Monday, September 25, 2017

Episcopal Schools Sunday is Oct. 1

Sunday, October 1, 2017, begins a week of celebration for Episcopal Schools.  This celebration includes the ministry of nearly 1,200 Episcopal Schools and early childhood education programs throughout the Episcopal Church.  The National Association of Episcopal Schools’ Episcopal Schools Celebration theme for 2017-2018 is “Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Minds."

This is a time to give thanks for Episcopal early childhood programs, elementary, middle, and secondary schools.  Through daily chapel, St. Andrew’s Church and school staff work in partnership to encourage and nurture our students to be “doers of the Word.”  We are all different and possess many talents and gifts.  Daily chapel allows us to explore the gifts and talents of people written about in the Bible.  That exploration gives us the opportunity to reflect on our own gifts and talents, and the good we each have to offer the world.  This reflection gives us a call to action by way of service, encouragement, sympathy, teaching, kindness, and love. 

Please join us on Sunday, October 1 to celebrate not only St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, but also Episcopal Schools everywhere, all of which are vital to God’s mission.  Our school chorus will sing at the 10:30 a.m. service and 5th graders will be greeters and lectors.  I look forward to seeing you then! 

Janna M. Outlaw 
Head of School

 Prayer for St. Andrew's Episcopal School
Loving God, thank you for St. Andrew's Episcopal School and for all whose lives it touches. In this challenging time, we humbly ask for your guidance. Please help us, as school and church, to be good partners to each other in the task of discerning your will. We are grateful for all that has been, we look forward to all that is to come, and we thank you, gracious God, for your presence with us in all times. We pray in the name of your Son Jesus Christ, who was himself a teacher. Amen.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Congregational Development Team report

The objective for the Congregational Development Team is to effectively extend to others the opportunity to experience the joy and blessing of having St. Andrew’s as their place of worship, outreach, and Christian fellowship.  Our mission can be summarized as the planning and implementation of three facets of congregational development: Invite, Welcome, and Connect. 

First, we look for and identify proven and innovative ways to effectively extend the invitation to friends, neighbors, and even strangers to join us in worship.  Second, we look for ways to recognize and welcome those newcomers to our church, both to ensure that we are aware of their presence and to make certain that they feel welcome while here.  Our goal is for them to want to return.  Our cadre of greeters are the first part of the Welcome, and there are many other things that can be done as well.  Finally, for those who do choose to become a regular part of our parish, we want to make their early time more comfortable and fulfilling by connecting them to the church community through contact, education, and opportunity.

 I know that anyone who chooses to join our parish will greatly benefit from the opportunity for spiritual growth and from the overall church community experience.  Likewise, we at St. Andrew’s benefit in so many ways by the addition of newcomers and what they can bring to us.  In fact, the growth of the church community is vital for its health and longevity.  Parts of this ministry have been present at St. Andrew’s for some time, but it is really now just beginning to be organized as a team effort.  We strongly encourage anyone who wishes to be a part of this important ministry to join us.  Call the church office for more info - 757-595-0371.

Jay Lambiotte
Vestry Liaison to the Congregational Development Team

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thank you, Henry!

We are very grateful to Henry Waddill - for his Eagle Scout project, he built a shed in which we can store our lawn equipment and supervised a group of Boy Scouts in cleaning the school's playground equipment. Thank you, Henry!

Facilities Team report

Serving as Junior Warden these past two years has been a rewarding experience. The challenges involved in calling a rector, finding an interim youth director, and maintaining our facilities have given me a real feeling of belonging. I feel a strong calling to support our new rector as she begins her ministry here, and to help ensure that our youth and children’s ministries continue moving forward. 

The Facilities Team has been working on the building’s security and safe access. We are installing a security door at the Main Street Lobby entrance and have added a handicapped door opener at the church’s entrance adjacent to the elevator (near the sacristy). Plans are underway to install handrails leading up to and at the altar. The Facilities Team recently conducted a walk-through of our buildings. Items we found that need attention will be prioritized and acted on as funds are available.

I invite anyone interested in serving St. Andrew’s to join our team. 

Doug Vaughan
Junior Warden 

Hospitality and Parish Life Team report

The Hospitality and Parish Life Teams work together to create opportunities for fellowship for members and visitors of St. Andrew's.  Some events are once a year, such as the Pilots baseball game, and others are ongoing, such as the weekly coffee bars.  Also included are the celebrations of special events in the church calendar and in our parish in particular.

Many volunteers are needed to make each event successful and every member of the congregation is invited to help with any of these various activities.  Volunteering is a great way to connect with new people, reconnect with old friends, and have a good time in the process.  Joy Johnson leads the Hospitality Team, Barbara Daniels leads the Parish Life Team, and Terry Wolak chairs the Fishermen, our men's fellowship group.  Please contact me at 833-6121 if you are interested in finding out more about these areas and how you can be a part of the fun! 

Merrill Hemmert
Vestry Liaison

Friday, September 8, 2017

Greetings from our new Associate Rector!

Dear St. Andrew’s family, 

With great joy, and gratitude to God, I have accepted the call to be your Associate for Children and Youth at St. Andrew’s.  I will begin on Sunday, October 1, and I am very much looking forward to meeting you all in person and joining in ministry with you.

What drew me the most to the faith community of St. Andrew’s is the fact you take the ministry for and with children and youth very seriously, just as genuinely as I do.  I look forward to putting my years of experience with young people to work, sharing with them the reality of the great love of God and the many ways in which they can express and share their faith, that hope which is within all Christians. 

I am from a large family, which immigrated to the United States from the island of Jamaica, and who are also proud citizens of our adopted country.  I am a joyous aunt of Alana (Maryland) and loving godmother of Gabe and Jamie (Massachusetts).  I enjoy knitting, quilting, reading, and weaving and learning how to sew clothing.

I also look forward to serving St. Andrew’s with your Rector, Anne, and the rest of the staff and others who give so much of their time and talents.  I want to thank Anne, and the rest of the Search Advisory Team, all of whom were so welcoming to me throughout the whole interview process. 

I can’t wait to see you all on October 1 and may God bless us in our ministry together.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Announcing our new Associate Rector, The Rev. Lorna H. Williams

Dear friends,
Tidings of great joy:  I am delighted to announce that the Rev. Lorna H. Williams has accepted my call to be St. Andrew's Associate Rector for Children and Youth, beginning on October 1.  I can't wait for you to meet her!
Lorna comes to us from the Diocese of Pennsylvania.  Ordained in 1999, she has served parishes and schools in New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Florida.  Lorna is a team player who has always worked in multi-clergy parishes, frequently combining those responsibilities with chaplaincies at Episcopal schools and a university.  Her passion is serving children and youth, and it shows. 
Lorna graduated from Seabury-Western Seminary (my alma mater!!) in Evanston, Illinois, where she won a coveted preaching award.  Her references describe her as well-respected, diplomatic, patient, and pastoral.  As we proceeded through the lengthy and sometimes tedious steps of the search process, Lorna was consistently on top of details and responsive to all communications, attributes that bode well for communicating with us here at St. Andrew's.  In person she is warm and candid and funny. 
One of Lorna's references said that Lorna is very picky about where she applies to work.  That observation echoed our experience of Lorna.  When we asked why she was interested in coming to St. Andrew's, Lorna noted that many churches say that children and youth are important to them, but in her experience few churches actually treat children and youth as if they are important.  Yet it was clear to her from our website and from meeting us that St. Andrew's really is committed to our children and youth, and that made her want to be part of us.  Lucky us!
Lorna was born and raised in Jamaica and emigrated to the United States at the age of 16 to re-join her parents, who had come here five years earlier, seeking a better life for themselves and their children.  She has a twin sister and several brothers, and an amazing life story to share with us. 
You may have noticed that my earlier articles about our search talked about finding an assistant rector and that now I am using the term associate rector.  "Assistant" is the title often given to someone who is fresh out of seminary.  Lorna has been ordained longer than I have and comes to us with a wealth of experience, and therefore I have called her to be our Associate Rector.  According to our letter of agreement, one of her responsibilities is to be "a counselor to, and a confidant of, the rector."  She is eminently qualified to be both, and I feel very blessed to be able to partner in ministry with her.
I am extremely grateful to the members of my search advisory team:  John Whitley, Doug Vaughan, and David Lilley; and also to Audre'ana Ellis, Cassie Jones, and Allie Wittkamp, who assisted us with the interview process.  They were unanimous in their approval of Lorna.  I am also grateful to each of you for your patience and prayerfulness during the search; and to Jen, Elizabeth and Travis for their ministry in our midst in the in-between time.  Above all, I am grateful to God for leading us to Lorna and Lorna to us.
I know firsthand what a warm and gracious welcome you extend to new clergy, and I look forward to joining you in offering that same blessing to Lorna.  Please continue to hold her in your prayers as she prepares to join us.  May God bless us all in this exciting new relationship!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School - Small by​ ​​ ​Intent

By Janna Outlaw, Head of School

Being​ ​a​ ​small​ ​school​ ​is​ ​one​ ​thing,​ ​but​ ​being​ ​a​ ​ small​ ​school​ ​by​ intent​ ​is​ ​another.​ ​The​ ​advantages​ ​are​ ​abundant!​ ​St.​ ​Andrew’s​ ​has​ ​one​ ​focus,​ ​filled with​ ​opportunities ​ ​and​ ​life​ ​lessons.

The​ ​most​ ​frequent​ ​question​ ​from​ ​our​ ​families​ ​is,​ ​“Why​ ​don’t​ ​we​ ​expand​ ​to​ ​middle​ ​and​ ​high​ ​school?”​ ​We​ ​pride ​ ​ourselves​ ​on​ ​educating​ ​the​ ​elementary school​ ​aged​ ​child.​ ​ Especially​ ​in​ ​an​ ​age​ ​where​ ​one-stop​ ​shopping​ ​is​ ​convenient​ ​—​ ​and​ ​as​ ​a​ ​parent​ ​of​ ​multiple​ ​children,​ ​I​ ​understand​ ​this ​ ​concept​ ​—​ ​it seems​ ​intuitive​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​“Why​ ​not?”​ ​Still,​ ​I​ ​ would​ ​beg​ ​to​ ​differ​ ​for​ ​many​ ​reasons​ ​that​ ​convenience​ ​is​ ​ not​ ​everything.

Focusing​ ​solely​ ​on​ ​the​ ​elementary​ ​aged​ ​child​ ​allows ​ ​us​ ​to​ ​concentrate​ ​on​ ​a single​ ​area​ ​of​ ​education.​ ​Therefore,​ ​we​ ​spend​ ​all​ ​our​ ​time​ ​refining​ ​our​ ​craft, expanding​ ​our ​ ​knowledge​ ​in​ ​a​ ​circumscribed​ ​area​ ​of​ ​expertise.​ ​We​ ​dedicate ourselves​ ​to​ ​providing​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​foundation​ ​during​ ​the​ ​most ​ ​formative​ ​years​ ​of our​ ​students’​ ​lives.

As​ ​the​ ​world​ ​has​ ​become​ ​fast-paced​ ​and​ ​busy,​ ​with ​ ​both​ ​parents​ ​often​ ​leading demanding​ ​professional​ ​lives,​ ​our​ ​ small​ ​focus​ ​has​ ​become​ ​even​ ​more intentional.​ ​Small​ ​class​ ​sizes​ ​allow​ ​for​ ​more​ ​one-on-one​ ​attention​ ​and individualized ​ ​instruction.

At​ ​St.​ Andrew’s,​ ​our​ ​teachers​ ​are​ ​able​ ​to​ ​hone ​ ​in​ ​on​ ​a​ ​student’s​ ​special​ ​gifts, talents,​ ​creativity​ ​and​ ​individuality.​ ​This​ ​builds​ ​close​ ​student-teacher relationships​ ​that ​ ​foster​ ​trust,​ ​courage​ ​and​ ​confidence​ ​at​ ​an​ ​early​ ​age.​ ​Students can​ ​face​ ​challenges​ ​in​ ​a​ ​safe​ ​environment​ ​where​ ​their​ ​teachers​ ​and​ ​peers​ ​are ready​ ​to​ ​pick​ ​them​ ​up,​ ​dust​ ​ them​ ​off​ ​and​ ​encourage​ ​them​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​trying.

Expectations​ ​are​ ​high,​ ​with​ ​the​ ​right​ ​amount​ ​of ​ ​nurturing​ ​along​ ​the​ ​way.​ ​Our teachers​ ​easily​ ​adapt​ ​lesson​ ​ plans​ ​and​ ​tailor​ ​their​ ​teaching​ ​styles​ ​to​ ​meet​ ​the varied​ ​ learning​ ​styles​ ​of​ ​their​ ​students.

The​ ​leadership​ ​opportunities​ ​available​ ​in​ ​a​ ​small ​ ​school,​ ​especially​ ​one​ ​that​ ​focuses​ ​on​ ​the​ ​elementary​ ​aged​ ​ child,​ ​allow​ ​for​ ​opportunities​ ​to​ ​lead​ ​at​ ​an early​ ​age.​ ​Throughout​ ​a​ ​child’s​ ​time​ ​​at​ ​St.​ ​Andrew’s,​ ​beginning​ ​as​ ​ early​ ​as​ ​PreK3,​ ​students​ ​share​ ​leadership​ ​responsibilities. ​ ​From​ ​year​ ​to​ ​year, students’​ ​leadership​ ​opportunities​ ​increase​ ​as​ ​they​ ​grow​ ​developmentally.

Students​ ​are​ ​able​ ​to​ ​speak​ ​publicly​ ​at​ ​a​ ​very ​ ​early​ ​age​ ​both​ ​within​ ​and​ ​outside​ ​the​ ​classroom.​ ​Every​ ​student​ ​is​ ​able​ ​to​ ​lead​ ​a​ ​community​ ​service project​ ​with​ ​his​ ​or​ ​her​ ​class​ ​each​ ​year.​ ​Leadership​ ​opportunities​ ​include ​ ​public​ ​speaking,​ ​community​ ​service,​ ​technology​ ​projects,​ ​various performances,​ ​solos,​ ​patrol​ ​duties,​ ​assisting​ ​little​ ​ones,​ ​making school​-wide​ ​announcements​ ​and​ ​much​ ​more.

One​ ​extremely​ ​important​ ​life​ ​lesson​ ​is​ ​that​ ​of ​ ​transition.​ ​Because​ ​we​ ​focus​ ​solely​ ​on​ ​the​ ​elementary​ ​aged ​ ​child,​ ​there​ ​is​ ​a​ ​distinct​ ​advantage​ ​to changing​ ​schools​ ​as​ ​ children​ ​develop.​ ​Learning​ ​to​ ​make​ ​new​ ​friends​ ​and​ ​adjusting ​ ​to​ ​a​ ​new​ ​environment​ ​are​ ​lessons​ ​we​ ​all​ ​need​ ​to​ ​acquire ​ ​before heading​ ​off​ ​to​ ​college.​ ​Transitioning​ ​is​ ​a​ ​life​ ​lesson ​ ​that​ ​can​ ​only​ ​be​ ​learned​ ​hands-on.

Making​ ​those​ ​transitions​ ​multiple​ ​times​ ​in​ ​life ​ ​gives​ ​a​ ​child​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​learn​ ​how​ ​to​ ​accustom​ ​himself​ ​or​ ​herself​ ​to​ ​new​ ​surroundings,​ ​socialize with​ ​a​ ​widening​ ​ circle​ ​of​ ​friends​ ​and​ ​figure ​out​ ​which​ ​techniques​ ​work​ ​for​ ​ new​ ​environments.​ ​Transitioning​ ​also​ ​takes​ ​the​ ​child​ ​out​ ​of​ ​his​ ​or​ ​her​ ​comfort zone,​ ​thus encouraging​ ​risk-taking​ ​—​ ​both​ ​ of​ ​which​ ​create​ ​confidence​ ​and​ ​independence.

Working​ ​to​ ​educate​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​child​ ​during​ ​the ​ ​formative​ ​years​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​a​ ​solid​ ​foundation​ ​that​ ​is​ ​challenging,​ ​without​ ​distractions,​ ​is​ ​a​ ​gift​ ​from​ ​which every​ ​ child​ ​benefits.​ ​Although​ ​our​ ​school​ ​is​ ​small,​ ​our​ ​students ​ ​are​ ​successful​ ​in​ ​their​ ​next​ ​life​ ​phases.​ ​They​ ​have ​ ​opportunities​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​without​ ​the influence​ ​of​ ​older​ ​students​ ​ whom​ ​younger​ ​students​ ​may​ ​not​ ​be​ ​ready​ ​quite​ ​yet​ ​to​ ​ encounter​ ​developmentally.​ ​Our​ ​adult​ ​world​ ​is​ ​sufficiently ​ ​fast-paced that​ ​we​ ​remain​ ​small​ ​at​ ​St.​ ​Andrew’s​ ​by​ ​intent ​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​confidence,​ ​independence,​ ​leadership,​ ​individuality​ ​and ​ ​risk-taking​ ​with​ ​one​ ​focus,​ ​preparing elementary​ ​students​ ​for ​ ​all​ ​the​ ​successive​ ​phases​ ​of​ ​life.

Learn more here: ​​​ ​