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The Weekly Draft

St. Thomas' Episcopal Church

November 25, 2022

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The First Sunday of Advent Bulletin November 27, 2022

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Fr. Ryan will be back this Sunday.

Christmas Trees - Presale

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Christmas Trees

Deck the Garden Day! Decoration Day

Sunday, Nov. 27

Remember how beautiful the lighted Curry Garden is during the holiday season? That’s because folks get together and deck it out with thousands of lights. You can join the fun and enjoy those lights even more knowing that you helped create this amazing space. Decoration Day is the first Sunday in Advent, November 27, 3:00pm to 5:00pm. Join me, Rick Smith, in the choir room for wassail, goodies, and direction. Let’s make it special this year!

Music Ministries

Music for this Sunday 11-27-2022 

               Prelude         “Savior of the Nations, Come”-Dietrich Buxtehude

        Entrance Hymn, “Lo, He comes With Clouds Descending” –


Kyrie– Traditional French Carol – arr., Rick Smith

Psalm 122, Claude Goudimel

Gospel Acclamation“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” – arr., Rick Smith

Offertory Anthem, “Zion at Thy Shining Gates” – George Guest

Presentation Hymn, Traditional French Carol – arr., Rick Smith

Sanctus – “Puer Nobis” – arr., Rick Smith

Fracture Anthem – "Lamp of God" - S161

Communion Hymn, "Wait For the Lord" -

Jacques Berthier, Taize Community

       Processional Hymn, “Hark!, A Thrilling voice is Sounding” –


Postlude "Savior of the Nations, Come" -J. S. Bach

Upcoming Christmas Programs

About Music in Advent

Sunday November 27 begins the Christian New Year in the church’s calendar, Advent. That means big changes for our “service music”; it will be infused with the sounds of the season. Before the opening procession, the choir will sing an Introit from the back of the church. It is an excerpt from the “Matin Responsory” set to music by the modern English composer, Richard Shepherd. Both the Kyrie, early in the service and the Presentation Hymn that comes after the Offertory are based on the tune, PICARDY; it’s the tune for the familiar Advent hymn, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”. We’ll use a Gospel Acclamation in the place of the Gospel Hymn, and it is based on the tune, GOD REST YOU MERRY. The Sanctus is based on PUER NOBIS; it’s a tune associated both for Christmastide and Eastertide hymns.

For the psalms and canticles after the first scripture lesson, we will be using responsorial ones. That means the congregation will have a recurring refrain to sing, and the cantors and/or the choir will supply the full text. This congregational refrain, although different each week, will be based on Advent hymns. Some of these hymns might be new to you but I hope you will give them a try.

“Windows of Christmas”, Reflections in Carols, Theater, Art, and Music

St. Thomas’ has had an awakening to the spirituality the creative arts can illicit. We are becoming know for our adventuresome use of the visual arts in our sanctuary. With that in mind, I thought the time was right to venture into a creative musical experience during the Advent/Christmas holidays. This year, in place of our traditional Lessons and Carols Festival service, we’ll have an unusual opportunity to revisit the Christmas story. This will take place on Wednesday, December 14th at 7:00 pm.

“Windows of Christmas” is a concert experience using music, theater, and dance to retell the Incarnation story from unique perspectives. The piece uses the medieval stain glass windows of a great cathedral as it’s backdrop. Out of these windows emerge characters to share their part of the story. Narrated by a monk of the cathedral, we meet the Angel Gabriel, the Shepherd, and the Inn Keeper’s Wife. Mary also makes an appearance, dancing at the birth of her child to Celtic dance tunes. In the music are imbedded both familiar and unfamiliar carols: “Lo How a Rose E’er Booming”, “Gaudete”, “Angels We Have Heard on High”, Shepherds’ carol”, “Coventry Carol”, “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “In Dulci Jubilo”. The script is by P. Michael Davis, (yes, the same Mike Davis in our choir). The music is composed and arranged by Rick L. Smith, (yes, that’s me). The orchestra includes string quintet, flute, oboe, bassoon, percussion, and organ. The first production was in 2002, here in St Petersburg. The second production was in 2007 in the San Francisco Bay Area. St Thomas will host the third production. It’s an expensive undertaking. Many of you have been Music Angels and helped with other events. You can help produce “Windows of Christmas” with a donation to music ministry at St Thomas.



Christmas Flowers

Youth Programs

St. Thomas’ Church offers traditional formation (Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, lectionary-based classes for Grades 1-6), guild apprenticeship (this spring, altar servers), and fun activities during the school year. The nursery is staffed at both Sunday services. 

The story this year is "Listen to the Silent Night" written by Dandi Daley Mackall, and illustrated by  

Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson.

Christmas pageant

Sunday, Nov. 27 - Children of all ages are invited to choose roles and learn more about this year's Christmas pageant at the start of the 10:00 service. This will take the place of the children's lesson this Sunday.

Sunday, Dec. 11 - Second dress rehearsal will take place in the guild room at 10AM.

Saturday, Dec. 24 - The dress rehearsal will be on Christmas eve at 10:30AM.

The pageant will be held at the 5PM service.

Rock the Universe - Families will receive an email by the end of November announcing plans to attend the Rock the Universe concert at Universal Studios in Orlando. The trip is Friday, Jan. 27 to Saturday, Jan. 28. As always, friends are welcome. We will be asking families to pay a deposit in early December. We will need a commitment early so we will know how big a vehicle to reserve. Scholarships are available.

Watch for an email from Mtr. Anne on Sunday, Nov. 27. Or text or call her at 954-253-4414.

Mission Trip to Honduras 2023

St Thomas Mission Trip to La Clinca Nueva, San Francisco de Orica, Honduras, May 13-20

Our St. Thomas community has made several trips to this medical clinic. Many of us help support the clinic through the Foundation for International Missions, based here in St. Pete. We have been in constant communication with our doctor in Honduras, Dr. Davila, all during the pandemic, but of course, have been unable to send mission teams. Dr. Davila has finally cleared us and invited us to visit the clinic again. We are in the process of gathering a team for the trip. Scheduled for May13-20, 2023, our group will hold four “health fairs” in surround villages to accomplish the following:

·        Screen for various illnesses and provide on sight care for    immediate medical issues

·        Connect people in need with Dr. Davila and La Clinica Nueva, the only health care for miles around.

·        Provide women to women health care, promoting better feminine health.

·        Host “fun days” for local children, teaching basic health care, dental care, and providing games, activities, and Bible stories for all ages.

Yes, we are looking for medical skills, but we also need non-medical personnel as well. Training for the trip will begin in February with a visit from Dr. Davila and monthly planning and preparation meetings. Short term mission trips can be and often are life-changing events. Is God calling you to serve? Contact trip leaders, Rick Smith, Grace Smith, and Russ Martin for more information.

St. Thomas Honduran Mission Trip Schedule

·        Sunday, January 22, 5:00pm – Informational & Organizational Gathering

·        Sunday, February 5, 5:00pm – Planning Session 1

·        Wednesday, February 8, 7:00pm – Dr. Davila (Clinica Nueva) speaks at “Supper, Song, & Prayer”

·        Sunday, March 5, 5:00pm – Planning Session 2

·        Sunday, April 23, 5:00pm – Planning Session 3

·        Wednesday, May 10, 7:00pm – Packing Night

·        Friday, May 12 – Leaders depart (Rick, Grace, & Russ)

·        Saturday, May 13 – Group departs

·        Saturday, May 20 – Group Returns

Stewardship - Building Together for God 

We reached 79.61 % of our goal - if you have not had an opportunity to turn in your pledge card please do so as soon as you can!

Ephesians 4: 12

"to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up"

For your calendar

Early January, 2023 - Children of all ages are invited to learn to be altar servers. Canterbury Chaplain David Gould will be recruiting and training new altar servers (acolytes, crucifers, torch bearers). David will set up a meeting at the start of 2023.

Adult Formation

Women's Bible Study will continue  studying the Gospel of Mark  from the perspective that they are learning from THE CASE FOR CHRIST. They meet each Thursday at 9:30 AM in the Founders' Room.

Men's Bible Study will continue with a study of Paul's Letter to the Romans. We meet at 7:30 AM each Wednesday in the Founders' Room.



Thanks to all for your help with Pack-a-Snack at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church


No Pack-a-Snack activity for the week of November 20th due to Thanksgiving Break


Pack-a-Snack Volunteers for the Week of November 27th:

Purchasing: Ann Leavine, Laura Vrooman

Staging: Marilyn Smith

Packing: Canterbury, Wednesday, 11/30/2022

Delivery: Bill Thomas, Thursday, 12/01/2022


Pack-a-Snack Volunteers for the Week of December 4th:

Delivery: Stacy Maynard, Thursday, 12/08/2022

Follow St. Thomas’ Art Project on Facebook (@sthomasartproject) and Instagram (sthomasartproject). Follow, like, share our pages and encourage your friends to do the same.

Pastoral Care

We're here for you! If you live alone or need rides or have to go into the hospital, please let the church know so we can pray for you, visit you, bring you communion, and/or arrange for rides or meals. 

Call Grace Smith in the mornings at 727-896-9641 and call Mtr. Anne anytime at 954-253-4414.

Healing prayers have returned during Holy Communion at the 8AM and 10AM services. After you take communion, you are invited to receive a healing prayer from a parishioner or clergy person in the back of the church. If you would like to join the team, contact Russ Ball at 727-667-5471.

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Centering Prayer

 Is on pause - we will  keep you posted!

Virtual Happy Hour

Please join us on Thursdays from 6 - 7:15 pm. Connect through Zoom:

Meeting ID: 969 2031 5905

Password: 06182020

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Happy Birthday Blessings this week go out to: Whitaker Mitchell, Linda Sordan, Dick Nelson, Michael Mahoney, Sarah Giberson, Kerry Dobbs, and Bill Stover.

Happy Anniversary blessings this week go out to:



We have St Thomas' polo shirts available for sale and we will place another order to obtain any sizes we are missing. If you would like to purchase a shirt for $25, please contact Ann Leavine at Window decals are available at the Welcome table on Sunday mornings for $2 each.   

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The First Sunday of Advent

Lay Minister Schedule

Altar Servers: David Gould, Colin Burkhart

Altar Guild: Nancy Day

Camera Operator: Molly Goodwill

Coffee Host 10am: Laura Reitan

Eucharistic Ministers: Liz Stiles

Flower Guild: Pam Holley, Elizabeth Alison

Healing: Anne Elstun

Lector 8am: Mike Bice

Lectors 10am: Elisa Whitley, Nancy Day

Musicians: Chancel Choir

Oblations: Jim and Anne Elstun

Prayers of the People 8am: Mike Bice

Prayers of the People 10am: Jaime Elstun

Ushers 10am: Chris Finch, Tom Brady

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View the Whole Calendar

Parish Calendar

Friday, November 25

Office Closed

Saturday, November 26

Sunday, November 27th-The First Sunday of Advent

8:00 am - Holy Eucharist, Rite II, Spoken

10:00 am - Holy Eucharist, Rite II, Sung 

Sanctuary, Chancel Choir

Monday, November 28

9:00 am - Morning Prayer

Tuesday, November 29

9:00 am- Morning Prayer

Wednesday, November 30

7:30 am - Men's Bible Study

9:00 am- Morning Prayer

6:00 pm -Supper Song and Prayer

Thursday, December 1

9:30 am - Women of the Word

6:00 pm - Pub Virtual Happy Hour - On Zoom (See article above)

6:30 pm - Chancel Choir Rehearsal

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