Have you heard that old gospel favorite “We’ve Come This Far By Faith”? If Saint Thomas had a theme song, this might be it. Consider the lyrics: “We’ve come this far by faith… and you know it’s trusting, trusting in His holy word….. Oh, he never fails….”
From our earliest days in a chicken hatchery, there were those who doubted that a small group of believers with a vision would ever become a “real” church. There were those who doubted that it would survive another year- much less sixty. But here we are. Sixty glorious years later. Saint Thomas has known it’s share of ups and downs, joys and deep sorrows. People have come and gone…. lived, loved and died… and yet…. their memory, their legacy continues to live on. The Spiritual Center dedicated by The Rev. Jonathan Currier continues to welcome the community into a deeper relationship with our God. The labyrinth serves as a much-needed place of quiet and retreat for those seeking spiritual solace and contemplative prayer. Life has changed at St. Thomas over these past sixty years, but the animating vision is still the same: St. Thomas is a place of deep and profound faith. A Spirit-filled place. One that joyfully proclaims the Word of God. One that prayerfully discerns what it means to be a disciple.
Anniversaries remind us of the passing of time, of the blessings we have been given over the course of our lives. We will celebrate the blessing of sixty years of ministry as Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in Lancaster on October 20th and 21st. The weekend will begin on Saturday, October 20th at 6:00 p.m. with the revealing of our new story wall, a visual representation of our history with pictures from our earliest days to the present time. A jazz trio will provide festive music as we enjoy food and fellowship and the sharing of memories. On Sunday morning we will gather again for a combined Festive Choral Eucharist at 9 a.m., with Mother Gina Bautista preaching, the first female priest called to St. Thomas. This will be followed by the dedication of our new memorial trees and memorial benches in memory and honor of our loved ones. The weekend celebration will conclude with a parish luncheon at 11:00 a.m. during which St. Thomas memories and stories will be shared.
As someone recently remarked to me, the story of St. Thomas is a little like the mustard seed, seemingly tiny and without consequence, but blossoming into something beautiful and life-giving with God’s love as the foundation and roots.
“We’ve come this far by faith… and you know it’s trusting, trusting in His holy word….. Oh, he never fails….”