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Parish Portfolio

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

1 John 4:7

We seek a rector who will

Gather God’s people, draw us into transformation, equip us to do God’s work together.

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Gather God’s people

  • Bring us together, and walk with us.
  • Connect the Biblical story to our lives, offering relevant and meaningful lessons.
  • Lead inspiring, inclusive, engaging worship services.
  • Collaborate with staff & volunteers to offer learning for all ages.

Draw us into transformation

  • Love us, with our gifts and our deficiencies.
  • Grow with us as a companion along the way. Guide our lives so that we may experience the deep peace of God.
  • Help us to explore our relationship with God.
  • Create safe space so that we can engage in deep relational work to build a more merciful and just world.
  • Pastor all generations by engaging in meaningful relationships.

Equip us to do God’s work together

  • Listen with us to what God is doing in the community.
  • Share tools and insights we can apply to transform our lives and the lives of those around us.
  • Teach us to think theologically and become more articulate about our faith.
  • Guide us in meaningful outreach ministry.
  • Energize us.

We have created this video to capture the conversation we shared in our zoom Day of Discovery, in which we asked members of the congregation questions about what they love about St. Thomas', what they dream of for our future together, and the qualities sought in our next rector.

Growing in Faith

A strong youth Christian education program has long been a priority at St. Thomas’. Sunday school provides a nurturing environment which seeks to engage the children in joyful and active ways so as to ground them in their spiritual learning.

We are trying to grow our program and children are encouraged to take an active role in the Sunday worship service. It is hoped that with the full support of the new rector, the youth education program will continue to grow.

To enhance the parish education program, older students are encouraged to be involved in community outreach, both near and far.

These missions enable the students to participate in Sunday service ministries, give back to underserved communities, as well as to develop bonds that enhance their Christian understanding and broaden their spiritual connections.

“Growing in faith” is not limited to the youth of the parish. The Christian journey is challenging and personal.

We welcome the opportunity to explore our faith and the ways that it drives our life’s actions in a safe and caring environment. Ideally, the rector is the spiritual shepherd and guide for the entire congregation.

History

The warm, worn, granite stones marking the entrance to St. Thomas’ Church give testimony to the generations of families that have crossed our threshold.

Founded in 1742 to serve the rural community outside of Baltimore City, the church has emerged as a microcosm of the United States.  The original bricks, colonial clear glass, and Tiffany stained glass ground the church in our national history. The simplicity of the white wood paneling immediately allows a deep connection with faith.

Though the roots of the church are in a farm community, much of the more personal history is evident in the many families and church members whose own history is deeply entwined with the church, having celebrated births, baptisms and funerals.

As the Baltimore metropolitan area has expanded, the parish has embraced its position in a more suburban community.

The solid foundation of our church allows us to reach out to share its history with the broader community.

Community

St. Thomas’ Church is located in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area, thus giving the parish easy access to a broad range of cultural, athletic and recreational opportunities.

Baltimore is renowned for its institutions of higher learning, museums, theaters, and restaurants. Our more immediate community is a combination of beautiful, preserved agricultural land, suburban housing, and retail markets.

Northwestern Baltimore County, in which the church is situated, is primarily residential, with a wealth of services and attractive commercial establishments.

In addition to the public schools in our area, there are a number of private and church affiliated schools, including our own St. Thomas’ Preschool.

We are blessed to live in a community with many opportunities and much beauty.

*Upon further reflection this was amended on July 22, 2020

Outreach

The St. Thomas’ community is blessed beyond measure with gifts; intellectual, spiritual, and economic. Deep in our faith is the commitment to serving the underserved, which takes the form of outreach.

The St. Thomas’ community is blessed beyond measure with gifts; intellectual, spiritual, and economic. Deep in our faith is the commitment to serving the underserved, which takes the form of outreach.

Our missions meet the needs of the people close within our community as well as further afield.

Close to home, volunteers work in neighboring schools to support reading and language acquisition. We also collect and contribute food to local shelters.

We partner with Paul's Place and St. Matthias in the broader community by providing meals and working the soup kitchens. Additionally, our youth have traveled to other states to provide community service to underserved populations.

Worship & Music

The services at St. Thomas’ are based in the Anglican tradition using the Book of Common Prayer, New Revised Standard Version Bible, Wonder, Love, and Praise, African American Heritage Hymnal, Lift Every Voice And Sing II and The Hymnal 1982.

Services

Sundays

St. Thomas’ Church currently offers 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM Sunday Eucharist services. The 8:00 AM service follows Rite I, without music, and has a smaller gathering.

The 10:00 AM service follows Rite II, which is enriched by the music provided by an accomplished and committed choir. From September through May, when our Sunday School classes are in session, the students and teachers join the service at the Peace, to participate in the Holy Communion. This service attracts a large number of families and is better attended than the earlier service.

Midweek

At 12:00 on Wednesdays, The Eucharist (Rite II) is celebrated in the Old School Building, without music.

Celebrations

In accordance with the church calendar, St. Thomas’ observes traditional holidays.  Of particular note are Christmas Eve, Palm Sunday, and Easter Sunday. In addition, St. Thomas’ provides services for baptisms, weddings, and funerals.

Preaching

The congregation looks to the rector for guidance in their faith. The congregation is seeking inspirational sermons which connect the Biblical lessons to the challenges of daily life. A frequent refrain is: “I would like a sermon that would keep me thinking throughout the week.” The sermon should bring out the best in the congregants and guide in the daily practice of their faith.

Music

For many, the strong music program is the core of the worship service. We have a 22-member choir supported by a grand piano and our Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. We have also recently added a 14 member handbell choir to the music ministry.

Music for the services is drawn primarily from The Hymnal 1892, with additional selections chosen by the Music Minister who is guided by the Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary. Several times each year the choir will present special performances during 10 AM services or on Sunday evenings.

The Rectory

The Rectory at St.Thomas’ offers a comfortable home for up to 8 people. It is located on our grounds.

To Apply

We look forward to receiving materials from interested clergy. Please send the following items addressed to Paul Corbin, Chair of the Search and Discernment Team c/o The Rev. Stuart Wright (Canon for Transitions and Human Resources, The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland ): swright@episcopalmaryland.org by August 31st, 2020.

Application materials
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • References
  • PDF of your OTM profile
  • Sermons ( Links or recordings of 2 sermons preached in last 6 months)
    • One on a difficult contemporary topic
    • One that introduced a challenging theological topic or taught Christian virtues or ethics
Application Questions

All application question responses will be read “blind”- without readers knowing candidate information such as name, age, gender, seminary affiliation, marital/family status, cultural background. Please write responses carefully to avoid these references.

  • Why St. Thomas’?
  • When you read the bullet points under “Gather God’s people” in the portfolio, which is your strongest gift? What experience in your parish has illustrated how you have used this gift? How have you grown in or stewarded this gift?
  • When you read the bullet points under “Draw us into transformation” in the portfolio, which is your strongest gift? What experience in your parish has illustrated how you have used this gift? How have you grown in or stewarded this gift?
  • When you read the bullet points under “Equip us to do God’s work” in the portfolio, which is your strongest gift? What experience in your parish has illustrated how you have used this gift? How have you grown in or stewarded this gift?
  • Describe your style of management, organization, and communication with staff, vestry, volunteers, and board leadership.

Background Check Release: complete the form here so that we may perform a comprehensive background check at the appropriate time in the process. Interested clergy may access additional information on The Episcopal Church OTM Portfolio site and St Thomas' annual report.

Background Check Release