St. Thomas Updates

February 15, 2024

This Week...

New Parish Administrator Hired

Storybox: Godly Play

Shrove Tuesday Photos

An Invitation to a Holy Lent

8:00 a.m. Eucharistic Prayer

Vision Committee Update

Lent Madness

April Confirmations

Judi Fuller Celebration

Rector's Discussion Group

Spanish Classes Resume

Bishop's Letter - Paradise Point

Prayer List

Parish Administrator Update

We are pleased to announce that St. Thomas has hired Stefanie Nelson as our new Parish Administrator. Stefanie begins on Sunday, March 3rd. Her hours and responsibilities will be the same as Judi’s: Monday-Thursday 8:00-4:00 and Sunday mornings 7:00-12:30.

Stefanie is a devoted Wood River local with a knack for both numbers and community service. With a background spanning accounting, management, and advocacy, she navigates family life with grace and enjoys spending quality time outdoors with her husband, two teenagers, and their precious pup. She very much looks forward to serving the St. Thomas community.

Join Liz and Helen for a quick and wonderful explanation of Godly Play at St. Thomas!

Shrove Tuesday Photos

Liz Hickey

An Invitation to a Holy Lent

I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial, and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. (BCP p. 265)

We began the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday this week, lifting our foreheads to be marked with the sign of the cross in a smudge of black ash and hearing, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” A somber but not frightening moment, for even as we are reminded that we’re made of earthly dust, we also affirm that we are filled and enlivened by the sacred breath of God. What will this season of reflection, reconciliation and service to others hold for you? Where might God’s Spirit lead you – or, as we’ll hear in the gospel this Sunday, drive you?

Join us for weekly worship and find out. Consider a break in your week on Tuesdays at noon for a contemplative experience of Holy Eucharist. And join us as often as you can on Sundays and during Holy Week. The schedule is below. 

May this season bear the fruits of peace and joy in your hearts as we journey with Jesus towards the Cross and resurrection. Amen.


8:00 a.m. Eucharistic Prayer

Dear Friends,

As of this Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent, we will be using Eucharistic Prayer A from Rite II. This change from Rite I incorporates contemporary language that is more accessible to a broader number of people. This will continue to be a said service as is our long-standing tradition.

Lent Madness comes to Adult Ed at St. Thomas!

This week’s match-up is between Polycarp, a bishop in the first century believed to have been taught by St. John the Apostle, and Cyprian of Carthage, a bishop in the 3rd Century. Both were martyred for their faith.  How do their lives – so very different from ours – relate to our own walks of faith? Questions to ponder:  Have you ever struggled with the concept of forgiveness for yourself? Ever made a decision that was misunderstood and criticized? Which of these two saints of the Early Church inspires you more? Come for a lively conversation after coffee hour.


You can also play the full brackets online at

above: Polycarp

below: Cyprian of Carthage

Vision Committee Update

At the Vestry retreat last weekend, we had the opportunity to discuss the Vision Committee and the process which the committee will take this year as we move forward with the consideration our dreams for St. Thomas.  Recently the Dream Committee reformed and became the Vision Committee.

The Vestry and the Visioning Committee will use the following Strategic Filter, previously adopted by the Vestry, as they consider the various ideas and projects from the dreaming sessions.

1.  Does what is being proposed align with our 5 Core values?

2.  Is it redundant? If so, is partnership possible?

3.    Is it sustainable:

a.  Financial

b.  Volunteer

c.  Audience

d.  Shared engagement

e.  Physical Plant

4.    Is it consistent with our understanding of Jesus Christ? Who is Jesus?

5.    Can it be implemented?

6.    Does it engender enthusiasm?

7.    Is it a priority within our annual goals?

Listed below are the members of the Vision Committee and the Task Forces to which each member is assigned.


Rebecca Waycott, Chair

Jonah Kendall, Rector

Paul Ahern, Senior Warden

Sylvia Miller, Junior Warden

Dell-Ann Benson

Roger Gould

David Lister

Chris Neilson

Susie Orb

Margot Shuford


Synthesis & Analysis of Ministry Visions:

Kathleen Bean

Jonah Kendall

David Lister

Margot Shuford

Rebecca Waycott

Day Care Feasibility Study

Kathleen Bean

Dell-Ann Benson

Roger Gould

Jonah Kendall

Margot Shuford

Architect Search Team

Paul Ahern 

Roger Gould

David Lister

Chris Neilson

Susie Orb

Arthur Scully

The Vision Committee will keep the parish informed of their research and activity on a quarterly basis or as needed.

Please check the St. Thomas Website for more information on the Vision Committee, including the findings of all the various listening sessions.

Adult Confirmations in April

On Sunday, April 14th Bishop Jos Tharakan will visit St. Thomas to preach and lead us in worship. As always, the Bishop’s visit is an opportunity for confirmations and formal reception into The Episcopal Church from another denomination. If you are interested, please contact Jonah or Kathleen by March 3rd. We will offer an adult confirmation class during Lent for all those interested.

Retirement Reception for Judi Fuller

As you may know, our longtime Parish Administrator Judi Fuller will be retiring on Thursday, February 29th. Please join us for a special celebration on Sunday, February 25th to honor Judi and the countless ways she has enriched our life at St. Thomas. The party will take place in the Parish Hall following the 9:30 a.m. service.

Rector's Discussion Group

The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew – Three Women Search for Understanding

By Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner

Written in the wake of September 11th, The Faith Club, recounts the story of three women, of each of different faiths, coming together to discuss their concerns, stereotypes and misunderstandings, as well as to discover and celebrate what united them.

While somewhat outdated, this memoir of spiritual reflections in three voices, The Faith Club has renewed relevance at a time when the world is once again facing conflicts that illicit questions about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and their relationship to one another.

This winter please join the Rector’s Discussion Group for a study of this book.  Gatherings occur via zoom at 12pm on Wednesdays.  Please contact Judi Fuller in the office if you need assistance obtaining the book.  The schedule is as follows:

February 21st, Session 1

Read Chapters 1 -4

February 28th, Session 2

Read Chapters 5-8

March 6th, Session 3

Read Chapters 9-12

March 13th, Session 4

Read Chapters 13-16

March 20th, Session 5

Read Chapters 17-19

Come play, learn, practice, converse, and improve your Spanish conversational skills! This is a beginner class, but as always, all are welcome to come join the fun and conversational class. 


Tuesdays thru Feb 27

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall

Email Sarita Pettit with questions at

Staff Vacations

Sara Gorby

February 16-24

Presidents' Day

February 19 - Office Closed

Kathleen Bean

February 20 & 22

Brett Moellenberg

February 22-25

Prayer List

Amanda, Loring, Tara, Bob, Tyler, Patrick, Laurie, Terry, Lisa, Evelyn, Mike, Tayt, Midge, Cindy, Anita, Judy, Sam, Luella, Kris, Lois, Molly, Blake, Myrna, Mary, Sally, Reuben, Brendan, Rachel, Jane, Alexandra, Aimee, Amy, Gunner, Anne, Jane, Anne, Barbara, Alyson, Marilyn, Marsha, Susan, Sarah, Lynda, River Thomas, Jim, Jasmine, Hollie, Calder, Hewitt, Margaret, Philip, Mike, Brian, Laine, Barry, Lindy, John, Genevieve Mae, Arthur, the Price family, Page, Bill, Jane, Alexis, Kathryn, Dydy, Michael, Andrew, Jennifer, Fiona, Wyatt, Karen, Ciara, and Horace.