Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Easter thanks!

The Easter Children's Chapel had about 50 kids! Many thanks to: Mr. Cabell Sale who corralled older children into the youth room for a discussion of Christ conquering death, multiple teenagers who ably assisted with everything from drinks to butterfly gummies and angel wings, and extra adults and parents who came along.

Thank to the youth who came early on Easter to hide Easter eggs.  In addition to the bazillion plastic eggs stuffed by the youth group, there were small treats hidden for older children to find.  Many thanks also to the parishioners who donated candy and other items for Easter Egg Hunt.  A good time was had by tiny through tall. 

Thank you Mr. Matthew Williamson, our sexton, for making our gardens egg-hunt friendly. 

Thank you to the clergy, musicians, Altar Guild, and everyone who made this one of the most glorious Easter Days in many a year.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Sacred Order of Deacons in Four Parts

Dear friends,

St. Andrew’s is the first place I have ever had the opportunity to serve alongside a vocational deacon.  What a privilege it is to be here with Kathy Gray!  As you may know, Episcopal priests are ordained first as transitional deacons and then eventually as priests.  Vocational deacons like Kathy, on the other hand, have a life-long calling to the diaconal ministry of servanthood.  Their special joy is to bring the needs of the world to the church and the good news of Jesus to the world.  In our liturgy, we set aside special tasks for deacons to perform as they embody the ministry of servanthood and of proclamation.  I’ve asked Kathy to share some reflections on the particular role of vocational deacons.  I look forward to learning more, along with you, about the unique ministry of vocational deacons.


Part 1 - The Historic Diaconate 

Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food.  And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.  Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.”  What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.  They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

The word of God continued to spread; the number of disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priest became obedient to the faith. 

Acts 6:1-7 

And so it was, in the aftermath of the resurrection of Jesus, as the young church grew from strength to strength despite persecution from the Roman Empire and the distain of the Jewish religious hierarchy, someone needed to feed the hungry and care for the disenfranchised.  Enter the servant ministry of the church, modeled after that of Christ himself, who washed the feet of his disciples, fed the multitudes, and made room at the table for those formerly cast out.  They took the Good News of Christ crucified for our redemption to those who were struggling in the world, and brought back to the church news of what the world in pain needed from those who claimed a faith made new by this Jesus of Nazareth.  Servant and messenger, service and Word, the bridge between those in the world, and those who found their peace in the church. 

This order flourished for several hundred years, and then slowly died out by the fifth century.  In those first 500 years, the ministry was carried by Stephen of the first seven called, Phillip, who baptized the Ethiopian eunuch, Lawrence, also martyred as Stephen was, and beloved Francis of Assisi.  The first woman deacon of record was Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2).  One deacon, Silverius, was actually raised to Pope on June 6, 536 A.D. 

At some point, the diaconate became a transitional order, in the process toward ordination to the priesthood.  It was revived in 1967 by the order of Pope Paul VI – one order, two distinctions, transitional and permanent (or vocational). 

To be continued….

Monday, April 10, 2017

EYC Easter fun

EYC Easter fun! Youth Intern Maggie with her candy mustache - there were several to be found in the EYC Easter Egg Hunt yesterday afternoon. All sugared up, the youth then stuffed a giant basket-load of eggs for the children's egg hunt on Easter morning.

An Easter prayer

O Lord God, our Father.  You are the light that can never be put out; and now you give us a light that shall drive away all darkness.  You are love without coldness, and you have given us such warmth in our hearts that we can love all when we meet.  You are the life that defies death, and you have opened for us the way that leads to eternal life.

None of us is a great Christian; we are all humble and ordinary.  But your grace is enough for us.  Arouse in us that small degree of joy and thankfulness of which we are capable, to the timid faith which we can muster, to the cautious obedience which we cannot refuse, and thus to the wholeness of life which you have prepared for all of us through the death and resurrection of your Son.  Do not allow any of us to remain apathetic or indifferent to the wondrous glory or Easter, but let the light of our risen Lord reach every corner of our dull hearts. 

Karl Barth, 1886 – 1968

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Circle 4 gets to know the Rev. Jennifer Kimball

Circle 4 Women’s Group held its third meeting of 2017 on Tuesday, April 4, continuing its program series of “Getting to Know the Staff.” Interim Minister for Christian Formation (CF), The Rev. Jennifer Kimball, presented a great program, highlighting her journey to the ministry, discussing her seminary work (on original sin, original virtue, and faith development, to name a few), and sharing excerpts from her thesis on spirituality.  It was a pleasure to get to know a bit more about Jen; it didn’t take long to realize that while serving in her interim capacity and, most recently, “dual-hatted” as Minister of CF and Minister for Youth and Children, Jen is dedicated and perseverant and St. Andrew’s is privileged to have her on staff.  Thanks, Jen—for your love and commitment in working in these challenging roles and times, and for taking the time to come and talk to Circle 4!

Continue to check our webpage at to catch up on Circle 4, and mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 2 at 10 a.m., to attend our last business meeting before our June luncheon and break for the summer. 

Circle 4 continues to “double up” on the canned goods collection at St. Andrew’s by bringing additional items to its monthly meetings.  We strive to maintain support to our sister church, St. Paul’s, in its community mission outreach.  We want to do our part in ensuring their cupboards are never bare! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Giving thanks for the Rev. Dick Holley's ministry at St. Andrew's

Our  beloved priest and friend, the Rev. Dick Holley, retired on March 31 after nearly 53 years of ordained ministry. We honored him on Sunday, April 2.

Dick graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1964. After 25 years as an Army chaplain, Dick retired from the military in 1994. After his Army career, he served at rector at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, VA for 10 years. In 1999 he came to St. Andrew's, where he has served as assisting priest for 17 years, particularly ministering to our retirement communities and homebound members.

We are so grateful for the impact of his gentle faithfulness in the lives of so many of us.