December 2019 Nexus

Nexus – December 2019

Greetings to All in this season of Advent.

I don’t mention it enough, but I love my work. I love my work for many, many reasons. One of the reasons I love my work is that I love to serve communion.

One of the most remarkable things about serving communion is the variety of outstretched hands I see.

I see hands that are scarred and smooth, rough and calloused, sticky hands, beautiful and toned, strong hands and bumpy hands gnarled with arthritis. The hands that open in front of me are bejeweled and unadorned, sensible and sensitive.

These hands tell the stories of your life; the jobs you have had, the garden you’ve planted and the children you’ve fed. Hands talk about how you use your time. And I know that there are even more stories that your hands are not telling, about tears you’ve wiped, wounds you’ve healed, about what you’ve built and what you have broken down.

And I have the honor of bestowing upon each pair of hands a piece of the broken body of our Messiah, whose hands also healed and held, worried and worked. And in this way, we continue the Christian story.

Think of the hands in the Gospel: there were Mary’s hands who held her baby tightly as they fled into Egypt. There were the hands of the fishermen pulling in their nets and the hands of the woman who bathed Jesus’ feet with her tears. There were the hands that grasped at the fringe of His garment to be freed from a lifetime of physical ailment. There were the hands of Judas that betrayed the Christ, and Pilate’s guilty hands, that were washed of responsibility. Hands that waved palms and hands that held whips. Hands that nailed Him up and hands that carefully took Him down, bathed Him and buried Him.

Jesus’ hands bear the painful mark of being pierced with nails. His hands tell the story of how his body was broken for us. We remember that story every time we open our own hands to receive that broken body.

When we take the bread into our hands and then into our bodies, we fill ourselves, strengthened as we go into the world. We prepare ourselves for the work our hands and hearts do as Christians, as God’s beloved.

Christ delivered himself to us, into our hands, and now it’s our job to carry Him out into the world. We can choose how to do that. We can choose whether to nurture or to nail. We can choose whether to clasp our hands in prayer or open them in confession. We can use our hands to gather in others, or as a barrier keeping others out. We can make our hands too busy to think about Christ’ message to us.

When we leave this place and use our hands in response to the story of the Gospel, we bring the reminder of that bread, that broken body, into a world of darkness that needs light and the promise of resurrection. The next part of the story is ours.

What happens next is our response to what has been given into our hands. Welcome to the season of Advent. May the light of Christ shine through you.

In Peace and Love,

Pastor Denise


Advent and Christmas Happenings

Blue Christmas Worship Service

Sometimes, holidays are blue. Sometimes, holidays are weighed down with the difficult feelings of painful life events such as death, illness, loss and separation. To acknowledge these situations in the midst of a season of joy, please join us in our Blue Christmas Worship Service.

While the Christmas season is most often marked by expressions of joy, excitement, and happiness, this special service will be marked by our expressions of pain and sorrow. Our service culminates in the promise of hope that is found in the coming of the Christ child.

Join us at St. Andrew’s UMC on December 14th at 5pm – 6pm

Advent Study: Three Simple Rules

Join us for a study of Reuben Job’s book, Three Simple Rules; A Wesleyan Way of Living. In this group study we’ll explore John Wesley’s three principles of Christian life: do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God. As we learn about each rule, we will also have an opportunity to practice.

We will be meeting every other week, so our study will extend through January. Join us on Thursday afternoons at 1:00 in the Choir Room. Our meeting dates are: Dec 5th, Dec 19th, Jan 2nd, Jan 16th, & Jan 30th

Holy Darkness: Candlelight Communion Under the Stars

For some people, the joy and excitement of the holiday season emphasizes the pain of loss felt by many at this time of year. For some, in this season, the darkness in our hearts can match the growing darkness of the winter nights.

To accommodate the needs of those for whom the season is difficult, we invite you to join us on December 21st, for our Holy Darkness: Candlelight Communion Under the Stars. In this worship service, we offer a somber, gentle space to gather and to engage in prayers, poetry and Communion. All are welcome.

Steamboat Island Church

Prosperity Grange

3701 Steamboat Island Loop Rd, Olympia

Saturday December 21st / 5 pm – 7 pm

Dress warmly as this is an outdoor service.


December 29th, One Service: Our St. Andrew’s Worship Team has designated all 5th Sundays to be One Service Sundays. We are excited about this, and we will be starting a little early with our plan. Our next One Service Sunday will be December 29th, 2019. Service will begin at 10am. Please join us for a one church get together during the holiday season.

Advent and Christmas Dates to Remember

New Class: Beginning in December, Pastor Denise is offering a class on John Wesley; class meeting beginning the first week of Advent. We will meet every two weeks. Our meeting schedule is Dec 5th, Dec 19th, Jan 2nd, Jan 16th, Jan 30th. We will meet on Thursday’s at 1pm. Soup and bread will be provided.

Dec 1st First Sunday of Advent (Matthew 24:36–44)

Dec 5th Wesley Class Meeting 1:00pm

Dec 8th Second Sunday of Advent (Matthew 3:1-12)

Dec 12th Senior Supper 1:00pm

Dec. 14th Blue Christmas @ St. Andrew’s 5:00-6:00pm

Dec 15th Third Sunday of Advent (Matthew 11:2-11)

Dec. 15th Christmas Caroling & Pizza (After 2nd Service)

Dec 19th Wesley Class Meeting 1:00pm

Dec. 21st Holy Darkness & Candle Light Communion under the stars 5:00-7:00pm

Dec 22nd Fourth Sunday of Advent (Matthew 1:18-25) Happy Birthday Jesus

Dec 24th Candlelight Christmas Eve Service 7:00pm

Dec 29th Celebration of the New Year (Luke 2:22-40) One Service @ 10:00am Potluck after service

Jan 2nd Wesley Class Meeting 1:00pm

Jan 5th Epiphany Sunday (Matthew 2:1-12)

Jan. 12th Church Conference after one service at 10:00am

Jan 16th Wesley Class Meeting1:00pm

Jan 30th Wesley Class Meeting1:00pm

No Singles Luncheon in December.

January we will go to Hawks Prairie Restaurant on January 15th.

We invite all adult singles (divorced, widowed, separated, never married) to join us for a no-host lunch and conversation. Questions or RSVP to: Lois Brighten (360) 412-7933

Poinsettias to Remember Loved Ones

If you would like to purchase a poinsettia in honor of a loved one, please fill out the card at the back of the Sanctuary. Place the card and $20 for a Poinsettias in the offering plate or in the office. We will display these beautiful plants in the Sanctuary and on the Altar throughout the Christmas Season.

Please pray for God’s peace & presence St. Andrew’s Families:

—Dave Reed

—Jackie Hinchcliffe

—Dick Hinchcliffe

—Vi Statler

—Tom Lund

—Carol Nichols

—Mary Novy

—Jim Martin

—Barbara Hawley

—Phil & Pat Latimer

—Dr. John Britcher

__Bea Aho

—Sara Lyon

—Mary Novy

—Marian McKusker

—Skaar Family

—Jerry McKusker


You are invited to call in your prayer request to the church office (360-491-2030) or to any time of the day or evening. If you get an answering machine, please leave the request or your name and telephone number.

Music Notes

I am happy to report that all of the music for the upcoming Advent/Christmas season is in place; we’ve been rehearsing and planning for all services up to Christmas Eve. It would be nice if we could have one or two more bell ringers, and a couple more Altos. Please let me know if you’re interested.

Janie is organizing the Caroling on December 15th - please contact her for times and locations.

Lastly, our Christmas Eve service (Dec. 24 at 7 pm) promises to have some wonderful music; both the Chancel and Bell Choirs will perform. I believe that we will also have a pickup choir for the supper in December - more information will be forthcoming.

Speaking on behalf of the choirs and all for all involved in St. Andrew’s music scene, we sincerely hope that you receive blessings through the music that we will bring; we are all inspired to prepare, play and sing and be a part of the worship experience and we are very much looking forward to the wonderful Advent/ Christmas season to come.

Blessings, Paul

Trustee Update

The newly purchased Cyclone Rake has been a huge success. It picks up leaves, wet or dry, and after a few passes even piles of leaves. I have hauled several tons of leaves to the brush pile. Using the mower alone and then the leaf rake, I can keep the parking lot quite clean and safe underfoot. I have gone through the operation learning curve and now know to stay away from the many mole hills! The machine does not like the loose soil. I want to give a huge thank you to the special givers who provided enough funds to pay it off in full!

We have had one more unexpected major bill since the Cyclone Rake purchase that we have to pay for in early December. The big commercial refrigerator in the kitchen had no refrigerant coolant and a probable bad thermostat. It would not maintain proper temperature. The repair cost is $850 or slightly more depending on the thermostat. Can you find extra funds outside regular giving to help pay for the refrigerator repair? Our regular budget is behind track and cannot take this on without some special help.

Thank you!

Ken Russell, Trustee Chair

Children & Youth Ministries

Sunday School schedule

Sunday School for grades 6-12 meets every other Sunday at 10am. Sunday School for grades K-5 meets during second service every Sunday.

No Sunday School December 1st

Youth Group Activities

These activities are open for anyone in grades 4-12.

Dec. 1 - Ice Skating at Oly on Ice, 1:30-3:30

Dec. 22 - Christmas Party at FUMCO, 1:30-3:30

Join us for Christmas caroling on Dec. 15 after second service.

Quilters Update

  1. @ St. Andrew's will be on break in December. We are just too close to Holiday events. Next scheduled meeting is Jan. 28, 2020.

If you have any questions or would like to join us, please contact Barbara Ullmann. We’d love to have your help!

Preschool News

We are amazed at how quickly the year is flying by! The children are learning so quickly and making great friendships.

We had such a fun time tasting pie and choosing our favorites. We even took time to vote and chart which was the best. Make sure you ask your child which pie they preferred. And take some time to talk about how many liked the same one, we added in some math while we ate pie.

As we get close to Christmas, we will be talking about the birth of Jesus as well as celebrating many different traditions. We will talk about Hanukkah, St. Nicholas, Kwanza and have a Mexican Celebration. We will be busy making gifts fro our families and end our month with a Happy Birthday Jesus party.

Christmas vacation runs from December 20th - January 5th, our normal routine will resume on Monday, January 6th. Remember to listen to the radio or watch our local television channels in case of snow and ice. We will follow North Thurston School District on closures due to the weather. You can also check our Facebook page for updates.

Enjoy your break and family time together.

Merry Christmas from our Preschool Staff


Pot Pie Thank You

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to everyone that helped with the Pot Pie Fundraiser, from cooking in the kitchen, delivering pies, cleaning up and taking orders. It was an amazing, exhausting adventure, and very successful! We could not have done it without your help!

Thank you so much for all the folks that came out for Church Clean Up day. We were able to get several projects done and the church grounds and Sanctuary look amazing.

Happy Birthday

1-Kevin Seldomridge

3-Maria Breznau

3-Don Stephens

9-Maggie Schoengarth

10-Greg Leppert

13-Steve Berntsen

16-Jane Leppert

19-George Thompson

23-Jerry McCormick

27-Amy Dickey

27-Xander MacMichael

31-Virginia Stephens

Happy Anniversary

16-Jim & Marilyn Martin

19-Kevin & Heidi Seldomridge

19-George & Sybil Thompson

If we missed your birthday or anniversary, or if you are new to our congregation, please call the church office (360-491-2030) or write it on your attendance card Sunday so we can update our records.


December 1st
Lay Reader 1st Service: Barbara Ullmann
Lay Reader 2nd Service: Sandra Dlugosz
Coffee Hour: Jan Green, Marian McKusker, Karen Langlois, Dorothy Tyler, Virginia Stephens, Earl Cabe

December 8th
Lay Reader 1st Service: Barbara Clarkson
Lay Reader 2nd Service: Bruce Baldwin
Coffee Hour: Nancy Lovrien-Kauffman, Susan Sadler, Gretchen Borck, Sara Wall, Marilyn Martin

December 15th
Lay Reader 1st Service: Virgil Clarkson
Lay Reader 2nd Service: Robin Eagen
Coffee Hour: Amy Dickey, Sandra Dlugosz, Karen Snook, Linda Gerth, Sherrod Shiveley

December 22nd
Lay Reader 1st Service: Bruce Kauffman
Lay Reader 2nd Service: Rich Green
Coffee Hour: Barbara Ullmann, Betty Cain-Mills, Julie Sedgwick, Lois Mae Best, Sharlyn Russell

December 29th
Lay Reader One Service: Linda Clark
Coffee Hour: No Coffee Hour - Potluck



December Sermon Series


December 1st

Matthew 24:36-44

1st Sunday in Advent


December 8th

Matthew 3:1-12

2nd Sunday in Advent


December 15th

Matthew 11:2-11

3rd Sunday in Advent


December 22nd

Matthew 1:18-25

4th Sunday in Advent


December 24th

Luke 2:1-20

Christmas Eve Service


December 29th

Matthew 2:13-23

One Worship Service



  January 2021  
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