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+  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Marathon Sunday: A meaningful worship experience and time of fellowship

On the morning of March 12, the One City Marathon closed roads at St. Andrew's, so instead of our usual morning services, we gathered all together at one service at 5 p.m. that evening. Everyone who attended had a wonderful time! How nice it was to have everyone together for this special gathering. Over 80 people were there; the mood was relaxed and no one was in a hurry to get home. We were enjoying each other's company that much.

Our rector, Anne, led us on an enlightening journey through the story of Nicodemus, from the Gospel of John. Music Minister Brad Norris and Doug Burgoyne led the music, and the Rev. Carol Chamberlain celebrated the Eucharist. The service was followed by an Italian feast from Anna's Restaurant here in Hilton Village. 

 A special thank you to Judy Carey and Nora Ann Lambiotte for chairing the supper portion of the evening. Thanks to everyone who came out on a cold, blustery night to try something different. You are what made the evening a success!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Staff changes at St. Andrew's

Dear Friends,
Greetings and blessings to you in this holy season of Lent.
Thank you all, so very much, for your ongoing graciousness and patience as I continue to learn the ropes here at St. Andrew's.  There is a lot happening in our life right now, especially in terms of staffing.  I'm writing to share important news about some upcoming staff changes here at St. Andrew's.

Our beloved friend and priest, the Rev. Dick Holley, has decided to retire on March 31.  For many years Dick has carried out a loving, faithful ministry of pastoral care for St. Andrew's parishioners, especially those who are homebound.  Dick will continue to hold a monthly service of Holy Eucharist at The Chesapeake.  The other clergy and I will work together with the Pastoral Care Team to provide ongoing care for the folks whom Dick was visiting. 

We will be celebrating and giving thanks for Dick's ministry on Sunday, April 2, when we will hold a festive coffee hour in Dick's honor immediately following the 10:30 AM service.  Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for that celebration.

Meanwhile, the wardens and vestry and I have begun the process of crafting a job description for a full-time Assistant Rector whose primary job responsibility will be Christian Formation for Children and Youth. Bringing on a full-time Assistant Rector necessitates making changes to our current staffing:
  • Elizabeth Koerner and Jennifer Kimball, both of whom were called as interims, will be transitioning out of their roles.  Individually and together, they have done a fabulous job keeping our Christian Formation programs for all ages running smoothly. 
  • Travis, our gifted assisting priest, will start working full-time at Patriots Colony while continuing to preach and celebrate periodically here at St. Andrew's. 
No specific end dates have been set for Elizabeth, Jen, and Travis. I will continue to be in conversation with them to determine the best timing for each person's situation.  I am so grateful to these three incredibly talented women for their faithful ministry-and for the ongoing opportunity to work with them in the coming weeks and months until our new person is on board.  Our goal is to have the new full time clergy person in place prior to the start of the fall program year.  We are hoping to hire someone who has just graduated from seminary.  The wardens and I will keep you posted about the search process as we proceed.

Every time the staff gathers for our Wednesday morning meeting, I am reminded anew how very blessed St. Andrew's is to be served by such a competent, faithful team of people.  It is a special blessing to share ministry with so many wonderful clergy.  I've had people ask me why there are so many clergy at St. Andrew's.  The answer is: 
they want to be here, even those who do not receive any financial remuneration for their ministry in our midst!  As is true of all vocational deacons in our diocese, Kathy Gray does not receive a salary for her ministry; it is her gift to God and to God's people.  As a retired priest, Carol Chamberlain freely offers her ministry and is glad to be part of our faith community.  Travis, too, plans to stay connected to St. Andrew's even after she is no longer on our payroll.  We are so very blessed.

Please join me in holding our staff in prayer during the coming months.  Pray for us in this season of so much transition; and know that we are praying for you and doing our very best to serve God-and you-with faithfulness, diligence, and love. 

Every blessing,
The Rev. Anne R. Kirchmier

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Minister of Music Brad Norris speaks to Circle 4 meeting

Circle 4 Women’s Group held its second meeting of 2017 on Tuesday, March 7.  Our very own Minister of Music Brad Norris, presented a most entertaining program on “How Music is Selected for Worship Services.”  Brad’s program added yet another dimension to our appreciation and awe of the amazing music program that we routinely enjoy at St. Andrew’s.

Members of Circle 4 have also begun bringing canned goods to the monthly meetings to help grow the St. Paul’s pantry collection.

Our next meeting
April 4, 10 a.m. in the Parish Library. More info coming soon!

Monday, March 6, 2017

One City Marathon - One service at 5 p.m. on March 12

On Sunday, March 12, Newport News will host the One City Marathon. The Marathon route will impact Hilton Village with road closures, blocked intersections, and parking restrictions throughout the area, making it impossible to hold church services at the usual times that morning. The runners are expected to pass St. Andrew’s from around 8:00 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. They will come down Warwick Boulevard, turn down Main Street, pass St. Andrew’s, and go left onto River Road, then left onto Rivermont Drive and back to Warwick. These roads will be closed to traffic from 6:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

What does this mean for us?  St. Andrew’s is planning to have a strong presence that day to cheer the runners on and hope that as many as can, especially those in the neighborhood who live within walking distance, will be here. The Parish Life Team has planned activities for those who come to cheer!

Our one service at 5 p.m. that evening will be followed by an Italian supper party. Enjoy baked penne pasta with meat sauce from Anna's Restaurant (gluten free past aavailable upon request), Caesar salad, garlic and herb cheese breads, fresh baked cookies and a beverage bar featuring tea, coffee, juce and wine. For special requests, Penne with marinara sauce and gluten-free penne with marinara will be available. This event is free, but donations will be accepted. Bring the whole family! Dress is casual this Sunday as we enjoy this combined service and the party afterward.

Friday, March 3, 2017

St. Andrew’s earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR Certification

For the seventh time in eight years, St. Andrew’s has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification, which  signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.

St. Andrew’s ENERGY STAR certification demonstrates our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs, freeing funds for mission and community service.

Commercial buildings that earn ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

St. Andrew’s extends our very grateful thanks to parishioner Bob Lord who spearheads this important effort.