I’ve boldly borrowed this (with permission) from my octogenarian friend Al Braidwood, who sends thoughtful and encouraging notes to his loved ones almost every day. He always inspires me, often passing on the wisdom of Christian teachers who are not to be missed. Thank Goodness for the Wise Ones among us!
Blessings on your Wednesday and your week!
With much love,
Rev. Jan Reynolds
Interim Pastor, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
“The two bookends of life are birth and death. The journey of life does not begin with birth and will not end with the death of this body. Life itself is eternal. Death is a topic that has been amply explored by spiritual teachers, astrophysicists, poets, musicians, scientists, and philosophers. It is a subject often obscured by fear and denial – all over the world, but especially so in the West. And that’s because we are more prone in the west to be conditioned to life in a grief-phobic and death-denying culture. Our culture has somehow taught us that to die is to fail. We tend to think of death in human terms, in terms of a separate self, a separate physical body entirely independent of nature and its primal inclusiveness in the whole. And, importantly, we often fail to see that death is a mystery that is entrusted to us. A mystery that is part and parcel of life itself. It includes the preciousness of life – that sustains us from day to day – that surprises us with its sheer magnanimity. Here is a pithy meditation from Father Henri Nouwen for your review and reflection…”
LIFE IS PRECIOUS
The beauty and preciousness of life is intimately linked with its fragility and mortality. We can experience that every day — when we take a flower in our hands, when we see a butterfly dance in the air, when we caress a little baby or hug a tiny puppy. Fragility and giftedness are both there, and our joy is connected with both.
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS
This past weekend, dozens of St. Andrew members and friends gave their time and effort to do some much needed fall cleaning here on the St. Andrew grounds as part of Don’t Go to Church, Be the Church 2020
We moved rocks, spread wood chips, removed dilapidated fencing, painted fencing, cleaned windows, removed cobwebs and wasp nests, power washed and more!
Click the arrow on the video below to see some of our volunteers hard at work (thanks to Darcy McNairy for putting together the video!):
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!
MISSION PROJECT – “BEAR CARE”:
This Christmas Season we’ve found that Covid-19 has stalled our usual opportunities for our annual Shoebox Mission. St. Andrew will instead join forces with First Congregational Church Sonoma on a special project, “Bear Care”.
Please read the following explanation of this mission from Rev. Curran:
I am inviting you to join me in project “Bear Care.” Help share the love…
Our goal to raise enough money to buy 388 bears, one for each child at El Verano Elementary School. Children are struggling with online learning these days, and I mean to tell you they really are struggling. It is hard to be separated from classmates, at home with stressed out parents, or at various community programs because there is no one who can stay home with them. They are locked onto computer screens and unable to connect in ways that are so critical to their social development.
One thing that is helping my child cope, is writing in a gratitude journal every day. In times of trouble, we all need to remember that being grateful helps to pull us up out of despair. That is why we are planning to deliver “gratitude bears” to the children at El Verano School. We want to show them that we are grateful for them and also to invite them to remember what they are grateful for. We are working with our local toy store here in Sonoma “The Toy Shop” to purchase the same kind of bear for each child. Bears will be wrapped in colorful paper with a note attached explaining the project and inviting them to name their “gratitude bear”. Bears will be given to the schoolchildren in November.
To donate to this special mission project, mail a check to St. Andrew (16290 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476) with “Bear Care” in the memo or use this link to donate electronically – be sure to put “Bear Care” in the memo. Thank you for helping to spread the love.
Rev. Curran Reichert
First Congregational Church Sonoma
St. Andrew Mission Coordinator
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