Month: March 2021

Letter to the Congregation – 03/31/2021

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FROM THE PASTOR

Greetings my friends. I wanted to take a moment not to specifically talk about activities at St. Andrew’s, or something that I would like you to participate in, or that I am asking you to support the ministry financially. Yes, those are important, and you will hear from me concerning those things again, but for the moment just some reflections.

To be sure, this past year has been filled with pandemic, and all types of political upheaval. We are living in a historically significant time in human history, and I fear we are not done. We have little to no idea of what is coming next. We can all remember a year ago when we all were making predictions about how long the pandemic would last, how long the restrictions would remain in place, and so on. I know I for one was confident in my predictions, I think in some way they gave us comfort, they gave us the believe that there was “normalcy” right around the corner. They gave us a way to deal with what was going on that limited and changed our lives. Unfortunately, they were nothing more than predictions. I for one never predicted we would still need to wear masks and must limit our worship experience, but worship is still limited.

Current events meant that I had to re-think what leadership meant for me at St. Andrew’s. But truth be told, we all had to re-think. And while some of us were affected differently than others, we all had to re-think our lives. We all will have some level of Post Traumatic Stress that we are dealing with when this is all said and done. So together we have had to re-think. I must say that I have been impressed with the ability of St. Andrew’s to re-think. Churches typically have this stigma that they do not change, they do not re-think well. I have found the opposite to be true. As best as we can, St. Andrew’s is rolling with the punches. From a Council that meets very frequently, and is taking on the difficult decisions, to an office staff working very hard to get information out to the congregation, to excellent attendance on Sunday Mornings (even though worship is different), to all kinds of fun chatter before worship starts. St. Andrew’s continues to adjust and re-think.

For me this is what Easter looks like, the love of God put to work as we all deal with this stuff together. While it is true that we all worship the resurrected Jesus… it is more exciting when our lives are examples of the love that we worship in the resurrected Jesus!

We will have to continue our process of re-thinking. But we do so in the glorious way that we have from the beginning, inspired, and directed by our Risen Christ.

Amen, and Amen.
Pastor Neel

Support St. Andrew’s – 03/13/2021

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Letter to the Congregation – 3/11/2021

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FROM THE PASTOR

A “few” weeks ago I made you aware of St. Andrew’s financial situation. I am sorry to say that it has not improved. Rather, because we did not receive an increase, our deficit grew. To be sure, that cannot be a situation that we want to be in, rather we want to be able to pay our bills and grow into new and exciting ministries.

Let me make it clear that if you are struggling financially, I understand. Please talk with me, I would like to help.

But for the rest of us, well, we need to step up to support the ministry of St. Andrew’s.

This is a place that we depend on for worship and education, this is a place where we can talk to our friends and make new ones, this is a place that we can depend on when we need help. This, my dear friends, is a place we all need.

Or at least I need St. Andrew’s, not simply because this is where my job is. While that is true, it is not that simple. I need St. Andrew’s because this is a place where I have experienced God’s Love and kindness, this has been a place where David and I have been accepted for who we are. St. Andrew’s is a special place.  Without a doubt, I need St. Andrew’s.

My guess is that you can add your own list as to why St. Andrew’s is important to you, and if we were all making those lists there would not be room on this paper. It is very exciting to be a part of a place that is so important to so many people.

And it is in that light I ask for your financial support, so that St. Andrew’s continues to be the vital church it is now.

Pastor Neel

Letter to the Congregation – 02/22/2021

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FROM THE PASTOR AND THE COUNCIL

At the 02/21/2021 Council meeting the Council set the opening of the church for worship to be on Palm Sunday March 28th! It is exciting to be on a path that feels like a little more “normal”. Of course, we are not simply throwing open the doors, we will be adhering to the same guidelines as we did when we reopened the church for worship the last time. Masks, taking temperatures, calling ahead for reservations and the like. The guidelines will be re-published. Neither does this mean we will be ending the Zoom worship experience, that will continue as always. So, on Palm Sunday we will celebrate worship at 8:30, with our 8:00-8:30 social ½ hour. After 8:30 worship, there will be time for Faith Builders, and following Faith Builders we will celebrate 10:30 In Person Worship. We all hope we will be able to maintain and build on this schedule, as we pray that the virus becomes less of a danger.

The Camera for the church worship space was discussed. It is hoped that the camera will be installed by Palm Sunday or Easter so that we will also be able live stream our worship services. Stay tuned for more information.

The roof project is on a temporary hold due to the snow (this article was written on 02/22/2021). When the roof is clear they will complete the project.

Council approved the replacement of the computer for the Bookkeeper as the computer she is using is no longer functioning in a way that is helpful.