A letter from our Rector

Dear St. Thomas Community:

 

Over the last several months we have all faced multiple challenges, big and small, as we deal with the pandemic and all that it means for our lives. All sorts of rhythms have been changed, including our church life. I want to thank each of you for your ongoing support and flexibility. I especially want to thank our Vestry, Iona Harrison our administrator, and most especially Deanne Adams, who has helped us stay connected with all of her communications expertise.

 

In the midst of the pandemic, our nation has also faced into the ongoing violence against people of color, and the systemic, racist injustice that still exists in our society. Our history has shown us that there is no quick fix for racism, and we can neither ignore past tragedies nor rest on past advances. The Vestry and I have decided to create the Upper Marlboro Prayer Wall, and to show our support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The Prayer Wall is actually our church fence, and I invite you (and those you invite) to write a prayer intention on a ribbon and tie it to our fence. This Prayer Wall is for any intention: those to do with the pandemic, those to do with justice, and those to do with any intention of your heart. In addition, we want African-American residents of our area to know that our church is a safe space, and that all are welcome here. Toward that end, we have placed the message “Black Lives Matter” on our church sign.

 

Our Task Force on Regathering drafted a plan for our first stage of regathering. It includes continuing Sunday online Morning Prayer, and the addition of a Wednesday evening outdoor Eucharist at the church. The Vestry has approved this plan, and I am pleased to say that the Diocese has given its approval.  We will continue with our Sunday online routine for the summer, and the midweek Eucharist will start on August 12th. The details of this plan are included with this letter. 

 

Bishop Mariann Budde has asked all of us to carefully implement any regathering phases and plans. This care includes the theological basis for why we are doing things the way we are doing them: it is all based in our Baptismal theology of mutual care in Christ. She is asking each of us to review this Covenant and to endorse it personally. In order for EACH OF US to do this personally, please go to this link:                      

 

We have done very well so far taking care of each other, praying for each other, checking in on each other, and even celebrating with a few graduation parades! We have continued to be faithful and generous in supporting our parish. I have every confidence that we will continue to do this in whatever future phases or plans we embrace, and I thank you for your generosity and courage.

 

Peace and Blessings,

Peter+

The Reverend Dr. Peter M. Antoci

Regathering Plan – First Stage 

We will Continue Sunday 10 am Morning Prayer on Zoom, click here for meeting details

  Midweek Outdoor Eucharist – Begins on August 12th

  • Schedule: Wednesdays, 7:00 pm. Begins August 12, 2020.

 

  • Rain plans: If the forecast allows, we will CANCEL the service by email Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

 

  • Prayer Book:  There will be NO BULLETIN. Please bring your own Book of Common Prayer, or bring it up on your cell phone: www.bcponline.org  You may borrow one from the church, but you MUST KEEP IT until pandemic restrictions are lifted.

 

  • Restroom: Please use your facility at home before coming. If absolutely necessary, the office parlor bathroom will be available. It is a one-person bathroom in the administration building parlor (i.e. back room). The outside door of the parlor will be propped open during the service hour Each bathroom will have clean wipes for each visitor’s use, to wipe down all surfaces touched. Deposit used wipes in trash can near the door.

 

  • Lawn Chairs & Blankets: Please bring their own lawn chairs or blanket if you wish to sit during the service. We will gather outside the south/side porch of the church. 

 

  • Parking: When you arrive at the parking lot: 

    • Practice social distancing protocols, including wearing a mask.  

    • A parking lot attendant will direct you to the office porch

    • A parking lot attendant will take your temperature at the office porch station

    • Then proceed to the front door of the church

 

  • Welcome Station:

    • Please line up on the front walk, observing the chalked stations that are 6’ apart on the brick walkway.

    • Come to the front door of the church where you may

      1. Sanitize your hands

      2. Obtain an extra mask if needed

      3. Check out a Prayer Book (for the duration) if needed

      4. Place a DONATION in the Offering Box

 

  • The Peace: Spoken Only

 

  • Music:  Organ/instrumental music will be played from inside the church. Due to health restrictions there will be no singing. (Swaying, clapping, and liturgical dancing is allowed!)

 

  • Communion:

  • Will be under one species only: the bread. 

  • The Deacon will direct people to receive communion, one at a time

 

  • Coffee Hour: No food or beverages may be served. After the service, please proceed to your car. 

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Saint Thomas' Church

14300 St. Thomas Church Rd.

Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772

Chapel of the Incarnation

14070 Brandywine Rd.
Brandywine, Maryland 20613

 

301-627-8469

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