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, May 23 – 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 – MAY 23, 2021

Pentecost Sunday

“Winds of Change”
Acts 2:1-8, 11-21
Tracy Walthard

Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Sunday, May 23, 2021
Many thanks for technical assistance / contributions from Tracy Walthard, Ron Moser, Amy Cox, Kelsey Walthard, and Dawne Carver.

Opening Song

“Here I Am To Worship” – By Tim Hughes, performed by Hillsong Worship

Discovery Time & Sunday School

Click the arrow to watch Tracy Walthard present Discovery Time:

Our Sunday School Lessons for today are as follows:

PRESCHOOL LESSON:

Preschool Memory Verse for May:

Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Preschool children for Sunday, May 23rd:

Preschool Bottom Line for the week of May 23rd:

GRADES K-5 LESSON:

Grades K-5 Memory Verse for May:

Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Kindergarten – 5th Grade children for Sunday, May 23rd:

Grades K-5 Bottom Line for the week of May 23rd:

Message for Youth

“Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitude.” Ephesians 4:23

Let the Spirit renew MY thoughts and attitude! That needs to be a note taped up on the bathroom mirror. I need to see this verse each morning. Let’s face it, I don’t always wake up with the best of attitudes and sometimes my thoughts are pretty crummy. Yet, I am reminded that I have a powerful advocate, a guide to change my thoughts and attitudes from those of the world to the truth of God. To see the goodness and concentrate on His love instead of the negativity and ugliness of the world. I have the Holy Spirit dwelling in me.

I have been fascinated by the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I’m awed that God loves us so much that He gave us help to grow in truth and grow in faith. To change. Not on our own power but through the transformation of the Holy Spirit working in us. I am so thankful that I don’t have to change on my own! I know that if left up to me, I would sabotage myself and my actions! A prime example is dieting. All I have to do is say the word “diet” and I seem to crave the things that are not on the list of what I should be eating! In a much bigger way, the Holy Spirit keeps me from sabotaging myself by helping me to crave what’s good and what is true instead of the things that will draw me away from God. To help me to understand God’s word.

Sometimes the transformation, the growth, is gentle, sometimes intense. Sometimes I’m so aware of the change, it’s like a bright light being turned on in a dark room. Sometimes it’s so subtle that I can’t pinpoint where and when the changes of thought and actions started. And that’s the wonder and power of the Holy Spirit.

I know that as I become more of who God wants me to be, “to be more in His glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18), it is because of His Spirit in me guiding and prompting me. Illuminating His words with understanding. Convicting me when I’m doing the wrong thing, when I’m walking away from God and when my thoughts and attitude need to change. Giving me the strength to do the next right thing when I’m exhausted and want to quit. Giving me the courage and the words to share the Gospel and to be vulnerable with others. Having faith that when I ask God for the words to speak His message, that God gives me the words through His Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:13)

Jesus told the disciples that he would ask the Father to send them an advocate, a helper, the Spirit of truth, that would always be with them. He knew they would need help. Just like you and I need help each day. We need help to understand God’s words, the Bible. We need help to discern how to apply God’s word in our lives.

And that’s a beautiful gift. As the Holy Spirit transforms you and me, our faith deepens and matures. We understand God’s will in our lives. We become bolder, filled with purpose and joy. We become more like Jesus. We lose the old ways of being and thinking and gain His ways of being and thinking.

The Holy Spirit is in me and you. Through the Holy Spirit, we have God’s power, wisdom and love. Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes 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

Click the arrow below to hear Tracy Walthard offer this morning’s Prayer or read the Prayer below

Lord, We lift up our sorrows, concerns, joys, and gratitude to you on this day. We give thanks for a loving God who hears our voices, comforts our hearts, and carries our burdens. We will be anxious for nothing, knowing you are a gracious and loving God.
 
Please join me in the Lord’s Prayer:

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

Holy Scripture

Click the arrow below to see and hear Tracy Walthard offer this morning’s Scripture Reading or read the Scripture below

Prayer for Illumination – Speak to us this day, O God, through the power of your Holy Spirit, that we may hear these familiar texts in new and fresh ways. Move them from mere words on pages, spoken in this place, and write them on our hearts that we may hear your Word for us today. Amen

Acts 2:1-8, 11-21

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

“‘In the last days, God says,  I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy,  your young men will see visions,  your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above  and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood  before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

This is the word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God

Sermon

“Winds of Change”

Tracy Walthard

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

I can’t imagine what Pentecost was like, but I’m thinking it was like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. It had to have left them thinking, “What just happened? What was that even about?” Can you imagine being one of the twelve? You have given up your family, your community, and your livelihood to follow Jesus. A Jesus you thought would be King and restore the Israelites to a position of prestige and power. Instead, you watch your King crucified. Terrified, they hid. They denied him. And then they hear that He rose again! The problem is, in His rising, it wasn’t to rule in the kingly fashion they had all expected. Jesus still wasn’t doing what the disciples had expected and Jesus spent the forty days helping them to understand what was to come next… And then… then he was gone, ascended into heaven with the directions to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit to come fill you with power from heaven. They must have been so confused.

Although they were told to stay in Jerusalem, it was common for those who had made the pilgrimage for Passover to stay through for the Feast of Weeks, also known as a Pentecost celebration. Here are, perhaps, little known facts. The Jewish people also have a Pentecost. The word stems from the Greek-root Pente, with just means fifty. The Feast of Weeks started after passover and lasted fifty days, ending with a celebration of the harvest. Later, more modern Jewish traditions have celebrated the receiving of the Law, or Twelve
commandments and it is now called Shavu’ot. But this Pentecost from our Scripture would be like no other, and it would birth the Christian Church!

The Scripture says they were all gathered and, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” 

If that didn’t get their attention, tongues of fire appeared over their heads! This was a life changing moment. Not just for the people present, and it certainly was for the disciples, but it was for the world. It’s the day that the twelve disciples become the twelve apostles. This day marks the birth of the church. It’s the day that the evangelstic call to go out into the world and share the good news became the calling of the Christian Church.

So there are two highlights I want to first examine from today’s scripture. 

The first is the reference to “speaking in tongues.”  

4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Suddenly, the disciples open their mouths and begin to preach to crowds that were gathering. As mentioned, thousands of people had stayed in Jerusalem and the scripture tells us they were,”God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.”

These crowds were from all over the Middle East and they spoke many different languages. 

6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 

How? Because the Holy Spirit had equipped them for this moment. Wind, fire, speaking in tongues, the Holy Spirit descending. That seems like it would have been enough, but it’s later in Scripture that the world turns upside down. In Acts 2:17 where we read something that blew the existing faith structure apart and birthed the Christian Church!! 
  
 I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Acts 2:17

It’s a short sentence, but it alters EVERYTHING! At this moment God clarifies that a relationship with him is not about Jew and Gentile or Smaritian or Babyloneon. It’s not about black or white, male or female, rich or poor, worthy or undeserving. God says the Holy Spirit is for ALL people!

Before this, in the old testament, the Holy Spirit had only been given to select judges, warriors, and prophets to provide them extraordinary power to help them in their callings. Think Joshua, Gideon, Samson, and Saul. There was a chosen people (Israelites), and then within them special chosen ones. But, by giving the Holy Spirit to any and ALL, God was saying, “I’m doing something new.”

The wind of the Holy Spirit was a wind of change and the Holy Spirit blew open the doors of the church!

So, after the big event, the disciples didn’t ponder what just happened. They didn’t contemplate the event. No, we see radical change! They have gone from timid, scared, confused disciples, to bold, “on-fire” for Jesus Apostles. The Holy Spirit changes people! The new Apostles went out into the world, blown in different directions, gifted by the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel. This was a big event, and how did the Disciples respond? With action.

Christian Pentecost isn’t one of the church’s big holidays. Those are Christmas and Easter. I think those are more fun to celebrate because they are all about what God did for US. He sent his son as a baby for US. Jesus died on the cross for US. Because Christmas and Easter are centered on the gifts we received, we can sit back and rejoice. But, Pentecost is different, and I think I know why it’s less popular. It’s the moment that the Holy Spirit arrives and says, “We saved you, we have gifted you, now go do something!!!” Pentecost is a call to action!

For many of us, we may have had a Holy Spirit hurricane experience. Our hearts blown open and filled. A moment where we knew our lives were forever changed. For others, the Holy Spirit has come as a persistent quiet breeze, gentle. And make no mistake, the Holy Spirit isn’t a one time event. He has come to dwell in us. 

Pentecost can be summed up in one word, and I believe that word is change. We have been through a lot of change in the past two+ years. Pastor Nicole spoke to this last week. We have been through wildfires, the loss of our Pastor Rich, welcomed and said goodbye to our Interim Pastor Jan, survived (although still moving through) a pandemic, and we have been blessed to welcome our new Pastor Nicole. We have done online church, outside church, and inside church, and masked up church! We learned you can do communion online and celebrate Christmas, Maundy Thursday, and Easter virtually. We have become change experts.

I don’t think we are done with change. I don’t believe we can ‘settle in’ as the world is opening up. In Nicole’s sermon last week she said, “God is doing something new in us!” You can feel the new beginning stirring in this church. 

Today, I want a Pentecost experience! I want to be the church that the Holy Spirit blows wide open. I want to be the radical church that is part of God’s plan to love ALL God’s people and creation. I don’t necessarily want to look out and see fire above your heads (I think that would scare me!), but I want to see fire in your hearts!

When I think of the first Pentecost and the radical winds that created the church, I ask myself today…. I ask us today, where is the Holy Spirit blowing you? Think about those gifts and talents you have been blessed with, and ask yourself, what “newness” is God calling you to? 
We have rightly been isolating. We have been limited in how we could interact and serve the world. But, the world is opening and the need is great. I want our hearts on fire to re-engage with God’s people!

It is time to love again. It is time to laugh again. It is time to be with one another in tears, to hold each other’s sorrow. To walk through the darkness and the light together. For those of us that can, it is time to leave our homes and allow our hearts to be on fire for God’s purpose. We are being called to action!

The hurt in the world did not cease during COVID, it has only grown. Isolation, hunger, disease, addiction, depression, environmental crisis. Broken people and a broken planet. We need to do something! What lights your fire? I know something does! The Holy Spirit is continually renewing our hearts, spirit, and calling.
 
The disciples were changed, the church was changed/birthed. And when we accept Christ into our heart and receive the Holy Spirit, we too are gifted for His purpose and changed!

I’m asking myself, “Where is God calling me to be the change?” Is it to spread compassion, wisdom, talents, or wealth that God has blessed me with? You were uniquely gifted by the Holy Spirit for a purpose and a calling to address the needs of the world. Let’s be like the disciples and respond with action. 

This “Opening Up” we are blessed as a nation to experience is leaving me wanting to feed the children, love my neighbor again, provide shelter for the homeless, and medicine for the sick. I’m ready to plant trees in fire devastated regions and bring clean water to people who lack this basic need. It’s coming from a deep place of gratitude for the gift of “opening up” and I know this fire is building inside of me through the power of the Holy Spirit. I want to explode out into the world again and make a difference in a world desperate for us. Together, Let’s DO SOMETHING! 

Special Music

“Do Something” – by Matthew West

Licensed to YouTube by UMG (on behalf of Sparrow (SPR)); LatinAutor, União Brasileira de Compositores, CMRRA, LatinAutor – PeerMusic, AMRA, BMG Rights Management (US), LLC, Sony ATV Publishing, LatinAutorPerf, ASCAP, Warner Chappell, Kobalt Music Publishing, Abramus Digital, LatinAutor – SonyATV, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, LatinAutor – Warner Chappell, and 8 Music Rights Societies

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

Closing Song

“The Change In Me” – by Casting Crowns

Licensed to YouTube by SME (on behalf of Reunion Records); Essential Music Publishing, SOLAR Music Rights Management, UMPI, CMRRA, LatinAutorPerf, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., Capitol CMG Publishing, Adorando Brazil, and 5 Music Rights Societies

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