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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Advent Family Gatherings on Wednesdays

Advent Family Gatherings will take place on Wednesdays in December.

December 6th, 13th and 20th.

Mark your calendars now to join us on Wednesday nights during Advent for some intergenerational fun and fellowship. All adult and youth will meet in the Fellowship Hall.
Our theme this year will be, "Whose Birthday Is It Anyway?"

Please join us for Advent. All ages are welcome. Look for more details to come in the bulletin, on the web and as special announcements.


The Chrismon Tree

The Youth of St. Andrew's will be decorating the Chrismon Tree as part of the Advent Family Gatherings. We normally think about a Christmas Tree and the modern meaning that it has...sparkly lights and shiny ornaments. Some trees are even coordinated to go with the theme or colors of our homes. We should think about the real meaning of Christmas when it comes to the tree as well. This year consider a Chrismon tree that will proclaim the name, the life, and the saving acts of Jesus the Christ.

In 1957, Francis Kipps Spencer created the first Chrismon tree. She coined the term Chrismon as a combination of Christ + monogram to reflect her desire to create decorations for Christmas trees that “proclaim the name, the life, and the saving acts of Jesus the Christ.” The purpose was to make homemade ornaments to show central symbols of the Christian faith. Chrismons are traditionally white and gold to reflect the colors of the Christmas season.

The symbols can include historic symbols of the faith. Crosses are often prominent on Chrismon trees. Other historic symbols are often included, such as Trinitarian symbols or the Chi-Rho abbreviation for the name of Christ in Greek (Xristos or Christos). New symbols are also created to illustrate biblical texts and to point to central elements of the Christian faith. The Chrismon tree is one way in which churches try to avoid the commercialization of the Christmas season by pointing to the message of the Christmas season.

Some of the symbols used on the Chrismon tree are here:

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From left to right
  • Cross Botonnée
    (Preparation for worship)
  • Cross Patée
    (Pastoral liturgies)
  • Anchored Cross
    (Baptism and reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant)
  • Chi Rho
    (Abbreviation for the name of Christ)
This next set is very often used as well:

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From left to right:
  • Celtic Cross
    (Service for the Lord’s day)
  • Jerusalem Cross
    (Resources for the liturgical year)
  • Cross Crosslet
    (Daily Prayer)
  • Maltese Cross
    (The psalms)
Source: PC(USA) O Chrismon Tree



In keeping with tradition, we will once again decorate the sanctuary with poinsettias during the Christmas season. Everyone is welcome to participate by providing one or more flowers.

You may designate your poinsettia in memory or in honor of someone, or just as a token of love for the church. The cost for each poinsettia will be $11.00, and you may take it home after the Christmas season.

To place an order, fill out this form and put it in the offering plate along with your payment, or return it to the church office by December 17th.

Name: _____________________________________

I wish to order ______ poinsettias. I have enclosed $_______ with this order.

______ In memory of: ___________________________________





______ In honor of: ___________________________________





______ As a token of love for the Church.

Deadline: December 17th, 2006


Christmas Gift Making Workshop

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The Youth will host a Christmas Gift Making Workshop for the children of St. Andrew's on Saturday, December 2nd from 10AM-2PM. $10 donation per child to cover the cost of supplies.

Children 4 years old through 5th grade are invited to come and make Christmas presents, have lunch and maybe even watch a movie. The youth will be helping the younger children and they should leave with several presents for their special folks--wrapped and ready for placement under the tree!

Parents! What a great opportunity for you to do some shopping, take a nap, catch up on some chores or your reading--the possibilities are endless! Children will need to be dropped off and picked up from the fellowship hall.

Sign up in advance is required. Please contact Pearl at the church office at 843-766-4262 for more information!

Christmas Gift Making Workshop Sign-up

Child's Name:________________________ Age: ________

Parents: ________________________________________

Phone #'s (home)_____________ (cell)________________

Food Allergies: ___________________________________

Emergency Contact:________________________________

Phone #'s (home)_____________ (cell)________________


Monday, November 27, 2006

Sunday Sermon Summary #3

The sermon on Sunday, November 26th was entitled: Is This Good News?

Spike began the sermon by telling us he had a special relationship with an adorable little boy named Sully Carroll (a little boy of one of the church members). Last summer during VBS Spike and Sully were talking about the gospel lesson. Sully's understanding was that Jesus died, came back and is now the president. He is just a very little boy and his parents still have a lot to teach him about Christ, that He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. What does that mean for us? Do we confess He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings? Do we understand our place in the world? Jesus is not valued at all until we value him above all. We really do not do this. He must be our first love. He gives us life and redeems us from sin.

In the scripture lesson for today (Revelation 1: 4-8), Paul is writing to the seven churches in the province of Asia Minor. There were more than seven churches during that time. The seven churches represent our struggles. The Asia in the Revelation passage is really Asia today. God speaks to us through his word and lets us know what is expected of us. Paul was specifically writing to the Laodicean Church. People during that time were still under the control of the Roman empire. Domitian was emperor at the time and he commanded that Caesar be worshiped as lord. He was first above all things.

Christians were not persecuted in ancient literature, instead they were persecuted for treason just like Benedict Arnold. We worship god and not Caesar. The Greek word martyr also has the meaning of 'witness.' Revelation was really written to people to people who knew that suffering in this world was not God's intention. Only God can validate our faithfulness and make us new. It is difficult to remain faithful in hard times. Keep the faith! God is with us. John begins his writing with grace and peace. They begin Paul's writing as well. Grace is God's free choosing of us because of God's love for us. We have peace in chaos with God's love. He is the God who is, was and is to come. This refers back to Moses and the burning bush.

In John 15, Jesus is the faithful witness. He takes witness to the heart of God for us. His love is unconditional. Jesus reveals that to as a faithful witness. Witness also means martyr. The Word became flesh and dwelled amount us. He was nailed to the cross and died for that witness. The One who loves us is still alive--he does not use past tense. He freed us from sin.

God calls for salvation and service. We are called to be a bridge. We are bridge builders to God's kingdom so when our family and friends are stuck in suffering, we are the bridge between them and God who loves us. What does it mean for people we meet everyday? 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. When John thinks of the goodness of God he erupts into praise. Do we? Do we get excited about what he had done for us and given us? What kind of priest are we? What kind of bridge are we?

John offers words of assurance. 7Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindred of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Is this good news? We will be called to account and to answer to him as he is the first born--Lord of Lords and King of Kings! Is this good news?

Spike used to work for a moving company and he had a friend named Dennis during that time. Dennis wanted to make lots of money, have lots of nice things and have lots of girls. That may be typical of many men. Spike tried to show him a more excellent way...that he did not need all that money, stuff and girls. Dennis did not change his views at that time. He felt he was in his twenties and that was what his goals were. He indicated to Spike that the more excellent way would have to come later.

The same God, or Yahweh that delivered the slaves out of Babylon is the same god who offers us grace and peace. Grace and Peace are ours in the midst of trials. The baptism that was held a few minutes ago is indicative of promises the congregation makes to children through the sacrament of baptism. We make promises to children and we have to show them a more excellent way. Jesus loves us and has set us up free to be a bridgebuilder.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Thanksgiving Feast for All!

Last Sunday evening was our Thanksgiving dinner. This blog reporter had the pleasure of attending. It began at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall. It was the final celebration that ended our Every Member Canvas. There were turkeys enough for an army, baked as well as fried. There were side dishes of every sort, from vegetables to salads to yams. Can we say yummy?! To top it all off there were desserts galore! Good food and fellowship was had by all.

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Pastor Spike Coleman giving the Welcome and Blessing

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The line to get food was quite a long one. Wow! Look at all those intent
faces! Dinner is a serious thing!

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~Turkey Facts~
Turkeys have heart attacks. When the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier, fields of turkeys would drop dead.
Did you know
turkeys can drown if they look up when it is raining?
A spooked turkey can run at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. They can also burst into flight approaching speeds between 50-55 mph in a matter of seconds.
~Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey.~

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These girls have the right idea!
Good food and good friends equal fun.

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Smile! You are on "turkey camera!"

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~Turkey Cooking 101~

Be sure you know the difference between a turkey and a chicken
when you begin to fry it.
A turkey fried on top of the stove in a frying pan
has the consistency of shoe leather
and will result in broken teeth.
(It was one of my first attempts at cooking when I was in middle school)
I thought it was a chicken--just a large one!

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Some of the most important work after a wonderful dinner.
The meal was wonderful and so was the fellowship.
If you were not able to attend this year,
be sure to mark your calendar for next year!


Isaiah 58: 1-14

This was the homework for this read this passage daily. Were you able to read it? It is never too late to start. Jesus IS Lord!
True Fasting

1 "Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.

2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.

3 'Why have we fasted,' they say,
'and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?'
"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.

4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?

6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD's holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.


Sunday Sermon Summary #2

The sermon on Sunday, November 19th was entitled: What Kind of Lord is Jesus?

Spike began by inviting us all to read the scripture Isaiah 58: 1-14 daily for clarity, understanding and reflection so that we would all fully understand that Jesus is Lord! Today, what does it mean to say Jesus is Lord? If we confess that Jesus is Lord will we be saved? What does that mean? What kind of Lord is Jesus? Paul wrote about this to the Romans. During the time of Caesar when Paul was writing to the people, Caesar demanded that everyone worship him as lord. If you did not confess that he was, you were imprisoned or put to death as a traitor. Caesar was a very demanding lord.

Today there are modern day lords. Who are they? What are they? The government? The President? They put in place laws for the common good. What happens today if we complain? Nothing, as we have free speech. What other lords are in our lives? Work? Greed? Lust? These are things that can control our thoughts, actions and influence relationships. What does Jesus want from us? Read Isaiah 58: 1-14 out loud and really notice the verbiage and the strong language. It is down to earth, concrete and not abstract. Belief and action are two sides of the same coin.

Reflect on the Israelites. When they came out of exile they were rebuilding. Life was hard and where they were no one wanted to go. In Isaiah 58: 1-14, you will notice that there is more than one reference to the Sabbath. That is very important. Do we honor the Sabbath? Do we take it off from work? Do we ask others to work for us? The Sabbath is for everyone to spend with God and his presence. Our ancestors did not get it. They just went through the motions and thought that would be enough. God looks in our hearts and our actions need to be consistent. 6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? God hears our prayers when we are consistent.

What is God asking of us? We live in the richest country with privilege. How do we use the privilege? God is calling for us to set aside the privilege, the power and to serve one another. We need to reach out and take interest in others. Our righteousness will spring up and God will hear our prayers. God will do amazing things through us, through the congregation. Last week Thursday when Spike came to work, he had a to-do list. He got three calls that were not on that list.
  • A brother struggling with family, job and satanic attacks
  • A woman who needed a referral for counseling. She had been subject to satanic rituals as a child and was dealing with dissociative identity disorders
  • A family struggling with many issues
It is not uncommon to have a morning like that.

What kind of Lord is Jesus? Why Him and not some other lord? Jesus is willing to set aside his power and privilege. All this is, belongs to Jesus. He set it all aside for us. He emptied himself to become our flesh. He became obedient unto death. Whe he was nailed to the cross he could have summoned a band of angels to take him down. He died for us. He died for the brother struggling, the woman in need of counseling and the family having to deal with many issues. He emptied himself and gave it all so that we share in his divine works.

Jesus assumed the posture of servant to wash the feet of the Apostles. We must follow, answer and obey Him. We must turn away from the "Caesars" that control our lives. The day will come when every knee will bend and all will confess Jesus is Lord. That day is coming. As that day approaches we need to set aside earthly things. The Word guides us so that we can get the treasure of Jesus.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Thanksgiving Dinner

Our Finance and Stewardship Ministry team has organized our Every Member Canvas during the month of November. Our goal is to build excitement and commitment to share in the worship and mission of Jesus Christ as members of St. Andrew's.

We will celebrate the results of our Every Member Canvas with a Thanksgiving Dinner on November 19th at 6:00PM. We will provide turkeys and members will be asked to bring vegetables and dessers.


The Breath Prayer

In Hebrew the words for breath and spirit are the same word, ruach. A breath prayer, when used over time, can help us to experience what it means in Romans 8: 26-27 for "the Spirit to pray in us." It is a short prayer that can be said or thought in a single breath.

Here's a way to develop your own breath prayer:*

Imagine Jesus standing in front of you, asking you, "What do you want me to do for you?" Go deep inside yourself and allow your response to emerge from that place of profound hope and prayer. If several things emerge, try to identify the root desire beneath all the others.

Now identify a name that you normally use for God in prayer. It might be Lord, Jesus, Almighty One, Spirit of God, Most Holy God. Find your name for the divine being.

Combine your desire with your name for God in a single short phrase that flows easily in your mind. You may need to experiment with phrasing to find a comfortable rhythm.

Sit quietly and repeat the phrase gently in your mind for several minutes. Allow the prayer to take on the shape of your breathing so that the words accompany your every breath.

Take a walk, repeating your prayer while you move. Note how the prayer shapes your perceptions. Allow the prayer to accompany the rhythm of your walking and your breathing.

This prayer can be carried with you through the day. It is a good companion for solitary activities like doing chores, frustrating times like sitting in traffic jams and rhythmic exercises like running, swimming or bicycling.

Sample breath prayers include:

Holy Spirit, fill me.
Give me strength, O Christ.
Father, show me your love.
Teach me patience, gracious God.
My God and my All. (Saint Francis)
Come, Lord Jesus!


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Sermon Summary #1

The sermon today was entitled, In the Midst of our Mess.

Spike began by telling a story of Christians worshipping in hiding during the time of Nazi Germany. They prayed and wanted God to come right now as their life was a mess...they were in hiding, being hunted and trying to worship God in secret. Do we feel like we are being hunted down? Do we feel like the other shoe is about to drop any second? Do we feel that no matter what we do, we can't get ahead? There are long time members of our church who have weathered the storm of life and got through it by their faith in God.

Right now there are many people in our church who may be struggling with many life issues. The world is struggling and is in chaos. Life can be difficult and messy at times. What did God do? God sent Jesus into our mess. The Word became Flesh. We need to pray for our world. In the paper today the headlines tell of Christians fleeing from the Holy Land. It makes one wonder if there is hope. When Scott Sunquist was here in October he told us of hope.

Scott Sunquist told us of hope in China, where the church is growing in ways we could not even imagine. For more info on that, please visit the website, Back to Jerusalem. The church in China has fearless believers and they are on a mission to take the gospel back to Jerusalem by land or by sea via the Silk Highway. What is Back to Jerusalem?

The Back to Jerusalem vision is something that thousands of Chinese Christians are willing to die for. Why? When many people first hear about Back to Jerusalem” they misinterpret from the name of the movement that the Chinese Church wants to evangelize Jerusalem.

The first thing to understand was that Back to Jerusalem does not at all mean the Chinese want to rush to Jerusalem with the Gospel. The vision is much larger than that.

The BTJ vision is a passion for the house churches of China. We pray about it daily, dream about it, and talk about it over breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Back to Jerusalem vision is not some small trivial matter for us, but the driving force of our lives and ministries. Many feel it is GodÂ’s ultimate call and destiny for the Chinese Church, the very reason they exist!

Back to Jerusalem is not some kind of end times theory. We have no plans to rush to Israel. Rather, BTJ refers to a call from God for the Chinese Church to preach the Gospel and establish fellowships of believers in all the countries, cities, towns, and ethnic groups between China and Jerusalem. This vision is no small task, for within those nations lay the three largest spiritual strongholds in the world today that have yet to be conquered by the Gospel: the giants of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
The Chinese are opening laundromats and restaurants to spread the Word. What vision has God given to us to share with the world? Locally our schools need help. Most of the time we wait for people to come to us for help. Instead, we need to go to others who may need help. Who will we meet today who may need God's love? We need to be good news people. We need to be willing to serve.

There are members of the congregation who have reached out to the school directly across the street from us--St. Andrews Middle School. There are a number of members from the congregation who tutor there each week. Tara Gilmore is a school volunteer there and has encouraged more to volunteer. Hattie James tutors students in english and math. Norma Groover is a spanish tutor. Garrett Mitchener is a math tutor. Mary Oliver and Cheryl Cihlar also volunteer as well. Joan Pauley works with students who are in the custody of DSS in educational matters in the school where each is attending. At Mary Ford Elementary School, Lindy Coleman volunteers by hosting parties for the 2nd graders on Fridays. There are also others planning to get involved in the volunteer program as well.

Again...We need to be good news people. We need to be willing to serve.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

It Was a Wonderful Day for the Bazaar!

From the picnic shelter to the Fellowship Hall, it was one busy Saturday morning. We really do have some "crafty," talented ladies in our congregation. These ladies have worked extremely hard to make today's events a success. Check out these wonderful pictures of the bazaar and the Scout garage sale.

Did I buy anything? (This blog reporter did!) I spent $20 on christmas wreaths, bookmarks, "chocolate trash", and decorative post-it note holders. And let's not forget some of that "Famous" okra soup. It was my first year attending the bazaar. I know it will not be my last.

Mary Catherine

Let's start with the yard sale.
They say another man's trash is another man's treasure!

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After I made a purchase at the yard sale,
I carried my treasure with me to the bazaar.
Look who I saw at the door! They were making sure we all paid the right prices!

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Now on to the beautiful crafts! Wow!
Martha Stewarts ...everyone one of them!
Martha should come to Charleston and get some pointers from our women of the church!

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After doing lots of craft shopping, I headed toward the okra soup!
It was my last stop of the morning.
I saw lots of friendly, smiling faces there!
I left with okra soup and a smile!

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Angel Tree

St. Andrew's will be sponsoring an Angel Tree to provide gifts and clothing for abused and neglected children through Halos, a division of the Department of Social Services. These children have been identified as children of tremendous need in the Charleston area, and are being helped year-round through the Halos program.

Look for the Angel Tree in the Fellowship Hall during the first week in December. Take an "Angel" from the Tree, and follow the directions. All wrapped and labeled gifts must be returned to the Tree by Sunday, December 10th. Thank you , in advance, for your generous support of the Angel Tree!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Holiday Bazaar

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The Hobby Group
of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
will be having a Holiday Bazaar
on Saturday, November 11th
8:00AM until 1:00pm

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Shop for all of your holiday needs!

Holiday Decorations~Wreaths~Handmade Gifts
Kitchen Items~Pillows~Crafts~Bake Sale

Boy Scout Troop 14 Annual Yard Sale

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We will also be selling our "Famous" Okra Soup!
See You Saturday Morning!

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Update on the Bazaar Proceeds from Last Year

The Scouts made $1500 for trips and equipment

The Hobby Group assisted the following charities:
H.E.L.P. : $500
Medicine Boxes: $369
Star Gospel Mission: $200
Hospice: $200
Food Bank: $200
Make-A-Wish: $200
Ronald McDonald House: $200
My Sister's House: $200
Presbyterian Disaster (Katrina): $200
Masai: $200
Church Bereavement Fund: $100


Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

- Anonymous~

For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman's hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the 'Land of the Free' --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Thornwell Home & School for Children

The Thornwell Home & School for Children in Clinton, South Carolina, has been taking care of children and youth in need since its founding on October 1, 1875. With the support of Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations and private donations, the home and school nurtures and educates more than 400 children, many of whom suffer from mild to moderate emotional problems stemming from the death of parent(s); a separation or divorce resulting in a temporary inability to care for a child; a temporary financial and/or physical inability to care for a child; families experiencing types of dependency or abuse; and parent's/guardian's disabling health or advanced age.

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Help Thornwell offer hope to wounded children. Help us bring faith and wholeness into the lives of young people who may not even know that God Exists. On November 19th we will be taking up an offering to help support Thornwell. Please give generous in your prayers and in your financial support for this important ministry.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Every Member Canvas

Jesus invites us to share his live in 2007! When we think of ways that Jeus has blessed us in the past, how can we not be excited for ministry opportunities that God has in store for us in the upcoming year?

The Visiting Stewards are calling to visit with all church members to talk about stewardship and opportunities for mission and growth at St. Andrew's. You will have the opportunity to share how God has blessed you and offer ideas and suggestions for the future.

Your Visiting Steward will also receive from you, your promise and pledge cards. They have envelopes for you to seal your confidential pledge in. Your Stewart will return your promise and pledge into the treasurer, Jerilyn Isaacson.

Once pledges have been received, the Session will be able to finalize the church budget for 2007. It will be presented to the congregation at a congregational meeting during worship and later published in The Lamplighter.