Note from Nicole
This coming Sunday…
Dear St. Andrew Community,
This coming Sunday we welcome our Presbytery of the Redwood’s Stated Clerk, Ariel Mink, into the pulpit. Ariel is both a friend and a colleague and most highly regarded within our Presbytery.
Many of you are probably thinking, “What is a Stated Clerk?” Others may be asking, “What is the Presbytery of the Redwoods?” Here’s a brief attempted explanation of the structure of the The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) of which St. Andrew is a part.
Let’s start small and work our way up. First, we have our local church. And as you may or may not know, within our congregation we have a Session. The Session is made up of elders elected by the congregation, plus the installed pastor. The Session is responsible for decisions regarding the program and policies of its congregation, and some of those include the congregation as a whole.
Each church in our denomination belongs to a Presbytery. There are 171 Presbyteries in the PCUSA. Our Presbytery is made up of 48 churches beginning in Marin and up to the Oregon Border on the Western part of the State.
The Presbytery is highly involved in the life of the churches it cares for; walking new pastors through the ordination and installation process, being a liaison to the hiring committees of each church, helping with the financial and legal challenges of individual churches, and so much more. Our Presbytery has organized committees that provide such care. Your pastor is a co-chair for one of those committees; the Committee on Ministry which oversees the care of congregations and clergy within our Presbytery.
Next we have Synods. The Synod looks over multiple Presbyteries at a time in any given region. The Synod has the responsibility “to provide services and programs for presbyteries, sessions, congregations, and members within its area that can be performed more effectively from a broad regional base.”
Finally we have The General Assembly. “It’s the most inclusive governing body in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is made up of equal numbers of ministers and elders elected by the Presbyteries. The General Assembly sets parameters for the mission of the entire denomination, determining priorities, developing objectives and strategies, and providing resources to carry out the work of the whole church.”
Finally (if you’re still awake while reading this) we are a part of a greater structure that supports us as we reciprocate. This structure lives as part of our PCUSA theology, that unity is ultimately achieved through relationship.
“Churches do not carry out their mission in isolation nor for their own satisfaction. The nature of Presbyterian order is such that it shares power and responsibility. The system of governing bodies, whether they have authority over one or many churches, sustains such mutual relationship within the structures as to express the unity of the Church.” (G-4.0302)
Yours in Christ,
Getting to know Ariel…
Ariel Mink, Commissioned Pastor, was elected as the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Redwoods in May 2020. She has served as the interim Pastor at the Presbyterian Church of Novato. Ariel has been active in our Presbytery for several years, serving on the Presbytery Council, Committee on Ministry, and Committee for the Preparation of Ministry. She and her husband, David, have one daughter, Sierra who is currently completing her graduate degree in Boston. She has one dog (Daisy) and two vandals (Hazel and Hope) who masquerade as cats.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU – CONTINUED VISITS WITH PASTOR NICOLE
Five months into being your new Pastor, I want to reiterate what a joy it’s been getting to know you. Visiting with you, learning about your lives and your faith journeys has helped me also to understand St. Andrew as a whole.
I’d like to keep the visits going with the hope of visiting with those I still haven’t met with one on one. I am happy to meet here at the church, in your home, on the square, or at a coffee shop. Some of you are eager to do this and others might be weary. For those who are weary, please know that I understand and trust the relationship will grow organically, in God’s time.
St. Andrew is a blessed community in so many ways, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t give thanks to God for the opportunity to serve as your Pastor.
Feel free to email me directly at [email protected] to set up a time, or by calling the church office during office hours.
Grace and Peace,
WORSHIP AT ST. ANDREW ON AUGUST 1ST
In Person Worship– St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Sunday, August 1st
9:00 am – Indoors in our Sanctuary
This service will include music, prayers, Scripture, the Sacrament of Communion, and we’ll be welcoming Rev. Ariel Mink, who will bring the morning’s message. Reservations are no longer required.
St. Andrew has been, and will continue to be, in compliance with the County and State regulations regarding Covid protocols. We have these guidelines in place for everyone’s safety, in accordance with CDC and Sonoma County regulations, and approved by our Covid Taskforce and St. Andrew Session:
- Unvaccinated folks are required to wear a mask indoors. Masks are recommended for fully vaccinated people. We trust that we will all follow these guidelines using the honor system and we recognize that not everyone agrees with the requirements, some feel they’re too strict, others not strict enough, either way, we ask that you respect the county requirements.
- All employees/volunteers who work with children and youth will be required to wear masks.
- Do not attend services if you are not feeling well or are exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, etc.
- We will continue to have doors open to aid airflow throughout the sanctuary and hand sanitizer readily available.
- We ask that all in attendance refrain from hugging and other forms of physical interaction.
- We will reserve a section of the sanctuary for people who prefer to stay physically distanced. When seating yourself at worship services, please be respectful of those sitting in these sections and allow for proper distancing of 6-feet between parties.
- Children will continue to head directly to Sunday School or Childcare and will not join us in worship just yet since some adults will not be masked and not physically distanced. If you prefer your child to be in the sanctuary and he/she is over the age of two, please have your child wear a mask. For indoor activities children should wear a mask, but most activities will take place outdoors, weather permitting.
AUGUST SERMON SERIES
Ask Anything – An “Ask it Basket” for Church
Have a theological question? Want to hear more on a specific topic? Some may have questions about the power of prayer, forgiveness or God’s omnipotence. Others may want to know more about a specific bible passage. Others may just want to know how their new pastor makes sense of certain life challenges we all face.
From August 8th through August 29th, Rev. Trotter will be attempting to address your questions through scripture, liturgy, sermon, prayer and song.
We are currently collecting questions for this series from the Congregation. Simply write your question on a communication card and place it the offering plate or you may email Amy, our Office Administrator, directly at [email protected].
All questions will remain anonymous unless otherwise noted. Depending on the response, it’s possible not every question will be addressed.
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