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, September 6 – 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.
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 – SEPTEMBER 6, 2020

“Hope in Good Work”

Rev. Jan Reynolds
Labor Day Service

Welcome to this “virtual” worship service for Sunday, September 6, 2020
Many thanks for technical assistance and contributions from Ron Moser, Amy Cox, Jan Reynolds, Tracy Walthard, Scott Walthard, Lindsey Walthard, Kelsey Walthard, Ed Vaughn, Jim Morgan, Stacey Schoeningh and Dawne Carver.

Opening Song

“They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love”, by Peter Scholtes, performed by Carolyn Arends (c) 1966 F.E.L. Publications. Assigned 1991 Lorenz Publishing Company

Discovery Time & Sunday School

Click the arrow below to watch the Walthards 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

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

Grades K-5 Bottom Line for the week of September 6:

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

Message for Youth

Right now we are in a season of great change. In fact, change is the one consistency we can count on! We are getting creative with jobs, school and celebrations. We are connecting in different ways. For some, that change is very hard. We struggle with finding ourselves in new roles and situations we are unsure of. Some struggle with the feelings of being isolated from friends and family. We struggle with the loss of the way things were. And we should recognize the loss, and grieve, but we need to also look for the blessings. We need to dream, to plan and look forward to the day when we will get to hug each other.

As I was walking the other day, I realized that right now, I am blessed with a chance to evaluate things in my life and make some changes. In that evaluation, I’m asking myself three things. What do I like? What do I want to get rid of? What do I want to change? I often ask these kind of questions in ministry. I ask them in moving to a new place or cleaning out a room in the house. But I haven’t taken time to direct the questions to my personal life in a while. Here’s a couple of things I have written down:

Things to keep/continue: I want to continue to spend quality time with God. I like who I am when my day starts in prayer and God’s word. I want to continue to walk. It’s good for me and helps my stress.

Things to get rid of: Procrastination – I want to go through my to-do list and actually do it. (This will be a challenge.)

Changes: I want to have regular family meals with my adult children. I want to start playing the piano again.

I have a feeling that as I spend time with my list, it will definitely grow. And that is good! God wants us to continue to grow and learn.

So what are you dreaming about? What plans are you making right now? What do you want to change? Take the time to ask yourselves the questions and write them down. Let God direct you. See what you might need to let go of to let something else in.
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.

A Prayer for Labor Day

Click the arrow below to watch a video of this morning’s Prayer

Faith Offering

Gratitude for Good Work

Click the arrow below to watch a video with St. Andrew Members

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 present this morning’s Scripture Reading or read the Scripture below

John 21: 1-19
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way.  

Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples.  

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.  

Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.  

That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.  

When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn.  

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Sermon

“Hope in Good Work”

Rev. Jan Reynolds

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

or read the Sermon below

Jesus’ disciples have already received their commissioning.  Their “calling” or “vocation” is to fish for people – to go out in the world to spread the Good News.  And yet, they still must make a living. They still must go out and cast their nets for real fish that will physically sustain them and their families. Their profession is fishing.  

After their surprising huge haul of fish, they were left with a whole net that did not break! They would be able to fish again another day.  

Somehow, even though Jesus has died, he is with them, urging them on, encouraging them, chiding them in a kind way to move forward, to do what they need to do to sustain their lives, and to think bigger.  

It’s Labor Day weekend. It’s a time when we honor good work, good vocations and to give thanks for current and past work that has provided us with our livelihoods and meaning in life.

Many people find meaning in the work that provides their sustenance, thank goodness. Like the disciples, there are many of us balancing work we must do to put food on the table with work that feeds our souls. Many of us have hobbies or volunteer work, or lifestyles that are our true calling. 

My dad was a sales manager by day and a nature photographer on the weekends. My mom was a secretary in a school office, and an accomplished watercolorist and attentive listener for her daughters.

We think of the Apostle Paul – we know he is a tent maker by trade, an evangelist and church founder by calling. Many young people these days enter the ministry knowing they will be bi-vocational. I know church pastors who are also teachers, writers, and consultants. 

Some work provides meaning and satisfaction in some ways and not all the time.  Some of us may have found our callings in the light in our children’s eyes, in making a beautiful quilt, in writing a poem no one else ever reads.  

Many in our St. Andrew congregation fulfill aspects of their calling to service through our Missions programs, worship production or church leadership.

At the colorful scene on the beach in this passage, Jesus offers belonging and support through a friendly charcoal fire and plenty of food, celebrating the importance of good work. Work that supports their lives, and work that supports their purpose in life.

For each of us, there is an underlying vocation, a purpose in life, that can be revealed to us if we listen. 

In my extended family, there was an Aunt who the family thought of as difficult; she was often abrupt, sometimes stubborn.  She didn’t take care of her house very well. She squandered her money by letting her boarders take advantage of her.  She didn’t listen to the advice of her family. When she died suddenly, a pastor friend of mine came over to talk with my relatives to prepare for the memorial service… what was your aunt like, he asked?  Some of these stories of waste and bad habits spilled out, with love of course, and but also with some affectionate annoyance. 

My pastor friend sighed an “aha” of recognition!  “Oh!”, he said, “her vocation was hospitality.”  Her family couldn’t appreciate it until then, but the ribbon of meaning throughout her life, right in there with the crabbiness and seemingly bad decisions, was her generosity to the outsider; hospitality to those who couldn’t quite stand on their own feet for a variety of reasons.  She provided them with low cost housing, food, conversation, and company.  She even willed her house to one of them who had been formerly homeless. A vocation of generosity and hospitality. 

Parker Palmer, a teacher educator by trade and a wise Quaker author, wrote a gem of a book called Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.

He writes, “Vocation is not a goal to be achieved, but a gift to be received.”  Palmer says, “Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to be something I’m not. It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God.” 

In our vocations, we take into consideration our limitations, our gifts, our passions. If we override our true nature, we will be miserable. No one can imagine that God would want such a thing!

In a study of workers across five generations, researchers discovered that while the definition of meaningful work varied, these three statements were true for all:

– Meaningful work is intrinsically motivated  
– Meaningful work creates lasting relationships
– Meaningful work helps others

A meaningful vocation is one where we feel an authentic connection between the work we do and a broader life purpose beyond the self.

Our discernment about vocation is an ever-changing dance with our Creator.  At any time, we can ask ourselves: “What good work is calling me now?”   

David Whyte, the poet, writes: 

“A life’s work is not a series of stepping-stones 
onto which we calmly place our feet, 
but more like an ocean crossing 
where there is no path, only a heading, a direction.”

At different times in our lives, our work will change, perhaps our vocation will deepen. And that might mean at a certain time in life, we are meant to slow down, savor, and remember. Our vocation becomes taking stock of our life, reviewing it for meaning, lessons learned, love lost and gained.

It’s good to be grateful for work and vocation. Even in times of scarcity, there is a sense of abundance when we are doing what we are meant to do.

During this time of Covid, many of us have found that our work has dramatically changed. We may be very frustrated by the new ways we are doing work, mostly online and missing seeing our work companions face-to-face, but I also hear stories of creativity and new possibility. Daily life may be more difficult in some ways and more rewarding in others. 

What is brewing in your work and vocation? Are new horizons or possibilities starting to break through even with the restrictions in place? New ways of thinking and dreaming, new life and hope? Can you pause and “Listen to Your Life,” and see if that might be so?

Is there a theme of vocation that has run through your life? In what way is God calling you forward in your vocation now? Through service? Through beauty? Or friendship? Through leadership?

As Parker Palmer writes, “our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do, we find the joy that every human being seeks – we find our path of authentic service in the world.”

Rewarding vocation joins our true purpose and service. Presbyterian pastor and writer Frederick Buechner defines vocation in this way:

This wise definition of vocation begins with the nature of each human self, choosing what brings us the deep joy of knowing that we are here to be gifts that God created for the world.

Please join me in prayer:

O Christ, in whom the fullness of God dwells,

You are deep within our lives and all life,

You are deep within this place and every place.

In the depths of our own souls, may each of us be grateful for the ways we have expressed our unique reflection of you. We are grateful that our life’s work and vocation has contributed more love and value into this world.  

We draw from the inner well of your love that we too might be filled with the fullness of your Spirit, and that you might do within us and with us more than we ourselves have imagined.

Amen.

Closing Song

“I’m Going to Live So God Can Use Me” – arranged by Wendell Whalum; performed by Bishop G.E. Patterson & Congregation

“I’m Going to Live So God Can Use Me”

I’m gonna live so
God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!
I’m gonna live so
God can use me anywhere,
Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna work so
God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!
I’m gonna work so
God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna talk so
God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!
I’m gonna talk so
God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna live so
God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!
I’m gonna live so
God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!

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