Archives for March 2017

Pam Rhodes shares Easter reflections

“When I’m afflicted, poor and low, and light and peace depart, my God beholds my heavy woe, and bears me on his heart. I waited patient for the Lord, he bowed to hear my cry, He saw me resting on his word, and brought salvation nigh.”
(Based on Psalm 40/a hymn by William Bradley Roberts)

Once again our blessed Easter season is upon us. As I get older it seems the months and years go so fast, (and my grandchildren are growing at a dizzying pace). So it goes with the seasons of the church calendar. It seems we just finished Advent and Epiphany, now it’s Lent and soon Easter.

Remembering Easter as a child, surely I look back on Easter egg hunts, chocolate and of course a new Easter outfit. While I certainly loved the idea of a new hat and gloves, my poor mom invariably argued with my brother about wearing his good clothes to church (meaning no jeans or logging boots—they usually agreed on the salt and pepper corduroys!!) One year we even got live bunnies for which my poor father had to build a cage. Oy vey!! At that time my family did not attend church on a regular basis, but the seeds of a life with Jesus were planted, we always attended on Easter. Easter was like the “new year’s resolution” to the church—we promised to do better.

My early church years were at Christ Episcopal in north Tacoma. The worship was always pageantry; the banners, the choir, the prayers in Latin, the incense—and the people, the community of faith. The parish of Christ Church was connected by life’s ups and downs, their struggles and pain, but also their solidarity and joy in Jesus. It was a togetherness that forged a spiritual goal in me. This early experience laid the seeds of faith. The steadfast people of the Episcopal church offered a ‘grounding’ that holds families together—even though there were no easy answers to life’s difficulties.

This March the vestry gathered for a retreat. I am very proud to serve with our dedicated members in this group. There is diversity in our ages and in our church and spiritual experiences, but through all of us runs a common thread. We have sometimes walked through the soul’s dark night with devastating and life-changing events and eventually we were led back to God. Many times we doubted His presence but the seeds of our faith held us in His embrace. Whether it was a Baptist, Catholic, Mormon or an Episcopal tradition, many of us had that early church experience. It stands to reason that Jesus would bring us to where we are today. And as Father Martin would say, “For reasons we may not fully understand.”

To borrow an excerpt from our Lenten booklet, “Lent is a return to the beginning and a look to beyond the end. During this unique time, we follow the Way of the Cross. The cross is that unique sign that connects God with the entire world for all time. I give thanks to God for the deep significance of Lent: connection, togetherness, solidarity and hope in Jesus our Redeemer.” We go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.

Blessings to all this Easter.

Comfort food and community: Join us this Sunday and bring a friend

This Sunday following our 10:00 AM service, everyone is invited to our “Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye!” comfort food lunch downstairs in Puddicombe Hall.

Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup (tomato and chicken noodle) will be served, free, for all who come.  Bring family, friends, neighbors for this time to build friendships and get to know new folks among us.  Any assistance before or after the lunch will be appreciated.

Jackson St. Food Bank to serve the hungry this week

The Jackson St. Food Bank will be opening its doors on Wednesday, August 26, at 5:00 PM to community families.

Volunteers from the St. Andrew’s community are cordially welcome to join the Food Bank team in the morning from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM (PLEASE NOTE THE LATER TIME!) to help set up in Puddicombe Hall and in the afternoon from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM to help serve our community guests.

We especially need volunteers for the 6:00-7:00 PM close-up and clean-up phase. Many hands make light work! God bless you!


Given the number of struggling families in Pierce County, this assistance could not be more timely. Come help support one of our truly meaningful outreach ministries!

St. Andrew’s seeks original artwork for its indoor columbarium

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church is seeking an artist to create site-specific original artwork for its indoor columbarium. The church is located at 7410 South 12th Street, Tacoma. This opportunity is open to established artists living in the Northwest.   We are open to consider a variety of media.

The vision for this project is for a signature artwork of exceptional and enduring quality. The site-specific art work should evoke Christian faith, resurrection and hope and, if possible, the mission of the church which is “To Know Christ and Make Christ Known.”

The location for the only piece of art to be installed in the newly remodeled indoor columbarium is located on the lower level of St. Andrews.

Specific information, measurements, and photos can be found on the St. Andrew’s web site:  If you have questions or if you want to view the site, please contact Margo Fleshman at [email protected] or Fr. Martin Yabroff at [email protected].


The application deadline is May 15, 2017.   The Columbarium Committee will review and select the artist by June 30.  The target completion and installation of the artwork is November 1, 2017.

How to Apply

The proposal should include:

  • The artist’s statement of intent and a description of the project, concept and approach.
  • Samples of the artist previous work.
  • An estimate of the costs and expenses for the project.
  • Three references – please list name, telephone, email and a description of the relationship with the reference.

Hard-copy materials should be submitted to: Columbarium Committee, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 7410 South 12th Street, Tacoma, WA 98465. Digital materials should be sent to Margo Fleshman, [email protected].


Saturday is Community Appreciation Day at the Islamic Center

The Muslim community in Tacoma would like to respond to the immense support and great kindness of our neighbors and friends in Tacoma! We invite our community members for a luncheon and a presentation from community members and leaders covering topics around Islam, advocacy and support of pluralistic constitutional values.

We want you to come and ask any questions you have about Islam and meet some of your Muslim neighbors!

This will be something of an open fair. We will have information, tours, displays, speakers and good food!

The Muslim Center of Tacoma is located at 2010 Bridgeport Way West, University Place.  There will be a lunch at 1pm and speakers at 2:30pm.


Thank you to all of our friends and supporters, we appreciate your effort, and we welcome you into our community

To RSVP online go to:

A message from our new Senior Warden

When I was asked to prayerfully consider serving as senior warden, I will admit it daunted me. I was apprehensive about the new leadership responsibility. Of course, I was also honored. Serving on the vestry over the last two years has been a privilege and a learning experience. It has taught me that we do not need to justify ourselves—it is by God’s grace and with God’s help that a congregation furthers the mission of the Church. What is required in one’s stewardship is to be authentically one’s self.

In prayer I found the reply that God creates each of us whole, for the work He gives us to do. We may not feel fully equipped for this work, but by grace God can accomplish his purpose through each of us. And in our creation God has given each of us gifts. We may identify the gifts of our creation ourselves, yet more often we find them in each other (Why is it always easier to see merits in others than in ourselves?), as when we call upon each other to serve and when we trust each other with the responsibility of stewardship.

The stewardship campaign this past fall was guided by the following theme: “…to equip God’s people for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity inherent in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God—to maturity…” —Ephesians 4:12-13. To “equip God’s people” sounds, at first, as though we are all to attend some in-service ministry training. Yet if God creates us whole, for the work He gives us to do, then “equipping God’s people for the work of ministry” is not a call to a training, after all, but a call to a finding and an entrusting. It is that call to au- thenticity.

I am grateful to be found and entrusted for this ministry.

Tonight’s Lenten class focuses on spiritual growth in ministry

Tonight at 7:00 PM, Fr. Martin will offer the last in a four-part series of classes on spiritual growth.  Presentation and discussion will focus on ministry and service. Please join us this evening for what promises to be an enriching exploration of resources that can help us in our walk with Christ.

St. Andrew’s outreach also works beyond our borders

Gretchen Liebenberg, one of our two missionaries in Deer Harbor, reports on St. Andrew’s outreach support of children and youth in Central America: 

We were recently in Guatemala and had a chance to meet with Nancy Rivera. She is the scholarship student sponsored by our Outreach Committee. She is very sweet and so very thankful for the chance to get an education. She will be able to do more than menial labor. With a high school education she can get a good job and can help her family. These kids live in such poverty. It is truly a wonderful gift St Andrews is giving – we are saving a life.