Note from Nicole

This coming Sunday…

Dear St. Andrew Community,

This Sunday will end our Sermon Series, “Ask Anything.” It’s been a gift to attempt to address your thoughtful and profound questions and I hope we can repeat the series at some point in the future.

This week’s question comes from multiple people with slightly different versions of the same essential question-
“Please explain prayer. Why does it work at times and not other times? I know God often answers our prayers but not in the way we hope. Should we be praying a different way?”

Many years ago, when I led the children’s messages in worship, I delivered an annual message on prayer. I asked the kids what the right way to pray was. Usually they would hold their hands in the quintessential hand position we see on greeting cards and emojis. Then I would tell them that there was no right or wrong way; that all prayer was good. God wanted to listen to them whether they prayed aloud or silently, anywhere, anytime.

Of course the adult answer is not quite that simple. Adults would love to come to me after that message and say things like, “Well what if you’re praying to hurt someone? Isn’t that wrong?” or “Should we really be praying for parking spots or for our sports team to win, or for monetary gain?”

Author Anne Lamott wrote a book titled “Help, Wow, Thanks: The Three Essential Prayers”. In her opening statement she writes, “I don’t know much about God and prayer, but I have come to believe, over the past twenty-five years, that there’s something to be said about keeping prayer simple.”

On the other hand, there is great beauty in the ritual of some of our oldest prayers passed down through centuries. When words fail us, they often fill the emptiness and provide a kind of anchor.
I look forward to exploring these thoughts (and more) on prayer this Sunday.

Yours in Christ,



Dear Friends,

Seven 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,



In-Person Worship St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Sunday, September 5th

9:00 am – Indoors in our Sanctuary

This service will include music, prayers, Scripture, Rev. Nicole Trotter’s teaching and the Sacrament of Communion. 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:

  • All in attendance are required to wear masks indoors. The California Department of Public Health recommends that you choose a mask that fits snugly over your mouth and nose and choose a mask made with two or more layers of fabric. An N95 respirator, that you wear for poor air quality from wildfires, provides the highest level of personal protection.
  • 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.


If you weren’t able to attend last Sunday’s service, or if you would like to watch Nicole’s sermon again, watch this video of last Sunday’s sermon by Rev. Nicole Trotter, “Now What Do We Do?”


Join us for a Fall Kick-Off celebration following our worship service.

We’ll have opportunities to sign-up to get involved in areas such as Life Groups, Bible Studies, and Volunteering and celebrate the completion of our kitchen remodel project with a light brunch served on our patio. Please RSVP on your Communication Card this Sunday or email the church office so we have an accurate headcount.


September 26th after Worship

in the Conference Room

Please join Rev Nicole Trotter for a light brunch and discussion on what it means to be a member of St. Andrew, the PCUSA and the Reformed Tradition. Learn more about the history of this church and the greater Presbyterian church, theology and traditions. There’s no obligation to join by attending. Check the box on your Communication Card this Sunday or email the church office if you’d like to attend.


Dear Friends in Redwoods Presbytery,

As you know, our presbytery is committed to building respectful and caring community among our members and with our neighbors. That commitment leads us to seek to stand against racism in all of its forms. Many of our congregations have engaged in study, prayer, protest, and other actions to confront racism as it manifests itself both in personal interactions as well as systemic injustice. 

One of the most significant ways that racism has shaped our region is through the successive waves of people who colonized the Indigenous people and seized Indigenous land and resources here. The church’s Doctrine of Discovery was used by governments, economic powers, and religious institutions to justify the removal of indigenous peoples from their lands, territories, and resources.

On Saturday, September 25, from 2 – 4 p.m., we will host a workshop via Zoom on “Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery & Exploring a Presbyterian Role in U.S. Boarding Schools” with the Rev. Irv Porter from the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Please see the information below for the details about the workshop, and please share it with anyone in your congregation who might be interested in attending. The information also includes links to some resources to help you learn more about the issues we will explore in the workshop. You can register for the workshop by emailing Pam Sommer in our office at [email protected].

Our purpose with this workshop is to support our commitment to build respectful and caring community and further encourage our congregations to understand the racist systems that have especially benefited our churches while oppressing others. We hope that you and other members of your congregation will join us.


Eric Beene

Transitional Mission Presbyter

Presbytery of the Redwoods

Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery & Exploring a Presbyterian Role in U.S. Boarding Schools

Saturday, September 25, 2-4 pm on Zoom

Rev. Irvin Porter, Associate for Native American Intercultural Congregational Support

  Workshop Aims: 

Partner with Indigenous peoples, locally and nationally, to become more informed and proactively contribute toward God’s peace and justice

Understand and begin dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery, the religious framework used by the Church to justify the removal of Indigenous peoples from their lands, territories, and resources

Explore the Boarding School Era and Presbyterian involvement

Please Register by September 20 with Pam Sommer at [email protected]

Introductory resources—please review ahead of time:

  1. Doctrine of Discovery:
  2. US Boarding Schools: and

Additional reading—you might download and have these available for the workshop:

“Doctrine of Discovery: A Review of Its Origins and Implications for Congregations in the PC(USA) and Support for Native American Sovereignty”

“Summary – Native American Coordinating Council Report: Report to the 224th General Assembly (2020) – Recommendations from this Report (00-95)”

“Seven Priorities for Native American Advocacy”

“Reclaiming Native Truth: The False and Harmful Current Narrative About Native Americans”

“Christopher Columbus and the Doctrine of Discovery: 5 Things to Know”

● “Advocacy With and For Indigenous Peoples”

“Conversations About Advocacy”

“The Doctrine of Discovery and its Enduring Impact on Indigenous Peoples

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