Reflections on our Columbarium cross by Don Ramage

When 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 columbarium 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?

Strong turnout at our Annual Parish Meeting

Nearly seventy parishioners packed Puddicombe Hall for our Annual Parish Meeting following the nine-o’clock service on Sunday. After a delicious brunch buffet supplied by our Vestry, we got down to business. Fr. Martin had already delivered his “State of the Parish” message during the service.

We gifted and thanked Colin McDaniel, outgoing Senior Warden, and Pam Rhodes for their service. Colin and Pam both spoke eloquently about the spirit of cooperation and focus on this Vestry, and they both urged those who have not yet served to consider running for the Vestry in the future. Outgoing members Virginia Gaub and Kristen Ruscio were thanked in absentia.

We elected three new members to join continuing members Liz Herriges, Don Ramage, Charles Roberts, Susan Rowe and Kristina Younger: Jessica Richards, Hayley Adams, and Ken Rhodes. The Parish also approved the Vestry’s proposal that Vestry membership be limited to eight members for 2018-19. Fr. Martin announced that he had asked Susan Rowe to be his Senior Warden, and that she had agreed to serve in this key position.

2017 alternates Pam Tinsley and Don Ramage will join holdovers Reberta Skinner and Frank Lawler as delegates to Diocesan Convention in 2018. We also elected new alternates Virginia Gaub and Colin McDaniel .

Angela Barr was elected unanimously to join continuing members Wynn Hoffman and Pam Rhodes on the Endowment Committee.

Parish Treasurer Bill Brice outlined the financial state of the parish for 2017 and presented the budget for 2018. Any parishioners who could not attend our meeting can find the pertinent documents in the 2017 Annual Parish Report, available at the Church Office. The Report also contains detailed reports from the leaders of our parish ministries.

Table discussions focused on three questions: 1) What is on your heart about St. Andrew’s? 2) What is your understanding of the Jesus Movement? 3) How could St. Andrew’s participate more actively in the Jesus Movement in 2018? Notes taken by scribe Pam Tinsley will be included in the February Tartan.

Our meeting concluded with a wonderful blessing from Fr. Ed and a rousing version of the Doxology.

DISCLAIMER: This article represents information contained in the Annual Meeting Agenda and the recollections of the Webmaster. For the official record, please see the Minutes of the 2018 Annual Parish Meeting, which will be compiled by Recording Secretary Dianne Koch Stefanko, available through the Church Office, and included in the 2018 Annual Parish Report.

What it means to be the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement

At our Parish Meeting, many folks requested more information about the Jesus Movement. Please visit this web site, or you can watch Michael Curry on video (click below).

A wonderful and enlightening seminar on race, led by Sandi Dick

On Monday, February 12, at 7:00 PM in the Ada Webb Room, two dozen parishioners and friends joined Sandi Dick and Rev. Meghan for a look at Ijeoma Oluo’s pathbreaking piece So you want to talk about race, which explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscape. After we talked about key points in Oluo’s introduction, the focus was on Sandi’s experiences in Alabama, the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere in the States, as a black woman, a Jamaican immigrant, an army officer, and as a mother. The wide-ranging discussion helped raise our awareness of the challenges that we need to be aware of before we try to discuss and share experiences about race and racism.

Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and self-described “internet yeller.” She was named of of the most influential people in Seattle, by Seattle Magazine. She’s the Editor-At-Large at The Establishment – a media platform run and funded by women. You can read several of her articles on her web site.

The community of St. Andrew’s is celebrating Black History Month through a number of forums, exhibits, and even food.

On Monday, February 5, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM we discussed the wonderful essay “What Price Freedom?” from James Baldwin’s book The Cross of Redemption. Copies are available through the Church Office, or you can purchase your own copy at a reasonable price on Amazon. 

Writer and playwright James  Baldwin (1924-1987) is considered to be one of the 20th century’s greatest writers, Baldwin broke new literary ground with the exploration of racial and social issues in his many works. He was especially known for his essays on the black experience in America.

During coffee hour on three different Sundays, Annika, Lee and Sandy have offered to prepare a food item that represents their black culture.

Our readings and discussions are meant to help us reflect on the following questions: As our baptismal vows ask, will we strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? What does it look like to put our “we will” into action?

We would love the celebration of Black History Month to be the beginning of finding ways to celebrate different cultures and races as a continual reminder to open our mind to difference and deepening what it means to respect the dignity of every human being.

Healing the spiritual wounds of war

On Sunday, January 21, at 2:00 PM Iraq war veteran and Episcopal priest, David Peters, will explore the unique power churches have in healing moral injury and the spiritual injuries associated with PTSD. The presentation will be at Christ Church, Puyallup.

The Rev. David W. Peters served as an enlisted Marine and Army Chaplain, deploying to Baghdad, Iraq in 2005-2006. His books, Death Letter: God, Sex, and War and Post- Traumatic God: How the Church Cares For People Who Have Been to Hell and Back vividly describe his own path to healing after war, a path he regularly invites his fellow veterans to consider. David blogs for the Huffington Post, and Oxford University Press. At present David serves as the Prior of the Hospitallers of St. Martin and as Associate Rector, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Austin, TX. David is one of five Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) Fellows and he will be using his grant to travel around the country offering healing services for veterans. He enjoys long-distance running, walking and bicycling around Austin, TX, reading novels, and extra-dark chocolate. He is married to Sarah Bancroft and has three sons.

New Columbarium cross dedicated on January 28

Our beautiful Columbarium cross was dedicated at the January 28 9:00 AM service, with Chair Margo Fleshman speaking eloquently about its meaning. The artist, Jean Tudor, received thanks and enthusiastic applause from the congregation.

Our Vestry, guided by a Columbarium Art committee (Margo Fleshman – chair, Linda Brice, Bill Howe, Virginia Rothenberg, Martin Yabroff) had commissioned Jean to create an amazing Celtic Cross with a central emblem invoking the mountains and waters of the Northwest, for our newly renovated Columbarium.

Please visit the Columbarium so that you can see the beauty of our cross. Donations are still welcome.

Julia Brown to be featured in our Organ Concert Series

Please join us on Sunday, January 21, at 3:00 PM to enjoy the engaging virtuosity of Julia Brown. This is the second of three wonderful concerts that make up the St. Andrew’s Organ Concert Series for 2017-18. Julia will be playing a program of “Magnificats and Fantasies” with works by Buxtehude, Scheidemann, Guilain, Sweelinck and L. Couperin.

Julia Brown has performed in North and South America, as well as in Europe, and has played at the Oregon Bach Festival, the International Organ Festival in Uruguay, and the 2008 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Brown has attended master classes in many locations to further her interest in historical performance practice. She also plays harpsichord with the early music ensemble Cascade Consort, which she co-founded.

Julia Brown has recorded a number of CDs for the Amadis, Paulus and Naxos labels, notably including works by Buxtehude, Scheidemann and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.

She currently serves as Director of Music and Organist at First United Methodist Church in Eugene, Oregon.

Twelve Days of Christmas

Come “home” to St. Andrew’s for Christmas!

St. Andrew’s welcomes you and your family and friends to enjoy four beautiful services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

Now that our church is festively decorated to welcome you, we will open our doors at 8:00 and 10:00 AM on December 24, the fourth Sunday of Advent, for two inspiring and moving services of reflection and a last chance for peaceful communal meditation on the coming of Christ.

Or come one, come all at 4:00 PM, where you will be surrounded by youthful smiles of joy, as our children and youth perform the Christmas pageant, accompanied by the hymns that you may  remember from your own childhood.

Our Christmas celebration continues at 9:30 PM, with carol singing and performance, with choral music accompanied by the incomparable Naomi Shiga on our Fritts organ.

Then, on Christmas morning, we come again to the “manger” at 10:00 AM  for a peaceful and welcoming hour of worship and communion, with traditional hymns.

Please join us and come as you are! We would love to celebrate with you!

Christmas Slider 2017