Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. (Romans 12: 9-13)
This standard set by Saint Paul is at work in every church, and St. Thomas is no exception. University towns are rich in wonderful people who stay for a while and then move on, so we are called to be particularly intentional about building circles of care and affection among those who worship here. Sociability and prayer are certainly important parts of this – but other ways are also knitting us together.
Mission and service to others strengthens the whole Body, and our Mission Committee finds ways to get everyone involved – here, a churchwide project of assembling supplies for Lutheran World Relief.
Lay Care Visitor Ministry
The St. Thomas Lay Care Visitor Ministry is part of our congregation’s ongoing intention to be there for one another in difficult times. Divorce, death, grief, depression, illness, recovery from substance abuse, unemployment, and family changes are all part of life. St. Thomas Lay Care Visitors are linked with a person who has expressed an interest in receiving this ministry and provide one-on-one spiritual companionship, walking alongside and providing a quiet, confidential, and compassionate listening ear. Lay Care Visitors receive regular ongoing supervision and training from the Pastor. Contact the Church Office to be connected with this ministry.
Caring Community Workshops
From time to time, the Lay Care Visitors have scheduled workshops on topics related to their work and to congregational members. Experts are brought in to lead these Sunday afternoon workshops and they are open to everyone in the community. Topics have included listening, dealing with suicide, grief, depression, and the basics of pastoral care.
Offering a luncheon following a funeral at the church is a tradition we are thankful to sustain. Members of the congregation will provide, serve, and tidy up after a funeral collation at the church.