We thought it would be nice to share some news in the interim here from our church. 
After Sarai’s departure, all office work has been delegated to Michael and me. We have done our best to rationalize and simplify all office practices, so that there is no wasted time or energy. Sarai began this improvement/ reform and we have continued it.
One example of this simplification is the way we count and record our offerings. A very small part of our congregation actually wants their tax return info. At the present time, we are collecting offering info from only those who have requested it. This will not only help with the counting, but also accounting. If, at the end of the year, you don’t receive a tax benefit, every gift will be recorded into heaven’s accounts.

We are doing important work here at the church all year long. In that regard, we need everyone’s support all year in the form of your prayers, as well as, financially. During the summer months our offerings and donations fall to their lowest levels; about one quarter of the totals from wintertime. We hope, and would appreciate, that those members, who spend a fair amount of time up north, as well as our snowbird members, would take advantage of the opportunity to donate through our church website. In good faith, an offering of $1 a day, would help us a great deal. 

This summer, the Church of Finland, is organizing a seminar for those doing work for the church outside of Finland. This seminar is being held in Tampere, during the second weekend of August. Michael and I will both be attending this seminar. Our intention is also, to take part in an Evangelism Days event which will take place in Pori, from August 12-14.

By decision of the church council, our church here will be closed the first two weeks in August. During these two weeks, the church will undergo some repairs and renovations inside and out. This work will be done by the Spanish-speaking congregation- Igglesia Christiana, who has also recently fixed up our church front entryway and all the surrounding flowerbeds, as you can see from the pictures below.

Our plan to sell the church to Pastor Dexter and his congregation is progressing. Lawyers are doing their jobs in the background, as we wait for the sale and rental agreement to be finalized; which should be done by the end of summer/ beginning of fall. As promised at our annual congregational meeting, our church operation and functions will continue in the normal fashion. In the Fall, we will organize an open forum meeting and discussion about this sale, for the congregation and whoever else is interested.

Highlights from the past month include our Mother’s Day Mass and coffee social. During the service we heard performances from the Florida Male Singers as well as piano music by Lilli Theisen. During the coffee hour we not only celebrated mothers, but also the 75 th birthday of Jouko Jaakkola, and the 96 th birthday of Kyllikki Lehtonen.

In May we had Bible lecture and discussion forums in both Finnish and English, during which we passed out diploma’s to those who read the whole Bible during the spring. In the fall we will once again read the Bible from cover to cover, together. The intention is to be through the whole book by Easter. Along with the reading, there is a plan for a lecture series which would provide historical background and a deeper understanding for the reader. Hopefully, as many as possible of our congregation will be receiving a diploma for reading the Bible all the way through!

May concluded with our Fine Arts Preschool graduation and party on the 24 th . Both teachers and students had done a lot of work preparing for this day, as the kids looked and sounded great! The performance was very nice and touching.  Our heavenly Father’s blessings to all of the students leaving us this year!
We are awaiting Pentecost and the refreshing winds of the Holy Spirit to be upon our congregation, both alone and when we are together. We believe that prayer can do wonders and make miracles happen, just like during the times of the early church. During Pentecost week, we will gather every morning to pray for several hours, on behalf of our congregation. These shared and common prayers will be followed by a shared luncheon in the fellowship hall. If you cannot physically join us at the church, please pray that St. Andrew’s, could in the future, be a congregation that is empowered and filled with the Holy Spirit. Prayer Week concludes with a prayer and praise evening in English, at which we have great privilege to hear a very charismatic speaker, Pastor Beverly Abel. 

On two Saturday’s, we get to see and hear stories from Timo Vainionpää, about his spring travels throughout Europe. Coffee will be served. The intention is to live stream these events, so mark your calendars for June 15 th and 29 th ,(2 p.m. EST, 21:00 in Finland, also available afterwards on our facebook page).

On midsummer weekend Sunday, we will celebrate with a bilingual folk music mass, in the fellowship hall. Music will be by the accordions, flute and violin, as well as Michael on the piano. If you are in the northern latitudes please join us on live stream, via Facebook. After the mass, we will enjoy a shared luncheon.
Far is not far away, when we are together through prayer. Thank-you for always remembering this!
Blessing to one and all,

Pastor Mia & Michael

P.S. Sarai sends her warm greetings to everyone. Her summer will be spent doing her physiotherapy work. We hope that in the fall she will be continuing her studies at university. 🙏
Sunday Services
9:30 a.m. Jumalanpalvelus
11:30 a.m. English Service

We have Service of Holy Communion every other Sunday.