Building God's Kingdom through
Worship, Outreach and Fellowship
Journeys of Faith

The season of Lent often calls us “into an unknown future” as God accompanies us on a journey of reflection, penitence, and forgiveness. Hopefully, you might keep the meditation below and reflect upon it different times as you journey through Lent this year. The meditation was written by Richard L. Cookson, who in the 1970’s when this was written was on the professional staff of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and a member of the Central New York Methodist Conference. ~ Bill Wilds

Surrounded with the possessions of the present,
held by the memories of the past,
we find ourselves being called into an unknown future.
The call has come in clear demands.
Central to the message about the future is the dawning awareness
that much of what we possess now will be left behind.
We know deep inside that new words are spoken to us,
but we are unable to comprehend their meaning.
How can we leave behind those things which possess us?
How can we part with the essential luxuries of our way of life?
Can we envision a life in the future without the rewards of successive centuries?
Perhaps the invitation should be addressed to others,
to persons who have not understood what it means to be God’s “chosen.”
Yet the words have been spoken,
they ask us to decide what is essential.
We must sort the accumulations of generations.
Our test must be based on the possible use in the future.
Does this object, this idea, this concept, this assumption,
this principle still serve both God and us?
Our experiences of love, trust, justice, grace, truth,
forgiveness and restoration are beyond the dating of time.
These we can carry into the unknown future.
Whatever else is in question,
there is the assurance of the Christian witness.
Where we are going God is and God will be accompanying us on our journey.
Receiving Communion this Sunday

  • Come to the River Road door between noon and 1 to receive the Eucharist in person.  
  • To take communion at home while participating in the service virtually, call Bill Wilds (880-5460) during the week from 9 - noon to arrange to pick up a consecrated communion kit. Please designate a “holy place” in your home to store it until consumed.
Response to Racism Team, next meeting is tonight at 7:00 PM
Join us tonight as we continue our quest to examine our own experiences and perceptions about racism and seek a meaningful response to this long-term challenge.
meeting ID: 867 9771 0248
Our love and sympathy are extended
to the family and friends of

Charles Lang
grandfather of Jason Carney
who died of Covid in late January

and

Jim Bowers
who died on February 15


Let light perpetual shine on them, O Lord.
Annual Diocesan Council - February 22-27

Tonia Graves, Rachel Roby, Danny Switzer, and Bill Wilds are our Delegates to Annual Diocesan Council along with Anne Kirchmier and Marc Vance. Rather than being held in the usual two-day format, this year there will be Zoom sessions each night, Monday through Friday, and a closing session on Saturday. Please keep those attending Council in your prayers next week.

Council sessions will be live-streamed. Go to the diocesan website for the daily links.
Vestry liaison report – Pastoral Care

My name is Margaret Bivins and I am the new Liaison for Pastoral Care. I am fortunate to get to work with a well-established team, led by Ann Lee. This team reaches out to parishioners who are homebound, in residential care, or who are going through a difficult time due to illness, death, loneliness, or other issues. There are some ministries that are currently paused due to the pandemic, and these will continue once the emergency is past.

These activities are being offered: healing stations once a month at services, the Lay Eucharistic Visitors who take communion to parishioner's houses, and a monthly Eucharistic visit to the Chesapeake. The Prayer Shawl Ministry also falls under the umbrella of Pastoral Care, and they are being made, blessed, and distributed as requested.

I am very happy that I was given this Liaison responsibility because I feel it connects directly to the lives of my fellow parishioners.
Vestry liaison report – Outreach

The church community outreach program is a way in which the church as a body lends a helping hand to those in need. Outreach includes serving the poor, homeless, children, immigrants, refugees, disabled, and ministry in prisons, hospitals, hospice centers, or nursing homes. Matthew 25:35-36: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you come to me.”

Over the next three months, our outreach plans include faith contact to the Newport News Police Department’s Community and Youth Outreach Division and PORT partner church on Tuesday, March 23 for onsite check-in, dinner, and breakfast-in-a-bag. ~ Matt Deller
A Lenten Study: Resurrection Shaped Life
Wed. nights at 7 PM beginning on Feb. 24

Jesus’ resurrection was an extraordinary, singular event, but through a life shaped by the resurrection, we, too, can experience extraordinary resurrection even within the realm of our ordinary lives on earth. This year’s Lenten study, Resurrection Shaped Life, based on the book by the Rt. Rev. Jake Owensby, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana, will be held on Zoom at 7:00 PM on Wednesday nights, February 24 through March 31. We will gather in person if/when rates of Covid infection decline sufficiently.
Meeting ID: 820 8312 7548
Upper Room

Copies of the March and April issue of the Upper Room are available in St. Nicholas Chapel.
Need help accessing the COVID vaccine?

Many of us who qualify, but have not received a vaccine, are concerned about where and when such vaccines are available. To help you navigate through the process, Samantha Howell (291-1566), Louise Ragland (880-2237), or Bill Wilds (880-5460) are willing to assist you to register with the health department or your personal physician and/or to find locations where the vaccines are being given. We can help you over the phone, or if you would like to come masked to the church, one of us will meet you here to assist you.
Hilton Area Churches Blood Drive
Hilton Christian Church
February 22, 2021
1:30 to 6:00 PM
90 birthday cards for 90 Year

If you’d like to send a card to Debi Nicolai’s mom/Lindsey Nicolai’s grandmother “Rose” who turns 90 in early March, please mail it by 25 February to:
Rose Crandol
c/o Nicolai Family
9 Manor Hill Ct.
Hampton, VA 23666
Can you solve the puzzle?

What’s that in the Fire, and not in the Flame?
What’s that in the Master, and not in the Dame?
What’s that in the Courtier, and not in the Clown?
What’s that in the Country, and not in the Town?
(answer next week)
The Master’s Donkey

When we were planning our intergenerational Palm Sunday forum in 2010, we weren’t sure what we really wanted to present. A few years before I had written a Christmas story based on one of the verses of the carol, “The Friendly Beast.” As a last-minute idea for the forum, I focused on another verse of the same carol. I would like to share this story with you over the next five weeks. Some of you may know how Rhonda Wheeler and Carol Ficklen came up with a new nickname for me based on this story!

From the Gospel according to Luke:
Jesus said to [two of the disciples], “Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you will find a donkey’s colt tied up. No one has ever ridden it. Untie it and bring it here.”

The Master’s Donkey

“I,” said the donkey, all shaggy and brown,
“I carried his mother up hill and down,
I carried his mother to Bethlehem town.
I,” said the donkey, all shaggy and brown.

That was thirty-three years ago. I had been chosen from my master’s farm by Joseph. I had overheard my master and Joseph talking about a trip that Joseph had to make to Bethlehem. Someone in a land far away had issued a decree, or order, that all the world should be registered for tax purposes. Everyone was to go to the city of their family’s descendants; so, Joseph was going to Bethlehem because he was descended from the house and family of David.
Others had come to look at my brothers and cousins. Some were very big men, and we were afraid of the weight we might have to carry. I was so glad that Joseph had chosen me because I was to carry his wife Mary. Even though she was with child, she was not a very large person.

At first, I didn’t realize the importance of my burden. I just thought I had been chosen by a normal family needing to make a trip. But as soon as I met Mary, I knew there was something special about her … and that she was carrying a very special child.

Our journey was anything but pleasant – long days, rough roads, people in a hurry to get to Bethlehem or other cities first. I tried to be as careful and sure-footed as I could so that I didn’t cause Mary and the baby too much discomfort.
We finally made it to Bethlehem; and wouldn’t you know it, those who had rushed past us and the many other families from other places had taken all the rooms. We were turned away from first one inn and then another. Finally, one of the innkeepers took pity on Mary and Joseph and showed us the way to his stable.

I was grateful to see other animals with whom I could visit. We would each have our story to tell after the birth of the baby Jesus. The cow had given him her manger and straw. The lamb had given its wool to help keep him warm. The dove had cooed him to sleep. And oh, those visitors we had! Shepherds came from the fields and left glorifying and praising God. This really must be a special baby.
Wise men, called Magi, came and presented the baby gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They were really dressed up, even if they were riding on smelly camels.

Bill Wilds © March 24, 2010
We're here for you!

What if I need to reach the parish clergy or staff?
You can reach us by email, even if we are working from home.

What if I have a pastoral emergency or know of someone else who is ill?
Call or text Anne directly at 804-6875396.
Links to St. Andrew's digital resources:
Other resources for worship at home: