A Message from The Rector:

The writer of the Gospel according to Matthew likely lived through the devastating destruction of all he and his people had held most dear:  the razing of the Temple in Jerusalem, a million Jews killed by Roman forces, hundreds of thousands carried off into slavery, the rest sent into diaspora and exile.  Terrible, terrible times—but it seems that every age has its fear.  When I was a child, we had a very real and ever-present dread of nuclear war, and I’m sure I don’t need to rehearse the cataclysms of the natural world and fears about the political and social order that we are experiencing right now.  Worries about the state of the world and its future, however much they gnaw at us, are old news.


In the Gospel reading last week from Matthew 24:36-44, Jesus is preparing his disciples for facing cataclysm after he is gone, in the time of waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the time when the God’s kingdom will be fully manifest.  Our Isaiah passage (2:1-5) describes this coming time: people shall join together, swords will be beaten into plowshares, and we shall walk in the light of the Lord. 


Jesus tells his disciples that there will be no warning and so we must be prepared.  What does preparation look like?  Preparation is being faithful in the midst of the times of anxiety.  Being faithful is living into the Great Commandments:  to follow Jesus in loving God, loving neighbor, and loving self.  Through our actions and efforts at love we grow into a deeper knowledge God and more textured and grace-filled connections with each other.  Leaning into apocalypse—literally “lifting the veil” and seeing beyond the illusion—helps us to keep faith.  Jesus’ First Coming as a baby in an out-of-the-way stable is the core of that revelation:  God’s grace and promise is there is the dispossessed, the small, the humble, in the everyday life that goes on in the midst of the very real disasters and challenges.


Alertness doesn’t have to mean high adrenaline.  It can simply mean paying attention, living into the gifts and beauty of this moment in this crazy world and in this beautiful and precarious life that is both a challenge and a gift.


In our years of Thanksgivings in Ohio, I usually took a walk around the neighborhood in between the food preparation and the actual meal, just to clear my head and focus my attention a bit farther than my kitchen counter. Walking through the neighborhood I would pass a neighbor’s yard that had a large stone slab propped up against a tree.  The words written on it reminded me of the glimpses of the kingdom that are there when I pay attention, when I see beyond the veil. 

I pray that in this season of Advent we take time to practice paying attention, staying alert, staying prepared, simply by being aware of the reminders of the kingdom that are already among us, preparing to welcome God who promises so much more to come.

On an ever expansive horizon
Life reveals her mystery
To live is a gift
To feel is a blessing
And t take part in her
Beauty is a miracle
Renewed each day.
–Francisco de Ajofrin


Decorating of the Chrismon Tree

The youth have begun decorating the Chrismon Tree that is standing next to the pulpit. Each week, the youth will put ornaments they have made on the tree and explain their significance. This week’s ornaments:
Lily: The lily represents resurrection. This is based on the blooming of the flower from the seemingly dead bulb.
Shell: The shell is a symbol for baptism. It reminds Christians of the water they are baptized in. It is also a sign of pilgrimage: pilgrims to the Holy Land would drink out of shells.
Anchor Cross: The anchor cross was used by early Christians as a symbol of their faith when they hid under persecution.
Circle and Triangle: The circle and the triangle represent the eternity of the Trinity.
Butterfly: The butterfly is an ancient symbol of resurrection, as a beautiful butterfly emerges from a seemingly dead chrysalis.
Bottony Cross: The cross is the symbol of life that springs from death—the gift of the cross. The three leafed clover at the bottom connects us to the Trinity. There is also a connection with Aaron’s staff that budded and was preserved in the Ark of the Covenant, showing that life comes from death, and renewed life from difficult circumstances.
Candle: The candle represents Jesus as the Light of the World.
Circle Chi Rho Butterfly: This symbolizes God’s wholeness and eternity. The butterfly symbolizes resurrection.
Crown: The crown is the symbol of the Prince of Peace, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords—Jesus.

Advent and Christmas Calendar

Nov 27 Advent 1 Advent calendar craft 11.30-12.30
Youth Pageant rehearsal 12.30-1.30

Dec 4 Advent 2 Advent window star craft 11.30-12.30
Youth Pageant rehearsal 12.30-1.30

Dec 11 Advent 3 Youth pageant in Sunday worship
Advent rose window craft 11.30-12.30
Youth at the Waters 2.00-3.00

Dec 18 Advent 4 Greening of the Church 11.30-12.30

Dec 19 Deadline for Christmas Flower memorials

Dec 21 Longest Night service 7.00 pm

Dec 24 Christmas Eve 5.00 special music
5.30 Christmas Eve Service

Dec 25 Christmas Day 10.15

Jan 1 Feast of the Holy Name 10.15
Service of Lessons and Carols

Advent Wreaths

A few tips:
1. Keep your wreath hydrated—spritz it at least daily and/or soak in the sink 1-2 times a week. We keep ours on a large plate to protect the table. If the candles burn low, stop lighting them. The branches become dry and go up in flames very quickly, especially at the end of Advent.
2. Use your wreaths at dinner, or at a bedtime snack, last cup of tea, or just 10 mins. before people start off to bed. Light and extinguish the candles while you are there.
3. If you chose the purple and rose candles, the rose one is for Advent 3, Gaudete (Joy) Sunday which is also Mary’s Sunday. Both sets (red, rose-and-purple) have deep traditions. Each Sunday has a specific theme:
Advent One: Watch
Advent Two: Turn from the bad, and turn to the good
Advent Three: Rejoice
Advent Four: Recognize

Here is a prayer moment to use when you light the candles. You can have a small prayer moment each day of Advent, or each Sunday when you light a new candle. The parts in bold are to be said out loud. When you get to Week Two, add Advent Two’s scripture to Advent One’s—so by Advent Four you will be saying all four lines. The same pattern follows through all four weeks.

Opening: Light candle, and recite the verse(s):
Advent 1: “And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.” (Mark 13:37)
Advent 2: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 3:2)
Advent 3: “Are you the one who is to come?” (Matt 11.3)
Advent 4: “The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28)

Reader 1: The Redeemer shall come. (Isa. 59:20)
All: A light to lighten a world of darkness. (Luke 32:2)
Reader: The candle of watching, (week 1)
repentance, (week 2)
rejoicing, (week 3)
recognizing. (week 4)

Let us pray.
God our Light,
Quiet our minds that we may watch for you; (week 1)
Expose our sins that we may repent and prepare for you; (week 2)
Reveal your love that we may rejoice in serving you; (week 3)
Open our eyes that we may recognize and welcome you. (week 4)

Make our lamps shine and proclaim to all the world that darkness is at end; there is Light for those who seek it and love for all. Amen.

If you have any concerns or thanksgivings, offer them here.

Say together in closing:
Creator of the stars of night,
Creation’s everlasting light,
Jesus, Redeemer, save us all,
And hear your people when we call.

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 6, 14-16, 26-30.

The Second Sunday of Advent

Sunday Morning In-Person Worship Service, December 4, led by Rev. Dr. Jennifer Oldstone-Moore, 10:15 a.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 4.

The Latest Updates


The Visual Commentary on Scripture (VCS) is an on-going publication that uses art, theology (theology is basically “talking about God”), and scripture to experience and understand the Bible in new ways. In Advent, VCS has a specially designed four group sessions for a striking and beautiful way to engage Advent. If you are interested, let Rev. Jen know: we can plan an in-person and/or on-line (or on-line hybrid) four week series using these resources. We will set up a special Bible study for Advent. If you’d like to access VCS yourself, the website is: https://thevcs.org/


The Non-Food Pantry would love to have homemade Christmas cookies again this year! They will be putting them in the NFP treat bags for distribution on Saturday, December 17. If you bake them ahead of time you are welcome to store them in the St. Andrew’s freezer or bring them just before that date. Thanks in advance!


The annual Christmas Party will be Sunday, December 4 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the home of Dave and Sue Murray, 514 East Seminary Street. Please bring an hors d’ oeuvre to share. All are welcome!


Christmas flower remembrance forms have gone out. We ask that those be returned by Sunday, December 18. Greening of the church will take place that day after the service. Remembrances will be printed in the service sheet on Christmas.


This will be on 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 experienced loss and for whom the holiday season is bittersweet.


All tags have been spoken for! The Giving Tree gifts (unwrapped) are due back this Sunday, December 4. You may drop them off at Gwen’s home or the Church office.


On Tuesday, December 6 we will be reading and discussing Matthew 11:2-11. You can find the week’s readings at lectionarypage.net. All are welcome!


The next Poetry Group meeting will be Tuesday, December 22, at 11:30 a.m. in Hamilton Hall.


The youth are up to some fun – learning about Christian symbols and making Chrismon ornaments. 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.


Once a month Sunday services have resumed at The Waters. The next service will be Sunday, December 11 at 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. This will be a special service with carols and music from our youth. If you’d like to help with this ministry in any way, please contact Rev. Jen or Renee. All are welcome to attend!


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, December 17

• 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
  • Menstrual Pads
  • Tampons

  • Toilet Paper

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
Bill Burris, friend of St. Andrew’s
Douglas Butler, brother-in-law of Claudia Butler
Richard A. Butler, father-in-law of Claudia Butler
Maureen Carkeek
Michael Condra (Deceased)
Family & friends of Michael Condra (grieving)
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+
Lisa Breese Kincaid, daughter of Bob & Mimi Breese
The family of Terry Klaus, father of Carrie Klaus
Grayson Lyons, great nephew of Peggy Angleton
Micah, friend of Sara Nimori & Ross Whitten (grieving)
Mary Mountz
Bryan Murray & the Murray family
Lucas Murray, grandson of Dave & Sue Murray
Sarah Oldstone, sister-in-law of Jen+
Gordon Redden
Mike Schmidt, brother of Renee Hood
Elizabeth & Natalie Sheffler, daughter & granddaughter of Page & Narda Cotton
Gloria Smith
Skip Sutton
Jerry Taylor, friend of Warren & Connie Macy
Sydnor Thompson, brother of Harriet Moore
Diana Van Middlesworth (for healing)

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer:
Trinity Church, Anderson: The Rt. Rev. William Smalley.

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 Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East.

Birthdays: Gloria Smith, December 9; Dawna Wilson, December 9; John Berry, December 10

Anniversaries: None.


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,

Rev. Jen

Most research has shown that the common cup transmits fewer microorganisms than intinction. Counter-intuitive perhaps; the problem with intinction is that some fingers make contact with the chalice and/or wine and the possibility of fecal-oral transmission. I’ve collated several articles for those of you who’d like to read up on this.

  1. From Living Church (an Episcopal magazine): Click here https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2020/02/29/germs-viruses-and-the-common-cup-is-intinction-safer/
  2. The 1943 article by W. Burrows and ES Hemmens about use of silver chalice as safe for communion. It is on JSOTR; I can get the full article if you want it. Click here
  3. 1998 CDC statement Risk of infectious disease transmission from a common communion cup. Click here
  4. Anne LaGrange Loving, “Controlled Study on Intinction: a safer alternative”. Click here
  5. 1995 controlled study concludes that intinction appears to be less likely to transmit disease (but also notes that this depends on the microbes on the hands of parishioners and priest). Click here https://www.jstor.org/stable/44536847 (another JSTOR article if you’d like me to access it for you).


Special Events and Services

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