Your weekly news & updates
November 19, 2020
A Special Message from our Rector

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 
1 Peter 2.9

In the second greatest story ever told, The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien tells us that a very long time ago, a small hobbit named Bilbo Baggins lived in a hole. It was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort.

Bilbo lived in the luxurious hobbit hole on a hill in the Shire. The expanse of his home was filled with many bedrooms, kitchens, libraries, and dining rooms.  More comfortable than the average hobbit home.  However, the truth about the hobbits of the Shires is that they were people who, for the most part, lived in peace and plenty. So much so that they could cast aside what was happening in the world around them. 

And if you know this story, much of Middle-Earth was hanging on in desperate times. 

Also, if you know this story, a wizard named Gandalf will soon call Bilbo out of his comfort zone.  He will ask Bilbo to have concern for the lives in the world around him and take up adventure in the company of Thorin. One where he would help save his world.

Now the truth is most of us will not experience grand adventures to the ends of our earth. Some of us may.  None of us will solve all the world's problems on our own. But we can step away from our comfort zones and bring comfort to others' cares and concerns in our world.

Our peace and plentiful lives are for us the opportunity to open our hearts to the humanity of all of God's people.  It is the moment we have as God's people to speak His love into desperate hearts.

This Sunday marks the end of our church year. We are moving into the new Advent season. As we begin this new year, may we find the God of peace and plenty, calling us out of our comfort zones to love and bless the world around us.

Fr. Stephen+
Mark your calendars and plan to attend the first ever Honduras Night Under the Stars! There will be 3 raffle prizes, live music, and Christmas cheer. All proceeds go to the Manos Scholarship Program to pay for the education of 70 underprivileged students in Danli, Honduras. Contact Henry Moore for raffle tickets or you can purchase them at the event.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells! It’s time to sign up for bell ringing at Walmart for the Salvation Army! St. Andrew’s has been assigned to the Home & Pharmacy doors on Saturday, November 28th (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) from 9am-9pm. We need 24 volunteers to cover the 12 shifts (2 volunteers for each 1-hour shift). For your safety and the safety of others standing plexiglass, cleaning products, and gloves will be provided. If you are interested in volunteering, call Charlene at the church office to sign up at 830-372-4330.
Happening #146: November 20 - 22
The Happening Board is overjoyed to announce registration is open for Happening #146, taking place at Camp Capers, November 20 -22. In order to protect participants and staff, COVID-19 guidelines and protocols will be upheld both during the Happening planning and the weekend itself.
Click here for more information and to sign up.
Eric Cooper and the San Antonio Food Bank, invite you to the first Virtual Interfaith Celebration, Feeding Hope: A virtual interfaith Thanksgiving service of prayer and praise on November 22, 2020, 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm. This year, we come to the virtual table to give thanks for one another and provide rejuvenation for the work to come. Join members of faith communities across San Antonio as they bring scripture, song, and prayer to nourish our hearts and minds so we are fit to continue serving those in need in our community. 

Click here for more information.
In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the church office will be closed from noon on Wednesday, November 25th through Friday November 27th. We will reopen Monday, November 29th at 9 amWe hope you have a wonderfully filling holiday!

A special Thanksgiving service will be held on Tuesday,
November 24th at 7 pm in the chapel.
St. Andrew's Day is November 29th- It will be a bit different from years past, but nothing is going to stop us from celebrating St. Andrew’s Day! The day will start at 9 am in the prayer garden with our outdoor family service. We will then have an outdoor breakfast of breakfast tacos, coffee, and OJ. Then, Bishop Gary Lillibridge will join us at the 10:30 service and receive 5 new members into the Episcopal Church! Be sure to bring a chair and join us at 9 am in the prayer garden for the start of the celebration! See you there!
Christmas Eve-
5:00 p.m.- McKeogh Hall
7:00 p.m.- Church
10:30 p.m. Church

Christmas Day-
10:00 a.m.- Chapel
Knowing how many people normally attend our Christmas services and in order to allow everyone to attend a service, we plan to have 3 Christmas Eve services. To ensure the sanitization of the sanctuary for all of the services we will need some volunteers to help disinfect the pews in-between the 7:00 pm and the 10:30 pm services on Christmas Eve. If you are interested in helping, please call the office and let Charlene know.
The Annual Meeting is scheduled for January 17th, 2021. We will vote in our new vestry members as well as discuss the great things that St. Andrew’s has done over the past year and some future plans for us to look forward to! 
The St. Andrew's Prayer Garden has been adopted as a project by the Guadalupe County Master Gardeners. They will assist in maintenance and future planning of the garden. We would like some St. Andrew's volunteers to help with the maintenance of the grounds. We do not have any dates of work days yet, but would like to know how many people are interested. Click here to sign-up and inform us of your interest. If you have any questions, contact Alan Cockerell. Thank you for your help to keep our campus beautiful!
The World Missions department is conducting an Emergency Food & Winter Clothing Drive in support of our mission partners in the Episcopal Church in Navajoland; Piedras Negras, Mexico; and the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. To schedule a donation drop-off time, contact Catherine Markette, World Missions Ministry Coordinator, at, or you may make a financial donation to World Missions towards purchasing food and winter clothing, at
Click here for a printable list of needed items.
In light of recent email scams, please remember - if you receive an email that looks like it is from your rector, parish administrator, diocesan staff member, or bishop requesting a “favor” and instructing you to reply, DO NOT REPLY and DELETE IT.
Texas Water Mission is hosting its first annual Run 4 Water virtual 5k, on Saturday, December 12th. 100% of registration fees and donations will go towards life saving, Safe Water Projects. Sign up today and help bring clean drinking water, education, stability, and sustainability to communities in the Episcopal Church in Navajoland, Haiti, and Honduras. Click here to learn more and register.
Weekly Schedule

9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite II
(Prayer Garden)

10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite II
(Church and live stream)


7:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Service

At this time, we have two in-person services. They are held each Sunday, one at 9:00 am in the Prayer Garden for an Outdoor Family Service and our Contemporary service at 10:30 am in the Sanctuary. A decision will be made at a later date about the Rite I, 8:00 am service.

If you are uncomfortable with physical return, you can still be spiritually present with us by joining us via live stream! CLICK ON ONE OF THE IMAGES BELOW to join us virtually on Sundays at 10:30 am as we worship Our Lord. All services are available any time after that on Facebook (click on Video tab), YouTube, and our web page under Sermons.
Pledges, Tithes, and Offerings
Ways to Give

Please consider donating to St. Andrew's by one of the options listed below.

  1. Click the "DONATE NOW" button at the bottom of this message
  2. Visit the Donate page on our website
  3. Set up bill pay with your bank
  4. Mail a check
  5. Drop off your check in our mail slot located in the window to the right of the office door.

Thank you for your help to fund the mission and ministry of St. Andrew's
Phased Reopening Guidelines
Reopen 1
Dear St. Andrew's Family,

Below you will find information regarding our worship opportunities and our safety requirements for the church. We have a responsibility to report this information to you, and we ask that you do your best to review the material.  Please know that your Office Staff has full trust in your love for your fellow congregant and that it is apparent in your actions that you have treated these guidelines as a covenant of love for your worshipping neighbor.  

As a reminder these are some of the requirements:

  1. All people over the age of 3 must wear a mask covering nose and mouth.
  2. Please remember to social distance. DON'T SIT ON THE BLUE TAPE IN THE PEWS.
  3. If you are not feeling well, please stay home.

When making the decision about whether to return for in-person worship or not, the new, vestry and diocesan approved guidelines Plan for Phased Reopening: Phase 2(b) will help you know what to expect and consider how this experience will be different from the last time you were here. 

In order to avoid disrupting the live-stream video and audio, we ask that everyone be in your seats no later than 10 minutes before the beginning of the service. Use those 10 minutes to thank God for your life and health, to listen to the prelude, and to otherwise prepare
yourself for worship.
Ministers in the Lord's Service
Fr. Stephen Shortess

Lay Reader-
9 am- Lauren Smith
10:30 am- Susan Rinn

Altar Guild-
Betty Anderson
Mozzelle Dempster
Sandy Merrell

Offertory Tellers-
Jeanene Smith
Anne Galaway

Pam Roitsch
Wayne Roitsch

Leo Garcia- Choir Director/Cantor/Soloist
Wendi Gustafson- Music Director/Organ
Samuel Gaytan- Violin

Aaryn Perry
Gil Merkle
Jack Merrell
Warren Wundt
Betty Anderson

Jim Anderson
Altar flowers are given to the glory of God by Al & Janice Pruitt for the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church and community and in celebration of the birthday of Jim Swope by Sally Swope.

NEW 2021 FLOWER CALENDAR IN NARTHEX!- Do you have a special day you wish to remember: an anniversary or birthday to celebrate, a loved one to honor, or an offering of thanksgiving for your many blessings? You may give the gift of altar flowers for worship by signing up on the new 2021 flower calendar in the narthex. Flowers are $50.00, with checks made payable to St. Andrew's (note flowers on the memo line). If you are worshipping at home but would still like to give the gift of altar flowers, please contact the church office and we will be happy to assist you.
CHRISTMAS FLOWERS- It has been St. Andrew's tradition to adorn our worship space with flowers and poinsettias. If you would like to give Christmas Flowers or Poinsettias in memory of or in thanksgiving for someone, please call Joyce Richey or the church office. There also will be forms available in the pews and in the narthex to fill out requesting flowers or poinsettias. Poinsettias are $10.00 a plant and donations towards the Christmas flowers are $25.00. All requests and monies need to be in the church office by Monday, December 21st. Thank you!

Ruth Burgess- November 24
Stacey Alexander- November 26
Therese Sharp- November 27


Quintin & Stacey Alexander- November 27

If you have a birthday or anniversary next week and it's not listed, please call the Parish Office and leave a message for Charlene to add it to the list.
If you or another member of the parish are sick or in the hospital and would like a contact from Pastoral Care, please notify the Parish Office. We don't want anyone to get missed! Contacting the office will ensure that Pastoral Care is notified.

If you would like to add a name, etc., to the prayer list, send an email to If you have a pastoral situation that needs attention, please contact the parish office. 

If a member of your family is in the armed forcesplease send their name to Charlene via email at or by phone (830-372-4330) so they can be included in the Prayers of the People each Sunday.
Fall Family Weekends & Retreats
Camp Capers

Registration is open for the last retreat for Fall 2020 at Camp Capers. Any individual, couple, or family needing a safe, stress-free weekend getaway is invited to:

  • A Very Capers Christmas Retreat (Dec. 10-13)
Each retreat will include time to savor the beautiful Texas Hill Country, play in the Guadalupe River, enjoy fun family activities, and share delicious meals. Morning and evening worship services will be led by Camp Capers staff and chaplains.

A Very Capers Christmas Retreat at Camp Capers: Dec. 10-13- Bring your family to Camp Capers and cozy up to the fire with a mug of hot cocoa, make and decorate Capers’ Christmas Cookies, create a family Advent wreath, sing Christmas carols around the campfire, and get crafty in arts & crafts making Christmas tree ornaments. Learn more about the season of Advent and Christmas and how we, as Episcopalians, prepare for and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Other activities will include snowball fights, snowman building, ugly sweater contests, and more! Click here for rates, more information, and to register.
Mustang Island
Individuals, couples, and families are invited to the Fall Retreats at Mustang Island Conference Center. Each weekend will include time to savor the beautiful Texas beaches on Mustang Island, enjoy fun family activities, and share delicious meals. Worship services, including Compline, will be led by camp staff and chaplains.

Holiday on the Island- December 11 - 13, Mustang Island Conference Center Holiday on the Island offers an opportunity for individuals, couples, and families to celebrate the Christmas holiday together with two nights lodging, six meals provided, and activities for everyone. Join us for campfires, s'mores, outdoor movie, holiday cookie decorating, crafts, worship, and more. Click here to learn more and to register.

Personal Retreats and Rentals- Based on Availability, Mustang Island Conference Center Rest, reflect, and renew within God's coastal creation as you enjoy the coast at your own pace. Rent one of our standard Guest Rooms or one of the Casa de la Playa suites with a full kitchen, and choose your own adventures. Spend time on the beach, kayak, fish, go birding, read, watch the sunrise and sunset, or take an excursion. Please contact Lynn Corby for inquiries and booking, at
Bible Studies and Prayer Groups
Wisdom Years Online Book Study, "On the Brink of Everything" by Parker Palmer: October 15 - December 10 Starting Thursday, October 15 at 4:00 p.m., join the Wisdom Years ministry for a weekly, online book study diving into "On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old." Written by Parker Palmer, this book invites us to travel the last season of our lives with courage, clarity, joy, and peace; find meaning in what our lives offer now; and glean from our histories all that has made us who God created us to be. Study participants will read a chapter each week, reflect on how it connects to their own life, then gather in a small group online to share insight and fellowship. Click here for more information.
Introducing the Fall 2020 Bible Study: With Hearts Enlightened
Adult Christian Formation presents the Fall 2020 Bible Study, inspired by the theme verse selected by the Rt. Rev. David Reed for 2020, "With the eyes of our hearts enlightened" (Ephesians 1:18). Beginning Monday, October 12, members of the diocese will explore how Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus still rings true for our modern world, especially during this unusual year. Click here to learn more or click here to join the study.
Forest Dwelling: Spirituality for Our Wisdom Years, hosted by Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, is an ecumenical, certificate program designed for more mature seekers who desire to mindfully embrace the challenges and opportunities of aging by accessing the deep wisdom embedded in the world's great mystical and contemplative tradition. This two-year program of education and formation will be led by Fr. Ron Rolheiser, the Rev. Mary C. Earle, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, and other invited speakers on transformation and aging. Click here to learn more about the program.
We all know that doctors and nurses are on the front lines of battling the corona virus. Although there isn't much we can do to help them physically while they help patients, we can pray for them. So we are asking all of you to Click here to sign up for a time slot to pray for them around the clock. This way we can make sure we have at least one person praying even for just a few minutes of every hour of every day. If you are not able to commit to a specific time, or if the slots are all full, please take a few moments to say one of these prayers each day for these wonderful men and women. Thank you!

Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Angels in blue gowns, They wear face masks instead of haloes. Their gloved holy hands administer to us Care we are too weak to provide for ourselves.
Without sleep, Without hope of a day off, In the face of ever-dwindling supplies, They risk their lives at every moment In order to save ours. Blessed are the hands, Rubbed raw from washing, That connect us to ventilators. Blessed are the feet, Sore and swollen, That tread the ER floors. Blessed are the eyes That have stared down death Hundreds, Thousands of times, And yet look upon each desperately ill patient And refuse to give up hope. God Most Merciful, Preserve the health and safety Of those who work so hard to preserve ours. Amen.– Cameron Wiggins Bellm

Twelve Step Recovery

AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meets at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the Youth House on Crockett Street.
St. Andrew's dares to embrace its Episcopal Heritage by living out the Great Commission of Christ through the intimacy of community, discipleship, and service.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church is a parish in the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, a congregation of The Episcopal Church, and a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church| (830)372-4330 | 201 E. Nolte St. Seguin, TX 78155| |