At our last Session meeting on March 12, Revs. Bill and Roxie Davis visited St. Thomas on behalf of the Committee on Ministry, and asked the following question:
What exciting things is God doing through St. Thomas Presbyterian Church?
Here is how our elders replied:
- Youth Program—our Youth Director has been with us about 25 years and has been a constant encouragement. That is probably why we have so many students who venture into seminary.
- The church building is used throughout the week—both in the day and evening with groups such as 5 different AA groups, Senior luncheons, FAR—an organization that helps handicap children through Art and Music Therapy—4 days a week; the church has also sponsored a room at human trafficking drop in center in the area.
- Changing Her Story—giving microloans to women around the world in developing countries. It is a Women’s Tea twice a year; the women in attendance learn about these entrepreneur women; they vote on the projects which seem to have the most promise. Changing Her Story has given away thousands of dollars to help women around the world to make a living for themselves. The Changing Her Story events include a speaker who might talk about human trafficking, birth control around the world; family planning in developing countries. They are programs about women.
- Many Small Group Bible Study Groups—there are seven groups in addition to the typical Women’s and Men’s groups. The Small Group Bible Study Groups meet at various times during the week, studying the same material.
- The two Men’s Groups meet every 2nd and 4th Wednesday—one in the morning at Panera Bread and one which is called “Bible and Brew,’ which meets in a bar in the evening. Both groups consist of Bible study, conversation, fellowship and doing mission projects.
- The Women’s Groups include a day time Deborah Circle and night time Ruth Circle. Also there is a once a month Women’s group that is called: Bible Tasting and Wine Study which meets in homes.
- Every year the church participates in MCREST (Macomb County Rescue Emergency Shelter)—60 men, women and children for a week.
- Pastors Jim and Jaime, along with St. Thomas, participate in ecumenical happenings in the area, cooperating with other churches. There is a Community Thanksgiving Service that is held each November.
- Step Out and Serve—Retired folk and others do repairs for the homebound, shut-ins—most of these people come through “Interfaith Caregivers.”
- A very active Stephen Ministry, serving those who need a weekly time for someone to listen to and pray with them because of some transition in their life.
- Senior Luncheon is once a month. It started out with about 20 people coming but through word of mouth, the senior luncheon serves 60/70 people a month.
- The church comes around people who are in need—through their emotional support/ prayer chain and Meals Ministry—if someone is sick, homebound or has an emergency in their life. Becky Lazzara coordinates getting them food prepared by others in the congregation. Becky also coordinates funerals luncheons, organizing those who would help during that time in someone’s life.
- Concerts at St. Thomas: just recently there was an organ concert; Alma college choir sang; this week will be a violin and piano concert. Both members and people outside the church attend. Alex—their organist/pianist is a gift from God.
- Communion is taken to those who are Homebound.
- Transportation Ministry—if someone needs a ride to church, there are people who will gladly pick them up.
- Legacy Gift committee—Through the Legacy Gift, a lot of money has been given to worthy projects like 2nd Mile/ Alabaster House/ MCREST/ to a seminarian studying for the Presbyterian ministry.
- Nominating committee—there was no problem in getting people to be in leadership at St. Thomas. This is a good sign of a healthy church.
- The church is working on a Strategic Plan—Looking at Mission and Ministry. They are looking at Goals, Actions, Needs, stretching out to a 5 year plan.
- Worship—vibrant and welcoming. They have been working on making their second worship service more interactive so that it is more transforming in the lives of the congregation.
These are just a few of the things that God is doing in our midst. Please add to this list by commenting below. How do you see God at work in and through the people of St. Thomas?