Mission, Values and Vision
Supporting Mission Together | Open, Warm-Hearted Community
Honor Individual Perspectives | Expressing God's Love through Music, Art and Nature
Embracing Intergenerational Relationships
What We Believe
"Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve. We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God. "
We affirm Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is the central belief of the church, and the only belief necessary for membership in the Presbyterian Church. All individuals who affirm Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, commit to trusting in him, seek to be his disciples, and show his love to all, are welcome to be members of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.
Our purpose is to share the love of God in Jesus Christ in word and deed among each other and with all the world. We seek to fulfill Christ's mission on earth by;
Proclaiming and participating in the God's reign here on earth. This means; bringing love in the midst of rejection, joy in the midst of sadness, hope in the midst of despair, and peace in the midst of conflict;
Growing in discipleship through the study of Scripture, worship, prayer, fellowship, stewardship, and service, relying on the Holy Spirit to shape our lives increasingly into the likeness of Jesus Christ;
By the power of the Holy Spirit, calling each other to live the abundant life offered by God in and through Jesus Christ;
Honoring God as our Creator by protecting, preserving, and celebrating all of Creation.
Honoring all people as created in God's image by affirming the dignity and value of all, regardless of nationality, race, tribe, gender, sexual orientation, age, educational background, and ability;
Following the example of Jesus Christ in addressing the brokenness in every aspect of life, within ourselves, throughout our communities, and bearing witness to the Gospel of love in the world;
Intentionally working with and on behalf of those who are poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged;
Leading by the example set by Jesus Christ, identifying and using our spiritual gifts and abilities with the Church and in society at large.
History of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Written by: Amy Houchen
The Hillsdale area was thinly settled until World War II. Then its dairies, orchards, and wooded hillsides were rapidly covered with houses. The synod (regional church government) and Presbyterians who had been attending Valley Community Presbyterian three miles to the west, agreed that Hillsdale now needed its own church. Among those wanting a church closer to home were Earl and Verna Peterson, who sold several lots to the synod in 1952.
In the spring of 1953, the national Presbyterian organization provided a pastor to organize the church and plans for a structure. The Board of Missions provided money to get the church going. Groundbreaking was in August, so the church wasn’t complete when the first service was held in a neighbor’s yard in September. The Rev. Ralph Lufkin went door-to-door, inviting neighbors to the church. When the chapel was complete in March,1954, the bulletin stated simply that the church was the United Presbyterian Community Church at Sunset and Dosch. Local Presbyterian leaders had intended the church to be St. Luke’s, but a ten-year-old Lutheran church two miles away already had that name, so Rev. Lufkin convinced the congregation that it should be St. Andrew’s, and a son who arrived during his tenure was named David Andrew. (The chapel is now named in Rev. Lufkin’s honor.)
The new church grew rapidly, repaid the Board of Missions, and soon was bursting at the seams. In 1956 it added a social hall and classrooms, and bought ground for a parking lot across Dosch Road. By the early 1960s more than 600 children attended Sunday School classes. The large sanctuary, and the classrooms beneath it, were added in a few years later, when membership topped 1,000.
Major construction requires major fund-raising, but the church would be impoverished without the non-monetary gifts from parishioners over the years: not just stained-glass windows, other artwork, and books, but also kitchen equipment, furniture, plants, musical instruments, and thousands of hours of effort in landscaping, painting, and even refurbishing the sanctuary’s pipe organ.
From the beginning, St. Andrew’s members were active in local, regional and international missions. The Women of St. Andrew’s organization raised money for a hospital in India and mission supplies for Pakistan and Afghanistan. They also supported the Warm Springs Reservation in Central Oregon and local charities. They staffed a Vacation Bible School for migrant workers in the Yamhill Valley and visited people in hospitals and nursing homes. Mariner “ships”—groups of a dozen or so couples or singles focussing on fellowship and service—have also supported many church and mission projects. One Mariner ship spearheaded turning the rental house just south of the church into Transition House, where families coming out of emergency shelters lived a few months while awaiting permanent housing.
By 1990, St. Andrew’s was sending food and volunteers to FISH Emergency Services, a food and clothing bank in Southeast Portland and to Neighborhood House, just a few miles from the church in Multnomah.
The church had been home to a preschool since the beginning, and through the years hosted Boy and Girl Scout troops, and Camp Fire groups. In 1991 the next church remodeling added a large hall that could be used as a gym, to further serve the community.
As the church and its membership aged, a study in 1995 suggested rejuvenation through making worship and the church building more welcoming, and a renewed emphasis on mission. Church members began building houses locally with Habitat For Humanity. St. Andrew’s also supported the Spring Break tradition, started in 1992, of sending several dozen youth and adults to build houses in northern Mexico.
Scouts and other groups started rejuvenating the parking lot by removing non-native invasive plants like Japanese knotweed and English ivy that had colonized the edges. In the ensuing years, helped by city and state grants, part of the paving was pulled up and bio swales were dug. Through restriping, only four parking spaces were lost as the reclaimed land was replanted with natives.
In the Fall and Winter of 2006-2007, Pastor Patty Campbell-Schmitt helped organize Southwest Hope, a community-wide food drive to benefit Neighborhood House. By 2012, 60 area faith communities participated.
The most recent remodeling in 2007 brightened the sanctuary and expanded the narthex to be more welcoming.
The last Mexico Mission trip was in 2008. In 2010, the youth group began a partnership with the Bay Area Rescue Mission, building relationships with at-risk youth from the neighborhood, as well as families and individuals in Recovery programs. In 2009, a small group of adults began a ten-year partnership, with biennial trips to Santa Clara Presbyterian Church in Cuba, bringing supplies, computers, and other support.
A visioning process in 2011-2012 brought a rededication to mission in the community, proclaimed in our mission statement “Connecting with Christ and each other to serve our neighbors.” As a result, St. Andrew’s supplies dozens of volunteers in Neighborhood House programs for the hungry, new immigrants, families, schoolchildren, and the elderly.
St. Andrew’s began as a mission church, and it continues to serve the world both near and far. The sign at the parking lot exit proclaims, “You are now entering the Mission Field.”
At St. Andrew's, we have some special worship services we hold each year. They are designed to allow us to enjoy and appreciate things that are not normally part of our worship, but which help us to know and draw closer to God. We also have special services that are a normal part of the church calendar, such as Christmas, Easter, and the special services associated with those holy days.
Blessing of the Animals
Pastor Sarah is over the moon excited to be serving as Pastor of St. Andrew’s and living at long last in the Pacific Northwest. She first visited Portland (the southwest hills, in fact!) while a student at the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH and decided then and there that someday Portland would be her home. As of June 1, 2017 with the call to St. Andrew’s at last that desire has been realized. You are welcomed to join Pastor Sarah's virtual coffeehouse via Zoom every Friday morning 10AM to 12 noon.
Cynthia has over 20 years of experience in church leadership and administration, both volunteer and professional. She holds a BA in Management and an M.A. in Theology. Cynthia is a Portland native, and lives with her husband and their two cats. She enjoys needlework, cooking, vintage film, thrift shopping, and spending time with her family, especially at the Oregon Coast.
Connie is a bookkeeper who loves a neatly reconciled account. She enjoys learning new processes, seeing the behind the scenes of businesses, and helping get financial information to the people who need it. When she's not in the office, Connie enjoys sipping tea, devouring a new book series, or taking a walk with her kids.
Presbyterian churches are led by an elected council of ruling elders, called the Session. The pastor serves as moderator of the Session. This congregation elect men and women to serve three year terms to facilitate the ministries of the church. Elders on Session moderate ministry teams to oversee different aspects of church life. St. Andrew's has 12 elders on Session. Any confirmed, active members of the congregation could be called, elected, and installed for service on this board.
"As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God's Spirit and governance of God's people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they "lord it over" the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with ministers of the Word and Sacrament, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships." (Definition of Ruling Elders in the Presbyterian Book of Order, 2017/2019, p. 27)
St. Andrew's is blessed with an active group of deacons, lay leaders who provide caring services for friends and members of our congregation. They visit our homebound members and friends, host lovely receptions following memorial services, and serve communion to homebound members and friends. They also sponsor an active prayer chain and minister to the whole congregation through a friendship telephone ministry.
Our Pastor Sarah Sanderson-Doughty is also available to provide spiritual support during times of serious illness, death, marital difficulty and other times of personal crisis. Please contact Pastor Sarah if you desire support as you or a family member face unusual, difficult times.
St. Andrew's deacons also manage the church's supply of wheelchairs, crutches, and other medical equipment that can be borrowed. The ministry of deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, witness, and service (page 26, Book of Order 2015/2017).