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The Deacon's Desk - The Rev. William D. Oldland
By the time you receive this month's newsletter Lent will already be upon us. Most of us think of this season of the church year when the music is awful and the scriptures remind us of how bad we are. Lent is not exactly the happiest season of the church year. I also have to admit Lent is not my favorite of seasons. However, we can use these forty days of Lent in a very productive manner.
Many of us probably have heard of the tradition of giving up things for Lent. I would like to suggest that there are also some things we can do with Lent. Here is a lit of possible do's and don'ts.
Things to examine and possibly do.
- Prayer Life - Set aside a particular time of the day for prayer with God. Set a goal of length of time each day and a goal to pray each day for the remaining days of Lent.
- Pray for others intentionally - Make a list of people one hasn't seen in some time. Pray for them daily. A nice touch might be calling one person or writing one person on the list each day. The note could simply say, "Just thinking of you."
- Bible reading - Pick a book of the Bible you have never read or haven't read in a long time. Read it in small chunks so the book is finished at the end of Lent.
- Devotional reading - Use a booklet, Forward Day by Day, Praying the St. Francis Prayer or another text for daily reading and meditation.
- Simple acts of Random Kindness - Set a goal to do one act of kindness for someone else each day.
- Journaling - At the end of each day keep a record of the day's events. Pay special attention to times when you thought about God or felt the presence of God that day.
- Fasting - Give up one meal on a certain day of the week. Take the amount of money spent on that meal and give it to the church or a charity for feeding the hungry.
Those are possible suggestions of activities one might do during Lent as preparation for the soul. I also have a few suggestions of don'ts.
- Don't try to read the whole Bible in forty days. God made it rain for forty days, and Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness. Reading the Bible from cover to cover in forty days would be another miracle.
- Don't give up food your taste buds can't stand.
- Don't pray only for friends and likable people. Pray for the needy, the poor, the homeless, and those who hurt you.
- If a day is missed in your special Lenten activities, don't give up. The next day pick up where you left off.
Lent is a time of preparation. We prepare ourselves for the resurrection on Easter. These ideas are some of the ways we can begin to prepare ourselves for the resurrection. There are many more. Have some fun trying to find a way to make this Lent a special time to build and strengthen the relationship you have with God. Then on Easter day, offer all that has been learned and all the blessings received as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray we all have a fulfilling Lent.
March Parish House Cleaning Committee:
March Altar Care:
Patricia Bobbitt, Chm., Mildred Cummings, Donna Van Ness, Dot Reilly, Penny Reilly
FINANCIAL NEWS & REPORTS
Income: January 2001 Expense: January 2001
Pledged $ 12,723.00 Received $ 8,929.00 Shortage $ 3,794.00
Budgeted $ 12,219.00 Spent $ 13,032.00 Over spent $ 513.00
Thoughts on Stewardship
Last month we had our Second Annual Homecoming at St. Thomas. All who were there felt the joyfulness of the occasion. Laura Felts' and Grace Moffitt's decorations transformed our plain little parish house into a lovely dinning area. The food, as usual, was delicious. We saw former members, including previous rectors, whom we had not seen in some time. We visited and caught up on the latest news. There were warm smiles, handshakes, hugs and kisses. Everyone seemed genuinely glad to see each other. The priests who attended shared significant moments of their ministry here. And likewise we, who were members of their congregation, told them what they had meant to us. Such a gathering enables us to recall those times when St. Thomas has provided us a spiritual home as well as supplied us with a supportive and loving family.When I think of coming home I can't help but reflect on the parable of the prodigal son. Here Jesus tells a story about an errant son, who after living a wasteful, self-centered life, finally returns to his family. I believe all of us have experienced periods in our life when we, like that son, have been in some sort of exile, wandering, loss, or separation. Maybe there have been times when we were more content to live with our own loneliness than to reconcile ourselves to God and come back home. One example I can share with you involves one of our adopted strays whose name is Bullwinkle. Mostly, though, we call him Bullhead because he is so stubborn. He is an outdoor cat whom we often try to coax onto our back porch on cold or rainy nights. We know he will be warmer and a lot more comfortable if he will just come in. However, it's a matter of trust with him and much of the time he opts to remain outside. As people of faith we are aware that our lives can be changed if we will just give up what we think is best and let Christ be the center of our life. As with Bullhead, this too is an issue of trust, belief, and surrender. This Lenten season, Jesus is asking all of us to "come home" from wherever we have been. And like the father in the story of "The Prodigal Son," He will be there to welcome us.
Healing Service with Anointing and the Laying on of Hands and the Holy Communion, every Wednesday at noon in the chapel.
Everyone is welcome!
Flowers for March 2001
March 4 Bill Sutton March 11 Laura Felts March 18 Anne & Kris Rogers March 25 Dot Ferneyhough
March Greeter Schedule
March 4 Bill Sutton March 11 Laura Felts March 18 Anne & Kris Rogers March 25 Dot Ferneyhough
World Day of Prayer
Friday, March 2nd has been designated as World Day of Prayer. A service will be held at St. Thomas' at 10:00 a.m. Everyone is invited!
In the last two weeks, the adult Sunday School and the High School Youth have worked on designing their own very special Sunday School. We've talked about topics to study, techniques of teaching, refreshments, music, time of the class, and more.
You are invited to share in this class on Sunday mornings, 9:45-10:25. We will have coffee, juice, and breakfast snacks. There will be music, lively discussion, a wide variety of study topics, and an assortment of leaders and teaching styles. Sometimes you'll be in a large group and other times, you may be divided into small groups for more detailed discussion.
We have 15 Sundays between now and the end of May. Below you can see our plans so far. There are some openings for anyone who would like to share a favorite topic with the group. If you would like to sign up for a Sunday, please let Bill Oldland know.
March 4 Chuck Rhodes
"Seeds of Your Soul"
March 11 Jim McCloskey
March 18 Betty Melchert
(To Be Announced)
March 25 Marian Safriet
(To Be Announced)
EDS PLANT SALEThe Episcopal Day School will begin their spring plant sale in late March. Be on the look out for more information.
ADMINISTRATORS REPORT Shelly Ellington
Registration has begun and we are filling up quickly, however, there are still some slots available. If you know of anyone interested, please contact me at 939-9169 or Edie Stadler at the church for more information.
We also are going to soon begin our Spring Hanging Basket Sale. This will be the first time we have tried this particular fundraiser, so please keep us in mind when you get Spring Fever and get ready to buy baskets for your porch! More information will be posted next month.
Also we have joined BoxTops for Education, a neat way of raising money for our Day School. If you would like to participate, please cut off all BoxTop logos off or your food products, such as Betty Crocker, Yoplait, General Mills, and Lloyds Barbeque. Each BoxTop is worth at least 10 cents. We will cash these in when we reach our goal. There will be a box placed in the Parish House near the Kindergarten Class if you would like to drop them in. We certainly appreciate all of your support!
PRESCHOOL REPORT Carol PuryearIt seems like one of us says this every month, but it truly is hard to believe how quickly our school year if flying by! Weve got a WONDERFUL preschool group and I really wish the time would slow down just a bit the way you parents feel as you watch your children growing up so quickly! Once again, weve had a great month together (even had a few snow days thought it was going to pass us by this year!). In honor of Valentines Day, we designated the month of February as special people month and have thoroughly enjoyed having a different special person (a childs parent, grandparent, aunt, friend, etc!) come each day to read us special books! And I also thank the Lord for a new special person my new teaching aid, Mrs. John (Miss Dorothy) Black. She is absolutely wonderful with the children and a perfect help to me. Im definitely celebrating her many contributions to our class!!! Weve also had a policeman, nurse, and dentist visit us, too. We end this study by having the children tell us about their own parents work and what they (the kids, not the parents!) want to be when they grow up. Always fun to hear!
KINDERGARTEN REPORT Cori Anderson
Dear Church Family,
What a quick month! We have been busy working on the alphabet! We are coming to the end. For S Week we went to Rachels Dads office. He works for a surveying company. Diana Moran came and showed us how to make soap. The kids all enjoyed picking out what color soap they wanted, and then giving it a name. We are also working with money. They are learning the penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. What fun! They are doing a great job reading. Im so proud of them!
Reidsville Outreach Center Fundraiser
Organized in October 1999, the Reidsville OUtreach Center provides a center for churches to funnel food and financial assistance through one location. By sharing the Soup Kitchen facility, the R.O.C. keeps expenses down and utilizes the space after the Soup Kitchen closes. In its first year of operation, the R.O.C. has helped hundreds of families in Reidsville. February 18 through March 27 marks the time of the Reidsville Outreach Center's Fundraiser. Each of the 30 churches that support the R.O.C. is asked to be responsible for $300 of donation tickets, with hopes of raising $5000. Over 20 prizes will be awarded at the final drawing on April 12. Winners do not have to be present. You may purchase tickets from R.O.C. Board member, Anne Donecker or from Edie Stadler in the church office. If you would like information about helping the R.O.C. as a volunteer, just call the director, Mrs. Venus Womble at 342-7770 between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.
Food Donations for the Reidsville Outreach Center
March 18 - CANNED SOUPS & STEWS
Monthly Food Collection for the Reidsville Outreach Center
Look for the large brown basket at the steps going up to the altar. Let's fill it up to overflowing again this month! Please remember to include your children/grandchildren in offering food for those in need throughout our community.
PARISH LIFE AND NEWS
will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 at the home of Jeanne Horsley. Betty Whitsett is co-host.
The morning chapter of the ECW
The Morning Chapter calendar is as follows:
|March 14||St. Francis,
Bettie Benton Rhodes
|April 11||St. Nicholas,
Fred Warnecke, Priest
|September 12||St. Paul,
|October 10||St. Luke,
|November 14||St. Mary & St.
Teresa of Avila,
Jeanne Horsley & Mavis Simon
Lenten Dinners & Programs
BREAKFAST FOR THE CONGREGATION
On Easter Sunday
April 15, 2001
in the Parish House
THANK YOU NOTES
Thank You Notes
St. Thomas Episcopal Church,
Your thoughtfulness and kindness has made this period of confinement much more pleasant. Thanks to God I am making great progress.
Yours in Christ,Nelson Hodgkins
Dear Members of St. Thomas Church,
Please accept our apologies for the lateness of this letter but we really do appreciate the monetary gifts from your church and also the wonderful cookies that Mrs. Rhodes and your ladies contributed at Christmas. Both of these made the ministry at the jail more enjoyable for all concerned. Again, thanks for all your support.
In His Service,
Douglas E. PowellChaplain, Sheriffs Department
Dear St. Thomas,
Just want to let you know that St. Thomas collected 132 items for the Outreach Center in January! Thanks so much for all of the support.
Thank you for your contribution of $158.10 to Thompson Childrens Home. Your partnership enables us to make a lasting impact on the lives of children from across the state. At Thompson, we strive to serve the needs of children through healing, teaching, worship, and play.
The boys and girls at Thompson Childrens Home have been greatly blessed by the addition of The Reverend Jonathan N. Clodfelter as our full-time Chaplain. Chaplain Jon conducts weekly chapel services for children and staff and holds regular prayer and Christian Education activities for the children.
Some of our boys were recently asked what they have learned in chapel. Following are just a few of their responses:
How to be joyful
Do what Jesus tells you
When people fall down and you help them, you help God
We can always talk to God
It is only with your help that we can continue our important ministry in the lives of these children. Thank you again for your gift and your prayers.
Nancy M. Roberson
Senior Vice President for External Affairs
St. Thomas/First Presbyterian Youth,
Thank you! It was great to receive your goody box. This course Im taking at Georgetown Med. School is tuff so receiving this special gift gave me a nice diversion. Thanks for remembering me.
Zack Hall (Son of Diane & Dwight Hall)
THIS & THAT
Congratulations to Steve and Terry Craddock on the birth of their daughter, Rachel Alexandra Craddock who was born February 18, 2001 at 10:19 a.m. Rachel weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz. and was 19" long with red hair. Proud brother is Adam and proud grandparents are Richard & Joanne Piazza, and May & Billy "Crash" Craddock.
Congratulations to Stephen and Alex Wofford on the birth of their son, Nicholas Blake Wofford, born at 11:13 a.m. on February 1, 2001. Nicholas weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces and was 19½ inches long. Proud grandparents are Susan and John Bullock.
Summer Camp at the Summit
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. See the flyer for information on hiring of camp staff.
You are invited to a baby shower for
Lisa & Craig Bennett
Given by church friends on
Sunday, March 25th
3-5 p.m. (floating)
Call Anne Donecker after March 18 for gift ideas
On Monday, February 19, 2001, the St. Thomas' Vestry members signed the Birmingham Pledge. This resolution, adopted at the 2001 Diocesan Convention, promotes racial equality.