St. Andrew’s awards six scholarships for 2021

St. Andrews remains committed to supporting our scholars on their educational journeys, whether it is a four-year college degree or a continuing education conference to increase knowledge and skills in a specific profession.
This year, your Scholarship Committee met to distribute $4800. These are funds designated for scholarships within the amount tithed to the Outreach Committee. There were 6 applicants this year. We are very excited to announce that the committee chose to provide funds for all six applicants at varying levels. See the June Tartan for the names and bios of our recipients.
The award ceremony will be held during the Sunday services on June 13th. Please congratulate our scholars as they prepare for their next phase of study.
Members of this year’s committee included: Judy Nelson (chair), Kendall Burch, Margo Fleshman, Margie Hoffman, Kit Proctor, Susan Rowe, Diane Walworth, and Marian Warren.
If you are interested in joining this group for next year’s distribution, please contact the office. We welcome all volunteers.

Vestry Priorities by Judy Nelson, Senior Warden

Your Vestry met by zoom on May 2nd and 17th to discuss priorities for 2021. After much discussion and brainstorming, we narrowed our focus to three elements of St. Andrew’s parish ministry that the Vestry would focus particular attention on during 2021, amidst many other important elements of our on-going ministries. Individual vestry members selected areas of concentration for which they would act as leads or liaisons. These elements for our work were not ranked as first, second, third priorities.

One priority is education. This includes Children’s Sunday School and Youth Ministry, an area that was put on hold in 2020 when the pandemic hit. It also includes Adult Education, focusing not only on spiritual growth within the parish, but also potentially serving the community beyond St Andrew’s. We discussed the possible live- streaming of classes or workshops as well as in-person gatherings when appropriate in order to expand outside the parish. Vestry members will re-engage the work begun before the pandemic to revision and renew our Youth Ministry and ministries with children and families, which was convened in 2019 by Colin McDaniel.

A second priority involves the kitchen remodel. A great deal of work was done and presented by the Kitchen team, led by Angie Barr, to the parish at the Annual Meeting in early 2020. The Annual Meeting had a good, serious discussion. The Kitchen team is being asked to reconvene, use the recommendations from the annual meeting and look at ways to scale down the original plans and review the needs assessment and rationale statement for the new kitchen. (Two new freezers have already been purchased for our kitchen ministry and the Jackson Street Food Bank with a grant from the diocese.) This priority serves the community outside the parish, as well as the parish itself, and it also positions the church to be effective when the food pantry is allowed to re-open and as we consider new ways to serve our congregation, neighborhood and larger community.

A third priority for 2021 is the question of Celtic Faire, and whether or not to hold a scaled down version in October 2021. Celtic Faire is a St. Andrew’s ministry that not only builds community but also serves the community outside the parish and encourages spiritual growth through engagement with Celtic Christianity. The fair was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and the determination as to whether to hold a modified version this year needs to be made. A poll asking you, our congregants, this question will be coming out shortly. The Vestry will make the decision at their next meeting on Monday, June 14.

While the vestry identified these specific priorities for their own focus, other im- portant parish ministries such as Music, Community Outreach and work with the home- less remain active and shall be supported and encouraged. Please feel free to reach out to Father Martin or any Vestry member if you wish to participate in one of the three areas of focus or any other ministry. We welcome your input and support.

Reflections on a Titlow encounter by Kendall Burch, Vestry

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or set foot on the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

One of the things I enjoy about going down to Titlow is seeing how many people have their phones out to take pictures. It’s so cool to me that just down the street from my apartment, the scenery is so beautiful that people constantly want to freeze it in time and save it for later, or share it with someone else. I like that even without all the strangers describing the feeling to each other, and even though an image can never do the place justice, all the photo-snapping reveals our shared feeling of amazement. I feel so fortunate to live in a place where amazement is so common.

There was one time that the photo snapping had a different effect, however. While sitting at a picnic table near the water, I saw someone snickering and taking pictures of an obviously distressed woman sitting on a bench. Something was clearly wrong – the woman would doze off, wake up, then doze off again in another uncomfortable position, and the person at the picnic table would take more pictures.

Seeing the photographer’s blatant disregard for the dignity of the woman made me angry, and eventually I went over to check on her. We talked for a long while and shared a meal, and it was clear that she had needed to take an emotional load off her shoulders for a long, long time.

When the interaction ended, I was filled with a jarring sense of conviction, and as I mulled over the situation, the verse at the top of the article came to mind. I just knew it as the verse with which my siblings and I were chided when we picked on each other too much as kids, but as an adult, I realize that the verse holds a lesson I still haven’t learned.

Initially, I thought about the verse and pointed my finger at the photographer, thinking that she was the mocker. But what about me? Who have I ridiculed for thinking or living differently than I do? If I had seen the picture or video that she took online, might I have snickered at it too? Even without being the person behind the camera, I’m still guilty of indulging in the same self- righteous attitude I perceived in the photographer who’d made me so angry in that moment.

My own hypocrisy aside, my motivation for doing the “right thing” violated the intent of the second verse as well. The deciding factor that made me go and talk to the woman on the bench wasn’t a rush of godly love for my neighbor. If that was the case, I would have talked to the woman before I noticed someone sneaking pictures of her. No, my delight was in seeming like I was a better person than the photographer.

In a moment like that one, it’s easy to look at the distressed woman on the bench and acknowledge that she deserves to be treated with dignity and compassion. But how much more difficult does it feel to look at the photographer in that moment and acknowledge the same thing? How easy is it to recognize the evil in my own behavior and start thinking of myself as irreparably shameful and impure?

One of the most incredible and freeing things about the grace that Jesus won for us is that these questions and comparisons of merit have been made irrelevant. God isn’t tallying up anyone’s points in a good column and a bad column to decide later whether or not to love them. When the Holy Spirit exposes something I’m doing wrong, it’s not to remind me how close I am to being cut out of God’s love, but an opportunity to become closer to God and God’s plan for who I should be.

Just like no one’s Titlow sunset picture ever looks as good as the real thing, I know that what I’ve written doesn’t communicate everything I’ve thought or been shown through the interaction I described. Still, I value the opportunity I have at St. Andrew’s to commune with other people taking their own snapshots, working to celebrate and share the beauty in the freedom and security we all have in God’s love. Thank you all for being here, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Spiffing Crew gets into the weeds

Fueled by the spiritual fire of a Pentecost service with a packed church, our intrepid Spiffing Day crew uprooted the weeds of sin and trimmed the leaves of transgression!  We salute and thank: Tom Egnew, Liz Herriges, Jeffrey Boyce, Ken Rhodes, Kendall Burch, Sandy Dick, Joan Halley, Norbert Herriges, Mary Boyce, Margo Fleshman, and Devyn and Sylas Cameron.

God bless them one and all!

Is it okay to come back to church? By Mary Boyce, Parish Nurse

If you have been hesitant to resume communing with your fellow saints in person – fear not! Many people have put in many hours examining each and every little step from your car and back, and we have worked out the kinks. The protocol that was designed by the ReGathering committee, approved by the Vestry, and submitted and approved by the Bishop’s Office, is comprehensive.

I think people have been pleasantly surprised at how well it all flows. As a person who is, by nature, cautious one of my favorite verses is “ for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and self control” 2 Timothy 1:7. It reminds me that I have power. Power over my thoughts, my perspective and where I put my trust. I also think it was sitting in the pews one Sunday morning that I learned that the most often repeated phrase in the Bible is “fear not”.

I suppose this is because we mere mortals can tend towards fear, especially if we watch the networks news or spend much time on any social media. However, if we look closer I think we can see ulterior motives in peddling fear which usually involves someone selling something.

But fear does not come from God. This verse also reminds me that I have a spirit of love, and so do you. We are meant to gather together, to fellowship, to greet and offer encouragement to one another. We need this for our mental well-being. 2020 demanded that we step back from this natural habit, rightly so, to protect ourselves and one another from a new and serious pandemic.

However this isolation has come at a cost. Fear has crept into the corners of some of our lives. The initial wave of uncertainty about the virus has passed, and we have learned so much. We now live in a world that operates slightly differently. We think twice before we go somewhere. We stand a little further apart. Still we have begun to venture back out into the world and reclaim the wonder of it all. Yes, it was frustrating to go back to Phase II.

However the cited number of cases should be put into perspective. The most recent number of cases tend to be younger people and they recover much better. The healthcare system has become better at treating COVID-19. A large percentage of people over 60 are vaccinated. Finally we have a spirit of self-control. We pause to put on our seatbelts in order to be safe. We put on our sunscreen to avoid damage from harmful rays. We get our screening and check-ups to be proactive in our health care. And we wear masks to avoid sharing a serious respiratory concern. We also can choose our attitude. We can put on the armor of God. We can get our vaccines. Be bold. Be smart. Hope to see you soon.

If you are interested in helping with our specific guidelines and practices here at St. Andrew’s, the Safety Team would love your help. Please call or text me at 360-271- 2020 or email me at rnmaryo@gmail.com.

Join us on your phone for Evening Prayer this Sunday at 5:00 p.m.!

St. Andrew’s offers Evening Prayer by phone (conference call) every Sunday at 5 p.m. No computer or internet connection is required. You can join us for prayer, contemplation and reflection by calling 712-432-3900 and then using the conference 458556 #. This is a wonderful opportunity to declutter your soul in preparation for the busy week ahead!

The tradition of praying the Evening Prayer dates to St Benedict’s Rules of Precepts, which was written in 516. This tradition has been a part of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) since its beginning.

Please contact Jeffrey Boyce if you can help support this new prayer ministry.

Your Vestry wants to hear from YOU this Sunday

This coming Sunday at 11:30 am, the Vestry would like to chat by Zoom with the congregation, to discuss and answer questions about the Vestry’s priorities for the second half of 2021. You can read more about these in the June Tartan. The Zoom link will be sent out on Thursday and posted here on Friday.

Vestry Viewpoint by John Cain

A few years ago, I bought a plaque at the Pacific Northwest Shop in Proctor that reads “Bidden or Not Bidden, God is Present.” I believed it when I bought it, and I believe it even more now. I am no theologian and do not pretend to be. My spiritual journey is more like a stroll down a well-worn path than a path in an adventure story, but it is my story and helps to explain how it was that I came to St. Andrews and become a vestry member.

I was raised Roman Catholic, but this past January, I was received into the Episcopal Church. My mother died when I was an infant and I never really embraced the idea that God had my best interests at heart. In college, I referred to myself as agnostic. I could never say that there was not God, but I was comfortable straddling the fence of “maybe.” Many years later, when I found myself on my knees praying to be relieved of an obsession, I felt that my prayer had been answered by a God. This was why I bought that plaque. Some say they give their lives up to the care of a God of their understanding. I used to say that I gave my life up to the care of God whom I did not understand.

I asked to be received into the Episcopalian church to formalize my commitment to the church. Because I was already confirmed as Catholic, I could not be confirmed as Episcopalian. In being received into the Episcopal Church, I did not renounce my Catholic confirmation, as one must do when becoming a naturalized citizen. I am not certain what the spiritual implications of this are, nor do I care. Does it mean that, if I get a far as the Pearly Gates, I will be considered a dual national of Catholic and Episcopalian faiths? Possibly. Does it matter? Some, if not most, religious mysteries should remain mysterious.

A few years ago, I was in my hometown in Iowa and my sister suggested we attend mass together. Prior to communion, the priest was animated in his words and gestures that by the power granted to him, the wine was no longer wine but the blood of Christ. I certainly admired his certitude of faith but questioned his understanding of chemistry and passed on communion.

At a funeral, when it came time for communion, the priest made a point of stating that those who were not Catholic could not go forward for communion or for a blessing. He went so far as to add that if a person was Catholic but had not been to communion in the past two years, then they should also stay in their seats.

Not long after this funeral, I attended mass at St. Andrews. As usual, Father Martin began the sermon with an introduction about how some were drawn to the church for reasons unknown to us, and so on. I liked that as I could not tell you why I had dropped in, but I sincerely enjoyed the service and the similarities to the Catholic mass.

When Father Martin said that all were welcome to receive standard communion, a gluten-free wafer, wine or juice, or just a blessing, I liked that a lot. At the end of the service, Father Martin enthusiastically welcomed me. Over the next few years, I sporadically returned to St. Andrews. One day, Father Martin mentioned to me that services were held every Sunday. This got me thinking and I made it a New Year resolution to attend weekly services, which I continue to do as best I can.

Even though I had begun attending on a regular basis, I still harbored questions about the level of my faith. One Sunday, while we were reading the Nicene Creed, I asked myself “why are you saying this out loud if you do not believe it?” In a flash, the answer came to me as simple as it was sudden: I do believe that Christ died and that He was risen and that He will come again. I do believe in the Apostolic Church.

My early religious training was based on Baltimore Catechism in which for every mystery of faith, there is an answer.

The following are excerpts from the Wikipedia article on Transubstantiation: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that in the Eucharistic offering, bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. The affirmation of this doctrine was expressed, using the word “transubstantiate,” by the Fourth Council of the Lateran in1215. It was later challenged by various 14th-century reformers, John Wycliffe in particular… As with all Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics and other High Church Anglicans historically held belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist but were “hostile to the doctrine of transubstantiation.”

As often as I can, I come to the Wednesday noon service to take communion and to listen to the sermons that tend to be more informal, often focusing on the life of the Saint whose feast day it may be. It is a small group, even smaller than the 8am service. I truly enjoy being able to great everyone with the peace of the Lord.

I enjoy knowing that I am in a church where priests can marry, where women can be priests, and where sexual orientations are not matters of sin. I do believe that “Bidden or Not Bidden, God is Present,” but God seems just a tad closer when I take communion. The power of communion cannot be underestimated. I recommend the book The Priest Barracks by Guillaume Zeller. It is a powerful depiction of faith, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of communion.

Some spiritual experiences come as sudden as a flash of light, such as with Saul on the road to Damascus. Other spiritual experiences are gradual and are considered spiritual experiences of the educational variety. I think that whether or not we recognize it, everything we do is a spiritual experience – consider the simple act of pausing to help someone rather than moving past. Not all spiritual experiences must have a positive outcome; some experiences draw us closer to a loving God while others may be backward steps taking us away from a loving God; just like good diet and exer- cise, all of these experiences shape who we are.

I have no quarrel with my Catholic upbringing, any more than I dispute the majesty of the Cologne Cathedral, Dante’s Comedy, or the beauty of the Sistine Chapel. I do not believe that these and many other works – for example, the work of Martin Luther and the writings of C.S. Lewis – could have been created by secular inspiration alone.

I have trust in a faith, such as ours, that allows for unresolved mysteries. I was raised in one faith, but believe I was born to be an Episcopalian. I searched for years without even knowing that I was on a quest and now I have come home to a faith that works for me. I am very glad to be on the vestry and grateful for the opportunities to serve and, in some small way, help other understand the power and grace of our faith.

Adopted from John’s article in the May Tartan

St. Andrew’s gives generously through our Outreach Committee by Kit Proctor

A core value of St Andrews is to share our blessings with those in need by tithing ourselves and sending ten percent of what we received in contributions back out to do good in the world. Four times a year, the Outreach Committee meets to decide where the money from this parish tithe should go. While we always report on where our money is being spent, I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain little more as to how this committee operates.

There is a list of non-profit agencies that the vestry has approved for distributions of money. The committee can ask the vestry to add to this list at any vestry meeting. Before doing that the committee will have vetted the non-profit to make sure that any money given to it will be well spent on a worthwhile program. We do periodic reviews of these agencies as well, just to make sure they have remained healthy and functioning. Additionally, once a year the committee can send funds to a non-profit agency that is not on the list. In the past we used this provision to give aid to a non-profit involved in disaster relief, such as fire or hurricane relief, where the need for support is urgent.

One percent of the quarterly distribution amount always goes to the seminary fund to support the development of future clergy. Currently we send these funds to the Society for the Increase of the Ministry, an organization that provides scholarships to Episcopal seminarians even if he or she is attending a non-Episcopal seminary.

We also always provide some funds for the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, which Father Martin distributes, and some to the Scholarship Fund. Once a year the Scholar- ship Committee awards educational scholarships to parish members, or their relatives.

We also always send some money to Nourish Pierce County. When the Jackson Street Foodbank is operational these funds are used to purchase food for our own food bank. Throughout the Covid closure of our own food bank, however, we continued to send funds to this agency to support the work it was doing feeding the hungry through other food banks in the area.

In deciding where the money should go we keep an eye on current needs. During Covid, we distributed most of the money to agencies that provide food, shelter and health care. In contrast, educational/campus ministries have not been able to operate normally so, for the time being, our money was put to better use elsewhere. We do, however, sponsor a Guatemalan student through the RISE agency. Elementary education is free in Guatemala, but once the student reaches middle school, a parent has to pay for classes and books. This means that most children do not receive any education beyond the sixth grade. For less that a thousand dollars a year we sponsor a child to continue his or her education (through high school). Look for a picture of our current student, Lilian, on the bulletin board at church.

If giving away money to worthy causes sounds fun to you, there is always room for one more on this committee. If you are interested you should contact its chair, Susan Rowe, or Father Martin.

Join us for Bible study on Thursdays

The ZOOM Bible study with Fr. Martin welcomes you every Thursday at 11:00 A.M. through May 13. We will continue reading and studying the Gospel of Mark. No preparation or homework is required. Just click on the link below. Then say yes to the audio option and turn up your volume so that everyone can hear you.

Click on this link to connect:

https://ecww.zoom.us/j/96754453763?pwd=Z2FSSyt6MWc0bTdrdVVXaW8xSE9Vdz09
Meeting ID: 967 5445 3763                 Passcode: 235415