Congratulations on your election of Rev. Nicole Trotter to be your next Pastor! I’ve known Nicole for about 20 years. One overarching impression I have of her (in addition to many superlatives I could use!) is… she is kind.
Kindness is no small thing. It is a balm to the soul. It lifts someone up. It costs nothing and is precious beyond measure.
The insightful author George Saunders, delivered a commencement address some years ago at Syracuse University (where he teaches), in which he encouraged graduates to “err in the direction of kindness.” Then the speech went on The New York Times website and seemed to really hit a nerve.
Here is a little video with an excerpt from his talk:
Here are some of George Saunders’ quotes about kindness from a recent interview:
“My belief is that, actually, this whole mess down here on earth only holds together via small acts of decency and kindness. We tend to overlook or minimize the effect of the small things, but that is really what a culture is – that collection of thousands of small, habitual, decent moves that collectively make life somewhat predictable and “normal.”
Although kindness toward the people closest to us can be the biggest challenge. They know us, and we might have habits together that are hard to break free of. Easy to be kind in the abstract, but harder in the midst of a familiar fight, when you are completely sure of your rightness and good intentions, whereas that other person, etc., etc.
But: if a kid sees someone behaving lovingly towards someone they love, that gets into their bodies and they will emulate that behavior without even knowing they are doing it. I’ve noticed that in myself – my parents have some very good habits of mutual support, that I found myself trying to enact in my own marriage. And I also have seen how my wife’s patience with, and equanimity towards, me, has informed the way our daughters handle their relationships, with men and with friends and at work, etc.
Small acts of sanity ensure that the world in one’s immediate area is…sane. If nothing else, working towards sanity and kindness in one’s own world (one’s own mind) means that, when insanity occurs “out there,” we will have a sane outlook on it – might be able to avoid making things worse, via our agitated reaction.”
Blessings to you all in your countless moments of offering and receiving kindness.
Rev. Jan Reynolds
There seems to be no end to bad news about the state of our environment, but there is good news too. This bi-weekly Environmental Moment will highlight some good news and offer tips on how you can help reduce waste, energy, and use of plastics. May this instill hope for our future.
Good News: The Humpback whale population is flourishing after being nearly extinct in the 1950’s!
Green Tip #3:
Did you know that it takes nearly 8 gallons of water (and about a bucket full of wood chips) to make one roll of paper towels? This is in addition to the electric energy to manufacture, transportation to the store, and the single use plastic it is wrapped in. If you have old dish towels that you’re using as rags, put them in a convenient place in your kitchen and use them instead of paper towels to wipe your hands and kitchen counters. Then simply put the dish towels in your washer and use them again and again.
Thank you! And if you have any Good News or Green Tips, pass them along to Eileen Haflich via the church office at [email protected]
Brought to you by the Mission Committee
THIS WEEKEND! – OCTOBER 17 / 18:
Every year since 2009, our church community has closed our doors the second Sunday in October and put our faith into action – working alongside others as the heart of St. Andrew mission work. The day is full of fellowship, sweat, laughs and funny pictures.
Now, in typical 2020 fashion, we have had to be willing to allow God’s will to shape this call. Our traditional day will not be as grand and widespread as previous years, but I have a sense that in this, like the rest of this challenging unique year, we will get the opportunity to see who we are as a congregation and as individuals.
Don’t Go to Church will be held on our own cherished St. Andrew church grounds, performing much needed clean up and general love to our building and grounds. Please use this link to sign up for one of three different shifts the weekend of October 17-18. We will be following Sonoma County’s Covid-19 guidelines on socially distanced projects, along with a mask requirement. I invite you to sign up and enjoy a day of work alongside each other in St. Andrew fashion.
If the work weekend is not in your wheelhouse, what I would like you to do is challenge yourself to answer this question: “Where and how does that quiet whisper of God’s love warm your heart in the shape of a passion, and how does that become the call God has so perfectly matched you to?”
I’m blessed to walk alongside each of you, whether on church grounds that weekend, or in your own self discovery of seeing how we are each a piece of St. Andrew’s glorious puzzle of God’s calling!!
God bless and be well, Stacey Schoeningh
P.S.: In the Roma villages in Romania, winter is a time of scarcity. The Roma are not able to work in the fields or collect glass in the dump to earn money. In these lean cold months food is also very scarce. With little or no money, and families to feed, the Roma often subsist on little or no food.
Every fall, St Andrew raises enough money to buy flour so our Romanian church family can make bread to help sustain the Roma through the winter until they can work again. This year has been exceptionally hard because of covid-19 and the restrictions put on them by their government because of this virus.
We will be offering Dog Gone Good olive oil for sale again to help us feed the Roma. Stop by the Church on Sunday, October 18th during Don’t Go to Church, Be the Church to pick up your supply:
Drop by St. Andrew between 9:00am-4:00pm. Bottles will be available from $15 (250ml) and up. Half Gallon and gallons are available with preorder for pick-up ([email protected]). You may also bring your previously purchased Dog Gone Good bottle to church for a refill. This is a wonderful option for those wanting to be “green”.
SONOMA OVERNIGHT SUPPORT:
The mission of Sonoma Overnight Support (SOS) is to shelter and feed the homeless and hungry of Sonoma Valley. This need continues to grow; August numbers increased by 642 over the previous month. Prior to the COVID pandemic St. Andrew’s congregation provided meals monthly through the youth group, Brown Baggers and other volunteers. Although we can no longer help in this way, the need is great and a financial contribution is extremely appreciated. Since our challenge to the Congregation at the end of August, we’ve received $1,831 from our generous congregation! The Missions Committee has a challenge – they will match our current donations of $1,831 and additional donations up to a total of $2,000. Donations will be accepted until October 15th toward this challenge. Thank you for your ongoing support to this local endeavor!
To make a donation of any amount, Follow this link to donate electronically to SOS:
Or, mail a check to St. Andrew, or drop your envelope into our mail box: 16290 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476. Please write “SOS” on the memo line of your donation check.
WORSHIP ON THE PATIO
Worship on the Patio – St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Wednesday, October 21, 11:00 am
Led by Stacey Schoeningh & Eric Van Cleave
You are invited to a special in-person worship experience. This will certainly be different than what we are accustomed to! But there is joy in finding a way to come together to worship God while meeting current Sonoma County guidelines. We hope to offer other such services in the future.
The service will include: Music (recorded), Welcome, Joys & Concerns/Prayer, Scripture, Short teaching, Conversation, Communion with Music, Blessing, Dismissal
We can take reservations up to 12 people, including our leaders.
We expect the service to take about 40 minutes.
Participants will always arrive social-distanced and wearing masks.
It is important not to physically greet one another in any way.
We will ask each person to use hand sanitizer before sitting.
Sanitized chairs (outside on the patio) will be spaced 6 feet apart.
No bulletins will be provided, and no singing is possible.
Participants will leave with self-contained communion kits that they can open in their cars or at home.
If you’d like to join us, please:
- Make your reservation at this link (first come, first served).
- Sign the attached agreement (link below) and bring it with you to the service.
Thank you! We look forward to this time together.
After you make your reservation through the link above, please print your Agreement Form. Bring the signed Agreement Form with you to the Worship Service.
ORDER YOUR CHRISTMAS EVERGREENS:
It’s October and that means the St. Andrew Youth Group is taking orders for wreaths, garland and more! This is our annual fundraiser that raises money for the annual youth Caravan mission trip. Pick up a beautiful evergreen product and support the youth – it’s a win/win for everyone!
This year, we are taking orders online and directly through our youth from now through the end of October. Follow the link below or contact one of our Sr. High youth to place your order. Payments are being accepted via online payment through the attached link or mail your check to the church office.
Orders will be available via drive thru pickup at the church on December 5th and 6th. We will bring them to your car. Thank you for your support!
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