Note from Nicole
This coming Sunday…
Dear St Andrew Community,
I’m so deeply grateful to God for the creative process of sermon writing. Long before any actual writing occurs, there’s a whole lot of thinking, reading, watching and listening. Sometimes God speaks through current events, sometimes other people, nature, podcasts, books, and often through music. This morning, while jogging in the rain, three songs came on in succession. Each one spoke directly to the scriptures that I was trying to avoid. (The scriptures are heavy with sin and judgment during Lent) I’ve learned over time that I can’t avoid the scriptures that I don’t like in exchange for the ones I find pleasing. The scriptures I don’t like are to be grappled with, not unlike the dark moments of our lives. We can avoid them but that comes with a price. I suppose that’s why I was so grateful for these songs this morning. The songs don’t use the words sin and judgment but all three speak to the idea of second chances in one way or another.
Take a listen. You’ll hear them again on Sunday as part of the Virtual Service along with our scripture for Sunday (Numbers 21:4-9) My hope is, that in hearing songs more than once, you’ll come to appreciate them even more. I might suggest that scripture is no different, even the scripture you might try to avoid.
Yours in Christ,
I Have Made Mistakes – by The Oh Hellos. In this song you’ll hear (and read lyrics) that echo the theme for our lenten Series; Gifts of the Dark Woods
River – by Leon Bridges. This song brings us back a few weeks ago to the river with John the Baptizer and Jesus.
Second Chances – by Gregory Alan Isakov. This one gives us gratitude for second chances, plain and simple.
At the start of Lent, the worship team invited all of us to create a spot at home that connects us to the experience of Lent beyond Sunday mornings. It begins with finding a stone as a symbolic invitation to the many biblical representations of stones. If you haven’t accepted this invitation, it’s not too late – look for your stone today!
Once you have it, there are endless ways to use it. Over the remaining 3 weeks of Lent, we invite you to send a photo, or a written description of how you return to these touchstones. Share your contributions by emailing them to the church office by Sunday, March 21. Once we’ve collected your photos and/or thoughts, we hope to share your experience during Holy Week with a slide show to music.
We’ve already received a few testimonies about the touchstones. Here are the words of our own Ed Vaughn and Kathleen Kelly to inspire you:
My rock is with me. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Paint Your Wagon” you’re familiar with the song “I was Born Under a Wand’rin’ Star“. That’s me, and I am blessed with a wife who shares that wanderlust, we both want to see what’s on the other side of that hill. But as my friend Tony Tommasi told me, ‘No matter where you go, when you unpack you’re still with you.” That’s why my rock is with me, to center me, to bring focus and purpose to this life. It’s my constant reminder that God is always here, no matter where I roam.
Currently we’re on a cross country trip from Chicago to Sonoma via Austin and Phoenix. My rock reminds me it is part of a much bigger rock. We are all connected and part of something much bigger than ourselves.
I have another rock at home, it was given to me by a brother in Christ, Mike Kelly. It serves as a symbol of giving, a statement that says love your neighbor.
I love this idea. I’m a visual learner and this is something I can see and hold, a physical reminder of the spiritual world.
Should I turn left or right…
Here to serve, Ed Vaughn
I have the scripture in Psalms “Be Still and Know I’m God” under my rock.
I remember Pastor Rich would share if he didn’t hear a person go through a crisis in their faith, the dark woods, he was skeptical of their faith.
One of my first “dark woods” experiences as a young, single mother, was when I had three children to care for. My world turned upside down. I was hanging on far too long to the fantasy of a happy little family that lived in a perfect little house with a white picket fence. When you’re Christian, isn’t that how it’s supposed to work out? Now, with the Lord’s help, I needed to become His woman, my faith in provision and guidance, to come straight through Him. He never let me down. He made a way in the wilderness. When I get into the rush of living my daily life now…I remember to “Be Sill and Know I am God”. I hold that stone, it fits perfectly in my hand, the perfect weight, to balance my mind and soul, to connect with my creator God…and believe…for whatever challenge lies before me this day.
– Kathleen Kelly
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.
WORSHIP ON THE PATIO MARCH 21ST:
Outdoor Worship– St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Sunday, MARCH 21 at 10:00 am
Join us for worship at St. Andrew, Sunday, March 21 at 10:00 am. This service will include recorded music, prayers, Scripture, and Rev. Nicole Trotter’s teaching. (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.
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.
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