“Back-to-Parish Sunday” Service @ 10:30 AM in Cowans Hall + Potluck Luncheon – Sept. 22nd

This coming Sunday, September 22nd we will be celebrating “Back-to-Parish Sunday” as we usher in the fall season and harvest time of the year.

SINGLE Worship Service @ 10:30 AM in Cowans Hall

Mark your calendars in anticipation of a special event as we depart from a more traditional format and do something a little different.

There will be “NO” 8:00 AM Worship Service; instead, we will be gathering as the full faith community in Cowans Hall for a single worship service at 10:30 AM.

There will be “NO” Sermons…what? Instead, we’ll be breaking into a creative liturgy of the Word, partaking in communion and sharing a tasty potluck lunch (more about that below).

Our worship will include special readings with corresponding table discussions and time to construct Prayers of the People together. These will be used in the liturgy (a.k.a. Episcopal speak meaning that these prayers will be included in the order of service).

And there will be music…


Following worship, let’s continue in the spirit of “Getting to Know You” by participating in a potluck meal hosted by PEP (Parish Event Planners). The foods we share symbolize the first fruits of our labors that we set before our faith family to enjoy.

This is a special time to break bread, and to not only share different foods, but also something about ourselves with those around us…how about something that people may not know about you.

For example, “I was on the cross-country team in high school or I do karaoke on Thursday nights.” Whether we’ve been coming to church for a long or short time, there is always something to discover about people in your midst. So, let’s learn something new 🙂

What to Bring to the Potluck?

PEP will be hosting an Internationally-inspired potluck luncheon following the service.

Let’s celebrate the community’s diversity by bringing foods to share that represent our ethnic heritage or ethnic foods we love!

Please bring your food/potluck items to Cowans Hall prior to the start of service to allow time to set up the buffet.

We’ll provide you with a card to identify your dish’s country of origin, and to note any ingredients of importance for those with food allergies or sensitivities (examples: dairy, gluten, peanuts, meat, monosodium glutamate or MSG, seafood; sulfites – found in wine, balsamic and other wine vinegars, etc.). Many thanks!

We would also appreciate having a recipe for a St. Thomas cookbook to be published in the future.

Tapas-Style Buffet

The potluck luncheon will be set up as a tapas-type buffet with small plates for sampling the different offerings. You are encouraged to move around and talk to others about some of the dishes that you like.

Conversations about food are just one great entry point to getting to know each other better, in keeping with our “Back to Parish Sunday” theme.

Come and join-in the community building celebration!

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Join Us for Centering Prayer – Weds @ 6:30 PM in Chapel


Come and sit in silent fellowship in joining us for a little time spent in Centering Prayer. At this gathering you will be equipped with everything you will need to explore Centering Prayer and to explore it within our Christian community. We will spend some time sitting and praying together. This is a chance to support each other and encourage a regular structured practice in ourselves, but no long-term commitment is necessary.


Centering Prayer can deepen your spiritual life, helping to build peace and clarity. If you haven’t yet experienced God’s presence in this way, we encourage you to give it a try. Learn more about this Christian contemplative practice online.


We gather together each week on Wednesdays @ 6:30 PM in the St. Thomas Chapel.

To get to the chapel, enter the main church building through the double red doors and follow the corridor to the right all the way around to the back. Someone will be there to greet you.

Please feel free to bring a neighbor, colleague or loved one, regardless of their religious background or familiarity with centering prayer.


We suggest you explore the Center for Action and Contemplation website which has links to various talks, podcasts, books, etc. on contemplative prayer and related topics. You may also sign up for their meditation email series composed by father Richard Rohr.


If you have any questions, please reach out to the session facilitator Chris Schmidt (contact details in the Parish Directory) or call the Parish Office during office hours at (408) 736-4155 for more information.

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Study the Book of Acts – Wed. Evenings Starting Sept. 18th

We will break for the summer and begin a new season September 18th. Students are encouraged to read the Book of Acts over the course of the summer. By the time we reconvene, we will be well-prepared for a deep dive into this fascinating Book of the Bible.

Curriculum & Materials

The curriculum we will be using is the Kerygma program. It is interactive and engaging. It costs $22, and if you wish to join the group, the office will order the book for you. (If you cannot afford this, please let Pastor Salying know and she ​will make sure you get one.) It is also recommended that students get a good study bible. The Harper Collins or Oxford Annotated bible with NRSV translation are recommended. (Pastor Salying has several of these if you wish to borrow one.)

We welcome you to join us on the journey and enliven your knowledge and your faith!

For More Information

Contact Us for more information or if you cannot afford to buy the resource book.

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Episcopal Relief & Development’s Response to Hurricane Dorian


Episcopal Relief & Development continues to support dioceses in the path [and aftermath] of Hurricane Dorian…

“Disasters have three phases: rescue, relief and recovery,” said Katie Mears, Senior Director for Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “…We are still in the very early stages of this crisis. Impacted dioceses are prepared to respond and begin assessing damage as soon as it is safe to do so.”


PRAY: Please pray for all those affected by disasters, especially those most recently in the path of the Hurricane Dorian. So many are experiencing personal loss, hardship, barriers and inconvenience in ways that can seem unimaginable to the average person.

Though efforts are being made for continued operations to rescue and restore areas affected, some are just in the beginning stages of a very long process. Church communities often serve as a place people turn to for comfort and assistance at a local level.

GIVE: One of the best things we can do is to GIVE! One of Christ’s core commandments to His followers is to love thy neighbor as thyself. It’s important that we reach out to care for the most vulnerable members and neighbors of these communities. Please consider making a financial donation. Using the following link – submit all contributions directly to Hurricane Relief Fund.

In addition to the online donations link, St. Thomas will make available leaflets/church bulletin inserts on the back table of the Narthex (just inside the church sanctuary’s double red doors) with instructions on how to make a donation in support Episcopal Relief & Development and its response to Hurricane Dorian.

Your donations will help provide support to the Church and other local partners as they provide critical emergency assistance to those in greatest need.

It is with heartfelt gratitude that we Thank You for any and all contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development. 🙂


For news & updates from Episcopal Relief & Development regarding its ongoing response to Hurricane Dorian, please refer to Episcopal Relief & Development.


For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

Photo courtesy of NOAA Satellites; Image courtesy of Episcopal Relief & Development.

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Celebrate Michaelmas with Chili Feed & Games – Sunday, Sept. 29th

In honor of our annual Michaelmas celebration, we cordially invite you to join us on Sunday, September 29th for some family fun and tasty chili feed.


It is the celebration named for Saint Michael, the Archangel, who is usually represented in armor trampling Lucifer, symbolized as a dragon. Also known as the Feast of Saint Michael, Feast of the Archangels and the Feast of Saint Michael And All Angels. It was a holy day of obligation in the Western or Roman Catholic church up until the 18th century.

The roots of Michaelmas can be traced all the way back to the third century and is oftentimes associated with the season of gathering in the final harvest. It has undergone a variety of expressions over time. Today, we continue this tradition in our own unique way as we celebrate harvest time and the slaying of our personal demons.


Family Ministry will host the annual Chili Feed in Cowans Hall with games of skill & daring to follow in the courtyard after lunch.


Sunday, September 29th at (approx. Noon) immediately after 10:30 Worship Service.


Saint Thomas Episcopal Church – 231 Sunset Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

If you’re new to the parish, see Directions and Campus Map


If you have any questions, please Contact Sue Beckham

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