Thoughts on Pentecost 2021

Let’s mark this day and every day
for this miracle of what binds one human
to the next — all our warm words
and the cool silence between them.
Joe Heithaus, “Tongues of Flame”

While not returning from Babylonian captivity, we exiles returned from our places of captivity to a place both familiar and comforting last Sunday. We returned not to Jerusalem but instead to the corner of Bloomington and Seminary – to St. Andrew’s Church. And in a way poetic as well as more than coincidental, we did so on the great Feast of Pentecost.

Scripture tells us that the Spirit appeared like “tongues of flame” on that first Pentecost. While not visible as fire, the Spirit was active and present to us gathered last Sunday too. On that first Pentecost disparate believers received a message of hope and challenge, a message of what was and what might be. Last Sunday we who gathered remembered and reminisced how it used to be and prayed for how it may be again. But in both instances, those Spirit-filled believers left their gathering place in order to carry and share God’s spirit with others. And in both instances, it was the Spirit who first called them and then led them forth into new places and uncertain futures.

So having returned to our spiritual home if only to prepare for venturing out to love and serve, let us do so remembering words from a beloved and familiar friend and poet:

Don’t forget that every word is miracle.
Joe Heithaus, “Tongues of Flame”

And one might add, let’s remember too that we are miracles and every heartbeat is gift from God.

Happy Pentecost!


Dearest St. Andrew’s family and friends,

Although I wasn’t able to be there in person, by all accounts, the regathering of our St. Andrew’s family was a beautiful success. The weather was perfect. People heard Albrecht’s incredible talents firsthand. Terry and Justin sang for us all. Harriet played the guitar and Father Mark replaced his homily with an incredible Pentecost poem written by Joe Heithaus. For those who know our congregation well, the service was tapped off by a rousing Mimosa toast to celebrate our reunification. Stay tuned.

Bishop Jennifer has issued new regathering guidelines and is leaving much of what we do and how we worship up to individual congregations. She is still encouraging social distancing and mask wearing for those not fully vaccinated. For us, given our numbers on Sunday and moving into the summer months, we are going to move to in person worship. The church will be open for this Sunday’s service. People will be asked to only sit in rows where there are prayer books and hymnals. Unrelated individuals should sit no more than three in a row, while family pods are invited and encouraged to be together. We are not prepared to have congregational singing, at this time, but please know Albrecht will continue, as he always does, to be sure to have music be an integral part of our worship. For those not ready to return, we will continue to offer a Zoom alternative. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the church office, Monday – Thursday 9 – 12:00.

I am grateful for all of your patience and care as we have waded through this most difficult pandemic year together. Unless there is a consistent uptick in coronavirus cases, we will continue to gather on Sunday mornings with the hope of thoughtfully and successfully bringing our children formation and outreach groups back to full vibrancy in the fall.

Thank you and may you and yours be richly blessed.


Connect With Us

Prayers and Reflections for the Easter Season

We have heard that the daily reflections and scripture readings provided during Lent were appreciated. Those of us writing them have also found it an enriching experience and have decided to continue. The meditations are written by persons from Saint Andrew’s, Gobin UMC and Beach Grove UMC. The daily meditations 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!

New St. Andrew’s Book Study

If asked, what’s the first prayer which comes into your head? Chances are most people will answer “The Lord’s Prayer.” How about you?

While “The Lord’s Prayer” is the best-known Christian prayer, have you ever wondered why this is so? Would it surprise you to know that it is as much a Jewish as a Christian prayer? Would you be surprised to learn that it is “both a revolutionary manifesto and a hymn of hope?”

This study began on Wednesday evening, April 28. Please join us for our next St. Andrew’s Book Study on May 26 as we read and discuss The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of The Lord’s Prayer by John Dominic Crosson.

As before, our Book Study will occur at 7:00 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: May 26. If interested and needing a copy of the book, please contact Renee at the Parish Office or Fr. Mark at

The First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday

Sunday In-Person Worship, May 30

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: 847 8600 1703 and press #, then enter the password: pray and press # again.

Click here for the service booklet for May 30

A Poem for Pentecost written by Joe Heithaus

Tongues of Flame

the crowd gathered and was bewildered,
because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each
Acts 2

This is the light that comes from your mouth,
the fire you breathe through the words you speak,
that tongue you don’t think to thank
for language, words, the earthy syllables
you even dream some nights when the dead
return and say what they are going to say.

Don’t forget that every word is miracle,
the way you shape your lips, place your tongue
to teeth to speak out of love or malice,
to say no, no, no or yes, yes, yes
or to try to explain how you feel
like a kite or a drum or a cauldron

or a valley of bones. In the picture book bible
I thumbed as a boy in church, the cartoon men
babbled with flames over their heads,
tongues of fire the book said
and I thought of birthday candles
and wishes, all of it mystery and holy

as smoke that could not be contained
or understood. God, I think now,
all our words blazing to connect
one tongue to another to sing or speak
to say God’s names, God’s flames,
God’s breath, when sometimes

all we want is a silent hug, a kiss
on the head, a nod of understanding.
I’m just glad to be alive, past fifty,
the pente in Pentecost, this day
marking covenants and the miracles
of language, the tongues of fire

making all our babble heard
and, for a moment, understood.
Let’s mark this day and every day
for this miracle of what binds one human
to the next — all our warm words
and the cool silence between them.

Non Food Pantry Latest

Saturday, May 29
• Noon to 3:00 p.m.
There will be a drive through distribution and no lunch. Kate Berry is coordinating the distribution. We are very grateful to 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 4 Needed Items
  • Diapers (Sizes 2 and 5)

  • Feminine Hygiene Products

  • Poise Pads (Size 4)

  • Paper Towels

Your prayers are asked for:

Lorrie Anderson, cousin of Joanne Haymaker
Beth Benedix, friend to many of us at Saint Andrew’s
Jo Ella Burns, friend of Terry Noble
Douglas Butler, brother-in-law of Claudia Butler
The family of Margaret Anne Ervin, sister of Bob Haymaker
Jeanne Fitzpatrick, friend of Jim and Karen Mannon
The family of Eric Fladeland, friend of Tim and Caroline Good
The family of Tom Gibson, brother of Gwen Morris
The family of Micah Grimm, friend of Zac and Savannah Johnson
Mary Ellen Gurnon, aunt of Daniel and Stephanie Gurnon
Rena Hale, sister of Thea Warren-Simpson
Steve Jones
Keith Keysor, friend of Andy Cullison
Lisa Breese Kincaid, daughter of Bob and Mimi Breese
Grayson Lyons, great nephew of Peggy Angleton
Art Mannon, brother of Jim Mannon
Stanley Morris
Mary Mountz
Marilyn Mourouzis
Sue Murray
The family of Rev. Bill Novak, friend of Fr. Mark Van Wassenhove
The family of Bruce Ploshay, friend of Page and Narda Cotton and former member of Saint Andrew’s
Gordon Redden
Jordan Sanders, sister of Jim Ensley
The family of Jeff Sheffler, son-in-law of Page and Narda Cotton
The family of Peter Staats, friend of Suzanne Hassler
Skip Sutton
Sydnor Thompson, brother of Harriet Moore
The family of Phyllis Wright, grandmother of Zac Johnson

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Saint John’s Church, Mount Vernon: The Rev. Allen Rutherford.

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 Mexico.

Birthdays: Brian Cox, June 2 . Joanne Haymaker, June 5

Anniversaries: None


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