Note from Nicole

This coming Sunday…

Dear St. Andrew Community,

This Sunday is Trinity Sunday. The Trinity, (God in three persons along with Christ and Spirit) is one of the great teachings of the church, and yet, for all the books and dissertations that attempt to explain it, the Trinity remains somewhat of a mystery for most people. 

Dr. Rachel Remen in her book “Kitchen Table Wisdom” says this-

“The most important questions don’t seem to have ready answers. But the questions themselves have a healing power when they are shared. An answer is an invitation to stop thinking about something, to stop wondering. Life has no such stopping places, life is a process whose every event is connected to the moment that just went by. An unanswered question is a fine traveling companion. It sharpens your eye for the road.”

So perhaps the best way to understand the Trinity is to experience this relational idea as a fine traveling companion, which sharpens our eye for the road.

Our focus scripture comes from Proverbs 8-Wisdom is personified as a woman and is a companion to God at the beginning, delighting in everything God creates. Who is this Wisdom? What does she have to do with Trinity Sunday and why was she a companion of God’s before anything or anyone else?

See you Sunday,

Nicole
PS – Please stay around after worship for an Ice Cream Social in honor of Ellen Black.

SUNDAY SERMON VIDEO

If you weren’t able to attend last Sunday’s service, or if you would like to watch the sermon again, watch this video of last Sunday’s sermon by Rev. Nicole Trotter – “Easy Isn’t Always Good”:

To access past Wednesday E-News emails and Sunday Sermon Videos, follow this link.

MONTHLY MISSION FOCUS

St. Andrew has a long history of mission giving as we put into practice what it means to love our neighbor. We do this within our church, in the greater community of Sonoma, across the country and around the world. In an effort to focus our giving and participation, we will be highlighting one mission each month throughout the year in worship, during announcements and in our weekly Wednesday Eblast.

Our Mission focus, for the month of June, is Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). See below for more details!

Each month over the course of the year, should you feel moved to contribute financially towards the mission of focus for that month, please indicate on your check or envelope where you’d like the money to go. Without notation, we will place all contributions towards the operating budget of the church, which is always appreciated.

Focusing on one mission per month does not preclude you from giving towards any of our missions throughout the year. You can always indicate where you’d like your contribution to go, and please keep in mind there is more than one way to contribute to the life and community of St. Andrew, as your time and talents are greatly appreciated.


June is National Reunification Month

When children must be removed from their families due to abuse or neglect, it is the hope that most children will be able to return to a safe home. 

Parents work very hard to make changes so that they can safely parent their children. However, they do not do this by themselves. Foster parents, attorneys, social workers, therapists, and judges all help the family do what they need to do to make these changes. Studies show that children who live with family have much better outcomes than children raised in foster care. For this reason, we at the CASA of Sonoma County Program hope that all children can safely be returned to their families. 

One support that can help families reunify is a CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocate. These highly trained volunteers are assigned to one child or sibling group in foster care, and stay with the child or children until the case is resolved. CASAs are appointed by the judge and report to the judge on the best interests of the child. They are able to monitor and report on progress made by the family, and the needs and wishes of the child or children they serve. 

Here in Sonoma County we have 93 children waiting for a CASA to support them and help them either safely reunify, or find a safe, permanent home. Our CASAs report that serving in this capacity is an extraordinary opportunity and enriches their lives as well as their assigned children. For more information on how to make a lasting difference in the life of a child as a CASA volunteer stop by our info table at church this Sunday or contact Heloisa Heinen at 707-565-6375 or [email protected] and also check our website www.sonomacasa.org.

Not everyone can be a CASA volunteer. But everyone can bring SOMETHING to the program, funds, volunteer time, board involvement, bring awareness to the community. I hope you’ll look into your heart and find what you can do to help CASA. Because there are children in Sonoma County who are counting on us. And that is really what CASA is all about – our children who are communities’ responsibilities. Working together, we can end the cycle of abuse and neglect so that every foster child has a chance to thrive and of a successful future.

If you’d like to support CASA with a financial donation, please follow this link to donate electronically or drop a check to St. Andrew in the mail or in the offering plate on Sunday with “CASA” in the memo field. Thank You!

ENVIRONMENTAL MOMENT

Green Tip #33 – Watch the Documentary “Kiss the Ground”

by Dave Haflich

In order to try and encourage people to view “Kiss the Ground”, the documentary shown at the church during Earth Care month, I watched it for the third time yesterday. It took me, using rewind and taking 7 pages of notes, almost 4 hours to watch its 80 minutes. And for the third time, it left me stunned, stimulated and hopeful that nature-based solutions (God) are at hand to help us solve our climate crisis. I will watch it again, and hope you do too.

After describing the industrial agricultural practices, stimulated by chemicals developed during and after WWII, that are in widespread use today and have led to desertification of over 25% of the earth’s surface, the documentary advocates for regenerative agricultural practices that promote soil health and reduce the return of soil carbon to the atmosphere. The benefits of healthy soils are surprisingly far reaching. Some are:

  • The capacity of healthy soil to sequestrate carbon is so huge that it has the potential to easily reverse global warming in about 20 years.
  • Food grown in biological active soil is more nutritious.
  • Organically active soil is more absorbent, minimizing runoff and evaporation. Returning water to the atmosphere via the transpiration of growing plants can actually lead to increased rainfall, too.
  • Eating meat becomes more viable! “Mob grazing” (short term grazing on crop residues and actively photosynthesizing cover crops) actually assists soils biological activity and minimizes the ecological disasters of feedlots and monocultures.

Among the things I am going to try and do to help the shift to regenerative farming practices:

  • Ensure that all compostable waste gets to a composting facility, especially if it is community based.
  • As much as possible, eat foods grown regeneratively, which includes locally grown products, organic vegetables (no industrial chemicals), grass-fed meat, “land hen” eggs, etc. This is especially hard for a cheapskate like me.
  • Vote for candidates who honestly support Earth Care without influence by “status quo” interests.
  • Try and visit the Markegard’s, local “regenerative ranchers” featured in the documentary.
  • Minimize healthy soil destroying rototilling. Again, this is extremely difficult for me, loving my tractor with a 6’ tiller and two weedy acres. I’m trying only to do driveways.

These practices harness the God given regenerative power of the Earth itself and promote the biodiversity (there’s that concept again) that can restore a mankind degraded Earth to a paradise again. And its achievable now, worldwide. 
Please watch the documentary. Its available on Netflix and participation options can be found at KISSTHEGROUNDMOVIE.COM 

ICE CREAM SOCIAL

ICE CREAM SOCIAL IN MEMORY OF ELLEN BLACK
SUNDAY, JUNE 12

FOLLOWING OUR WORSHIP SERVICE

Join us for an Ice Cream social following worship! Ellen Black, a dear woman and long-time member of St. Andrew, who passed away during Covid, which didn’t allow the opportunity for a Memorial Service, loved a great Ice Cream Social! Please join us for a scoop of ice cream and fellowship in memory of Ellen.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Monday, June 27 – Thursday, June 30th

9:00am – 3:00pm

Preschool through 5th grade (preschool attendees should have completed at least one year of preschool, please)

$75 per child for the week

This summer, step back in time to where Jesus walked to the Cross! Smell the fresh, warm bread; weave a basket of reeds; make clay pots; hear the marketplace music and experience life where Jesus grew up. Engage all of your senses as you transport with St Andrew to Jerusalem and walk with Jesus!

Registration is now open! Text VBS2022 to the St. Andrew Text-to-Church number: 707-278-6024 and follow the prompts or visit our website and follow the link: https://www.andrewpres.org/


CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS!
Volunteers are needed for VBS! Camp will be the week of June 27-30 (M-Th) and will run from 9am-3pm. Volunteers will sign up for a time block- you don’t need to commit to a full day:

  • Morning: 9:00-12:00: Tribal Leaders, Marketplace crafts, snack booth, playground leaders, celebration (music) helper, drama team, preschool leader;
  • Lunch crew: 12:00-2:00: supervise, set up, clean up tables;
  • Afternoon Crew: 1:00-3:00: Group leaders, station leaders: arts and crafts, music, sports/games, movie room, service project; 
  • Sunday 6/26: set-up crew- help set up tents and decorate following the service.

Following our Worship Service each Sunday, Dawne Carver and/or Kelsey Walthard will be waiting at the volunteer board. You can also sign up by texting VOLVBS to the St. Andrew Text-to-Church number: 707-278-6024 and follow the prompts, Or email Kelsey via the church office at: [email protected] 

ASSISTING THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE:

Follow this link for a message from Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, Director, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, detailing ways we can provide aid for refugees and civilians suffering in Ukraine, and call for engaging a diplomatic solution to the conflict.


St. Andrew’s Romania Mission partner, Bisectica Baptista Betania, has found itself on the front line of Humanitarian Relief in Ukraine. If you would like to contribute to the Ukrainian Refugee Containers with a financial donation, please follow this link to donate electronically or drop a check to St. Andrew in the mail or in the offering plate on Sunday with “Ukraine Container” in the memo field.

Our Congregation has responded with great enthusiasm through financial support for this mission – Thank You!


The Community of Sonoma Offers Opportunities to Support Ukraine

All are invited to meet on the Sonoma Plaza on Friday night at 5:00pm until further notice to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

Join Sonoma Valley Interfaith on Mondays and Wednesdays (9:00-9:30 AM) at the Sonoma FCC/CCS Redwood Grove for silent prayer and deepening compassion for the people of the Ukraine, Russia and the Baltic Countries. All are welcome!

SUMMER CAMP OPPORTUNITIES

READING AND LISTENING CORNER

Pastor Nicole’s Reading and Listening Corner


Dear Friends,
This is a sampling of books I’m either reading, skimming, or hoping to get to in addition to the lectionary sermon resources I enjoy. I’m always pleased to recommend a book on a topic that interests you.

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.
Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. 

Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril by Elizabeth A. Johnson
Elizabeth Johnson asks how we can understand cosmic redemption in a time of advancing ecological devastation. In effect, how can we extend the core Christian belief in salvation to include all created beings. Immediately this quest runs into a formidable obstacle: the idea that Jesus’ death on the cross was required as an atonement for human sin—a theology laid out by the eleventh-century theologian Anselm. Constructing her argument (like Anselm) in the form of a dialogue, Johnson lays out the foundations in scripture, the teachings of Jesus, and the early Church for an understanding that emphasizes the love and mercy of God, showing how this approach could help us respond to a planet in peril.

Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred by Victoria Loorz
Whether disillusioned by the dominant church or unfulfilled by traditional expressions of faith, many of us long for a deeper spirituality. Victoria Loorz certainly did. Coping with an unraveling vocation, identity, and planet, Loorz turned to the wanderings of spiritual leaders and the sanctuary of the natural world, eventually cofounding the Wild Church Network and Seminary of the Wild.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. 

Listening to-
Podcasts-On Being with Krista Tippethttps://onbeing.org/series/podcast/
The Mothhttps://themoth.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwj42UBhAAEiwACIhADqJfNFaCwAJICpNzhegF3ribg4dmolsR2du7N132VAQkCxKG7pcHiRoCedIQAvD_BwE
Jon Meacham Hope Through Historyhttps://www.history.com/hope-through-history
Unlocking Us with Brene Brownhttps://brenebrown.com/podcast-show/unlocking-us/
Armchair Experthttps://armchairexpertpod.com/

WORSHIP AT ST. ANDREW ON JUNE 12

In-Person Worship St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Sunday, June 12

9:00am Indoors in our Sanctuary

St. Andrew has been, and will continue to be, in compliance with the County and State regulations regarding Covid protocols. It’s important for us to protect one another as we worship. We have these updated guidelines in place for everyone’s safety, in accordance with CDC and Sonoma County regulations, and approved by our St. Andrew Session:

  • Masks are currently strongly recommended, for all individuals indoors. Health officials strongly recommend masks as an effective tool to prevent the spread of the virus. All employees and volunteers working with children and youth will be required to wear masks.
  • Do not attend services if you are not feeling well or are exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, etc. 
  • We will continue to have doors open to aid airflow throughout the sanctuary and hand sanitizer readily available.
  • We ask that all in attendance refrain from hugging and other forms of physical interaction.

Please continue your giving during this time, so that St. Andrew may continue to serve our local community and our membership. We recognize that some of you have been impacted financially by economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. For those of you who can, please continue to give on a regular basis.

There are several options available:

  • Give electronically to the St. Andrew General Fund
  • Set up your donation to St. Andrew to be paid through your bill paying service at your personal bank.
  • Mail a check to St. Andrew, or drop your envelope into our locked mail box: 16290 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476