A Message from the Rector:

Dear Friends:

  • Item: I am writing this 12 days before the departure of St. Andrew’s pilgrimage to northern England.
  • Item: I just came from lunch with Leigh and Ralph, friends from St. John’s, Crawfordsville, who asked me to bring pictures and stories from last year’s Camino pilgrimage—spent a lot of lunch remembering how singular that journey was, and how differently time felt
  • Item: Even though I just finished lunch, I’m HUNGRY—and having a little trouble settling down to serious and draining office work.
  • Item: My dear friend Wendy (from St. James, Hyde Park, in New York) is feeling as twitchy and distracted as I am, and sent this wonderful piece from a shared favorite Christian writer, Nadia Bolz-Weber. This reflection showed up in my email in-box 4 minutes ago—even better than a shipment of Twinkies!

I hope that Bolz-Weber’s comments and my context-comments make this essay at least an amusement for you, and perhaps an inspiration as well, even if the longest pilgrimage in your near future is the aisles of Wal-mart.

As a warning, Bolz-Weber uses &%$@#! language frequently, and I have not edited it out—you will find “colorful” language within.

Compassionate Thoughts for us ice-age brained Homo Sapiens living in late stage capitalism…from a dilettante anthropologist

By Nadia Bolz-Weber
The Corners <thecorners@substack.com
June 27, 2024

Dopamine Withdrawal
A few days ago I got a text from my sister asking how re-entry after the Camino has been for Eric and me. “Dopamine withdrawal is real”, she compassionately added. And suddenly I understood why I have been scrolling Instagram and mindlessly eating Trader Joe’s snacks and on-line shopping for stuff I don’t really need – because I just came home from getting to be uncomplicatedly human.

Remember: this is all new for us.
When I am having a hard time functioning well, I try to find compassion for myself by thinking anthropologically. For instance, my sister’s text made me realize that I am experiencing dopamine withdrawal after spending weeks walking 10-18 miles each day. So I can either judge myself harshly for this and insist I stop being so pathetic, or I can remember that human beings have existed for 300,000 years and for 290,000 of those we were hunter-gatherers. And for 299,855 of those we didn’t have light bulbs, and for 299,906 we didn’t have Twinkies. Which means post-industrial life is super new; our brains and bodies adapted over hundreds of thousands of years to live in a way that couldn’t be farther from what we think of as “normal”: cars and concrete and Cocoa Puffs and condominiums. And maybe THAT (and not some deep personal flaw) is why life can, at times, feel hard.

Really old hardware. Completely unheard of software.
So when this world feels overwhelming to me, I try and remember what I learned from Sebastian Junger – that a baby born today is biologically identical to a baby born during the ice age. Which means we are constantly trying to run Mac OS 14 Sonoma on 1984 Apple Macintosh computers and they keep glitching out: anxiety, loneliness, depression, addiction, disease.

I’ve written before about how the human psyche didn’t develop to be able to respond to and hold the information about every form of suffering and violence that happens to every person each minute of the day across the entire planet. Our psyches were developed to respond to and hold the information about the suffering and violence that is happening in our foraging band, tribe or village.

I wonder sometimes if neurosis is a byproduct of brains which are no longer being occupied with foraging for food all day and making sure a wooly mammoth doesn’t sneak up on us. Now those big brains are just sort of free to feel bad about ourselves because we eat too much junk food (calorie dense foods were scarce for most of human history, so if you found something sweet, like fruit, your brain evolved to tell you “EAT IT ALL”. Our brains still do this, but now it’s in response to Skittles – artificially colored and flavored to imitate fruit).

Reading Cues
I’m obviously not an anthropologist, or a psychologist, or historian so I am way out of my depth here, but I’ve never let that keep me from holding forth so here we go: For most of human history we survived by living with not apart from each other. We evolved to be able to read social cues about ourselves to insure our behavior allowed us to remain in community.

But now, our adorable little ice age brains are taking in and responding to thousands of messages about ourselves each day, not from the people surrounding us who we rely on and who rely on us, but from persuasive advertisements, and memes and Facebook comments.

And when someone is shitty to me in the comment section my para-sympathetic nervous system, bless her heart, interprets it as “danger” – the kind that feels like I am about to be left behind by my band of foragers and I need them to survive.

The problem we face is that we have paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology. – E.O. Wilson
So all of that is to say, perhaps we are maladapted for the lives we are living. The comfort and convenience of modern life (climate controlled buildings, airplane travel, manufactured foods -none of which I myself am terribly eager to give up) has cost us more than we realize. Trying to think anthropologically helps me have compassion for all of us, but it also has helped me understand why the Camino is not that special.

It is an unbelievable luxury and privilege to spend weeks walking in Spain. This is not something that is accessible to most people (due to time, money and physical limitations) and I am deeply grateful to have had the honor. And yes, the Camino de Santiago is a 1,000 year old religious pilgrimage and I would never downplay the beauty of that. But in response to my sister’s text about dopamine withdrawal, for me the Camino feels transcendent mostly because of how deeply and uncomplicatedly human the experience is: moving your body all day through beautiful landscapes, and relying on other people who are doing the same.

But what do you give up to be able to do this? The things we have increasingly sought in this culture: comfort and convenience (two things I LOVE, by the way. For most of my life I considered any form of discomfort to be a CRISIS.)

Humaning as self-help
So here is what helps me when I start getting neurotic. I try to remember that nothing is wrong with me…I am simply having a healthy reaction to an unhealthy way of life.

And then I try and stop ordering shit on Amazon be as basically human as possible:

I go outside.

I walk. A lot.

I eat food made out of food.

I make myself be around other people, preferably while collectively doing something.

I sing with others.

I touch and am touched.

I try to be of service to others. (easy)

I try to receive help from others. (much harder)

Ok, that’s what’s been on my mind. Now I’m gonna go outside for a walk.

I’m curious: what else is uncomplicatedly human, something our ancestors also did, that we can add to this list?

And what helps YOU feel some compassion for yourself?

Final note from Jen+: I also would love to hear what helps you feel some compassion for yourself. And if you enjoyed Bolz-Weber’s thoughts, her essays are wonderful—and I am subscribing to the substack account that this reflection came from!


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. Mondays are her Sabbath day. NOTE: No drop-in hours July 10, July 17, and July 24.

The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 9B

In-Person Sunday Morning Worship Service, July 7, led by the The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Oldstone-Moore, 10:15 a.m. You can stream the service via St. Andrew’s Facebook Page. Click on this link to view the Live Stream. We will start the Live Stream 5 minutes prior to the start of the service.

Click here for the service booklet for July 7.

The Latest Updates


Sunday, July 28 at 11:30, help craft jump ropes for Operation Christmas Child. This is a ministry that sends shoeboxes full of gifts to children living in impoverished countries. Locally, New Life Baptist Church in Greencastle packed over 1,000 shoeboxes last year and hopes to do the same this year. We are going to assist by doing a t-shirt-to-jump-ropes craft after the service on July 28. Come join us immediately after the service for this fun and easy craft. No experience is necessary and all supplies will be provided.


We are down to our last couple of parishioner penned News Notes. If you’d like to write a short reflection, poem, or what have you, to be included in the Wednesday electronic newsletter, please let Renee know. The parishioner written articles are published on the 4th Wednesday of each month.


The Wabash Neighborhood is having an outing at the Indians baseball game on Sunday, August 4 at 1:35 p.m. The cost per ticket is $15 and kids eat free that day! Please get your money and reservations to Renee by July 14 so she can get all to St. Mark’s by July 21.


If any of you are interested in what your Vestry is doing, there are two copies of each month’s minutes on the top of the piano in Hamilton Hall. Feel free to read and return!


Most weeks, the Tuesday Bible and Book group meet at 4:30 p.m. This group will take a break during the month of July.


Please add razors, personal wipes, and dryer sheets to your shopping list for the NFP for the month of July. Meals and conversation in Hamilton Hall are going well. Patrons are now able to pick out items they most need. Your contributions help our budget go farther in helping meet the needs of those in Putnam County. The next Non-Food Pantry will be Saturday, July 27 from noon – 2:00 p.m.


We have some large print Day by Day daily devotionals in the sanctuary that you are free to take home for your personal devotions–and if we know that people would like copies, we can order the right amount. Many of you may also appreciate the on-line version of Day to Day. Click here.


We continue to respond to both our county’s current CDC designation and to the current variant. Masking is optional. 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, July 27

• Noon to 2:00 p.m.
There will be a distribution in Hamilton Hall and light lunches will be served inside. We are grateful for all those who have worked so hard to obtain supplies for the Non-Food Pantry. Items are having to be purchased from a variety of sources making it much more expensive. Donations to help offset this extra cost will be gratefully accepted!

Top 3 Needed Items
  • Razors

  • Personal Wipes

  • Dryer Sheets

Your prayers are asked for:

Haile Bane, grandson of Joanne Haymaker
Beth Benedix, friend to many of us at St. Andrew’s
Amy Berry, friend of Pam Smith
Rae Boscoe, friend of Henrietta Schwartz
Vernon Bothwell, friend of Warren & Connie Macy
David Bryant, brother of Stephanie Gurnon
The family of Jackie Casey, friend of Warren & Connie Macy
Marthe Chandler, friend of Martha Rainbolt

Clara Copeland, friend of Jen+
Anita Edenfield, friend of Skip Sutton
Bob Fatzinger, brother of Barbara Pare
Carole Greenawald
Janet Jenks, friend to many at St. Andrew’s
Thad Jones, brother of Steve Jones
Lisa Breese Kincaid, daughter of Bob & Mimi Breese
The family of Bernie Knuth, uncle of Dennis Knuth
The family of Don Marple, brother of Martha Rainbolt
Mary Mountz
Tom Mullen, father of Patti Harmless
Marilyn & Leo Nelson, sister & brother-in-law of Joanne Haymaker
Sarah Oldstone, sister-in-law of Jen+

Elizabeth & Natalie Sheffler, daughter & granddaughter of Page & Narda Cotton
The family of Gloria Smith
Skip Sutton
Karen Swalley, friend of Thom & Gwen Morris
Deb Wilder, sister of Connie Macy
Dwight Ziegler, uncle of Stephanie Gurnon
Kat and family, friend of Jen+
& Chris

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Greencastle: The Rev. Jennifer Oldstone-Moore, Rector.

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 Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean.

Birthdays: None.

Anniversaries: None.

Special Events and Services

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