To thank our amazing congregation for all the work they do for our church and community, we threw a volunteer ministry party on August 19th. Volunteers were asked to take this time to relax without any obligations to assist in setup, cleanup, or speech giving. Everyone enjoyed delicious waffles with fresh fruit and toppings as they had a chance to connect with one another in the narthex. Our Neighborhood Ministry Coordinator, Cynthia Reynolds, did a fantastic job organizing the whole event.
On Saturday, several members of St. Andrew's participated in a parking lot work party and gardening day as part of our local environmental mission. Volunteers worked hard to remove invasive plants (English ivy, blackberry, holly, clematis, etc.) from Restoration Creek on the edge of our parking lot. This allows the native plants, including Oregon grape, to thrive. Meanwhile, other volunteers trimmed the hedges and tended to the rose garden. We are so thankful to have volunteers who care for the nature surrounding our church on a regular basis.
By: Cynthia Reynolds, Building Use & Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator
Once upon a time, in another church, not so long ago or far away, a congregation was asked: "If 'St. Swithun' suddenly disappeared, who would miss it?" We sadly realized that, aside from two Twelve-step groups and a very small day care, nobody would even notice. We had a large building with many rooms, but no tenants, because we had neither planned for nor cultivated relationships with our neighbors.
A few years ago something called "emergent church" came onto the ecclesiastical radar, and "church without walls" became a buzz phrase. Congregations with small, shared, or nonexistent buildings were reminded that they could still be effective, which is very true - check out Riversgate and Missio.
Without going into a "one ministry model does not work for all" discussion, I am here to tell you that if a church has a building, especially a large one, it is a great blessing and a wonderful ministry tool. Building and ground maintenance, repair, and improvements are as important as filling the food pantry barrel each week. Meeting space with parking is hard to find as well as expensive; St. Andrew's receives at least one inquiry every day!
Our building ministry has paid off in revenue, but more importantly, in goodwill toward our Mission of connecting with Christ and each other in order to serve our neighbors. More often than not, we practice this with the help of our physical plant.
If St. Andrew's suddenly disappeared, who would miss it? Here is a list of our current building users who would reply "We would!"
AA SW Hills
AA Women in Recovery
Active Stars Cheerleading
American Cancer Society Relay for Life
Bear Cub Den 254
Boy Scout Troop 150
Choral Arts Ensemble
City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
Cub Scout Pinewood Derby
Eagle Scout Courts of Honor
Eliason School of Music
Emma Downing Cello Lessons
Joseph Woodhull Piano Studio
National Charity League
Nick Fontana Music Studio
Portland Gay Volleyball
South Indian Classical Vocal performance & banquet
SW Little League
Vermont Hills Family Life Center
Villages NW Board
Sunday worship was a bit harrier than usual this week. Animals filled the isles of St. Andrew's as we gathered for a special blessing of the animals. Blessing of the animals is an exciting St. Andrew's tradition that honors St. Francis, who expressed his devotion to God by loving and caring for all living things.
Donna Haub provided a sermon titled "Return on Investment," where she spoke about why our investment in animals and God's creation is so important. Pastor Sarah followed the sermon by singing "Feed the Birds." Everyone then headed outside to the courtyard with their pets to receive a blessing and enjoy treats and refreshments.
Our pets fill a large part in our everyday lives. They teach children responsibility, provide us with unconditional love and companionship, do not judge us, and remind us that love transcends language, ability, and race.
Every Tuesday and Friday at St. Andrew's, Sandee Budreau gives new meaning to the term "exercise your faith." Part of a program called Holy Yoga, Sandee facilitates yoga sessions with christian meditations, verses, and themes, allowing yogis to meditate on their faith with every chaturanga dandasana and upward dog.
Holy Yoga 4 pillars of belief are Christ Centered, Yoga, Living Beyond Our Selves & Community. For this reason, Sandee picks a different charitable cause to donate proceeds to every month. Class is a suggested $10 donation but are all welcome regardless of payment.
Come exersize your faith at Holy Yoga every Tuesday at 6pm and Friday at 9:30am. All levels are welcome because this gathering is about more than just the yoga.
The money we collected for the month of June went to Union Gospel Mission through that Amazon Wish List.
Those who have travelled to Santa Clara will recall the beautiful al fresco dining area of the church, as well as the the tiny adjoining kitchen used by the ladies of the church to prepare three delicious meals per day for many, many visitors at a time. Today we a receive photos from Pastor Reile Marrera showing the remodeled kitchen and adjoining bathroom, well on their way to completion thanks to your generous Cuba Auction donations. Our friends in Santa Clara report many positive changes including growth in membership as well as in programs for children, youth and seniors. In January a delegation from St. Andrew’s will travel to Santa Clara to witness these changes first hand, and to discern together the next steps for our partnership. For more information on the Santa Clara Church contact Marilyn Palumbo Roberts or Laurie Donald.
Thanks for checking out our blog section. We will soon be posting more articles about things that are going on at St. Andrew's and in the world.