Note from Nicole

This coming Sunday…

Dear St. Andrew Community,

Jewish-Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist, Sylvia Boorstein tells the story of growing up in a post depression household with her parents and grandparents. She describes complaining to her grandmother that she wasn’t happy, as children often do, to which her grandmother responded, “where is it written that you’re supposed to be happy all the time?”

This is a phrase I often repeat as I come across books, podcasts, seminars, a few prosperity preachers, promoting happiness as an end goal. Don’t get me wrong, I like being happy as much as the next guy, I just think we fool ourselves into thinking this is something we shouldbe, as though we’re doing something wrong if we’re not

This lenten series, The Gifts of the Dark Woods, is about those experiences in life we might not have seen coming, and like Peter in this weeks passage, wish we could have avoided; the death, the diagnosis, the chronic pain, the child suffering depression, anxiety, addiction, etc. They are not the happy moments of our lives, but they are not without their own gifts as the quality of life shifts from the surface to something deeper. We may not be aware of it in those moments, but when we begin to see glimmers of light once again, or return to happiness from those dark woods moments, life takes on an entirely new quality, much like the resurrected life and joy that comes on Easter. 

In this Sunday’s scripture (Mark 8:31-38) Jesus, for the first time, reveals his long-term plan; he will suffer, be rejected, killed and three days later rise again. Peter won’t hear of it, and who could blame him? I’m not sure Peter even heard the “rise again” part of that prediction. Nor do we, when we’re thrown for a loop into our own dark woods. 
There’s more to this story, and our dark woods moments extend beyond the personal and take on a collective meaning as a society when applied to those who live with the constant struggles of inequity. 

That’s more than I can possibly cover in one Sunday or one series, but my hope for us all is to discover the gifts of a God who speaks to us in the challenges we might otherwise ignore. 

Yours in Christ,


For the next few months – each Thursday from 2-4 and Sunday from 12-2, Reverend Nicole Trotter will make herself 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.


The St. Andrew Taskforce has been meeting regularly to review National, State and County guidelines and evaluate our worship plans as we move forward.

We understand that some members of our congregation are not yet ready to physically return to our facility and we are carefully evaluating our resources to ensure that we can continue to offer meaningful virtual worship experiences for those who prefer to worship from home at this time, while also offering some in-person worship experiences for those who are ready to physically return to St. Andrew.

To help us evaluate how to best use our staff and volunteer resources, we’ve put together a brief survey for you to complete. The survey will take less than 5 minutes and will assist our Taskforce by providing the data we need to put plans in place moving forward. If you haven’t done so already, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us:

Follow this link to complete the survey

The survey will be available until Thursday, February 25, 2021.

Thank you for participating!


What if you were following a plan for your money that you KNEW worked? No more money stress—ever! It’s possible when you know how to handle your finances. St. Andrew is offering the virtual Financial Peace University class, and we’ll learn how to dump debt and build wealth. You won’t even have to leave home. And now, you can try Financial Peace free for 14 days!

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church is offering this course just for you starting Sunday, February 28th at 11:30am. It’s a commitment of 9 weekly classes. Visit the link below to register (only one person per couple needs to register) and to learn more. Invite a friend to join us – all are welcome!

Visit to sign up and learn more. Class starts Sunday, February 28, 2021.


Outdoor Worship– St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Sunday, MARCH 7 at 10:00 am

Dear Friends,
Join us for worship at St. Andrew, Sunday, March 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