Monday, September 24, 2018

Why I give to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

When I was a child our family went to church every Sunday.  There was never any question or decision to be made week-to-week whether or not we were going – we were.  As we took our seats, daddy would give me a quarter to put into the offering plate.  As I got a little older, the quarter became a dollar.  But it was always money that was given to me, never my own money.

When I was a young adult I fell away from attending church except when visiting my parents.  But when Al and I married, we made the decision to attend regularly as a couple.  When the offering plate came around we gave, but we didn’t pledge.

Our lives progressed and we found ourselves the parents of two small children.  Following in our parents’ footsteps, we went to church every Sunday.  We gave each of the children a quarter to put in the offering plate.  One week our son asked what the money was for.  We said to help people in need and to take care of the church and the people who work there.  The next Sunday he emptied his whole piggy bank and put the money in the offering plate.  He was excited to be giving his own money.  The smile on his face said it all.  He was only 4 or 5, but he felt like he was doing something great and important!

That’s why we give to St. Andrew’s.  We know we are doing something great and important!  And we make a commitment through our pledge so our leaders can plan for the year with confidence.

St. Andrew’s has stood on this corner for a century.  Al and I have only been here for a short fraction of that time, but as your parish administrator, I’ve had a front row seat to all the good we do together and the way we care for one another and the greater community.  When someone asks what church I attend, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride when I answer, “I am a member of St. Andrew’s!”

Rachel Roby 

Commitment Sunday is November 4, 2018. Click here to learn more about St. Andrew's Abundant Blessings campaign and how you can support our ministry with your time, talent and treasure.  

Pacing ourselves

Dear friends,

In our busy and chaotic world, with pressure to work ever-longer hours and accomplish more and more every day, with information assailing us from every direction and available 24/7, how do we pace ourselves?  How do we make space in our lives not only to hear God’s voice but also simply to be in God’s presence? 

The story of creation tells us that God rested on the seventh day.  For thousands of years, our Jewish brothers and sisters have set aside one day a week as a sabbath.  Jesus often went off by himself for quiet time with God.  Human beings profit from down time, time to reflect and re-center and even to play. You’ve probably heard it said that we are human beings, not human doings.  We forget that at our peril.

When I was a child, Sundays were a time when stores were closed and youth sports leagues had not yet started requiring Sunday participation.  Without the internet and cell phones, it was much easier for children and adults to get away and be away.  The world has changed, but our human need for rest and restoration, play time and pray time, has not changed.

How do you attend to that need in your life? 

One way I try to honor my need for restorative time is to use all of my given vacation, continuing education, and retreat time each year.  According to our letter of agreement, each year I have 23 work days of vacation, plus two weeks of continuing education and retreat time.  I know that Rob Marston liked to use all of his vacation days in one fell swoop, taking a month off each summer.  I’ve discovered that it works better for me if I spread out my vacation, retreat, and continuing ed days across the year.  This coming week I’ll be on retreat in Boston, re-centering through prayer and worship and silence at the Society of St. John the Evangelist monastery.  I am so grateful for that opportunity.

What about you?  As we enter the final quarter of 2018, how will you pace yourself and attend to your own needs for quiet time, for reflection, for prayer and rest and play? 

May the God who created and adores each one of us bless you with the wisdom, grace, and courage to pace yourself, finding and making and taking the time you need to nurture your soul and draw closer to the Lord and Giver of Life. 


Monday, September 17, 2018

Time, Talent and Treasure – to Whom Do They Belong?

Not to me!  I know that my time, talent and treasure are gifts from God so it seems only natural that I give back to God.  None of the three were mine to create; only to use to the best of my ability.

But why do I specifically give to St. Andrew’s?  Easy.  Because I love St. Andrew’s and feel blessed to call it my church home.  I cannot imagine my 55 years as a resident of Newport News without having St. Andrew’s as the foundation for my Christian life.  Through St. Andrew’s I first learned from Doug Burgoyne and Howard Saunders that the lyrics of my father’s favorite hymn were true: the Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord!

At St. Andrew’s Jesus Christ is alive and well.  He is our foundation and is in our midst inspiring daily examples of love, generosity and acceptance.  Each time I volunteer, attend a worship service or meet a St. Andrew’s friend in the community, I see God in action.  I love that!

This year I pledge to take an inventory of my time, talent and treasure and use them wisely to help strengthen not only the foundation of our church but the foundation of our lives together as one body in Christ.

I pray that in the upcoming year we can all share our God-given time, talent and treasure to build a church that will influence and serve the surrounding community for another 100 years.

Jackie Legg Wash

Commitment Sunday is November 4, 2018. Click here to learn more about St. Andrew's Abundant Blessings campaign and how you can support our ministry with your time, talent and treasure. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

September 9 Pulpit Swap: St. Paul’s and St. Andrew’s

On Sunday, September 9, St. Andrew’s will welcome the Rev. Bruce Cheney, rector of St. Paul’s Church, Newport News, as our preacher at both services.  Anne Kirchmier and John Herbst will lead worship at St. Paul’s that morning.

As the oldest Episcopal Church in Newport News, St. Paul’s is the “mother church” of several other parishes, including St. Andrew’s.  From its central downtown location, St. Paul’s carries out a lively outreach ministry to “the least of these” in our own city.  St. Andrew’s parishioners support this work through prayer and hands-on service:  cooking and serving breakfasts, and donating and delivering food for St. Paul’s pantry.  Through the generosity of the late Carolyn Lackey, we also provide funding each year for St. Paul’s ministry. 

St. Paul’s recently launched The Community Action Network, a 501c3 that combines traditional ministries, such as feeding programs, clothing and laundry, with counseling, job training, transportation, financial counseling, and employment services to help people forge a new way forward. This approach seeks to empower those in need to lift themselves out of poverty with the assistance of the community around them.

In addition to preaching at both services, Bruce Cheney will also be our presenter at the Adult Forum, giving us an opportunity to learn more about St. Paul’s and the Community Action Network.