Over 100 children and young people attend St. Thomas Episcopal celebration

Published 3:54 pm Thursday, July 29, 2021

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St. Thomas Episcopal Church hosted a celebration recently for over 100 young people and children on the church lawn. Most were Spanish-speaking.
St. Thomas first greeted Spanish-speaking members of the community on Easter 2016 when Father Timothy Holder first arrived at the church. “Many families and beautiful children have blessed us since that time,” said Carol Brodeu, senior warden (chief officer) for the church. “It was just wonderful to see the children today. We love these families with all of our hearts. They are family.”
The “Our Children and Families” celebration took place Saturday, July 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children and their families were given “rainbow school bags,” $100 Walmart school gift cards, COVID-19 vaccinations for those over 12 years of age, and invitations to sign up for a futbol/soccer camp for boys and girls, and, with their families offer prayers thanking God for the beautiful days and new “St. Thomas Prayer Labyrinth” built with tons of rocks, backbone, and a lot of mud.
Bishop Brian Cole, leader of some 16,000 Christian faithful in the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, was present to meet with families and the children. Blessing the St. Thomas Prayer Labryrinth, the Bishop led those attending with the 23rd Psalm and then blessed both the beautiful new addition open to all people for prayer, along with two memorial benches for rest and contemplation for sojourners and bypassers, alike.
“This is an historic occasion for St. Thomas and our community,” said Father Holder. “Over 100 children and young people were honored. COVID vaccinations were offered, and dozens of church volunteers came to welcome those who attended. We rejoice in serving the Lord with all people and praying at this labyrinth for nurture of soul and a quiet nearness to God in this, His beautiful creation.”
St. Thomas serves Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, and Washington counties in Northeast Tennessee and has been recognized for its mission and service among Latinx people in this area and in the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee.
The Tri-Cities Latinx Partnership was founded at St. Thomas in January 2017 to welcome local Hispanic neighbors, some of whom have resided in our region for three, four generations and more. Several area churches and members are members of the Latinx Partnership. Covenant Presbyterian, Johnson City, served with St. Thomas to welcome and serve “Nuestros Ninos y Familias!”

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