Important Message & Updates from Pastor Salying Re: Coronavirus

UPDATE: MARCH 21, 2020 – PRESENT

Welcome to ZOOM worship at St. Thomas
For Shelter-in-Place Sundays 

If you haven’t had a chance to practice Zoom, call in at 9:30-10:15am using the  information below to work out any final questions with regard to Zoom usage.

All others, at 10:20-10:25am Sunday, please connect to our worship meeting.
There are two ways to do this.

1. By computer or smartphone (video and audio):
You may access our ZOOM meeting on the following link:
https://zoom.us/j/954611396

2. By telephone (audio only):
Dial +1 669 900 9128

Meeting ID: 954 611 396
When prompted for a participant number, touch the pound key #

Actual connection time may take several minutes; please be patient.

Once you are connected, your face (or phone number) should appear in a square on your screen, as will the faces of others who have signed in, including Pastor Salying.

Note: For the sake of audio clarity, your mic will be muted on entry.

After the prelude, we will have introductory remarks, announcements, and then Morning Prayer together as one large body; we will then break out into small groups for “coffee hour”and sermon discussion.

 


 This latest sermon video and transcription is now available (see below).

The most recent Sunday Service Bulletin is now available (see below) to view and download 🙂

Click here to view the Sunday Service Bulletin for May 24th
 

Click here to view Last Week’s Sermon.

 
Click here to download a Transcription of Last Week’s Sermon

Thank you and see you Sunday!
~Pastor Salying

UPDATE: MARCH 19, 2020

Dear St. Thomas Parishioners,

While we do our part to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus by social distancing, St. Thomas Church will worship together virtually. I have chosen a platform that serves my priorities for our gathering: (1) that it lets us gather as one large body and in small groups, (2) that it allows us to engage with one another rather than as spectators, (3) that it is as simple as possible, allowing for access over the internet and over traditional phone call. I am pleased that we will be using Zoom conferencing, which allows us to meet as one body and allows us to break into small groups during the same meeting.

Worship for St. Thomas will look like this:

1. We will meet as one body on Zoom at 10:30am on Sundays. After some prelude music by our organist Myrna, I will give some introductory remarks and announcements around 10:40am. We will then have Morning Prayer. Patricia will sing a hymn to close the liturgy. The sermon will be pre-recorded, posted on youtube, and typed out, and sent to you beforehand. You may watch/read the sermon before the liturgy or after. The service bulletin and zoom link will be sent to the parish at the same time as the sermon youtube link.

2. After the liturgy, I will have Zoom randomly place us into small groups of 5 or so. In these “Breakout Rooms”, everyone will check-in by mutual invitation. One person starts by checking in on how he or she is doing and then invites the next person, and so on, till everyone has a chance to check-in. There might be a question I offer for check-in; it would probably be based on the sermon. The small group will end after 30 minutes. I will send a message to all small groups with a 5 minute warning to close.

3. We will reconvene at the same time next week.

At this time, we encourage you to mail in your pledges and offerings to the church. Jim Cobb, our treasurer, is researching online giving options and will inform us how to proceed. We are grateful that you continue to support the church’s operations during this time of crisis.

Let us continue to thank God for our community and encourage one another with support. It can be isolating at this time, so please connect for your own sake and other’s. Let us also pray for those who are sick or in harm’s way or put into economic hardship because of this time. Let us be generous in giving and lending.

Please look for extensive instructions around the virtual worship on Friday or Saturday. I look forward to “seeing” you all on Sunday.

Peace,
Pastor Salying

UPDATE: MARCH 16, 2020

We are adapting to the Shelter in Place Public Health Order issued March 16, 2020 by our county health authorities.

We are suspending public gatherings/services until further notice.

UPDATE: MARCH 14, 2020

Dear St. Thomas,

We will NOT be gathering for services tomorrow Sunday, March 15, 2020. I will take next week to work with a task force as to what’s next for the way we worship. Thank you for your patience as I discern with our leadership how to walk this uncertain time.

As many of you already know, there are live-stream services in various places. They’ve been sent around in previous emails. I will only include the link to the service at the National Cathedral with our Presiding Bishop Curry. (But included in my original email message is our bulletin for this Sunday at St. Thomas. It contains the readings and the announcements.)

I might finish my sermon today, but I might not. My heart is saying to spend time calling as many of you as I can today and leave the task of preaching to the Presiding Bishop. If I do finish my sermon, I will send it out on Sunday morning.

Your servant,
Pastor Salying

UPDATE: MARCH 13, 2020

Today, Friday, March 13, Santa Clara County has instituted a conditional moratorium on gatherings of 35-100, on the condition that our gathering serves an essential societal function. I have spoken with our Executive Committee…and we have agreed that worshiping is essential. Unless we receive a mandatory order to desist from the County, we believe that our worship space is big enough to give us plenty of social distance….Whatever the numbers, it is my intention to be present to pray with our community for our human family…

*Additional instructions & updated precautions have been incorporated below…
__________________________________________

UPDATE: MARCH 12, 2020

The following is a message from Pastor Salying:

Dear St. Thomas Parishioners,

PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER

In this time of heightened anxiety around the novel coronavirus, I encourage you to remain connected with our community and to pray for one another.

PHONE TREE

We each will make our decision as to how to remain connected. Some will choose and have chosen to connect not by physical presence, but by calling one another. We are building a phone tree at the church. This effort is headed by Sue Beckham. Please Contact Sue for information or email (family_ministry@stthomas-svale.us).

PERSONAL PHONE CALL

For me as the pastor, I have found myself making more phone calls at this time; I’ve been calling a wider group of people. This has deepened my love for you. Please let me know if you’d like to have a phone call from me. I’d love to talk with you.

REGULAR SERVICES WILL CONTINUE

Some will choose to remain connected by physical presence on our campus, whether in worship or in programs. I believe it is important if you are not in a vulnerable category to be together in our bodies. There are two available Sunday service times: 8:00 and 10:30 AM that will continue to meet in the main church building.

PASTORAL VISITS

I am still making personal pastoral visits and plan to continue doing this. We will not be canceling worship services.

PRECAUTIONS

We will, however, take precautions, as one always ought to do when considering infectious diseases. Now, even more so.

Shared Communion Temporarily Discontinued*
It is with a heavy heart that I will remove the cup from the congregation. As you may know, the common cup is an important sign of our unity from our ancient Christian tradition. I will consume the wine on our behalf and wait for the day when we will be able to safely offer it back to the greater body.

These are precautions we can take in loving care for one another:

  • Avoid leaning your hands on the back of the pews or using them to brace yourself to get up, it will mean less contact with possible contaminated services.
  • Consider wearing gloves to church, like your grandparents.
  • Greet one another with a bow rather than a handshake.
  • Sit dispersed in the church.
  • Coffee hour hosts, please serve foods that are self-contained, like individually wrapped foods.
  • Ushers will lean in to take your offering (and not pass the collection plates).
  • Avoid contact with doorknobs, etc; wash your hands after you touch them.
  • Our hot lunch program, Our Daily Bread, for the meantime will be serving takeout meals.
  • Anyone who feels sick is asked to stay home.

STREAMING SERVICES*

We are in the process of putting together a live-streaming option by next Sunday.

When that’s ready, a link will be provided. Anyone interested will be able to join in from anywhere with an internet connection. More details to follow.

In the interim, for those unable to participate in-person, you may connect to St. Andrew’s in Saratoga through this link: https://vimeo.com/event/24215.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

For those on the e-mail list, Parish Administrator Anne will send out a pdf of our Sunday bulletins and sermon on the Tuesday after the Sunday service.

If you would like to be included on the e-mail list, please follow the link to Contact Us or call the office at (408) 736-4155.

I appreciated this TED talk https://youtu.be/Fqw-9yMV0sI. It helps us think about how to sensibly apply precautions in a world that has infectious diseases. With human encroachment to the last wild places, we will continue to have more novel infections.

It is important that we do not crouch our hearts inward from fear, but turn our hearts outward justice and care for the poor, as people who occupy places of degradation and poverty have the least protection.

This time of the coronavirus affords us an opportunity to better love–to see clearer and broader to the margins. Let us pray together as to how we can do a good thing for God in this time.

God’s blessing and peace be with you,
Pastor Salying
_______________________________________________

Litany for in the Midst of Pandemics

by the Rev. Salying Wong

Leader: God the Creator,
People: Have mercy on us.

Leader: God the Redeemer,
People: Have mercy on us.

Leader: God the Sanctifier,
People: Have mercy on us.

Leader: God the Holy Trinity, one God,
People: Have mercy on us.

Leader: Draw us near to you, O God,
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: Give us trust in you in the midst of our fragility,
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: Teach us to love when we are afraid,
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: Give us courage when we are uncertain,
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: Turn our hearts to the poor and the suffering, including this good earth.
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: We pray for those who are sick, especially those who have the coronavirus,
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for those are working for a cure,
Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for all care-providers,
Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for the dying and those who have died.
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: We pray for the communities in the greatest danger and for cooperation between nations within the human family.
People: For you sustain us.

Leader: God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make us the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring us courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is our wholeness;
you are our God, and we need you.

~ adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book

Back to top