Jesus called his disciples to follow him. After healing many, Jesus told them to go somewhere, to report the actions to others or to come with him. Following Jesus, meant changing; a behavior, one’s physical location, a job, a lifestyle or a way of understanding. Every interaction with Jesus results in some kind of adaptation.
Change is part of our daily world which, let’s be honest, is completely annoying! We like things to stay the same, we are creatures of habit. This year has been so tough because we have had to adapt to rapid pace change. COVID and the resulting pandemic has impacted the way we work, the way we worship and the way we learn. Some are big and some are small, but they all bring stress.
We have some changes coming to St. Andrew’s. We are shifting our worship schedule and style. Our services times are moving to 8:30 and 10 beginning on May 9th. We are doing away with the requirement to get a reservation to worship. Our service styles are shifting for the summer, the 8:30 service will be Zoom Online ONLY and the late 10:00 service will be outdoor. During the outside 10:00 services we can resume SINGING. These are small changes, but we are witnessing big one’s as well.
Partisan politics have pushed people from common ground to far corners on every issue. We are being confronted in new ways about race and racism in America. The church saw declining interest before the pandemic and now we wonder what will happen in the coming years.
All this change has brought an enormous amount of opportunity. Here at St. Andrew’s we pivoted as best we could. We focused on Christ with us, always, unchanging and unwavering. We worshipped as we could where we could-as the church has always done. We kept welcoming people. We are going to keep doing these things. St. Andrew’s is doing fine. We have been here for 65 years and we will continue for a long time. Thank you for changing along with us. Thank you for dealing with the stress of pivoting again and again. You are an amazing church and together, with Christ, all things are possible!
God Bless, See you on Sunday, Pastor Dave
Our Mission Statement
“Inspiring Change by Following Jesus.”
Inspiring change by following Jesus is why this place exists, why this community meets and what we are set on doing.
INSPIRING The angels inspired the shepherds to run to see the new born Jesus, the Spirit inspired the disciples to march with purpose out of the upper room where they were hiding after the death of Jesus and throughout the ages people have been inspired to share their faith with others. Through this inspiration people have been moved with compassion and it is the fuel that moves the church. “Inspiring” also is a means of how we are to function. We don’t use fear to scare others into faith (we know that doesn’t work) we show them what God has done in our lives and we invite them to wonder about what God can do in theirs. Being inspired to do something new is invitational, just like Jesus.
CHANGE Something is out-of-whack in our world, in our communities and within ourselves. One of the founders of the church, the Apostle Paul, wrote that he doesn’t understand what he does, and he does the stuff he hates. Change is hard, it takes time and tons of effort to redirect our efforts at times. We read countless stories in the Bible of Jesus meeting people in the most random places of their lives and offering them something far better. Physical, spiritual and mental healing, reconnecting someone with their community, lifting those that have been ostracized by others-Jesus brings change and we welcome God’s changes in our lives.
BY Here is how this inspired change is going to happen. Spoiler alert, it isn’t because of what we do.
FOLLOWING Jesus asks his disciples to leave their comfort zones. They walked away from jobs, family, friends, a life that they knew-to follow Jesus into one where they didn’t know much, except for the Rabbi. “Following” admits that we don’t know exactly where we are headed or how to get there. It is an act of humble worship and great trust to allow Jesus to lead our community and our lives.
JESUS Our leader, our rabbi, the one who has come into our lives and invited us into something greater. God’s dreams are better then our own, God’s vision for our lives is far more colorful and fun than we could imagine, so come join us in following our amazing God into a world we hardly knew existed.
Well that’s all good and nice, but how do we actually do it? There are three values that we uplift which will make our missional goal a reality.
First, we “worship to deepen our connections.” Using the cross itself as an example, we worship to connect with God (the vertical) and we worship alongside each other to connect with one another (the horizontal). If our worship doesn’t bring us closer to God or others, than we are doing something wrong.
Secondly, we value “education to challenge our understanding of God.” Growth always means some level of discomfort, and we welcome the challenge of seeing God in new ways. We need to push ourselves to see God in places and faces that we would have overlooked without becoming aware.
Lastly, we do what Jesus did. “Service with others to change the world.” Jesus often brought people into his miracles to change the world around them. Changing the world is a big job but doing so means that we begin with God changing our world. We invite God into our lives to give us a glimpse of what God is up to, and what we are being invited into and we join together to get to work making God’s kingdom show up on earth.