March Nexus Newsletter 2020

O God, in the stillness, come meet us. Amen.

“If we do not pray, we fail to realize that we are in the presence of God.” Karl Barth

Prayer is an essential part of the Christian life. Even though many of us struggle with prayer, we know at a deep level that it is a practice that opens our eyes to God within us and all around us.

Scripture tells us that we are to pray without ceasing. If you are looking for a way to enhance your prayer life, I have a suggestion.

A friend recently bought me some prayer beads. I have never used prayer beads, and I‘ve always thought of them as a Catholic thing, but I accepted them nonetheless. Then I did some research.

Scripture tells us the story of the Israelites who were delivered from slavery and then wandered in the desert. They wandered in a physical, spiritual and emotional sense, and they couldn’t seem to remember to pray. God tried lots of different things to make them pay attention to God’s presence with them.

God gave them the law and the commandments. They forgot. Their attention wandered.

God gave a special blessing. They forgot. Their attention wandered.

Finally, it seemed that God got frustrated and tried being very loud to get their attention. Still, their attention wandered.

So, God tried something new. God had the Israelites to make fringes on the corners of their garments.

So, the Israelites added fringe to their garments. They tied knots in the fringe according to the directions from God. The fringe was a visual and physical cue to help them to remember God’s Commandments so that the people might become more holy and closer to God. Whenever they felt alone, all they needed to do was to touch the fringe and remember that God was with them.

Prayer beads work in a similar manner. They also serve as a visual and physical cue, reminding us to pray, and reminding us of God’s presence with us. They can help us to remain focused in our prayers so that we don’t wander mentally.

Now, some of you may be wondering, but we’re Methodists! I thought prayer beads were just for Catholics! Well, let me remind you that we are all Christians and that we share the same heritage.

Part of that heritage is from the 3rd century, when the first monastic community was formed. The monks prayed unceasingly. They began praying all 150 Psalms on a daily basis, but they were prone to wander and lose track of which Psalm they were on. As a result, they started keeping 150 pebbles in their pocket to help them keep track. Over time, the pebbles evolved into a prayer rope made of knots. By the Middle Ages, a schedule of prayers had been established.

The laity wanted to participate, but many couldn’t read, so the monks encouraged them to recite the Lord’s Prayer 150 times; and thus, the knots on the prayer rope became beads and the rosary was born.

I have been selecting a hymn for use with my prayer beads each day. I sing the verses that I know over and over. It has been calming and enjoyable, and my prayers are more focused.

Prayer beads can help us realize that we are in the presence of God. There is a goodness to touching them, holding them, feeling the shape and texture. They still our minds and help draw our focus.

I invite you to try out beads or some other prayer tool for the remainder of Lent. Use it to enhance your prayers and let me know what you think.

May God Abide in You Always, Pastor Denise

Challenge from the Pastor - Something to Consider for Lent

Sunday, March 1st is the first day of Lent. I have a challenge for you! Each day of Lent, remove one item from your closet (or home) that you no longer wear or need and put it into a box or large trash bag. At the end of the forty days of Lent, donate these items to a place that can share them with someone who can really use them!

Lent Study

Life Practices Class at Tumwater UMC - Facilitators: Rev Denise Roberts (St. Andrew’s UMC ) and Cathy Raymond (Tumwater UMC) Do you want time with God, but reading the Bible or praying is not your thing. Maybe you are interested in new approaches to spirituality that better fit your modern lifestyle. Maybe finding answers to life’s most difficult questions through traditional means is not for you. Well, take heart; there are many ways to bring spiritual peace, well-being, gratitude and a sense of purposefulness in your life. Join us during this season of Lent as we introduce you to some everyday life Practices that can bring comfort, provide better lifestyle habits and help you to live with a deepened sense of vitality and connectedness.

Class will take place at Tumwater UMC each Tuesday from 9:30 until 11:30. We begin on March 10th and end on April 7th. A light breakfast will be available.

Please contact Pastor Denise or Cathy Raymond if you would like to attend. There is no cost and no advance materials are needed. Pastor Denise will leave from St. Andrew’s UMC each Tuesday at 9 am in case anyone wants to carpool.

Recap of the Meeting with our District Superintendent

On Thursday, Feb. 20th, about 12 members of the congregation met with Kathleen Weber, our District Superintendent. This was an open meeting, with Kathleen open to any questions we had. Initially, there were a few questions about the structure of the District and the Conference. It wasn’t long before the conversation turned to the potential split in the Methodist Church. Kathleen stated up front that she did not have a lot of answers at this time. She did review what she knew. For those of you not aware of the issue; simply, it is over the statements in the Discipline that restrict “gay” pastors from serving in the Methodist Church and/or not allowing any pastor to conduct a gay marriage.

I will try to summarize the process that will follow as brief as I can. There is a proposal, called “The Protocol”, for want of a name, that was created by 16 people, representing a cross section of clergy and layman and with views on both sides of the issue. The proposal allows for the church to split into 2 factions; one faction will remain as the United Methodist Church and will eventually change the Discipline to eliminate the clauses relating to gay pastors and marriages. The other faction called “The Traditionalist” will break away and form one or more new churches and keep the Discipline as it is. Each church in the Methodist system will decide which faction they wish to join. Any church that wishes to join the Traditionalists will be able to take their church building and land with them.

In May of this year, representatives of the world wide Methodist Church will meet in Minnesota in, the every 4 years, General Conference. At that time several proposals, along with The Protocol, will be presented and voted on to, hopefully, resolve the issue. Because, The Protocol came from a cross section of the issue, it appears to have wide appeal. The hope is that it will be voted on first in the meeting, and having passed, eliminate the need for the other proposals. If it passes, the 2 factions will proceed to organize into two separate churches.

The Pacific Northwest Annual Conference will meet in Puyallup in June of this year and decide what faction our Conference will join. In my opinion, the Conference will remain with the United Methodist Church. Each church in the Conference will then have the opportunity to vote to stay with the Methodist Church or join one of the separated factions. The churches will have about 4 years to decide where they wish to go.

The various agencies of the Methodist Church, such as UMCOR, Global Ministries, etc. will remain with the United Methodist Church. There is also money to be exchanged, as spelled out in The Protocol. I hope this summary helps clarify and not further muddy the waters.

Rich Green

Thank You

Thank you to the Kitchen Crew for the Souper Bowl Celebration, Game Night and Shrove Breakfast for Dinner. I hope you were able to join in one of these fun events.

Singles Luncheon Meet at Red Lobster March 18th @ 12:30pm

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 Marian McKusker is leading this month as Lois is away.

Quilters Update

At our January meeting we were able to photograph and write descriptions for all the quilts in our inventory. The inventory is in a binder and quilts designated for sale are on the St. Andrew's website. Please visit the website or a Quilter if you would like to purchase a quilt or know of someone in need of a comfort quilt.

Our 4th Tuesday meeting will be March 24th from 10:00 until 2:00. We will continue to choose patterns and fabrics for Comfort Quilts for members of St. Andrew's congregation.

  1. us for potluck lunch and fellowship at 12:00 or whatever time you can drop by. We encourage interest and creativity. Barbara Ullmann 360-491-2693

Prayer Requests

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

—Jerry McKusker

—Marian McKusker

—The family of John Clark

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

Hello everyone,

I am looking forward to preparations for Lent and Holy Week, and all of the great music that we will bring to our services this year. Please let me know if any of you are interested in joining the Choir, Bell Choir, or Praise Team. Our rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings: These will be the rehearsal times for the month of March: Praise Team goes from 6 to 6:30 Pm, Bells (starting Wednesday, March 11) will go from 6:30 to 7:30, and Choir (also starting March 11) will go from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. Please note, we will remain in our current schedule until March 11, when Bell Choir reconvenes (Praise Team: 6-7 pm, and Choir: 7-8:30 pm)

Please look to the posted schedule times for each group, and again, please contact me with any questions or concerns.

Warm regards, Paul

FORKids Weekend Backpacks

Help us fill the weekend bags to feed kids with little food available when they are not in school. Pick up a red bag on the table outside of the sanctuary and donate items listed on the bags.

Ways you can help: donate food items, sorting the items donated, bagging the food and delivering food bags to Lydia Hawk Elementary to the most needy children.

MOST NEEDED food items include:

  • Shelf Stable Milk (boxed milk)
  • Protein items (Chef Boyardee, Tuna Salad w/crackers, Vienna Sausages or Pepperoni Sticks
  • 100% Real Fruit items (Fruit Cups, Boxes of Raisins or Fruit Juice Boxes)
  • Easy Mac & Top Ramen or Cup a Noodle
  • Small Individual boxes of cold cereal or individual packages of instant oatmeal.
  • Snack Items (Chips, Cheezits, Goldfish Crackers or Poptarts)

Children & Youth Ministries

We are collecting donations of individually wrapped candy for our Easter Egg Hunt. Please bring donations to church by March 29. We will be stuffing eggs and goodie bags that day. The Easter Egg Hunt will be at 10am on April 12. It is open to kids of all ages.

There will NOT be a youth group gathering on March 1. Instead, youth group will meet on Saturday, March 7 at the Squaxin Community Pool in Shelton from 10-12. RSVPs are due by March 4. This is open to youth in grades 4-12.

Sunday School Schedule

3/1 gr K-5: Kyrian

3/8 gr K-5: Heidi; gr 6-12: Janie

3/15 gr K-5: Janie

3/22 gr K-5: Sara; gr 6-12: Heidi

3/29 one service - no Sunday School

Sunday school for grades K-5 meets during the 11am service. Grades 6-12 meet at 10am.

Thanks, Heidi

Preschool News

Preschool is buzzing with exciting Heart Hunts, Lady Bugs, Mice and lots of energy. We are moving right along in our alphabet and the children are amazing us everyday with their ability to remember and apply what they are learning. Our younger class is working on numbers and applying them to counting and math applications. While our older classes are working hard to write their names and the sounds each letter makes.

March is a busy month, our older children will be playing games with the teachers as we test their knowledge and get ready for Parent/Teacher Conferences. Please choose a time to sign up for your child’s conference, it’s a perfect opportunity of us to tell you how wonderful your child is and how they are progressing.

We are so excited to begin talking about Spring and the weather changes with all the classes, as well as Our older classes have Flat Stanley’s in the mail and they should be coming back to school soon to share their adventures! We are so excited!!

Preschool Registration for the 2020-2021 School Year (that seems so weird to say) will take place on Monday, March 16th for our previous families and then of March 23rd for any new families that would like to enroll in our program. Please keep in mind that our Preschool fills fast and we register on a first come first serve basis, unfortunately we can’t hold spots. Watch your cubbies for details.

Happy Birthday to:

1-Sumi Atkins

1-Susan Sadler

7-Marian McKusker

7-Bob Todd

12-Paul Barber

13-Claire Byers

16-Andy Grobins

19-Virgil Clarkson

21-Ray Gluth

 

Happy Anniversary to:

12-Bob & Kathy Bowen

18–Matthew & Sherrod Shiveley

 

Church Clean Up

We will have a Church Clean-Up Day on Saturday, April 4th, 9:00am-12:00pm. Please come and help us clean the outside and inside of our building. We have large and small indoor and outdoor jobs available for anyone willing to lend a hand. Let’s get ready for Easter!

Please bring your yard tools or your favorite cleaners to help us … jobs will be listed on the white board for your choosing.

Volunteers

March 1st

Lay Reader 1st Service: Bruce Kauffman

Lay Reader 2nd Service: Sandra Dlugosz

Coffee Hour: Nancy Lovrien-Kauffman, Susan Sadler, Gretchen Borck, Sara Wall, Marilyn Martin

 

March 8th

Lay Reader 1st Service: Barbara Ullmann

Lay Reader 2nd Service: Gary Skaar

Coffee Hour: Amy Dickey, Sandra Dlugosz, Karen Snook, Linda Gerth, Sherrod Shiveley

 

March 15th

Lay Reader 1st Service: Barbara Ullmann

Lay Reader 2nd Service: Heidi Seldomridge

Coffee Hour: Barbara Ullmann, Betty Cain-Mills, Julie Sedgwick, Lois Mae Best, Sharlyn Russell

 

March 22nd

Lay Reader 1st Service: Linda Gerth

Lay Reader 2nd Service: Sharlyn Russell

Coffee Hour: Sally Bush, Janie Stover, Linda Clark, Heidi Seldomridge, Maggie Schoengarth

 

March 29th One Worship Service

Lay Reader One Service: Susan Sadler

Coffee Hour: Jan Green, Marian McKusker, Karen Langlois, Dorothy Tyler, Virginia Stephens, Earl Cabe

 

Scriptures - March Sermon Series

March 1st

Ruth 4:7-17

Holy Communion 1st Sunday in Lent

 

March 8th

Galatians 3:23-29

 

March 15th

John 4:5-42

 

March 22nd

John 3:1-17

 

March 29th

John 11:1-45

One Service @ 10:00am

 

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