Monday, April 10, 2017

EYC Easter fun

EYC Easter fun! Youth Intern Maggie with her candy mustache - there were several to be found in the EYC Easter Egg Hunt yesterday afternoon. All sugared up, the youth then stuffed a giant basket-load of eggs for the children's egg hunt on Easter morning.

An Easter prayer

O Lord God, our Father.  You are the light that can never be put out; and now you give us a light that shall drive away all darkness.  You are love without coldness, and you have given us such warmth in our hearts that we can love all when we meet.  You are the life that defies death, and you have opened for us the way that leads to eternal life.

None of us is a great Christian; we are all humble and ordinary.  But your grace is enough for us.  Arouse in us that small degree of joy and thankfulness of which we are capable, to the timid faith which we can muster, to the cautious obedience which we cannot refuse, and thus to the wholeness of life which you have prepared for all of us through the death and resurrection of your Son.  Do not allow any of us to remain apathetic or indifferent to the wondrous glory or Easter, but let the light of our risen Lord reach every corner of our dull hearts. 

Karl Barth, 1886 – 1968

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Circle 4 gets to know the Rev. Jennifer Kimball

Circle 4 Women’s Group held its third meeting of 2017 on Tuesday, April 4, continuing its program series of “Getting to Know the Staff.” Interim Minister for Christian Formation (CF), The Rev. Jennifer Kimball, presented a great program, highlighting her journey to the ministry, discussing her seminary work (on original sin, original virtue, and faith development, to name a few), and sharing excerpts from her thesis on spirituality.  It was a pleasure to get to know a bit more about Jen; it didn’t take long to realize that while serving in her interim capacity and, most recently, “dual-hatted” as Minister of CF and Minister for Youth and Children, Jen is dedicated and perseverant and St. Andrew’s is privileged to have her on staff.  Thanks, Jen—for your love and commitment in working in these challenging roles and times, and for taking the time to come and talk to Circle 4!

Continue to check our webpage at to catch up on Circle 4, and mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 2 at 10 a.m., to attend our last business meeting before our June luncheon and break for the summer. 

Circle 4 continues to “double up” on the canned goods collection at St. Andrew’s by bringing additional items to its monthly meetings.  We strive to maintain support to our sister church, St. Paul’s, in its community mission outreach.  We want to do our part in ensuring their cupboards are never bare! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Giving thanks for the Rev. Dick Holley's ministry at St. Andrew's

Our  beloved priest and friend, the Rev. Dick Holley, retired on March 31 after nearly 53 years of ordained ministry. We honored him on Sunday, April 2.

Dick graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1964. After 25 years as an Army chaplain, Dick retired from the military in 1994. After his Army career, he served at rector at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, VA for 10 years. In 1999 he came to St. Andrew's, where he has served as assisting priest for 17 years, particularly ministering to our retirement communities and homebound members.

We are so grateful for the impact of his gentle faithfulness in the lives of so many of us.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Well done, good and faithful servant!

Elizabeth Koerner, our Interim Minister for Children and Youth, has resigned from her position at St. Andrew's in order to take care of family obligations,  (Her father, Roger Perry, was recently released from the hospital and Elizabeth is caring for him.)  We are so grateful to Elizabeth for her skillful, diligent, compassionate ministry with our children and youth, not only as a paid member of the staff but also for her years of volunteer work, too.  She has laid a solid foundation on which others can build.  Well done, good and faithful servant.  Please hold Elizabeth, Roger, and their whole family in your prayers during this time of transition.  Elizabeth will be back in our midst as parishioner and friend as soon as Roger is better, and Roger, too, looks forward to being back at church.
The Rev. Jennifer Kimball and our college interns Maggie Mahloy and Alex Shaddock will be increasing their work hours in coming weeks to ensure that our ministry to youth and children can continue smoothly.  We are so grateful to Jen, Maggie, and Alex for their generosity with their time.  Please keep all those who work with our youth and children in your prayers.  If you are able to help with tasks in the coming weeks, please let Jen Kimball know. 

Join us on April 2 to honor The Rev. Richard Holley

Our beloved priest and friend Dick Holley is retiring from active ministry on March 31 after nearly 53 years of ordained ministry.  We will honor him with a special coffee hour following the 10:30 service this Sunday, April 2.
Dick was born into a United States Army family at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  Following high school he enlisted in the Army and served, mostly in Germany, for 3 years.  Along the way he came to know several Army Chaplains who had a great influence on him.
After his time in the Army he entered the University of Oklahoma.  While there he met Lois Edelle Hammond and the couple married after a two year courtship.  After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Business, Dick entered Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1964.
With his sights set on becoming an Army Chaplain, Dick met the requirement to first serve in a parish for five years, as Curate at St. John's Episcopal Church in Norman, Oklahoma from 1964-1969.  He was commissioned as an Army officer in 1969 and served as a Chaplain for the next 25 years, finally retiring as a Colonel in 1994.
After his Army career, he served as Rector at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, Virginia for ten years and in 1999 made his way to St. Andrew's where he has served as Assisting Priest for 17 years, particularly ministering to our retirement communities and homebound members. 
Dick's ministry among us has been low profile and one-on-one. We are grateful for the impact of his gentle faithfulness in the lives of so many of us. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Walking the Way of the Cross and catching a monkey

In the 40 days of Lent we prepare for Easter with prayer, fasting, and offering as we follow Jesus and “walk the way of the cross.”  When we give up things in Lent it makes us more aware of our strong attachment to the world: to habits and to things.  Jesus said, “Anyone who does not pick up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. If anyone finds his life, he will lose it.  If anyone loses his life because of me, he will find it.” (Matthew 10:38-39) This statement is preceded by verse 37: “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.  Anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” This is a very hard teaching.

Do you know how you catch a monkey?  I read that you take a box with a fist sized hole in it and put a banana in the box.  The monkey comes along and grabs hold of the banana, but can’t pull his hand back out of the box while holding the banana.  The monkey catcher comes along and picks up the box with the monkey on the outside of the box and his little monkey hand inside the box clinging to the banana.  Since the monkey won’t let go of the banana the monkey is caught.

Anthony de Mello, a Jesuit priest, wrote about the spiritual issue of attachment.  An attachment is the emotional state of clinging caused by the belief that without some thing or some person you cannot be happy.  He wrote: “An attachment by its very nature makes you vulnerable to emotional turmoil and is always threatening to shatter your peace.”  He said the only way to win the battle of attachments is to drop them.  And we can do that by realizing three truths:  Truth One:  The belief that without that person or thing you will not be happy is a false truth.  This is simply not true.  Truth Two:  You can enjoy things and people on a nonattachment, a non-clinging basis.  You do this by refusing to hold onto things with the belief that you will not be happy without them.  This means living life with open hands.  The third truth is to “learn to enjoy the scent of a thousand flowers so that you will not cling to one.” de Mello says it is precisely our attachments that prevent us from developing a wider and more varied taste for things and people.

This Lent as you are attempting to ‘give up chocolate’ or ‘tv’ or ‘candy’ – or whatever you have chosen to give up as your Lenten fast - reflect upon your attachments.  Consider what feelings and beliefs lie beneath these attachments which cause us to cling rather than gently hold.  Our Lenten fasts can help us become more self-aware as we draw closer to Christ.

Travis Greenman+