Archives for February 2018

Friend Mark on Facebook for Lent!

Lent is traditionally a time when Christians adopt a devotional practice to help focus on their relationship with God. One of the ways we encourage that at St. Andrew’s is to read through one of the Gospels, and this year we’re going to do that together–online!

Each morning in Lent a portion from Mark’s Gospel will be posted to our Facebook page. You are invited to read it there and discuss it with others in the comments section of each post.

Hear the Gospel truth from Mark every day during Lent and see what happens in your heart!

Community Outreach Slider 2017

Racism in America: My experience by Sandi Dick

On January 20, 1970, I arrived at JFK Airport in New York. This was my first trip out of my country, Jamaica. The population in Jamaica almost 93.0 percent black, so I was surprised at the number of whites at the airport. I was also apprehensive about how I would be treated, as it was less than two years since Martin Luther King was murdered. While in New York, I completed high school and one year of college but never encountered any racial or cultural situations.

In 1974, I enlisted in the U.S. Army and was transferred to Fort McClellan, Alabama for Basic Training. From October, the month I arrived, until the day I graduated in mid- December, I never left the Post. The black soldiers were advised to remain on base, as there had been assaults on military women, but especially black women. For the first time I began to understand what it was to be afraid because I was black. It’s been 48 years since I arrived in the U.S., and I am an American. I have encountered many incidents of racism and other “isms, not only in the military, but also in the Episcopal Church.

Adapted from Sandi  Dick’s  story
in the February Tartan.
Sandi will facilitate
the February  12 workshop on Ijeoma Oluo!

Reflections on our new Columbarium cross by Don Ramage

This January, I visited the St. Andrew’s columbarium to see the newly-arrived ceramic cross. I expected to see a pretty cross hanging on the wall, but found an extraordinary cross, moving in its beauty. The center of the cross holds a Northwestern scene of Mount Rainier, evergreens and water within the gold ring of its center, then, passing to the other side of the ring, if you stand near enough, the surface begins to move and shimmer with flecks of light that fade to a deep and firm blue at the ends of the arms, a heavenly cross.

This cross evokes layers of meaning for me. The symbol of the cross, as some have noted, suggests the intersection of two planes, the eternal and the temporal. This cross reminds me of the fundamental reasons I come to church, as a seeker of those great questions of God and life after death. We humans are hardwired to raise these questions as we sense an eternal soul within our temporal bodies. Today’s society often encourages us to shrug off these questions, but the blue cross in our columbarium reminds me of the beauty we may find if we look upwards and beyond.

This cross also reminds me that we do not travel our faith journeys alone, but walk, in the words of the Apostle’s Creed, “in the communion of saints,” meaning the continued union of the followers of Jesus, “saints” in the original sense, both living and departed. On this first visit of mine to the columbarium, I saw the photos and mementos of the departed placed by parishioner families whose loved ones rest there, and felt myself among a large parish family, past, present, and future. I could feel their continued presence among us, and I also felt gratitude to now enjoy the fruits of their labors, both tangible and intangible. Among the many names in the columbar- ium were Polly Hickman, who filled our church with music and laughter, and whose gifts of mu- sic continue on through our memorial organ. There were the Camerons, the family of the artist who made our cross, Jean Tudor. I thought also of Albert Puddicombe, who left us with a hall with a delightfully Dickensian name, but, more than this, purchased the land on which the church stands; of Ada Webb, whose gift to St. Andrew’s in her will enabled a wing to be added to what was then a small mission church.

St. Andrew’s being a down-to-earth and welcoming community, even those of us who, like me, who are relative newcomers to St. Andrew’s, can soon feel ourselves on the inside of this extended family. Reflecting on these gifts of those gone before us, we must also reflect on how we will extend our hands across time and generations—a timely meditation, as we finish our annual parish meeting. How will we find and support the saints of the future —remembering, as the apostle Paul noted, that we are all adopted into this family? With God’s help, what labors of love will we leave for those saints who come after us?