Dear Friends,

Before the pandemic, 25-30% of Americans said that they were chronically lonely. Psychologist Susan Pinker, developmental psychologist and social science author, explains why face-to-face connection is a human necessity. Her latest book, The Village Effect, explores how social face-to-face interactions are critical not only for our short-term happiness, but also for our long-term physical health. 

She says that core friendships and other regular social interactions (like we have at St. Andrew) are more predictive of a long life than exercise!

Even before this period of isolation, more people were working and eating alone without a lot of social interaction. Pinker says that we don’t get the same connection through social media, even video chats: “There’s a huge difference between interacting in person and interacting online. You don’t get the same kind of flood of neurochemicals. It doesn’t feel as good. The body language where you echo each other’s movements is missing. And we do have evidence now that the more people are on social networks, the more depressed they feel, the worse they feel. So, if you want to feel better, there are ways to use technology that will hit the spot, and there are ways that will make you feel more isolated.”

She says that a video conversation is the way to go right now (rather than Facebook, Instagram, or texting), or safely distanced in-person conversations when possible. Our general well-being will be much improved. If you are an introvert who enjoys your solitude, making sure you tap into social interaction every so often is important to your health. Even waving to and speaking briefly to strangers who pass you on a walk will give you a “little jolt of oxytocin” to make you feel healthy and alive. And hanging out with cranky people is better for you than not being with people at all! 😊 You can get a taste of Pinker’s message in this Ted Talk: Click Here To Watch Susan’s Ted Talk

So, we invite you to be more involved in the life of St. Andrew for your health and well-being! Log on to our Zoom meetings: Sunday morning coffee hour, sign up for Friday Bingo, form an ongoing small group or join our Courageous Conversations on Race. It’s good for you and for all of us to be face-to-face together! 

And below, see the tribute to Rich Gantenbein who continues to be in the hearts and memories of those in Sonoma who bike onward!



Rev. Jan Reynolds


A member of The Sonoma Valley Cyclists reached out to St. Andrew this past week to share a special tribute they did for Pastor Rich Gantenbein.

Writes Chas Blackford, “I thought the congregation might appreciate these pictures. Rich was a good friend and an excellent cycling companion. The Sonoma Valley Cyclists recently had new kits (uniforms) created and we wanted to honor Rich, an integral and inspiring member.”

We know Pastor Rich is smiling down on this beautiful tribute!

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

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