Dear St. Andrew’s Community,
I’ve got quite a few things to share with you this week:
· Our treasured pianist, Christopher Davis, has resigned from his position effective September 20. As you may know, he’s been working for several years to prepare for a teaching career, and he recently finished that work. His hope was to find a job teaching music in Taiwan to be close to his mother's family. He recently accepted such an offer and is preparing to make the move. I will certainly miss being able to collaborate with Chris and hear him perform, but I am grateful he can take this next step in his professional and personal life. We will be honoring Chris at the coffee hour September 13, and he is already busy recording more music that we will be able to share in worship in the months ahead.
· At the session meeting August 18, we discussed what to do following Chris’ departure. As long as we are not able to worship in person, we will be able to draw on Chris’ recordings (both solo work and the hymns with Erin) for several months. This gives the church a chance to wait until a new pastor arrives and collaborates in creating an updated vision for the music ministry at St. Andrew’s.
· The Pastor Nominating Committee reports they once again may be close to recommending a candidate to the congregation. We will let everyone know when that occurs.
· The session has called a Zoom-based Congregational Meeting for Sunday, August 30, at 10:30 AM to hear the report of the Nominating Committee and elect new church officers: Here is the slate:
- Session class of 2023: Dana Monk, Bill Oakley, Ann Padden-Rubin, Mona Wise.
- Deacons class of 2022: Ariel Bowers, Barbara Hoffman.
- Deacons class of 2023: Twyla Grier, Linda Gunther, Karen Noffz, Carole Shapiro.
- Financial Secretary (one-year term): Mona Wise.
- Treasurer (one-year term): Scott Eschbach.
- Nominating Committee (one-year term): Lee Thompson, Diane Wiesenberger. Dana Monk and Don Vickers (serve as representatives of Session) and Barbara Eschbach (serves as a representative of the Board of Deacons).
· We received word last week that Joan Cyr died recently in Thousand Oaks. At last Sunday’s coffee hour, people expressed their admiration and respect for her time at St. Andrew’s.
· We’ve also been discussing how to share personal news and prayer concerns during the pandemic. This is something we did every week when we had in-person worship services, but now that we are connecting online, we want to be careful about protecting confidentiality. So, if you have a concern to share you can let us know (myself, the church office, a deacon or Lydia and the prayer chain) and also note if the person concerned wants this shared in our weekly emails or prefers it be kept in confidence.
· We received a communication from our national office about a series of denominational activities focusing on racial justice. You can see what is planned by going to this link: Presbyterian Week of Action, Aug. 24–30
· Finally, on a lighter note, Frank Williams sent me a CNN story about a church in New Orleans that has come up with some clever signage they are using to insure social distancing in their sanctuary. Examples: “I have a prepared a place for you…Just not this pew;” "Jesus sat the 500 down in rows. But not this one;" “Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born, and if he were here today, he still wouldn’t be allowed to sit in this pew.” The story is at https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/17/us/new-orleans-church-signs-social-distancing-trnd/index.html
I look forward to “seeing” you this weekend.