Month: December 2021

Letter to the Congregation – 12/18/2021

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FROM THE PASTOR

When I ran track, I was taught certain things that helped me run well and improve my race times. Things like how to get off the starting blocks, how to keep a stride, how to build endurance. All these things helped me when I ran and as soon as I forgot or didn’t work at those basics, I did not run as quickly. There was never a time I could take those basics for granted.

As Christians there are basics to our faith journey as well, worship, bible, prayer, giving back to name a few. Our faith journeys suffer when we don’t practice those basics. None of this is to say that God loves us any less or more, rather it’s about how well we are running our faith race.

To be sure we have come up against some challenges that COVID keeps putting in our way. However, we can’t let the challenges from life or from COVID prevent us from doing the basics of our faith, we need those basics to run a strong faith race. We need our faith to face all the challenges of life.

So, please remember to worship with us each Sunday, whether it be at home with coffee and slippers or later after the service has been posted to the website. Of course, we also have two styles of in person worship. And please remember to support the ministries of St. Andrew’s. St. Andrew’s cannot be an afterthought or only if I have enough left over. Supporting the ministry is one of our ministry basics, without which, we will not run a good race.

Please focus on your faith basics, and together we will run the good race.

Pastor Neel

Letter to the Congregation – 12/10/2021

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FROM THE PASTOR

The Council met on December the 5th in a quickly called meeting to discuss the church’s response to the changing pandemic. Perhaps we are all aware of someone who has contracted the virus, perhaps it has hit your family…we are hearing a lot of “stuff” lately not the least of which is that the virus rates are on the rise.

To be sure we understand the context of the discussion at the meeting, the Congregation Council has decided that we would depend on one source of information, as looking to many sources can cause confusion, tension, and frustration. The Council decided to rely on the CDC for its information and recommendations. Note that this decision was made back in the spring of 2020.

The virus issue continues to be an emotional one for all of us, and the Council is no different. But, as a Council, we are committed to the health and safety of the congregation. There are times that we disagree but always leave the meeting as friends.

Please note some of the following items from the 12/05/21 meeting:

• The CDC still defines full vaccination as two shots from either Pfizer or Moderna or one shot from Johnson and Johnson, no other treatment can be considered full vaccination. With that said, our Council, along with our Bishop, strongly recommends receiving a booster shot. We believe, in the near future, the CDC will include the booster to be a part of full vaccination.
• Pastor and David will now wear a mask to distribute Holy Communion at the 10:30 Worship service. In addition, Pastor will remain up front when worship is over and not greet people in the Narthex.
• At this point there are no other changes that have come from the Council meeting, although if the CDC changes their recommendations, the Council will meet to discuss if CDC changes will directly affect St. Andrew’s.

The Council and I are appreciative of everyone’s understanding and support in what continues to be a very long experience with this pandemic. Hold tight to the Hope of Advent and the promise that our loving God will never leave us.

Pastor Neel