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News from St. Andrews -- April 29, 2020

Greetings, St. Andrews Extended Community:

Congregational News

Dear St. Andrews Community:

As we all progress day by day through the pandemic, I am grateful for the ways we stay connected. I t was such a blessing to see Nettie reading Scripture with Julie this past Sunday, discover Disciple Dog has a new friend in Santa Maria, and again be led by Chris and Erin in our hymns.  It was delightful to be with everyone who gathered for the coffee hour, and stimulating to be part of the Bible study that followed.  This coming Sunday we will be celebrating communion, so be thinking about having your "bread and cup" ready.  Rev. Janet Ewart will be sharing in the celebration with me.

Three items of special interest in this message:

1) I have invited anyone to share life stories and lessons learned as they've gone through challenging times in the past.  Last week we read Dayle RInker's story from her childhood, and this week Bev Walters is sharing a story of a health crisis with one of her children when they were living in Michigan.

2) There is a very exciting story below by Ann Padden-Rubin about the ingenious and inspiring way a group of our members came together to distribute food to almost 200 needy families last week.  I was very impressed at the commitment and spirit of everyone who came together to see this expression of the kingdom of God and the sharing of daily bread.

3) On an artistic note, Tara and Lila Woodard created this beautiful visual reading of Shel Silverstein's popular children's book, Where the Sidewalk Ends. You'll find the link below -- something to enjoy and share with any young ones in your household.

Blessings on all of you as we journey together.


Sharing How We Have Faced Difficult Times:

When Maternal Feelings Are Overwhelmed - by Bev Walters

One of the most difficult times being a parent is when your child becomes very ill. A feeling of helplessness overwhelms your emotions.

When our son Eric was two and while a neighbor’s two year old boy was in our care for a week, I discovered Eric was running a high temperature. The doctor ordered some meds over the phone. It seemed to work until the next day when it spiked higher to 106. The doctor said get him to Detroit’s Children Hospital immediately. Fred was at work 20 miles away, so I found a neighbor to take care of Steve.

The hospital was thirty miles away in downtown Detroit. I was very frightened by the unfamiliar location and what Eric’s outcome might be. By the time we reached the hospital, Eric was very lethargic. It was heart-wrenching hearing his screams while they did a spinal tap.

He now had a rash over his entire body, so he was put in isolation. For five days I traveled back and forth to the hospital, only being able to spend the allotted time of 11 AM until 8 PM. He was finally discharged when the fever went back to normal and the rash almost faded away. There was no diagnosis, only “fever of unknown origin”

In his thirties, Eric came down with a familiar rash and temperature, though not quite as high. I believe it was the same as from his childhood. It was now identified as ”Henoch-Schonlein Purpura Vasculitis. It is something that flares up on occasion, but is monitored.

If not for the many prayers and kindness of neighbors, I would not have been able to get through this time. Fred was unable to leave his music responsibilities during the day, so he could only come after work. One neighbor accompanied me and stayed two of the days of Eric’s confinement, which was a blessing.

Everywhere Fred and I have lived we have been so blessed with wonderful neighbors and church families. We all live with hardships from time to time, but with God’s help we get through it.

SAIL - Food Distribution Program

A Report from Ann Padden-Rubin

The River of Giving is the brainchild of Maili Halme, a local chef and restauranteur.   As the mandatory closure of dine-in restaurants and other service industry businesses continued due to Covid-19 many of the friends she had made through working in restaurants had lost their jobs and were struggling to make ends meet.  Maili organized a large distribution of groceries, joined by friends, family, and volunteers.  She dubbed her project the "River of Giving."

After reading about Maili's efforts on Facebook I wanted to help.  I secured a donation from a local foundation, then I asked Dana Monk to help.  We reached out to Josefa Rios, who helped to identify some families in Santa Barbara who were food insecure.

On Friday, April 17, working in Morgan Hall under Maili's direction, Dana, Josefa, and I packed 20 boxes with nutritious groceries including chicken, eggs, fruit, vegetables, beans, rice, tortillas, and milk; and delivered the groceries to needy homes.

Following that rewarding experience I approached the SAIL team at St. Andrew's with the idea of creating a SAIL program in collaboration with Maili  to try to prepare 200 food boxes the following week.  The SAIL team embraced the idea enthusiastically.  So, on Thursday and Friday of this week, Morgan Hall turned into a food-packing workshop. Volunteers showed up... Linda Sorensen, Dana Monk, Suzanne Malloy, Bob & Carole Shapiro, Judith Muller, Emma Voigt, Nancy Boger, Michelle Hertig, Robin and Maggie Knauss, John Rubin, and James Padden-Rubin. In addition there were former St. Andrew's members Susan Zink, Paul Zink, Jr., and Bobbie Rubin; additional volunteers from the Promotores Network, and from River of Giving in the Santa Ynez Valley joined us.  St. Andrew's really came through!

We measured out 50-lb bags of beans and rice into smaller bags. We divided up 70-lb bags of onions, and wrapped 2,400 eggs into one-dozen size bundles. A private donor gave money to buy 200 chickens, so that families could have a healthy source of protein.  Maili received thousands of pounds of produce from area farmers for little or no cost.  At 2:00 we were ready for cars to drive into St. Andrew's parking lot and collect their groceries. By 4:00 the volunteers had loaded groceries into almost 200 cars, and another dozen boxes were delivered to families without cars. 

Every single person who came was grateful for having such nutritious food to feed themselves and their children. This was truly an example of "Serving All In Love."  In John 21:17 Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."  Now is the time to listen to Jesus and feed the people nourishing food.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

A video from Tara and Lila Woodard

Thanks to Shapiros and Woodards for sharing this delightful video.  This link will lead you to a  wonderful experience created by the two Woodard sisters... Enjoy!

Where the Sidewalk Ends

St Andrews Presbyterian Church

4575 Auhay Drive, Santa Barbara
CA 93110 United States


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