St Andrew Presbyterian Church, Sonoma, CA
What We Stand For
We stand in unwavering support of our brown and
black brothers and sisters.
We stand against all systemic racism, injustice,
and intolerance of people of color.
We stand in solidarity with all peaceful demonstrations.
We stand for inclusiveness, environmental justice, and our Creator’s inalienable rights for all human beings.
We kneel in prayer, forgiveness, and God’s amazing grace.
Peace. Faith. Hope. Love.
Your elected leaders on Session have adopted this statement for St. Andrew. Going forward it will be shared on our website and on Facebook. This is a time in history when we can boldly stand up for reconciliation and liberation of God’s people in Christ’s name.
There is precedent in our Presbyterian denomination for such statements. We are revisiting history as we once again dive into self-reflection about the issue of systemic racial discrimination in our country. As we approach this Independence Day, we can reclaim the founders’ vision that all people are created equal.
The Preface to the Presbyterian Confession of 1967 – a statement of Christian faith – begins with the conviction, “The church confesses its faith when it bears a present witness to God’s grace in Jesus Christ.” Excerpts include:
“God’s reconciling work in Jesus Christ and the mission of reconciliation to which he has called his church are the heart of the gospel in any age. Our generation stands in peculiar need of reconciliation in Christ. Accordingly, this Confession of 1967 is built upon that theme.”
“Reconciliation in Society
In each time and place, there are particular problems and crises through which God calls the church to act. The church, guided by the Spirit, humbled by its own complicity, and instructed by all attainable knowledge, seeks to discern the will of God and learn how to obey in these concrete situations. The following are particularly urgent at the present time.
God has created the peoples of the earth to be one universal family. In his reconciling love, God overcomes the barriers between sisters and brothers, and breaks down every form of discrimination based on racial or ethnic difference, real or imaginary.
The church is called to bring all people to receive and uphold one another as persons in all relationships of life: in employment, housing, education, leisure, marriage, family, church, and the exercise of political rights. Therefore, the church labors for the abolition of all racial discrimination and ministers to those injured by it.
Congregations, individuals, or groups of Christians who exclude, dominate, or patronize others, however subtly, resist the Spirit of God and bring contempt on the faith which they profess.”
You can read the entire Confession of 1967 here: https://www.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/theologyandworship/pdfs/confess67.pdf
And so, in this age, we continue to learn and to work for reconciliation and liberation. We invite you to four learning conversations beginning Wednesday, July 8, 4:00-5:00 pm. Please see the announcement below.
I leave you with some inspiration:
“Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham”, an excerpt from Alvin Ailey’s ballet REVELATIONS, performed at home by members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Rev. Jan Reynolds
Courageous Conversations About Systemic Racism
Wednesdays, 4:00-5:00pm – July 8, 15, 22 and 29 on “Zoom”
Let’s gather virtually as a community on Zoom to learn about racism in light of the Gospel. Each week, we will view a 15-minute TedTalk by a prominent speaker, break into small discussion groups with a leader, and then talk about how we can apply our learning in community. We will expect to make mistakes and be teachers to one another. We may each be a little uncomfortable at times and will seek to be resilient in our learning.
We will appreciate your RSVP (see link below) so we can plan group size, but it is OK to miss meetings if you can’t attend. Our leaders will be Tracy Walthard, Eileen Haflich, Ron Moser, and Laura Zimmerman.
Please RSVP by following this link and indicate the dates you can attend, or RSVP by texting the word RACE to 707-278-6024
July 8 July 15 July 22 July 29
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