Dear St. Andrew Community,

Last Sunday afternoon, after a lovely backyard visit with the Dixons I found myself walking home with a bounce in my step. As I walked, I was transfixed by the quality of clouds in the sky. As I stared at the moving clouds I became aware of a hawk who had a whole lot to say. There’s much I can tell you about my experience on this walk but suffice it to say God was surely present.

Prior to 2020 it may have felt like just another nice walk. But because of the daily staggering numbers of deaths that continue, I find these once taken for granted moments assuming an entirely different quality, much like a blessed assurance.

Our focus scriptures for Sunday (Isaiah 40:21-31 and Mark 1:29-39) bring with them a message of reassurance. Reassurance or “blessed assurance” is one of those things we all need, even the most confident and faithful among us. Isaiah speaks to a people in exile who have been despairing and longing for the presence of God. In the Gospel reading, Jesus retreats to pray and everyone begins searching for him. Both scriptures address just how vulnerable we are to experiencing a feeling of spiritual abandonment. But as we’ll explore this Sunday, both scriptures reassure us of God’s presence, restoring us to wholeness, which then requires we carry that same blessed assurance to others.

Yours in Christ,
Nicole

GETTING ACQUAINTED:

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.

ENVIRONMENTAL MOMENT

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: There is so much good news this week! The USA is back in the Paris Climate Agreement, 2020 saw a 10% drop in Greenhouse emissions compared to 2019, and GM announced it will phase out all it’s electric cars by 2035 (that is only 14 years from now!).

Green Tip #10: Did you know that pizza boxes, wood popsicle sticks, waxed paper, and parchment can be put in the green yard waste bin? Paper products soiled by food cannot be recycled. Plus, wood and paper products don’t breakdown in the landfill, they decompose and produce methane which is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas (80% worse than carbon dioxide). 

Thank you! And if you have any Good News or Green Tips, or if you would like some product recommendations, please contact Eileen Haflich via the church office at [email protected]t

Brought to you by the Mission Committee

FAMILY BINGO NIGHT – THIS FRIDAY!

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! 

Follow these easy steps to play:

First, follow this link to get your individual Bingo card – one card is needed per person for the entire evening:

https://mfbc.us/v/mm4cy3m

After following the link, you’ll be asked for your email address. You will then receive the link to your individual bingo card by email. You can either print your card or play it online through a separate browser window or on your phone. If you need additional bingo cards for family members without an email address, please email Scott Walthard at [email protected] and let him know how many additional cards are needed. Each card will have its own unique link.

Then, log in to Zoom at 6:00 pm on Friday for four fun games of BINGO! 

WORSHIP ON THE PATIO FEBRUARY 7TH:

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

Dear Friends,

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

GRACEFUL AGING – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11:

Hello Graceful Agers,

The Women of St. Andrew are invited to join us on Zoom for our semi-monthly Graceful Aging Meeting – Thursday, February 11th from 2:00pm-3:15pm, hosted by Becky Minor. We’ll welcome Pastor Nicole at this meeting. Please consider how you’d like to introduce yourself to her as we check in, and she will respond with what she wants us to know about her. ❤️

Click here to RSVP for the meeting, and we’ll send you the Zoom link in the registration confirmation.

(I’m using Pastor Nicole’s closing because I just love it)
May grace and peace be yours,
Becky

WOMEN’S SPACE – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13:

Saturday, February 13, 10:00-11:30 am
“Rediscovering Mother Mary”

We all know Mary was the mother of Jesus. We hear about her maybe once during Advent and again during Lent in our scriptures, but how present is she in our daily lives? Let’s come together to discover the gifts that Mary can bring to our lives through prayer, practice and rediscovering the feminine voice of this archetype of all mothers.

Click here to RSVP for the meeting, and we’ll send you the Zoom link in the registration confirmation.

RABBI STEVE INVITES US TO JOIN A TEXT STUDY ON THE BOOK OF ESTHER:

Rabbi Steve Finley welcomes members and friends of St. Andrew to attend a series of text study classes he will be holding via Zoom on the Book of Esther. All are welcome!

Here is the schedule:
Wednesday, February 17th and Wednesday, February 24th from 9-10am, Text Study on Book of Esther. These studies culminate in a Friday Service on February 26th, 7-8pm Sabbath Service and Purim

For more information or to join the study, email Rabbi Steve at [email protected].

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