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

Join Barbara Garner for Noonday Prayer found in the Book of Common Prayer on page 103

An Inquiring Heart

Dear friends,
The other day I attended a webinar entitled Holy Chaos: Creating Connections in Divisive Times. The webinar presenter, a minister named Amanda Henderson, had written a book and was sharing some of her main ideas.  I signed up because the webinar felt timely; we are indeed living in divisive times. And we are Christians living in divisive times, called even in the midst of great division to love not only our neighbors but also our enemies.

Pastor Henderson began by pointing out that most of us were taught never to discuss religion and/or politics—and then she noted that following that advice doesn’t seem to be helping us much! To clarify—it’s not that people today aren’t talking (or posting or tweeting or shouting!) about religion and politics; it’s that we are not listening and speaking carefully and respectfully to one another.

One of the communication strategies Amanda Henderson suggested for this divisive time is “Cultivating Curiosity.” I love that. As we find ourselves in conversations with people whose core beliefs are very different from ours, she recommends that we open ourselves to listen with wonder and to ask “Why?” questions—the way a child asks those questions, genuinely seeking to understand. “What makes that so important to you?” we might ask, truly trying to learn from the other person’s perspective.

Listening to Pastor Henderson, I was reminded of a line from the wonderful prayer in our baptismal service, the prayer that comes right after the baptism itself: Give [the newly baptized] an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works (BCP 308).

In this time of such division, may we indeed have inquiring and discerning hearts, and the gift of joy and wonder in all of God’s works—including and especially God’s children who look at the world very differently than we do!

Blessings of curiosity and wonder to you!  -Anne
A Letter from Our Senior Warden and Stewardship Chair

Dear Friends,
We hope and pray that this letter finds all our St. Andrew’s family safe and healthy. We are certainly in challenging times right now, but – with God’s supreme love and guidance – we will continue to get through this!

Earlier in March and as the pandemic was surging, we sent a letter reminding us of the need, if we were able, to continue our contributions through our pledged and/or non-pledged commitments.  As we have now passed the mid-point of our year, we are so pleased to let you know that in fact we have been blessed with your gifts and in spite of the pandemic, we are on budget. Thank you all for your gifts, your prayers, and your thoughtfulness.

And as we enter into the final months of our year please keep the well-being of our parish in your prayers. As we continue to live through these difficult times, please know that you are in our prayers. Stay safe, stay healthy. Should you need our help please call.

Chris Robinson, Senior Warden
Doug Burgoyne, Stewardship Chair
Here's how our former day school space is being used

Even under the circumstances, a lot has been happening regarding use of space in the Outreach Center:

Because the risk of Covid-19 remains so high, the Hilton playgroup who met in the basement will not be gathering again until there is a vaccine.

The Families in Transition (FiT) ministry is still planning on using space along the short length of hall. Given constraints of Covid and inconsistencies of the families they serve in following Covid protocols, they will be waiting until later in the year to resume their work. This will be five days a week after school (roughly 3:00 to 5:00 or maybe 6:00 pm).

The Carrington Institute (a tutoring organization) will be using a couple of the classrooms plus the office at the end of the long hall. They will likely resume their work sometime later this month. This will be five days a week, usually 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Sprouting Roots, a speech and language organization, will be using the art room and space in the music room beneath the art room as needed, allowing for use of that space by other groups. This will be five days a week through regular business hours.

The Classical Conversations (CC/homeschool) group will no longer be meeting in the school building. Because of Covid, they were not comfortable with other groups using some of the classrooms in proximity. I'm sorry this is CC's decision, but they only used the space one day a week. Most of the other groups coming in will be using the space each weekday, allowing us to more fully realize our vision for use of that space.

On the other hand, the Homeschool Co-op, a new homeschool group forming largely out of the CC group (about half the number of kids) will be meeting in the remaining classrooms basically in the center of the long hall. As with the CC group, this will still be only one day a week, either Tuesday or Thursday (yet to be clarified), likely gathering sometime this month.

With Bishop Haynes having exempted school building-related work from the restrictions the church must follow, we are in full consideration of the Bishop's directives as we work with these new groups coming in, ensuring Safe Church certifications, as well. -Marc
Why are other groups using our building while we have not yet regathered for worship?
Several folks have raised this question, and it’s a good one. Here’s what’s going on: As you know, the decision about when to regather for worship is to be made by the vestry, with the final say coming from me as rector. Our vestry is in ongoing conversation about considerations that shape our timing, including local COVID statistics; input from health care professionals; parishioner responses to the summertime survey about regathering; and lots of prayer. Simultaneously, we are working on a regathering plan which will need to be approved by Bishop Susan before we can come back to the building for worship. The vestry meets again on September 15 and will continue our prayerful discernment about regathering. All of us miss being able to worship together in our beautiful sanctuary.

Meanwhile, Marc has diligently been working with at least five different groups interested in using our Community Outreach space, and we are eager to bring that aspect of our ministry to life. Many parishes host outside groups, and the diocesan regathering guidelines address the question of whether or not those groups should be allowed to use the building. Churches are asked first to consider limiting or eliminating the availability of the church facility for outside groups, but if parishes decide to move forward—and I have made that decision, in consultation with Marc and with Bishop Susan—then outside groups are to adhere to the same COVID safety standards that we ourselves will eventually be using when we regather in person for worship: social distancing, masks, sanitizing, and all applicable CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidelines.

So why are we inviting others to use our space before we ourselves come back into the building? Because the leaders of each program have discerned for themselves that meeting in person is the right choice at this time for their programs (just as our vestry has not yet reached that decision for our own in-person worship); because the primary “clientele” of building users is children, not adults, and the risk of becoming infected with COVID is less severe for that age group than for the general church population; and because our building users will be providing much-needed services to local children and their families in this difficult time.

To borrow phrasing from Canoeing the Mountains, we are in uncharted territory these days, trying to navigate the pandemic with faith and grace, making the best decisions we can moment by moment. Please keep the vestry and me in your prayers in this endeavor, and know that you are in ours. Blessings. -Anne
WOW Bible study
Women of the Word Bible study will begin again October 7th at 6:30. Once again this will be online with Zoom. We are blessed to have The Rev. Anne Kirchmier teach the classes, and with Zoom we are able to have class discussion. This session we will study The Letters of Paul, a Bible study in the Discipleship series that we have enjoyed many times. Participants will use study guides to prepare for each class. Gloria Brooks will order the books for us, so let her know if you plan to join us. We will need your email address to send the Zoom link to you each week. This group study is open to all women, so please do join us and bring a friend.
Peggy Woodall, pwoodall1@verizon.net
Marc looking for a rental
The pandemic has been, shall we say, disruptive. Our timeline for Leticia and Elizabeth to join us here is now the end of October/beginning of November. I've been in serious housing explorations for a few weeks now, working with a realtor and considering all options. For any number of reasons, we have determined that we are going to rent, at least for a while. While still in exploration mode, I'm wondering if anyone in the St. Andrew's realm might have or know of decent rental options of a three bedroom dwelling (that won't cost us an exorbitant amount). If anything comes to mind, please give me a call at 812-764-0355. Thanks so much! - Marc
Reminder: our September outreach project – food for THRIVE
Our September outreach project is collecting food for THRIVE. Your donations can be dropped off in St. Nicholas Chapel during the month of September.  We will be collecting:
  • small jars of peanut butter
  • small plastic jars of jelly
  • small pop-top cans of pasta, such as Ravioli
  • cans of soup, black-eyed peas, and mixed vegetables
  • regular size boxes of cereal (not the “giant” sizes)
  • pouches of instant potatoes
  • boxes with individual packets of oatmeal
  • boxes of crackers, such as Ritz which has individual wrapped rolls
  • “bowl” food items, such as Mac & Cheese, meat products, etc., that only need water to be added to them

If you prefer to make a monetary donation rather than bringing in items, this will also be gratefully appreciated by THRIVE. You can make your check payable to St. Andrew’s with “THRIVE September” in the memo section.
Response to Racism Team, next meeting is tomorrow night at 7:00 PM
Join us tomorrow night as we continue our quest to examine our own experiences and perceptions about racism and seek a meaningful response to this long-term challenge.
Here is the link to join on Zoom:

The meeting ID to join through the Zoom mobile app on your smart phone is:
829 9053 2931
Mailing pledge envelopes - don't forget your stamp!
We are very appreciative of those of you who are faithfully sending in your pledge weekly or monthly. We have received several “postage due” requests from the Post Office for the blue pledge envelopes being mailed without a postage stamp. Our pledge envelopes do not have prepaid postage on them, so please remember to put a stamp on them before mailing.
Parish Luncheon – Meals to Go! Wednesday, September 16, 2020
At this time, the menu is a mystery!!  Reservations are required by Sunday, September 13 so RSVP to Mary Gibson Waddill: samwaddill1@cox.net or 870-1182. Lunches can be picked up between 11:30 AM and noon on the 16th. The cost is $5.00 per lunch.
Anthem for September 13
If you have ever traveled throughout the Netherlands, as you read, and maybe listen, to the words of the anthem written by Huub Oosterhuis, a Dutch theologian and poet, you can picture in your mind the beauty of the country and the struggles they have had with wars and flooding.

If freedom were the freedom we imagine,
how soon our anxious, fretful days would go.
Then we could make the desert waters flow
and boldly harvest seas, the distant ocean.

We waver now from courage to despairing;
we know what living is, yet do we live?
Sometimes we soar upon our song and give
no thought to earthbound fear, no pain, no caring.

Beyond horizons far we raise our eyes,
a vision stirs within, a hope enduring:
a city, garden, crystal pool appearing;
though night should fall at noon, the dream survives.

If freedom were the freedom we imagine,
how soon our anxious fretful days would cease;
where pain once held domain, we welcome peace,
and boldly turn to love, life’s true companion.
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.
Links to St. Andrew's digital resources:
Other resources for worship at home: