Like any church, St. Thomas couldn’t function without the helping hands of its members. We offer parishioners many opportunities to become involved in the life of the parish – both within the parish community and in the larger local community. Here are some of the ministries in which you can get involved:
Acolytes are among our most visible parishioners, carrying the cross and torches in the processional and recessional and assisting the celebrant each Sunday.
Altar Guild members, on the other hand, work behind the scenes. They look after the linens, candles, silver, glass and other utensils used in the Eucharist and set up the altar and church for services.
Beyond the Pew events take St. Thomas outside the walls of the church by hosting various events in member’s homes. The events afford a relaxed way for church members and their guests to get to know one another better and become one congregation.
Choir members sing at the 10:00 a.m. service each Sunday from September through Trinity Sunday, Christmas Eve, and evening services during Holy Week. Their repertoire includes choral music from plainchant to music by 21th century composers.
Daughters of the King sponsor service projects throughout the year, including our Christmas toy and clothing drive for youngsters in the state’s Child Protective Services system.
Foyer groups give church members a chance to know their fellow parishioners better. The rector randomly assigns interested members to the groups, which meet once a month for six months. The informal get-togethers are usually over lunch or dinner.
Guardian Angels volunteer to look over another parishioner for a year – anonymously. Those who participate randomly draw a name from a box and pray for that person, send a birthday greeting or do whatever the Spirit moves them to do. At year’s end, the Guardian Angels reveal their identities.
Kitchen Crew members plan, prepare and organize the delicious meals we have throughout the year, such as our Lenten meals on Wednesday evenings, our “flaming dish” lunch on Pentecost and our Thanksgiving feast on the Sunday before the holiday.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers, commissioned by the bishop, help administer the chalice during worship services.
Eucharistic Visitors (External LEMS) deliver communion to homebound members.
Parking Host volunteers patrol our two parking lots during the 10 o’clock Sunday service to ensure the safety of our members’ and guests’ cars.
Social Committee members are our “party planners” and put together, with the Kitchen Crew, our social events at St. Thomas.
Ushers hand out service bulletins, collect the offering and help with the orderly flow of the congregation during the 10 o’clock Sunday service and special services.
Welcome Guild members greet visitors to St. Thomas, making them feel welcome and often assisting first-time guests who may be unfamiliar with Episcopal services.
Vestry members are a board of 9 laypersons who have material responsibility for the parish. The parishioners elect three Vestry members annually to serve three-year terms.
Our Community Outreach
Community service has been part and parcel of St. Thomas’ history. Our commitment to helping others begins with a financial commitment for good causes but extends far beyond dollars and cents. Parishioners collectively donate hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of their time each year through a wide range of outreach activities. Members of the committee work with community agencies to discover needs that may be supported by St. Thomas.
Six years ago, parishioners turned an empty lot next to the church into a bountiful garden that would feed the hungry in Dallas. Dozens of St. Thomas members have tended the plots to produce thousands of pounds of vegetables each year for local food pantries. This has become a community garden in the true sense of the word. It is a popular volunteer and outreach activity for many community groups that have joined in the tilling, nurturing and harvesting.
Austin Street Center
A group of dedicated parishioners rise early on the first Saturday of every month to meet in the church kitchen and prepare a lunch they serve at the Austin Street Center’s homeless shelter.
Ewing House Dinner Group
A group of church members prepare, serve and share dinner each month with the residents of Ewing House, a facility run by AIDS Services of Dallas (ASD). ASD provides housing and supportive services to low-income and homeless men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS.
The congregation collects non-perishable items every three months for community groups that maintain food pantries.
K.B. Polk Elementary
St. Thomas parishioners have become strong partners with a nearby public school, K.B. Polk Vanguard Elementary, filling needs that might otherwise go unmet. Some of us serve as tutors, while others read to classes. Still others help with special programs, such as the annual spring field day. Church members also provide backpacks, school supplies and school uniforms at the beginning of the academic year. St. Thomas volunteers recently redecorated and refurnished the teachers’ lounge. The parish also provided an $8,500 computer program that is used by students in all grades.
North Dallas Shared Ministries
Parishioners give clothing and food to help Dallas area residents on limited incomes. St. Thomas members also volunteer many hours to the interfaith agency’s social service programs. St. Thomas is a proud NDSM Partner.
As a Parish we sign up throughout the year to represent the Diocese at The Gathering. This ministry serves a huge need by providing weekly lunches, personal hygiene items and financial assistance. The Gathering is able to offer encouragement and a respite from the daily struggles of living on the street.
Each year St. Thomas participates in Life Walk. This event is part of AIDS Arms, Inc. which is the largest local nonprofit HIV/AIDS service organization in North Texas, serving HIV+ individuals and reaching thousands more with testing, prevention and education efforts. For 30 years, AIDS Arms has been serving Dallas and 12 surrounding counties.
Twice a year out best sewers, cutters, and ironers gather to make pillowcases. These one of a kind pillowcases go to Community Partners Of Dallas for CPS children. We combine them with holiday gifts collected by The Daughters of the King.
Community Picnic Committee
Members work together to present community wide gathering each Fall. The event is open to all and is great way for parishioners to share their excitement about St. Thomas with those who live around the church and civic organizations.
Parishioners raise funds for other charitable causes, such as the annual AIDS LifeWalk, which supports community groups that help people live with the illness. The St. Thomas team is typically the top fund raiser among churches and non-profit groups. Bryan’s House, a pediatric facility for children affected by HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses, also receives our strong backing. And every December, we donate food, clothing and toys to youngsters within the state’s Child Protective Services system.