Important Message & Updates from Pastor Salying Re: Coronavirus

UPDATE: MARCH 21, 2020 – PRESENT

Welcome to ZOOM worship at St. Thomas
For Shelter-in-Place Sundays 

*** EVERY SUNDAY***
Please join Pastor Salying at 10:00 AM for open conversation.
Now that most of us know how to use ZOOM, the half hour before service usually
dedicated to trouble-shooting will also be an open time
to connect with one another and with the pastor.
All are welcome. Just sign in as usual.

All others, at 10:20-10:25 AM Sunday, please connect to our worship meeting.
There are two ways to do this.

1. By computer or smartphone (video and audio):
You may access our ZOOM meeting on the following link:
https://zoom.us/j/82690025101

2. By telephone (audio only):
Dial +1 669 900 9128

Meeting ID: 826 9002 5101
When prompted for a participant number, touch the pound key #

Actual connection time may take several minutes; please be patient.

Once you are connected, your face (or phone number) should appear in a square on your screen, as will the faces of others who have signed in, including Pastor Salying.

Note: For the sake of audio clarity, your mic will be muted on entry.

After the prelude, we will have introductory remarks, announcements, and then Morning Prayer together as one large body; we will then break out into small groups for “coffee hour”and sermon discussion.

Service Bulletin for October 4th, 2020

Thank you and see you Sunday!
~Pastor Salying


Find recent video sermons and transcripts below:

Video Sermon: 17th Sunday After Pentecost (Sep 27, 2020)

Video Sermon: 16th Sunday After Pentecost (Sep 20, 2020)
Transcript: 16th Sunday After Pentecost (Sep 20, 2020)

Video Sermon: 15th Sunday After Pentecost (Sep 13, 2020)
Transcript: 15th Sunday After Pentecost (Sep 13, 2020)


By Bishop Lucinda Ashby:
Video Sermon: 7th 
Sunday After Pentecost (July 19, 2020)
Transcript: 7th Sunday After Pentecost (July 19, 2020)

 

UPDATE: MARCH 19, 2020

Dear St. Thomas Parishioners,

While we do our part to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus by social distancing, St. Thomas Church will worship together virtually. I have chosen a platform that serves my priorities for our gathering: (1) that it lets us gather as one large body and in small groups, (2) that it allows us to engage with one another rather than as spectators, (3) that it is as simple as possible, allowing for access over the internet and over traditional phone call. I am pleased that we will be using Zoom conferencing, which allows us to meet as one body and allows us to break into small groups during the same meeting.

Worship for St. Thomas will look like this:

1. We will meet as one body on Zoom at 10:30am on Sundays. After some prelude music by our organist Myrna, I will give some introductory remarks and announcements around 10:40am. We will then have Morning Prayer. Patricia will sing a hymn to close the liturgy. The sermon will be pre-recorded, posted on youtube, and typed out, and sent to you beforehand. You may watch/read the sermon before the liturgy or after. The service bulletin and zoom link will be sent to the parish at the same time as the sermon youtube link.

2. After the liturgy, I will have Zoom randomly place us into small groups of 5 or so. In these “Breakout Rooms”, everyone will check-in by mutual invitation. One person starts by checking in on how he or she is doing and then invites the next person, and so on, till everyone has a chance to check-in. There might be a question I offer for check-in; it would probably be based on the sermon. The small group will end after 30 minutes. I will send a message to all small groups with a 5 minute warning to close.

3. We will reconvene at the same time next week.

At this time, we encourage you to mail in your pledges and offerings to the church. Jim Cobb, our treasurer, is researching online giving options and will inform us how to proceed. We are grateful that you continue to support the church’s operations during this time of crisis.

Let us continue to thank God for our community and encourage one another with support. It can be isolating at this time, so please connect for your own sake and other’s. Let us also pray for those who are sick or in harm’s way or put into economic hardship because of this time. Let us be generous in giving and lending.

Please look for extensive instructions around the virtual worship on Friday or Saturday. I look forward to “seeing” you all on Sunday.

Peace,
Pastor Salying

UPDATE: MARCH 16, 2020

We are adapting to the Shelter in Place Public Health Order issued March 16, 2020 by our county health authorities.

We are suspending public gatherings/services until further notice.

UPDATE: MARCH 14, 2020

Dear St. Thomas,

We will NOT be gathering for services tomorrow Sunday, March 15, 2020. I will take next week to work with a task force as to what’s next for the way we worship. Thank you for your patience as I discern with our leadership how to walk this uncertain time.

As many of you already know, there are live-stream services in various places. They’ve been sent around in previous emails. I will only include the link to the service at the National Cathedral with our Presiding Bishop Curry. (But included in my original email message is our bulletin for this Sunday at St. Thomas. It contains the readings and the announcements.)

I might finish my sermon today, but I might not. My heart is saying to spend time calling as many of you as I can today and leave the task of preaching to the Presiding Bishop. If I do finish my sermon, I will send it out on Sunday morning.

Your servant,
Pastor Salying

UPDATE: MARCH 13, 2020

Today, Friday, March 13, Santa Clara County has instituted a conditional moratorium on gatherings of 35-100, on the condition that our gathering serves an essential societal function. I have spoken with our Executive Committee…and we have agreed that worshiping is essential. Unless we receive a mandatory order to desist from the County, we believe that our worship space is big enough to give us plenty of social distance….Whatever the numbers, it is my intention to be present to pray with our community for our human family…

*Additional instructions & updated precautions have been incorporated below…
__________________________________________

UPDATE: MARCH 12, 2020

The following is a message from Pastor Salying:

Dear St. Thomas Parishioners,

PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER

In this time of heightened anxiety around the novel coronavirus, I encourage you to remain connected with our community and to pray for one another.

PHONE TREE

We each will make our decision as to how to remain connected. Some will choose and have chosen to connect not by physical presence, but by calling one another. We are building a phone tree at the church. This effort is headed by Sue Beckham. Please Contact Sue for information or email (family_ministry@stthomas-svale.us).

PERSONAL PHONE CALL

For me as the pastor, I have found myself making more phone calls at this time; I’ve been calling a wider group of people. This has deepened my love for you. Please let me know if you’d like to have a phone call from me. I’d love to talk with you.

REGULAR SERVICES WILL CONTINUE

Some will choose to remain connected by physical presence on our campus, whether in worship or in programs. I believe it is important if you are not in a vulnerable category to be together in our bodies. There are two available Sunday service times: 8:00 and 10:30 AM that will continue to meet in the main church building.

PASTORAL VISITS

I am still making personal pastoral visits and plan to continue doing this. We will not be canceling worship services.

PRECAUTIONS

We will, however, take precautions, as one always ought to do when considering infectious diseases. Now, even more so.

Shared Communion Temporarily Discontinued*
It is with a heavy heart that I will remove the cup from the congregation. As you may know, the common cup is an important sign of our unity from our ancient Christian tradition. I will consume the wine on our behalf and wait for the day when we will be able to safely offer it back to the greater body.

[su_list] These are precautions we can take in loving care for one another:

  • Avoid leaning your hands on the back of the pews or using them to brace yourself to get up, it will mean less contact with possible contaminated services.
  • Consider wearing gloves to church, like your grandparents.
  • Greet one another with a bow rather than a handshake.
  • Sit dispersed in the church.
  • Coffee hour hosts, please serve foods that are self-contained, like individually wrapped foods.
  • Ushers will lean in to take your offering (and not pass the collection plates).
  • Avoid contact with doorknobs, etc; wash your hands after you touch them.
  • Our hot lunch program, Our Daily Bread, for the meantime will be serving takeout meals.
  • Anyone who feels sick is asked to stay home.

[/su_list]

STREAMING SERVICES*

We are in the process of putting together a live-streaming option by next Sunday.

When that’s ready, a link will be provided. Anyone interested will be able to join in from anywhere with an internet connection. More details to follow.

In the interim, for those unable to participate in-person, you may connect to St. Andrew’s in Saratoga through this link: https://vimeo.com/event/24215.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

For those on the e-mail list, Parish Administrator Anne will send out a pdf of our Sunday bulletins and sermon on the Tuesday after the Sunday service.

If you would like to be included on the e-mail list, please follow the link to Contact Us or call the office at (408) 736-4155.

I appreciated this TED talk https://youtu.be/Fqw-9yMV0sI. It helps us think about how to sensibly apply precautions in a world that has infectious diseases. With human encroachment to the last wild places, we will continue to have more novel infections.

It is important that we do not crouch our hearts inward from fear, but turn our hearts outward justice and care for the poor, as people who occupy places of degradation and poverty have the least protection.

This time of the coronavirus affords us an opportunity to better love–to see clearer and broader to the margins. Let us pray together as to how we can do a good thing for God in this time.

God’s blessing and peace be with you,
Pastor Salying
_______________________________________________

Litany for in the Midst of Pandemics

by the Rev. Salying Wong

Leader: God the Creator,
People: Have mercy on us.

Leader: God the Redeemer,
People: Have mercy on us.

Leader: God the Sanctifier,
People: Have mercy on us.

Leader: God the Holy Trinity, one God,
People: Have mercy on us.

Leader: Draw us near to you, O God,
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: Give us trust in you in the midst of our fragility,
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: Teach us to love when we are afraid,
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: Give us courage when we are uncertain,
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: Turn our hearts to the poor and the suffering, including this good earth.
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: We pray for those who are sick, especially those who have the coronavirus,
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for those are working for a cure,
Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for all care-providers,
Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for the dying and those who have died.
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: We pray for the communities in the greatest danger and for cooperation between nations within the human family.
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make us the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring us courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is our wholeness;
you are our God, and we need you.

~ adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book

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Holy Week & Easter Service Schedule: April 13th – 21st

The week beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating on Easter Sunday holds within it the fullness of our faith community’s traditions and beliefs.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus is ushered into Jerusalem with cries of Hosanna, an acknowledgement that the Messiah has arrived. On Maundy Thursday, a meal is shared and feet are washed in the tradition of the Last Supper and Jesus’ message of servanthood. Good Friday brings us to the crucifixion of Jesus and the glory of God is realized in the Easter Resurrection of Christ.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Please join us in experiencing the deeper meaning of this sacred week at these holy services.

PALM SUNDAY – APRIL 14TH

8:00 AM: Palm Processional & Reading of the Passion Gospel

10:30 AM: Palm Processional & Sung Passion Gospel (The Whispers of the Passion). Also Whole Congregation Formation with engagement event in Cowans Hall after the service.

MAUNDY THURSDAY – APRIL 18TH

7:00 PM Agape Meal and Foot Washing in Cowans Hall
Experience an Agape potluck soup supper. Commemorate Jesus’ act of servanthood towards His disciples by participating in the ancient practice of foot washing. Afterwards join us for Holy Eucharist and the ceremonial Stripping of the Altar in the Church.

GOOD FRIDAY – APRIL 19TH

12:00 – 3:00 PM Trehora Service (Three Hours)
12:00 – 1:00pm Tenebrae
1:00 – 2:00pm Proper Liturgy
2:00 – 3:00pm Service of Lament & Consolation for those killed by violence

7:00 PM Proper Liturgy for Good Friday with Communion from the Reserved Sacrament

HOLY SATURDAY / THE GREAT EASTER VIGIL – APRIL 20TH

6:00 PM Lighting the New Fire, S’mores, and Campfire Songs on the patio, followed by Story-Telling and Holy Eucharist

EASTER SUNDAY – APRIL 21ST

9:00 AM Festive Holy Eucharist & Easter Egg Hunt
A celebratory service in the church sanctuary – Christ is Risen – Hallelujah! After morning worship, get ready for the annual fun-filled Easter Egg Hunt.

Parents – break out your Easter baskets and make sure to bring an empty one for every child participating in the hunt!

Slider image derived from original silver gel print by Andrew Munday 2009.

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Holy Week & Easter Service Schedule: April 9 – 16

The week beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating on Easter Sunday holds within it the fullness of our faith community’s Christian traditions and beliefs.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus is ushered into Jerusalem with cries of Hosanna!, an acknowledgement that the Messiah has arrived. On Maundy Thursday, a meal is shared and feet are washed in the tradition of the Last Supper and Jesus’ message of servanthood. Good Friday brings us to the crucifixion of Jesus and the glory of God is realized in the Easter Resurrection of Christ.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Please join us in experiencing the deeper meaning of this sacred week at these holy services.

PALM SUNDAY – APRIL 9TH

8:00 and 10:30 AM Palm Processional and Holy Eucharist
Gather with us across the street in Washington Park to begin morning worship then a palm processional returning to St. Thomas for the remainder of service observing Holy Eucharist together in the church sanctuary.

MAUNDY THURSDAY – APRIL 13TH

7:00 PM Agape Meal and Foot Washing in Cowans Hall
Experience an Agape Meal and acts of servanthood in participating in the ancient practice of foot washing as Jesus had shown for disciples. Afterwards join us for Holy Eucharist and the ceremonial Stripping the Altar in the Church.

GOOD FRIDAY – APRIL 14TH

12:00 – 3:00 PM Trehora Service
Lay reflections will be shared, veneration of the cross – a practice dating back to 4th century Jerusalem – will be observed. Holy communion from the reserved sacrament will be offered. We will conclude our time together by walking The Way of the Cross symbolically in the foot steps of Jesus using the mystery screens that envelope the church sanctuary.

7:00 PM Proper Liturgy for Good Friday
A beautiful candlelight service that brings us together to remember the passion of Christ.

HOLY SATURDAY – APRIL 15TH

6:00 PM Campfire, S’mores and Song – Let’s get together for ooey-gooey s’mores, the warmth of a crackling campfire and a few songs – experience Holy Week family-style courtesy of Family Ministry!

6:30 PM The Great Easter Vigil
Story-Telling in the sanctuary foreshadows the Resurrection of the Savior yet to come. Join us as we partake in the Holy Eucharist and celebrate a Baptism. All offer a glimpse into the unfolding story of the Christian faith.

EASTER SUNDAY – APRIL 16TH

9:00 AM Festive Holy Eucharist & Easter Egg Hunt
A celebratory service in the church sanctuary – Christ is Risen – Hallelujah! After morning worship, get ready for the annual fun-filled Easter Egg Hunt.

Parents – break out your Easter baskets and make sure to bring an empty one for every child participating in the hunt!

Slider image derived from original silver gel print by Andrew Munday 2009.

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Ash Wednesday Services – Feb 10th

PLEASE JOIN US

As the Epiphany season ends and we bid farewell to the feast of Shrove Tuesday, we approach the Lenten season of fasting, repentance and contemplation, starting with the observance of Ash Wednesday on February 10th.

SERVICE TIMES

Two service times are available at 12:15 PM and 7:00 PM

LOCATION

Saint Thomas Episcopal Church – The Sanctuary, see Directions and Campus Map

There will either be signs or someone to direct you at the entrance to the sanctuary.

WHAT IS ASH WEDNESDAY?

Ash Wednesday is traditionally marked as the first day of Lent, a 40 day liturgical season (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. This is a time many Christians set aside to remember Christ’s life during His 40 days of fasting in the desert. The period from Ash Wednesday to Easter, excluding Sundays, mirrors these forty days that are segmented by six Sundays, considered celebration days where we gather as a faith community to commemorate Christ’s resurrection.

CHRISTIAN RITUAL

According to Wikipedia, the Ash Wednesday ritual is described this way:

“Ashes are ceremonially placed on the heads of Christians on Ash Wednesday, either by being sprinkled over their heads or, more often, by being marked on their foreheads as a visible cross.

The words used traditionally to accompany this gesture are:

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. – (Based on Genesis 3:19)

In the 1969 revision of the Roman Rite, an alternative formula was introduced and given first place:

Repent, and believe in the Gospel. – (Mark 1:15)

These observances are designed to guide us on our spiritual journeys, drawing us closer as a faith community to Jesus Christ, in whom we place our faith.

QUESTIONS?

If you have questions or special needs, please Contact Us.

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