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, January 10 – 10:00am – 11:00am
It will be a time for Check-in, Prayers, and getting better acquainted in 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 – JANUARY 10, 2021

Rakotzbrücke, Germany

“Bridge to the Future”
Rev. Jan Reynolds

Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Sunday, January 10, 2021

Many thanks for technical assistance / contributions from Ron Moser, Amy Cox, Rev. Jan Reynolds, Mary Ratto, Tony Tommasi, Tracy Walthard, St. Andrew Senior High Youth Group, Kelsey Walthard, and Dawne Carver.

Opening Song

“10,000 Reasons” by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman – performed by Bethel Church

CCLI #885509

Discovery Time & Sunday School

Click the arrow to watch the St. Andrew Senior High Youth Group present Discovery Time:

Our Sunday School Lessons for today are as follows:

PRESCHOOL LESSON:

Preschool Memory Verse for January:

Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Preschool children for Sunday, January 10th:

Preschool Bottom Line for the week of January 10th:

GRADES K-5 LESSON:

Grades K-5 Memory Verse for January:

Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Kindergarten – 5th Grade children for Sunday, January 10th:

Grades K-5 Bottom Line for the week of January 10th:

Message for Youth

It’s so easy to get envious. At least for me. It’s too easy to look at what others have or get to do and compare. That envy leads to resentment and has me focused on what I don’t have and don’t get to do. That is a dangerous path. It’s also unhealthy. It’s a state of mind that leads to discontent, breeding anger and sadness. When I’m on that path, I miss out on so much.

You see, God hands out gifts, blessings and miracles in our life each and every day, both big and small. When I am focused on what I’m missing out on or don’t have, I’m not looking around and seeing what I do have and is around me. A flower in bloom, the green grass after the rain, or the sunshine on my face. Simple gifts, yes. And how about the bigger gifts? A beloved pet, family, and friends. People to pray with. Celebrating a birthday and the laughter of friends and family. This is what I need to focus on. I need to focus on being grateful for where I am today and what I get to do.

Last week in youth group, I gave the youth and myself a project. You can do it too. Get a jar or some container, label it “Grateful 2021” and decorate it. Each week, write down something cool that you experienced, put the date on it and put it in the jar. You can do this with your family or a group of friends. At the end of the year, we are to read all the cool experiences that happened.

Matthew 6:21 states “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This is a reminder that my gratefulness is a treasure to be stored. In fact, practicing gratitude is healthy for us. It increases dopamine in our brain and encourages our brain to seek more of it. The more we look for the blessings in our life, the more gratitude we will have and that will help us when we are going through the struggles and hard times in our life.

We each get to choose what path to walk- that of gratitude and looking for the blessings or that of envy and resentment. It’s a daily choice that can build you and those around you up or bring you down. What path are you choosing today? 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.

Prayer

Infinity Bridge, Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom

Click the arrow below to see and hear Amy Cox offer this morning’s Prayer or read the Prayer below

God of all time and seasons, by whose Spirit we have life and personhood, and with whose Son we are given purpose and community:

We ask your presence and blessing on St. Andrew and give thanks for what has been done, and as we look forward to what you are calling us to be and to do in the coming years;

In this time of transition,
Gather us together with true generosity of spirit as we work to discern your will for us, and for your Church;
Guide us to vision with faith, hope and love;
Equip us with the patience to seek council from all our wisdom leaders, young and old, traditional and innovative, and with the confidence to step with courage into a new future together, embracing all who follow Jesus’ call to love you and our neighbor as ourselves;
Keep us mindful of those who come after us, and help us to build a faith community that will be a lampstand of light and a house of prayer for generations to come;

And in all, inspire us with grateful and joyful hearts—a new song to sing—so that those who see us may know that you are our God, and we are your people;

We ask all these things in the name of Jesus who, by your Spirit and your Church, walks with us and bids us to a continually renewing life of love and service. Amen.

Faith Offering

Gratitude for how we care for one another.

Fairy Bridge, Scotland

Today’s offering will go to the work of the Deacons.

Click the arrow below to see and hear Mary Ratto and Tony Tommasi offer a message from the St. Andrew Deacons or read the Message below

MARY

Hello! I’m Mary Ratto, and I became a St. Andrew Deacon last year.

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

Deacons offer compassionate 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. We refer people to community services when we know someone needs care we cannot give.

Individual Deacons find their calling in particular ministries. Nine deacons now serve in 10 ministries and welcome help from others in the congregation. We continue to refine and strengthen our roles to best serve St. Andrew.

Please let us know if you ever want to meet with the Pastor or a Deacon, or you feel called to serve as a Deacon. Just contact the church office and your message will be relayed.

TONY

Hi, I’m Tony Tommasi, and I’ve served on Deacons for 4 years now. 

The best part of my work is that we work as a group to help our church community and the people of Sonoma Valley.

I’d like to say a few more things about what we do on Deacons:

·   We actively pray for those requesting prayers in church, on communication cards, bulletin lists and Touchphones, and with individuals after memorials and at Communion services.

·   Our Touchstones team calls each church family each quarter to check in so that we get to know what is on the minds and hearts of our members, and how we might support them.

·   We often call, write, and send care packages to those who cannot come to church because of illness or disability. We check in with members who are experiencing grief.

·   When possible, we regularly visit in person with housebound friends, and bring communion monthly.

·   When we can meet in person, we host memorial services, and prepare and serve Communion.

·   We provide commemorative gifts for new members, weddings, and baptisms.

We pray that this ministry is supportive of our members; it certainly is fulfilling for us.

Today, we are asking for your support of St. Andrew’s Deacons’ Ministry. We used to receive funding from a monthly worship offering. But since we stopped meeting regularly in person last March, our funding has dwindled. We want to be able to continue to meet emergency needs of church members and support underserved people in our community as we can.

We really appreciate your generosity in making a special offering to Deacons today. Thank you.

There are several donation options available:

  • Give electronically to the St. Andrew Deacon Fund
  • Set up your donation to St. Andrew to be paid through your bill paying service at your personal bank. Please enter “Deacons” in the Memo field.
  • Mail a check to St. Andrew, or drop your envelope into our locked mail box: 16290 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476. Please write “Deacons” in the Memo field.

Scripture

Bridge into the Clouds, Mt Rainier, USA

Psalm 121:3
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.


Joshua 1:3
Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.


Philippians 1: 3-11 (The Message)
Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

It’s not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

Sermon

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, Canada

“Bridge to the Future”
Rev. Jan Reynolds

Click the arrow below to see and hear Rev. Jan Reynolds’ Sermon or read the Sermon below

Good morning, St. Andrew. 

This is my last Sunday with you. As you can imagine I have a lot of mixed feelings. I’m excited about my retirement, but I’m sad about leaving you, at least for a while. But I’m looking forward to offering this sermon to you.

First, I’ll share the first section of my scripture reading for today. Please listen to it as if Paul is writing to St. Andrew.

Philippians 1: 3-8
From the Message Interpretation

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing end…

It’s not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. God knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!

Paul’s beautiful letter expresses his affection for the congregation in Philippi. I can imagine that he had their faces in mind as he penned this letter. He must have loved and missed them in their particularities. He appreciated each of them for their personalities, mannerisms, and gifts. 

In this letter, he also notes the hard times, and appreciates the way they stuck together and stood by him when his life was in danger. Affection between them grew even stronger when they walked over an abyss of challenge together.  

Paul and the Philippians were fortified by the love and support of God, expressed in the Hebrew Scriptures they knew so well.

Psalm 121:3

God will not allow your foot to slip;
God who keeps you will not slumber.

DIY Bridge, Location Unknown

Joshua 1:3

Every place on which the sole of your foot treads,
I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.

The Moses Bridge, Netherlands

This passage from Paul is in my heart as I savor my time together at St. Andrew. I’ve felt that God has upheld us in our partnership from the beginning, as we bridged our way over some very rough waters.

Thankfully, because of the inspired leadership of Rich and your strong faith in God, this church has a firm foundation to see you through anything.

Constantine’s Bridge, Algeria

You have so much going for you at St. Andrew. You’ve strengthened your foundation during this time of bridging from one era to the next.

During the time we’ve worked together you’ve moved forward courageously, even while in grief and even during the great challenges of the Pandemic.

We’ve worshiped together in creative ways, receiving inspiration for the journey to come.

Your Deacons have dramatically increased their outreach, protective and proactive acts of loving care.

Session became strong working partners in governing the business of the church.

Your dedicated and faith-filled staff have creatively and persistently supported St. Andrew with strong administration and programming.

Did you know that in this short period you added 25 new members? – in a time of great change – which reflects the support, love and trust felt for this congregation.

Your generosity in giving has sustained your church during these very tough times.

And through your Missions, you redoubled outreach efforts to address poverty and you began to learn about anti-racism. You’ve engaged in conscious action with other faith communities, partnerships with schools and many non-profits. You began to address the great challenge of climate change.

And of course, the dedicated Pastoral Nominating Committee, through prayerful discernment and much work, brought to you a beautifully matched candidate, the Rev. Nicole Trotter, whom you have elected to be your next installed pastor.

In this season of great transition, St. Andrew has been in motion, bridging forward with God’s grace and help.

Charles Bridge, Prague

The way you have navigated this time has made all the difference. You’ve been co-creating a healthy culture here with God’s help. Your kindness and respect for one another, creating bridges if there’s been a breach, integrating the varied gifts of this Body of Christ… these are all ways of being at St. Andrew that will always serve you well and into this next era.

Moon Bridge, Taipei, Taiwan

Transitions and endings are almost always hard, and provide openings for new life. This is at the heart of our resurrection Gospel!

Pastors in the Redwoods Presbytery are reading Listen to Your Life by Parker Palmer. I highly recommend this little book! Here are a few quotes on his topic of “way-closing” and “way-opening.”

He writes,

“There is as much guidance when a way closes behind us as there is guidance in way that opens in front of us…”

“As I sat there fretting about the doors that had slammed in my face, I was already standing on the ground of my new life, ready to take the next step on my journey, if only I would turn around and see the landscape that laid before me [instead of continuing looking behind].”

“We must take the ‘no’ of the way that closes and find the guidance it has to offer. And let’s take the ‘yes’ of the way that opens and respond with the Yes of our lives!”

Now, St. Andrew steps upon yet another bridge of transition as you welcome Pastor Nicole. This time, it is a skyward bridge with much possibility, light, love, and hope.

Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia

I want to encourage you to not be too tentative or to stay on the sidelines during this next transition. What if you jumped right into the river and enjoy the current taking you forward?

Richard Rohr writes:

“The river is God’s Infinite Love. Our faith does not need to push the river – we are already in it! Without some awareness of being supported by this always-flowing river, we succumb to our fears, we imagine ourselves separate.”

This River of God’s Love, says Rohr, is vast, and restful and resourceful… “this invitation could be a huge burden off your shoulders! Now you do not need to be correct; you just need to stay connected!”

So, do stay connected with God and make new connections with each other, with Nicole. Continue to strengthen your ties and stay involved, leading to more creativity and more joy together.

High Trestle Bridge, Iowa, USA

Blessedly, we are all fully human with the Holy Spirit at our backs and in our hearts! Sure, we have our insecurities and our fears, we love well and sometimes we fail at love other times, one minute we know we are unique and special, and sometimes we know we’re just plain goofballs. We’re awfully good at being human.

In the next few months, make room for imperfection. No transition is smooth as silk.

You will open to new perspectives from the pulpit, there will inevitably be some changes ahead you may not be so sure about. But I trust that you will not only be OK, you and St. Andrew will thrive!

May we embrace our own belovedness in our imperfection! As Brene Brown would say, we are given the courage, flexibility, strength, and perseverance to walk into the arenas of our lives with great purpose.

God meets us where we are, amid our lives, during turmoil and change. God’s Spirit is never dull or staid or stuck. God calls us forward and is always on the move with us.

The Banpo Bridge, South Korea

I hope I have reflected your belovedness in God’s eyes back to you. This was my intention. And I see you reflecting God’s love to others at St. Andrew and in the world all the time.

Moon Bridge, Ferrara, Italy

As Brian McLaren wrote, the Church at its best is a School of Love.

The church is a place where we learn how to live in gracious community, where each person works on behalf of the whole and is sustained by the whole.

May you continue to move into the future from a place of promise instead of anxiety. Embrace God’s promise of healing and wholeness.

Moon Bridge, San Francisco, USA

I have great confidence that you will be unified further in your ministry with Nicole, and that you will gain new, creative energy to move forward together as partners in Christ.

It is customary that any departing pastor make room for the next pastor so you can begin your relationship. So after this week I will not be in contact with you, but I very much look forward to worshiping with you again when the time is right for Nicole and the congregation.

Although we will not meet for a while, no distance separates us. We will remain connected through the Spirit of God and as we work in our respective ministries.

It’s been a holy and rich time with you here at St. Andrew. As I close out this phase of my ministry, I feel great peace knowing that we are bridged by faith and purpose to spread the Good News of God’s love.

I’ll end with Paul’s words continuing from the passage I read earlier:

“So this is my prayer:
that your love will flourish
and that you will not only love much but well…
bountiful in fruits from the soul,
making Jesus Christ attractive to all,
getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God!”

May it be so!

Closing Song

“Way Maker” – Composed by Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu – performed by Leeland

[Merlin] Absolute Label Services; LatinAutor – UMPG, Capitol CMG Publishing, LatinAutorPerf, Songtrust, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., LatinAutor, and 7 Music Rights Societies – CCLI #885509
Rainbow Bridge, Taiwan

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