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THE EPISTLE:

August 31, 2023

THIS WEEK

STILL TIME TO ORDER! BBQ Bandits are cooking for St. Jude's, and they just added WHOLE CHICKENS to the Labor Day Menu!


The St. Thomas BBQ Bandits are once again having the St Jude BBQ Fundraiser on the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, September 2nd & 3rd. Proceeds will go to the St Jude's Affiliate here in Huntsville. BBQ Offerings, WHICH NOW INCLUDE WHOLE SMOKED CHICKENS, can be found and ordered from our on-line store: https://st-thomas-bbq-bandits.square.site/


And if you are headed out of town for the holiday weekend do not let that stop you from participating. Just contact Charlie Erwin at 256-468-4221 to arrange a Friday pick up for your outing or if you have any questions about this event.


Thanks in advance for your support of this wonderful organization!

Farmers Market

The Final Bailey Cove Farmers Market of the season is THIS SATURDAY!


The Bailey Cove Farmers Market at St. Thomas will be wrapping up another successful season THIS SATURDAY, September 2nd, from 8am to 12pm.


THANK YOU to the dedicated St. Thomas Farmer's Market committee, Kim Cantrell, David Hattaway, Tracy Ganem, Ted Evans, and Arthur Thompson, and to EVERYONE who volunteered, helped with set up and take down, answered questions, and assisted our farmers this summer! YOU are how and why the Bailey Cove Farmers Market has become so meaningful and successful in our community and in our church! THANK YOU FOR ANOTHER GREAT SEASON!


AND WHY NOT CAST YOUR VOTE FOR OUR BAILEY COVE FARMER'S MARKET AT ST. THOMAS to be the "Favorite Farmer's Market" in Alabama and in America! All you need to do is click here markets.farmland.org and vote NOW!



Thanks again and hope to see you at the Farmers Market THIS SATURDAY at St. Thomas!

Youth Confirmation class begins this Sunday!


If you have a youth in 8th - 12th grade ready for confirmation, we would love to have them participate in Confirmation Classes on Sunday mornings, beginning THIS SUNDAY, September 3rd with our Associate Priest, Ranie Neislar and Deacon Jeannie Randall. We will explore the essentials of our faith in preparation for the Bishop’s visit to St. Thomas on Sunday, October 22nd this year. Get signed up NOW by emailing Ranie at associate@stthomashuntsville.org.

Lobsterfest 5K: COME CHECK OUT THE NEW SWEATSHIRTS THIS SUNDAY!


It's the 30th anniversary of Lobsterfest at St. Thomas, and we want YOU to join us for the SHELL-ABRATION! Early bird (and best price) registration for the Lobsterfest 5k is now open. We have a NEW time and NEW swag this year...but we will still donate ALL proceeds to local and international outreach. Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 4 at 3:00 p.m. The race is family-friendly, with runners and walkers of all levels welcome. And with your race entry, you'll receive a cool sweatshirt to keep you warm all winter long.  To sign-up NOW click HERE!


AND THIS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3RD... Lloyd and Jenna will be available between the services with Lobsterfest 5K sample sweatshirts for anyone who can't decide what size to order with their race registration! If you can't make the run/walk in person, you may order a sweatshirt for a minimum donation of $30 to the Lobsterfest 5k through mid-October. See Jenna or Lloyd for this option.


Also, you (or your business) can really help by becoming a Lobster Friend or LobSTAR race sponsor! As a sponsor, you not only directly support our St. Thomas Lobsterfest outreach ministries...your name will also be featured on the sweatshirt! If you'd like more information on how to become a Lobsterfest 5K sponsor, click HERE!


Let's have a great showing of parishioners at this wonderful community event; sign up TODAY to walk, run or sponsor the Lobsterfest 5K! 


Want to be part of a Foyer Group at St. Thomas?


Interested in getting to know your fellow parishioners better? Then sign up to join a Foyer Group! These groups meet on a regular basis in the homes of Foyer Group members for potluck meals and fellowship. Sign up this Sunday on the list posted in the breezeway or simply get online and sign up  here.


Questions? Email Julie Williams at juliewilliams1968@gmail.com

DINNER THIS SUNDAY following 5pm "Laid Back" Sunday Eucharist


St. Thomas' "Laid Back" 5pm Sunday worship service is here to stay, but we have made a change to our Sunday evening dinner offering. Dinner will now be offered only on the FIRST SUNDAY of each month, which includes THIS SUNDAY, September 3rd! We will also have dinner on October 1st, November 5th, and December 3rd. Our special "Come As You Are" Holy Eucharist will continue every Sunday, with simple hymns from the Alleluia III hymnal, good sermons preached from the floor, and Holy Communion. Come as you are and invite a friend to join you for the 5pm Evening Holy Eucharist EVERY SUNDAY at St. Thomas.

New Mom's Group at St. Thomas kicks off next Thursday, September 7th


St. Thomas’ brand new Mom's group, for mothers with children age 0 - 18, is about kick off a wonderful new ministry with its first meeting next Thursday, September 7th.


The monthly Mom's Group will be a time to come together as mothers with young children and support one another, to share in the love and laughter, and to help each other through the challenges and struggles that parenthood brings. Being a mom is not always easy, so one night a month we hope to come together to ask the good Lord for patience and strength and to lean on one another in this shared experience. We hope you’ll join us from 6:30 - 8:30 pm in the Parish Hall beginning next Thursday, September 7th. Feel free to bring a friend! If you have questions, you can contact Audrey Cain at audreysherkin@gmail.com.

Welcome Carey McIntyre! St. Thomas' new Communications Coordinator! 


St. Thomas is excited to add to our church staff long-time St. Thomas member Mrs. Carey McIntyre to help us improve our online Communications to the church and to the greater community. Last month, Carey took on the position of part-time Communications Coordinator, and she will be working each week with Fr. Donavan and the office staff to improve our website communications, our social media accounts, and the weekly Epistle newsletter. You can email Carey at communications@stthomashuntsville.org with any St. Thomas Church events, information, or photos from St. Thomas Church activities! We are excited to welcome Carey to our St. Thomas staff!

Meet Clawdius! Lobsterfest at the Huntsville Botanical Garden


Clawdius is the brand new face of St. Thomas Lobsterfest at the Huntsville Botanical Garden's Scarecrow Trail!  We hope you, your family, and friends will visit him from September 2 through October 31.  A special thank you to the team who created him- Ruth Erwin, Gayle Dodson, Genie McCoy, not pictured: Bill McCoy, Kathie Clayton.  Look for his behind-the-scenes story and more on the Lobsterfest Facebook page HERE and on the St. Thomas Lobsterfest Instagram page.  

UPCOMING

Are you NEW to St. Thomas? Come learn all about our church and our history in our new monthly Newcomers Class!


Newcomers: We are really excited to have you here at St. Thomas. We have two one-time classes especially for you.  Newcomers 1 will be held at 9:30 a.m. on September 10 in the Crossroads Room. This will cover The Episcopal Church from Jesus death to today.

Newcomers 2 will be held on October 15. We will tell you the story of St. Thomas and show you where things are here. Just follow the blue signs each morning. Call Elouisa Stokes for more information at 256-604-8669.

HEY ST. THOMAS YOUTH! Ready for a another CHESS TOURNAMENT??


UPCOMING YOUTH EVENT FOR SEPTEMBER


On Sept 10th, come to the Parish Hall immediately following the 10:30 Eucharist for another YOUTH CHESS TOURNAMENT, for Grades 6 - 12. All levels of players, from beginners to advanced, are welcome, and a lunch will be provided!

St. Thomas Book Club meets September 11th 


St. Thomas Book Club is trying some old classics for the next two months. For September 11, our book is Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggins and on October 9, we will be discussing Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington. We meet in the Parlor at 10 a.m. and would love to have you join us. Call Elouisa Stokes at 256-604-8669 for more information.


Young Adult Pub Theology 


Calling all young adults out in the working world! Young Adult Pub Theology will meet September 11 at Melt in downtown Huntsville from 6-7:30PM. If you have any questions please email Ranie at associate@stthomashuntsville.org

Choral Evensong set for the Eve of the Feast of the Holy Cross 


The St. Thomas Choir, with Fr. Donavan officiating and preaching, will present a special service of Choral Evensong on Wednesday, September 13, at 6pm to commemorate the Eve of the Feast of the Holy Cross. More information about this special service is coming soon!

Spaghetti Supper for Gen X, Millenials, & Gen Z on Sept. 17th! 


We want to get to know you more, provide an opportunity for fellowship, and fill you in on the ways St. Thomas is evolving to better engage younger generations. Please plan on letting us provide supper for you on Sunday evening, September 17th, at 6PM in the Parish Hall. Nursery will be provided.

SIGN UP FOR ADULT CONFIRMATION/

REAFFIRMATION CLASS NOW!

Sunday Lunch Class begins September 17th!


Adults interested in Confirmation or Reception into the Episcopal Church, and those wanting to Reaffirm their faith with Bishop Glenda Curry on October 22, can SIGN UP IN INFORMATION HALL THIS SUNDAY! Fr. Donavan will begin offering an Adult Confirmation class and luncheon on Sundays, starting Sunday, September 17th. If you have questions about confirmation, reception, or reaffirmation as an adult, email Fr. Donavan at dcain@stthomashuntsville.org.

ONGOING

Children and Youth Christian Formation CONTINUES THIS SUNDAY!


St. Thomas' Children and Youth Christian Formation classes are now underway every Sunday! We're now offering five different Sunday school classes for our children and youth!



Pre-K - 1st grade: Godly Play- Renee' Redfield - Hiers 4

2nd grade-3rd grade: Love First- Laura Beth Bestor - Hiers 2 (new room)

4th grade-5th grade: Bible Stories & Art- Kathie Clayton & Lila Powell - Hiers 6

6th grade-7th grade: My Faith, My Life- Sonya Carrier & Jane Allgood - Hiers 5

8th grade- 12th grade: Science & Religion with the Rev. Jeannie Randall; Confirmation Classes starting Sept. 3 with the Rev. Ranie Neislar - Youth Room


Contact our Children's Ministry Coordinator, Laura Beth Bestor, at children@stthomashuntsville.org or our Youth Ministries Coordinator, The Rev. Jeannie Randall at jrann228@gmail.com if you have questions or would like to help out with this important aspect of our ministries.

Adult Christian Formation Classes EVERY SUNDAY!


Adult Christian Formation classes are also available every Sunday morning at St. Thomas.


Fr. Donavan's Adult Christian Formation offering for the rest of this month and the first two Sunday's in September will be a "Rector's Forum," at 9:30am in the Parish Hall. Each Week, Donavan will teach the ancient way of "Praying the Scriptures" known as "Lectio Divina." Using a visual or aural piece that he feels bring the Bible verses and message together, he will share each week something that speaks to him directly from the Sunday morning scripture. And after his short presentation, he will invite you to share your thoughts or ask questions that can either go with Sunday's scripture or something completely different to add to the discussion.

And in the Conference Room beginning this Sunday, August 20th, Mtr. Ranie will begin a new Sunday morning book study for Adults, starting at 9:30am. The Adult Formation Book Study will pick back up the book Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans. Evans knows firsthand how a relationship with the Bible can be as real and as complicated as a relationship with a family member or close friend. In Inspired, Evans explores contradictions and questions from her own experiences with the Bible, including:

  • If the Bible was supposed to explain the mysteries of life, why does it leave the reader with so many questions?
  • What does it mean to be chosen by God?
  • To what degree did the Holy Spirit guide the preservation of these narratives, and is there something sacred to be uncovered beneath all these human fingerprints?
  • If the Bible has given voice to the oppressed, why is it also used as justification by their oppressors?

If you are interested in joining us we will be ordering books this coming week to purchase through the church for $10. Please email Ranie at associate@stthomashuntsville.org. 

TUESDAY NIGHTS AT ST. THOMAS! 


Join us Tuesday nights in Conference Room 2 from 6-7:30PM, as we dive into Paul’s Letter to the Romans!


Many of our Christian beliefs are deeply formed by this sacred text from the New Testament. Bring a Bible, something to eat and drink, and come prepared to enjoy fellowship and learn "What Saint Paul is saying to the Romans" and what it means for modern-day disciples! Mtr. Ranie will be leading the class. If you have any questions please email her at associate@stthomashuntsville.org

St. Thomas Music Programs and rehearsals are back!


Rehearsals for Adult Choir, Bell Choir and Treble Choirs have resumed! New members are always welcome.

Come sing and ring with us! Find rehearsal dates and times here:


  • Treble Choir Minors (Grade Pre-K — 2) will rehearse Sunday afternoons 3:30-4:15 Starting August 20.
  • Treble Choir Majors (Grade 2 – 8) will rehearse Wednesday afternoons 4:30 – 5:30
  • Bell Choir will rehearse Wednesday evenings 6:00 – 6:45
  • Adult Choir will rehearse Wednesday evenings 7:00 – 8:45
  • Joyful Noise rehearses as needed, usually on Saturday morning the day before a JN service.


Contact Kathy Heim music@stthomashuntsville.org for information about Treble & Adult Choirs.

Contact Donna Clark clarkdf@aol.com for information about Bell Choir.

Contact John Hanson johnspacecadet31@gmail.com for information about Joyful Noise.


Habitat for Humanity Work Opportunities


We are making great strides with our Andros Drive home. We will install trim, shelves, and baseboards on Saturday. Please come help Vicki Wade get her house ready. We begin at 8 and lunch will be served about 11. Call Elouisa Stokes at 256-604-8669.

St. Thomas now has a VENMO account for easier online giving!


Forget your checkbook or cash and want to contribute to St. Thomas? Consider using our brand new VENMO account! If you have a VENMO account, you can now look for our new VENMO QR code (included here!) in the church and parish hall, or simply search on your VENMO app for @StThomasHsv. And please help the Finance Office by being sure to note where your contribution should go in the "What's it for?" line (e.g., breakfast, supper, donation, pledge, baseball game, Clergy Discretionary account, etc.).


And THANK YOU to Gail Perna and members of our Finance Committee for doing the hard work to bring the ease of VENMO to St. Thomas!

AT A GLANCE: August 25 - August 30

St. Thomas Girls go see Barbie & Guys enjoy an evening of Fishing!

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Phone: 256.880.0247

Email: StThomas@stthomashuntsville.org

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