’s Class on Sunday afternoons. This will be of interest to those seeking Confirmation and to those seeking information as well as those who would simply like to refresh their knowledge of the Church.

In a lighter vein (but still profound) from the Internet:



1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
4. When it’s in your best interest, always practice obedience.
5. Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
6. Take naps and always stretch before rising.
7. Run, romp and play daily.
8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
9. Be loyal.
10. Never pretend to be something you’re not.
11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
13. Delight in the simple joy of taking a long walk,
14. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
15. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
16. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
17. When you are happy, dance around and wage your entire body.
18. No matter how often you are criticized, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.

It appears that "Dumb" animals have a lot to teach us about Theology!


February Parish House Kitchen Cleaning Committee

Dot Trent

February Altar Care

Betty Melchert, Chm., Pam Allen, Harriet Garrett, Kate Nelson

Vestry Ministry Teams & Club Reports

The morning chapter of Episcopal Church Women will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 9 in the Pipkin Parlor. Priscilla Foster will host.

The Endowment Fund

Thanks to the following for their generous gifts to the Endowment Fund in the month of December:
Jimmy and Scott Trotter
John and Harriet Garrett

Finance Report

Income: December 1999 Expense: December 1999
Pledged $9207.00
Received $16,191.00
Overage $6,984.00
Budgeted $9,061.00
Spent $9,629.00
Over spent $568.00

Please try to keep your pledge payments caught up. Thank you.

*A complete financial statement is displayed on the bulletin board next to the Vestry Meeting room.

Notes from the Search Committee

Back in November, 1999, the Search Committee received 54 names and resumes from the National Church Office in response to our rector’s search request. The Search Committee reviewed each set of information and wrote to 25 candidates who we thought would be acceptable as our rector. We have also corresponded with approximately 10 candidates who expressed an interest or who have been recommended to the Search Committee by members of our church. We are now in the process of receiving responses from all these individuals as to whether they would be interested. Once we have selected our candidates we will arrange a telephone interview with each during which we will obtain more information and hopefully develop a sense of whether they will be "right" for St. Thomas’. This process will take approximately 4 to 8 weeks to complete. After the telephone interviews have been completed we will make another "cut" and then arrange visits to those on our final list. After this has been done we will then invite our favorite candidates to visit St. Thomas’ and have an interview with the vestry.

If we find enough suitable candidates for our position we hope that the vestry will be in a position to issue a call to our new rector sometime this summer. If we are not able to find satisfactory candidates then the process will have to continue until we do. We are excited about the responses we have received so far and ask for your prayers to enable the Holy Spirit to guide us to the right person.

If any of you have suggestions for candidates please submit them to a member of the Search Committee as soon as possible because we will be narrowing the scope of our search within the next few weeks. Although the Search Committee cannot discuss the names of candidates in whom we are interested we are certainly glad to discuss the process itself should you have any questions of us.

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

The Search Committee

Vestry Summary

Our Vestry Retreat, facilitated by Fred Warnecke, was a worship service that lasted 22 hours and ended with the Rite III Eucharist which has no closing. We are still in that service. Each member of your vestry put their talents and the opportunities we see for our parish on the altar. In doing so we made a commitment to act as the administrator of St. Thomas’ this year.

Two of the many jewels of wisdom we learned from Fred were administration means to "minister" and as ministers God wants us to "bring the stuff" that is our talents – the food, the supplies, the flowers, the chairs and tables and He will do the work. And this is what we put on the altar.

Ruth Wright, the advisor for our search committee, spoke to us on the selection of our next rector. This was extremely helpful and we are now really aware of our role in this process.

The enthusiasm that was kindled during our retreat is so strong that we have decided to meet for a second time in January to set our goals and objectives for this church year.

Thoughts on Stewardship

"We are … as having nothing, and yet possess everything." from Corinthians 6:1-10

What if you lost just about everything that you owned? Of all your possessions, what would matter to you the most? If the truth be known, the items that you would most want to save might be those that are not of great monetary value. Your list would probably include family pictures, your children’s drawings, cards, letters, and keepsakes that were passed down to you by your parents and grandparents.

This past Thanksgiving I had a long conversation with my sister-in-law, Mary. She and her husband Cliff had just experienced losing practically everything that they owned to the flooding that resulted from Hurricane Floyd. They saw a beautiful home, two cars, furniture, books, appliances, and other valuable objects covered with water. In reality, a large part of their life was taken from them.

However, instead of dwelling on what they no longer had, Mary recalled all the wonderful acts of kindness shown them during this time. She told how her very good neighbors took them in until an apartment could be found. She recounted the good deeds of a group of teenagers (angels she called them) who came by early in the day to move furniture that was salvageable to a nearby house. She spoke about how all of her friends pitched in to help each other rescue any household items that could be saved. She talked about working to exhaustion, but never once complained about what was gone.

After describing everything that had happened, Mary said with a great deal of conviction, "Sure we lost a lot; everyone did. But we were given even more. We found out how good and kind and generous people are. I am so thankful for everything that I have. God has certainly been good to us. We are able start over. A lot of people not only lost homes but lost their businesses too." Mary then laughed when telling me, "One blessing was getting rid of all the stuff that I really didn’t need." Lastly, she proudly informed me that her parish (Church of the Good Shepherd in Rocky Mount) offered each parishioner who had flood damage to his or her home a check for $500.

Sometimes when I think I know so much, I realize I have much to learn. What I think is important, may not be so important. What gives our lives meaning? If it is our possessions, maybe we need to think again.

Tom Balsley

News from The Episcopal Day School

Due to school being out for snow the last two weeks, we do not have a report from the teachers. We will catch you up in the March newsletter.


We want to thank everyone for your warm welcome on January 9 when the children made their presentation to the congregation at St. Thomas’. We appreciate all your kind words about the performance. The children and teachers worked very hard and I think you’ll agree that the hard work paid off. This will be my last report to you as the Episcopal Day School Administrator. My term will end with the month of February. I have enjoyed my volunteer position but I have other productions underway and have decided not to undertake a second term right now. Thank you for all the encouragement you have given me during my tenure.

Thank You Notes

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your contributions of $50.00 and $294.00 on 12/23/1999 to Thompson Children’s Home. Your gift will help us to continue serving children and families across the state.

Recently, we received a note from Trent, a boy who was in the Residential Treatment program at Thompson for two years. Trent’s biological parents had been unable to care for him properly and he had come to Thompson after an abusive foster care placement. During his first few months with us he was verbally and physically aggressive, and exhibited severe behavioral problems. As he worked with his therapist, teachers, and other caring staff, he started to make small steps toward healing, and this was reflected in his behavior. After about a year he began to visit with a carefully screened foster family on the weekends. Many months and many visits later, Trent learned that this family cared for him and wanted to adopt him. Although he still struggled with a number of issues every day, his therapist and teachers saw a positive change in his attitude. Plans were made for Trent to make the transition,and a few months ago Trent left Thompson to join his new family. Trent’s recent note told us that he likes his new school, and this was reflected by the big smile on the school picture he enclosed!

Through your partnership you are helping us to touch the lives of people like Trent and his family. Thank you for joining with us in this important work!

Nancy M. Roberson
Director for External Affairs


Dear Saint Thomas Friends:

Saint Thomas will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you for your prayers and for caring. I am grateful for and appreciative of the friends who care.

I’ve read that Saguaro trees support each other with their entwining roots, I believe Christians support and strenghten each other by entwining their roots in Jesus Christ.

The many prayers by friends is the reason I am doing better, and I thank you and Jesus Christ each day. Friends are God’s special gift – Thank you.

Love in Christ,
Josephine J. Starnes

Summer Camp at The Summit

wpe32.jpg (5965 bytes) The Summit is now registering for summer camp. If you have not received your flyer with camp information, they are available on the bulletin board outside the Vestry room. These camps are for children entering grades 3-12. There is also a session for special campers ages 4-25. The Summit will be hiring counselors to work with campers as cabin/program/activity leaders (ages 16 and over). See the flyer for information on hiring of camp staff.

EDS Applications

Applications for the 2000-2001 preschool and kindergarten classes will be available in the church office as of February 1, 2000

"Supporting Me to Support Myself"

You are invited to attend

"Supporting Me to Support Myself"

a grief support group sponsored by

Hospice of Rockingham County.

Madison Presbyterian Church,

204 W. Decatur St., Madison


Central Christian Church,

233 East Stadium Drive, Eden

Six Thursday nights from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Madison, February 17, 24 and

March 2,9,16, and 23

Eden, April 6, 13, 20, 27 and

May 4 and 11

Adults, teens, and children over 5 years of age are invited (will meet in separate groups). Please note that any person in the county who has experienced loss is invited. Invite your friends, relatives, or fellow church or civic club members who might benefit from grief support. Please call Hospice of Rockingham County at 427-9022 weekdays if interested in more information or to register. The sessions are free but, registration is required by February 7 for the session beginning on February 17 and registration is required by March 31 for the session beginning on April 6.

A Thoughtfull... by Bettie Rhodes, DCE
(A friend of mine shared this with me and I pass it on to you.)


FACT 1: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an "uplift" for the birds that follow. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

FACT 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

FACT 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.

Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, or resources.

FACT 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups  where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

FACT 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.