#4 May Nexus Weekly Church Newsletter 2020 #4
News from Pastor Denise
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ,
I’ve missed Children’s Time during worship, so my 8-year old grand-daughter humors me when I want to try something new, plus, she is getting a little bored being at home so she likes the idea of something different.
As usual for Children’s Time, I almost always do an object lesson. An object lesson is a teaching method that uses a physical object or visual aid as a discussion piece for a lesson.
This lesson begins with a large empty jar which I fill with golf balls. The question to my student is, is the jar full? She says, it looks like you can’t get any more golf balls in.
Next, I take a large bag of small pebbles which I proceed to pour into the jar. The pebbles are small enough to fill in many of the spaces between the golf balls. I empty the pebbles into the jar until they start to roll off the top.
The question to my student is, is the jar full now? She suggests that it bang it on the table a couple of times so stuff will settle to the bottom.
Next, I pull out a bag of fine sand which I pour into the jar. The sand fills in even smaller spaces between the pebbles.
I ask, is the jar finally full? She gives me the advice about banging the jar once again, and maybe using a knife to push stuff down further.
Well, I happen to have a pitcher of water handy, which I then pour very slowly into the jar until it is most definitely full.
OK, that is the end of my objects. She agrees. She thinks that the jar is full now as well. Henceforth is the lesson.
The golf balls represent the big things in our lives that make life worth living. These things are essential, of great significance, and they give us joy. They include relationships with family, with friends, with God, our health, etc.
The pebbles represent the things in our lives that are important and necessary; for instance our work and our homes.
The sand represents the little stuff that must get done: laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping and cooking.
If you put the sand or the pebbles in the jar first, there would be no room for the golf balls to fit. This means that you might be trading off some important things in your life, like time with family or with God, for less important things.
Our lives are very full. We all have choices. We all need to take care with our priorities.
What about the water? It reminds us that there is always time to share a drink with a friend!
This week, spend some time reflecting on the golf balls, pebbles, and the sand in your life. Right now we are living in an upside-down world that makes us think only of scarcity. Jobs are scarce, personal protection for our health care workers is scarce, even toilet paper is scarce.
I invite you to shift your thoughts from scarcity to thoughts of abundance. What do you have in your life that brings you light and love? What is happening in your life that charges you up each day, and helps you to manage the uncertainty? I hope that you are able to view our Sunday worship or our Tuesday Bible study as an ongoing source of sustenance that helps you to remember that God is alive and working in the world. I know that this is a scary time for many, and I pray that you feel the power of God’s love gathering us all in. God has named us and claimed us, and that means that we will never be alone. I miss you all and I look forward to that beautiful time when we see one another in worship once again.
God bless you all. Be safe and stay healthy.
What you Might Notice at Church
Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17
From God the Father, Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit who unites us all, Happy May to everyone.
It’s not quite what we expected, but here we are, living in the now and the not yet. The ‘now’ is of course an acknowledgement of the pandemic and its repercussions. The ‘not yet’ is what it looks like when we get through this, and we will get through this.
I wanted to share some thoughts about what comes next. Unfortunately, even though in the space of only a few days, most of our state was advised to stay at home to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, it is very unlikely, that it will require only a few days to reopen our state. It is more likely that reopening will be much more piecemeal, and in fits and starts.
This past week, a group of folks from the church met to envision and actually to start planning what a reopening of St. Andrew’s might look like. It all starts with a communication plan to our members so that people have an idea of what to expect when church resumes in our physical location.
Let me share a couple of ideas of what reopened church will look like. First, we will only use the South entrance. We know this is an inconvenience for those who generally use the North entrance, but we feel it necessary.
As you come in the South entrance, you will be greeted by someone who will take your temperature and will ask if you have been coughing, sneezing, or have anyone in your family who has respiratory symptoms.
Wearing of masks and/or gloves is up to each person. We hope to have a supply of masks available at the church.
Following the temperature check, you will be invited, not required, to use the hand sanitizer which will be set up near the door.
As you make your way to the sanctuary, you may notice that we are using bright colors to designate where the hand sanitizer dispensers are located. Also, as much as possible, we are leaving the doors to the sanctuary and to the Ladies Room open so that multiple hands don’t have to touch the doors. The layout of the Ladies Room allows for privacy even when the door is open.
In the sanctuary, we will practice our social distancing. We haven’t fully decided what it will look like, but each pew will be marked as to where a person can safely sit. These markings do not pertain to families which may sit together if they desire.
During worship, we will no longer be using paper bulletins. Our Order of Worship will be on the screen as it has been in the past. Additionally, instead of passing around the Offering plate, we will have a box in the back of the church where you may place your offering envelopes.
I think that I will stop here because, as you can see, even as church reopens, some things are going to be different in our effort to keep everyone safe and healthy. There is more to come, and with each issue of the Nexus, we will continue with our communication plan.
With the bit of reopening information that I have provided, I would like you to pray about these things. Are there other things that bring you worry as you think about gathering in worship once again. As I mentioned, we are meeting on reopening plans each week, and we want to lift up and to address any concerns that you might have. Please feel free to contact me or Kathy in the Church Office.
I know that it’s a lot, and it’s new, but stay grounded in the trust that Christ is with us as we go through this tunnel, and Christ will meet us on the other side.
God Bless, Pastor Denise
Food Bank Drive
The Thurston County Food Bank has reached out to local churches including ours. They are in desperate need of Toiletries and Food (protein items is the largest need).
If you would like to donate Food that you have in your pantry or toiletries, please bring them to the church on Thursday, May 7th between the hours of 10:00am to 1:00pm.
Bruce, Gary and Dayton will be outside the building waiting to unload your car for you. Please place your items in your trunk and when you pull up they will approach your vehicle and remove them for you. We would like to maintain social distancing so please remain in your car for instructions.
*If coming out is too much, and you want to help, you can write a check to St. Andrew’s and in the memo line write “Food Bank”, and mail it to the church. We will make sure the Food Bank gets the fund right away.
Have you lost your church directory? Do you need to connect with new members? Please call the church office (360-491-2030) or email Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a replacement.
Children & Youth Ministries
This Sunday you're invited to join other youth from around the South Sound Co-Op in our vitutal youth group!
1:30pm-3:00pm - via Zoom
If you have a desktop/laptop with a camera, mircophone & speakers, or a smart phone or tablet simply click on this link on Sunday:
Please pray for God’s peace & presence St. Andrew’s Families:
—Phil & Pat Latimer
—Dr. John Britcher
—Amy Dickey & Family
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.
5-Dave & Connie Reed
A Brief St. Andrew’s History
Some of you may not know much about the history of St. Andrew’s UMC. Here is a brief recap of the highlights courtesy of Sharlyn Russell. Sharlyn researched the church’s history for our 50th anniversary celebration.
The church got its start as a satellite of First United Methodist Church, Olympia. The first Sunday Service was held at Lydia Hawk Elementary School in Sept 1959. That is the month/year we date as the start of the church. In 1963, Al and Evelyn Thompson, the developers of Tanglewilde and Thompson Place, donated the land where the church now sits and construction began in Sept. of that year. The original construction included the Sanctuary, the big kitchen, rest rooms, the offices, and classrooms down to the current Fellowship Hall. In March 1964, the first service was held in the new building. In June 1969, the church became self sustaining.
In Sept. 1975, ground was broken for the addition of the Fellowship Hall, small kitchen and 2 classrooms. The Pre-School got its start in 1979. Prior to 1979, we sat on metal folding chairs in the Sanctuary, then the current pews were purchased that year.
In 2006, the Sanctuary was extensively remodeled. The wing walls were installed up front (with new lighting), the skylight was installed, the storage and communications rooms were built in the back, a wall was removed in the kitchen, and the present welded seam fabric roofing was installed.
From 1960 to the present, St. Andrew’s has been served by 14 ministers. In 2009, we celebrated 50 years. Of course, now we are over 60 years old and still going strong.