Archives for October 2016

Gratitude begets gratitude

Remember last year about this time we had some house dinners that we called Gratitude dinners? We shared fellowship over food and shared thoughts of how blessed we are to have the community of St. Andrew’s to enrich our lives? This was part of our Stewardship campaign.

haggisIn the next couple weeks we will be repeating those Gratitude dinners, as part of this year’s Stewardship campaign. There will be some in people’s homes and at least one here at the church for the convenience of everyone. We will NOT be asking for any pledges at that time or even talk- ing about money. We plan to have the dinners between November 11th and 19th. If you would like to HOST a dinner please speak to Virginia Gaub. Be on the look-out for signup sheets, for dinners to attend.

Adapted from Virginia Gaub’s article in the November Tartan

Jr. Warden Pam Rhodes on finding God’s presence in the current chaos

As you are reading this, the election is over. While I am writing it, the world is spinning in an angry political stew as we come to terms with the results. There are many topics that I could offer to either boast about my candidate or disparage the other. But here, I will do neither. To quote Tim Egan of the NY Times, “The core lessons that bind us together as a civilized society are in play in the last days of this election. We long for family dinners where politics no longer intrudes, for tailgate parties where football is all that matters, for normalcy. Remember those days?” I hope and pray they are not gone forever.

pamrhodesjw

The reality is that life goes on around us just like it did last year, even five and ten years ago. We still need to deal with issues like homelessness, poverty, climate change, police shootings, racial injustice, all levels of education funding, housing, food banks, immigration, and the Syrian refugee crisis. Is your head spinning yet?

So where is our refuge, our safety net? Surely our faith gives us the ability to take in all these issues, turn to God and allow Him to help us find the center of our soul. Yes even nasty politics can make us aware, but it never changes who we are inside. My heart, my faith, my servant ministries and my relationships are all nourished by God’s presence. St. Andrew’s has offered me and my family the steady foundation for how to live our lives. Whether we find answers in the lessons of radical sending and hospitality, in deep friendships, in the lessons of deep loss and coping with loss, the love of Christ is THE living prayer. We are called to extend to others the grace of God’s glory and love beyond all measure.

During the month of stewardship, many are asked to share their faith journey and experiences so that we can grasp a deeper understanding of what it means to live in the body of Christ and to serve without ceasing.

St. Andrew’s is a church that has so much to offer seekers. It offers continuity in a rich heritage of Episcopal traditions. We certainly don’t have all the answers, but we are a community of many interpretations. Sure we can be the ‘chef’ (I can fix you anything) but it’s more divine to be the ‘waiter’ (here’s what we have to offer on the menu). We have the ability to turn the smorgasbord into a banquet. On the heels of Celtic Faire, which has become a lovely tradition in this parish, we witnessed the spirit of servant ministry on so many levels. Although the weather tried to undermine our efforts, we were undeterred. With the non-storm looming every hour, we carried on as if it was a rainy April afternoon. Saturday included serving food and tea, vendors selling all manner of goods, a bake shop, cloth weaving, entertainment, and seekers buying used jewelry. Who knew this could be so fun? On Sunday we enjoyed a speaker, Christine Sine, author and activist, and her topic of Celtic Spirituality. The culmination with our Celtic lamb dinner was another example of the continuing heritage of servant ministry in action. (By the way, if you’ve never seen and heard Tom Egnew “address the haggis” then you have missed one of the most Celtic moments of the whole affair). The auction this year was a resounding success. Here’s a shout out to each and every one who donated their time, talent and treasure.

In all of this we are connecting to God in his divine presence. Here at St. Andrew’s our lives can be lived in our faithfulness and in our praise and worship of Him. The Good News is: Christ saves us. God reaches down and calls us into a relationship of abundant, whole-ly living, not just holy living. I pray you have survived the election and can get on with the business of living out God’s promises in the here and now.

Presiding Bishop Curry invites us to join the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement

Colin McDaniel on the blessings that make us a community

There were so many lists to be made for the parish camping trip this past Summer. Lists of foods, lists of activities and contingencies, and lists of equipment to borrow and share. And the best things on that trip did not come on a list, after all. People appeared, some staying only for the day. They brought with them their own music, stories, snacks, games, sand dollars, extra Band-Aids, and even a telescope. We pooled our gifts, and every offering was a blessing. Around the campfire, individuals bringing their unique offerings created community in the forest. That’s what made it church. It illustrated the multitude of talents we are blessed to bring to our ministries.

Now commences our busiest season: St. Francis Day, the Hunger Walk, the Celtic Faire, Diocesan convention, Kairos, Cursillo, organ concerts, Advent, the Christmas Pageant, and the many other ways we each participate in the search to serve and to be like Jesus. For each of these ministries, lists are being made. Yet again it will be the multitude of those individual, personal offerings sprouting over the coming weeks that will make it church.

As members of the Body of Christ we are blessed to bring our diverse offerings of time and talent. Take a moment to look around you and give thanks for someone whose voice, skill, craft, or attention to detail helps to create our spiritual community. Together we make it St. Andrew’s.

The News Tribune’s video coverage of “Blessing of the Animals”

Swiss virtuoso Mark Fitze launches Organ Concert Series 2017-18

The virtuosity of the Swiss organist Mark Fitze will be featured on  Friday, October 28, at 7:00 PM, in the opening concert in the 2016-17 St. Andrew’s Episcopal Organ Concert Series.

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Celebrated for performances filled with charm and wit, concert and recording artist Christa Rakich is a Puget Sound favorite. Her concert for organ and harpsichord centered on the music of J. S. Bach, including portions of the sublime “Goldberg Variations.” You can learn more about Christa Rakich and listen to her wonderful artistry on her web site.

All concerts in our series are free and open to the public but we welcome your donations in support of future concerts.