Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Where does the time go?

As you look about your home, your yard, your neighborhood, or wherever you might be, do you ever say to yourself, “I can’t be as old as I am?”  Luckily, some of us don’t feel as old as we actually are and we have been blessed without having to endure any major illnesses.

When I applied for Medicare, the woman on the phone said, “I need to write down any and all medications that you take so that I can advise you properly.” When I didn’t respond, she repeated her request.  This time I said, “I don’t take anything.”  Her reply was, “You’re weird!”

Well, we know that!  You have to be somewhat weird to live in today’s society.  But, that’s been said about many of the past decades and what has gone on just in our country.

It does seem strange that as of this September: I started college 55 years ago, I entered the United States Navy 50 years ago, and I began working at St. Andrew’s after retiring from teaching 18 years ago.  Where does the time go?

In the reading this week from the Song of Solomon, the beloved comes leaping and bounding like a gazelle or a young stag.  That’s not happening!  From James we read that it would profit us all to “…be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger...” and to “…be doers of the word, not merely hearers…”

As we begin the discernment process for our parish later this month, as our diocese gets down to the work of choosing a new bishop, and as with the passage of years most of us come to reflect more on the wisdom of others, let us also reflect on the words attributed to St. Francis:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.

Bill Wilds

Update from Senior Warden John Whitley

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I hope everyone is having a great summer. It has really gone fast!

When we read this verse from Proverbs, we are assured that with God’s help and your help, St Andrew’s will prosper and continue to grow. We are truly blessed to have so many committed staff members and volunteers. As we move toward the fall there is a lot of activity getting ready to start at St Andrew’s. I wanted to send out another communication to keep you all updated on some of the many happenings in our parish. I would ask each of you to look for ways to serve in one of our many ministry opportunities. I hope you find this information helpful.

  • Vestry Members for 2019: We will be electing four new vestry members in December. Please let any vestry member know if you are interested in serving in this capacity.
  • Parish Discernment Introduction: We invite all parishioners to join us for the start of our Parish Discernment. We are offering the same information at three different times: 7 PM Sept 25; 10 AM Sept 26, and between services on Sept 30. Caroline Black will be leading our discernment process. Caroline recently retired from our diocesan office and is now using her years of expertise as a consultant. The vestry hired Caroline to lead us through this process. From my business background, I usually roll my eyes when I hear the word consultant. But after spending an evening with Caroline, I was extremely pleased at her insight and understanding of what it takes to make a strong parish, and I look forward to her facilitation as we move forward.
  • Safe Church Training: On Saturday, Sept 22, St Andrew’s will host Safe Church Training, which is required for some volunteer positions here at St. Andrew’s and strongly recommended for others. Information and requirements can be found online here.
  • Stewardship Campaign: Our stewardship campaign this year will be titled “Abundant Blessings”. Many thanks to Randy and Susan Bryant for leading our campaign again this year. The Bryants along with Saint Lee, Virginia Darden, Mary Waddill, Bill Wilds, Anne Kirchmier, and I make up our Stewardship committee. This year’s kickoff will be on Sunday, Sept 23.
  • Diocesan E News: Want to know more about our Diocese? You can register online for the Diocesan E News at In the top right hand corner, enter your email address and you will receive confirmation that you are registered
  • Volunteer Opportunities: Here at St. Andrew’s, we have many opportunities for you to become involved in our ministries and activities. Please reach out to me or any member of the Vestry if you would like to help. My contact information is or 757-469-1351 (cell).


John Whitley, Senior Warden

Friday, August 17, 2018

Prayers as new school year begins

During worship on Sunday, August 26, we will bless students and teachers as they begin a new school year.  Meanwhile, here is a prayer for individual use: 

Dear God,
The beginning of a new school year should be a time of excitement and promise:  new clothes, new books, new school supplies, a fresh start, the joy of learning and the pleasure of mastering new challenges.  Through baptism, your Spirit gives each of us an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.  With your help, may the promise of this new and exciting start come to fruition in the lives of those who teach and those who learn.  Bless, guide, and protect all teachers and students as this new school year begins.  We pray these things in the Name of your Son Jesus, who was himself a teacher.  Amen.