Jerusalem hikers reach the Holy City!! By Mary Boyce

St Andrew’s wrapped up our Walk to Jerusalem at the end of February. About 40 people
regularly walked, ran, and biked miles for the past 12 weeks. Our goal was to all
accumulate 6,800 miles, which is the approximate distance between Tacoma and Jerusalem.
We actually met our goal around week 9 3/4, but we pressed on to the full 12
week commitment and gathered more than 8,000 miles! I am so proud of everyone and
grateful to have had this fun group. Many people made comments about the experience,
both on our Facebook site and via email, such as:
• Kept me sane during and insane time of year
• Enjoyed learning about new places
• Motivation to get outside in the grey and wet weather
• Fun to be part of the community
• Being part of a group was motivating
• Helped me become more aware of daily movement
• Gave me a chance to explore my neighborhood
• So fun to use my imagination
• Liked sharing a purpose with others
Thank you to everyone who participated, I would like to especially thank Reberta
Skinner for her travel log entries. It gave us all something fun to look forward to each week!

Celebrate Father Ed’s 100th birthday this Sunday!

Fr. Ed Sterling’s 100th birthday is on March 10, 2021! We will celebrate it on the Sunday before: March 7. Fr. Ed will preach at the on-line 10:00 a.m. service. Then, at 11:30 a.m., everyone is invited to Drive-by Birthday Party at the church to wish him a happy birthday in the circle in front and to receive a cupcake.

A video of birthday greetings is being put together. Send your video to Naomi Shiga, our Music Director, or contact her at this address.

Let’s sing hymns together on ZOOM!

Join Music Director Naomi Shiga on ZOOM this Thursday at 7:00 P.M. for hymn-singing and fun!

Naomi writes: One of the things I’ve missed greatly through the pandemic is the singing of hymns. Early on the pandemic it became clear that because of the aerosol spread of COVID-19, singing is one of the most dangerous activities. I am so happy that through the streaming of Sunday services we’ve at least been able to share music in worship. But as our time apart continues, I’ve been trying to think of additional ways to be together with the great hymns of the church.
From January, the music ministry invites you to join a monthly “hymn sing gathering” It will be the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. Hymns will be selected ahead of time, and I will play the accompaniments and screen share the text so that you can sing along from the comfort and safety of your home. Unfortunately, because of the limits of audio on Zoom, we won’t be able to hear each other sing (I will mute everyone’s microphones when playing the hymn accompaniments to limit sound delays), but we will be together. And you will also have a chance to sing some of your favorites as I will compile a list of requests ahead of time.

The “hymn sing gathering” will go like this: we will gather, pray, sing some hymns, then have time for coffee/wine to close. In between will be plenty of time to have conversation and be together. You can join us in your PJ’s or your Sunday finest. The gathering will conclude by 8 pm because…. That is Izumi’s bed time.
So, please give this a try. The first gathering will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 7. I will send a link the day before (the same one that is below) through the church office. If you would like, please send your hymn request to my personal email, <naomishiga@me.com>. This should be a wonderful chance to be together with beloved hymns as we continue to socially distance. Please join us!

Love, Naomi Shiga, Director of Music

This month, we will sing two hymns composed by John and Charles Wesley: “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” and “Love Divine All Loves Excelling” Thanks Virginia Gaub for your suggestion!

Topic: St. Andrew’s Hymn Sing

Time: Mar 4, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86763057163?pwd=U09MOVkycGxISWVqQ1J6d0ZtU2Rzdz09

Meeting ID: 867 6305 7163

Passcode: 434738

 

Baptized into Light by Pam Tinsley

Like so many, I found Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem, The Hill We Climb, inspiring. I’m reminded of the promises we make at baptism by her closing verses:

When day comes we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid,
the new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

In John’s Gospel Jesus is the light of all people, and his light shines in the dark- ness. Jesus then invites us to be brave enough to see his light and to be his light in the world. Each question posed at baptism also asks us to be Christ’s light in the world: Will we teach, pray and gather – even if by Zoom? Will we persevere in resisting evil and then repent when we stray? Will we model the Good News by our words and our actions? Will we love one another? And will we strive to make our world more loving and more just?

Whenever we live into our baptismal promises – wherever we are and however minor our actions might seem – we shine a light that others can see. We might heal someone’s wounds with a kind word; we might lend a listening heart to a shut-in – or someone wea- ried by the persistent isolation of quarantining; we might encourage a spirit of community; we might help someone make an appointment for a covid-19 vaccination. This is how we reveal Christ’s presence in the world.

Even in the midst of pandemic, racial injustice, social and political turmoil and iso- lation, we can be brave enough to look for and to see Christ’s light – there in the seemingly never-ending shade. For, as Ms. Gorman reminds us, there is always light.

Reprinted from Livinggodsmission.org

Drive-through imposition of ashes at 1:00 and 7:00

Even though we cannot gather as a congregation on Ash Wednesday, there will be two opportunities for receiving your ashes. Wear your mask, drive your car around the Circle Drive between 1:00  and 1:30 p.m. and again between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m., and Fr. Martin will be there with ashes and a prayer. Don’t miss the chance to participate in this moving ritual!

We want YOU at our Annual Parish Meeting

Mark your calendars for Sunday, January 31, at 11:30 a.m. for our Annual Parish Meeting. You can share your thoughts via ZOOM or by phone. The Annual Reports for parish ministries can be downloaded via the link posted above.  The agenda, the names of the candidates for Vestry and alternates for Convention, and information on how to use ZOOM in the Annual Meeting space above.

Don’t miss this chance to have your voice heard and your vote recorded!

 

Fr. Martin shares a story for Epiphany by John O’Donohue

Through these long days of pandemic, I believe we are growing and learning much, although we may not realize it yet. I came across a story to share about disguised gifts, from a book of Celtic wisdom, Anam Cara, by John O’Donohue.
There is a wonderful old story told of a young king who took over a kingdom. He was loved before he became a king and his subjects were delighted when he was finally crowned. They brought him many different gifts. After the coronation, the new king was at supper in the palace. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. The servants went out to discover an old man shabbily dressed, looking like a beggar. He wanted to see the king. The servants did their best to dissuade him but to no avail. The king came out to meet him. The old man praised the king, saying how delighted everyone in the kingdom was to have him as king. He had brought the king the gift of a melon. The king hated melons. Being kind to the old man, he took the melon, thanked him, and the old man went away happy. The king went indoors and gave the melon to his servants to throw out in the back garden. The next week at the same time, there was another knock at the door. The king was summoned again and the old man praised the king and offered him another melon. The king took the melon and said goodbye to the old man. Once again, he threw the melon out the back door. This continued for several weeks. The king was too kind to confront the old man or belittle the generosity of the gift he brought. Then, one evening, just as the old man was about to hand the melon to the king, a monkey jumped down from the portico in the palace and knocked the melon from the old man’s hand. The melon shattered into pieces all over the front of the palace. When the king looked, he saw a shower of diamonds flying from the heart of the melon. Eagerly, he checked the garden at the back of the place. There, all the melons had melted around a little hillock of jewels. The moral of this story is that sometimes in awkward situations, in problems or in difficulties, all that is awkward is the disguise. Very often at the heart of the difficulty, there is the light of a great jewel. It is wise to learn to embrace with hospitality that which is awkward and difficult.
An Epiphany is a revelation, when something worthy of joy becomes manifest or clear. I pray that this Epiphany season, we may come to see God’s love and grace more clearly in, through and in spite of all the difficulties and challenges of these days.
I would love to hear your reflections on Epiphany and what this story signifies for you.