Dear St. Andrew Community,
I’m so grateful to be writing this first weekly email as your new pastor. And because it’s my first, it’s much too long.
Choosing a scripture for this Sunday was a bit of a challenge. Over time a pastor learns the rhythm of the congregation, their mood, their energy level and their hopes. But this week, I have to make an educated guess. If you’re anything like my loved ones and friends, you may be feeling an especially strong case of the post-Christmas blues. Many of us thought COVID would be mostly gone by now. The inauguration came and went, yet we still face challenges as a country. Additionally, many are feeling their own personal health or financial challenges. As a congregation you’ve grieved your beloved pastor, Rich, and said goodbye to a wonderful interim pastor, Jan. Some of you may have placed church on the back burner for a while because online church was not what you had in mind when you began this journey. Others may have doubled down on church as a way to help sustain you during this difficult time. Perhaps some of you are also excited to head into this new chapter for St. Andrew. Wherever you are on this journey, my prayer is that your desire for God continues.
So where do we go from here? Whenever I’m left with a question this large, I trust the answer is not mine to figure out, but God’s. My job then becomes to listen. That is where this Sunday’s scripture comes in. Deuteronomy (18:15-20) instructs us to listen to the God given prophet who speaks on God’s behalf. There were a lot of self-proclaimed prophets running around back then and not all of them were sent by God. Figuring out who was true and who was false could mean the difference between life and death. Today, we may not hear people professing to be prophets but we have plenty of religious leaders claiming to speak for God. We witness fighting between religions and even denominations within Christianity, all competing for the attention of those who are searching for God. And while most of us reading this are followers of Jesus Christ, we may still struggle when listening for the voice of God. When faced with the need for an answer, for direction, or even the right kind of comfort, we can often struggle in knowing whether what we hear is God or something false. We may struggle with hearing anything at all, and are left asking, “where is God showing up in my life?” So maybe before we answer the question; “where do we go from here,” we can ask, “how do we trust we’re being led in a God-given direction?” That’s what we’ll explore this Sunday.
Yours in Christ,
For the next few months – Each Thursday from 2-4 and Sunday from 12-2, I will make myself available for a conversation so that we can get to know one another. This can be by phone, Facetime, Zoom, or an outdoor visit at the church, in a yard or at the square. You may like just 15 minutes or perhaps an hour. Please contact Amy in the church office at [email protected] to set up a time and let her know your preferred method of contact; Phone, church, etc.? If neither of these times work for you, please feel free to reach out to Nicole directly to set something up.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
Friday, February 5th – 6:00 pm
Join us for Virtual BINGO!
We promise a fun night of Fellowship, Fabulous Prizes and Friendly Competition for all ages! More details coming soon…
WORSHIP ON THE PATIO FEBRUARY 7TH:
Outdoor Worship– St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Sunday, FEBRUARY 7 at 10:00 am
Join us for worship at St. Andrew, Sunday, February 7 at 10:00 am.This service will include recorded music, prayers, Scripture, Rev. Nicole Trotter’s teaching, and Communion. (An online service will still be available that day with similar content).
We can take reservations up to 45 people + staff. We expect the service to last about 45 minutes, allow 60 minutes for leaving carefully socially-distanced.
We have these guidelines in place for everyone’s safety, in accordance with CDC and Sonoma County guidelines, and approved by our Covid Taskforce:
– We will greet you, check your temperature, receive your signed agreement and guide you to your assigned seats.
– Participants will always stay 6-feet apart and wear masks.
– It is important not to physically greet one another in any way.
– Unfortunately, no chatting in groups is allowed on church property.
– We will ask each person to use hand sanitizer before sitting.
– Sanitized chairs will be spaced with at least 6 feet between individuals or family groups.
– No bulletins will be provided, and no singing is possible for safety.
– Participants will leave with self-contained communion kits that they can open in their cars or at home. Please do not leave the used packaging at the church!
Please click here to reserve seats for you and/or your family (first come, first served). Please list all family members in your “Covid bubble” who will attend with you so we can pre-assign a cluster of chairs for you.
Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to our Worship Service Agreement. Please sign the Agreement and bring it with you to the service – this will shorten check-in lines the day of the service.
Thank you! We look forward to worshipping together
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
If you would like to receive emails from St. Andrew with current information about our Virtual Services and links to Virtual Meetings click below