Don’t miss Matthew Moravec on the Psalms

On Sunday, December 15 at 11:30 am, and then repeated on Monday, December 16 at 7:00 pm, our own Matthew Moravec will offer a one hour overview to the psalms as biblical texts. Join us in Puddicombe Hall on Sunday or in the Ada Webb Room on Monday. Topics will include consideration of different approaches to the interpretation of psalms, resources to help appreciate them, and ways to connect personally and as a congregation with their message.

Matthew is reprising his presentation from Diocesan Convention, which was enthusiastically received by lay and clergy attendees alike!

Don’t miss this chance to learn from a brilliant young scholar and gifted teacher! This is the perfect adult-formation opportunity for Advent. Bring a friend!

Take a stocking, fill a stocking, spread Christmas cheer!

The St. Andrew’s OUTREACH COMMITTEE has chosen a special project for the 2019 Advent season. Christmas stockings are now available for parishioners to take home, and fill. There will be suggestions for items to place in the stockings, but you are encouraged to be creative! Our Jackson Street Foodbank will be distributing them to our patrons (one per family) at the December 18th foodbank, so it is really important that the stockings are returned to St. Andrew’s NO LATER than Sunday, December 15 .

For questions, please call Margie Hoffman (253-588-4589) or the Food Bank crew (Ed Wolfer 253-761-3143 or Virginia Gaub at 253–232-6943). As always, thanks for your generosity and help with this project!

Sign up your children for our Gingerbread House extravaganza!

Mark your calendars for December 15th after the 10am service—we will be decorating GINGERBREAD HOUSES!!

Please sign your child/children up so that we have enough supplies to decorate the houses. If you would like to contribute candy decorations please sign up and bring candy to church on Sunday the 8th or to the office by Dec 11th. If you would like to help the children decorate their gingerbread houses, please sign up in the Ada Webb room.

Come join the fun!

 

Advent is the key to Christ Mass

December marks the beginning of Advent in our liturgical calendar. The season draws its name from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”. With murky origins, by the sixth century AD Advent was extolled as a time to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, but even more so to prepare for the second coming of Christ as judge of the world. Originally a penitential season with fasting three days a week, by the Middle Ages the focus shifted more upon the birth of Jesus, and later the Anglican and Lutheran traditions relaxed the rules for fasting.

So, what does Advent mean for us individually and corporately at St. Andrew’s beyond a hectic time of holiday preparations and parties, gift buying, house and church decorating, large meals and a host of special church services? I find it paradoxical that we end the calendar year of the material world by beginning an ecclesiastical journey that commemorates the life of Jesus. I wonder if our church fathers wisely introduced Advent to draw our attention away from what has only become an increasingly commercial, material world towards the spiritual promise of Jesus?

In this sense, Advent symbolizes our present situation as the people of God who await the return of Christ in His glory. But are we to wait, or are we to consider our part, as individuals and as a church community, in bringing Jesus into the world? In 1 Corinthians 12:27, the Apostle Paul would have us believe the latter: “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” In God’s wisdom and grace, I believe that each of us has been given gifts by which we can serve Jesus, both personally and through St. Andrew’s. This sentiment certainly resonates with our parish motto: “To know Christ and to make Christ known.”

As we enter this busy season in preparation for the birth of Jesus, I encourage you to reflect upon the words of St. Teresa of Ávila:

Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ looks on this world. Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Blessings upon you and yours for a Merry and Holy Christ Mass.

Adapted from Tom Egnew’s article
in the December Tartan

Our international Advent Project: the Gregories in Guatemala

Each year, the Community Outreach Committee chooses a project for the congregation of Saint Andrew’s participation. This has ranged from the adoption of families to building houses through Food for the Poor. This year Community Outreach will offer two activities. We will distribute empty Christmas stockings to be filled and distributed at the Jackson Street Foodbank; sometimes it is fun to buy something. We will also be adopting a family, but in a different way.

The Gregorys are a northwest Episcopal family that lived in Seattle and are part of Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in Sammamish. The Reverend Brian Gregory is an Episcopal priest, and his wife, Kelly has a background in education. They have two children, Ellsley and Westin. After a couple of mission trips to Guatemala with the organization Safe Passage, Brian and Kelly felt called to serve in Guatemala. They moved in August to spend a year in Guatemala City.

In Brian’s own words, “Where was Jesus? It turns out Jesus was in the Guatemala City garbage dump.” Sixty THOUSAND people earn their living working in the dump, sorting, scavenging for recycling or items to sell, and living around the dump. The Safe Passage organization provides programs to provide wholeness for the community, families, and individuals, justice, hope, and dignity for all people.

Reverend Brian will be working with Safe Passage and the Diocese of Guatemala. With Safe Passage, Brian will be a support team coordinator, working with short-term vol- unteers traveling for mission trips. With the Diocese, he will be an assisting priest with Bishop Romero. Kelly will work with the teachers and students in Safe Passage to develop an adult literacy program. She will also teach English classes at an Episcopal school in San Andres Itzapa. We can follow their story through their website by clicking here:

During Advent, on December 1st and 15th, we will accept donations to send to the Gregorys’ mission. Community Outreach Committee has set aside $500 seed money, as well as our own donations, as committee members. We will be able to accept cash, or checks made out to either Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, or Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, with the “Guatemala Fund” specified. Any amount will be gratefully accepted; it all adds up. As we have seen in past years with the congregation of Saint Andrew’s, generosity can accomplish amazing feats.

St. Andrew’s Outreach works locally and globally

Saint Andrew’s tithes ten percent of undesignated income to the community each year.

The Community Outreach Committee distributes these funds each quarter. This year, we started to track the types of community assistance that our outreach was funding. This is a summary of our spending through the third quarter of 2019.

Categories or purpose of giving:
Food: Jackson Street foodbank (Nourish), Nativity House Day Shelter, Saint Leo’s Food Connection, USO-JBLM, Emergency Food Network
Shelter: Rector’s discretionary fund, AIDNW, Rescue Mission, Tacoma Power Low IncomeAssistance, Habitat for Humanity
Health: Neighborhood Clinic, Pediatric Interim Care, Pierce County AIDS Foundation, Caring for Kids
Evangelism: Seminary fund, Associated Ministries, Kairos, Tacoma College Ministry, Episcopal College Ministry at WWU, Gregorys in Guatemala
Education: Scholarship fund, CoEd, Peace Community Center
Economic advancement: Outreach Special Request (international farm animal purchase), Episcopal Relief and Development, Anglican Relief and Development Fund
Disaster Relief: Episcopal Relief and Development, Outreach Special Request fund, Food for the Poor, World Vision, Anglican Relief and Development Fund

Locality of giving:
Pierce County: Rector’s discretionary fund, Scholarship fund, Associated Ministries, AIDNW,Jackson Street foodbank (Nourish), Kairos, Nativity House Day Shelter, Peace Community Center, Pediatric Interim Care, Pierce County AIDS Foundation, Rescue Mission, Saint Leo’s Food Connection, Tacoma Power Low Income Assistance, Habitat for Humanity, Neighborhood Clinic, Tacoma College Ministry, Caring for Kids, Emergency Food Network
United States: Seminary fund, USO-JBLM, Outreach Special Request, Episcopal Campus Ministry at WWU

International: CoEd, Episcopal Relief and Development, Anglican Relief and Development Fund for the Bahamas, Gregorys in Guatemala

Total 2019, through 3rd quarter: $22,466 ($263 from 2018)

Amounts per category:
Food: $5,250
Shelter: $5,463
Health: $3,500
Evangelism: $5,100 Education: $2,550
Economic advancement: $366 Disaster Relief:$500

Amounts per locality: Pierce County: $18,113 United States: $3,250 International: $1,366

Report adapted from Susan Rowe’s article in the November Tartan

Update from your Vestry

VESTRY UPDATE

One suggestion from parishioners attending our recent “Chat with the Vestry” event was to have more updates on vestry news in the Tartan, so here I will give some highlights from October. Many of the items discussed in our October vestry meeting get their own coverage in the Tartan, such as finance, and community outreach, so I will share other items of interest discussed, including the kitchen remodel and the youth, family, and young adult ministries.

CHAT WITH THE VESTRY

On September 29, three members of the vestry, myself, along with Ken Rhodes, and Liz Herriges, our senior warden, held a “Chat with the Vestry” event after both the 8:00 and 10:00 services with the goal of providing more opportunities for connection and communication among vestry members and parishioners. Several parishioners attended after the 10:00 service, and we had an engaging discussion about current and future activities, and the status of the kitchen remodel. Having gained good ideas and energy from this initial event, the vestry would like to hold another on Sunday, December 1 after both services. We hope to see some of you there, including some of our faithful “eight o’ clockers.”

KITCHEN NEWS

While you might not have heard much about it for a few months, the groundwork is underway for the kitchen remodel as members of the kitchen remodel committee meet with city officials and negotiate building and city codes. If you’d like to learn more, vestry members Ken Rhodes or Angie Barr can tell you all about outside vents or grease traps or the vision of how a remodeled kitchen can help St. Andrew’s to bless and serve.

YOUTH

Even as we search for a new youth director, the youth program moves forward, recently joining with youth from other area churches on a regular basis at Urban Grace church, along with faithful chauffeurs, including Lilith Tascher and Fr. Martin.

To keep up with what is going on at St. Andrew’s, you can also find vestry reports on the large bulletin in the back of the Ada Webb room, where refreshments are served after Sunday services. You might not see the papers stapled to the board right away, but you will see a very large photo of the vestry. From the photo, you can know who the vestry members are. Feel free to communicate with us about parish life here at
St. Andrews.

Our vestry meeting agendas, however, don’t fully capture the depth of the experience of serving on the vestry. While on the vestry, I have been impressed to see the wisdom and acumen, along with the hard work, of so many of our members, and made connections with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Reviewing spreadsheets and schedules and seeing more of what it takes to make the church run have not been necessary but dull tasks, but rather inspiring work.

As our annual parish meeting in January of 2020 is getting closer on the horizon, I hope that some of you will consider serving on the vestry.

Follow-up meeting on children and youth this Sunday!

This Sunday, November 24, after the 10:00 service, please join our Committee on Children and Youth Ministries for follow-up session on the plans for developing our ministries for children and youth. Just grab a beverage and a treat and come downstairs to Puddicombe Hall to learn about the progress on our search for a ministry coordinator and on our plans for an exciting, new program for Advent.

Reflections on the state of the parish by Don Ramage, Junior Warden

November begins with All Saints Day on November 1st. I first became aware of this day while I was in Italy, where All Saints Day is a day to visit the resting places of deceased friends and family and place chrysanthemums there.

Later, when I found the Episcopal Church, All Saints Day became on of my favorite Sundays of the year, and one of those days on the church calendar that makes me appreciative of being part of an Episcopal community. Praying not to saints, but with saints; having the feast days on the calendar, with a recent commemoration of St. Francis, St. Patrick, and St. Andrew in our parish in October—all this gives us a more personal connection to church from its earliest centuries to the present day. At the same time, we use the term saints to refer to all believers in Christ, in the sense that Paul uses when he addresses his letters to believers in various cities.

On All Saints Day, we also draw close to the part of our theology that points towards the life of the world to come. Even on other Sundays of the year, each of the Prayers of the People in our Book of Common Prayer includes some lines in memory of the departed, keeping our attention balanced between this world and the next. Every Sunday at Saint Andrews, I feel connected to those in our parish who have already left this world and crossed into the world to come. Though I have only been here for ten years, I’ve known several who have departed in these years. I can still see these brothers and sisters in their favorite spots in the pews, and I sense continued communion with them each Sunday. To use language from Celtic spirituality, our church is a thin place where the boundary between temporal and the eternal, and the mundane and the divine, can touch.

VESTRY UPDATE

One suggestion from parishioners attending our recent “Chat with the Vestry” event was to have more updates on vestry news in the Tartan, so here I will give some highlights from October. Many of the items discussed in our October vestry meeting get their own coverage in the Tartan, such as finance, and community outreach, so I will share other items of interest discussed, including the kitchen remodel and the youth, family, and young adult ministries.

CHAT WITH THE VESTRY

On September 29, three members of the vestry, myself, along with Ken Rhodes, and Liz Herriges, our senior warden, held a “Chat with the Vestry” event after both the 8:00 and 10:00 services with the goal of providing more opportunities for connection and communication among vestry members and parishioners. Several parishioners attended after the 10:00 service, and we had an engaging discussion about current and future activities, and the status of the kitchen remodel. Having gained good ideas and energy from this initial event, the vestry would like to hold another on Sunday, December 1 after both services. We hope to see some of you there, including some of our faithful “eight o’ clockers.”

KITCHEN NEWS

While you might not have heard much about it for a few months, the groundwork is underway for the kitchen remodel as members of the kitchen remodel committee meet with city officials and negotiate building and city codes. If you’d like to learn more, vestry members Ken Rhodes or Angie Barr can tell you all about outside vents or grease traps or the vision of how a remodeled kitchen can help St. Andrew’s to bless and serve.

YOUTH

Even as we search for a new youth director, the youth program moves forward, recently joining with youth from other area churches on a regular basis at Urban Grace church, along with faithful chauffeurs, including Lilith Tascher and Fr. Martin.

To keep up with what is going on at St. Andrew’s, you can also find vestry reports on the large bulletin in the back of the Ada Webb room, where refreshments are served after Sunday services. You might not see the papers stapled to the board right away, but you will see a very large photo of the vestry. From the photo, you can know who the vestry members are. Feel free to communicate with us about parish life here at
St. Andrews.

Our vestry meeting agendas, however, don’t fully capture the depth of the experience of serving on the vestry. While on the vestry, I have been impressed to see the wisdom and acumen, along with the hard work, of so many of our members, and made connections with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Reviewing spreadsheets and schedules and seeing more of what it takes to make the church run have not been necessary but dull tasks, but rather inspiring work.

As our annual parish meeting in January of 2020 is getting closer on the horizon, I hope that some of you will consider serving on the vestry.

St. Patrick’s to host this year’s Interfaith Service

Join us as we come together in peace and community to reflect on gratitude and care for creation.  This gathering promises to be a wonderful evening of exploration, reflection, and fellowship!

Tuesday, November 26, 7:00 p.m.
St. Patrick Catholic Church
1123 North “J” Street, Tacoma 98403

For more than thirty years, Associated Ministries has organized this annual gathering that brings together people of many faith traditions. Historically, the service has included choirs and participants from the Bahá’í, Buddhist, Roman Catholic, Center for Spiritual Living, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Sufi, Native American and Unitarian Universalist faith traditions.

One of the unique aspects of this gathering is that each year it is hosted by a different faith community.  Many attendees love this aspect as it allows you to enter into a sacred space that otherwise you might never get to experience.  Being in a shared sacred space with many different faith traditions – it is a beautiful experience!

Like to sing?  Now in its sixth year, we will again be forming a drop-in interfaith choir.  This choir is open to all participants who would like to gather the evening of the event, quickly practice to learn the song, and then sing at the Interfaith Celebration of Gratitude gathering with friends, new and old!  Plan to arrive at 6:00 for a run-through of the song as an interfaith choir.  No need to sign up or RSVP.  Just show up the night of the event at 6:00 for a quick practice ahead of the service!  This year’s interfaith choir song will be “We Are Not Alone” by Pepper Choplin.  Take a listen to this song on YouTube .

Donations of warm gloves, socks, and hats (new or gently used) for those experiencing homelessness in our community will be collected.

A reception and fellowship time will follow the service. For more information please call (253) 426-1506 or email sandyw@associatedministries.org.