Month: June 2021

Letter to the Congregation – 06/15/2021

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FROM THE PASTOR

Money, Money, Money, a song by Abba, (yes, your Pastor likes the musical group Abba) was also used in the movie Mamma Mia. It is a song that dreams about being rich. And while many of us dream about a time when we would all have plenty of money to do whatever we want…… hmmm… I guess that would be the lure of the lottery. I’m going to hit it big someday.

Well, the fact is that chances of winning the lottery are slim to none. And the problem is that the church (and therefore the ministries of St. Andrew’s) suffers when the mindset is I’ll give when I have enough.

St. Andrew’s does well when everyone gives what they can. Yes, of course there is a core of people that give more than most can, but we only meet our budget and grow our ministry if everybody gives on a consistent and regular basis. The key there is everyone.

I believe that is how Jesus wants it. Everyone coming together, everyone giving what they can. Everyone!

In the end, we are blessed richly by God’s Grace and God’s gift of Eternal Life. Our sense of giving to the church must start with the knowledge that God first gave us life, creation, and all that is good around us. What we do is give back.

Please support the ministries of St. Andrew’s. We all need each other to grow forward.

Pastor Neel

From the Council – 06/14/2021

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FROM THE COUNCIL (summary from the June 14th Congregation Council meeting)

• It was noted that we are not meeting the anticipated revenues to meet our approved budget. This past month we fell under what was needed to meet expenses by $2,614.62. It is very important that giving is consistent.

• The Council continued the process of opening church facilities to support ministries.

o Effective immediately, funerals can be held in the worship space, following the same guidelines that we have in place for 10:30am worship.
o All church related groups (including Girl Scouts) will be welcomed back to the church building as of September 1st.
o The church kitchen will be open for use starting September 1st.
o Pastor will meet with the leader(s) of each group to go over building use guidelines and how the kitchen is to be cleansed after each use.

• At this time, the Council did not feel it was wise to host the Fall Fair.

• Faith Builders will be hosting an Ice Cream party July 10 starting at 6:30pm (yum!) and a movie night on August 28. Mark your calendars

• Property reported that an agreement has been signed to have the church re-keyed with a secure key system. This should be completed in time for September 1st, when many of our groups will have access to the building again.

• Property also reported that there is an issue with the Front Parking lot. Part of the lot is sinking and needs to be investigated immediately. Council agreed and took the proper steps to investigate what is happening. In the meantime, the front parking lot should not be used for any purpose. The congregation will be made aware of what is happening as soon as we understand what is causing the lot to sink.

• Community Care reported a good response to the Diapers and Canned Good plea. They will be meeting on June 24th to expand their ranks and look to establish a deeper relationship with the Easton Neighborhood Center.

• Memorial reported that all the bricks for the Memorial Garden have been installed. Once the office receives names of those who purchased bricks, letters will be going out to the families.

Please remember any member of the congregation can join a Congregation Council meeting and express their opinion. Go to the church website, click on the calendar and the Zoom link to the meeting is there. Our next meeting is Sunday evening June 27th at 7:30pm.

Letter to the Congregation – 06/01/2021

FROM THE PASTOR

So, the word is out, if you are vaccinated you will be able to sing in the church building again. After long and prayerful discussion, the Congregation Council decided to follow CDC guidelines. That means that if you have been vaccinated, you can be in the church building without a mask and sing. If you are not vaccinated, the guidelines have not changed, meaning that to enter the church building you must be masked, and you cannot sing.

That means there are different guidelines for different people. St. Andrew’s strives to be a place where all people are treated the same. While we are following CDC guidelines that does not and will never mean that we care about anyone in a different way that someone else. The CDC masking guidelines are in place to keep people safe. The decision made by Council echoes that common concern; how do we keep people safe. How do we keep St. Andrew’s a safe place to worship?

Two notes here:

  1. You may not agree with the Congregation Council’s decisions. We respect that. Please remember you can always attend Council meetings and voice your concerns. Council is leaning on science and safety as both are consistent with our Christian understanding of how we interact with each other.
  2. Please respect all those who are wearing masks. Remember there will be people who have been vaccinated and still decide to wear a mask. There should never be judgement around mask wearing. This virus has affected all of our sense of safety in different ways. If a mask helps that sense of safety, that is fine. The person behind the mask is far more important than the mask.

A note on the vaccine. Both Bishop Eaton (ELCA) AND Bishop deForest (Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod) have been very strong on their support for the vaccine. If you have not been vaccinated, please consider doing so. Please feel no judgement here, just concern for your health and wellbeing.

The Council will continue to meet on a frequent basis and talk about moving St. Andrew’s toward “normalcy” (whatever that is). Pray for us as together we find our way through this pandemic.

Pastor Neel