Monday, November 28, 2016

From the Rev. Anne Kirchmier, our new rector

Dear People of St. Andrew’s, 

Blessings and peace to you.  I am honored and humbled by the call to come to St. Andrew’s, and I am very much looking forward to serving in your midst as together we discern and carry out the ministry to which God is calling us.

Already you have given me much to be grateful for.  Thank you for your prayers and kind expressions of condolence to me and my family after my father’s death.  I’m doing okay.  Although I’m sad, of course, mostly I am relieved that Dad is free of his suffering and has entered a new and better life.  I thank God for the sure and certain hope of resurrection. 

I am also grateful to you for your life-giving, soul-renewing gift of a February 1 start date for my ministry at St. Andrew’s.  My focus over the past six weeks has been caring well for the people of St. George’s so that there will be a healthy closure for the parishioners there and for me – allowing them to be open to the ministry of their next priest; and allowing me to be fully available to you when I arrive.  Having December and January as “down” time, with no parish responsibilities, is a tremendous blessing for me.  Not only will I be able to carry out some household and family tasks that I have been pushing onto a very over-filled (!!) back burner for far too long, but also, and more importantly, those two months will provide me with opportunities for prayer and reflection and retreat time.  My February arrival at St. Andrew’s gives me a precious two-month pause in which to catch my breath, get my bearings, and prepare myself for my life and ministry in your midst.  On February 1, you will receive a much better priest than you would if I arrived earlier.  Thank you for that gift.

I have been holding St. Andrew’s in my prayers for many months, ever since you first started your search, and long before I decided to submit my name. (God does indeed work in mysterious ways!)  Know that I continue to hold you in my prayers, asking for God’s blessings for you in this in-between time, and for God’s blessings on our shared ministry in the years to come.  Please hold me in your prayers, too. 

See you in February! 

Anne +

Together we made a difference at Nottoway Correctional Center

The four-day weekend for Kairos #37 at Nottoway Correctional Center at Burkeville was a blessed event, thanks in large part to the efforts of the St. Andrew's family. the mission of Kairos Prison Ministry is to bring Christ's love and forgiveness to all incarcerated individuals and their families. Visible signs and expression of God's love were brought to the weekend participants in the form of cookies, prayer chains, and posters.

With help from tireless St. Andrew's bakers, the team had over 20,000 cookies with them when they headed to Nottoway on November 10. The prayer chain, bolstered with prayers from our parishioners, was long enough to go halfway around the prison's gymnasium, showing the prisoners that they are not alone. Posters with messages of love and support from the youth helped to cover an entire wall, truly inspiring the participants.

Twenty-seven of the 30 men who signed up for the weekend completed the program. Additionally, we were able to give cookies to the entire prison population of over 1600 inmates. chaplain Ball of Nottoway had this to say: "I want you all to know just how much the cookies meant to the main population and the work center men also. Please thank all the wonderful people who baked the cookies for the walk... This is a great thing that is being done for the men here at Nottoway." The Kairos Nottoway inside team adds their own thank you to all the greater support team here at St. Andrew's - know that together we made a difference at Nottoway Correctional Center.

Matt Deller


Anticipation, anticipation is making me late; it's keeping me waiting - Carly Simon

This year one of the activities during November weekend at Camp Chanco was zip lining.  If you don’t know what that is, imagine a thick cable stretched from a tree on one side of a ravine to a tree on the other side of the ravine.  Now imagine being hooked to that cable via a trolley that runs down the cable at very fast speeds.

One of the girls in my group began to have misgivings about participating as we walked to the first zip.  She had never done it before and had a lot of concerns.  What if the tree fell?  That tree looked unhealthy.  What if the cable broke?  She would plummet to the bottom of the ravine.  What if she died from fear?  Maggie Mahloy and I offered as much reassurance as we could; we probably talked with her for 15 minutes.  Still, she put herself at the end of the line of kids.  Even when she was hooked up to the cable I wasn’t sure she would go.  Then, off she went, flying down the cable, screaming all the way.  And of course, when she landed, she couldn’t wait to do it again!  She loved it!

As I watched this young girl anticipate her ride on the zip line, and then land on the other side full of joy, I thought about how we anticipate the coming of Christmas.  It’s hard not to get caught up in all the anxiety that comes with the Christmas holiday.  We have anxiety about getting everything done.  Will we get the presents purchased and wrapped in time?  Can we get our Christmas cards sent?  Will we remember all the people on our list?  Will the packages get mailed in time?  Even when we remind ourselves, and our friends and family remind us, that we need to enjoy the season, it’s hard to turn the anxiety off.  Sometimes the arrival of Christmas Day is a relief. 

We already know how Advent will end, with the birth of Christ our Savior.  We have nothing to fear.  What if we could just skip the anxiety?  What if the ride through December was exciting and new?  Like our camper, we would land on Christmas morning filled with joy, and ready to do it all over again.

Elizabeth Koerner
Interim Minister of Children & Youth

Monday, November 21, 2016

Getting ready for Advent

On Sunday, Nov. 20, folks gathered in the parish hall to make an Advent wreath for their homes. Advent, the season of expectation that prepares us for Christmas and the coming of Christ, begins on Sunday, Nov. 27. It's also the first day of the new Church year.
Minister of Music Brad Norris will offer a survey of music for the season of Advent on Sunday, NOv. 27 at 9 a.m. in the Music Room. The tone of the texts ranges from hopeful to surprising to judgmental, from the "O" Antiphons to the Magnificat to the Ave Maria to contemporary Christian texts. The music is some of the most beautiful and inspiring the church has produced. The goal of this class is to put us in that hopeful, anticipatory frame of mind for Advent.

From our Diocesan office, here are some resources that can enrich your spiritual practice during this season.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Christ the King Sunday is Nov. 20

From Hymn 477, verse 4: Wherefore, by God's eternal purpose, thou art high exalted o'er all creatures now, and given the Name to which all knees shall bow. Alleluia!

The last Sunday of the church year, before starting again with Advent, is Christ the King Sunday. The church year is an outline of the life of Jesus; the last Sunday of the year proclaims Jesus as King, reigning over all who acknowledge him as the highest authority in their lives.

When the processional cross goes by on Sunday morning, lots of people bow their head to reverence the symbol of Jesus' boundless sacrificial love. In a self-obsessed culture, I find that simple act to be filled with power and deep meaning.

Brad Norris
Minister of Music

Monday, November 7, 2016

Meet the Rev. Carol Chamberlain

Dear friends,

I have been asked to introduce myself and tell you what an Associate Priest is.  I am a retired priest.  I moved to Newport News in 2015 to live near one of my sons, and chose to worship at St. Andrew’s, so I have been here in the parish for the past 15 months.  I moved here from suburban Philadelphia.

I served several small churches, ending with 19 years as Rector of St. Aidan’s in Cheltenham, PA.  When I left there, I was Chaplain at the Philadelphia Protestant Home, which is a continuing care retirement community.  When I was there, my husband and I had to find a church where we could worship, and settled at St. Anne’s in Abington, PA.  I entered into an Associate relationship there, where I assisted into my retirement – I was there 14 years.  It gave me great joy there to start what became a very vibrant Prayer Shawl Ministry.

I am a widow with two sons – Matt and his family live in Yorktown with three wonderful small children.  John and his family (one son) live in Connecticut.  I love being Nana Carolee with these small people.  I like gardening, reading, sewing, crocheting, knitting, and being outdoors and savoring the wonder and variety of God’s creation.  Each of the four grandchildren has a “special blanket” – a quilt I designed and made just for them.

An Associate Priest is someone who is either retired, in a chaplaincy, or a secular job, who has time to be involved in the ministry of the parish.  I have kept a low profile the past year as I settled here and began making connections in a completely new community. David Perkins asked me to assist in the time before the new Rector comes, and I am happy to do that.  You have seen me assisting with services, and I am helping with some staff issues.  When our new Rector is on board, we will look again at what role makes sense for me, but I do want to make St. Andrew’s my church home.

Carol Chamberlain

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Circle 4 and Peninsula Rescue Mission

Circle 4 met on Tuesday, November 1.  Ladies, if you didn’t make it to November’s regular meeting, we missed you (and you missed an illuminating and informative program)!  Lindsey Nicolai facilitated a presentation on one of Circle 4’s outreach ministries -- Peninsula Rescue Mission (PRM), its mission, its status, its current needs, and its holiday projects. Please check out our web page at to catch up and perhaps support Circle 4’s outreach to PRM over the holiday season.

We also finalized our Christmas Luncheon meeting, which will be on Tuesday, December 6. If you plan to attend, please contact Happy Barnwell (595-7948 or or Debi Nicolai (826-3115 or to get those details and sign up. We must have a final headcount by 30 November.  We are growing—in numbers, fellowship, and mission projects.  Make it among your New Year’s Resolutions to consider joining the only active women’s circle at St. Andrew’s. 

On Monday November 7, the generous donations collected by Circle 4’s members at its 1 November meeting traveled a few miles down the road to the Peninsula Rescue Mission (PRM).  The leaders at PRM assure us that the men will appreciate (and begin immediate use of) the numerous hotel-size hygiene products, clothes, and washcloths.  And the baking products will help fill bags for Thanksgiving food donations for needy families!  If you’re interested in helping Circle 4 with its outreach to PRM, please contact Debi Nicolai (826-3115 or

EYC fun!

EYC (Episcopal Youth Community, for grades 6-12) is off to a great start this school year. The kick-off party on on Sept. 25 was just the beginning. Every Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m., EYC gathers for fun, fellowship and, of course, food. EYC is an opportunity to have fun while growing your faith and relationship with God. As you can see, they have a LOT of fun! Learn more about EYC on their blog,