News from Saint Thomas Church week beginning March 17

Lent at Saint Thomas Church

This Lent, St. Thomas’s Church invites you to share in a rich array of opportunities to discover where God seeks to meet you through our Lenten worship program, study and education, as well as times for quiet reflection and pilgrimage at other churches in Midtown. Please join us as we make our way through the pain and sorrow of Good Friday to encounter the new life and sustained hope of the Easter dawn!

Here is a list of all of the special parish activities for the second full week in Lent:

The Second Sunday in Lent, March 17

  • 8am Said Eucharist
  • 9am Sung Eucharist and Sermon
  • 11am Choral Eucharist and Sermon
  • 4 pm Choral Evensong and Sermon

Sunday Theology Class: “Maundy Thursday: Mass of the Lord’s Supper” with Fr. Turner
March 17, 10am on the fifth floor

Sunday Sermon Series at 4 pm, “The One who Sings Prays Twice”
March 17, “Prayer as Melody,” Mo. Alison Turner

Healing Prayer and Anointing of the Sick

  • Sunday March 17, after the 11am Mass
  • Tuesday March 19, during and after the 12:10pm Mass

Devotional Study
Monday March 18, 12:45-2pm

Pilgrims’ Course Class: the Eucharist at the heart of our Common Life.
Tuesday March 19, 6:30-8:15pm

Holy Hour
Wednesday March 20, 11am-12pm

Weekday Services in Lent
Monday March 18 to Friday March 22: 8am, 12:10pm & 5:30pm.

Shrine Prayers
Monday March 18 to Saturday March 23, 12pm

Stations of the Cross
Friday March 22, 6:30pm, at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York City

Saturday March 23, 11am-11:45am, or by appointment

To learn more about the complete schedule of Lenten seasonal offerings, please follow this link.

Clergy Reflection for the Second Week in Lent

“You are…God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9)

Tuesday, March 19th is the feast day of Saint Joseph, husband of Mary, foster-father to Jesus. Joseph, as you know, was a carpenter, a tekton. He worked with his hands. He built things and fixed things. It’s no surprise to me that we find, in his adopted son’s teachings, the use of a house built on sand, or on solid rock, as a metaphor (see Matthew 7:24-27, Luke 6:46-49). Foundations matter: where you build, how you start to build, and what you build on. It’s common sense, sure, but I imagine the young Jesus saw firsthand the effects of good or bad foundations as Joseph fixed up sagging old homes and shops, maybe helping to build some strong new ones.

Saint Paul, in his first letter to the church at Corinth, states that, as “God’s building” the foundation we should be built upon is Christ. And, after choosing to make Christ the foundation of our life (or of our church community), we are responsible for building upon that strong foundation. “Each builder must choose with care how to build on it,” Saint Paul writes (1 Corinthians 3:10b). The choices and priorities of our lives are the beams and nails and roofing shingles of the house, the temple (to use Saint Paul’s metaphor in verses 16 and 17), of our souls. We, like Saint Joseph in his daily trade, build our lives and our faith carefully, or carelessly, with every choice we make. Like Saint Joseph out on a repair job, we are tasked with patching it up when it falls apart. The trials of life will test the results of the work we do in building (see 1 Corinthians 3:12-15). But we do not labor alone – to build or to renovate or to repair. We are supported by our fellow workers in the community of the church. And, of course, we are supported by the grace of God. And, always, the foundation is Christ. As Jesus and Saint Joseph knew from lived experience, the foundation counts for an awful lot. When the times of trial and testing come – and they will, Saint Paul assures us – we throw our weight onto that strong foundation.

May this Lenten season be a time when you might consider how you are building your life. And may you, through prayer, fasting, alms-giving and the reading of Scripture, carefully plan and begin to build, or renovate anew. May you examine your conscience to assess any needed repairs. And may all of this Lenten construction work be in service of opening our hearts and lives ever more fully to the grace of God.

Saint Joseph, carpenter, pray for us.

Father Adam Spencer
Associate Priest for Pastoral Care

Introducing our Guest Preacher for Holy Week: the Right Reverend Richard Chartres

We look forward to welcoming Bishop Chartres to Saint Thomas Church as our guest preacher for several services throughout Holy Week.

Richard Chartres first visited New York in the early 1980’s as Chaplain to Archbishop Robert Runcie. At that time Canon John Andrew, of blessed memory (who was himself a former Archbishop’s Chaplain), was Rector of Saint Thomas.

Subsequently, Richard Chartres became the parish priest of St. Stephen’s Rochester Row in the Diocese of London. At the same time he served as Gresham Professor of Divinity and co-authored a history of Gresham College.

In 1992, he was appointed Bishop of Stepney, one of the areas of the Diocese of London and was later translated to the Bishopric of London itself in 1995. He served the Diocese during a period of substantial growth for 22 years until his retirement in 2017. He remains Dean of HM Chapels Royal.

During his tenure as Diocesan Bishop, he fulfilled various national roles. He chaired the Church Commissioners who administer the historic assets of the Church of England. He was also Chair of the National Church Buildings Division, and founding Chair of “Shrink the Footprint,” the Church’s environmental campaign. He has also been the Archbishop’s envoy to the Orthodox Churches.

Most significantly, twelve years ago he participated in the founding of St. Mellitus College, which has made a large contribution to the increase of the numbers of ordinands in training. The number entering training this year nationally in the Church of England exceeds the total for any year since 1963.

After retiring from Parliament as a member of the Lords Spiritual, he was, unusually, re-appointed as a Life Peer, and is currently active in the legislative work of the House of Lords.

Richard Chartres is now an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese in Europe, and in his home Diocese of Salisbury.

He is married to Caroline and they have four children.

Introducing our Guest Preacher for the Three Hours Devotion on Good Friday: the Reverend Elaine Farmer

The Reverend Elaine Farmer, our preacher for the Three Hours Devotion on Good Friday, April 19, 12pm – 3pm, is a priest of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn and an internationally active scholar, teacher, and author. She was ordained in 1993, among the earliest women ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Church of Australia. She has served in several parishes, taught homiletics and ministry formation, and been Associate Editor of
St Mark’s Review, Australia’s oldest theological journal.

She has preached in Anglican dioceses in Australia, New Zealand and in the United States, and preached in 2018 at Westminster Abbey. She has been a keynote speaker at various Australian and international conferences.

A book of her sermons, …And the Angels Held their Breath. Sixteen Reasons for Exploring the God-Option (Australasian Theological Forum) was translated into Bahasa Indonesia by the Jesuits and given episcopal imprimatur. She was also a contributor to Don’t Put Out the Burning Bush, a book on preaching and worship also published by the Australasian Theological Forum.

Elaine now lives in Canberra with her husband, Bill, whose diplomatic career which included appointments as Ambassador to Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Indonesia. They have two children and six grandchildren.

Disrupting Times: When History meets Mysticism

Join the Rev. Dr. Robert D. Flanagan as he shares his passion for the Golden Age of Mysticism during an Evening Theology Class on Wednesday March 27, April 3 and 10 from 6:30 to 8:00pm.

The Fourteenth-Century was a time of momentous change and disruption. It was also a period of great spiritual discovery. The stark contrasts between the technological, environmental, and societal upheaval and the profound experiences of the century’s mystics make it a fascinating time for us to explore.

Over the course of three sessions, you will learn about the similarities the fourteenth-century has to our time and engage with prominent mystical voices from the era, also known as the Golden Age of Mysticism. We will read about and discuss the seminal events of the time and read and contemplate the pragmatic writings of several fourteenth-century mystics.

To attend, all you need is a curious mind and a desire to deepen your knowledge of history and your understanding of mysticism.

The course will be held in Andrew Hall for Mar. 27 and Apr 3, and the Fifth Floor of the Parish House for April 10.

Please contact Father Moretz at to RSVP.