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, September 27 – 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 – SEPTEMBER 27, 2020

The Beloved Community: Reconciliation”

Rev. Jan Reynolds

Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Sunday, September 27, 2020
Many thanks for technical assistance / contributions from Ron Moser, Amy Cox, Jan Reynolds, Caryn Prince, Chris McNairy, Tracy Walthard, The Jr. High Youth Group, Kelsey Walthard, Dawne Carver and Meredith Lehman

Opening Song

“O Happy Day”, This track is from the 1968 album “Let Us Go into The House Of The Lord”. Lead by Dorothy Morrison-Combs. Written by Philip Doddridge. Arranged by Edwin Hawkins.
April 26, 1969 – The Edwin Hawkins Singers Featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison debuted at No. 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with their single, “Oh Happy Day.” This was the gospel group’s chart debut and it became their first of two Top Tens when it reached No. 4 on May 31, 1969.

Discovery Time & Sunday School

Click the arrow to watch our Jr. High Youth present Discovery Time:

Our Sunday School Lessons for today are as follows:

PRESCHOOL LESSON:

Preschool Memory Verse for September: “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:11

Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Preschool children for Sunday, September 27th:

GRADES K-5 LESSON:

Grades K-5 Memory Verse for September: “A friend loves at all times. They are there to help when trouble comes.” Proverbs 17:17

Click the arrow below to watch the Sunday School video for our Kindergarten – 5th Grade children for Sunday, September 27th:

Grades K-5 Bottom Line for the week of September 27th:

Message for Youth

I came across this statement that I had written down a few weeks ago: “I am reminded that my time on earth may be short but it can be powerful if I dedicate it to love and fairness.” We all have a purpose. Some of us know what that is early on in life. Some of us wake up and ask ourselves what is my purpose today? And a lot of us are in between. Yet God has a definite plan for our life.

Psalm 139:16 states “You saw me before I was born. Everyday was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Yet sometimes we question God’s direction for our life, His purpose for you and me. And that’s when I can go off course. When I start deciding that my ways are better than His ways, my choices are not always the best. Because my choices are based on emotions and how I’m feeling at the time. When I’m in God’s Word, feeling good and rested, it’s easier to make good choices. But when I’m cranky, hurting, or overwhelmed, I am definitely not making the best choices! And there are always consequences from our choices- good or bad.

Here are 3 questions to help me make the best choices and hopefully be in line with God’s will no matter how I’m feeling:

1) Is this going to help or hurt?
2) Is this of love or hate?
3) Is this selfless or selfish?

When I stand in love, help and selflessness, I feel that I’m in God’s will and bringing Him glory. When I’m hurting and/or hating others or myself, or being selfish, I am not being in God’s will but being grounded in Satan.

I want my life to be grounded in God. I want my life to be a blessing to others.

There is a question that Mary Oliver asked: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” The answer was “As much as I can.” That’s a great answer. I would answer “As much as God has planned for me!” God’s plans are so much bigger than mine. I tend to forget that. Let’s remind each other to be the best we can be by living in love, helping one another and believing in our Heavenly Father’s plan and purpose for our lives.
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

2 Corinthians: 5:18-19

Click the arrow below to hear Chris McNairy read this morning’s Prayer or read the prayer below

Prayer for Forgiveness and Reconciliation
(Edited from a prayer by Thomasmorecenter.org)

Gracious and merciful God, the problems facing our human family are very grave and we are no longer isolated from one another. We are confronted daily with our addictions to forms of violence, hatred and greed. We are heartbroken. It is so easy to forget that your Son, Jesus, is always the good news and that he has given us the remedy for our brokenness. We ask your Holy Spirit to refresh us in this knowledge. We ask you for the gift of hope in our lives and know that we need to turn to one another for the confidence and assurance that we will emerge from situations, that, in the short term seem hopeless. Banish fear and anxiety from our hearts.

We gather to affirm one another and to remove the barriers that seem to sour our relationships and keep us at a distance. Heal the short tempers, the crabbiness and the grudges we hold, against one another and our institutions. We could go on and on about all our discontents! Prompt us to be beacons in the present darkness, and especially beacons to one another. We are all guilty of some selfishness. We need your help to stop contributing to the larger greed and unrest that tears at our world. We believe in the power of your grace to change our lives and we promise to be once again open to that grace. Bless us with a peaceful spirit and a desire to be reconciled with one another.

And 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

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Prayer of supplication and healing:

Click the arrow below to read this Prayer, Based on Saint Paul’s Prayer from Ephesians 3.14-21 rendered by Chris Neufeld-Erdman

Faith Offering

Gratitude for reconciliation between governments

“Reconciliation” statue by Josefina de Vasconcellos at Coventry Cathedral. Bronze casts of this sculpture were placed in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral and in the Hiroshima Peace Park in Japan to mark the anniversary of WWII. Another cast was placed as part of the Berlin Wall memorial.

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 Jan read this morning’s Scripture or read the Scripture below

Hosea 14:1-7 (The Message) – Excerpts

 O Israel, come back! Return to your God!
  You’re down but you’re not out.
Prepare your confession
  and come back to God.
Pray “Take away our sin,
  accept our confession.
Receive as restitution
  our repentant prayers.”

 I will heal their waywardness.
  I will love them lavishly. My anger is played out.
I will make a fresh start with Israel.
  He’ll burst into bloom like a crocus in the spring.
He’ll put down deep oak tree roots,
  he’ll become a forest of oaks!
He’ll become splendid—like a giant sequoia,
  his fragrance like a grove of cedars!
Those who live near him will be blessed by him,
  be blessed and prosper like golden grain.
…I am like a luxuriant fruit tree.
  Everything you need is to be found in me.

Sermon

“The Beloved Community: Reconciliation

Rev. Jan Reynolds

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

For my inspiration, many thanks to Jewish leaders David Suissa and Rabbi Steve Finley and Fr. Richard Rohr. 

In such a difficult year, we humans have been humbled. We’ve experienced many, many losses, in our lives, society and economy. We’ve been showered by a perfect storm of crises none of us could ever have predicted. Our grief frays the nerves, and if you are like me, I can lash out and create more distance instead of coming in closer to those I love. And many of us feel wronged by circumstances beyond our control and the often-cruel political vitriol that is wearing away our souls.   

After being wronged, few human beings can move ahead with dignity without a full and honest exposure of the truth, as well as accountability. We cannot heal what we do not acknowledge. Hurt does not just go away on its own; it needs to be spoken and heard. Only then is there a possibility of “restorative justice,” as Jesus illustrates in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11‒32) and throughout his healing ministry.

The book of Hosea depicts God’s relationship with the people through the metaphor of marriage, a common image in the Bible, but pervasive through this book. The Lord has yoked Godself to Israel in the most intimate way. Yet, God’s people have committed spiritual adultery, going after other gods and forsaking their sacred relationship.

God feels horror at the people’s faithlessness shown in their ingratitude and waywardness. Yet God has deep compassion and lays aside anger. God speaks with deep affection despite the wrongs.

Richard Rohr writes, “God is not punisher in chief. God is Healer, Forgiver, and Reconciler.” 

God’s heart forgives what humans would regard as unforgivable. Does this conjure up images of the Cross? Of course! This divine self-giving love of God has existed since the beginning of time. 

Jesus quotes Hosea in Matthew 9:13: “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” As we hear throughout Hebrew Scripture as well as the Gospels, we cannot be separated from the Lord’s love, even amid suffering, persecution, sickness, and economic hardship.

On Sunday, the Jewish people commemorated Yom Kippur, the most solemn religious fast of the Jewish year; this ends ten days of penitence that began with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). At Yom Kippur, Jews humbly review their lives and contemplate how to repair ruptures in their relationships.

David Suissa, a writer for the Jewish Journal, suggests that the most crucial ingredient for a meaningful Yom Kippur is perhaps the dominant emotion of 2020: humility.

He writes,

“What do we need most to look honestly at ourselves and own up to our sins? Humility.

What do we need most to recognize that there is a Divine presence in the world that transcends time and space? Humility.

What do we need most to admit to our spouse, our child, our parent, our friend, our sibling, our neighbor that we were wrong? Yes, humility.”

Without humility, it’s impossible to be reconciled to God’s love, to receive the love of Christ, to love our neighbor. As long as we have walls up and think we are “holier than thou”, we cannot do the real work of reconciliation and forgiveness that Jesus calls us to.

Last week, Suissa wrote about the relationship of Justice Ginsburg (a Jew) and Justice Scalia (a Christian).

Their relationship was so special it spawned an opera called “Scalia/Ginsburg”, inspired by their friendship. After Scalia died, Ginsburg said:

“Toward the end of the opera tenor Scalia and soprano Ginsburg sing a duet: ‘We are different, we are one,’ different in our interpretation of written texts, one in our reverence for the Constitution and the institution we serve. From our years together at the D.C. Circuit, we were best buddies.”

Suissa says, “Ginsburg and Scalia differed in their interpretation, but they shared a reverence for the Constitution. In other words, their friendship was not simply an expression of their humanity. It rested on a fundamental pillar they shared. We can always look to the shared values between us. Of all the things to love about RBG, “We are different, we are one” may be the one we need most.”

In the Beloved Community (the Realm of God we aspire to) finding pillars of shared values must bring us together. It is so easy to embrace the fractured world we live in and go into our separate corners. It is much harder, but oh, so much more enlivening and fulfilling to discover the bridges between us.

Let’s not squander the power of vulnerability and humility in this difficult time! It is through feeling vulnerable and through our own humility that we open the hidden vessels of growth and healing.

As Richard Rohr reminds us, “Christianity and many other wisdom traditions show an alternative path toward healing. Sin and failure are an opportunity for the transformation of the person harmed, the person causing harm, and the whole community. Mere counting and ledger-keeping are not the way of the Gospel. Our best self wants to restore relationships, and not just blame or punish. No wonder that almost two-thirds of Jesus’ teaching is directly or indirectly about forgiveness.”

In closing, I want to share from my meeting yesterday with the Interfaith Ministerial Association. Pastor Rich joined these faith leaders who continue to meet each month.

Nick Dalton, Co-Director of the Hanna Center, wore a hat with the words, “Stay Human.” Stay Human!

We are only human, and we will make mistakes. In our humanity, we remember we are intrinsically vulnerable and often wrong. We forgive our own shortcomings and those of others, knowing that God, who has every reason to forsake us, never ever withdraws love or presence from us! May we try to live in this way of God.

At the meeting yesterday, St. Andrew’s friend, Rabbi Steve Finley, opened with this Yom Kippur reading. Here is the photo he kindly sent to me of the reading:

May it be so.

Closing Song

“Hosea (Come back to me)” – Based on Hosea 14:1, written by Gregory Norbert OSB

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