Building God's Kingdom through
Worship, Outreach and Fellowship 
Today's prayer video:

Join Debi as she leads us in a service of Morning Prayer found on page 75 of the Book of Common Prayer

The Climbing Isn’t Always Easy

One of the hymns on July 19 was Jacob’s Ladder. Jacob had been struggling with the day-to-day obstacles of his life as many of us have been for the past four plus months. Some days we feel like we have been descending the ladder as we worry about: our world, our own lives, young people happy to have graduated but still looking for a job, feeling the four walls we live in closing in around us, being sequestered, the tensions of dealing with others, maybe being hurt by what others might have said. And for many, the descent has led them into or increased their depression.
On those days when we think we have begun the ascent up the ladder, we have glimpses of feeling better, wanting to do things, wanting to be with others, sharing a new painted rock each day by our outside mail box – we begin to feel we are starting to ascend to a more optimistic outlook on life. Youth are looking forward to going off to college, folks are finding jobs, and life goes on. Let’s just be careful!
Many of us learned a different version of the hymn in our hymnal from Bible School, other denominations, and church camps, which was originally a spiritual where those climbing the ladder were “…soldiers of the cross.”

We are climbing Jacob’s ladder….
Every rung goes higher, higher….
Sinner, do you love my Jesus….
If you love him, why not serve him…
We are climbing, higher, higher…soldiers of the cross.

In these times of uncertainty, may we strive to lifted up by the ladder Jesus has raised up for us.

As Jacob with travel was weary one day,
at night on a stone for a pillow he lay;
he saw in a vision a ladder so high,
that its foot was on earth and its top in the sky:

The ladder is long, it is strong and well made,
has stood hundreds of years and is not yet decayed;
and remember, each step that by faith we pass o’er,
many millions by faith now are climbing it still:

Come, let us ascend! All may climb it who will,
for the angels of Jacob are guarding it still;
and remember, each step that by faith we pass o’er,
many prophets and martyrs have trod it before:

And when we arrive at the haven of rest,
we shall hear the glad words, “Come to me all the blest,
here are regions of light, here are mansions of bliss.”
Who would not want to climb such a ladder as this:

Alleluia to Jesus, who died on the tree
and has raised up a ladder of mercy for me.
(18th century English carol)
Bill Wilds
Response to Racism Team, next meeting is tomorrow night at 7:30 PM

Dear fellow parishioners,

Our team has had two meetings together so far and I am inviting you to join us in our quest to examine our own experiences and perceptions about racism. We are finding our way to our response to this long-term challenge. At our last meeting we decided to think about our past experiences from childhood to the current time that reflect our feelings about racism. Each of us has written our thoughts and sent them to other members of our team. We are learning that we have diverse backgrounds and we are getting to know each other. There is a lot of depth to our conversations which should lead us to new ways to understand those who are different from us. We invite you to join us as we explore ways to understand and communicate with our new awareness of people who are different, yet similar to us. We will meet again this coming Thursday, July 30th at 7:30 on Zoom. Contact Ron Graves at to get the connection.

Helen Mitchell 
Adult Forum begins this Sunday, August 2 at 9:15 AM
Becoming Beloved Community
The Episcopal Church's commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice.

As part of our ongoing conversations about race relations and our response to addressing the systemic injustices that remain so prevalent in our societal structures, we will be offering a four-week online forum beginning on Sunday, August 2, at 9:15 AM. The Zoom link will be in Sunday's email.

Based on a program produced at our national church level, "Becoming Beloved Community represents not so much a set of programs as a journey, a set of interrelated commitments around which Episcopalians may organize our many efforts to respond to racial injustice and grow a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers." The journey has "identified concrete, church-wide initiatives that we hope will 1) root our commitments in the Baptismal Covenant, 2) make real general practices and questions, and 3) complement and advance work in dioceses, networks, provinces, and congregations."

Using a format of engaging, open-ended questions, the forum will walk through each of the topics in-course: Telling the Truth About the Church and Race, Proclaiming the Dream of Beloved Community, Practicing the Way of Love, Repairing the Breach in Society and Institutions. As such, this forum will complement the efforts we are making in this area of our common life at St. Andrew's, including Anne's video series of interviews with People of Color and our newly forming Racism Response Team.

Please plan on joining us through the Sundays of August beginning on August 2 at 9:15 AM
A St. Andrew’s Church “Pilgrimage”
Do you have a desire to spend a bit of quiet time in the church? We can make that possible. Sign up by contacting Bill Wilds,, to reserve an hour time slot (you don’t have to remain the whole time). The times are:

Tuesdays 10:00 AM and noon
Wednesdays 1:00 PM
Thursdays 9:00 and 11:00 AM

Come to the Main Street doors and ring for us. We’ll let you in. Put on a face mask, sanitize your hands, and we’ll give you a card. Find a favorite spot to sit in the church, and leave the card where you sat so we will know which pew to sanitize when you depart.
A Farewell Letter from Elise and Hamp

Dear St. Andrew’s Family,

I cannot believe the time has come for Hamp and me to make our big move to the low country of South Carolina. As many of you know, I spent all my summers at our tiny place in the sun, Pawleys Island, and for long as I can remember, I swore Pawleys would be my home one day. Well, I was not too far off as we will be moving just one Beach South of Pawleys, a place named DeBordieu (Borderland of God).  

Our family has been richly blessed and oh so fortunate to call St. Andrew’s our church home for 30 years. Quite frankly, I think we have sat in the same pew, give, or take a row or two, for all those years as well. As I write this, I am scanning the pews in my mind and seeing each of your smiling faces. Some dear faces are missing, but many new ones are sitting there smiling right back at me. The St. Andrew’s community has been a guiding light for our family. You all have helped us raise our children, and as a matter of fact, you have helped to raise us as well. Your loving support and accepting nature have allowed us to feel an unconditional love and place where we all can be our true selves and not wake up wondering whether we have been judged. Your constant love and prayers have been wonderful gifts to our family, and we will always think of St. Andrew’s Newport News, our home away from home.

Many of you are familiar with DeBordieu and travel that way often. We are so hoping that you will come to visit us. Our door will always be open, and a light will be shining for you!

I am not particularly good at saying goodbye. I used to tell the story of when my mother would call me on the phone and we were beginning to hang up, we would begin the ritualistic litanies of our goodbyes; “Goodbye”, “ I Love You, I miss You, ok I’ll call you, ok love you too, Yes, see you soon,  Goodbye….”
So …we love you, we will miss you, we will call you, we will see you soon; over and over and always over again!

Elise and Hamp
Congratulations to

Talisha Sutton-Ellis

who graduated from Saint Leo University
with a Masters in
Human Services Administration -Nonprofit Organizations Specialization
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 804-687-5396.
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