Welcome to St. Andrew

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In addition to this Virtual Worship Service, you are invited to join us on Zoom for the
All Church Coffee Hour
Sunday, July 5 – 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.
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 – JULY 5, 2020

“Heart and Soul”

Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Sunday, July 5, 2020

Many thanks to Ron Moser (prayer recording, production and artistic touches), Amy Cox (prayer recording, formatting and posting), Caryn Prince and Jan Reynolds (song / video selections), Tracy Walthard, Kelsey Walthard and Dawne Carver (teachings for children and youth).

Call to Worship

On Communion Sunday, a vision and blessing for each one of us and our country:

Opening Song

Let Freedom Ring (My Country ‘Tis of Thee), by Samuel Francis Smith- performed by Abby Anderson

Discovery Time & Sunday School

Click the image to watch Tracy Walthard share a special message about Hope in Discovery Time:

Our Sunday School Lessons for today are as follows:

Preschool Memory verse: “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” John 20:31

Grades K-5 Memory verse: “God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift” Ephesians 2:8

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

Message for Youth

This weekend we celebrate Independence Day. We celebrate our freedoms and the right to pursue happiness. We usually do this with parades, family and friends gathering, and, of course, fireworks! This year, our celebrations are definitely looking different. Yet as we have witnessed and experienced, we are creative and resilient. There may not be parades or gathering at the plaza for the festivities or fireworks, but we celebrate. We are gathering with family and friends, in person or through technology, putting our flags out and wearing red, white, and blue. This year will definitely be remembered. We can remember with a grateful heart or a resentful heart. I choose a grateful heart.

I am choosing to be thankful. To look at the past celebrations as blessings and this year’s celebration as an adventure. Otherwise I will become bitter and resentful. And that’s not who I want to be. That’s not who God wants me to be. I want to be a person of hope, of light, of joy. In my experience, that means I need to look for the blessings in my life- always. Not just in the good times or the easy times. Always! That means when life goes the way I planned or not, I look for God’s blessings knowing that He is in control and loves me.

It takes practice to look for the blessings in our lives. We are so used to looking at the negative that we sometimes struggle to see anything to be grateful for. That’s why we have “praise and prayers” or “joys and concerns”. We are practicing to celebrate the blessings and have faith in the prayers.

Today I urge you to look around you and write down your blessings. Keep a blessing journal. Start and end your day with the blessings in your life- big or small. When we start our day, thankful for what we have, our attitude starts off positive. We, then, become the light shining in this world. When we look for the blessings in our lives, we share hope to others. It’s not always easy to see the blessings and that’s when the blessing journal can help. It will help remind you in the dark times when we feel alone and struggle.

I want to leave with this: be a blessing to others by counting the blessings in your life. When your heart overflows with gratitude, you can’t help but share hope, faith and love to people around you!
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.

Prayers for Our Nation

Listen to Amy Cox and Ron Moser lead us in this morning’s prayers by clicking on the arrow below:

Thanksgiving – based on Acts 17:26
Everlasting Lord of all the earth, you made us to inhabit the whole world. We thank you for our belonging to this nation’s family and for our larger human family. Thank you for your goodness towards this nation and all other nations. Thank you for your grace and mercy, and for the hope that continue to bestow upon this world. Thank you, Lord, for this particular time in history that, in some way unknown to us now, will fulfill the purposes that you have set for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Peace – based on Isaiah 2:4
Father God, we ask you to please give us peace within our borders that we may live fulfilling lives and be productive as a nation. Our safety as a nation cannot be based only on law enforcement. Help us transform to be your people of peace and true love. Give our nation rest on every side. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Righteousness – based on Proverbs 14:34
Holy God, we often choose the ways of the world over your ways. Your Word says that righteousness exalts a nation, so may our leaders and citizens repent and return to you with our whole hearts. Help us collectively walk in righteousness and justice. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prosperity for All – based on Jeremiah 29:7
Gracious Father, in some ways, we feel we are in exile during these difficult days. We pray for every person in this country, that we may all be lifted up and thrive. May we seek the well-being and prosperity of all people in this country. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

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 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

Scripture Reading


Click the image below to hear Rev. Jan read this morning’s scripture
or read the Scripture below


Selections from Exodus 32 

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

Aaron said to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a festival to the LORD.” They rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.

The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’”

The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

And the LORD changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

Matthew 4:1-11 

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus answered, “It is written,
‘One does not live by bread alone,
  but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

 Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
  and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”
 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to Jesus, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God,
  and serve only him.’”

 Then the devil left Jesus, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Sermon

Damn Yankees: “Heart and Soul”

Exodus 21 and Matthew 4:1-22
Rev. Jan Reynolds

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

Well, hopefully we will all be able to enjoy a delayed yet exciting Baseball season this year. But at least today we can have a lighthearted look at Baseball, through the musical Damn Yankees.

Let’s explore the heart and soul of this campy 1955 musical. It feels dated but maybe it’s all the more entertaining for that. Our clips today are from the 1958 movie starring Tab Hunter and the talented Gwen Verdon who won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical.

First, a little about the story…

Middle-aged real estate agent Joe Boyd is an enthusiastic and long-suffering fan of the pathetic Washington Senators baseball team. His wife, Meg, laments this devotion to the team. One night, after Meg goes to bed, Joe stays up late; he grumbles that if only the Senators had a “long ball hitter,” they could beat “those damn Yankees.”
The smooth-talking devilish Mr. Applegate suddenly appears and offers Joe the chance to become “Joe Hardy,” just the young slugger the Senators need. Joe quickly accepts, even though he must leave Meg, the love of his life. So, what would compel Joe Boyd to choose between love and a bargain with the devil?

Father Thomas Keating became well known for his theory of “emotional programs for happiness.” He suggests we are each driven by a core drive for happiness… Do you see yourself in one or more of these drivers?

“Emotional Programs for Happiness”

Power & Control

Esteem & Affection

Security & Survival

In service to these drivers, we develop attachments to people, places, and situations that bring us comfort, and we develop aversions to people, places, and situations that lead to our discomfort.

For the character of Joe Boyd, his driver appears to be Esteem & Affection which even trumps his love for this wife. The offer to become a famous hitter is just too tempting for Joe. Joe Boyd becomes Joe Hardy. With home runs and game-saving catches, Joe leads the Senators on a long winning streak toward the pennant and becomes a national hero.

Let’s take a look at this vintage film footage that was altered for a 2005 Broadway production of Damn Yankees

Humans are tempted to fall to wicked ways: this theme runs throughout Hebrew and Christian scripture! And falls from grace tend to reflect Keating’s emotional programs for happiness: the drives for security, esteem, and control. Without our deeper needs being met, we tend to resort to simple short-term gratifications that get us into trouble.

Even with his fame, Joe misses the loving relationship of Meg, his wife. He feels lonely, and finds companionship with Applegate’s accomplice, Lola. Lola and Joe keep company in a way that is fun, but not satisfying for either one of them.

In this scene, notice the dance steps Gwen Verdon is so famous for, and notice Tab Hunter: dancing doesn’t seem to be his strong suit!

When Moses went up to the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, he left his followers for forty days and forty nights. A long time! The people feared he wouldn’t return, and they demanded that Aaron construct “gods” for them to worship. Their emotional program for happiness was Security & Survival.

Even though they had received food and water for their journey and were accompanied by the One God along their way, they were frightened when Moses left them. They felt a lack of trust in God and fell back on what they knew… the worship of a golden calf representing the old false gods they used to rely on.

While Moses convinces God not to punish them, Moses himself is furious! When he returns, he dashes the hard-won tablets onto the ground.

When Joe’s conscience and longing causes him to question his deal with Applegate, Applegate sends Lola as a temptress:

There are real temptations in life. Temptations most often occur when our basic human emotional and physical needs aren’t met, or we imagine they aren’t. Of course, we have a human desire to better our lot in life, to be known, to matter to someone, to be of use, to have a sense of self-determination. But the more we look outside ourselves and away from God to fulfill these drives, the more likely we are to succumb to temptation.

After his baptism, Jesus is led by God’s Spirit into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights – an echo of the Exodus journey and Moses’ trip to the mountain for the 10 commandments.

In the desert, Jesus is tempted three times to put security, fame, and power above God. Satan says, “All these things I will give you if you fall down and worship me.”

Jesus has all the human drives for security, fame, and power. But he just learned he is beloved beyond measure by God at his baptism. Jesus sees through the devil and is fortified with God’s presence. He perseveres through these temptations. Jesus replies, “Away with you, Satan! It is written: You shall worship the Lord, Your God, and God alone shall you serve.’

Applegate, the stand-in for the devil in Damn Yankees, offers Joe affection through Lola and esteem through fame.

And aren’t these just some of the themes we each wrestle with throughout our lifetimes, as we long in some form or another for security, affection, and control? Particularly in our youth, most of us pursued one or more of these emotional programs for happiness, and probably still do to some extent.

This idea can apply to cultures and countries too. In our own country, aren’t we wrestling for our souls? Just think of how our advertisements, social media and political leaders play to our basic drives for security, affection, and control?

In 2018, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Jon Meacham wrote the book The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels. He wrote, “The war between the ideal and the real, between what’s right and what’s convenient, between the larger good and personal interest is the contest that unfolds in the soul of every American. In US history, imperfection is the rule, not the exception.”

Meacham has written 11 best-selling books about America, and this is the conclusion he comes to about our country:

“In our finest hours…the soul of the country manifests itself in an inclination to open our arms rather than to clench our fists; to look out rather than to turn inward; to accept rather than to reject. In so doing, America has grown ever stronger, confident that the choice of light over dark is the means by which we pursue progress.

He continues:

“Perhaps we, too, can right wrongs and take another step toward that most enchanting and elusive of destinations: a more perfect Union. To do so requires innumerable acts of citizenship and private grace. It will require, as it has in the past, the witness and the bravery of reformers who hold no office and who have no traditional power but who yearn for a better, freer way of life.”

Through God’s grace, we are given the opportunity, again and again, to turn toward our better natures, the spark of God’s goodness is always within us. Time and time again our country is given the opportunity to choose goodness.

Eventually, Moses brings a second set of 10 commandments to the people, and they understand that God has not forsaken them, but gives them guidelines to thrive in their relationship with God and as a community.

Joe, our hero in Damn Yankees, is tempted by Lola, but Joe’s love for and devotion to Meg proves too strong and he does not give in.
Yet, Joe is given one more temptation. If he decides to play in the Senators’ last game for the pennant, he must stay as Joe Hardy forever. He has until 9:00 pm to walk away from the deal and return to his normal life.

When Applegate finally arrives at the game, it is 8:55 pm, and Joe is at bat. As time runs out, Meg, her friends, and even Lola begin cheering for him. Applegate uses his powers to give Joe two strikes. The clock strikes nine, and Applegate claims victory! But at the last second, Joe cries, “Let me go!” The deal is broken, and he is transformed back into his old self.

But, amazingly, Joe is still able to hit a home run and win the Senators the pennant! As Lola explains, Applegate’s powers are useless against true love. Applegate and Lola vanish back from wherever they came from, defeated, and Joe and Meg are united again.

The pep talk the Senators’ coach gives his team at the very beginning of the story, before Joe even comes on the scene, is the crux of the musical’s message: You Gotta Have Heart!

In the light of God’s love, we continually renew our commitments to God, our families, this community, and to our country. We renew our commitments to the heart and soul of what really matters.

And we look forward to a strange but exciting baseball season ahead. Opening day is currently scheduled for July 23 or 24. Like a lot of things in life, it’s going to be different than what we think we want, but this season is sure to be full of heart and soul.

Closing Song

God Bless America – by Irving Berlin, Performed by Retired Naval Petty Officer, 1st Class, Generald Wilson


Hawaii players interrupt their celebration to console Georgia shortstop Tai Peete (7) after beating Georgia 3-0 in the Little League United States championship in South Williamsport, Pa. on Aug. 25, 2018. Peete was on first base when Hawaii pitcher Aukai Kea struck out the last Georgia batter for the win. / Photo by Giana Han

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