General Update

Posted
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

Posted

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.

Home Worship Resources

Posted

There’s nothing like confessing, praying, and singing along with a large group of people, all worshipping the Lord in the same place. In fact, the book of Revelation describes a beautiful scene where “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages,” will worship the Lord at the foot of His throne (Revelation 7:9, 10). But is being in a large group the only way to enjoy praising God? Of course not!

King David wrote some of his prayers and worship songs while hiding in caves (see Psalms 57 and 142). Paul and Silas sang hymns together in a dungeon (Acts 16). Daniel prayed alone in his house every day (Daniel 6). Jesus told His followers  that it’s better to pray inside your room with the door shut than to show off with public prayer (Matthew 5:5, 6). Jonah even sang a prayer while inside the belly of a fish!

As Americans, most of us are used to the gift of being able to regularly worship in a group on Sundays and during the week. Right now, it’s best not to do that, so what can we do? In addition to joining St. Andrews for live-stream worship on Sundays at 8:15 and 10:45 a.m., here are some worship-at-home ideas for you and your family!

Click Here to follow along.

UPDATE

Posted
Greetings friends of St. Andrews,
I’m hoping by the time I have finished writing this it will not be invalidated by the next major update by our local and/or national authorities. Aren’t you glad we serve a God that does not change?
As of right now, and due to government regulations and recommendations prompted by mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus in our community, St. Andrews will:
  • Continue to offer online only services on Sundays. We are preparing for the next eight weeks. We will update you accordingly.
  • Not be open for any other meetings at this time (small group leaders contact Kristin Winter regarding options for meeting in your groups).
  • Keep the office open as a point of contact for our people and community. Please call or email. Don’t come in unless absolutely necessary.
  • Continue to serve and love our people in the safest and most appropriate way at this time.
  • Keep a regular flow of communication to you. You can also check the Latest News sections on our app and website.
Please update us with your most recent contact information. Please make sure your circle of St. Andrews’ friends are receiving this communication as well. 
We thank you for all the positive feedback from this last weekend’s online services. We missed you too but we are so amazed at your positive response to the proclamation of the word. We believe our services were experienced by more people this past Sunday than on a regular Sunday (the power of the internet). Lent Wednesday services will not be offered at this time. Stay tuned for details on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Please let us know if you are in need of anything at this time. We have a group of willing and low-risk individuals ready to serve their neighbors and community in any way possible.  We are all balancing how to maintain emotional and spiritual connection with less physical contact. As of right now, it is still OK to talk to neighbors in very small groups or outside on the lawn. We encourage you to respect guidelines at this point but not avoid all connection. This is a great time to love our neighbor in creative and powerful ways.
I know it’s frustrating and inconvenient, but God has placed us here for such a time as this. Find ways to connect to people without adding to the pandemic. Call, Facetime, Zoom, talk at a distance, share God’s love and peace in this time, just wash your hands.
May we inspire our community to live out the hope found in Christ!
Blessings and Peace,
PD
PS: Please post this to your Social Media before our services this coming Sunday:
Hi friends. Our church is offering powerful messages of comfort and hope during this time. We hope you join us in our online worship service this week, either at 8:15 or 10:45! Link to our live stream here.

Important Information!

Posted

Beloved of St. Andrews,

If we lived in snow country, we’d be used to the fact that every once in a while a two foot deep blizzard would cause us to cancel worship and/or school, call each other and our neighbors to make sure everything is OK, and patiently wait until the snow melts or the streets were plowed. So what do we do when a pandemic is starting in our community?

Top immunologists, government officials, those who have experienced pandemics, and local, state, and national leaders have recommended we do not gather unless we believe we can meet certain protocols that ensure we do not further transmit the Covid-19 virus. The leadership at St. Andrews does not believe we can meet those protocols at this time.

Thus we are not going to be gathering for worship this Sunday, March 15th, or next Sunday, March 22nd. We will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to communicate to you and our community about actions taken over the next few weeks. Please check your email updates from St. Andrews and the Latest News sections of our website Here, our app, and Facebook.

The Good News

We are Live Streaming our Sunday and Wednesday services! The Word will be proclaimed to our community. Many of you have already taken advantage of this option while traveling or ill, and now all of us will get to experience this venue. Live streamed services can be accessed through our website under the worship tab or on our app. Services are then placed on our Youtube channel and can be accessed indefinitely.

Click Here to start live streaming.

Please stay tuned for our announcements on how we will offer Holy Communion during this time period.

What else are we doing?

  • We are contacting everyone in our congregation that falls into the “vulnerable” list for this pandemic. We will not leave anyone alone, but we will respect the protocols for not transmitting the virus. If you are open to running errands or doing some shopping for those who fall into this category, please let us know.
  • We will continue to help your family Abide in Christ, Develop Authentic Relationships, and Act in Faith at this time. Here are some resources your family can use for other devotions, spiritual growth and development.
    • The Lenten devotions created by our members
      • Click Here to download our Lent Devotions
    • Right Now Media is a treasure trove of online content covering many topics to help you grow in life and faith
      • Click Here for Rightnow Media
    • We will be sending out other resources as well.

Why are we doing this?

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control

2 Timothy 1:7

I don’t think we are afraid. From everything we have read and been advised on, we recognize:

  • the vast majority of people have little more to fear from Covid-19 than a bad cold.
  • it’s far more detrimental impact on various segments of our population, many of whom we serve (most especially the elderly and immune-compromised). Each life has inestimable value to us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
  • Our city’s medical resources and first responders are often taxed to their limit on normal days. What would an epidemic of people with respiratory distress cause, and what impact would an overwhelmed system have on the health of our medical professionals?

Thus, out of love for our neighbor (neighbor meaning any person in Stockton, our first responders, our medical professionals, our civic leaders) we have chosen to participate in the mitigation of the virus by not gathering groups at this time (rather than wait until our community’s resources are stressed). This means all other gatherings at St. Andrews will be cancelled for the next two weeks as well. You may use our church’s ZOOM account to conduct meetings, bible studies, small group gatherings, etc. Just contact a staff member next week for instructions on how to do so.

What can you do?

  • Wash your hands. Stop touching your face. Stay home if you are ill.
  • Fulfill your vocation. Don’t desert your post. Serve and love. Just be wise and careful about it.
  • Call your neighbors! Call your fellow church members! Connect with people on FaceTime, Skype, etc. Stand or sit 10 feet apart on your front lawn and connect with people.
  • Take a hike with your family! Plenty of social distance exists in nature.
  • Invite people to participate in our (or other church’s) online services
  • Pray for:
    • A spirit of power, love, and self-control
    • Our civic leaders
    • First responders and medical professionals (they will bear the brunt of this pandemic)
    • The economic impact to small business owners, hourly workers, business leaders, etc. These will be hard times for many.
    • Whatever else the Spirit of God leads you to pray.

When Martin Luther was asked, “What would you do if the world would end tomorrow?” he responded with, “I’d plant a tree today.” I think he meant he would just keep on living according to his vocation and calling. It’s spring. Plant a garden. Smell the blossoms. The world will go on. We just need to be more careful than most of us have ever been for a while.

Peace to you,

Pastor Dan