A Message from Pastor Dan…

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. . .  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  – John 15:1,4,5 

How are you connected?  You’ve no doubt heard before it’s not what you know but who you know that matters.  This is usually used in frustration or an excuse regarding why someone advances farther and quicker than we are in sports, career, politics, etc.  But being connected is deeply rooted to the very nature of faith.

The word “Connected”is not used much in Scripture, but the idea of connectedness is everywhere.  The Greek word used in the New Testament, koinonia, can be translated as fellowship, participation, contribution, share(ing), and more depending on the context.

God desires a deep and abiding connection with us.  In John’s gospel Jesus explains this in a myriad of ways, from describing himself as the Good Shepherd, the door to life, the bread of life, and much more.  He speaks about our need to come to Him and allow Him to be with us; to abide in Him, the vine, and even eat of his flesh and drink of his blood (a graphic and poignant description of our utter need to not just do stuff for God, but have God be in us).  God made us for, and keeps trying to create, connection between Him and us.  He has torn down the walls of separation through the work of His son Jesus and sends His Spirit to daily and richly draw us to Him.

We see over and over again in God’s word the call to connect to each other.  There are dozens of encouragements in Scripture to love, serve, forgive, care for, teach, guide, encourage, comfort, and do good to “one another.”  Indeed, coming into the kingdom of God makes you part of the “body”of Christ, implying a deep, necessary, abiding and vital connection with others.  As frustrated as people can make us, as hurt as we can become by the sin of others, and as hard as it is to build deep and transforming relationships, we are called over and over to be transformed so that we can connect deeply with others.

The followers of Jesus Christ are to connect deeply with the world, having “His kingdom come”into all the wide opens spaces and nooks and crannies where God’s light has yet to penetrate.  Christians don’t avoid the surrounding struggles but plunge headlong into them to bring the marvelous light of Christ into the darkness of the kingdoms of this world.  Those who have let God connect them to the deeply broken parts of societies and cultures throughout history have created the most inspiring stories and institutions of the Christian faith that have fought poverty, disease, violence, slavery, addictions, and oppression.

That is why we desire to connect all who come to St. Andrews first and foremost to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It is why we’ve adjusted our Sunday schedule to allow for more opportunity to connect to each other (and want to encourage even more connection amongst our people; those here and those yet to come).  And it is why we want to excel all the more in our service to each other and our community.  These connections work to transform us into the image and glory of Christ.  They make us, and the community around us, better.  These connections create the stories and events the transform hearts, minds, souls, and whole communities.  Connect with us.

God’s love to all of you,

Pastor Dan

Starting Sunday, August 16th!

Our service schedule will be:

8:15am – Traditional Worship Service

                                                             9:45am – Discipleship for All Ages STALC_globe-2-1

                                                      10:45am – Contemporary Worship Service

Ukraine Team Photos

Hello everyone!

Take a look at a few of the pictures from the current Sending Place Ukraine Mission Team.  Rachelle Moreno from St. Andrews is on this trip.  The Ukraine Mission Team helps to put on a week long camp for children who are handicapped and one of their parents.

2015 Ukraine CampDay2 6

2015 Ukraine CampDay2

2015 Ukraine CampDay2 3

2015 Ukraine CampDay2 4

Summer of H.O.P.E.

We encourage you to take on a lighter schedule this summer and work on building relationships that build the kingdom of God.  This starts first with your connection to God, followed by your family, then can apply to your neighbors, coworkers, classmates, and more.  Summer is the perfect time to just “hang out”.

As part of summer, consider making your home a home of H.O.P.E.  In the “Why Pray” devotional, John Devries described H.O.P.E. as being a Home Of Prayer Everyday.  He made a few recommendations on how to do this, which match what we have encourage through the Faith 5.

Gather together everyday and read a passage of Scripture together.  Ask these questions:

  • What did you like best in this passage?
  • What don’t you like or do you not understand?
  • What did you learn about God from his passage?
  • What is God calling you to do?

Then share what is going on in your lives.  Devries uses the acronym C.A.R.E (Caring And Receiving care Equally).  We’ve usually called it sharing Highs and Lows.

Then pray.  We encourage you to use the Lord’s Prayer as a guide for your daily prayer throughout the week.  Consider using the seven petitions, one for each day:

  • Sunday: Hallowed be your name
  • Monday: Your kingdom come
  • Tuesday: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
  • Wednesday: Give us today our daily bread
  • Thursday: Forgive us…as we forgive…
  • Friday: Lead us not into temptation
  • Saturday: Deliver us from evil

The fourth week of the “Why Pray” devotional is set-up to take you through the Lord’s prayer.  Start there and then consider how you might pray through the Lord’s Prayer in your own way in the coming weeks.

Wrap it all up by giving each other a blessing each night.