Dear St. Andrew’s Community:
Yesterday our county's status in controlling COVID moved from the purple zone to the red. This allows churches to have indoor worship services at 25% capacity as long as all the current guidelines are followed. Our Health Task Force (Tom, Carole Shapiro, Ariel Bower and myself) will meet next week to begin the process of evaluating again what this would mean for us. The recommendations from that meeting will be presented to the session on October 20. From the survey we did earlier in the summer and various conversations, we know that some of us will want to try in-person worship and some of us will not until a later date. We also are committed to including everyone in worship, which means that in-person worship would include the ability to participate from home through live-streaming or video. There are many issues to resolve.
For decades, the first Sunday was “World Communion Sunday.” That has evolved into “Peace & Global Witness Sunday,” and includes the opportunity to be part of a special offering – an opportunity for the “church to cast off anxiety and fear, discord and division, and embrace our God's mission of reconciliation to those around the corner and around the world.” Donations can be sent to the church or made online (simply mark your contribution "Peacemaking").
Your pastor-elect Rev. Jennifer Fraser has begun her preparations to begin at St. Andrew’s on December 1. Several of us are in contact with her to support the beginning of her tenure.
Dale Rinker will be celebrating her 80th birthday this Sunday. If you would like to send her a card and don’t have her address, you can call the church office. Happy Birthday Dale!
I reached out to Chris Davis to ask how is he is doing after moving to Taipei, Taiwan. He replied: “I just got out of my 14-day quarantine yesterday and spent the day moving into and cleaning my new apartment room, getting supplies, and walking around my neighborhood… no real message to provide now, except that I made it through the quarantine without going completely mad! Some friends that I talked to regularly might dispute that, though.” He also sent a picture of the city he took (see following).
Finally, I believe it fair to say that the presidential debate that occurred last night was a frightening and embarrassing event in the history of our country. Apart from our individual political views, I believe it is fair to say it clearly lacked the exhibition of basic dignity and mutual respect that is the foundation of our democracy. May we all pray, work and advocate for the “better angels of our nature” to counteract the forces that have gotten us to this point.