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

VBS 2020 Registration - Quest in a Box
We will contact you in early July to schedule delivery/pick up of your boxes.

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

General Update

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To the Saints of St. Andrews,
As we are in the second week of a statewide shelter in place declaration, we wish to continue to connect and communicate with you as much as is possible. Here are some of the basics at this time:
  • As of right now we will continue to offer Live Stream services on Sunday morning. The service is live at 8:15 then stays on our YouTube page.
  • Our staff is available, but the office is currently not open for visitors. Reach us on our phones or via email (emails available on website www.stalc.org).
  • We want to encourage you to connect with each other. Many of our small groups have taken advantage of Zoom to see each other face to face and still dive into God’s word together, pray with each other, and encourage each other. Note the Johnson’s Sunday morning bible study and Pastor Brian’s Thursday study is still available via Zoom at this time. Email office@stalc.org for the link.
  • We have volunteers willing to shop and run errands for those higher at risk and concerned about going out in public. Let a staff member know and we’ll connect you with someone if you need anything.
We want to encourage you to keep connecting with others as you respect the social distancing needed to mitigate the spread of the pandemic. There are many face to face options to use via computers and smart phones. You can also still make good “old-fashioned” phone calls and chat with neighbors across the yard.
I’m so grateful for the positive attitudes and care for the community I keep hearing from you. I know this is challenging in many and various ways for our people and community, but I am so proud our people are responding in ways that will be an encouragement to our community.
Let us inspire our community to live out the hope found in Christ!
Peace and Love to you all!
Pastor Dan

St. Mary’s Dining

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St. Mary’s Dining Room continues to remain open to serve 3 hot meals to the community and we are still accepting volunteers. However, we ask volunteers to be well-informed of the CDC’s and State of California’s advisory for COVID-19. Individuals who are 65 years of age and older, young children, those with underlying health issues and are ill or showing symptoms of illness are advised to stay home. With this being said, we are not turning volunteers away unless they are ill or showing symptoms of illness. Volunteers are welcome to join us if they are comfortable participating.