Hello, and Welcome to our St. Thomas Home Page!
On behalf of all of the wonderful Christians who are part of our faith community, thank you so much for visiting our Internet home! We encourage you to visit the various areas of the site to learn more about what we have to offer.
At St. Thomas, we do our utmost to provide gracious hospitality to all we encounter, both within the doors of our lovely church and outside in the world at large. Our aim at St. Thomas is stated clearly in our Vision Statement, and we urge you to click on the appropriate link here to learn what we strive to be about.
Our charming parish church has been serving Berea and the Southwest portion of Cuyahoga County, Ohio (the Cleveland area) since 1893 in this location, and for many years before that in others. We are nestled in the midst of the beautiful Baldwin-Wallace college campus and just one block from the quaint downtown historic district of Berea.
We cordially invite you to come and worship with us next time you are in the area! We very much look forward to personally greeting you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and introducing you to our active and growing community of believers at St. Thomas Episcopal Church!
Yours in Christ,
St. Thomas Episcopal Church
- 05:30 pm - Contemporary Eucharist
- 08:00 am - Holy Eucharist Rite I
- 09:30 am - Family Friendly Service
- 10:30 am - Holy Eucharist Rite II
A Chrismas Message from Father Sedgwick
Dear Friends of St. Thomas,
Madeleine l’Engle describes the eminent psychologist Bruno Betelheim talking to a group of young mothers about why their children are so restless and difficult to cope with around bedtime. After running through all the obvious explanations, he says, “I’ll tell you the real reason. They’re afraid of the dark.” The women objects vehemently that this can’t possibly be so, and he replies, “The very vehemence of your objections tells me that it is true.” Maybe, Madeleine ponders, we’re all afraid of the dark.
Maybe we are. Not of physical darkness, mind you, which is pretty hard to find in the modern world anyway. But there are other kinds of darkness too, in particular, the darkness of doubt, uncertainty, and a vague uneasiness about where things are headed in our world. I asked a wise friend of mine why people behave so irrationally at times. “People will do almost anything when they’re scared,” he replied. I don’t believe that primitive people were any more irrational than we are. They didn’t light fires and burn candles at this time of year because they really thought the darkness was going to swallow the sun. But they did understand that the world is full of things that seem to threaten our well-being. If the light of a fire and the promise of the sun’s return helped to lift their spirits and give them a ray of hope during the darkest time of the year, well, good for them. I’m not sure our customs are really so very different from theirs.
It seems inevitable that when Christians reflected on the significance of Christ’s coming, they thought in terms of light. “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” (John 1:9) “God from God, light from light, true God from true God.” (The Nicene Creed) “Risen with healing in his wings, light and life to all he brings, hail the Son of righteousness! Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hark! The herald angels sing glory to the new-born King!” We have probably been trained to think of this as symbolic; light is, after all, a recognizable symbol of truth. It’s more than that, however.
Our children gaze at the bright lights of Christmas, I believe, much in the way that a North Korean refugee stood spellbound at the lights of the little city in the south to which she had escaped, some years ago. Never, she told the people who found her, had she seen anything so beautiful. Yes, those lights probably represented something –perhaps the hope of a better life than she could have enjoyed in her impoverished homeland. But what actually compelled her attention was the light itself. I think what she beheld was glory.
Jesus, the Christ child, God-with-us, is light and life, as the familiar carol tells us, and truth as well. But he is also glory, which is not something that confers any benefit on us, strictly speaking. Glory simply invites us into God’s presence, and asks us to linger there. “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we beheld his glory, as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”
I look forward to celebrating this Christmas with all of you. May the Christ child give us the grace to step outside, for a space, of our fears of the darkness and simply to behold his glory.
Father Steve Sedgwick