Note from Nicole

This coming Sunday…

Dear St. Andrew Community,

Henry James is quoted as having said, “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” And the Dali Lama once said, “Kindness is my religion.”

In our scripture for Sunday (Galatians 5:1,13-25), “kindness” is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit. And while Paul’s words come to us translated from Greek, his Jewish listeners may have thought about the Hebrew word “chesed”, which translates as loving kindness.

Chesed appears in the Torah to communicate God’s kindness and love toward humanity as well as human kindness and love toward each other. Chesed emerges as one of the essential ways humans engage with God to sustain creation. Chesed occurs when there is understanding between two people and when the command to “love your neighbor as yourself” is fulfilled.[1] 

Loving kindness, when understood this way, is an entire value system. It’s what gives life meaning and purpose and it’s central to our faith. When it steers your life, it becomes radicalized because it runs counter to a culture that’s always selling “me first”.

So how are we carrying ourselves in the world? Who are we modeling our ways after? Does our value system become reflected in the ways we relate to our family, friends, and strangers who don’t understand like us, vote like us or listen to the same news as us? Is our value system reflected by who we vote for or what companies we hold stock in? Chesed is essential to sustain God’s creation and when understood this way, moves far beyond nice bumper stickers and tee shirts and into something that can change the world, one person at a time.

See you Sunday,

Nicole
[1]https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/acts-of-loving-kindness/

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 – “Be Still”:

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.

Join CASA of Sonoma County’s commitment to helping victims of child abuse and neglect heal, feel safe and loved and have a “voice” in court, in schools, and in the community

Anytime a child is abused or neglected, it’s a tragedy – one that all too often scars victims for a lifetime. 

Studies have shown that foster children are more likely to struggle in school, have run-ins with law enforcement, experience homelessness or abuse drugs or alcohol. Research also shows that abused children are more apt to grow up to abuse their own kids.

At CASA of Sonoma County we help foster children heal and thrive, so they can have a chance of a successful future. Our Court Appointed Special Advocates, also called CASA volunteers are trusted adults in these children’s lives, giving them a “voice” in court, in schools, and in the community. They make sure foster kids don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service systems or languish in unsupportive foster homes. CASA volunteers stay with children until their court case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

CASA volunteers advocate for the best interests of children in foster care (ranging in age from birth through age 18 or 21, when they “age out” of foster care). A CASA volunteer, trained by our program and appointed by the Juvenile Court Judge, provides the court with the comprehensive and objective information the court needs to make the most well-informed decisions and to help ensure positive outcomes for children and youth. These individuals not only advocate for children within the court, child welfare, and school systems but also form relationships with them that last for years. 

Our volunteers come from all walks of life; they are rigorously screened and trained extensively by professionals and receive 35 hours of training before they are assigned to work with a child. They receive ongoing support from CASA program staff to help them advocate effectively on a child’s behalf. CASAs take the time to get to know the child at the heart of each case. They work in partnership with legal and child welfare professionals, educators, and service providers to ensure that each child has what they need to heal and thrive.  We invite the congregation to learn more about the work we do and consider becoming a CASA volunteer. Juvenile court officials have identified an additional 93 youth who need advocates. If you care and have about 10 hours a month to spend, being a CASA can be a very gratifying work. A CASA is a powerful voice in a child’s life. For more information 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. 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 have 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!

PIZZA & THEOLOGY

PIZZA AND THEOLOGY

TOMORROW – Thursday, June 23rd

6:00pm – 7:30pm

St. Andrew offers an evening of Pizza & Theology in the Fellowship Hall. Join us for a slice of pizza and salad as we gather around a table to discuss our most pressing questions about God. Donations to cover the cost of the dinner are gratefully accepted. Please RSVP to Dawne Carver by following this link so we can plan accordingly. All are welcome!

AN INVITATION FROM WARREN JAYCOX

Warren Jaycox invites the St. Andrew Congregation to attend the Memorial Service for his wife, Jeanette Jaycox, who passed away on November 9, 2020 (service delayed due to Covid).
Jeanette’s service will be held this Saturday, June 25th at 11:00am at the First Baptist Church of Sonoma – 542 First St., E, Sonoma

COLUMBARIUM / GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE PRESENTATION

Garden of Remembrance Presentations: Following the Sunday Worship Service on June 26, there will be a presentation regarding St. Andrew’s planned “Garden of Remembrance” project which, if built, will include a columbarium designed to inter urns containing cremated remains. The Garden will also include commemorative memorial plaques.

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]

CONGREGATIONAL & CORPORATION MEETINGS

St. Andrew Congregational Meeting /
Annual Corporation Meeting
Sunday, July 3rd – 10:00am

We’ll be meeting Sunday, July 3rd, following our 9:00am worship service, for a Congregational Meeting to elect Deacons and Elders and elect our Nominating Committee for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, immediately followed by our Annual Corporation Meeting to elect our Corporate Trustees.

Please plan to attend!

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.


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 26

In-Person Worship St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Sunday, June 26

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