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 4 – 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

PLEASE JOIN US – OCTOBER 11:

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Pastoral Nominating Committee (PNC) and Session
Invite you to view and attend

A recorded worship service featuring the PNC’s Candidate for Pastor

and

Live Congregational Meeting
October 11, 2020 – 10:00 am by Zoom
Moderated by Ariel Mink, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Redwoods

All Members and Friends of St. Andrew are welcome to attend this important milestone meeting in the life of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.

A link to both will be emailed on Saturday morning, October 10 to St. Andrew members and early Sunday morning to all members and friends.

The purpose of the congregational meeting:
• Your elected Pastor Nominating Committee will present their report and nominate their candidate for Pastor of St. Andrew
• Q & A with PNC
• Members of St. Andrew will vote to receive the Candidate and approve the Pastor’s Terms of Call
• Vote to dissolve the PNC with our thanks.

If you need help setting up a Zoom meeting on your tablet or computer, please contact the church office and we will try to help before this date.

SUNDAY – OCTOBER 4, 2020

This service today includes a special communion liturgy for World Communion Sunday. Communion will be repeated at our coffee hour at 10:00, so you have a choice when to take Communion. Have something to eat and drink with you as you watch this service or when you attend our coffee hour.

The Beloved Community: Living Democracy”

World Communion Sunday

Rev. Jan Reynolds

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Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Sunday, October 4, 2020
Many thanks for technical assistance / contributions from Ron Moser, Amy Cox, Jan Reynolds, Caryn Prince, Camerino Hawing, Heloisa Heinen Svetlecic, Tracy Walthard, Kelsey Walthard, and Dawne Carver.

Opening Song

“Come to the Banquet”, by Fay White – A song for Holy Communion; music from Altogether Collection, Lutheran Church/Robin Mann

Discovery Time & Sunday School

Click the arrow to watch Tracy Walthard present Discovery Time:

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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 4th:

Preschool Bottom Line for the week of October 4th:

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 4th

Grades K-5 Bottom Line for the week of October 4th:

Message for Youth

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my Savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” Psalm 18:2

I’m in need of these words today. This verse helps me not to be shaken in the mist of the chaos of fires, smoke, COVID-19, social unrest, isolation and anxiety! These words remind me that I don’t have to live in fear. That I don’t have to have the answers. Because He knows. He knows exactly what I’m going through. He knows exactly what you are going through. And He is here in it with us. That is a promise I need to remember.

Another way to look at this is Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I will thank Him with my song.” My heart trusts in Him.

What trials are you going through today? Where do you need God’s protection? Take time right now to write out your trials, your worries and your fears. Give them to our Father. He is our stronghold. Rest in His promises and His love. Take a moment to thank Him for the blessings in your life.

You and I have the opportunity to choose faith over fear. I choose to walk by faith even as I don’t know how this time will play out. I choose to sing praises to Him. What are you choosing?
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 Camerino Hawing read this morning’s Prayer or read the prayer below

Holy One,

Bless this day in the fullness of good it already contains, in the many occasions it offers to listen deeply, to be of service to others, to express gratitude moment by moment.

Today, we confess that we have built walls between neighbors and between countries, and we have ignored the cries of those in need. Forgive us and set us free, that we may live into the hope of your calling, that your reign may come on earth as it is in heaven.

To you, the Lord of all Lords, we commit to our own personal relationship with democracy. We pray that in our lives and in the church, we may uphold the values of democracy such as representational leadership, autonomy of conscience and equality among members. May we cultivate the practices of conscious deliberation with others, open-mindedness and reciprocity on our democratic journey, at church, in our country and throughout the world. We vow to endeavor to better sustain and nourish our commitment to democracy, to our highest selves, and the whole of creation.

Today, God, we pray for a sense of unity in our country. We pray that we find bridges of understanding in our common needs and loves.

In this often terrifying time, bless this day for the wonderful adventure life can become even now, as we walk through it with the eyes of wonder rather than boredom or fear.

On this World Communion Sunday, Bless this day in the infinite opportunities it gives us to love: to love and bless every human we meet, every beast or bird we pass by, every plant we behold, for all the manifold expressions of your infinite Life and Love that undergirds all.

Now, let’s 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 our communion with Christians all over the world. Gratitude for our God who meets us wherever we are.

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 Heloisa Heinen Svetlecic read this morning’s Scripture or read the Scripture below

Deuteronomy 1:13 
Choose for each of your tribes individuals who are wise, discerning, and reputable to be your leaders.

Acts 6:1-5 
Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.

1 Corinthians 1:10 
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Sermon

“The Beloved CommunityLiving Democracy

Rev. Jan Reynolds

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

This sermon isn’t about politics. It’s about polity… the way we govern ourselves in this country and our church as democracies.

Democracy has always been aspirational. 

Vaclav Havel, the Czech dissident who became president, said: “As long as people are people, democracy in the full sense of the word will always remain an ideal. One may approach democracy as one would a horizon…” And so, it has been with our U.S. democracy and all democracies in history.

The Realm of God on earth is also an aspiration, and yet our entire mission as the Church is to bring it in to being.

Seeking to govern by democracy in our country is certainly a challenge these days. Individual success is such an American ideal, even within our democratic framework. Our government institutions are not so well regarded these days. Lack of trust abounds. 

Nevertheless, we need to fight for democracy. We need to live democracy.

Fortunately, people who have been historically underrepresented are gaining voice in the world’s democracies. Here is a lively photo of women in India, recently elected to local and national office, with the support of the Hunger Project’s Participatory Democracy Program. 

Humans need wise leaders elected to serve and represent them. Democratic leaders don’t always have all the answers, but at their best, they listen to their constituents, stay open-minded as they research options and gain consensus together to discover the best possible direction; they are open to changing direction when warranted.   

The 9100 congregations in the Presbyterian Church USA practice representative democracy.

I was lucky to take a class on Presbyterian Polity from the late Rev. Dr. Jack Rogers, a beloved Christian scholar and former moderator of the PCUSA General Assembly (our national governing body). He wrote,

“Presbyterians are not do-it-yourselfers. We make decisions as a community. This is a way of living out the Biblical notion that God has created a covenant community. We base our decisions on our traditional sources of authority and guidance — the Bible and the church’s constitution. We pray and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in interpreting these sources of authority. We listen to each other, believing that God speaks in the community of the church.”

He goes on…

“When it is time to make a decision,

Presbyterians do not just pull ideas out of the air.

Our system of government enables an orderly process

of discerning the will of God in which everyone participates.”

Presbyterians make decisions much like the first New Testament churches did in the book of Acts. A chosen group of representatives, apostles, and elders, listened to testimony from those who knew about the issues. They elected people whose gifts were appropriate to the job, as we see in Acts 6, the story of electing the first Deacons who were well suited for pastoral care. They debated and came to agreement, united in action as we see in Corinthians passage. But also, in the Hebrew scriptures, we learn how people formed their communities, choosing wise, discerning, and reputable leaders.

As Jack Rogers adds, “Presbyterians believe that the best decisions are made when the broadest possible representation of our diversity participates. We believe in the equality of all people before God, and therefore our system represents an equality of persons. There are always both elders and ministers in every governing body. We seek to have women as well as men represented. We encourage people of every race and ethnicity to participate.”

Thanks again, Jack, for a valuable lesson in our Presbyterian form of government!

Presbyterians sometimes get teased for always acting “decently and in order” and that we do a lot of our work in committees. But the reality is that we are civil people who make good decisions most of the time. Sometimes it takes patience and more time to reach consensus, but it’s a beautiful thing when everyone can get behind a decision because it was well considered with the input from stakeholders. 

St. Andrew’s elected Session Elders and Board of Deacons spend many hours cordially debating how to best serve this congregation. You have put your trust in them, and they have wisely curated that trust for the good of all.

The slow good work of democracy represents diverse voices in order that we may all live full lives with a say in our own future. 

 A few years ago, journalist E.J. Dionne offered a prayer to defend democracy. His speech went like this:

“We know that democracy is embattled, facing threats within nations that have long been proud of their democratic traditions, and competition from systems that tout themselves as better able to deliver many of life’s good things.

But the greatest threat to democracy may be our own indifference. Unequivocally, a system providing for free speech, freedom of conscience, a free media, freedom of religion, and genuinely free elections is both morally and practically better than alternative systems. 

For religious people, the grounding for democracy is a belief that all human beings are endowed with equal dignity by God. But one need not be religious to insist on the equal dignity of our fellow human beings. We should be prepared to live Democracy.”

Living Democracy… that should be our goal in all our institutions and society.

Democracy allows us to imagine a better world, and to protect ourselves from human proclivities to sin, requiring limits on the power any of us can wield. Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.” 

Democracy is essential for bringing in God’s Realm on earth. On this World Communion Sunday, we are reminded of our Communion with all people around the world, and certainly our union with everyone in our own country longing for justice and peace.

So,
• Go in the power of the Holy Spirit to shine God’s love everywhere.
• Go forth to meet the world that God so loves.

May it be so.

New citizens of the United States of America

World Communion

Please bring something to eat and drink, and join in Communion now or at our 10:00 coffee hour.

Click the arrow below to see and hear Rev. Jan lead us in Communion or read the service below

WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY COMMUNION

This prayer is based on Ephesians 4:4-6.

God of all nations, you created every person in your image and called us by your Holy Spirit to become one in Christ Jesus, through Baptism and through faith.

In Jesus Christ, you showed us the way to live with unique gifts and particularities, yet in harmony with you and with each other.
You, O God, are indeed above all and through all and in all.

Jesus lived among us to show us your love: caring enough to feed hungry persons, stopping to touch persons in need of healing, reaching out to those not like himself:

When people gathered to hear his teachings, Jesus took bread, blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to them to eat, so that they might be fed.

When Jesus ate with his disciples for his final meal on earth, they remembered his blessing on the multitude, and listened as he told them:

“Take, eat, this is my life given for you.”

They watched as Jesus took the cup, blessed it, and said,

“Take, drink, this is the cup of salvation offered for the reconciliation of the whole world. 

Please partake of the elements of Communion now

Please pray with me:

Christ, by your cross and resurrection
you have set us free.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on this table
which is spread around this globe

May all who partake, wherever they live,
know the reconciling love of Jesus Christ.

May your church go forth from Communion with you
to be one in Christ and one in witness to the world.

In your Holy Name we pray. Amen.

Closing Song

“O For a World” – From the Presbyterian Glory to God Hymnal: “Everything longed for in this text is a reminder of how far our present world is from what God wants. Yet this is not just wishful thinking; it is a call to action, a summons to participate in the fulfillment of God’s desire for all earth’s people to live in radical shalom.”

by Miriam Therese Winter (1987), Copyright:© 1990 Medical Mission Sisters – Performed by the choir at Calvary Presbyterian in S. Pasadena, CA

O For a World

O for a world where everyone
respects each other’s ways,
where love is lived and all is done
with justice and with praise.

O for a world where goods are shared
and misery relieved,
where truth is spoken, children spared,
equality achieved.

We welcome one world family
and struggle with each choice
that opens us to unity
and gives our vision voice.

The poor are rich, the weak are strong,
the foolish ones are wise.
Tell all who mourn, outcasts belong,
who perishes will rise.

O for a world preparing for
God’s glorious reign of peace,
where time and tears will be no more,
and all but love will cease.

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