This is Judith writing to bring greetings to all of you who are part of the St Andrew's community. You welcomed me so warmly when I came to worship with you after I retired.
For a long 16 months, were it not for Zoom, I would have been completely absent from the wonders of being in community with you. This past Sunday I felt the sense of community return for the first time in those many months. There was space to be "distanced" from people if you wished and mask wearing was, as Pastor Jen said, "fully supported" and it was also OK to not wear masks.
That this was a return to a sense of community came home to me at the close of the service. We sang the familiar "God be with you 'til we meet again" with which our Sunday services usually ended. As we sang there was an impromptu, spontaneous, reaching out of hands across the various aisles to find a neighbor's hand reaching out for another hand until we were all united just as we have done so many times at the conclusion of worship. I felt so good to be connected again.
If you have been feeling disconnected from the community and yearn to be connected, please know that we are back. Your pew is waiting for you and your place in St. Andrew's circle of community welcomes you.
Loving you and looking forward to enlarging the circle,
Julie Davies, International Soprano, is currently called to sing across the globe. Most recently, Ms. Davies performed Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Opéra National de Paris (2015), Marzelline in Fidelio with Rio de Janeiro (2015), and the Junges Mädchen in the co-production of Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron (released on film and televised world-wide in 2015) with Paris Opera and Madrid Opera (2016). In addition, in 2017, Ms. Davies was one of two singers chosen by the iconic mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne to dedicate her Museum, opened in Bradford, Pennsylvania. In March 2019, Ms. Davies sang Verdi’s Requiem with Southwest Florida Symphony, and performed the role of Gerhilde in the new production of Wagner’s Die Walküre in Madrid’s Teatro Real in the 2019-20 season. Ms. Davies is a frequent recitalist and has released her first CD of Italian songs by Bellini, Liszt and Schubert with renowned pianist, Charles Spencer (Capriccio label).
The library has a new section - "Puzzles"
We are accepting donations of jigsaw puzzles. The puzzles will be cataloged and checked out like the books. Please leave your donated puzzles in the Library Book Return Basket. Thank you!
Thank you to the women of St. Andrew's who gave a total of more than $1,600 to the Annual PW Birthday Offering. Our generous gifts will go to help fund: 1) the renovation of an educational center in Des Moines, Iowa for abused women and their children, 2) the capital improvement of a gym for underserved youth in Atlanta, and 3) the Women's Health Center at Mission Hospital in Nkhoma, Malawi.
This Sunday we will continue the series, “GOD & IMPERIAL POWER: Jesus & Economic Injustice” with the third lecture by Dr. Crossan “The Death of Jesus: Non-violent and Violent Resistance to Injustice.” In this lecture, Dr. Crossan explores the meaning of the death of Jesus of Galilee by first asking a question and then by making an observation. His leading question is an anthropological question, purposefully not a theological one. Each of us has his or her own opinions about theological issues. And the death of Jesus is traditionally a “hot button” for opinion and argument. In this case, Dr. Crossan wants to focus on ancient cultural and religious understanding and practice. He wants to know “Why did people across various cultures in the ancient world think that the gods (or God) liked carnage [flesh]?” “Why did ancient peoples imagine that the gods were so interested in dead animals?” He asks, “Why sacrifice?”
Then Crossan makes a provocative observation about early images depicting the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. After all, we now know that most people in the first century did not read for information. Instead, he tells us, they learned through the images they saw every day on buildings, on clothing, on coins, on tools and weapons. It is remarkable then, when he tells us that there were no images of Christ before the year 200 C.E., no images of Christ on the cross before 400 C.E. and no images of the resurrection before 700 C.E. So, in this lecture, Crossan approaches the subject with a question and an observation (or assumption). The question, “Why sacrifice?” invites us to ask, “Why did Christians see the death of Jesus as “sacrifice” and what kind of sacrifice were they thinking about?" The assumption is: Early Christianity deliberately avoided making images of Christ for nearly two centuries.
In this series, John Dominic Crossan and Joerg Rieger expand our awareness of the historic collusion between Christianity and the empires of the west, from Jesus’ non-violent program of resistance to Roman Imperialism under Augustus, to the imperialistic “partnerships” of the 21st Century. Individually, these two scholars are powerhouses. Together, they are explosive.