A Message from the Rector: 

I’m reading a meditation by Barbara Brown Taylor from her wonderful book, An Altar in the World. To use theological vocabulary, her meditation is about incarnation. In everyday speech, it is about the sacredness of the every day. Taylor writes about prayer life that includes hanging laundry as well as kneeling at the altar, about worship that includes digging in the garden as well as singing in church.

Taylor felt both shock and joy when she found this hymn by Brian Wren celebrating the very earthy and ordinary experiences as God-given.

Good is the flesh that the Word has become,
good is the birthing, the milk in the breast,
good is the feeding, caressing and rest,
good is the body for knowing the world.
Good is the flesh that the Word has become.

Good is the body for knowing the world,
sensing the sunlight, the tug of the ground,
feeling, perceiving, within and around,
good is the body, from cradle to grave,
Good is the flesh that the Word has become.

Good is the body, from cradle to grave,
growing and ageing, arousing, impaired,
happy in clothing, or lovingly bared,
good is the pleasure of God in our flesh.
Good is the flesh that the Word has become.

Good is the pleasure of God in our flesh,
longing in all, as in Jesus, to dwell,
glad of embracing, and tasting, and smell,
good is the body, for good and for God.
Good is the flesh that the Word has become.

Read the words carefully. You might find yourself similarly shocked and joyful.

We’ll try singing this hymn one of these Sundays so that you can be shocked and joyful again, but for now, I want to lay before you the invitation of Holy Week. Our services during Holy Week are centered on the goodness and the fragility and the promise of the flesh that the Word has become. Holy Week is a time to be as fully embodied as you can be, to know and experience God through the body as well as through the heart, mind, and soul.

  • In the Procession of the Palms there is a lot of giggling as holy water is sprinkled on our church (and each other), walking over the uneven turf and smelling the fresh scent of spring, looking at the brave blossoms that have already emerged, noting the green tinge of leaves. We cringe at a harsher picture of our humanity as we hear our own voices shout “Crucify him!” in the Passion Narrative.
  • On Wednesday we walk the Stations of the Cross. For me there is a visceral quality to the walking Jesus’ Path of Sorrow around a quiet sanctuary and facing the experience of a human body and human heart trapped in such a scary and devastating fate.
  • On Maundy Thursday, we will take each other’s feet into hands and wash those oh-so-very-human, gnarled, calloused, blessed, hard-working, and beautiful parts of the body for each other. This is something that even small children can do, that small children love to participate in. We do it because Jesus commanded us to remember not only the goodness of the ideals that he preached, but even more importantly because of the very nature of the servanthood he showed and commanded. Jesus commanded that we be here for each other, and to be vulnerable to one another. After the foot washing we strip and wash the altar—another moving and visceral experience. It is a shocking sight to see that elegant and stately space made so bare.
  • The path of Good Friday leads to the Veneration of the Cross. We are invited to move our bodies forward, to kneel, to touch the large wooden cross brought into the sanctuary, and to ponder not just the historical event of the crucifixion, but the brutal physical presence of those two crossed pieces of wood. It is hard not to shudder at their rawness and plainness, with a different impact than even our graphic imaginings of the scene.
  • Holy Saturday is a short—but bleak—service that reaches into the emptiness in our guts when our dearest dreams have been crushed and our beloved is gone forever. This year the Non-Food Pantry, which will be in full preparation mode, will be a parallel experience of need of the community and the call to service with the helpless and stunned stillness of Saturday morning.
  • The Easter Vigil is full of sensations. The sun has set, the church is dark—and we light the first fire of Easter. The Exultate is chanted only at this one service each year; keys, bells, and noisemakers welcome the beginning of renewal and resurrection with the smell of the Easter flowers pervading the air.
  • Easter Sunday is always gorgeous with color, pageantry, festal music, delicious food for brunch, and the relief of the life-affirming alleluias that ring out. There is the excitement of the Easter egg hunt, the joy of family and friends present on the special day, brightly colored clothes, and the bonhomie of coming together for a festive event.

Why all this sensation in worship? Why all this body-ness in the High Holy Days of the Christian faith? As Taylor writes, “[T]he central claim of the incarnation [is this]—that God trusted flesh and blood to bring divine love to earth” (emphasis mine).

Bodies—flesh and blood—are the critical component of Holy Week. What we do in and with our bodies is the very stuff of life, of love, of service, of meaning, of community, of connection with God, of community with each other. Don’t miss your chance. If you can’t come to every service during what can be an overwhelming week, choose one or two. Be brave. Take off your shoes and socks and let an acquaintance hold your knobbly foot and gently wash and dry it. Be okay with being reduced to tears by the power of this simple act. Come forward and kneel at the cross, even if you are “not that kind of person” and find out what touching that hard wood feels like, how your heart, head, and gut are in such a moment. Join us at the Vigil. Read a passage of scripture. Light a tall votive with the holy flame and then take the votive home and let it keep burning for a full week on your counter (or in your empty sink if you are a very cautious and sensible person), perhaps right through the path of totality to the rebirth of the sun.

Come in spirit and in body to this this most holy place—here—and this most holy time—now.

Come.

Jen+

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.

The Sixth Sunday in Lent: Palm Sunday

Sunday Morning In-Person Worship Service, Sunday, March 24, led by the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Oldstone-Moore, 10:00 a.m. Palm Procession and 10:15 a.m. Palm Sunday Worship Service. 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 March 24.

The Latest Updates

EASTER PITCH-IN

There will be a brunch in Hamilton Hall Easter Sunday immediately following the service. Dennis & Emily Knuth and Steve & Kathy Jones are hosting and providing the ham, paper products, sparkling wine, and decorations. If you can help with the side dishes and other items needed, please click the link here to sign up! Thanks so much!

ADVENT HOUSE UPDATE!

Per Brian Cox, our Advent House community project is exciting and making great headway. The bathroom and new stairs are completed, and lighting is finished. We now need your help to clean and paint the upstairs bedrooms and hallway. Join us, whether as a family or individual, for some good old fashioned fun. No painting expertise necessary; all supplies will be provided in the room. Let’s come together and make a difference for our St. Andrew’s family and community. We’d like to have all of this completed by the end of March if at all possible.

Click here to sign up.

TUESDAYS IN LENT

Most weeks, the Tuesday Bible and Book group meet at 4:30 p.m. On these Tuesdays, there is a service of Evening Prayer beginning at 4:00 p.m. Don’t be afraid to join in even if you come late! NOTE: No Bible Group on Tuesday, March 26.

WEDNESDAYS IN LENT

This Lent we will have two series that alternate weeks, a movie series with discussion and an introduction to the devotional practice of the Stations of the Cross. A short worship service and a simple meal will be offered at each gathering. The offering will be duplicated at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. so that all have an opportunity to attend. March 20: Bonhoeffer movie and discussion at both times. March 27: Stations of the Cross: Devotional Practice at both times.

SECOND SUNDAY DISCRETIONARY COLLECTION

Monies in the loose plate collection on the 2nd Sunday of each month go towards Rev. Jen’s Discretionary Fund used to help the less fortunate in Putnam County. NOTE: Sunday, April 14, loose plate offerings will go towards Rev. Jen’s Discretionary fund.

THIS WEEK’S SHOPPING LIST FOR NON-FOOD PANTRY

Please add Adult Pull-Ups Size Large, 4 and 5 year old Children’s Pull-Ups, and boxes of Laundry Sheets to your shopping list for the NFP. The laundry sheets are more popular and desirable especially for the older folk as they are much easier to handle than the bottles of liquid. 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, March 30 from noon – 2:00 p.m. Please let us know if you are able to help out in any way. FYI: Baskets at church are now dedicated for the NFP and not the food pantry.

FREE DAILY DEVOTIONAL

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.

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, March 30

• 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
  • Adult Pull-Ups Size Large

  • 4 and 5 Year Old Children’s Pull-Ups

  • Laundry Detergent Sheets in boxes

Your prayers are asked for:

Haile Bane, grandson of Joanne Haymaker
Beth Benedix, friend to many of us at St. Andrew’s
Sharon Bone, friend of Emily Knuth
Vernon Bothwell, friend of Warren & Connie Macy
Chance Charters, friend of the Majors family
The family of Mandy Charters, friend of the Majors family
Adam Cohen, friend of St. Andrew’s
Clara Copeland, friend of Jen+
Anita Edenfield, friend of Skip Sutton
Sharon Ellett, friend of Joanne Haymaker
Bob Fatzinger, brother of Barbara Pare
Carole Greenawald
Thad Jones, brother of Steve Jones
Lisa Breese Kincaid, daughter of Bob & Mimi Breese
Don Marple, brother of Martha Rainbolt
Mary Mountz
Tom Mullen, father of Patti Harmless
Logan Murray, grandson of Dave & Sue Murray
Marilyn & Leo Nelson, sister & brother-in-law of Joanne Haymaker
Sara Nimori & daughter, Scout
Sarah Oldstone, sister-in-law of Jen+

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

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis: The Very Rev. Dr. Gray Lesesne, The Rev. Hipolito Reina, The Rev. Greg Baker, The Rev. Jodi Baron, The Rev. Tom Kryder-Reid, The Rev. Fatima Yakubu-Madis.

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 West Africa.

Birthdays: Jennifer Oldstone-Moore, March 27; Thom Morris, March 28; Carrie Klaus, March 29.

Anniversaries: None.

Special Events and Services

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