Let us consider how to incite one another to love and good works.

(Hebrews 10:24, Hart translation)

Bear one another’s burdens and thus you will fulfill the law of the Anointed.

(Galatians 6:2, Hart translation)

At St. Thomas, our relationships are guided by these teachings. We encourage one another. We incite one another to love and good works. We bear one another’s burdens. Here are some of the ways we’re doing it.

We get together in all kinds of small groups for fellowship and spiritual growth –

Spiritual growth groups at St. Thomas are self-organizing. They come about when a few people are passionate about an idea, a way of serving others, a path to insight, a certain book of poems and prayers, or something else that seems like it should be shared. Groups change in response to people’s interests. We’ve had a Men’s Group, an Artists’ Group, a Young Woman’s group – and we could have those groups again, if anyone wanted to start one. New ideas are welcome too! SGGs are lay-organized and lay-led, so if you’d like to try to start one, you could give it a try.

Women’s Bible Study: Join us for every second Sunday of the month for a women’s Bible study based on the monthly Bible study from Women of the ELCA’s Gather Magazine. Let’s journey together eachmonth! This Bible study will not conflict with the dates that Living the Questions meets. If you subscribe to Gather Magazine, feel free to bring your copy. Copies of the Bible study will also be provided. Feel free to attend when you can! We will meet in Rooms 16/17.

Women’s Book Club: This group provides an opportunity for STLC women to get together to discuss a book (read by group members beforehand), as well as to get to know each another more deeply and enjoy fellowship with one another!
Potential Books: Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (The 7 Experiment) by Jen Hatmaker, Falling Upward by Richard Rohr

We look for ways to bear one another’s burdens –

The Spirit strengthens us through the kindness of other members of this community and inspires us to be just and kind ourselves.

Service projects
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.

Funeral Luncheons
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.

We share our experiences of grieving –

St. Thomas, like all faith communities, has always had shared practices to help the grieving. Grieving is a familiar path and we’ve pitched in together to help one another travel the journey of grief. We spoke gently to the grieving. We brought food. We worshiped together at a funeral or memorial service.  In whatever way we could, we embraced one another.

We’ve made a web page to share our experiences of grieving. Members and friends of St. Thomas shared readings, music, prayers, art, and memories that brought consolation when grief entered their lives. What’s been helpful or meaningful for you? Please explore Grieving In Place to see what has been shared so far.