Dear Parish Family,
God is blessing us. That’s always true, but it’s especially evident now. In the past 9 months at St. Andrew’s:
- Worship attendance is up by 11%, and 39 new households (individuals or families) have joined the church this year.
- Participation is growing in kids’ and youth ministries, and nine parishioners have signed up to teach Sunday school for the first time.
- We’re offering new opportunities for worship and fellowship through our Sunset Concert Series and St. Andrew’s Family Table on Sunday evenings.
- 41 people volunteered for ministries and activities at the Fall Picnic in September.
- Parishioners have given generously toward Fr. Jeff Stevenson’s ministry, funding it for three full years.
- The new HJ’s Youth and Community Center is seeing consistent and enthusiastic use, with bookings by more than 25 neighbors and community groups, as well as revenue of almost $18,000 over the first four months.
In our own lives, we face challenges – illness, loss, relationships that need work. But I’ll bet we can also look to our lives and see blessing upon blessing – particularly times when someone reached out in love, caring for us as the beloved children of God we are.
That’s Jesus’ ministry in a nutshell. I love the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus’ response to a legalistic question about how to love our neighbor and who those neighbors might be. In the story, a man is robbed, beaten, and left bleeding. Two religious leaders pass by without helping, concerned about ritual impurity from contact with someone likely dead. But a social outcast, a Samaritan, sees the man as his neighbor – tending to his wounds, taking him to an inn, and giving generously for the man’s care. Don’t worry about who qualifies as your neighbor, Jesus says. Be a neighbor, loving those people whose paths you cross. “Go, and do the same” (10:37).
God is blessing us so we can follow in Jesus’ footsteps, as individuals and as his church – bringing God’s love to all, one neighbor at a time. It looks different in different moments: praying for people who are sick, teaching kids and youth how much God loves them, walking with parents in times of anxiety, educating children in Haiti, visiting people in hospitals and nursing centers, offering space and resources to help people fighting addiction, building relationships with the people who live nearby us, connecting with each person who comes through those doors on a Sunday. Be a neighbor, Jesus says – with your heart, with your time, and with your resources. “Go, and do the same.”
As we begin the annual pledge campaign, We want to thank you for being part of the St. Andrew’s family and for supporting the church’s work through your gifts. In addition to helping you follow Christ, your support helps us love God, love our neighbors, and love one another. As you prayerfully consider how God is calling you this year to offer your heart, your time, and your resources, I hope you’ll come by the Jewell Room each Sunday, where you’ll find opportunities to serve – at St. Andrew’s, in our community, and in our world. I also hope you’ll join me in following Jesus just a little more closely by making a pledge for 2019. It can be for literally any amount; we have a pledge on file for $42 annually, and I love that. It marks the beginning of a commitment, which is always Jesus’ first request of us.
Look around, at your own life and at the life of St. Andrew’s. God is blessing us richly – each one of us, and our parish family. Go, and do the same.
The Rev. John Spicer, Rector
The Rev. Anne V. Hutcherson, Associate Rector
The Rev. Jeff Stevenson, Assistant Rector
You can make your pledge simply by completing the online form below. Or you can download and fill out the pledge commitment form and return it to the church, either by mail or by placing it in the offering plate. You can also make a pledge simply by emailing Nina Edwards, our finance coordinator.
To make your first pledge payment or to set up recurring payments, please visit CONNECT or use the ChurchLife app on your smart phone.