Note from Nicole

This coming Sunday…

Dear St. Andrew Community,

This coming Sunday we celebrate our “Fall Kick-Off”. When I worked in Mill Valley, we called it our “Bagel Kick-Off” because the then Director of Family Ministry was from New York and liked bagels. At Westminster we called it “Ingathering Sunday,” which echos Biblical Harvest Festivals. But instead of gathering summer squash and tomatoes, we’re gathering people who have been away during the summer months.

There’s a wonderful hymn for this occasion written in 1979 titled, Here In This Place/Gather Us In. Here’s a sample of the lyrics-

Gather us in the lost and forsaken, gather us in the blind and the lame. Call to us now and we shall awaken, we shall arise at the sound of our name.

Gather us in the rich and the haughty, gather us in the proud and the strong. Give us a heart, so meek and so lowly, give us the courage to enter the song.

Each verse carries the longing to be transformed. Not only an individual transformation, but a collective one. We gather together and long together. We belong together and we trust together. We confess together and we proclaim together. We serve together.

I’m not sure we ever stop longing because we never get it entirely right all the time. But we try. We practice. Church is a place we trust we belong to God and we belong together. We gather to deepen our commitment to understanding God as the heart and soul of our being and purpose.

What does it mean to gather together in a post 2020 world where division and apathy seem to dominate our news feeds? Where are we as a gathered people, as a church, and where are we headed? What’s our song that the hymn writer says we hope to enter into with courage? I can’t possibly answer all of these questions on Sunday, but whatever else happens, I’ve been promised bagels. 

See you Sunday,

Nicole

PS-It’s not too late to sign up for breakfast in celebration of our new kitchen. I hope you’ll attend. 

GETTING TO KNOW YOU – CONTINUED VISITS WITH PASTOR NICOLE

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, Nicole

WORSHIP AT ST. ANDREW ON SEPTEMBER 12TH

In-Person Worship St. Andrew Presbyterian Church

Sunday, September 12th

9:00 am – Indoors in our Sanctuary

This service will include music, prayers, Scripture, a special blessing for those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries in September and Rev. Nicole Trotter’s teaching. 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.
  • If your child joins us 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 Sunday school activities will take place outdoors, weather permitting.

SUNDAY SERMON VIDEO

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, “What’s in a Prayer?”

JOIN US!

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 by email to the church office so we have an accurate headcount.

NEW MEMBER INFORMATION CLASS

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.

ENVIRONMENTAL MOMENT

The Presbyterian Church USA actively encourages all congregations to be good stewards of all our God-given flora, fauna, and natural resources. We are continuing our Green Tips on a monthly basis going forward. If you missed any previous Tips, they are now posted on our St Andrew website. Amy will be updating the website with each new installment. Here is the link: Green Tips

Good News: Porpoise populations rebound following California’s ban on indiscriminate fishing nets.

Green Tip #25: Do you make a habit of drinking water from plastic water bottles? If so, why? Is it because:

  • It’s more convenient
  • It seems safer than tap water
  • The plastic is recyclable

Here are some facts about water in plastic bottles:

  • More than 17 million barrels of oil are required to produce enough plastic water bottles to meet America’s annual demand for bottled water. Oil extraction releases greenhouse gases that are a leading cause of climate change, and plastics production releases additional toxins into the environment. Plus consider the pollution of transporting the bottles to the store then to your home, and the fact that bulk purchases are packaged in single use plastic.
  • Bottled water is about 3,000 percent more expensive per gallon than tap water.
  • Consumers only put about 8% of plastic bottles in recycle bins. Recycled bottles are usually the source material of products that are not recyclable (such as carpets and textiles). When bottles or products made from bottles are discarded, they never completely break down, instead they will eventually turn into microplastics which pollute land and water.
  • Bottled water generally is no cleaner, or safer, or healthier than tap water.
    • Most bottled water comes from similar sources as your municipal water supply, meaning that there is likely nothing special about your bottled water other than its branding.
    • The federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water than bottled water.
    • Research has shown that bottled water contains about 50% more microplastics than tap water.
    • Plastic water bottles are made from PET which may be an endocrine disruptor, altering our hormonal systems. Phthalates in bottles can seep into your water, especially when exposed to high temperatures or stored for an extended period of time.
    • If you are interested in knowing more about Sonoma county water quality visit: https://www.sonomawater.org/water-quality

 Please seriously consider buying metal water containers and refill them with tap water or at refill stations (did you know that St Andrew has a refill station?). Refill stations such as the one pictured below at the Petaluma Music festival are becoming increasingly common. Refuse the plastic water bottle!

If you want to learn more about the consequences of our plastic industry, check out “The Story of Plastic” (streaming on Amazon Prime).

Brought to you by the Mission Committee

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