Welcome to St. Andrew

Scroll Down to Experience This Virtual Worship Service

In addition to this Virtual Worship Service, you are invited to join us on Zoom for the
All Church Coffee Hour
Sunday, August 2 – 10:00am – 11:00am
It will be a time for Check-in, Birthday Blessing, Prayers, Communion (bring something to eat and drink – it can be anything you have on hand) and Small Group Conversation.
We hope you’ll join us – Bring a church friend!

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

SUNDAY – AUGUST 2, 2020

St. Andrew

Worship Service for Healing and Wholeness

Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Sunday, August 2, 2020


Many thanks to Ron Moser (production), Amy Cox (formatting and posting), Jan Reynolds (song and prayer selection, sermon and artistic touches), Deacons Kymry Borkenhagen, Keith Common and Linda Van Sciver (prayer recordings) Tracy Walthard (production), Ricky Bolanos, Kelsey Walthard and Dawne Carver (teachings for children and youth).

Gathering Prayer

Listen to this prayer by clicking on the arrow or read the prayer below:

Emmanuel, God-with-us,
We come to you  

Seeking to be more open to you in our lives.          
When we feel lost or confused
About the direction of our lives.
When we sometimes feel
That we are journeying alone.

God of our hearts,
Healer of mind and body,
You are tender and compassionate,
Slow to anger and most loving.

As we struggle
With our angers, fears, guilt, and anxieties
As we seek your love to bind up our wounds
When we are running away
From our pain and our fear

Emmanuel, God-with-us,
We come to you  

When we are afraid 
To be honest in your presence
When we feel you are far from us.
When the busyness of our lives
Leaves little space to find you…

Emmanuel, God-with-us,
We come to you  

Companion God
Your presence is the source of life to us.
In you we live and move 
And have our being.

Your love sustains us,
Creates, and redeems us.

Open our hearts,
So that we may find you within us—-
Alive to what is hidden,
Powerful in what is fragile,
Loving when we are resistant to you.

Emmanuel, God-with-us,
We come to you 

Song of Praise

“10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”, by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin – performed by Matt Redman

Discovery Time & Sunday School

Click the arrow to watch Ricky Bolanos present Discovery Time:

Our Sunday School Lessons for today are as follows:


PRESCHOOL LESSON:


Preschool Memory Verse for August: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14

Preschool Main Point for the week of August 2:

GRADES K-5 LESSON:


Grades K-5 Memory Verse for August: : “Lord, You are great. You are really worthy of Praise. No one can completely understand how great You are.” Psalm 145:3

Grades K-5 Key Question for the week of August 2:

Grades K-5 Bottom Line for the week of August 2:

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

Message for Youth

Have you noticed that daily rituals and routines can get us through the hardest of days? For me, it’s making coffee, making the bed and asking God for direction and strength that helps me to armor up for the day ahead. It’s going for a walk to allow my thoughts to flow. For you it might be going for a run, devotionals or doing meditation.

However you start your day, make sure God is at the center of it.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength and all your soul. And love your neighbor as yourself. The greatest commandment. When we start our day with that in our hearts, there is a shift in our attitude and our priorities. A centering, so to speak, of what the next step is in our day, a way to armor up against the hardships of life. The uncertainties, the losses, the frustrations, and the daily struggles around things like Covid-19. It’s a way to celebrate the blessings and find joy today. For when we look to Him and lean into His words and promises, we can face the world with His love and strength. Not our own love and strength, but His. And that changes our attitude. A shift from dark to light, discontent to content. Bitter to grateful. It allows us to go about our day being a light for people around us (and ourselves) and showing grace and mercy. And that has a ripple effect within our families, friends and the community.

Facebook is constantly sending me memories of posts from past years. Sometimes they are a reminder of an amazing adventure, gathering for special events or celebrations. Sometimes the memories bring back the pain of people that have passed away or are no longer in my life. The fun ones are great to see! The painful ones are hard and yet they are all a part of my memories, of my past. They are what make up who I am today. I don’t get to erase them, nor do I want to. Yesterday, I had a painful memory. It was hard. I had the choice to ignore it, or to sit and remember. I chose to remember. Because even through the tears (and there were a lot), I smiled and even laughed. Even in the pain, I was grateful for knowing two special people that blessed me and so many others. I chose to remember, to celebrate, and yet I recognized the loss their passing left behind.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Life is full of trials and of celebrations. We have our ups and we have our downs. We also have choices in how we react to our situations. How are you going to react? Are you going to give thanks in all things? Not just the good things, but in all things! Are you going to look for the blessings, even when it’s not a good day? Are you going to be a light in the dark and let others shine their light when you are in the dark?

When I’m struggling in life and there are days that are extremely hard, I lean on God’s promises and His love. I know that I don’t understand the why’s of life but I do know that God is in control and He loves me and you… so much that He sent His only son to die for you and me. We will have trials and we will have celebrations. That’s a given. How you react and who is guiding you through the trials and celebrations is up to you. My prayer is that God is your guide and that your reactions are guided by His love. Blessings, Dawne Carver

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.
Click on the image below to submit a prayer request.

Pray with Music

In this service, enjoy this and another chant by the Taizé’ Community in France. The repetition helps us to calm and center into prayer. Feel free to close your eyes and rest in prayer.

Listen to this chant by clicking on the arrow or read the prayer below:

Oh Lord Hear My Prayer

O Lord hear my prayer.

O Lord hear my prayer.

When I call, answer me.

O Lord hear my prayer.

O Lord hear my prayer.

Come and Listen to me.

Prayers for Healing and Wholeness

Offered by Rev. Jan Reynolds and Deacons Kymry Borkenhagen, Keith Common and Linda Van Sciver. (Please see the note about our Deacons Ministry at the end of the service.)

Listen to these prayers read by clicking on the arrow or read the prayers below:

Most Blessed One, you are the giver of life. Through you we know mercy and love. Through your Spirit, your gift of healing is alive in this world. O Lord, Hear our prayers…

We pray for ourselves…
We open our hearts, God of Infinite Love. We offer up the fragments of our own lives that you may restore us to wholeness and wellbeing. We offer ourselves for your holding and your healing. You are the Light in our darkness, our beacon of hope. May our eyes always be fixed on you. May our hearts be one with you – today and all our days. Wrap us today as your close-knit family, draw us near to you, and bind us with your Love and Light. We cannot begin to know or imagine what the next step will be for us, but we trust that in your big picture of life and love, we will be restored.

     Pause for a moment of Silence and Reflection

We pray for other individuals and families who need your healing attention…
Holy One, the power of your love changes our hearts and illuminates the world. We trust that you are present for all beings with unfailing care, and therefore we know you hold those for whom we pray in the safe embrace of your love. May you bless them always. Loving God, it is Your Divine Light and Love that heals, and we hope, and we pray that we may be conduits of your healing Love. Through your love and power, we offer our love and vitality to others who need healing. We pray that they receive this loving power and be strengthened for their journey toward healing and wholeness.

     Pause for a moment of Silence and Reflection

Now we pray for the world and all creation…
Beloved One, creation longs to be held in your healing heart. Into your arms we place this unconscious, broken world. Today, our circle of concern widens and embraces all. We pray for courage, forgiveness, justice, faith, healing, wholeness and blessing for other communities, this country, and all countries, for all people who suffer, for all living creatures and the healing of the earth.

     Pause for a moment of Silence and Reflection

Jesus Christ, Bread of Life,
Those who come to you will not hunger.
Jesus Christ, Risen Lord,
Those who trust in you will not thirst.

Dear God of Mercy and Love, you long for our health and wholeness. Thank you for your healing grace today and for the healing that will continue to unfold in the days, weeks, and months ahead. May we be guided and strengthened by your love and light.

We pray in the name of the Great Healer of Humanity, Jesus the Christ:

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.

Faith Offering

Gratitude for God’s provision and splendor, especially during difficult times.

Located in the city of Kitakyushu, Japan, Kawachi Fuji Garden is home to an incredible 150 Wisteria flowering plants spanning 20 different species. The Wisteria tunnel allows visitors to walk down an enchanting tunnel exploding with color.

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

“Amazing Grace”, a Christian hymn published in 1779, with words written in 1772 by English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton

Don and Becky Minor’s granddaughters perform at the recent Celebration of Life for their great-grandmother, Marilyn Miller.

Sermon

“Rise and Go: Your Faith 
Has Made You Whole”
Luke 17:11-19
Rev. Jan Reynolds

Click the arrow below to see and 
hear Jan’s Sermon
or read the Sermon below

Today’s scripture passage is one of the many healing stories in Jesus’ ministry of caring.

Luke 17:11-19

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 

Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

In this passage, Jesus is yet again in a place where he’s not supposed to be. He is spending time with people who are considered unclean and outcast. On the face of it, he seems to be working with the powers that be, suggesting they go to their priests for healing. Yet, they are healed on their way.   

The Samaritan, the one who turns back to acknowledge his blessing and to give thanks, was the outcast of the outcasts; perhaps he felt this blessing even more than the others. Perhaps his societal exclusion had been an even deeper wound than his leprosy. He felt doubly blessed by Jesus’ willingness to approach him, a Samaritan. He was healed and made whole in health, but also by Jesus’ welcoming and inclusion. This man becomes whole as he realizes he is a child of God, acceptable just as he is.

Jesus invites the man: “Rise and Go!” Your Faith has made you whole!” The Greek word “sozo”, translated here as “whole,” is used in the healing stories in multiple and complex ways. It alternatively seems to mean saved, healed or well or whole.  In this story, the Samaritan man appears to be healed of the leprosy, as well as made whole in body, mind, and soul. 

To experience gratitude, the Samaritan man first had to perceive his multi-faceted healing. We might say that God was already at work in the Samaritan so he could perceive the healing. 

How might God already be at work in your healing? Do you perceive it to be so?

This is where prayer comes in. When we cultivate our own relationship with God, we may be more able to perceive healing that is already in progress. 

Here’s an amusing quote from Molly Baskette, a United Church of Christ pastor: 

A lot of us claim to believe in God, 
but then act as if everything depends on us, 
on our own efforts and wisdom.
Meanwhile, we are white-knuckling it all the way. 

Whenever you find yourself saying, 
I’ve got to handle this all by myself, 
that’s a hallmark of being a functional atheist.”

One of the great sources of suffering in the 21st century is our isolation from each other and from God. We are allergic to asking for help and have a pathological fear of being thought “needy” or dependent. 

As independent as we may act and think, 97% of Americans do pray in some way. But many of us, in our independent state, don’t expect to receive an answer. We go into our prayer assuming it is a one-way conversation. 

St. Teresa of Avila in the 16th century wrote: “All difficulties in prayer can be traced to one cause: praying as if God were absent.” So maybe this isn’t a modernist problem after all. Humans stop short of believing that our prayers will be answered. 

Father Thomas Keating, the Trappist Monk who introduced Centering Prayer in the 1970’s, invites us to dismantle this “monumental illusion that God is distant or absent.”

Anyone can find a way to pray that works for you and promotes your healing and wholeness. 

Prayer takes many forms: 

Resting in the presence of God without words,

Surrendering the barriers we put up to God, 

Asking an answer to a specific question,

Listening in the silence for inspiration,

Asking for healing or a change of events,

Expressing an earnest hope or wish,

Crying out in anguish,

Requesting help, 

Expressing thanks addressed to God,

Listening to beautiful music and resting in God.

When we become still and agree to God’s presence within, we stop being the god of our own lives. What a relief to rest in God. When we focus on God, we come to know God’s peace.

I’d like to share an experience I had not too long ago. I was missing my mother who died several years ago. I quieted myself and thought of her and asked her to be with me. I experienced warmth and peace. What was that? I’d say that God answered my prayer. 

Human beings have turned to prayer since the beginning of time. William James wrote, “The reason why we pray is simply that we cannot help praying.” The practice of prayer connects us with God where we open to divine dwelling within. Prayer makes us fully present to life and love in the here and now. 

That’s God making us whole.

During prayer, the body’s metabolism decreases, the heart rate slows, blood pressure goes down, and our breath becomes calmer and more regular. Prayer takes us out of our fearful imagination and places us in the heart of God. Within prayer, we experience Communion with God, the Peace that Surpasses All Understanding.

That’s God making us whole.

Prayer doesn’t allow us access to a “God Genie” who grants our wishes. Prayer is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. 

That’s God making us whole.

Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is an exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of God.

That’s God making us whole.

Perhaps that is why the Samaritan notices he has been deeply touched with healing and wholeness. He knew how to be in the presence of God and in the heart of God! 

Some of you practice Centering Prayer. It’s only one form of prayer, but like the Taizé’ songs, it is a way to deepen your prayer experience and quiet your mind so you can be aware of God’s healing presence. 

Let’s have a moment of breath Centering Prayer.

Centering Prayer with Breath

If you are comfortable, close your eyes. 

Center with your breath – each breath is God’s loving spirit communing with you.

Focus on your breath.

If your mind wanders, simply turn back to your breath, God’s loving spirit within you. 

Notice God’s invitation to wholeness in this silence. And give thanks.

Amen.

All prayer is answered prayer.  When we are aware of our union with God, we know we are met with love and acceptance. We are given strength, peace and a sense of wholeness.

May we pray with great expectation, knowing that there is someone else on the end of the line.

Did you know that our St. Andrew Deacons and Staff pray for the congregation day in and day out? Every prayer you request in worship or through email or to a staff member goes out onto a prayer chain to our Deacons and staff who pray for you. It doesn’t matter if they don’t know you personally – they pray for you. You are part of a community of acceptance and care, just as the Samaritan had been welcomed into belonging by Jesus.

This world is full of blessing and challenge. Through prayer and loving community, may you notice that you are always being restored. When we perceive this, we naturally give thanks. And then we, “rise and go out, because our faith has made us whole.” 

Made whole through prayer and the blessing of acceptance, we can go forth to be heralds of blessing and bearers of hope and kindness. We receive a second blessing through waking up to our own wholeness, and sharing redeeming, life-giving healing acts of acceptance with others.

Song of Gratitude

“You Raise Me Up” – music written by Secret Garden’s Rolf Løvland, and lyrics by Brendan Graham – performed by Selah

Note: 

St. Andrew Pastoral Care and the Board of Deacons

And God has placed in the church… gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance…
        1 Corinthians 12:28

The St. Andrew Board of Deacons are elected, ordained and installed by the congregation to provide spiritual care for our community.

Deacons offer deep listening, presence, comfort and prayer. The Pastor works closely with the Board of Deacons to provide care for those who are suffering or housebound, or who have experienced the loss of a loved one. As our congregants age, we try to keep an eye on those who are especially vulnerable, perhaps living alone with no relatives nearby.

Because we want to serve in the most responsible and helpful way, we often make referrals to local senior care facilities, social workers, and mental health professionals for services outside the scope of our Deacon’s ministry. Because of ethical boundaries, the Deacons cannot provide services such as personal physical care, psychological services, or transportation to someone who cannot walk on their own.

Here are some of the many healing and caring roles the Deacons provide to St. Andrew:

Memorial Services and Meals: Organizes receptions after services; arranges for meals to be delivered to families.

Prayer: Actively pray for those requesting prayers in church, on communication cards, bulletin lists and Touchphones, and with individuals after memorials/Communion services.

Touch Phones: Call each church family each quarter to check in.

Communion: Serve on first Sundays services when meeting in person.

Blessings: Arrange gifts for new members and weddings.

Bells for FISH: Arranges bell-ringers for Christmas donations.

Visiting Homebound Members: Regularly visits those who cannot come to church because of illness or disability; brings communion on a monthly basis when we can meet in person.

If you have a need for any of these services, please contact the church office who will have someone respond to you. We want to care for you and walk with you on life’s journey! — St. Andrew Deacons

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