Welcome to St. Thomas More Parish
We, the faith community of St. Thomas More, confirm our commitment to our Lord and brother, Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. We center on the Eucharist and the embodiment of Catholic family values. We commit to love of neighbor: hospitality and compassion; nurturing and enrichment; empathy and social justice, emphasizing the contemporary needs of the church and the poor.
What is a Reverse Advent Calendar?
It’s a lot of fun and a great way to share the blessings of the holiday season with others.The STM Service and Justice Commission has created two Reverse Advent Calendars for this year’s Advent season. Here is how they work:
Calendar 1: Food Products
Find a big box or basket. Each day of Advent, add the item listed on the calendar to the box or basket. On Christmas, bring the box or basket to STM and we will make sure the items are passed on to our friends at St. Anthony Parish in Neopit.
Calendar 2: Random Acts of Kindness
Each day of Advent, perform a simple Random Act of Kindness for someone in your life. That person may be someone you see every day or a stranger. We’ve provided you with a calendar to give you ideas, but be sure to keep it simple and fun! Then, watch for how God works through your kindness.
May your Christmas be blessed with the warmth of Jesus’ love.
STM Service and Justice Commission
Please click here for a printable friendly version.
Question of The Week
How do people today get to be the sheep that Jesus describes in the Gospel?
Sunday 11/22/20 Readings:First ReadingParable of the ShepherdsEzekiel 34:11-12, 15-17Psalm23:1-2a, 2b-3, 5, 6Second ReadingChrist, The First Fruits1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28GospelThe Last JudgmentMatthew 25:31-46
Our office will be closed Thanksgiving Day, as well as the day after. We will reopen on Monday November 30th.
Households of Discipleship 11/25/20Advent is Almost Here!This week we journey through Thanksgiving and begin the season of Advent. As winter begins our hearts become grateful for what has been given in the harvest of the year and prepare for what God has in store for us.We conclude our reflection the Jesus' Compassionate Heart and turn our attention to his Prayerful Heart in the month of December. If you haven't watched our November DF Live yet, you can view it on our STM Facebook page (under Videos, click on the Discipleship Formation Playlist). Our December DF Live will stream on our Facebook page on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 6:15 pm. If you can't watch it live, be sure to catch the recording!Here's what you'll find in this note:
Keep praying!Dean Gruner, former President and CEO of Theda CareNow available wherever you get your pods! The latest episode of Exploring His Kingdom features an interview with Dean Gruner, the former President and CEO of Theda Care about his work with Common Ground. St. Thomas More is a proud member of Common Ground. Tune in here to hear more or download us wherever you find your pods.You can find previous episodes, including Sunday homilies, on the STM website.Ideas for the Four Skills...Simple is the magic word this year. While these four skills are simple, they take commitment to get started. Please make the effort this year. The long-term benefits are fantastic! We are taking a back to basics approach for Discipleship Formation by focusing on four key skills for individuals and families:
- Our podcast, Exploring His Kingdom, IS NOW ON APPLE, STITCHER, GOOGLE, SPOTIFY, AND JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE ELSE YOU GET YOUR PODS. Of course, you can always find the latest episode on the STM website and we'll keep sending them in our Flocknotes as well.
- New ideas for living the four key discipleship skills.
- While we are dispensed from the obligation to attend Christmas liturgy this year, we will be offering Masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well as Live-streaming our 4 pm Christmas Eve Mass. Please sign up if you are planning to attend in person this Christmas.
- Check out this week's new meaningful meals starter question, and faith sharing help!
- This week's Log. The first of the new liturgical year as we begin Advent.
- We need your prayer intentions. Please call the office or put them in the virtual prayer basket so we can pray for one another.
- A new picture theme: Advent and Christmas! Send in your pictures.
- Check out the new News, Updates, and Links to the bulletin and other great resources.
- And some wisdom from the sheep.
In case you missed it, watch our November Discipleship Formation Session at our STM Facebook page Other formation videos can also be found there.Sign up for this weekend...And for Christmas...
To use the bible as individuals and as a family
Idea: For a Thanksgiving prayer, read Psalm 136. You can even split up the reading with one person reading the first part and everyone responding "for his mercy endures forever."
To pray regularly as an individual and as families
Idea: After reading Psalm 136 (see above) everyone can take turns thanking God for something they are grateful for.
To share a meaningful meal together regularly
For a meal prayer, use the "Thanksgiving Prayer in Time of Pandemic" attached. Thanksgiving is always special, even when we cannot all be together.
To have faith sharing conversations - "faith talks" and "faith walks"
Use this week's "Faith Talk" questions in the Mealtime Moments section at a meal or some other time as a chance to go deeper in your faith as a family. It will be awkward at first, but stick with it and it gets easier.
Christmas Masses Sign Up The obligation to attend Mass on Christmas this year has been dispensed. However, we will be celebrating Mass for those who are able to come. We are also making it available through streaming our 4 pm Christmas Eve liturgy this year. We will continue to practice social distancing, wearing masks, and following the Diocesan procedures for during the Pandemic. Please sign-up for the Mass you plan to attend.As you are probably aware, our area is in Critically High Alert for COVID-19. In response, Bishop Ricken reinstated the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Masses in the diocese until further notice. This means that you are not obligated to attend Mass on Sunday (or Saturday night) or Holy Days for the duration of this dispensation (see attached letter from Bp. Ricken). Please know, that even with the reinstatement of the dispensation, St. Thomas More will continue to celebrate Mass publicly every weekend for those who are able to attend and willing to strictly follow the proper health protocols (attached). During this time of increased infection, our parish will be even more vigilant in observing the health protocols shared in the diocesan guidelines to help prevent the spread of disease and allow as many people as is safe to come to Mass without fear of infection. The wearing of masks is mandatory at Masses celebrated here and throughout the diocese. We thank you for your support and compliance as we find ourselves in this time of very high alert throughout the diocese.
We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed.Mealtime Moments...Remember, a weekly meaningful meal is a key discipleship skill. You can even make them more meaningful by having a "faith talk" around the table. Here is a gentle starter question to get the ball rolling:How do you get rid of stress?Everyone can get stressed out sometimes and everyone deals with it differently. Maybe you can pick up some tips or find out how stressed everyone really is.
And for that "faith talk"...based on this weekend's Gospel (Mt. 25:31-46)TAKE TIME TO CHAT
- What does it mean to "keep watch" for Jesus?
- Why do you think Jesus doesn't tell us when the end of the world will be?
- What has Jesus put his servants in charge of?
... or you can just use these questions at a meal or any time for a "faith walk"!Adult Question: How do you know when you're following Christ and living his teachings faithfully?Child Question: What good thing might God be asking you to do right now?Watch!“‘What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’.”Mk. 13:37Have you ever heard of bi-modal sleeping? Historians and archeologists tell us that prior to the 19th century, many people around the world divided the night into two segments with a period of being awake in between. For example, they would go to bed shortly after the sun went down, but rise again a few hours later for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, and then return to bed until morning. This is sometimes referred to as the “second sleep.”...Together in prayer...We need your prayer intentions! Please send them in through our virtual prayer basket.Below (and attached) are last week's intentions. Please send us more to pray for!Remember Jesus said, "If two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father." (Mt. 18:19)New as of Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Pray for Betty who had major back surgery.
Please pray that I can find a God-filled caregiver and a nurse to help take care of Thomas.
For those making decisions out of fear, that they will listen to and trust in God.
Bless all those involved in finalizing the election, that they do God’s will.
Please pray for my daughter who is suffering from mental illness.
Please pray for my uncle Murphy who is recovering from surgery to remove cancer from his sinuses.
Please pray for my neighbor Mark who is battling cancer.
Please pray for Tara, family and friends. Tara’s mom passed away.
Please pray for Dawn R and her son, Andrew as they deal with Dawn’s cancer diagnosis and treatment.
All of our charities support individuals, families, and communities, the most vulnerable of God's children.
Please peruse our digital booklet on the website and order form, and choose the charities that are close to your hearts. Then fill out the digital order form and return it with payment to the parish office. If you choose to donate to a charity as a gift to a family member or friend, you may pick up a card in the parish office to let them know that a donation was made on their behalf.
Our charities thank the parishioners of St. Thomas More in advance for your generosity.Sentiments for Seminarians In support of vocations, the Knights of Columbus are gathering gift cards to distribute to our diocese’s very own seminarians. Please consider helping these men on their journey to the priesthood by giving a gift card or cash (used to purchase gift cards) to any major store, restaurant or gas station. Any amount will be greatly appreciated. Drop your gift cards at the parish office clearly marked “for KofC Council 607” or mail to PO Box 1492, Appleton, WI 54912. Please provide donations by Nov 29th. Thanks for your support and generosity!Give us your Feedback...Let us know what you want in our Wednesday Flocknote by replying. We want this to be useful to you as we grow as disciples of Jesus.