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June 2000

From the Interim Rector
June Parish House Kitchen Cleaning Committee
June Altar Care
Flowers for June 2000
Vestry Ministry Teams & Club Reports
The Endowment Fund
Finance Report
Vestry Summary
Thoughts on Stewardship... Tom Balsley
Party for Nelson Hodgkins
News from The Episcopal Day School
Congratulations & Thank You Notes
Annual Church Picnic
Lunchbox Concerts
Lemonade on the Lawn
Acolyte Recognition
Soup Kitchen Volunteers
Workday at the Rectory
Summer Sunday School
Vacation Bible School
DCE Bettie Benton Rhodes
Ordination and Consecration of Bishop-Elect Michael Bruce Curry

From the Interim Rector

Dear Friends,


More than 30 members of St. Thomas’attended the Ordination of the Rev. Bill Oldland to the Diaconate at St. Francis Church, Greensboro, last Saturday. They report it was a moving experience for all and proceeded without hitch despite the lack of electricity. The Rt. Rev. Robert C. Johnson, Jr. was the Ordainer and the Rev. Dr. Pat Earle was the Preacher. We are looking forward to the Oldlands move to Reidsville on the 26th and his first service on July 2nd.


Some have suggested that members of St. Thomas’ take part in a novena in preparation for the new Ministry of the Rev. Bill Oldland and Bishop-elect Michael Curry who will be Consecrated at Duke University on June 17th.

According to St. Augustine’s Prayer Book, "A novena is a nine-day period of prayer in preparation for some particular feast, or to pray for some special object. It may be made by an individual or by a group, either in public or in private. The first novena was kept at the express command of the Risen Christ, by the Apostles, Mary, and the Disciples in the Upper Room from the day of our Lord’s Ascension to Pentecost."

This seems to be a good idea to me and to give you more time to plan your participation, rather than begin on Ascension Day, we will pray our novena in the Church from 7-7:30 nightly beginning the Sunday after Ascension Day, June 4th and ending St. Barnabas Day, June 12th. Dress will be casual.

The format will be similar to the Day of Prayer for St. Thomas’ planned by Tom Balsley in October 1998. (At that time: 1. We prayed for special needs of this Church and its organizations. 2. We prayed that each member would grow spiritually so God’s will be done. 3. We prayed for healing of any division that existed and the breaking down of walls that kept us from being one in Christ. 4. We prayed for ministry to aid our walk with God in order to unite our congregation. 5. We prayed for each person in the Church family by name and for their specific needs. 6. We prayed that we love each other as God loves us.)


It is very easy to take for granted the handiwork of the Altar Guild as we enter the Church for worship. The Altar is prepared for each service and the flowers are displayed beautifully. The crosses and vessels are polished and the Altar linens are spotless. The elements are on the credence table. The proper liturgical color of the season is in place. This group makes our ministry much smoother. I would like to thank them and their director, Suzanne Howard

Another group we need to remember are our Layreaders and Chalicists who are faithful in leading the congregation in worship on Sundays and Holy Days. Directed by Tom Ham, they are all active in other aspects of the Church’s ministry as well.

The Episcopal services are enhanced by music at every point and we are truly blessed to have such a capable organist and choirmaster as David Zoernig. The Choir members are always well prepared and he inspires them to attempt anything (and they are always successful even with new music).

Last month we recognized the Acolytes and Servers. They do more than model vestments—they give order to the services especially in procession through carrying the Cross and banners, assisting the Priest with the elements of the Eucharist, and receiving the tithes and offerings of the congregation. Their director, Chuck Rhodes, continues to train them. These young people are also involved in other areas in the life of this Parish and in its community outreach.

Supporting all our activities (and usually personally involved in those mentioned above) are the Vestry, the Episcopal Churchwomen, the Search Committee, the Men of the Church, the ushers, the collection counters, those who work on the yard and upkeep of the physical plant, those who have continued to pray for St. Thomas’ and all those who quietly do what needs to be done without caring who gets the credit. We must also be grateful for the support and encouragement and spirituality of those saints who prepared the way for us.

Finally, I would like especially to thank our Parish Secretary, Edie Stadler, who is consistently pleasant and efficient and a magician at coordinating the administrative duties of this Church. She has covered "a multitude of sins" committed by the Interim!

Since this is my last column for the newsletter, I want each of you to know how much you have meant to me over the past nearly two years. Thank you for your many kindnesses to me and Merle. May God bless you everyone!


June Special Services and Events at a Glance

June 4 Annual Church Picnic at The Summit


June 11 Recognition of Graduates


June 18 Fathers' Day


June 23 Party for Nelson Hodgkins at Van Ness Home


June Parish House Kitchen Cleaning Committee

Dot Reilly

June Altar Care

Mavis Simon, Chm., Louise Hinson, Kate Nelson, Kathy Gentle

Flowers for June 2000

June 4

June 11 available
June 18 available
June 25 available

Vestry Ministry Teams & Club Reports

The Endowment Fund


Bill Sutton, Endowment Fund Treasurer, reported at the May 3rd Endowment meeting that $877 in 1999 interest had been made available to the Vestry in February and that the fund balance was now $20,330. These funds are invested in C.D.’s at local banks.

Bob Lee Watt, Laura Felts and Bob Foeller attended a Planned Giving Workshop at All Saints in Greensboro on Saturday, May 20th sponsored by the National Episcopal Church Foundation and our Diocese’s Stewardship Committee. The workshop provided excellent information on building strong stewardship and endowment programs for parishes of all sizes. Bob Lee, Laura and Bob said that the advisor to the National Episcopal Church Foundation from Atlanta made an excellent presentation and provided resource information that will be very helpful to St. Thomas’.

Finance Report

Income: April 2000 Expense: April 2000
Pledged $  10,341.00
Received $  14,111.00
Overage $    3,770.00
Budgeted $ 11,137.00
Spent $ 14,067.00
Over spent $   2,930.00

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.

Vestry Summary

The Vestry minutes are posted on the bulletin board outside the Vestry room.

Thoughts on Stewardship

". . For all that I believe may never change the way it is, unless I believe Jesus lives."

From the song "Where There is Faith" by Kathy Trocolli

Change seems to be a common "buzz word" not only in today’s business world but also in society in general. We have seen enormous changes take place in the last ten years with the advent of computers. How we do our work, receive and communicate information, market our business products, purchase goods, or pay our bills are just a few examples of how our lives have been affected as a result of technology. One well-known phrase we frequently hear today is that "the only constant is change." Just this spring a commencement speaker told a graduating class that "you will have five to ten different jobs during your working career." The result of all this is that many will have to face change whether they want to or not.

I have always had a great deal of difficulty with change. There have been times that I wished to remain uncomfortable in my present state than to risk doing something else. I have to keep reminding myself of the familiar saying of Alcoholics Anonymous, "If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results." However, quite often, change is like a "leap of faith." It is a step into the unknown.

I recently read a series of articles from the religion section of a national newspaper. These articles were "faith stories" of people whose lives had been altered because of their belief in God. Two contributors said that they had graduated from prestigious schools, had attained prominent jobs and were quite prosperous from a financial standpoint. However, both agreed that there was emptiness in their existence. The fact that they were able to embrace Christ brought new meaning as to how they think, live and interact with others. On a more personal level, a fellow St. Thomas parishioner told me when talking about his spiritual transformation, "I realized I needed to do things differently because I had not grown in my faith in the last ten to fifteen years." In accepting Christ’s call, this person has made radical changes in how he views his priorities, time, money, and relationships.

Jesus is in the business of changing lives. He knows that it takes a great deal of courage and conviction to change. But, I think He is trying to tell all of us, "When you change what you believe, you change what you do." Jesus is saying to all of us that we have the power to be different. And even though change is required, the good news is that it is possible through His grace and His power.

Tom Balsley

St. Thomas’ has received a gift of insurmountable importance to our future. That gift has been given by Nelson Hodgkins. Nelson has led our Parish in a good and right direction for many, many months. He has given of himself above and beyond any expectation of an interim rector and we are grateful.

To show our appreciation,

we have planned a dinner in his honor

on Friday, June 23rd at 7:00 p.m.

at the home of Jim and Donna Van Ness

709 S. Main Street

This covered dish dinner will be an opportunity for us to express to Nelson what he has meant to St. Thomas’. Please make every effort to join in the celebration.

News from The Episcopal Day School

Preschool Report – from Carol Puryear

I regret to say that our 1999-2000 school year has actually come to an end. I will always thank the Lord for the outstanding year that He has given us. The children have been a delight, they have worked hard, & learned a lot! I am so proud of all of them and excited to see my older ones so ready for kindergarten. It’s a thrill to see all those development building blocks coming together! We have had a precious time together in Chapel where again, the children have been so attentive, eager to participate and evidenced a real grasp of Bible truths. And those are the foundational blocks upon which the wise man builds his life! We have had special prayer times together with Nelson on Wednesdays. The children love him and many parents have reported how their children have matured in their prayer lives this year. He has been such an encouragement to us (the teachers!) and we will certainly miss him!!!

The only sad part of the year is all the goodbyes! Not only must we say goodbye to some of our students and Nelson, but also Miss Kim and Miss Jennifer! It has been a true blessing working along side both of them and I will miss them both terribly. But I am trusting the Lord to build another strong team for us for 2000-2001! Again, thank you for your support of our school. We truly could not do it without you, St. Thomas! Lord bless you!

Kindergarten Report – from Kim Jones

The year has quickly come to an end. It has truly been one of my most special teaching opportunities. Thanks so much for your interest in and support for the school. I am saddened by the fact that I won’t be teaching in the Kindergarten class next year. Within the last 11 months, both my 7 year old and my 4 year old were diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. They both have to have insulin shots everyday. Therefore, I feel a strong need to be available at their school next year.

It has been amazing to watch those kindergarten boys this year. They have been such a blessing to me. Their excitement and enthusiasm about learning has been inspiring. Continue to pray for the school. Have a great summer!

ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT–from Shelly Ellington

I am very pleased to announce that both our Kindergarten and preschool Classes are full for the upcoming year! However, if you know of someone that may still be interested, I would encourage them to register because you never know what may happen in three months!! I even have children on the waiting list for next year!

We are saddened to have Ms. Kim Jones leave us this year. She has been a wonderful inspiration to her students and parents and will definitely be missed! However, we are very close to filling her position with another special lady. Ms. Jennifer, our preschool assistant teacher is also leaving, and she will surely be missed as well. If you have any referrals, please contact me at 939-9169. We will soon start the interviewing process for this position.

We have been so blessed with great teachers, parents, and children, and we thank you, the church, for all of your support!

Congratulations & Thank You Notes

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Congratulations to Kris Rogers who graduates from Rockingham County High School on June 3rd and to Pete McHugh who graduated from the UNC Medical School on May 21st.

Our graduates will be recognized during the 11:00 a.m. service on June 11.

wpe12.jpg (3708 bytes) CONGRATULATIONS to Pete McHugh and Camilla Sherrill who were married on Saturday, May 27th in Morganton.


Thank You Notes  

Dear Nelson and St. Thomas’ friends,

Just had to let you know how much we appreciate the support of St. Thomas’. Your gifts have enabled us to continue our ministry to those in need in our community.

Many thanks!!

Anne Donecker, Reidsville Outreach Center

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St. Thomas’ will have the annual church picnic on Sunday, June 4 at The Summit. Please bring a covered dish to the picnic area at 11:30 a.m. A brief worship service will be held at that time. Drinks and paper products will be furnished.


The Reidsville Downtown Corporation will once again sponsor FREE LUNCHTIME CONCERTS in the shaded area of the Morehead Street parking lot, across the street from the Police Department. Some seating is available. Latecomers are advised to bring a lawn chair.

Time is 12:15 –1:00 p.m.

June 2 Linda Thore

June 9 Cynthia Smith

June 16 Cynthia Smith

June 23 Kirby Wilkins


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We will begin Lemonade-on-the-lawn

on June 11 following the 11:00 a.m. service.

We hope you will be able to stop by for refreshment and fellowship.


Chuck Rhodes comments: "Before the acolytes are presented their crosses, I want to take this opportunity to thank each one of them for the contribution that they make to our worship service, and also for their willingness to serve. During my 7 years as acolyte advisor, this has been another very rewarding year. With so few high school age acolytes, the younger acolytes have really risen to the occasion. Many of these younger folks have performed the duties that previously were only done by the high schoolers. They have consistently gotten the job done. Most Sunday mornings 10 or 15 minutes before the service begins, someone that is not scheduled to acolyte will appear and offer to fill in if there is a need. I can’t tell you all that means to me and how special you are to the parish."

Recognized on May 21st were: Colin Ferguson, Daniel Gentle, Julie Teague, Adam Wilson, Jim Donecker, Caitlin Ferguson, Scottie Reeder, Sherrie Donecker, Katie Fraser, Heather Gentle, Matthew Trent, Hutch Wheless, Spencer Wilson, and Jeffrey Kinnarney.


Looking ahead, the volunteer schedule for JULY has been changed.

St. Thomas’ volunteers will serve at the soup kitchen on Sunday, July 16th rather than July 23rd.
You will receive a reminder the week prior to July 16th.

(No changes to the June schedule.)

Workday at the Rectory

We will hold a workday at the rectory, 634 Parkway Blvd. On Saturday, June 24th. We want the rectory to be in good shape for the arrival of the Oldlands the next week. We hope everyone will be able to help! We will do yard work, washing windows, and cleaning. Please make an effort to come out and help, we need as many people as possible.

Summer Sunday School

4-Week Summer Sunday School offers something for every age! Beginning June 4, children will meet in the double room on the second floor of the education building at First Presbyterian Church. Children ages three through rising fifth grade will gather for a special KICK-OFF snack breakfast at 9:45. At 10:00, gifted story-reader, Ellen McCarthy will share a new children’s book by Jan Karon, Miss Fannie’s Hat. Next we’ll have a hat-craft-wall-decorating time.

Children will continue meeting the following three Sundays in June, 9:45-10:30, for "2000 Ark Avenue, God’s Great Get-Together." Classes will incorporate Bible stories, music, and crafts.

Middle and High Schoolers will have their own special 4-week session during which they will visit four area churches, learning about worship in other denominations. Youth will meet at 10:00 in the Senior High Room for an orientation of the church they will visit, then go in the van to the service. They will be taken home by youth leaders.

A summer adult study called "Ministry in a Changing World" will also begin June 4. Taught by Jim Murray and Dave Kivett, the class will meet in the Session Room. Texts will be The Once and Future Church and Transforming Congregations for the Future.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL is just around the corner! Please mark your calendar for the evenings, Sunday, July 23 through Thursday, July 27. We’re using a new and very exciting curriculum called "Habitat for Humanity." As you would think, it is patterned after the national effort to build homes for people who need them. With the Reidsville community being active in this program and our high school youth going on a mission trip in July to do small home repair for disabled people, this particular curriculum seemed perfect for our young children!

The curriculum is Bible-based, fun, innovative, uses community stories about Habitat Houses, and constructs real, usable items for Habitat homes. Children from age three through rising sixth graders are eligible.

Contractors Mary Fagan and Bettie Rhodes have begun recruiting Job Site Engineers, Crew Leaders, Helpers, and Creative Technicians. Included in the Job Sites the children will visit are:

Scales & Measures (Music)

Hard Hat Area (Crafts & Projects)

Blueprints (Bible Activities)

Survey (Community Stories)

Meal Construction


Early Bird Events

All children will receive special "Under Construction" yellow hard hats and t-shirts. Engineers and all Crew Members will wear construction attire—jeans, overalls, toolbelts, etc.

Registration forms are included in this newsletter. Please help us with planning by registering your children, grandchildren, or neighborhood children NOW. We need to order materials, hard hats, t-shirts, and be sure to have enough engineers and helpers. A small fee of five dollars per child will help meet our financial needs.

If you have not been contacted about helping with Vacation Bible School and would like to, please call Bettie Rhodes, Director of Christian Education (349-3474/342-4897). When you’re building, you can use all the help you can get

DCE Bettie Rhodes will be at Union/PSCE in Richmond June 12-22 taking the on-campus segment of two courses: New Testament and Theory of Christian Education. If you need to get in touch with her, please call the church office.

The Bishop and the Standing Committee

Of the Diocese of North Carolina

Request the honor of your presence at

the Ordination and Consecration of

Michael Bruce Curry


of the Diocese of North Carolina

to be a Bishop in the Church of God

on Saturday, the seventeenth of June

In the year of our Lord

Two thousand

At ten-thirty in the morning

Duke University Chapel

Durham, North Carolina


Seating is open and must be seated before 10:00 a.m.

Directions are available in the church office.

A light luncheon will be served following the service. To order tickets ($10 per person), contact Edie in the church office.