While we're doing online worship only, we still want to see as many familiar faces as possible on Sunday morning. Even if you're camera shy, it's a great act of love for your church community to record a quick message about where you have seen God working this week. Nothing fancy, just a cell phone video or a photo and caption texted or emailed to Pastor Charissa at 412.219.2503 is good enough!
If you'd like to participate in something extra fun (and top secret), say "Peace be with you" at the end of the video. You won't be disappointed.
And remember, for Palm Sunday, we want videos of you and your loved ones waving your palms and shouting "Hosanna!"
If you have questions, email or call Pastor Charissa.
Palm Sunday: We want to see your palms waving! If you don't have palms from last year, from a house plant, or wherever, you have two options. You can use one of the printable options below and print them and cut them out at home. One is full color and another gives the option to color it yourself. OR you can just wave your hands! You have palms on your hands and we love a good liturgical pun!
Once you have your palms ready, gather up anyone else who lives with you: spouse, kids, pets, puppets, be creative! Then get a quick video of you waving those palms and shouting "HOSANNA!" "Hosanna" means "Save us, Lord!" If ever there was a time that we feel like we need saving, this is it!
Email those videos to Pastor Charissa at email@example.com OR text them to 412.219.2503.
The Palm Sunday service will air on our YouTube channel at 10 am Sunday, April 5th. It will be immediately followed by Communion via Zoom. This is the virtual meeting software we have been using. It is useable on any smart phone, tablet, or laptop, as well as any desktop computer that is connected to a webcam and microphone. Please call us if you need the phone number to call in via regular phone instead. Worship should end by 11am and we will give everyone until 11:10 to log in for the communion portion of the service. Please have your own grape juice or wine, and some bread ready for the celebration of communion.
Pro tip: if you "subscribe" to the church channel on YouTube, it will be easier to find in the future. Also the more subscribers we have, the more features YouTube allows us to use. Feel free to share with friends and family.
Holy Week: While we are scaling back Holy Week, we haven't forgotten about it and we are certainly observing Holy Week. We will be joining up with our friends at Ben Avon Community Presbyterian on Maundy Thursday (April 9) for a two part service. At 6pm, we will gather via Zoom virtual meeting for dinner and communion. You are invited to bring your meal with you to the service as we check in with one another and share a meal from our own dining rooms and kitchens. At the end of that time, we will celebrate communion together. Please have your own grape juice or wine, and some bread ready for the celebration of communion.
Immediately following this dinner service, at 7pm, we will join our friends at Ben Avon Community Presbyterian for their live-streamed Tenebrae service.
Easter Sunday: We will gather on Easter morning bright and early to celebrate the rising sun on the Lord's Day. Join us via video call (call us if you can't "zoom" in but would like to call in on the phone) at 6:30 am for a casual Sunrise prayer service. Feel free to "bring" your breakfast and/or coffee with you. If the weather is warm enough, sit outside on your porch to watch the sun rise. Not even a Pandemic can stop the sun from rising on Resurrection Sunday!
At 10 am, our worship service will air on YouTube, followed by communion in the same way that we'll be celebrating communion on Palm Sunday. Have your wine/juice and bread ready and log in to the meeting to have communion live with one another.
I know these are strange and uncertain times we are living in and I thank you all for your love for and dedication to one another and your church family, your creativity and flexibility, and your willingness to jump in and try some new things!
Aside from some technical difficulties with the services we're uploading our worship to, I've heard nothing but good things about the worship services these past three weeks. I appreciate all the participation from those who have sent in videos. It's been great to see everyone in worship together! There are still lots of opportunities to participate. Please check out the "Community During Quarantine" page for details.
As most of you know, the church buildings will remain closed at least through the end of April. That doesn't mean we can't still worship together in this special season. You will find details for that on the "Community During Quarantine" page as well.
While this is an unprecedented and unpredictable time in our lives together, I have faith that that which is out to harm us, God can use for good. Based on what I've seen over the past few weeks as you all work to care for one another and to "be church" in new and interesting ways, I believe that our congregation will come out of this different, but stronger. We've been thrown into the deep end of figuring out new ways to do life together and that speaks volumes about your ability to move forward in the future.
I love you all and thank you for all you are doing. Please call if you need anything!
While the church offices are essentially shut down for the time being, that doesn't mean you can't drop by to say hi! We're setting up online pastor's office hours. Just pick a time from the list at the sign up below and log in to the virtual office at the time you chose! You can sign up at the last minute, even. If the slot's open, that means it's open office hours. As soon as you fill out the slot at the link below, you'll get an email with info on how to find the virtual meeting room. This virtual meeting room will work with nearly any laptop, tablet, or smartphone and many desktop computers as well. Just make sure your computer has a webcam and a microphone. If you don't have the hardware to use the virtual meeting room, just pick a slot and note that you'd like Pastor Charissa to call you on the phone instead.
I can't say it enough times. I'm so blown away by the love and creativity you all are showing one another right now. Everyone has been willing to roll with things and work together as we completely reinvent what church looks like in a time of physical distance. Keep up the great work!
Keep calling and texting each other. Stay in touch with one another as much as possible. This is where the rubber meets the road. We say we're a church family. . . now is the opportunity to really live that in a new and important way.
Please reach out to someone around you - including your pastor - if you need something. Even if that's just a chat. We're all having good days and bad days. That's normal. When you're having a bad day, reach out to someone and lean on each other.
Keep connected on the church website too. We will be building in more and more gatherings and activities online if this continues for long.
You all are such a blessing.
In our current circumstances, it can be hard to feel a "real" part of Sunday morning worship. I did get great feedback this week about having the worship service online. It was a source of comfort and normalcy for many. What a joy to hear!
In order to add to the "normal" feeling of things, we want to see your faces during worship! Here is how you can help us make that happen:
Be looking for God at work in the world around you. Click the button below to submit a written testimony OR you can text a video testimony to 412.219.2503.
Also, we need worship leaders. You can sign up using the link below to be a worship leader for the next few weeks. Choose a piece of the liturgy you'd like to do and which week. You can sign up for multiple pieces, but try to spread yourself out over a couple weeks so everyone gets a chance. I will email you any readings, prayers, etc that are a part of that portion of the service, as well as how to get the file to me once recorded.. You just set up your phone or computer to video yourself and read the part, then send it to me. I'll do the rest!
Thanks for your creativity and cooperation, friends!
Here is the link to the video Pastor Charissa referenced in this morning’s sermon.
Please join me in praying for and grieving with the Kestner family. We received word yesterday of Bill's unexpected death. Bill was a long time member of St. Andrew's, a great friend to those around him, and a talented trumpet player.
This is a particularly difficult time to deal with the loss of a loved one. Please hold The Kestners in your prayers as they navigate this. Bill's family is large and scattered. Because of travel restrictions and restrictions on group gatherings, a memorial service will be held at the church at a later date.
Many of us are feeling helpless during this time of "social distancing". Some of us are helpers with less outlet to help than normal. Some of us rely on helpers who aren't able to help as much. Some of us just want to do more, knowing what a toll the quarantine is taking on some people. Student Pastor Rebecca found a great article this week that lists some ways you can help and find help during the next few weeks.
In the interest of protecting the medically vulnerable in our community, we have decided to move all activities online for the remainder of March. While there are some people who do not have access to the internet, this is a better option than canceling everything altogether. Regular attenders can expect lots of phone calls, emails, and text messages from Pastor Charissa in the next weeks and we're game for hearing your ideas for keeping community alive and well while we are all going stir crazy during "social distancing".
Here's what is still happening and how to access it: