The Messenger

In Christ, We Worship, Love, Grow, Serve and Send.
JULY 2021 | Vol. XXXXII No. 7
From Our Seminarian
By Lax Vardhanapu
Greetings to all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am excited to share the news that I am into the second year of my Master of Divinity program at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). As a middler, I will be engaging myself in practical exposure with the Ministry of Context (MIC) at an ELCA church - Palm Valley Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas, beginning Fall 2021 and spread out until Spring 2022. Along with MIC I will also be enrolled in two other subjects specializing on Psalms & Spirituality.
Recently I was privileged to preach virtually in a local church on “FEAR - Whom do you fear?" in the context of Mark 4:37-41 where Jesus stills the storm. From my recent learnings at seminary from Professor David Rhodes, in spite of disciples witnessing the miraculous activities of Jesus Christ, they still showed little faith and were in fear. In today's context with all the pandemic situations and imbalanced society, what's our fear? Is it insecurity, health, power or fame? As we observe in Mark 12:38-40, the Jewish and Gentile authorities couldn't accept Christ as they had fear of losing their positions.
Fear as it stands, a "false evidence appearing real," could drive a human to any extent and create an unhealthy society with oppression. 
Faith alone can help believers to overcome fear and live in peace. Faith is trust in the God for whom all is possible—the God who heals, drives out demons, calms storms, provides bread in the desert, and raises one to life and salvation in the new age. This faith gives courage. When one ultimately counts on God for life, one can dare to risk life for others (Mark 10:21). Faith is the opposite of fear (Mark 4:40; 5:36; 6:50). As one evolves from being self-oriented to God-centered as Christ exhibited, living for others, we are empowered with the help of faith and the Holy Spirit to do what God wants us to do instead of our own will -- even if it means persecution. As Paul writes in 2 Cor 4:8-8, Christ’s followers are not crushed though we are hard pressed; we are perplexed but not in despair.
So, brothers and sisters in faith, let’s overcome any fear we have and look on Christ for deliverance.
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” -Romans 14:8
How is Your Skin?
By Cornelia Pearson, RN, MN

A few years ago I was surprised to learn that a young coworker had been diagnosed with melanoma. She said that she was not really surprised to have received this diagnosis, since she grew up spending many hours as a teen in a tanning bed and in the sun trying for a fabulous, dark tan. She admitted to giving little regard to the need for sunscreen. With the summer rays enticing me to go outside and thoughts of my coworker, I decided to research facts about skin and skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other forms of cancer combined. Skin cancer begins in the epidermis or outer layer of the skin. The epidermis is made up of three kinds of cells; squamous, basal, and melanocytes. Squamous cell and basal cell cancer, two most common types of skin cancer, are highly curable. Melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is far more dangerous but has an estimated five-year survival rate of 99 percent if detected early.

Anyone can get skin cancer but individuals with certain characteristics are at greater risk. These risks include:  ....Read more.
Noah, grandson of Darryl Miller, helps water the newly planted “YaYa tree,” donated in memory of Susie Johnson-Miller. The weeping willow tree, also known as a “nourishing tree," is fondly named YaYa, the name the grandchildren, Noah and Willow, called Susie. The tree is planted in the St. Andrew yard.
Many thanks to Jimmy Felker, Mike Richardson, and Joe York for preparing both pastor offices for Pastor Pauline and Pastor Eric in record time. For Pastor Eric's office, Jimmy managed crews to move and add walls, change electrical work, and paint the walls. Mike installed the carpet and Joe painted Pastor Pauline's office. Many thanks to James Benson for cleaning the carpet in Pastor Pauline's office.
Our Next-Door Gardener
Carol Pond and her friend, Kimico, showing one of her organic gardens. This particular plant is a Japanese herb called shiso.
A Special VBS Thanks!
We didn't have a picture of Tim Hawkins when we submitted the VBS thank yous. Tim, also known as Liza’s dad, traveled from Center Hill Lake each day of VBS to serve as the church medic. Tim, a retired EMT /paramedic, also serves as a medic for AFFIRM. Luckily, his skills were only used for handing out water and fruit snacks to our little ones, but we were very thankful to have him here with us during the week of VBS. Many thanks, Tim!

Master Gardener
Despite the heat, Susan Pavlos has a sunny disposition while trimming back the Iris beds at church. Both she and Nancy Seitz come weekly to tend to the flower beds at St. Andrew. Congregants have been enjoying the beautiful landscape of flowers and green shrubs this spring. Thanks, Susan and Nancy!
Many Thanks to You!
THANK YOU to our COVID Advisory Committee, Council, Staff and Pastors for keeping us safe these last 18 months! It has not been an easy task. There have been differing opinions and many comments, but through it all you have shown grace and done what is best for the St. Andrew Community. 

Blessings and peace. 
Shirley Swan
To our Saint Andrew family,
We cannot begin to thank everyone enough for the constant prayers, kindness, support, and love you have sent our way over the course of the last month. God has really blessed us with a community of truly kind people, and we are deeply grateful. With His blessings, Claire continues to make great progress in her recovery and we hope to return to our normal spot on the back left in church very soon. Thank you all for everything!
All our best,
The Harris family

Fair Trade Equal Exchange ground and whole bean coffee is now available to purchase, located in the administration entry at St. Andrew. This is on the honor system; pick what you like and leave your check, made to Ruth Schreiner, in the box provided. The prices are posted by the coffee. For questions, please email Ruth.
Thanks for supporting Fair Trade coffee growers around the world.
Jody Smith models a few patriotic prayers shawls recently placed in the prayer shawl ministry bins in the administration entry. If you have loved ones or friends who are ill or need comfort of any kind, you may take them a prayer shawl from this ministry. Sign your name on the form provided in the bin and take the shawl with the card from St. Andrew, all found in the bin. For questions or to help with the Prayer Shawl Ministry, please contact Jody Smith.
From the Director for Youth & Children's Ministries
By Liza Hawkins, M.Div.
In the world of youth and children’s ministry, things are ramping up in very exciting ways! It has been a strange season with more screen time than any of us ever asked for, but I have been so grateful for all of the ways folks of all ages have shown up to remain in community with one another.
I, Liza, will send out regular updates and announcements specific to youth and children’s ministry. If you would like to be added to this list, please let me know or complete this short contact information form!
We had a fantastic week of VBS this summer! We had a total of twenty VBS-ers and nearly the same number of older youth and adults who helped make it happen. Our theme this summer was “Press Play” and we enjoyed getting to play in our beautiful backyard together. After a year of canceled and postponed events, it was so nice to be back together in person! One of our pre-K kiddos informed me it was her “most favorite week of her whole life,” which is a pretty high compliment ...Read more.
Let's kick-off the 2021-2022 Sunday School year with fun, games, and more! All students, please bring your backpacks to church for a special Backpack Blessing during the children's sermon. Parents, be sure to register your children for Sunday School between the two church services. Everybody is encouraged to attend Rally Day, as there will be information about all of our Faith Formation groups available. This is a great way to reconnect with your church family after a long time apart. More details and information to come. In the meantime, we really need Sunday School teachers to volunteer for the upcoming school year. If you are interested in volunteering to teach Sunday School, please contact Liza Hawkins, Director of Youth and Children's Ministries: You do not have to commit to teaching every Sunday. We have the option of co-teachers, who can swap Sundays, based on your availability. Our children and youth really need some awesome adults to teach them in person, after a year of online Sunday School. Please, prayerfully consider how you can be of service.

We hope to see you on Sunday, August 15 at 9:45-10:45 AM!

Yours in Christ,
Jeana Butler
Faith Formation Chair - St. Andrew Lutheran Church
OOM PAH PAH! Oktoberfest will take place October 23 at Darrel Reifschneider's lovely Look Away Farm! The Oktoberfest planning committee NEEDS VOLUNTEERS. In the past this has been a well-attended and fun family event. Help us put together another year of memories for the entire St. Andrew Lutheran family. If you are interested in helping plan this event, please contact Margaret Bearss at  
St. Paul's Breakfast Ministry
*Saturday, July 10
10-11:00 AM drop-off at St. Andrew

*Note this is the second Saturday for the month of July. A link to sign up will be sent next week to let Laura McElroy, coordinator, know what breakfast items you can donate to go to the mission.
Another successful St. Paul’s drop-off in June! Volunteerism remains extremely strong for the ministry, praise the Lord! We were able to deliver 16 homemade breakfast casseroles, 17 bags of fresh fruit, and at least 200 servings of sausage! 
Pictured above is a special volunteer for the day, Jack Fellers (my dad!). 😃 THANKS to Jack and all those who donated to the June breakfast!
GraceWorks Volunteer Opportunities
Currently GraceWorks has Monday - Friday slots open for volunteers who want to work in an on-going capacity. Contact Erin Saures at if you are interested or want more information.  The shifts are from 8:30AM -12:30PM or noon - 4:00 PM.  You can choose the day(s), shift and area that work for your schedule and preference.
Volunteers Needed in the Following Areas
  • Tagging items for the Thrift Store
  • Store Support - assisting sales associates
  • Food Pantry - stocking shelves, food in-take, cart fillers (some lifting may be required)
  • Monthly Mobile Food Pantry
GOD Chose You
By Jay Brinkmeyer
“And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:26

This verse from the Book of Acts is part of the story when the eleven apostles choose another man to fill the vacancy left by Judas Iscariot. It brought me a ‘back in the day’ memory, since it is July, of a group of young boys playing sandlot baseball in Seward, NE and choosing the teams. Early in the process, several egos got stung, including mine, as I got selected close to the end of the group since nobody knew my capabilities or any redeeming qualities that related to baseball. I wonder how Joseph must have felt when Matthias was selected by the eleven? Thankfully, sandlot baseball choices don’t last forever, and my ego has healed.

Way ‘back in the day,' generations before you came to bat, GOD chose you. GOD put your name on HIS lineup card, across the back of your jersey, and it is still there. GOD chose you, me, and this smiling child from Haiti to be on HIS team, for good, forever. Each of us are so very important to Him as we have a special reason to be on HIS team; to go and bring more souls into HIS Kingdom. Please prayerfully consider helping to feed one or a few of the over 42,000 children, and pray for their recruiting efforts throughout Haiti during this summer, during their lifetime. GOD chose you for a purpose. None of us know how many innings are left in our career; make the most of them with the time, talents and treasures you have been given.

May God be with you,
Many thanks St. Andrew! Correspondence from Trinity HOPE ...Read more.
Dear St. Andrew congregation,
THANK YOU for your generous quarterly donation of $825 for our Inspiritus programs that came in at the end of April. Your continued support inspires our team’s efforts to reach families in at-risk communities who have been marginalized and often traumatized.
Our MyCanvas program is undergoing a rebranding in the months ahead. MyCanvas will now be called Thrive Studios to better reflect our work and our mission. ..Read more.
Ladies gathered at the home of Meredith Frantz for the annual WELCA pool party in June. WELCA will take a break for the summer; please watch for information for the September gathering on the third Tuesday of each month.
July 5             Elvis Lindsay & Beth Gross
July 14          John & Jorja Trocino
July 14          Stan & Susan Stewart
July 16          Jerry & Lisa Blanchard
July 21          Mike & Allison Bloom
July 28          Nick & April Mason
July 30          Kyle & Sheena Weaver


For a list of July birthdays,
Jolene Richardson, The Messenger Editor