Today I talked to Eleanor Huskins, the wife of St. Andrew’s founding pastor, Bill Huskins. If you walk into the office today you’ll see Bill’s picture and the charter of St. Andrew as a Presbyterian church. It was Bill who had the vision to scoop up the old Spreckles Carriage house for less than $50,000 as the new home for the fledgling congregation. Eleanor is hoping to be with us July 23rd. She has found more historical documents which describe the start of the congregation in the early 1960’s.
That got me thinking about the visionary people who were willing to risk on the future, not play it safe in the past. Bill had no idea that the beloved building he secured for the home of St. Andrew would burn down March 19, 1989 and that the old building would be worth $1,600,000 as the insurance settlement. But that set up a challenge for the 1990 congregation—should the congregation take on more debt to build the best Bill Turnbull designed church we could or play it safe? We risked $250,000 as an investment in the future.
Investing in the future prompted us to add a second service even though people felt they were losing the unity of the congregation. We invested in the future when we left the familiarity of the traditional hymnal and put together a band to sing music people were listening to on Christian radio stations like K-LOVE. We remembered that the Wesley brothers, who created so many of our most cherished hymns, got their tunes listening to the music of the coalminers as they went to work in the morning and returned to their homes in the evening. Remember, Martin Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress”, was written to the tune of a contemporary drinking song—it was one of the pop hits of his day.
Investing in the future required us to organize St. Andrew as the intergenerational church that would do everything to encourage young families to consider St. Andrew as their home church. The challenge is whenever we invest in God’s future we had to divert resources from the status quo. That is always a necessary, but painful reality.
What has always surprised me is where the resistance to investing in the future comes from. We just changed the format of our fabulously successful VBS. The resistance from some of our kids was epic. They didn’t like it—no, not one bit! Resistance to God’s future comes in all shapes, sizes and ages. But the truth is that something has to die for the new life God has in store for us to be born.
Paul ran his race of faith, then passed the baton off to young Timothy. Here are two passages from the two letters we know Paul wrote to his young protégé:
1 Timothy 6:11-12
But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.
2 Timothy 4:6-8
As for me, the hour has come for me to be sacrificed; the time is here for me to leave this life. I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith. And now there is waiting for me the victory prize of being put right with God, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day—and not only to me, but to all those who wait with love for him to appear.
More Sunday. Here’s what I have on my desk…
PASTOR RICH IS STARTING A PASTOR’S BOOK CLUB! The first book we will read is “What is the Bible?” by Rob Bell. Pick up your book here at St. Andrew or purchase it on your own. The Book Club will meet on Wednesday, August 3rd at 7:00PM and Sunday, August 27th at 11:30AM for a book discussion.
H20 4 RO
St. Andrew is providing wells in Romania! By drilling a well, a church can provide multiple flushing toilets, several showers, sinks for handwashing and teeth brushing and a clothes washing station. If you are interested in helping to provide a well in Archita and Laslea, please place your donation in the envelope provided in your bulletin.
COME RIDE WITH PASTOR RICH IN THE 4TH ANNUAL PEDAL FOR PROTEIN EVENT
September 17—23, 2017
Come ride with Pastor Rich and others in our Presbytery! Tour beautiful Northern California, on this landmark ride beginning in Occidental and traveling through the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys to St. Helena, then through Napa and Sonoma Valleys and back to Occidental. Choose to ride the entire tour over 6 days, or choose a one-two day ride through Sonoma County. Your participation will help food pantries in the Redwoods Presbytery to provide Protein rich food such as Peanut Butter, Canned Tuna, Chicken and Milk to Families, Seniors and Children. All funds raised will be donated through local Food banks. After you register, its easy to create your own fundraising page.
Questions?/More Information? Contact Patty Sanders 415-515-6127 or [email protected]