Swiss virtuoso Mark Fitze to launch Organ Concert Series 2017-18

The virtuosity of the Swiss organist Mark Fitze will be featured on  Sunday, October 1, at 3:00 PM, in the opening concert of the 2017-18 St. Andrew’s Episcopal Organ Concert Series.

After studying at the Music Academy of Basel, Switzerland, and the New England Conservatory of Music, Mr. Fitze received his Masters in Music and Solo Performance under the tutelage of Guy Bovet in Basel. He has played some of the most famous venues in the world. His concerts on organ and harmonium have been acclaimed by reviewers from Japan to the Ukraine.

You can hear audio and video recordings on his web site.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one of the great young organists of our time! Admission is free, but we welcome donations in support of the Organ Concert Series.

Music and dancers from the Celtic Faire, 2015!

There is a brief commercial interlude before the video begins. Thanks to the Tacoma News Tribune for this wonderful report!

Tonight’s class offers fascinating book study on “Being Christian”

Please join us tonight, Monday, October 2, at 7:00 PM in the Ada Webb Room for the final class in an informative four-part series on what it means to be a Christian. The discussions will center around  a wonderful book written by Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the great religious thinkers and communicators of our time. The focus will be the meaning and practice of prayer.

Please join us for this important book study, to be led by Fr. Martin. Copies of Being Christian are available at the Church Office for $10 or through Amazon or other booksellers.

Now, more than ever, it is essential to know what we Christians believe, why we believe it, and what values and practices all Christians share. We are a Christian community living in the middle of the “None Zone,” where a majority of the population says “none” when asked to describe their religion. Believing in God is mocked as “magical thinking.” A majority of youth in this area have no experience with the great stories of the Bible and only indirect exposure to Christian ethics. Here’s a chance to learn more about what baptism means to us, how we read the Bible, and why the Eucharist and prayer are so central to our spiritual journeys, so that we can communicate with our neighbors whose images of Christianity are shaped by the media and social media.

How to spend a weekend with Christ!

Could you use spiritual revitalization? A spiritual shot in the arm? Or a short retreat with Christ? If so, then consider Come and See, Go and Tell. Come and See is the Diocese of Olympia’s expression of the Cursillo ministry.

During the weekend retreat you will have opportunities to:

come and experience God’s unconditional love;
come and feel the transforming power of God’s healing and grace; come and learn how to live out your baptism in everyday life; and come and share your story of faith;

Watch this inspiring video with Bishop Greg Rickel!

The next weekend is October 20-22 at Dumas Bay Conference Centre in Federal Way and further spiritual growth evolves through on-going participation in small group activities.

More information and an application may be found at the Come and See website.

Pam Tinsley, Reberta Skinner, Virginia Gaub and Dave Tinsley will be happy to answer any questions you might have about Come and See!

When King David met the Fab Four – by Matthew Moravec

How can we as Christians respond to pop culture? Historically, some have sought to completely avoid it (“Don’t go to the movies!”), while others uncritically absorb it (“It’s just entertainment!”). This past August, our adult education class explored a third way of approaching pop culture: to converse with it. Each week we took a different Beatles song and put it in conversation with one of the psalms. It turns out that we can learn a lot from songs like “Nowhere Man” or “Eleanor Rigby,” while also discovering that the psalms offer additional insight and correction to the Fab Four’s perspectives on life. Our discussions were lively and engaging!

Sacred Spaces of Creation – by Colin McDaniel, Senior Warden

Sometimes I find myself looking for a burning bush. It would be convenient if God’s calls were that clear in my life—His own ringtone, so to speak. I might be more apt to pay attention. Of course, the act of looking for burning bushes reveals that I prefer He provide a sign when I am ready.

And forests are one of those places I look for burning bushes. Which is ironic, because if I were to spot flaming flora I should call the park ranger, not my spiritual director. Nonetheless, in sacred spaces of creation I turn to observing and listening, hopeful for a voice or a song that resonates with my creation and imparts something of the mystery of being.

So it was on a camping trip this summer while hiking a path through an old- growth forest that I met a pair of enormous trees: a gigantic cedar and a towering Doug- las fir, standing guard before a knoll of dark, buzzing shadows beneath tightly clumped scrubs and soft, fallen trunks. Awed by the majesty of these titanic sentinels, I stopped to lay my hands upon each tree and listen for its song. I just heard tree. I don’t know what I was expecting. They were impressive, that much was sure, and I felt small next to them. After considering what stories they could tell, if they could speak to me, I went on.

The trail beyond made for arduous hiking. I scrambled over rotten tree trunks cov- ered with thick moss, sprouting huckleberry bushes and young saplings. Spider webs capturing struggling prey were carefully parted so that I could pass. Rustling bunches of salal betrayed the hectic scurrying of some unseen animal beneath. Everywhere around me, the individual participants in the cycle of creation were in the immediate processes of dying, springing, striving, and consuming.

So as I hiked over this hill I noticed the interdependence of everything. I noticed how each being relied upon someone else. One thing was dependent upon another; life was springing from that which had died and rising from that which had fallen. I came to the end of my journey in the forest, and I realized that I was listening for an individual song—a burning bush—when the song was not for one ancient tree, nor for a single per- son. That is not to say that the individual is insignificant, for each individual renews what dies and sustains what follows, but the whole forest sings with the song of creation. Together it is a song, and that song is not for an individual, but to the glory of the Crea- tor.

I think our culture prompts us to look for burning bushes to tell us what individual merit or purpose we have in God’s design. We watch eclipses and climb mountain peaks looking upward and outward for divine broadcasts. What we may fail to recognize is the divine that emanates from us as a worship community. Though I do not find burning bushes when I seek them, I am confident that I and every member of our church are sig- nificant in God’s plan. Like the old-growth forest, St. Andrew’s is fully alive with the building, renewing, and sharing of a religious life that celebrates the glory of God.

Links for vendors and donors for Celtic Faire 2017!

Come join the fun at St. Andrew’s Celtic Faire! If you are interested in becoming a part of our Celtic village and selling your Celtic-related items or crafts,

download a Vendor Application here.

Think about donating an item or an activity to the 2017 St. Andrew’s Celtic Faire Auction!

Donor applications can be downloaded here.

John, Paul, George, Ringo and… King David

Come join us this Monday evening, August 28, at 7:00 PM as we take a favorite Beatles song and put it in conversation with a psalm.

Facilitated by our own Matthew Moravec, this innovative adult class will explore each song’s message and consider where King David and the Fab Four agree, disagree, or offer alternative perspectives on life. 

Come to Celtic Faire, Saturday 10-4, Sunday 8, 10, & 3:30

Our Celtic Faire is a fun, family-oriented festival, celebrating our patron Saint Andrew, Celtic spirituality, and the heritage of the 60 parish families who have roots in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. This year’s Faire will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22. The Saturday Faire lasts from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Admission to the Faire is free.

Our entire church building is transformed each year into a festive Celtic village with a Bake Shoppe, Tea Room, and a marketplace where wares for sale include leather items, Celtic jewelry and gifts, quilted and handmade items, and knitted and woven goods.

A Ceilidh – or Celtic talent show – is a big draw with Irish dancers, singers, bagpipers, and storytellers performing on two stages. A member of our congregation demonstrates spinning and weaving, and offers her creations for sale. An ongoing highlight of the Faire is our Vintage Jewelry booth, where all sorts of wonderful finds are offered at bargain prices! There are also activities and games specifically intended for children, and they love to take part!

On Sunday morning, October 22, at 8:00 and 10:00 AM, we celebrate the Calling of the Clans, with Celtic-themed music and pipers. Come worship with us! On Sunday afternoon at 3:30, Christine Sine will deliver a wonderful presentation on Celtic spirituality. And the weekend culminates with the Celtic Faire Banquet, Presentation of the Haggis, and festive auction.

Living out “Loving your neighbor” every day – by Kristen Ruscio

WWJD?? Do you all remember when the phrase, “What would Jesus do?” became very popular among Christian youth in the 1990s? The idea of wearing a bracelet as a reminder to oneself and to others to practice the love of Jesus in our daily lives became a world-wide practice. I find myself believing this type of public act of demonstrating Jesus’s love to be of particular importance in our current political climate. On any given day I can overhear a conversation with “the liberals this” or “the conservatives that”; “the republicans are to blame” or “the democrats are to blame”; “Obama should have done more” or “Trump should be doing more.” Much like Don talked about in last month’s Tartan, I notice we all have a tendency to jump into the conversation, mostly by trying to get our side across, telling the person why our view is right and their belief is wrong, and this spans many topics beyond politics.

As a clinical psychologist, I am fascinated by and study human behavior and the development of beliefs. For all of us, our beliefs are influenced by a plethora of factors: how we were raised, our religious background, specific life experiences, different forms of education, etc. What makes my experiences better or worse than anyone else’s, more right or more wrong than anyone else’s? Thankfully we don’t all need to spend years studying psychology to understand this because Jesus gives us this message over and over throughout the bible. Jesus tells his disciples that the second great commandment is ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 22:39). I believe taking some time to be silent, as Don mentioned last month, and to listen to the ‘why’ behind someone’s views, can be the type of public acts that demonstrate our belief in the second great commandment.

Over the next month I challenge each of us to reach out to our version of the tax collector or of the sinful woman and try to listen for the ‘why’ behind their beliefs. Maybe it’s someone with a different religious faith than our own, different gender-identity, ethnicity, or race. Maybe it’s someone with seemingly opposite political views, or that one person at work who gets under our skin. Consider how we can use silence to learn and better understand ALL of our neighbors. WWJD?

From Kristen’s article
in the July/August Tartan