Ordained to the Diaconate in 2007, Deacon Tom and wife Lois have been members of St. Peter’s since 1979. They have always been very active in the church’s affairs. Tom and Lois have three grown children and 3 granddaughters.
In addition to his parochial liturgical duties, he has led, or participated in, several ministries for this congregation. He has been actively engaged in refugee ministry since before ordination, along with now retired fellow Deacon, Joanne Frake. Together, they have coordinated several move-ins of refugee families through the years, secured a grant from the WNY Diocese to expand that ministry, and have run a mentoring program for a Congolese refugee family. The onset of Covid has curtailed many refugee dealings, but Tom is now leading the church’s efforts to support the help of refugee agencies to re-settle Afghan evacuees. We continue to assist as needed, and where our capabilities allow us.
The second ministry Tom leads for us is Collins Christian Ministries (CCM). CCM is an ecumenical prison ministry that serves Collins Correctional Facility outside of Gowanda, NY. Tom goes into prison to counsel inmates, and counts on parishioners to participate by making cookies, writing supportive cards to the inmates, and praying for all involved. Covid has also curtailed prison ministry, but we continue to pray that it will start up when it is safe.
Deacon Tom also participates in pastoral care for the congregation; is a member of the Worship Team; drives for the Linen Pantry and Refugee Bazaar when called on, and presides over a service from the reserved sacrament when the priest is away.
He has also been active at the diocesan level- serving 5 years as Archdeacon; serving on the Commission on Ministry, and leading several discernments. Tom currently serves on the Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination for the Partnership.
If you are interested in joining this ministry, please contact Deacon Tom or Missi Lopat: (716) 832-9764 or firstname.lastname@example.org.