Matching Funds for Fire Relief

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Our council is encouraging our members to give a special gift to the relief of those suffering through the devastation caused by the most recent round of wildfires in California. St. Andrews will match all contributions up to $2,500 dollars in this effort. The funds will be distributed to our CA-NV-HI District’s Disaster Relief Fund. These funds are used to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who have suffered from these fires, and also equips churches in those areas to minister to their community. In recent communication from our District President, he reported: 

“The CNH District’s (your) disaster relief fund was able to send some immediate relief to congregations who sustained damage among their membership or staff housing and property. We were even able to assist, in small ways, many firefighters who were housed near our office, who needed easy access food, special assistance bags, and temporary parking. We acted on behalf of all of you.” 

Checks can be made payable to St. Andrews with “Fire Relief” in memo line, or you can donate on our website or app, just choose Fire Relief in drop down box. Please give by September 15th, 2020. 

These funds are made possible through your continued generosity and our continued effort to be a congregation that is blessed to be a blessing. Please click here if you would like to donate. 

Praying Through August

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As our lives continue times of disruption and challenge, we want to continue to redirect our faith community to pray, pray, and pray some more. The lifeblood of prayer for both the Christian church and Jewish faith is the book of Psalms. Every human emotion is captured in the psalms. Some have argued it is where God’s eternal plan and purpose meets with the hopes and challenges of every day human life.  
During August we are encouraging our people to (once again) experience the blessing of praying through the psalms. Beginning August 1st please start reading a psalm a day (starting with Psalm 1). If you kept it up you would finish Psalm 150 on December 30th
Pastors Dan and Brian will preach on the psalms in the month of August, covering the various genres that make up the psalter (Lament, Trust, Praise, etc). They will also be doing the daily Facebook devotions on the psalm for each day during the month of August. 
We encourage you to read and pray a psalm each day. We’ll be sending a psalm via email on most days. 
We’d also encourage you to listen to the psalms. Check out the Bible.is app for your smart phone. This is an app developed by the organization Faith Comes By Hearing. It offers plain and dramatic language options, multiple translations (and languages!), lots of reading plans, and even includes video content (like the acclaimed Jesus film, instrumental in bringing people to faith all over the world).  
We encourage you to keep working with the psalms. Admittedly it took me (PD) years of trying to find a good rhythm and joy in the psalms. They still are challenging at times, but they have become a great treasure that guides my prayers, teaches me so much about faith in God, about my own triumphs and trials,  and so much more. The psalms can be work with their different styles of poetry and imagery than we are accustomed to, but to learn their language will be one of the richest sources of faith transformation that is available to us. 
You’ll find some documents explaining the psalms in the resources section of our website. You are welcome to use them as guides as you grow with and through the psalms. 
Blessings to you!
St. Andrews Staff
Psa. 1:1  Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,  nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psa. 42:11    Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Psa. 23:4    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psa. 7:17    I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. 
Psa. 57:6    They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my way, but they have fallen into it themselves. My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!

St. Andrews Update

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To the beloved of St. Andrews,

Greetings to you in the name of Jesus. As you are likely aware, Governor Newsom issued another decree on Monday, once again closing churches for worship inside church buildings. As a result, this coming Sunday, and for the next few weeks, St. Andrews will return to an online only worship service streamed live at 8:15 AM, available on our Youtube channel around 9:30 AM. Click here

We will continue to have communion available to “households” in the courtyard between 9:30 and 11:30 AM. We ask you sign up on our website for a time slot here. As you sign up you are welcome to invite those during your time slot you deem a part of your household to participate in Communion with you, we are not limiting the number in households at this time. This will also enable us to serve a greater number of people. 

These last few months have reminded me of a phrase: Seize the 167. There are 168 hours in the week. We often spend one of them in worship. Much of the life of the church emphasizes and revolves around that one hour, and for good reason. Yet it is by no means the only way we can, or should, live out our faith. Indeed, 167 out of 168 hours during our weeks are spent outside a worship service, giving us more than ample time to grow in God’s word, serve our neighbor, share the Good News of Jesus’ salvation for us, coach someone to grow in discipleship, pray, praise, and give thanks in many and various ways. 

As the church lives “underground” during this time you have many chances to continue to grow in faith, I pray you are taking advantage of them. Consider the Apostle Paul; would we have half our New Testament if he had not been locked up from time to time? How can you connect with friends and family during this challenging time, equipped with so many more means of communication than Paul possessed? Live out that hope found in Christ. 

Some have asked about having worship outside. While we can gather outside, we do not have the means to create a strong musical presence outside, and we are well set for online worship. Please let us know if that is something you would be interested in, though.  A service outside would be more along the lines of a communion service with Scripture reading, a message, and prayers. It would be very informal. Pastor Brian and I are open to it. 

Peace to you.
Pastors Dan 

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Worship at St. Andrews

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Greetings to all of you in Jesus’ name!
We give thanks to God that He watches over His word and makes sure it continues to bring about His plan and purpose for our lives. God does still have the whole world in His hands. While we do and will continue to experience trials in this world, we rejoice that Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).
As we take in your feedback and adjust to changing regulations, we are planning to return to a more normal form of worship beginning this Sunday.
On Sunday, June 28th, and continuing to our next announcement, we will have:
  • 8:15 Traditional Worship
  • 9:30-10:30 Communion for high-risk households in the courtyard
  • 10:45 Contemporary Worship
  • Both services will be Livestreamed for those unable to attend.
What can you expect?
  • As with the last few weeks, our gathering size will be limited to about 70 participants, necessitating you sign up online for a worship serviceSign up HERE.
  • We ask that if you are a group of one or two people and have been spending time with another one or two from church, thus functioning as a household, that you sign up on one reservation. This will enable us to allow more people to gather together as we reserve slots in the pews (households), not numbers of people.
  • Masks will be worn by all participants (though speakers and lead singers will not wear masks while they speak or sing).
  • Temperatures will be checked on all who enter at the hand-sanitizing station set up outside.
  • The child care room will be closed at this time and worship bags will not be available.
  • Worship services will last for about an hour, finishing with communion.
  • The facility will be cleaned between services
Please remember that as we gather we can not guarantee your safety during a pandemic. You have to evaluate your own risk, pray, and decide accordingly. We will continue to offer online worship and household communion for those more concerned, and increase our opportunities for gathering for those less so. May we love and respect each other and continue to pray for God’s mission to continue forward during this season of our lives.
God’s peace to all of you!
Pastor Dan

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Returning to St. Andrews

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Returning to St. Andrews 

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Greetings to all in the name of Jesus

I know many of you are very much looking forward to the opportunity to gather once again as the people of God. One of the great lessons (reminders) of the last couple months is that the church is God’s people. The work of the church can be anywhere God’s people find themselves. He dwells within His people, not in any particular building. The word of God accomplishes His purposes; it does not return to Him empty. 

 

Yet there is great joy in gathering together as God’s people. As the psalmist writes: 

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

 

The following outlines our plan for the next few weeks of reopening and gathering as God’s people here at St. Andrews. We recognize the various degrees of comfort our people have with this, and we are praying for unity of the body of Christ and a humble, honoring, and sacrificially-loving spirit as we come together as His people. 

 

Here are some general things to keep in mind:

  • We will continue our online worship indefinitely. We had already developed our live-stream capacities well before Covid-19 and will continue them as a part of our witness to the world. 

  • While we will respectfully follow current guidelines for gatherings of our size and kind, you must realize we cannot guarantee anyone’s safety. You must still educate yourself on the nature of the risks involved for your personal health and prayerfully make your own decisions as to the level of your participation in the gathered body of Christ
     

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This Sunday (May 31): 

Our online service will be live-streamed at 8:15AM, and communion-by-appointment will be offered to households in the courtyard afterward. There are still a few appointment slots available. Please go to our website at www.stalc.org to sign up.

 

Sundays of June 7, 14, and 21:

1. Our online service will be live-streamed at 8:15AM. 

 

2. At 9:30AM, 10:15AM, and 11:00AM, we are offering reservations for three expanded communion services in the Sanctuary. Each service can include up to 60 participants (around 25% of our capacity). Please go to our website at www.stalc.org or call 957-8750 to sign up.

 

3. Between 11:30AM-12:30PM, there are communion appointments for high-risk households. Please go to our website at www.stalc.org or call 957-8750 to sign up.

 

4. If you need communion brought to you, let our office know and we will work with you to make that possible.


What will these communion services look like?

Since the vast majority of clinical studies suggest that the primary form of transmission of the novel coronavirus is through the air, we will do everything possible to limit this sort of transmission. This means that we will:

  • Limit movement during the service.

  • Not be singing. We will have musicians playing preludes and postludes, but during this three-week transition period we will not be singing together. 

  • Not be passing offering plates. We are grateful for all of those who have sent in or switched their offerings online; though if you wish to bring your offering, you can place it in the offering plate when you exit the service.

  • Not be sharing the peace (the hug and shaking hands part of it) or having times of greeting after the service. 

By implementing these measures during the service, we will easily meet the state’s goal of limiting the time that people are together, limiting the amount of speaking that could introduce airborne particles, limiting movement that could stir up airborne pathogens, and reducing the number of surfaces that are touched by individuals. Our local authorities have said they will reevaluate these gatherings after three weeks. However you feel about their attempts at limiting the free exercise of our faith, we seek to demonstrate how essential the Church is and how we are willing to sacrifice for our community. 

Following the services, the sanctuary and restrooms will be disinfected to the best of our ability. 

We recognize our people have a spectrum of feelings. If this plan:

  1.  still in turmoil over this illness. Be patient and kind. Show your strength by the measure of your willingness to serve and care for others. Do not shame those more concerned than you, love them. This too shall pass.

  2. Concerns or frightens you: We encourage you to pray for unity and peace. Do not fear the things of this world; the worst they can do is take your life away here. You were made for eternity and have so much more to look forward to than anything this world offers. Do not shame or try to control those who are more comfortable than you and evaluate risk differently than you do. This too shall pass. 

  3. Makes you feel obligated to attend: Don’t do anything based on worries about what others might think. Prayerfully consider your own risk factors and what you are willing to do at this time. You are the steward of the body and life God has given you. Follow Jesus’ leading. We are here to help you grow in faith whether you re-engage immediately or prefer to wait awhile. Let us know how we can serve you.

  4. Annoys or angers you: We encourage you to pray for unity and peace. Be willing to sacrifice a little of your comfort for the sake of someone

     

    In keeping with current health guidelines, so that we leave no room for accusation against the Christian church, and so that we respect those of us concerned about this illness, all participants will follow all pertinent health recommendations before arriving:

    * Please stay home if you have had a cough, fever, shortness of breath, rash, or bodily aches in the last 14 days; or been in direct contact with someone who has

    * Wear masks except when receiving communion (please bring your own if you have one)

    * Wash your hands (or use provided hand sanitizer) as you enter the Sanctuary

    * Be checked with a touch-less thermometer and be asked to return home if you have a fever over 100.4 degrees. 

    * Practice social distancing while sitting/standing in the pews (areas have been pre-marked for household).

We thank God for all of you and look forward to reconnecting around the sacramental gifts of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are grateful for the loving spirit that has so often characterized the attitudes and actions of those at St. Andrews. May we continue to practice the love described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13: 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

God’s peace to you,

 

Pastor Dan

 

VBS 2020 Registration – Quest in a Box

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We have decided to bring VBS to your home this year!

We will be building “Quest Boxes” for households to use during the week of VBS (July 13-19). Each box will include 14 devotions and simple activities that families of any shape, size, or age can use to engage in faith conversations, learning and growth. The boxes will contain all of the supplies you will need, except for basic household items. During the scheduled week of VBS, we will be posting a devotion and activity from the box on our Facebook page each day and asking participants to share photos and stories of their quest.

To join us in the fun and learning we would ask that each household register for a box by filling out th form below or contacting Bonnie Centers at bcenters@sbcglobal.net. You may request a box for your family, share a box with grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, or anyone else you like. Each household will only need 1 box. We will be accepting registrations through June 1st, 2020.

Once you register, we will pack your box(es) and deliver them to you (Stockton/Lodi only) or schedule a time for you to pick up your box(es) in early July. Then we will connect with you on our Facebook page during the week of VBS to see how your quest is going.

Each box will cost us about $4 to put together. As always, we want VBS to be accessible to everyone so we will not be charging, but we will welcome all donations to help us defray this cost.

We are so excited to partner with you as we continue to share the hope we have in Christ!

God’s blessings,

Tracy Krueger

Thank you!

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Maybe you saw this in our local newspaper or pop up on a Social Media feed by one of our members: https://www.recordnet.com/news/20200412/mock-flock-packs-pews-in-easter-surprise

It was a great surprise for our staff and very much appreciated. 
If you want your face to join the “congregation,” contact Tonya DeSpain. You can send a mug shot through the link below, or print one of your own photos and put it on card stock and mail or drop it by. 

You can contact Tonya at:tonya-mitch@sbcglobal.net209-610-0532

Or order a “mugshot” at:https://www.etsy.com/listing/755043002/fun-big-large-head-face-cut-out-fun?ref=yr_purchases