Our biggest opportunity for fellowship is Lobsterfest! Every second Saturday in November, St. Thomas becomes “the lobster church.” For 22 years we have sold lobsters to our friends and neighbors to raise thousands of dollars, all of which goes to support our Honduras medical mission trips, Haiti mission trips, Habitat for Humanity, and First Stop. But Lobsterfest wouldn’t happen without the countless volunteer hours given by the members of St. Thomas. As we work side by side, Lobsterfest draws us closer together; there’s no better way to become a part of the family than to jump in and help!
After the holy season of Lobsterfest, of course, comes the more traditional holy season of Advent. On the Sunday before Christmas Eve, we celebrate St. Thomas Night by gathering in the nave to watch the children and youth of St. Thomas (and a few courageous adults) present the Christmas pageant, complete with angels, shepherds, farm animals and plenty of Christmas songs. Afterwards we come together to celebrate the season with a potluck dinner. Join us and experience the true meaning of Christmas through the eyes of a child!
Early in January, St. Thomas holds its annual Parish Meeting and Luncheon. This is an important part of our lives together. It’s when we share end-of-year financial updates, receive committee reports, and elect new vestry members. Despite its potentially dry content, we still manage—with true St. Thomas panache—to enjoy good food, laughter, and a lot of fun.
On Shrove Tuesday, we celebrate Mardi Gras with King Cake, shoebox floats, and an actual (if tiny) Second Line parade. Kids of all ages enjoy feathers and beads, masks and Moon Pies.
At the end of Lent, our Seder Supper is a more solemn occasion. Here we gather to tell the Passover story and to empathize with our Jewish ancestors. Complete with a “father” at each table and an empty chair for Elijah, we try to make this experience as meaningful and traditional as possible.
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia! By Easter Sunday, we’ve had enough solemnity and we’re ready to celebrate! We gather as a community for Easter brunch in one of the most joyful occasions on the St. Thomas calendar.
The Ducky Derby (not to be confused with the similarly named horse race) has emerged as our spring fellowship-and-fundraising event! Come and sponsor little yellow rubber ducks as they race down Aldridge Creek. Depending on the spring rains, the course can be rough and fast or slow and meandering. Some ducks take detours, some are so anxious to race that they jump the gate, and some swim tail feathers up, but it’s fun to cheer your favorite duck on to victory! As with Lobsterfest, all Ducky Derby proceeds go to charities (usually First Stop and Special Session at Camp McDowell). Wear your fancy hat and come join us for Southern BBQ, Derby Pie, and a day at the races!
We know it’s summer when the annual Pentecost picnic comes around again. Held indoors in recent years, it’s still a festive occasion with fried chicken, potato salad, and lots of fellowship. Insider’s tip: Be sure to wear red!
On the first Sunday in October, St. Thomas goes to the dogs . . . and cats . . . and hamsters . . . and spiders. With a great cacophony of barking, hissing, and meowing, we gather with our pets on the church grounds for a ceremony called the Blessing of the Animals. We also take the opportunity to have a little fun; in conjunction with the ceremony, our youth sponsor a dog wash and hot dog roast.
At St. Thomas, we take our faith seriously enough to have fun with it. Our annual Holy Boo-charist/Trunk-or-Treat extravaganza provides us an opportunity to show this. We begin with Holy Eucharist (taken in costume and presided over by the Great Pumpkin himself); then we move into the Parish Hall for family dinner and a costume parade. After dinner, we go out to elaborately decorated cars, open the trunks, and let small ghoulies and ghosties come trick-or-treating.
Our love of all things social can’t be contained within annual events, of course. We have many other opportunities to laugh together and love each other. We invite you to come join us and explore them!