There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next

–Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)

Dear Friends,

Did you know that “Hosanna” is a plea to “Save us! Rescue Us!”  Yes, the palms laid at Jesus’ feet were a sign of respect, an acknowledgement of his divine royalty even as he humbly rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. And, the people were imploring Jesus to be their rescuer, to save them from tyranny and suffering. 

I wholeheartedly embrace this beautiful Romans passage that a dear childhood friend sent me this week. I see the intrinsic truth in it, incarnational truth born of my own suffering and patience learned at various times in my life.

And yet… I balance this knowledge with the understanding that God does not produce our suffering.  God rescues us from insanity when we think maybe we can control things that are clearly out of our control; God saves us from our suffering when we believe that we are not loved or don’t matter.

This week, Drew School of Theology professor Catherine Keller wrote a theological framework for thinking about God’s actions in times of great trouble. (*https://medium.com/@dostlund_42808/a-letter-from-catherine-keller-1930029c4914.) This is more than most of us will want to wade through (although it’s a great mind-bending theological exercise), but the gist of her article that I easily agree with is this:

“God has not created this pandemic to punish us, or to wipe everything clean to start again. God will not fix the world through any disaster.  When we listen to the spirit of wisdom that whispers, that breathes, within each of us always, we have the opportunity to repair the world with God.”

She writes,
Now, as we learn that social distance does not mean separation, right in the midst of catastrophe, that Spirit might turn you, turn me, turn us together — into catalysts of transformation. But in a new, dark hopefulness, might we become creative collaborators?    

This is not a story of top-down creating. This new creation comes as we cooperate with each other and with God, the divine source of every other. This is new creativity in and through whatever chaos besets us. The chaos might feel like the Apocalypse. But remember that apokalypsis, at least in the Bible, does not mean The End of the World. It means revelation: not a final closing down, but a great dis/closure.” 

As you reflect yourself on the meaning of Holy Week, may you have the sure knowledge that God desires for you to thrive, be healed and be well.

Below are some resources for your mental and emotional well-being.  With love and blessing during this momentous time,

Jan

Pastor Jan Reynolds

FOR YOUR SOLACE AND COMFORT…

Abide with Me, sung by Audrey Assad
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84YASWe3_2Q

There Will Be a Better Day, sung by Rita Wilson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRK69JafGek

For our grief…   The Six Needs of Grief in this Crisis
https://www.centerforloss.com/2020/03/coronavirus-six-needs/

For our mental health… for ourselves, our children and loved ones
The CDC recommends these steps for keeping mentally healthy during this time.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE

CALL FOR EASTER TESTIMONIES! 
Are you moved by how God is bringing you new life during this pandemic? How is God working to transform you even now? Please consider making a 1-2 minute video or voice recording, or being photographed with a testimony “cardboard sign”, and send it by today – Wednesday, April 8th to the church at [email protected]
Please be aware that these may be viewed within online church services or online.(Please choose a format that you can easily produce by yourself; unfortunately the church cannot provide technical assistance.)

MAUNDY THURSDAY – APRIL 9 – 5:00pm Live experience on Zoom (recorded for later viewing). Use the Zoom link in our recent emails. Email the church office if you need the Zoom link: Link Request
Step into this live “Stations of the Cross” experience reminiscent of our traditional St. Andrew Maundy Thursday offering. We will reimagine our walk with Jesus during the events of Holy Week just as Christian pilgrims have done for centuries. Designed by Michael Weiss and hosted by Tracy Walthard

HE IS RISEN! EASTER RESURRECTION CELEBRATION – SUNDAY, APRIL 12 – 

Look for our eBlast on Sunday morning and join our virtual service on Easter Sunday – Easter is always a meaningful experience at St. Andrew! Wonderful music and art, with Rev. Jan Reynolds’ Easter message. Invite a friend to experience Easter Sunday “at St. Andrew”! Our Easter virtual coffee hour will take place at 11:00am. Use the Zoom link in our Saturday and Sunday emails. Email the church office if you need the Zoom link: Link Request

Please continue to support St. Andrew as we support our children, our teens, our seniors, our families and our community – 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 mail box: 16290 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476