A Message from the Rector:
A Genealogy that Surprises
Here is some scintillating Christmas reading for you:
The Gospel According to Matthew, 1:1-17
The Geneology of Jesus the Messiah
1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
Our lectionary on Sunday passed right over this fascinating beginning—I knew you wouldn’t want to miss it.
Well, sort of…
Most people, if they read through the Bible, either skip or get dizzy reading the genealogies and begats. Maybe I should make this more personal: I have certainly skipped over begats and have had only a minimal interest in the genealogy of Matthew’s Gospel. Perhaps like any work in genealogy, however, there are hidden treasures of interest once you dig deeper.
Matthew presents Jesus’ genealogy just before the description of Joseph’s decision to marry an already-pregnant Mary. Matthew tells us that Joseph was urged to name Jesus, thus adopting him, and making him a member of the lineage of King David. In a time when clan, blood relations, and ancestry were the foundation of a person’s identity, power, and resources, this is a startling, strange, and noteworthy beginning. Moreover, the language of the passage—Joseph is described as the husband of Mary, rather than Mary as the wife of Joseph, also indicates that Joseph is a blend, a support character but also essential.
When Jesus is grown he will reach out to outcastes, to foreigners, to enemies, and to the dispossessed. He will show compassion and work on behalf of a woman accused of adultery, have conversations with prostitutes, touch and be touched by a woman who is bleeding and another who is bent over, heal and minister to a man possessed by an army of demons, and heal and bless lepers. The actions of his adopted father, Joseph, who was willing to adopt and raise the child he did not father, show the foundations of such generous and expansive engagement with people who are questionable. Rather than to insist on the story that he had prepared for himself in the course of his righteous life, Joseph was willing to subsume his plans and dreams to those of his intended and pregnant bride.
But with a look at Matthew’s genealogy we see that Joseph comes from a long line of forebearers of questionable backgrounds who are memorable for their shocking behavior. Consider the patriarchs. Abraham is usually seen as a pillar of the faith—yet he abandoned his son Ishmael and concubine Hagar in the desert. Jacob was a trickster who cheated his brother out of an inheritance. King David summoned Bathsheba, who was married to another, to his bed, and when she became pregnant he arranged for the death of her husband.
But what about the women? Matthew’s genealogy not only includes women (who are usually ignored in the lists of begats), but also women who had discomfiting sexual pasts. Tamar pretended to be a sex worker. Rahab was a sex worker. Ruth was a Moabite—an outsider, a foreigner. “The wife of Uriah” was Bathsheba, the object of King David’s lust, who learned to play palace politics so that her son Solomon would become king after David.
The story of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus follows the stories of the people of God who are flawed human beings, human beings who have the make the best of their circumstances when they have been brought low, or human beings who have made the most of circumstances through unsavory ations. The genealogy of Jesus reminds us that God finds worthy servants in the midst of our shame and disappointment, in the midst of our sorrow and challenges.
Connect With Us
Rector’s Office Drop-In Time
Rev. Jen has set her office drop-in day as Wednesday of each week from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. for anyone who would like to stop in and visit. You are always invited to make an appointment for a time convenient for you. Also, she has chosen Mondays as her Sabbath day. Rev. Jen will be out of the office December 26-30 and will have no office hours on Wednesday, December 28.
The Eve of the Nativity of the Lord: Christmas Eve
Saturday In-Person Candlelight Christmas Eve Service, December 24, led by Rev. Dr. Jennifer Oldstone-Moore, 5:30 p.m. Festive music will begin prior to at 5:00 p.m.
You can connect to the service via Zoom. Click on this link to connect. If you have not used Zoom before, you will be prompted to download Zoom, go ahead and do that. When you enter the meeting you should be able to see and hear others and others can see and hear you. If you come in a little late, please listen for a moment before speaking. In order to see everyone, go to Gallery view (upper right on PCs and upper left for Macintosh). When we get started everyone except the speaker will be muted. If you are reading or playing music, please be sure to unmute yourself.
If you are connecting via telephone dial 301-715-8592 and when prompted enter the Meeting ID: 858 0497 0006 and press #, then enter the password: pray and press # again.
Click here for the service booklet for December 24.
The Latest Updates
MAUREEN CARKEEK’S PASSING
Deepest sympathy on the recent passing of our dear friend, Maureen, on December 5. Daughter, Janet, said in lieu of cards, flowers, etc. she prefers parishioners instead put a little extra in the St. Andrew’s offering plate or contribute memorials in her mother’s name. Son, David, welcomes cards and e-mails. His physical address is 19339 Harleigh Dr., Saratoga, CA 95070. His e-mail is email@example.com. To leave tributes for the family at the Dignity Memorial site, CLICK HERE.
CHURCH OFFICE CLOSED
The church office will be closed from Monday, December 26 – Friday, December 30.
SERVICES DURING CHRISTMAS AND ADVENT
The Longest Night: Wednesday, December 21, 7:00 p.m. It is a quiet service especially for those who are grieving or who find the jingle bell season difficult. Please reach out to people you know in the community who have experience loss and for whom the holiday season is bittersweet. Christmas Eve Service: Saturday, December 24, 5:00 p.m. Festive Music, followed by 5:30 p.m. Candlelight Service.
Christmas Day: Sunday, December 25, 10:15 a.m. Service.
TUESDAY BIBLE STUDY – 4:30 P.M. IN HAMILTON HALL
There will be no Bible Study on Tuesday, December 27. You can find the week’s readings at lectionarypage.net.
The next Poetry Group meeting will be Tuesday, December 22, at 11:30 a.m. in Hamilton Hall. Bring a sack lunch if you’d like!
2023 WALL CALENDARS
Please let the office know if any of you are interested in 2023 wall calendars that show the season and the holy days. If there is interest, we will order what is needed.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YOUTH SUNDAY SCHOOL – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
The youth are up to some fun. Join them by being an occasional volunteer! Once you have completed your Safe Church training, all you have to do is show up – Macie and Jen+ have everything prepared. The youth come into the sanctuary for the Peace.
COMMUNION AT THE WATERS
Once a month Sunday services have resumed at The Waters. The next service will be Sunday, January 8 at 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. If you’d like to help with this ministry in any way, please contact Rev. Jen or Renee. All are welcome to attend!
ON-GOING COVID PROTOCOL
We continue to respond to both our county’s current CDC designation and to the current variant. Masking is optional. Those who serve bread and wine will mask so that anyone who comes to the altar can feel secure. Decisions on COVID policy have moved from the Reconvening Committee to Rev. Jen and the Wardens.
Prayers and Reflections for This Week
We have heard that the daily reflections and scripture readings provided during Lent were appreciated. The meditations are written by persons from Gobin UMC and Beech Grove UMC. They will be in the newsletter each week and go from Wednesday to Tuesday, except for Sunday. Whether you enjoy these every day or as the Spirit moves you, may this resource continue to bring you spiritual food for the journey. Blessings!
Click here to view the readings and accompanying links.
Non Food Pantry Latest
Saturday, January 28
• Noon to 3:00 p.m.
There will be a drive through distribution and sack lunches will be served. We are very grateful to Kate Berry, Martha Rainbolt, Carl Huffman, Karen Hirt Mannon, and Christiane Wisehart who have worked very hard to obtain supplies for the Non-Food Pantry. Kroger is not able to acquire enough products for us so the items are being purchased from a variety of sources. This is much more expensive. Donations to help offset this extra cost will be gratefully accepted!
Top 3 Needed Items
Your prayers are asked for:
The family of Jack Angleton, brother of Peggy Angleton
Haile Bane, grandson of Joanne Haymaker
Beth Benedix, friend to many of us at Saint Andrew’s
The family of Lee Bird, nephew of Lucy Wieland
Douglas Butler, brother-in-law of Claudia Butler
Richard A. Butler, father-in-law of Claudia Butler
The family of Maureen Carkeek
Adam Cohen, friend of St. Andrew’s
Family & friends of Michael Condra
Jim Coffman, friend of St. Andrew’s
The family of Claris Donovan, friend of Jen+
Bernice Emrick, mother of Karen Hirt Mannon
Nancy Ferriani & the family of Bob Ferriani, friends of Warren & Connie Macy
Katie Gleichman, relative of Jim Ensley
Kimberly Heithaus, niece of Joe & Jenny Heithaus
Shandol Hoover, friend of Dave & Sue Murray
Terumi Imai, friend of Jen+
Kaylee, Ryan, and baby
Lisa Breese Kincaid, daughter of Bob & Mimi Breese
The family of Terry Klaus, father of Carrie Klaus
David Lawson, nephew of Peggy Angleton
Grayson Lyons, great nephew of Peggy Angleton
Micah, friend of Sara Nimori & Ross Whitten
Tom Mullen, father of Patti Harmless
Bryan Murray & the Murray family
Lucas Murray, grandson of Dave & Sue Murray
Emmanuel Myril, Karen Hirt Mannon’s son-in-law’s father
Sarah Oldstone, sister-in-law of Jen+
Mike Schmidt, brother of Renee Hood
Elizabeth & Natalie Sheffler, daughter & granddaughter of Page & Narda Cotton
Jerry Taylor, friend of Warren & Connie Macy
Sydnor Thompson, brother of Harriet Moore
Diana Van Middlesworth
Sharon Walters, friend of Connie Macy
The family of Verl Wisehart, father of Christiane Wisehart
Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: The Church of the Nativity, Indianapolis: The Rev. Ben Wyatt.
Our companion dioceses: The Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil: The Most Rev. Mauricio Jose Araujo De Andrade, Primate of Brazil and Bishop of Brasilia. The people and Diocese of Haiti and Saint Andre’s in Mithon.
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of Melanesia.
Birthdays: Carl Huffman, December 27; Curtis Beck, December 28, Eleanor Knuth, December 28.
Anniversaries: Carl Huffman and Martha Rainbolt, December 28; Albrecht and Jane von Gaudecker, December 29.
THE COMMON CUP, INTINCTION, AND FULL COMMUNION
I would like to discuss our returning to communion by wine via the common cup.
Background: The Diocese of Indianapolis has stated that we may return to full communion (both bread and wine), but that receiving the wine can be by common cup only. Several parishioners have had questions about this. Here’s what I’d like you to know at this point.
- The Vestry voted and approved our new COVID guidelines recommended by the Regathering Committee.
- We might use the words “full communion” to indicate that we are finally back to both bread and wine, but it has ALWAYS been true that taking either one is a complete communion. You do not need both to fully commune.
- The choice is yours, Eucharist by Eucharist. You can decide to let the cup pass because you have a cold; if you are worried about others you can pass; you can wait until we return to intinction. Just cross your arms over your chest—or just shake your head and quietly demur.
Yours in health, restoration, liturgical engagement, and literature review,