The day has finally come that we have all been waiting for. The restart of in-person worship is here. (If you have not RSPV'd, please do so today!!) Of course, worship will be different in a few ways. Because of the need to socially distance, you may not be able to sit in your usual pew. We won't be able to pass a microphone around during prayers of the people as we have in the past. And the choir won't be back for a while (but we can sing along to Erin's video recordings). I think of it as being similar to a remodel of one's home after a disaster. Yes, we are back in the building but there are a lot of adjustments that we will need to work out before we feel like home again. We will get there one step at a time. And, of course, for those who do not feel comfortable coming back, I completely support your decision. Everyone should come back when it is right for them.
MASKING ON CHURCH CAMPUS
On a related note, as many of you know, the State of California will not change its mask mandate until after June 15. St. Andrew's follows the recommendations of the SB County Public Health Department. That means masks will be required in church until the state changes its recommendations. People are welcome to stay after the worship service for fellowship, however, we ask that you keep your mask on and socially distance.
HELP WITH VACCINATION
Finally, please know that there are many members of our church who will help and support anyone in getting vaccinated. If you need a ride to a clinic, assistance making an appointment, or if you want to talk about your concerns we are here. Just call the office! For any who may be hesitant to get a vaccine, there are plenty of members of the church who would be happy to share with you how it has gone for them. I am one of them. I received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine over three weeks ago and my only reaction was a little fatigue after the second shot. It has been so nice to be able to safely socialize with people, knowing that the risk is extremely low. I still mask in crowds or with people whose status I don't know but my stress level is significantly lowered. If you have concerns about the vaccine and just want to talk through them I am a willing, non-judgmental listener.
Blessings to all,
Pentecost Offering May 23
The Season of Pentecost is being observed this year from April 5 to May 23. We will celebrate on Sunday, May 23, by receiving a special offering as we remember the giving of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church. The color red and tongues of fire usually decorate the sanctuary.
The Pentecost Offering is dedicated to helping youth begin life with a strong start. It is split into four areas of youth work:
40% stays with the congregation to be locally administered.
25% goes to Young Adult Volunteer experiences.
25% supports ministries with youth, ages 12-18.
10% supports “Educate a Child, Transform the World” national initiative. The goal of this initiative is to motivate and inspire Presbyterians to improve the quality of public education.
St. Andrew’s will direct the 40% we get to administer to support our preschool. Currently they operate at a deficit because of the limits on the number of children they can serve safely during this time of COVID isolation.
Please give generously andwear red
on May 23.
CA Public Health Dept News
Link to Face Covering Info
Are you confused about when and where to wear a mask? The California Public Health Department shared this helpful, easy to read guide Here
Graduate Sunday is June 6
Please send in pictures of your grads!
If any of you have family members or friends who are graduating soon, please submit a photo and a brief description to Nancy Russo at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 23 for use in our June 6 worship service.
Meet the Pastor
Last Planned Meet the Pastor
The last get-together for our Coffee with Pastor Jen is this Saturday, May 22, on the Church patio. We will be kept to a safe group of up to 8 guests. Please call Dan Monk asap to reserve your spot at 805-705-6929.
This Sunday we will present a lecture by Jeorg Rieger, entitled Christ and Christian Rome: The Creeds as Domination and Liberation from the series, “GOD & IMPERIAL POWER: Jesus & Economic Injustice.” Rieger says, “The point of talking about empire is that Christianity has grown up in a matrix of empire. And since the Roman Empire, each succeeding empire has replaced the one before as it has faded.” Empire and Christianity have been in an ongoing relationship since the late first century. And don’t take this idea about empire lightly. Empires are not just about ideas, they are about power; not just about politics and economics, but about the sorts of things that will shape you, the way you live, the way you think and even shape the way you believe, meaning that will shape your Christian Faith and that is the problem we need to address.” Dr. Rieger asks what many of us will ask? “Well, what’s so bad about Empire?” There are two primary problems, Rieger says. First, Empire doesn’t entertain alternatives. Its motto is, “There is No Alternative!” And, secondly, in empire, power flows from the top down. Rieger continues, “Despite all its promises, the majority of people within an empire do not benefit from it.” Dr. Rieger says that we are used to seeing empire operate using “hard” power, i.e., the use of dominant military power. What is not so obvious is empire using “soft” power, that is, the power of argument, the power of attraction.
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.