Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Strive for Justice

Maybe you've been keeping up with St. Andrew's Racism Response Team (RRT). A great deal of work has been done with that group (along with other such endeavors), having completed a weeks-long formation program called Sacred Ground to now formulating a mission statement and goals, to wit: We strive to continually deepen our understanding of racism and social injustice in order to effect positive change in our community.

One of the insights that I have gained throughout our various aspects of study and conversation is what I have termed the three Ds of racism:
  • Dehumanization: Basically asserting that another (individual or group) is of less value as a human being because of who they are, especially as the assertion is expressed through various social structures and systems.
  • Disproportionality: The impact of systemic racism disproportionally affects those who are asserted to be of less value relative to other groups (White, in particular).
  • Denial: Asserting that there is no systemic racism (by which the very systemic nature of racism is perpetuated).
Systemic racism is very complicated, of course, and there is no single or easy solution, but as the RRT further states in its guiding principles: Since we, as Episcopalians, believe that humankind is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26), we must respect the dignity of every human being (Baptismal Covenant). And so we strive to do.

More information will be forthcoming from the RRT about how the entire St. Andrew's community will have the opportunity to join together in our imperative quest to, as the Baptismal Covenant states, seek and serve Christ in all persons, strive for justice, and respect each human being's dignity as one made in the image of God. Join us, won't you?

Marc+

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Changed

Eighteen years ago I was sitting in church (Hilton Baptist) one Sunday morning when Al leaned over and pointed out an announcement in the bulletin: St. Andrew’s Job Opening – Administrative Assistant. It may sound like an exaggeration but it isn’t – I immediately felt a strong tug on my heart. The next day I stopped by St. Andrew’s and picked up an application. As I sat in my car outside of the church and read the job description, I KNEW this would be the place for me and I prayed then and there that it would be possible.

When I had my job interview, I became more and more hopeful. I remember telling the interview team (Rob Marston, Corky Brooks, Bobo Smith and Mary Wood) that I wasn’t going to apply for any other jobs because I really wanted THIS job. When Rob called a few days later with the good news I was elated! Overjoyed!

As a military family, we have been a part of a lot of different churches, all of them wonderful, but I want you to really know, and take to heart, that St. Andrew’s truly is a very special, different sort of place. You took me into your hearts and you become a part of my heart. Bill, Brad, Bill B, Matthew, Kurt, Marc and Anne are my family; and also, those who came before: Dick, Howard, Kathy, Kathleen, Harper, Cary, Vernon, Rhonda, Lorna, Travis, Betty, Jen, and David. How fortunate I have been to have worked alongside such caring and giving people!  Through life’s ups and downs, they, and all of you, have been there for me – rejoicing with Al and me during the good times – our children’s weddings, the birth of 3 grandchildren (2 of which happened on Sunday morning during the service!), and the trying times – my brother’s untimely death, my mother’s battle with cancer, the death of both of my parents, and my little dog Jimi – and you have all buoyed me up on your caring wings.

Being a part of this community has changed my life in so many ways. As Al and I embark on a new chapter of our lives, please know that I am so grateful to have had this time serving you. I hope I have helped you along the way, that I have been there when you needed a friend, and that when you think of me it will be with fondness. For these are the gifts that you have given me – support, friendship, and love. You have blessed me beyond measure!

Peace,
Rachel

PS: We’ll still see you in church (when we’re not traveling!)

Monday, April 12, 2021

Thanks to our PORT volunteers


Congratulations to our volunteers for two successful PORT evenings in December and March! We fielded two teams for the shelter’s final evening of the season, assisting Temple Baptist Church and New Beech Grove Baptist Church in providing dinners, desserts, sleeping accommodations and bagged breakfasts for homeless members of our community. Working with our partner churches in PORT, St Andrew’s cook teams and onsite volunteers helped provide meals and shelter to over 400 men, women and children this past winter. We look forward to next year’s opportunity to serve.


Thank you,
Matt Deller, Outreach Liaison

(St. Andrew's folks pictured above: Steve Howell, Patty VonOhlen, Samantha Howell, Cris Oman, Camelia Deller, Dawn Edquist)

Monday, March 29, 2021

Resurrection Is a Current Event

The feast of our Lord’s resurrection is upon us (on April 4).  In our Eucharistic Prayer A, which we tend to use through the bulk of the church year, we proclaim the mystery of faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.  Did you catch that?  Christ has died and he will come again - past and future events.  However, he is risen.  Not has been raised (only a past event), not will be raised (only an event of the future), but is raised, on that fateful third day after his crucifixion, in those days to which we look forward, and - present tense - right now, today, and every day we renew our faith in Jesus.  As such, maybe we can begin to see that resurrection is not just a single moment out of history.  Resurrection is a current event.

Having done more than give up chocolate through Lent (I hope), having gone through self-examination and repentance, engaged prayer, fasting, and self-denial, and reading and meditating on God’s holy word, now we get to experience resurrection.  Because Jesus has defeated death, death doesn't get the last word.  Jesus defeats death.  Because of what Jesus accomplished for us, we get to benefit, dying to those parts of ourselves revealed through Lenten disciplines that keep us distant from God, being raised to new life in intimate relationship with God.  That’s resurrection - not just something we have to look forward to, but a current event; something we get to experience today and every day that we find our faith in Jesus renewed.

Marc+

Update on Covid numbers and ramifications for regathering

The Covid numbers in our area have been slowly climbing over the past few weeks.  As of March 23, the positivity rate that we have been tracking (a weighted average of the Hampton and Peninsula Health Districts) stood at 8.57%.  Per our regathering guidelines, if at any point that weighed average rises to 10%, we will not be able to regather until it has dropped under 10% for two consecutive weeks.  So our hoped-for regathering date of April 11 continues to be tentative.  We will definitely keep you posted.

Reserving your seat for in-person Sunday worship on April 11

On April 11, percentages permitting, we are planning in-person worship at 10:30 AM.  Because our regathering protocols limit the number of people who can be present in the church, attendees will need to make a reservation.  Registration is on a first come, first served basis and opens on Sunday, April 4 at noon and closes on Wednesday, April 7 at noon.  To make a reservation, please call Bill Wilds (880-5460). If you make a reservation and need to cancel, let Bill know.  If you are not able to get a reservation because all spaces are taken, Bill will place you on the waiting list.  If something opens up, he will contact you.    Because space is limited, we are asking that if you attend one Sunday, please wait at least a week before registering again.  All of our services will continue to be streamed live online each week and also available to watch later on Facebook.