Dear Parish Family,
A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph. But, according to Matthew’s gospel, “she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” This was not the way it was supposed to happen.
The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus…The child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” If her child was indeed the Son of God, why did Mary and Joseph have to travel to Bethlehem where the Son of God began His human life in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn? This was not the way it was supposed to happen.
Just like the very first Christmas, so we can say the same about Christmas in 2020. We are supposed to have overflowing churches with everyone proclaiming their faith-filled joy of our God-made-human showing His great love for us by coming from heaven to live with us. We are supposed to have choirs, with extra musicians, to help us celebrate that special moment when God’s Word made His dwelling with us. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions which we are required to follow to keep people safe, this year’s Christmas will not be like past celebrations. This is not the way it is supposed to happen.
Even though this year’s Christmas celebration will be different, we still gather as a faith community to celebrate the miracle of the first Christmas. We are working to provide various opportunities for the St. Thomas faith community to gather, whether it be in the church space, in the parking lot or virtually. Continuing to follow the safety guidelines, we will have a capacity limit of 125 for those worshiping in the church space. Registration will be required online. Call the parish office if you need assistance. Please refer to the schedule on the reverse side for more information.
We are aware that this is not how Christmas is supposed to happen but it will happen for you and your family in a new way this year at St. Thomas. But, just as God helped the Holy Family go through their various trials, let us continue to believe and trust that God will do the same for us.
We thank you for your continued support of our parish through your prayers. We also hope that, if you are able, you will continue to provide your generous financial support as you have done so in past celebrations of Christmas.
We look forward to celebrating this holy season with you and your loved ones.
In the Word,
Rev. Philip M. Danaher, Pastor
Please click on the links below for more details about Advent activities at St. Thomas.
Creighton University offers daily Advent prayers. CLICK HERE FOR THE PRAYERS.
Celebrating Advent at Home. This is a simple way for those worshipping at home to engage with their own Advent wreath. There are prayers, scripture, conversation prompts, and instructions for each week of Advent and Christmas Eve. CLICK HERE FOR THE BOOKLET.