It’s been a whirlwind these past 6 weeks. Everything from my consecration as bishop to trips to Ohio to close out my mom’s affairs and an ordination in Kentucky. Through it all this parish – you – have been wonderful. Thank you for your many kindnesses, for your prayers, and for checking in to see how the Wood’s were doing. All were appreciated and all remain appreciated.
Quite a bit has taken place around St. Andrew’s recently and I want to update you.
Our discernment process regarding upgraded facilities continues. As you remember, we had a dozen or so neighborhood meetings through the spring to present to you the work of the Campus Planning Team. This team, chaired by our Jr. Warden, Bill Maddux and comprised of parish leaders Mary Graham (our Sr. Warden), Chris Biggers and Martha Senf (both vestry members), George Brewer, Mitchell Bohannon, Blake & Laura Middleton , Steve Middour, Howard Rambo and Lewis Middleton spent the past 20 month doing an exhaustive analysis of building usage and projections of future needs.
Following those meetings the vestry prayerfully considered both the Campus Planning Team’s findings and the congregation’s feedback (overwhelmingly positive) and at our August vestry meeting voted unanimously to take the next steps. Those steps are two-fold. First, they voted to move forward with the good folks at Building God’s Way and have asked them develop a comprehensive master plan, including architectural drawings. Secondly, the vestry has made plans to hear presentations from four firms specializing in capital fund raising with the goal of partnering with one of them to lead us through the next phase of our campus-planning project.
I will keep you apprised of ongoing developments. And, of course, you are most welcome to talk with any member of the Campus Planning Team or the vestry about the matter. Please keep all of this in your prayers.
Under Katie Arndt our Children’s Ministry is humming along. Several significant changes have been implemented over the past year with all of them coming together quite nicely for our fall kickoff. The Children’s Ministry Team has adopted a new curriculum called, “Orange.” It symbolizes the partnership between church and parents working together to raise our children in the faith. Response from our families has been off-the-charts positive with numbers of children participating dramatically increasing.
Not unlike our Children’s Ministry, the Youth Ministry under Dave Libbon’s leadership has adopted a new format which includes a large group time on Sunday mornings, LifeGroups throughout the week and an entry path of Youth Alpha. The consequence has been that participation has exploded. We are literally out of space for both children’s and youth ministry. Praise God for the challenges of life and growth!
Consistent with this fall ministry year we’ve seen quite a jump in our participation in the Ridley Institute. Under Rob’s leadership participation the fall Systematic Theology course has hit 181 members. Incredible. The weekly teachings aim to connect Christian belief to life. The teachings have been provocative and very well received. Additionally, The Christian Leadership Certificate Course which was open to 10 people had 18 apply! Friends, having observed and experienced the Christian Formation Process at St. Andrew’s (i.e., Alpha is our entry point. The course offers an introduction to the basics of the Christian faith and communicates experientially the vision and values of St. Andrew’s. Then, Alpha hands off to Year Team. Year Team is a 9 month intensive Christian formation process which includes teaching and action/reflection experiences. Next, we offer The Ridley Institute which grounds Christian education and theology in the local church) I am thrilled with the fruit being born.
Wednesday Night Services
I don’t know if it’s been your practice to participate in the Wednesday evening services, but if not, let me encourage you to come out on Wednesday nights. One of the chief values of this parish is to hold together Word and Spirit. Dwight and the worship team have put together ongoing mini-series designed to both introduce and take you deeper into the life of the Spirit. I think you’d find the evenings inspiring and encouraging.
Lastly, I would like to put before you one more significant matter. As delighted and thankful we are for the growth and vitality across the ministry spectrum at St. Andrew’s, growth also means we need more help. One of the foundational values of this church is that “everybody plays.” What that means is we – the body of St. Andrew’s – are dependent on our members to actually “do” the ministry of the church. Right now we have a need for folks to assist in a number of ministries: the Flower ‘Guild’ (the ministry responsible for the arrangement and presentation of the flowers that adorn the services), the Altar ‘Guild’ (the ministry responsible for making sure that the Lord’s Table is prepared each week for Communion), Scripture Readers and Communion Servers, Ushers (especially at the 9 am service in the Old Church), and Children’s Ministry workers. If you’d like to know more about any of these ministries please contact Caitlyn Dunlap our Connection Coordinator at 843.284.4346
In the family,