You are invited to
St. Andrew’s All Church Coffee Hour

Sunday, April 12 – 11:00am – 12:00pm

Wear flowers in your hair or lapel, or behind your ear!
Or wear your Easter Bonnet

Use the Zoom link in our Saturday and Sunday emails. Email the church office if you need a Zoom link: Link Request


While St. Andrew’s worship services are suspended, we are connected through love and friendship with you and people all over the world.  

Easter Sunday
April 12, 2020

Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020.


Many thanks to Ron Moser (technical expertise), Amy Cox (formatting/posting), Amos Munoz (song selections), Tracy Walthard, Kelsey Walthard and Dawne Carver (teachings for children and youth), and our readers: Ed Vaughn and The Schoeningh Family.

Easter Proclamation

Click here or below to hear a recording by the Schoeningh Family

Leader: Praise the Lord! Christ is risen!
People: He is risen indeed!
Leader: Everywhere we look, we see new life!
People: Death can never be the last word.
ALL: Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Sing Praise to God

“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” – Click here or below to enjoy this song

Scripture Reading

Click here or below to hear the reading by Ed Vaughn

Psalm 118 (Excerpt) 

Psalms for Praying – Nan C. Merrill

This is the gate to Life;
those who know Love shall
enter through it.

I give thanks to You, O Beloved,
You who answers our prayers

and invites us to new Life.

This is the day which You have made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Blessed are all who enter through your gates.
Blessed are all who dwell in the House of Love.
Your steadfast Love endures forever.

Sing Praise to God

“Blessed Be Your Name” – Click here or below to enjoy this song

Discovery Time & Sunday School

Click here or below to watch Tracy Walthard present Discovery Time!


Follow this link or click below to watch the video “Jesus – the Easter Story”

Our Sunday School Lessons for today are as follows:

Grades K-5 Memory verse: Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves. Philippians 2:3, NIV

Preschool Memory verse: “I am alive for ever and ever!” Revelation 1:18, NIV

Be sure to check our Facebook page for Sunday School videos to share with your children: St. Andrew Sonoma Facebook Page

Message for Youth

“He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!”

This is how we start Easter Sunrise Service each year. I’m missing that this morning. Being with you in person as we watch the sun rise, bundling up against the cold, and celebrating Jesus, our Risen King! I miss spending the night with you on Saturday night to brainstorm how you, the youth, will host Easter Sunrise Service. Yet I know that we will gather together soon. And we will celebrate!

I sit here knowing that we are together in spirit on this Easter Sunday. That this is only a season for us, a waiting period. A little like the Saturday before that first Easter. The disciples were in despair and disbelief. We are in a time of waiting and wondering. Unlike the disciples, I have hope. Let me say that again – I have hope. Can you imagine what the disciples must have felt when Jesus appeared to them that Sunday evening and said “Peace be with you.”? 

John 20:19-22 “That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you.” He said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again He said,”Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then He breathed on them and said,”Receive the Holy Spirit.”

When Jesus appeared to them, they were afraid! He was giving them peace in the midst of all the fear and chaos. More than that, Jesus “breathed on them” giving them renewed hope, life! Where do you need peace on this Easter Sunday? Where do you need Jesus to breathe new hope, renewal of life in you? Tell Him and know that you can have peace, hope and His life giving spirit!

I leave you with 1 Peter 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled,and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”

He is Risen, Indeed! Blessings, Dawne Carver

Easter Pastoral Prayer

Click here or below to hear this prayer

Holy One of many names,
We welcome your resurrection,
for it is life changing, life giving and life sustaining.
We welcome the hope it brings to our world. 

We pray for all, across the globe, in this country and in our own communities who lack enough food to eat, adequate housing or a sustainable income. We pray for all those who worry about their future.  Wherever there is suffering, may your love bring healing and the opportunity to rebuild and nurture new life. 

Whenever we are distracted by conflict, keep our minds on your reconciling love.  Whenever we are overwhelmed by the power of evil, reveal again to us your triumph over destructive powers.

We hold in our hearts all the needs for prayer in our church community. Whenever we are tempted to fear the future or death, give us courage to live into your Easter Mystery.

We give you thanks for the signs of hope and new life all around us:  new blossoms, fresh green leaves, the song of birds, the voices of young children at play and the many acts of kindness and generosity human beings are showing one another, even in crisis.

Let our lives be a testimony to your love, whether we are in trauma or ecstasy.  May we be the continuation of your mysterious, life-giving story.

We pray in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray in this way,

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, 
as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power  
and the glory, forever.  Amen.

Joys and Concerns

Please let us know how we can support you in prayer this week. We will share requests for prayer with Deacons and staff, and with the congregation as appropriate.

Moment for Reflection

“Because He Lives” Click here or below to enjoy this song

Faith Offering

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 will be 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 mail box: 16290 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476

Scripture Reading

Mark 16:1-8

Click here or below to hear Pastor Jan’s reading 

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 

When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.

But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”

So, they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Homily

Easter Sunday, April. 12, 2020

Just the Beginning

Mark 16:1-8

Rev. Jan Reynolds

Click Here or below to watch Rev. Jan’s Easter video


The Resurrection is mysterious. There is no way to make it fit within modern reason. Of the four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection, Mark’s was no doubt the first written. And it is the most mysterious account of them all.

The women had stayed as witnesses at the foot of the cross, never leaving Jesus during his long and devastating suffering.

When they come to anoint his body three days later, these dear women are the first to see the empty tomb.  When they hear the news that Jesus is not there, we want them to shout in joy “He Is Risen!”  But, instead, the women are seized with terror and amazement!  And they flee.

Another translation of the original Greek had more dramatic words…  Instead of “terror and amazement”, it says that trauma and ecstasy had seized them.

The women say nothing to anyone.  They are shaken to their core.

This original ending of Mark’s Gospel (16:8 has) always made readers uncomfortable. It remains mysterious.  In this account, Jesus doesn’t appear again to the disciples when they are all together.

Easter morning is full of mystery. And it is full of meaning.  

Over a lifetime, the meaning of the Resurrection story and the story itself unfolds in fresh ways to us, as we ourselves go through the cycles of life.  Each Easter, we meet a different part of the story, and meet the mystery in a different way.

One year, we may hear a message of hope, and that may be enough.  Another year, we may hear that God meets us at our own point of brokenness, not only in loving presence, but by enacting a surprising shift in our lives.  Each of us has the capacity for many resurrections– to experience renewal to such an extent that we undergo virtual death and resurrection, again and again.

This year, as people of faith, we trust that there is new life at Easter. But it is a different year. What does Easter mean to you this year

Francis Weller is a Santa Rosa counselor who recently posted a beautiful message about this time as we fight Covid 19.  For me, this year, it seems to reflect the experience of the women at the tomb.  He writes:

“What was once stable and familiar, has been shaken and we have entered a steep descent into the unknown. Here, the invisible world asserts its power, reminding us of the folly of control. In these times, something…  equally mysterious [affects our fates]: something unseen moving through the air, rattling our deep psychic ground, affecting everything. 

It is simultaneously deeply personal and wildly collective, binding us to one another. Everyone we meet in the grocery store, in line at the gas station, walking their dog, is tangled up in this liminal space betwixt and between the familiar world and the strange, emergent one. Hang on!” 

We know this story of Easter is right at the heart of human life.  Easter meets us in this pandemic.  Dying and rising is such a common aspect of our human and earthly existence:  we expect it, yet we are still surprised by it.

Of all the Easter Gospels, Mark’s story invites us to stand with those first trembling witnesses. In their silence they remind us that life is shaped by trauma and ecstasy, trembling and amazement.

Just as Mark’s Gospel is “The beginning of the good news” (1:1), our story is its continuation. We know in our hearts that even in times of decay, something new is coming alive!

Let’s live our lives as full human beings who meet the world as it is, yet recognize and celebrate the deep abiding goodness and life force that co-exists – even when some humans behave badly, or pandemics threaten us and our loved ones.  May we always be on the lookout for what Thomas Merton, the great spiritual teacher, called “the Hidden Wholeness in all.”
 
Barbara Brown Taylor, beloved pastor and author writes, “Committing myself to the task of becoming fully human is saving my life now. This is not the same as the job of being human, which came with my birth certificate. To become fully human is a conscious choice. While there is more than one way to do this…  because I am a Christian, I do it by imitating Christ.”

Perhaps becoming fully human is the highest tribute we can pay to the incarnate Jesus who showed us how. To walk fully into the mystery of life, fully human

Jesus’ resurrection is just the beginning. Mark’s gospel sets us up to live “resurrection lives” and to continue in partnership with God to make the world more whole. We’re empowered and equipped to work for the good in all situations because we trust God’s promises that in the end all will be well, even when we can’t see evidence of that right now.

The contemporary farmer and poet Wendell Berry challenges us to “Practice Resurrection” each day, precisely because life is a mystery and there is still work to be done in this world.  

Here is his advice in the form of a poem…

So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute.
Love God.
Love the world.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium: plant sequoias.

Say that your main crop is the forest
that you will not live to harvest.

Laugh.
Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.

Practice Resurrection.

As we quake in trauma and ecstasy, know that you and all of humanity are at the beginning of a story that always ends in new life.

May it be so.

My thanks to these inspirational sources:
Rev. David Lose @ www.davidlose.net and Tim Geddert of the Mennonite Forum

Closing Song

“Mighty to Save” Click here or below to enjoy this song

Benediction

As we enter Eastertide, may you tremble with expectation – a new story begins.   

Do not worry about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving 
let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

If you would like to receive emails from St. Andrew with current information about our Virtual Services and links to Virtual Meetings click below