Monday, October 24, 2016

Gathering around Jesus

We all know the story of the children who wanted to gather around Jesus, but the disciples brushed them off. Jesus went the opposite direction – he pulled them into the center! Taking his actions seriously, I am constantly looking for ways we honor children’s spirituality: let them see what is going on and let them be involved in worship.

I am happy that St. Andrew’s has programming each week for all our children. Kids up to grade five come to Children’s Chapel during the 10:30 service, and we are dividing them into two age groups. Youth from sixth through twelfth grade meet Sunday evenings for activities and Bible study geared toward them. Additionally, second through fifth graders have a monthly Tweens gathering just for them. And new this year, we are having several fellowship events that will allow us some time with kids while their parents relax. The first of these is October 30. As you enjoy brunch, keep an eye out for a few saints of ages past who will be meeting with our children and telling their stories.

The Rev. Jen Kimball
Interim Minister of Christian Formation

Monday, October 17, 2016

The great and awesome power

Last Saturday night I went to bed listening to the roar of rain and rush of wind, and praying for Matthew to pass without creating damage in our area.  I’m sure you were doing the same.  About 2 a.m. I was awakened by the sound of our generator going on (it’s automatic). What a wonderful noise, I thought.  At least we’ll have enough electricity to run the refrigerator and make coffee in the morning.  The generator requires some TLC to keep running, and I admit that I become obsessed with thinking and worrying about it when it runs for a long period of time.  Does it need oil?  Does it sound okay?  Must keep it running!  Need power

The word “power” has been a part of nearly every conversation for the last three days.  I began to think about the meaning of the word power.  When power refers to supplying electrical energy to a device, it is a verb; when power refers to the goodness and greatness in our God, it is a noun.

Our liturgy contains numerous references to the power of God.  Here are a few: 

  • Nicene Creed:  “…by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate…
  • Lord’s Prayer: “…for the kingdom, the power, and the glory…” 
  • Sanctus and Benedictus:  “Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might…”
  • Eucharistic Prayer C:  “…God of all power, Ruler of the universe…” 
  • Penitence: “…and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life.”
We witnessed God’s power, not electricity, Sunday morning, when we worshiped in the Parish Hall. It was a powerful, beautiful, and intimate service, despite the absence of microphones and lights. 

After reflecting on God and his power, I am not worrying about the generator.  It is Monday evening, and we still don’t have power.  Electrical, that is.  However, the great and awesome power of my God never goes out in a storm, never fluctuates, does not need a backup generator.  In the words of the dismissal:  “Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.”

Elizabeth Koerner
Interim Minister of Youth & Children

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Did You? Have You? Could You? Would You?

Did you attend the going away reception for Fr. David?  Wasn’t it a great time with delicious food?  Could you help with another fellowship event on October 30?

Have you donated shoes to THRIVE Peninsula so that people in third world countries could have jobs and shoes?  Have you baked homemade cookies for Jered Benoit and Matt Deller to take on their Kairos weekends in October and November to share God’s love with those incarcerated? 

In the past, have you volunteered to help with PORT when we assist a home church receive the homeless, and provide the guests with dinner, shelter for the night, and breakfast?  Have you brought in items or donated money for Turkey Sandwich Day when we provide 500 bag lunches for the homeless in our community?  Have you been part of the “beehive of activity” as we assemble the lunches?  Have you participated in our youth’s hometown mission trips to help those within and outside of our parish who need our help?

Could you give away your possessions and live in a box culvert beneath a busy street in any U.S. town?  Could you live with those who frequently camp out in the cloverleaf of one of our interstate intersections?  Could you sleep in a box over one of the air grates in our cities with subway systems?  Could you be a PORT “guest” for just one night?

A Methodist minister in El Paso, Texas, took a three-year leave of absence from her church, sold her home and car, and even renounced her salary so that she could experience living on the streets and try to understand the plight of the homeless and needy.

We receive requests for help almost every week from charities we know and even more from those we have never heard of before.  We receive drop in visits and phone calls at the church for financial assistance.  We will be doing much the same in upcoming newsletters as PORT, Turkey Sandwich Day, and other vital outreach ministries present themselves.  I often tell the staff that I feel guilty about all of the requests I include in the November and December issues of our newsletter.

Did you?  Did I?  Have you?  Have I?  Could you?  Could I?  Will you?  Will I?

We are in the process of filling 1,000 little bags to make children happy on Halloween.  The kitchen freezer is slowly filling up with homemade cookies for Kairos.  We are looking for turkeys to go on sale – we need 45 to 50 of them.  We recently took four bags and two boxes of shoes to THRIVE.  Margie Holt and Joy Johnson have volunteered to coordinate our support of PORT in December, and Matt Deller and Louise Ragland are coordinators in March.  And, in December there will be the collection for Warm Fuzzies – blanket sleepers and other items for babies whose parents cannot afford them.

Some did.  Some have.  Some could.  And, some will continue.  Thanks be to God for all of the little blessings we share with others.

Bill Wilds
Liturgical Assistant

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Blessing of the Animals

St. Andrew's invites all creatures great and small to come for a special blessing as we celebrate St. Francis Day on Sunday, October 9 at 1 p.m. 

Here are some of the special friends of St. Andrew's:

Bosco - the best beagle on the block! Much loved... Family: Cathy Frey

Comet rides... Let's roll! Family: Walter and Mary Deal

Gus says, "Yo, please bring me my pipe and slippers!" Family: Mary and John Wood

Sophie, a 7 year old chocolate lab. Her favorite treat is Starbucks doggie fluff. Family: Debi, Larry and Lindsey Nicolai

Max, a 9 year old Lhasa Apso/Shih Tzu mix and certified Therapy dog and service dog. Family: Greg and Judy Edwards

Dixie is 10 now and still loves her morning walk, followed by a swim in the river. She also enjoys greeting those who stop to say hi. Bob Kelly is one of her favorites. Family: Bob and Peggy Kelly.

Sarah, a 6 year old American short hair adopted from Peninsula SPCA. Family: Ben, Liz, Alex and Caroline Rous

Shakes is a 3 year old black lab/Chesapeake Bay retriever adopted from Gloucester/Mathews Humane Society. Family: Ben, Liz, Alex and Caroline Rous

Jimi, age 14, doing what he does best! But he turns into a puppy when treats are offered. Family: Al and Rachel Roby

Butters, age 14, rescued at age 6 weeks. Family: Marshall and Porter Booker

Bo Peep, a 17 year old feral cat who has the run of the yard and neighborhood at my home in Wythe. She is a well-fed, well-loved totally free spirit. Family: Brad Norris

Cocoa, a rescue pup, age 7. According to DNA testing she is a Coon Hound, Ratbone Terrier, Lab, Husky mix! She's a real sweetie who has never met anyone or anything she didn't love. Family: Debbie Cotrupi

Buddy, a 9 year old naughty Cocker Spaniel who loves to play frisbee. Family: Carter, Lisa, Spencer and Elizabeth Harrell

Von Ohlen "Never Left" cat - they say there are a large group of New Orleans residents called "never lefts". The Von Ohlen cat also fits that category because he came to Newport News to visit and never left!. Several years ago, Bill and Patty's son Ben brought Nacho for a visit, but when Ben departed, he was unable to take his cat with him. So to this day Nacho (sometimes called Taco by Bill) has made himself at home. Family: Bill and Patty Von Ohlen

Skipper is a 7 year old kitty who was rescued from the SPCA. She sleeps with me every night! Family: David Franzman

Oliver, a 3 year old rescue from Alabama, and Kacey, an 8 year old rescue from Virginia Beach SPCA. Family: Ann Turner

Darby, our Torte Point Himalayan, who sleeps on our vacuum cleaner daily. She is 4 years old and very lovable. Best pet we have ever had! Family: Barbara and Bob Lewis

Our cat Denali is a mixed breed who looks like he has some Siamese blood. We got him from the SPCA in Newport News. We had just returned from a trip to Alaska, hence the name. Denali is an Eskimo name of a mountain that means "the great one." His coloring is like mountains with snow on them. Family: Lois and Dick Holley

Chessie is 8 and an accomplished Agility and Obedience trained dog. Peake is 7 and is also accomplished in the Obedience ring. They are therapy dogs too. Chessie is always ready to play and enjoys learning new tricks. Peake is a party waiting to happen and loves life. Chessie and Peake are the heartbeats at my feet! Family: Carey and Grier Curtis

Roxie wishes everyone a Happy Halloween! Family: Jim and Martha Sides

LeLee, age 4 came to us from a family friend. Mr Buzz is a gray and white tabby who came to us via Craig's List. Our youngest, Xavier, is a 2 year old Seal Point Siamese who came to us via Craig's List. Family: Lee and Cheryl Zilkie

Buddy is 5 years old and came from the pound in Greensboro. He is a Fox Terrier mix and I have been told by lots of people that the mix part is Sheltie. Either way, he is a wonderful little dog and was very easy to train, plus the higher training he received from a police officer who trains shepherds. Family: Genie Best

Baron, a German Shepherd who thinks he's a Golden Retriever. He loves to play ball and swim. He also loves people and other dogs. He will be 8 in December. Family: Ted and Merrill Hemmert

Joey is a 2 year old Yorkie. He's a great little dog! A service dog, I was extremely lucky to get him. He is a great companion and spoiled rotten. Family: Lee Black

In Memoriam

Shammy, beloved kitty, mother of two surviving kittens, Phoebe and Tom, excellent companion, affectionate to the end, died in August at the age of 18. Family: Bill and Allison Clock

Simba Mozart, my best friend for 15 years. He let me love him from age 6 weeks until he passed away in 2012 at the ripe old age of 15. I still miss him. Family: Diana Skelton and Danny Switzer

Nikki was "leader of the pack". Family: Malcolm Martin

Monday, October 3, 2016

Faith - Hope - Love

In what is now a historic Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia, a founding father once said, “Peace, peace, but there is no peace....”  And from Patrick Henry’s impassioned speech in 1775 for liberty in this new country, there would ensue another war.  War.  Nothing new, really.  They have been going on in all parts of this planet we call earth, even before recorded time began.  When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was fighting in the area we know as Southeast Asia.

Many of us at St. Andrew’s had parents born just before, during, or after the war that was “to end all wars” – World War I.  These same parents may have fought in World War II or the Korean War.  We knew another war in Southeast Asia - Vietnam - a conflict that had been going on for years before our involvement.  And now, our children and the children of friends may have been involved in yet another continuous conflict – a conflict in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, but also in France, Germany, and the streets of our own country and city.

Have you ever attended a meeting of the Veteran’s of Foreign War, the American Legion, the Daughters of the Revolution, or Scouts?  How do they begin?  They begin with the Pledge of Allegiance to what we hold dear – a great country that many have forgotten to have faith in, hope for, and love of. 

At St. Andrew’s, we are a family.  We gather weekly.  We need to be together.  We need to care for and enjoy each other daily.  And obviously, we like to party; we like to eat.  (That’s another benefit of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School – the students and faculty work hard, but they are also allowed to party and enjoy each other.)

When our new Rector comes, we will have a renewed opportunity to have faith in each other, to hope for better things, and extend our love to others.  The elections on November 8 may not seem like an “opportunity” to many; but somehow, we need it to be an opportunity for faith, hope, and love to surround our neighbors in Hilton Village, in Newport News, in Virginia, in the United States, and maybe even around the world.  One of the most positive comments made at Vacation Bible School was, “Think what the world or just our country would be like if it was like VBS: young and older, multiple races and faiths, all coming together to learn and have fun together.”

In writing to the Corinthians almost 2,000 years ago, Paul encouraged the Corinthians to “be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.”  We need people everywhere to read, and then reread, 1 Corinthians 13.  Maybe, just maybe, faith, hope, and love will abide, not just at St. Andrew’s, but throughout this troubled world. 

Bill Wilds
Liturgical Assistant

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Farewell, Fr. David

On Sept. 18, St. Andrew's bid farewell to our interim rector, David Perkins. We sure know how to throw a party - and no one deserved one more than David!

Click here to see all the photos from Fr. David's farewell party.