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, October 25 – 10:00am – 11:00am

We’ll welcome our new St. Andrew members:
Sharon Balding; Jennifer and Ken Blackwood; Dave Haflich; Diane and Roger Nikkel

…and we’ll thank and bless our Pastor Nominating Committee (their collective sermon is offered in the service today):
Tekla Coronado, Dan Gustafson, Eileen Haflich, Rich Henley, Rick Hicks, Debby Ingram, Jenny Shipston, Kaitlyn Tinder, Eric Van Cleave, and Michael Weiss

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 – OCTOBER 25, 2020

“The Beloved Community: Collaboration”

St. Andrew’s Pastoral Nominating Committee

Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Sunday, October 25, 2020

Many thanks for technical assistance / contributions from Ron Moser, Amy Cox, Rev. Jan Reynolds, Caryn Prince, the St. Andrew Pastor Nominating Committee, Tracy Walthard, Bella Magnani, Toria Magnani, Kelsey Walthard, and Dawne Carver.

Opening Song

“Confidence”, by Dustin Lolli, Chris Rohman, Ethan Hulse, and Matt Armstrong – Performed by Sanctus Real

(c) 2018 Framework Records – TuneCore, SME (on behalf of Platinum Pop); LatinAutorPerf, SOLAR Music Rights Management, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, Sony ATV Publishing, CMRRA, Adorando Publishing, Essential Music Publishing, LatinAutor – Warner Chappell, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., Warner Chappell, Capitol CMG Publishing, PEDL, and 10 Music Rights Societies

Discovery Time & Sunday School

Click the arrow to watch Bella and Toria Magnani present Discovery Time:

Our Sunday School Lessons for today are as follows:

PRESCHOOL LESSON:

Preschool Memory Verse for October: “God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Click the image below to watch the Sunday School video for our Preschool children for Sunday, October 25th:

Preschool Bottom Line for the week of October 25th:

GRADES K-5 LESSON:

Grades K-5 Memory Verse for October: “Anyone who lives without blame walks safely. But anyone who takes a crooked path will get caught.” Proverbs 10:9

Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Kindergarten – 5th Grade children for Sunday, October 25th:

Grades K-5 Bottom Line for the week of October 25th:

Message for Youth

Halloween is a time to pretend to be someone else. Children and adults alike dress up in costumes and have fun. But what happens when we pretend in our everyday life? What happens when we put on the mask to be what we think others want or need from us?

We wear masks all the time. We look for perfection yet we fall short so we fake it. We have a bad morning, we put on the happy mask at school or work. We want to impress someone, we put on the mask of success. We want to fit in with the crowd, we put on the acceptance mask, even when we don’t agree. Sometimes we get so caught up in our masks that we forget that it is not real and we forget to take them off. We forget who the real person is inside, the one God created us to be. We forget to take care of ourselves. We become exhausted trying to be someone that we are not. Exhausted trying to please other people.

Yet it is God who we need to please. Not other people. He is the one who we should seek approval from. I forget that. A lot. So how do I take the mask off without fear of being less than, disappointing those around me and/or losing friends? Well, I need to stop focusing on what others want and think and I need to start focusing on what God wants from me and what He thinks. To wake up and be in conversation with Him, asking what He wants from me today. He will guide me. He will guide you.

“I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” Psalm 119:45

Jesus teaches us the greatest commandment is to love the Lord, your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself. When I put God first in all I do, He will guide me. It takes courage and it takes trusting God. It’s not easy but it’s real when I stop wearing the mask that society says I should be.

It’s fun to dress up and pretend to be someone else. It’s fun to explore. We just need to remember, at the end of the day, to take the costume off, to take the mask off and for you and I to be who God made us to be. You are special and precious in His eyes. So let’s be the best that we can be and look for God’s approval, not the approval of those around us. 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.

Pastoral Prayer

Click the arrow below to hear Rev. Jan Reynolds offer this morning’s Prayer or read the prayer below

Lord of All,

When we have the privilege of working and serving with gifted people, we are grateful. When there is a true spirit of collaboration, we bring our gifts, lives are changed, and we know you are pleased.

Today, we give thanks for the collaboration and mission of the St. Andrew’s Pastoral Nominating Committee, your people who said yes to your call. Your people who came together to search nationwide for a new pastor for St. Andrew, a daunting and important purpose.

Holy One, these collaborators came together as representatives of your church, to pray, discern, reason, no doubt disagree at times, and gain consensus in their task. Today, we hear their testimonies of their experience, people whose lives have been transformed because they were willing to share their gifts.

In gratitude today for your faithfulness, we pray for our own discernment in service. How may we uphold each other during this time of transition, and dedicate our lives to the building of your house of worship and your mission of love? 

May your heart be within our hearts, leading us to our next acts of kindness and service. Along with all your Fruits of your Spirit, we ask you to give us a spirit of collaboration—that is, to see how our gifts can be used to do more with others than each of us can do alone. We ask that you help us know the consolation of contributing to the whole, bringing us out of our rugged individualism to contribute something together of lasting worth and beauty in your name. 

And now we pray as Jesus taught us:

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 being in step with one another.

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

Click the arrow below to see and hear Rev. Jan Reynolds read this morning’s Scripture or read the Scripture below

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. 
 
Romans 12:4-6
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: 
 
Galatians 5:22-23, 25
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 

Sermon

“The Beloved Community: Collaboration”

St. Andrew’s Pastoral Nominating Committee

October 25, 2020

Click the arrow below to see and hear members of our Pastoral Nominating Committee describe their experiences or read the Testimonies below

Eric Van Cleave
Good morning, I’m Eric Van Cleave, and I was the co-chair of the PNC.

By now, you know that we have a great new pastor ready to come on. And one of the key elements in being able to find and bring that pastor to St. Andrew was community. Session put together a PNC that was diverse. A lot of different points of view. A lot of people with different approaches, different points of view, different ways of expressing themselves. Yet, we were able to come together behind a common cause. And it wasn’t just the committee, but also the people from the congregation with kind words, and words of encouragement.

One that was especially encouraging was Dawne Carver, who sent me a flip book. And, after flipping through it, I had it turned to a page that has a verse from 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3. It says, “Remembering your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Our community came from our common trust of God. If we stood back and started to look at the mountain ahead that was finding a new pastor, and getting him to move here in the middle of a global pandemic, we would’ve shook our heads and walked away. But no one did that. We kept plugging along. We kept asking the questions. We kept working. And somehow we managed to get through our differences to get to a common goal. And community is about having a common goal, and caring. And trusting in God to help lead you to find that goal. That’s what we did with the PNC.

Thanks to the congregation. Thanks to all of you that supported us, especially – thanks to my PNC committee. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in connection with this church. Have a great day. God bless you all.

Tekla Coronado
Hello, I give thanks and I celebrate this day for the work that has been done, for the journey we will begin and for the future we all strive for. I feel blessed with the support and love and guidance God has provided for us through the many people who’ve guided and advised us and for all the thoughtful prayers from all of you.

For a while before we began our work, I had been feeling for quite some time a strong desire to do more for my church family and community. I prayed and strived to keep myself open for what the spirit would have in mind for me. I had to remind myself quite often to be patient, don’t worry, the time would come and I would know what is right.

I felt such great joy and honor to be asked to serve on the PNC. Thank you, St. Andrew family, for trusting us to such important work. I am in awe of each gifted, kind and dedicated team member and our amazing co-chairs. I will hold this experience with the fondest of memories.

This was a work of love, perseverance, patience and an absolute faith in the process. I trust the process. I have faith that the outcome is the result of the journey it takes to get there. We have put every thought of goodness and hope and made every interaction meaningful, every step of the way.

The experience was a priceless learning opportunity for me. I am so glad to have a deeper connection with my church family and community. I have been inspired by all the pastors that we have reviewed; their sermons, faith stories, reading what they read for inspiration and the works of all their churches — has really given me a lot to think about. In fact, I might have a new hobby of watching sermons and reading blogs!

This day I have an overwhelming sense of contentment and satisfaction in the work we have done, and I look forward with joy to the next chapter in our faith journey.

Dan Gustafson
Good morning. I’m Dan Gustafson. The fruit of the Spirit from Galatians that I’ve chosen to talk about is forbearance. I thought that forbearance would describe the work of the Pastor Nominating Committee or PNC, and I knew that I had to look it up anyway, just to make sure that’s what it meant. And sure enough, forbearance means patience, restraint, tolerance, and it implies endurance.

When the PNC first met back on January 20th, our advisor, Tom Webster, told us that our process could take at least a year, maybe even 18 months. “No way,” I thought, impatiently. But each of us knew Pastor Rich, and we set about doing our work in a very serious manner and very patiently. We read a lot of resumes. We interviewed a lot of references. We heard at least a year’s worth of sermons, maybe two years. And most importantly, we listened to one another.

Despite COVID-19 and other life challenges, we all showed up to do our job, not to duplicate Rich, because that would have been impossible, but to find a worthy successor. Rich used to tell a story of two men digging holes. The first man was asked, “What are you doing?” He probably gave a what does it look like look, and replied “I’m digging a hole.” The second man who dug at a very determined pace answered more enthusiastically, “I’m building a cathedral.” We were given the fruit of forbearance. We did not build a cathedral, but thank God, literally, we did fill a pulpit with Pastor Nicole.

Jenny Shipston
Good morning, everyone. My name is Jenny Shipston, and I was honored to be a member of the Pastor Nominating Committee. When I think of the fruits of the spirit, the two that stand out for me now are joy and peace. Joy that we are welcoming Nicole to be our new pastor, and the peace of knowing that as a committee, we worked so hard to make this decision. We listened to blogs, we read books, we listened to multiple sermons, and we asked and we prayed, most of all, we prayed; for discernment, for help, for any kind of guidance we could get to make sure that we were making the right decision for St. Andrew.

We knew this was a tremendous challenge, to fill the very big shoes of Pastor Rich, but I feel in some way he was guiding us, he was helping us. We had patience and we let the process play out, and now we have Nicole. I’m very excited to be working with her as a member of Session now, and I hope that you all will find her as delightful as we do. Thank you so much. Goodbye.

Michael Weiss
Good morning. Who really knew what saying yes to being on the PNC would entail? In hindsight, I didn’t. Sure, we had information on the process and what we needed to accomplish and what was expected. Yet in hindsight, that really just scratched the surface of what that “yes” would eventually come to mean. I think God knows best that we, as humans, initially can’t always see exactly what our “yes” to something will do to us or mean to us.

But, yes is one way that the word is made flesh. It means I will show up and in the collective, we will show up. God is always there present, just waiting for our yes, waiting for our commitment to being present and in relationship with God, ourselves and each other. I can say in hindsight that many of my yeses have also ultimately led me to surrender into God’s will and not mine. Which, in turn, has given me some of my greatest blessings and my greatest spiritual growth. And because of that, better and greater expressions of the fruits of the spirit flow through and in me.

Being on the PNC this past year, I think I saw and experienced the betterment that God intended for me and for each of us to be. Not that at times I didn’t feel myself riddled with doubts, frustrations, and just plain tired. But also, just as many, if not more times, filled with joy, revelation and deep faith and connectedness.

I saw the fruits of the spirit expressed so many times and in so many ways by being on that committee. The way the members listened and cared for each other and about each other, and what each other thought. The trust we put in God and the Holy Spirit to guide and lift us. Patience with the process and seeing it to its completion. The collaboration and the sharing of our individual gifts and insights and viewpoints that led to something so much better than any of us could have ever done or accomplished on our own. And it all started with, “Sure. I’ll be on the PNC”, which today brings the continued blessings of the fruits of the spirit to me and to you.

Eileen Haflich
Hello, I’m Eileen Haflich, a grateful member of the St. Andrew PNC. While every single word in Galatians 5:22-23 could accurately describe some aspect of our PNC, I will select the word faithfulness as my descriptor. What struck me over and over again, as we worked separately and together on this daunting task, was the steadfast faithfulness of every single person on our committee.

During my engineering career, I worked countless hours with teams on projects large and small. From time to time these teams devolved into petty power struggles, which sucked the energy out of the project’s progress. During no time in my nearly 40-year career did anybody ever interrupt these taxing moments with a call to prayer.

And so, it was with relief and gratitude that our PNC always defaulted to prayer and goodwill. There were disagreements during our discernment, but these never got in the way of our belief that God was in charge and that all we needed to do, to move to a more harmonious place, was to pray. Thy will be done, not my will be done.

There were many very, very difficult decisions along our journey. You could see the weight of our task on the faces of the PNC. We all felt the awesome responsibility of finding someone to replace an irreplaceable pastor. And yet our spirits were continually lifted by the beautiful devotionals and the thoughtful prayers that were said out loud by each and every member during every single meeting. I have emerged from this process and experience with a deeper faith, and a deep regard and respect for my fellow travelers. And for this, I will be eternally grateful. Thank you so much.

Kaitlyn Tinder
Hello, church family. My name is Kaitlyn Tinder. I have been attending St. Andrew Church since 2010, and I have been on Session for St. Andrew for about two and a half years. I was nominated to be on the PNC. I am a Human Resources Director in my personal life, and really feel like God prepared me and put me in that position so that I could help support the pastor search. Doing human resources, I do all the interviewing and hiring, and being on Session, I got to learn a lot about the church. So, I feel like I was perfectly placed for that. However, I do have two young children, Cole and Claire ages, six and three. When we started the process, they were five and two, and I struggle with that mommy guilt about being away from home while I’m at work five days a week.

My family thought I was a bit crazy by accepting this PNC role, which is an additional two hours on Mondays away from home. However, as you know, COVID hit, and we weren’t able to meet in person. So, the Zoom calls actually gave me more flexibility to attend because I could be home. The kids could be wandering in and out. I could eat dinner with them still and not have to have a 20-minute commute to church for the meetings. So, that made it possible. God always makes a way for us when we think we can’t do it.

I also, during this PNC process, got a new job that will allow me more flexibility to be home at least two days a week with the family. So God makes a way. When you are trusting of Him, and you accept that will for your life, He rewards you and does make a way. I’ve been so thankful. I’ve learned so much about the church. I’ve had a stronger relationship with God. I’ve made many great friends through the PNC. I’m so thankful for you for allowing me this opportunity to serve in this way. I wish you all the best.

Rick Hicks
Good morning. I’m Rick Hicks, an Elder and a co-chair with Eric Van Cleave of the Pastor Nominating Committee. 

For my part today, I would like to share a portion of a devotional I read to the PNC at one of our first meetings. It was written by a favorite author of mine. And at the time I shared this with the PNC, I did not yet fully appreciate how wise and true some of these words would turn out to be as we carried out our task to search for a new pastor for St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. The title of this writing is, 

Committee? Blessing or curse? 

“How true are these observations about committees?
“To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three people, two of whom are absent.” That’s from Robert Copeland. 
“If Columbus had an advisory committee, he would probably still be at the dock.” That’s from Arthur Goldberg. 
“If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That’ll do them in.” The author of that one’s unknown. 
“Any committee that is of the slightest use is composed of people who are too busy to want to sit on it for a second longer than they have to.” That’s from Catherine Whitehorn. 

For me, they’re all true. But if I’m going to be on a committee or form a committee, I’m going to follow Catherine Whitehorn’s advice. Yet there is no doubt that the leadership of the early church was collaborative, and groups of leaders met to make key decisions. Deacons worked together in the Jerusalem church to distribute aid to the widows and orphans, and I’m pretty sure that meant they had to meet and discuss the strategy and implementation process.

We’ve been looking at Acts 15 as a case study for us today, and it is clear the controversial decision to trust the Holy Spirit’s work in the non-Jewish population came as a result of a thorough discussion of the church leaders. It does appear as if James, the half-brother of Jesus, may have moderated the meeting, but it was just as clearly a collaborative process. As that decision was implemented, it meant further compromise and supporting decisions.” 

Then the author of this writing goes on to discuss a passage from the book of Acts as an illustration of how the early church trusted that God spoke through the group, not just one charismatic leader, that leader being Paul. The author then goes on…

“As Presbyterians, we trust the Holy Spirit speaks through both the clergy and the lay leaders in a collaborative process, which takes into account the views of the majority, while respecting the minority. Ours is a collaborative process, which is sometimes ponderous and seems like a huge time waster of those who want things to happen now. Yet somehow God is in the process. I’ve found the voice of God can be heard after countless hours of discussion, when someone who has not been the most influential leader among the leaders finally speaks and we all sense that what they said is what we need to pay attention to. On some of these difficult issues facing the church today, it just takes what it takes to move forward one step at a time. And yes, God does work through committees. Our God is that amazing.” 

The author of that passage, the Reverend Richard Gantenbein, written in July 2011.

Did the PNC’s work take a long time? Did it seem ponderous at times? Yes. Were there times when we disagreed? Yes. Did our work require collaboration? Yes. And through it all, was God at work? Well, at times I felt that we were tested, that I was tested. I can now say without equivocation or qualification, yes, God was at work. But it definitely helped when I prayed, and I listened for God’s presence. And in the end, was God’s work through this committee amazing? You’ve now seen our candidate, Nicole Trotter. The answer to that question is, absolutely. Thank you.

Closing Song

“Let Us Build a House” – by Marty Haugen

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