Adult Education: SACRED GROUND Summer Series – Zoom Wed. Evenings @ 7 PM July 29 thru Sep 9

First Offering of a Four – Part Series on Race and Faith

Conversations are going on all over this country right now, and some of that has been reflected in recent sermons here at St. Thomas. Race and racism are always touchy and difficult topics of discussion. With the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, and the prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement, this topic has risen in urgency.

The Episcopal Church has developed a program, Sacred Ground, to help participants to confront and work together through the realities of race, privilege, and unconscious bias and see how they affect our communities and our lives.

The program is presented by way of documentary videos and assigned readings and group dialogues. The entire program is designed for ten sessions. Here at St. Thomas we are going to begin the program this summer with three sessions, spaced two weeks apart.

Here at St. Thomas we are going to begin the program this summer with four sessions, spaced two weeks apart.

Session 1. Wednesday July 29, 7:00 pm via Zoom: STEPPING INTO SACRED GROUND

Session 2. Wednesday August 12, 7:00 pm via Zoom: THE ROOTS OF WHITENESS, AND DEEPER ROOTS

Session 3. Wednesday August 26, 7:00 pm via Zoom: WHOSE LAND? EXPLORING INDIGENOUS HISTORY

Session 4. Wednesday Sept. 9, 7:00 pm via Zoom: WHOSE LAND? EXPLORING INDIGENOUS HISTORY

What to Expect

Each session is divided into two parts. The first segment is presentation / dialogue related to that week’s topic.

The second segment is an opportunity to view together the video(s) for the next session. The sessions will run 2 hours, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

We will provide pre-reading material, by way of access to a Google Shared Drive.

There are two recommended books for the series: “Jesus and the Disinherited” by Howard Thurman, and “Waking Up White” by Debbie Irving. The parish library will have a copy of these books. They are available in paperback and Kindle versions on

For Questions and to Attend

For those interested in Zooming with us for the Adult Education Summer Series SACRED GROUND or that have any initial questions, please alert Lou Poulain (see parish directory) or  Contact Us

We appreciate your giving us a “heads-up”  as it helps us in making session preparations. In turn, we’ll send an email to you how to access the pre-reading material.

Thank You 🙂

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Lunar New “Year of the Pig” Observance – Sunday, Feb. 10th

In 2019, the Lunar New Year occurs on February 5th; however, we’re extending the festivities by observing this special day on Sunday, February 10th.


Traditional customs focus on special preparations like a thorough cleaning of the house and settling one’s debts. Each family’s entire household will in turn gather for dinner to observe the closing of the old year.

The new year begins with small visitations to exchange greetings and small gifts between friends and colleagues to renew relationships over the many days this holiday is celebrated. Finally, the full family gathers together again for dinner to welcome in “The New Lunar Year”.


Traditionally, this will be called the Chinese New “Year of the Pig”. However, we realize that other cultures in addition to the Chinese follow the Lunar Calendar.

We’ll be opening our display and goodies tables up to include other cultural traditions, so that we can grow in our understanding of how Lunar New Year is observed.

Anyone interested in sharing, please contact with Pat D. to arrange for space on the display. We welcome your participation as it allows us to honor each other and our various cultures through these wonderful exchanges.


Join us in Cowans Hall following morning services for special Chinese treats and refreshments during coffee hour.

Enjoy sampling as you explore captivating displays showcasing the “Year of the Pig” Chinese Lunar New Year and a other cultural traditions honoring the lunar New Year. Get ready to expand your knowledge and have some fun doing it!

Gung Hay Fat Choy and See You Sunday!
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Welcome Dr. Rebecca Lyman on “Back to Parish” Sunday – Sept. 10th

What better way to observe “Back to Parish” Sunday than to honor Dr. Rebecca Lyman as she begins her ministry as Adjunct Priest to Saint Thomas preaching at the morning services this day.

Two service times will be offered: 8:00 and 10:30 am. Sunday School will not be meeting this Sunday. Instead, children will join their families in communal worship at the 10:30 am service time and participate in a special song presentation to highlight the day.


Please join us in offering Rev. Rebecca a heartfelt welcome! Parish Event Planners (PEP) will be celebrating her arrival with a luncheon at noon following mid morning service – see details below.


Sunday School will meet again on Sunday, Sept. 17th to kick off the 2017-2018 school year. Now is the time to register!

Parents: There will be a registration table available before 10:30 am service to sign up for the new school year. Please arrive early to allow time to complete registration. Sunday School is open to children (ages 4-12) with nursery care available for infants and toddlers (0 to 4 years). If you have any questions, Contact Sue Beckham


We will be having a luncheon to come together in fellowship and welcome Rev. Rebecca personally to the parish. On the menu for lunch, PEP will prepare a “do it yourself” sandwich buffet bar.


To complement luncheon offerings, please bring a side dish such as a salad, other garnishes or snacks to share. Drinks will be provided.

A special cake will be served in honor of Rev. Rebecca with a short program to follow.


We will look at some of the “Dreams for St. Thomas” that parishioners have submitted so far and see what steps we might take to make them realities.


If you haven’t submitted your “Dreams for St. Thomas” yet, please do so as soon as you can. Having more dreams will allow the Vestry to see in which direction they should try to channel their efforts.


Our new adjunct priest, the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Lyman grew up in Michigan. She is the Samuel Garrett Professor of Church History emerita at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley. Educated at Western Michigan University in Religion and History, The Catholic University of America in Medieval and Byzantine Studies and Oxford University in Theology, she taught history at The Church Divinity School of the Pacific and the Graduate Theological Union for many years.

She has published numerous articles and two books on ancient Christian history and theology, including Early Christian Traditions for the New Episcopal Church Teaching Series. She has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and is associated with the Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology Group at the University of California in Berkeley. At the moment she is working on a new interpretation of the history of the “Arian” heresy.

She is an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of California and associated with St. Mark’s, Palo Alto. She is married to Andrew Bridges, a lawyer, and has two adult children. Her interests include the history and spirituality of landscape, as well as tennis, skiing, and walking.

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St. Nicholas Feast – Saturday, Dec 3rd

We are ringing in the Christmas Season with our annual St. Nicholas Feast celebration!


Saturday, December 3rd – starting at 5:30 PM in Cowans Hall, see Directions and Campus Map.


$5 per person, and free for children that are nine (9) years of age or under. Tickets will be sold in advance to allow for ample planning time and are available for sale after each Sunday’s service or directly from from the office.

A holiday style dinner will be prepared with all the trimmings. Consider spreading some goodwill and cheer by bringing a special appetizer or dessert to share! Appetizer and dessert tables will be open for your offerings.

We will throw in some fun and festive entertainment with skits from Anglican Radio Theatre and a special visit from our patron St. Nicholas.


In honor of the philanthropy of St. Nicholas, we’ll be taking up a collection of toys and/or cash to share the joys of Christmas with those less fortunate. Donated toys will be given to inner city youth served by Santa Maria Urban Ministry (SMUM) and any monetary donations will be offered in support its continuing work in these areas.

Special Instructions: please leave toys unwrapped so they can be given to an appropriate recipient. If you’re writing a check for a cash donation, make it out to St. Thomas Episcopal Church with the notation “To SMUM” on the memo line.

Come join us and bring your friends, too – for a fun-filled evening with a heart for giving!

Photo of “Sinterklaas arriving in the Dutch town of Schiedam in 2009” by russavia CC BY-SA 2.0
Image was remixed using two copies of photo remixed to provide final image.

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A Visit from Bishop Mary – Nov. 13th

The Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves will be visiting St. Thomas on November 13th to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our worship space during the 10:30 AM worship service.

Come a few minutes early, as we’ll be meeting in the courtyard first and then circumambulate – walk around the outside of the church in celebration. Together, we’ll take our first steps towards the next 50 years! There will be a cake reception following the service.

In lieu of our regular 8:00 AM worship service, Morning Prayer will be offered on this day.


Please join us in Cowans Hall for refreshments including a celebratory cake and punch following mid-morning service.


Not sure where to go, see Direction & Campus Map

Come celebrate with us and offer a warm welcome to Bishop Mary!

Slide show image features photo of The Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves by George Conger, Executive Editor of Anglican Ink – thanks George!

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