Dear St. Andrew Members and Friends,
Blessings, in Christ, to all of you! I hope you took the opportunity to look at our September Newsletter that came out earlier this month and reviewed the latest happenings at St. Andrew in light of all the changes that have been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Allow me to add a few very important updates.
Starting this Sunday, September 27, we will once again offer our 8:00 am Sunday service for those ready to return to in-person worship. The 8:00 and 9:30 services will be identical traditional worship, and 11:00 will continue as Contemporary Praise. In addition, this week’s easing of restrictions for houses of worship in Montgomery County allows an increase in sanctuary capacity to 75 worshipers per service plus worship leaders and assistants. Safe distancing and other precautions will remain in effect. Temperature checks and screening questions will be required for leaders, volunteers, and staff. Even though this still represents a small fraction of our pre-pandemic worship capacity, it’s a great sign that, by God’s grace, we are moving in the right direction! So, join us if you are so led, knowing that you have another Sunday morning option, and rest assured that our online services and Monday small group communions will also continue. Get details and register for in-person worship or small group communion HERE.
I also want to bring you some great news and alert you to some other changes on our church staff:
- Last week, we learned that Mengesha Gella, who had been serving as our Missionary Intern, has been granted a change in visa status which will allow him to remain among us and begin serving as our Director of Amharic Outreach. This is a tremendous answer to prayer which signals God’s confirmation of our efforts to reach more sisters and brothers with the Good News of Jesus. By God’s grace, Mengesha’s ministry as our intern has been extremely fruitful and we look forward with great anticipation to many more blessings through his work in the days and years ahead. Let’s praise God for this new beginning!
- As you may have read in the newsletter, another new beginning has come in the person of Christy Hyder, who recently joined our Children’s Ministry Leadership Team as Coordinator of Kingdom Kids Sunday School, succeeding Lia Mai Puskar who continues to serve as our Preschool Director. Christy joined our team at a challenging time, and she is making online resources in Christian education for our children and their families available and will offer in-person ministry opportunities as they become safely possible. Be sure to give Christy your support and uphold her in prayer along with the entire Children’s Ministry team, led by Robyn Howland.
- Finally, our prayers go up for Debbie Snyder, Director of Administration, who will be relocating to Colorado at the end of this month. Though we’ll surely miss Debbie in the church office, for the past six months most of our interactions have been through text, email, phone, and Zoom. And the good news is that all of those things will go on as God’s gifts of technology will allow Debbie to continue to do much of her previous job from half a country away. That said, Administrative Assistant Karen Hughes will be moving into Debbie’s office and serving as our new Director of Administration in a role reversal that we believe will continue to bless and strengthen our labor in the Lord. So, to Debbie we say “farewell, Godspeed, hello, and welcome!” We also give thanks for Karen who will keep the trains running on time in Maryland!
Join me in giving thanks to God for all the ways in which He blesses us so richly and beautifully provides for the ministry of Christ among us during all the changing seasons of life. Pastor Nick and I look forward to seeing you at church unless you see us online, and together with our entire staff, we continue to hold all of you in our hearts and prayers.
Grace, Peace, Love, in Christ,