Dear Friends,

I am writing this on Election Tuesday. There is always a lot at stake in this country and today brings that truth in high relief.

Quaker author and teacher Parker Palmer offers these words for us:

“Of all the tensions we must hold in personal and political life, perhaps the most fundamental and most challenging is standing and acting with hope in the “tragic gap.” On one side of that gap, we see the hard realities of the world, realities that can crush our spirits and defeat our hopes. On the other side of that gap, we see real-world possibilities [to work toward.]

If we are to stand and act with hope in the tragic gap and do it for the long haul… we must judge ourselves by a higher standard than effectiveness, the standard called faithfulness. Are we faithful to the community on which we depend, to doing what we can in response to its pressing needs? Are we faithful to the better angels of our nature and to what they call forth from us? Are we faithful to the eternal conversation of humans, to speaking and listening in a way that takes us closer to truth? Are we faithful to the call of courage that summons us to witness to the common good, even against great odds? When faithfulness is our standard, we are more likely to sustain our engagement with tasks that will never end: doing justice, loving mercy, and calling the beloved community into being.”

I pray this week that you feel internal peace, knowing that we follow God’s call day by day toward shalom for all.

I hope this beautiful hymn, Light Dawns on a Weary World based on Psalm 93, will bring you hope this morning:

Light Dawns on a Weary World by William Rowan, arranged by Bradley Ellingboe. Text by Mary Louise Bringle

Blessings and love to you this day,

Jan

Rev. Jan Reynolds

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MISSION PROJECT – BEAR CARE

Meet “Humphrey the Bear”


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

Stacey Schoeningh
St. Andrew Mission Coordinator

DO YOU SEW? OUR MISSION TEAM NEEDS YOU!

St. Andrew Mission Committee is looking for volunteers to sew burlap Christmas tree ornaments for our annual Romania Missions Fundraiser. 


If you are interested in helping, please email Eileen Haflich via the church office by following this link

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

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