By Rick Schulte
The Rev. Shirley McWhorter, pastor at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, was prominently noted in a three-minute video production documenting different elements of the Lenten season.
“Lent 2012 in the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan” showed how many of the diocese’s 80 congregations located throughout southeast Michigan prepared for and celebrated the season.
“We’re very happy to be a part of this,” the Rev. Shirley McWhorter said prior to the interview. “It’s nice to see the Diocese is taking notice at the things we’re doing here in Trenton. This seems like a very neat way to show more about our church.”
The video opens with the Rev. McWhorter explaining how her church celebrates Shrove Tuesday, also known as “Fat Tuesday,” on the eve of Ash Wednesday.
“It’s the last occasion to eat all those goodies, and have good meals before you come to Ash Wednesday and you fast during Lent, and on Good Friday,” she said.
“It’s a good time of fellowship to enjoy food together, and to be ready to give up some things and take up some things for Lent.”
The appearance at the church was unannounced, but the church happily obliged. In fact, the Rev. McWhorter’s husband, Gary, worked in the kitchen handling griddle duties, helping to create a pancake supper attended by dozens of parishioners and guests.
“To be one of the churches recognized in this video is quite an honor,” she said. “We really enjoy this day, heading into Lent. It’s nice to know others will see how much we enjoy it.”
The Rev. McWhorter has served in the Diocese of Michigan since 2007.
Another notable event took place at St. Thomas a few weeks after the video was shot. Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr., the 10th bishop of the diocese, made an appearance for Sunday services. Bishop Gibbs makes it a practice to visit each church in the diocese on a rotating basis – which means it will be a few more years before he is able to return. He met with members of the church in a luncheon following church services.