Tuesday, October 22, 2019

What's next?

Now that Lorna has followed God's call to Philadelphia, what happens next here at St. Andrew's? That is a very important question, one that the Vestry is prayerfully addressing. As you no doubt have noticed, the lay of the land here at St. Andrew's has changed since we called Lorna: the school has closed, and we have begun using our building as a multipurpose outreach facility. With the Engaging the Climb Team, we have started exploring new ways of being church. Meanwhile, many things have not changed: our commitment to serving God; our ongoing Sunday morning worship; our provision of pastoral care to those in need; our ministries to children and youth; our outreach in our community and beyond.

Over the next few months, the Vestry's task is to discern and clarify the nature and shape of the position(s) we hope to fill: part-time or full-time? Clergy or lay? Responsible for children and youth; pastoral care; and /or outreach facility leadership and management? Or some other combination?

While the Vestry is engaged in the holy task of discernment, we as a congregation are blessed with gifted, faithful parishioners who are stepping forward to fill in gaps created by Lorna's departure. Raven Cadena and Nick Clark are running the EYC. Liz Rous, Allie Wittkamp, and Karen Waddill are taking the lead with Children's Chapel. Our talented staff are graciously taking on additional responsibilities, such as overseeing the Safe Church Training implementation. The Rev. Carol Chamberlain, Travis Greenman, John Herbst, and Jason Knudeson have volunteered to help with worship services. In addition to our hardworking Pastoral Care Team, the Rev. Bruce Cheney is helping Anne with hospital and homebound visits. Please take time to thank these folks. We are very blessed.

This in-between time is challenging, but it is also a gift: an opportunity for us to pause and take a clear-eyed view at our current circumstances, vision, and needs - and then to act accordingly. Faithful discernment takes prayer and time. I as for your prayers for the Vestry in our work of discernment; for our parish in this time of transition and listening; and for all who so generously lead and serve in this place. may God bless and guide us.


Why we "do" Halloween

In recent years, St. Andrew's parishioners have had a great time on Halloween night in Hilton Village. According to the online publication, Our Community Now:

"Hilton Village is by far the most widely acclaimed top contender for 757 trick-or-treating. Every year, this historic neighborhood with closely-nestled houses swaps its suburban complacency for festive decorations, gorgeous light shows, smiling families, and huge cauldrons full of candy at every house (and church!) from Main Street to River Road -- just follow the throngs of families and the squeals of 'trick or treat!'"

Let's face it, Halloween has become a big deal in our society. For St. Andrew's parishioners, participating in Halloween is about having fun, but because we are located in a safe neighborhood, children from other areas come in cars, vans, and even buses to trick or treat here - 1000 of them at least! We try to do things a little differently. Yes, we give out small bags of candy with a note that says,

"From our family to yours... We hope you have a safe and joyful time trick or treating!"

But we also hand out children's books and other trinkets, we allow the use of our restrooms (a VERY appreciated gesture!), have coffee in the lobby for parents, and, most importantly, try to briefly engage with parents and their children by greeting them with a smile, complimenting their costumes, and wishing them a safe and fun-filled night.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed candy so far! It has allowed us to get a head start on preparing all those treat bags. If you want to have a memorable Halloween experience, join us on Main Street beginning at 5:30 p.m. to hand out treats and extend a hand of friendship to our community.

Rachel Roby

2020 Pledge Campaign: Reflection on Gracious Giving

Why I give to St. Andrew's

For most of my adult life, I have moved around: from a small Appalachian town to a large industrial city, with many kinds of places in between. Even my five years spent in Newport News has involved much moving, as my husband and I learned to live in an area that was so different from our Midwestern roots. However, when we purchased our home in Hilton Village earlier this year, we finally felt settled in a way we hadn't for a long time. But there was a part of our lives that, because of the uncertainty of our jobs, we'd never had the opportunity to secure: finding a church and community of faith to join.

Though I've only been a member of St. Andrew's for a few months, the welcoming community it provided for us has helped to complete a years-long journey to finding a spiritual home. My contribution to the Annual Giving Campaign demonstrates my gratefulness for the physical space, the spiritual sanctuary it provides, and the people who make the space complete.

Nicole Emmelhainz

Monday, October 14, 2019

Welcome and Thanks to The Rev. Bruce Cheney!

To help fill the gap left by Lorna's departure, the Rev. Bruce Cheney, former rector at St. Paul's and current rector at St. George's, will be stepping in to help Anne with pastoral care at St. Andrew's. 

A retired Coast Guard officer, Bruce was ordained to the priesthood in 2007. He has served in a variety of places, including as a hospice chaplain for three years in Missouri.  He often travels with his therapy and service dog, Cowboy. 

Bruce will be presiding at Wednesday healing Eucharist once or twice a month and will assist as needed with emergency and homebound pastoral care visits. Welcome, Bruce!

2020 Pledge Campaign: Reflection on Gracious Giving

We live in a world with ever increasing availability of information, new ideas and evolving perspectives, coupled with what appears to be a demise of respect for authority and formerly accepted standards of behavior.  This can cause us to question many of our core values.

Some of these values and former standards of behavior needed revision, such as better understanding and acceptance of rights for women, gays, minorities and people with mental and physical handicaps.  On the other hand, the degradation of discipline in our schools and a growing disrespect for first responders in many communities, can create apprehension about personal security and safety, plus worries about the long-term consequences of these behaviors.

Attending St. Andrew’s and hearing God’s word can help define our core beliefs and understanding of how best to behave as Christians.  For Rose and me, regularly hearing Anne, and other clergy, sharing broadening insight into Biblical lessons, in an environment of communal prayer, reflections and confession, helps us define who we should be and why while also serving as a motivation to learn from failures and strive to be more Christian in our behavior.

John Garrett