Mission: St. Thomas' Episcopal Church is a welcoming spiritual community dedicated to following the teachings of Christ Jesus. We grow through learning, celebrate joyful worship, and serve our neighbors.

Vision: We open hearts and minds to create community in Christ.
Parish Weekly - December 11, 2016

A note from the Interim Rector

“Comfort, comfort ye my people, speak ye peace, thus saith our God; comfort those who sit in darkness mourning ‘neath their sorrow’s load.  Speak ye to Jerusalem of the peace that waits for them; tell her that her sins I cover, and her warfare now is over.”

In this season of Advent, this hymn (number 67) has come to mind. It speaks of God’s promises to make straight the crooked, making rough places plain, hearts humble—all divine awe-inspiring hope! I read recently,”Hope isn’t a human accomplishment but a gift of Divine grace.  That divine gift of grace gets into the human spirit and draws us beyond the darkness of today and toward the light of a new tomorrow.” Hope comes from being vulnerable to the Holy Love that heals us, restores us, forgives us and gives us courage to begin again! 

This Advent hymn is a reminder of Hope that gives us comfort and stirs us up to participate in God’s movement in the world, for a better world. 

May the hope of Christ reside in your hearts.  Amma Leslie+

Attitude of Gratitude

Let us give thanks for the many ways God calls us together. I give thanks for the upcoming Advent Dinner that is a festive time to enjoy one another. I am grateful for Richard and Caroline Yates and their leadership and the host of beloved folks that serve with them to make it a lovely gathering. Let us give thanks to God for being together and the ways we come to know Christ through one another. 
In Gratitude,  Amma Leslie+

 Prayer for Daily Life

Season of Advent – Week 3
God  of hope and healing, you bring good news to all people, chasing away sadness and giving comfort and peace. Come Lord Jesus, like streams in a desert. Bless this meal and make us mindful of your faithfulness.

Table Talk: Tell about a time when you were given good news.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers by Julie B. Sevig

Worship Ministries

Decking the Halls
Every Christmas the church is filled with fragrant greens and beautiful poinsettias thanks to the generous donations of parishioners and friends. Add your contribution online by clicking here, or using the sign-up sheet on the lower hall kiosk. Donations in all amounts are welcome. Dedications and thanksgivings will be printed in the Christmas Eve service bulletins. The deadline for dedications is December 19. Questions?  Contact Paula Valeri at or by calling 748-7048.

Fellowship Ministries News

This Saturday: Food, Fun & Fellowship
The lower hall may not yet be completely finished, but it is finished enough to begin again the monthly Food, Fun, and Fellowship Ministry. We usually meet the second Saturday of the month. On December 10, we will be celebrating the new lower hall, kitchen, the new stove, and to celebrate that the missing pancake griddle was found!. We will also be serving breakfast to the Advent Dinner set-up committee so they can enjoy breakfast before the work begins.
If you have never joined us for food, fun, and fellowship, it begins at 8:30 a.m. as we prepare breakfast.  Bring yourself, bring a friend, or invite someone new. Don’t worry about bringing a dish to share—you are invited to bring a dish during your next visit.  You also can be added to the monthly invitation e-mail if you wish.
If you will be coming, or need further information, please email Mike Cougler at or Andrea Stridiron at
Save the date!
Sunday, December 18th after our annual Christmas Pageant, we will have a festive coffee hour. We ask that everyone bring a few of their favorite Christmas cookies, and we will all share in the delicious sweets. Your clergy will provide sandwiches, and activities for the children and youth. This is a time for all ages at St. Thomas’ to gather together in joyful fellowship. Join us!

Children's Ministries News

Children of all ages are welcome to be a part of this year's Christmas Pageant. We invite children to please come to Children’s Chapel this Sunday, 12/11 to rehearse, and the Pageant will be on 12/18 during the 10 a.m. service. Please contact Mother Christa with questions.

Youth Ministries News

Bell Choir rehearsal this Sunday after church!
Coffee with Christa is next Thursday, 12/15 at 3 p.m. at Panera! See you there!

Outreach Ministries News

Blessings Abound at Advent Outreach Night
Many, many, many thanks to all who donated food and toys and funds and to all those who wrapped the 167 presents and filled the 99 Christmas Dinner food bags at last Sunday’s Advent Outreach Night! It takes a big team of people, and we had so many hard-working parishioners of all ages who pitched in. Thanks, also, to all those who shopped for groceries, figured out the new stove/oven, cooked and served spaghetti, set up and put away tables and chairs, washed dishes and cleaned up, took photos, tagged gifts, organized the full bags of food and wrapped presents, loaded cars and delivered it all! Hallelujah!
Young feet in need of socks!
While you are shopping to fill up Christmas stockings, why not pick up a pair or two of socks for the girls and boys at School #9?  School staff has let us know that there is an urgent need for socks of all sizes for students (boys and girls).  NEW socks only, please. Collection box is located beneath the coat rack next to the church office.  Paula Valeri is happy to answer questions or use your monetary donation to purchase socks.  (  585-748-7048)

Winter Clothing Drive
Students of Bishop Kearney High School in Irondequoit, in partnership with St. Thomas’ and the Open Door Mission, are sponsoring a winter clothing drive for the poor and homeless of Rochester. If you have any gently used winter clothes, jackets, gloves, scarves, or other attire that you no longer have a use for, we invite you to donate it to the cause! People are welcome to drop off items to the church office on Tuesdays and Fridays, Noon to 2:00. The clothing drive lasts through December 20. Your generosity is appreciated!

Stewardship Commission News

Important: Time and Talent Survey
As part of the Stewardship Campaign conducted each fall to encourage financial pledges, it is equally important to make all parishioners aware of their many wonderful opportunities to share their gifts of Time and Talent. By supporting lay service in the functioning of our worship, fellowship and outreach activities, we engage ourselves in God’s mission for us. We assist parish members in selecting activity choices through an annual Time and Talent Survey. This year, the survey can be accessed through St. Thomas’ Connect by clicking here
This online survey was sent out some weeks ago. If you have already completed it, you need not do so again. 

If there are questions about any of the options listed in the survey, or if help is needed in making a decision, additional information about all the options and the name of the Leader Contact is  available by clicking here.

The Time and Talent Committee respectfully requests that all members of the parish return their surveys as early as possible. Paper copies of the Time and Talent Survey are also available by contacting the Church Office at 585-442-3544.
Even if you are unable to participate in any activities at this time, please sign and return your form any way.
Pledge Cards
As we move through the blessed Advent Season, the business of the parish continues. Our 2017 operating budget is in the preparation stage, and we need to be able to accurately forecast our pledge income. For this reason, we encourage and will appreciate all parish members who have not yet pledged to prayerfully determine their proper response to what the Lord asks of us and to return their pledge cards  just as soon as possible. If you would like to pledge online - it's easy - just click here and follow the instructions. Further, we invite all community members to visit Saint Thomas Connect (STC) to commit time and talent to one or more of our wonderful ministries. Descriptions of those ministry opportunities are also available in print through the church office.
2017 Envelopes
In order to be better stewards of your pledges, this year we are using non-numbered envelope boxes of which we have an abundance. If you have requested offering envelopes, the boxes can be picked up outside the chapel (under the portrait of Bishop Spears).  As before, your box will have your name and your envelope number on it. However, the individual envelopes will not be numbered. We ask that you write either your name or your number on each individual envelope that you use – especially if you pay in cash. This way we can properly post your pledge payment.
If you have not already ordered envelopes but want some, you may click here to order online or contact the parish office at

Stewardship Statistics


Weekly Financial Report 12/4/16

Budget Pledges Year to date: $358,080
                                 Actual Pledge Payments Year to date: $337,346

Thank you for your support!

Parish Calendar
Weekly Prayer List
Prayer Requests
Sermons Online
Altar Flowers
Advent 3 - Gaudete Sunday

Get Ready for Sunday

Read the Revised Common Lectionary for the Third Sunday of Advent: click here.

Handy online forms:

Calendar Highlights

December 10

Food, Fun & Fellowship
8:30 a.m.
(Lower Hall)

Holy Eucharist
5:00 p.m.

Advent Dinner
6:00 p.m.
(Great Hall
& Lower Hall)

December 11

Holy Eucharist
8:00 a.m.

Sunday Morning Book Study
9:00 a.m

Holy Eucharist 
10:00 a.m.

Children's Chapel 10:00 a.m.

Coffee Hour after 10:00 a.m. service
(Lower Hall)

Bell Choir Rehearsal
11:30 a.m.

December 12

Staff Meeting
9:30 a.m.

Fiber Arts Ministry 7:00 p.m.

December 13

Tuesday Book Study 9:00 a.m.

Property Commission
7:30 p.m.
(Conference Room)

Wednesday, December 14

Holy Eucharist
12:00 noon

Brown Bag Bible Study 12:45 p.m.
(Conference Room)

Vestry 6:30 p.m.
(Conference Room)

Adult Choir
7:00 p.m.
(Choir Room)

December 15

Coffee with Christa 3:00 p.m.
(Panera Bread)

December 17

Everybody Welcome Committee
8:00 a.m.

Bell Choir Rehearsal 9:00 a.m.

Holy Eucharist
5:00 p.m.

December 18

Holy Eucharist
8:00 a.m.

Sunday Morning Book Study
9:00 a.m

Christmas Pageant with Holy Eucharist 
10:00 a.m.

Coffee Hour after 10:00 a.m. service
(Lower Hall)

Youth and Children Christmas Party
11:30 a.m.
(Lower Hall)

St. Thomas' Church of Rochester
2000 Highland Avenue  | Rochester, NY 14618
St. Thomas' is located on the northwest corner of the Highland Avenue / Winton Road South intersection in the city of Rochester. Look for our red doors!

(585) 442-3544 | |

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St. Thomas' Episcopal Church · 2000 Highland Avenue · Rochester, NY 14534 · USA

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