formation

Sustain them, O Lord…Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works

Book of Common Prayerpage 308. 

 

Children's Programs

                                                                                              

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While the Eucharist is at the center of our Sunday morning, Christian Formation for everyone flows into and out of the liturgical experience.  Our primary “textbooks” are the Bible and the Prayer Book.

In our Sunday Preschool, Primary and the Intermediate classrooms, we use an approved lectionary curriculum that offers great flexibility in lessons plans and activities. These lessons allow for teaching moments from the Old Testament, New Testament, and the life of Jesus, Sacraments and the Church. 

When and Where does Sunday School Meet?  Most Sunday mornings during the Sunday School time:  9:30-10:15 AM.  The program year for Sunday school follows the School year, September – June.  There are classrooms in the Parish Building designated for every age class. 

Our teachers work to create a team approach to the program year and share projects.  They are required to be certified by the Diocese of Washington after they complete a course on “Safeguarding God’s Children.”  They are always delighted if a parent is willing to help out on Sundays or on special projects.

How do you Register your child? If you would like to register your child and speak to his or her teacher, simply contact the church office and we can connect you with the teacher for the class.

Outreach Sundays. Additionally, we have included monthly, a Sunday school segment on outreach so the kids can learn about church, community and world needs and actually do some outreach activities.  Some of the examples have included care packages for the local Animal Rescue Center, activity packages for children in the Emergency Room at the hospital and food drives. 

There are special Sundays when the parish celebrates with the help of the children.  St. Nicholas Day, Christmas Pageant, Christmas Eve, Palm Sunday, Easter, Youth Recognition Sunday, Homecoming, St. Francis Sunday with the Blessing of the Animals and St. Andrew’s Day.

There are also ministries in which our children participate:  Acolyte, Lay Reader, Usher, Choir, Fundraisers, Outreach and Garden Day.

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St. Andrew's Preschool

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Our Preschool was established in 1981 as a non-denominational program to serve the broader St. Mary’s County community.  Every weekday during the school year, excited 3 or 4 year olds enter an inspiring educational space and receive loving care by the faculty. 

For complete information about registration, activities and tuition rates and contract, please visit their web site: www.standrewsprek.com.

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Youth Program

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Many of the older kids are able to use their volunteer hours for their school community service requirements.  The Thrift Shop on Saturday mornings, the Holy Mowers, the Acolyte Guild, serving meals at the Winter Shelter, selling at the Yard Sale – these are some of the ministries available to them.

Beginning in the Sixth Grade, our youth become involved in a curriculum with two different streams. The kids are challenged by an approved Episcopal lectionary-based lesson plan as well as the beginning preparation for confirmation. The content for Christian development includes study on Self, Society, Spirituality by exploring who we are, who God is, and how we can work and grow together with God in the world.

The Junior High Class (6-8 grades) and the Senior High Class (9-12 grades) meet during the Sunday school time on Sunday mornings (9:30-10:15 AM).  Each class has designated classroom space in the Parish Building. Simply call the church office is you are interested in registering your youth.

Teachers for the youth classes are required to take the “Safeguarding God’s Children” course through the Diocese of Washington, after which they are certified to work with youth at the parish level.

Considering the number of special Sundays with celebrations, there are all kinds of worship participation that welcome them to participate.

With our youth, we hope to offer opportunities for them to explore their Christian identity through study, discussion, and volunteer ministry. They are invited into all aspects of our parish life and take a strong youth leadership role.

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Adult Formation

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They all say “the ordinary reader does not want Theology; give him plain practical religion.”…I do not think the ordinary reader is such a fool.  Theology means “the science of God,” and I think (anyone) who wants to think about God at all would like to have the clearest and most accurate ideas about (God) which are available.  You are not children:  why should you be treated like children?   - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

The fundamental idea for Christian Formation for Adults is simple.  It’s presented out of the belief that adult Christian education is not just a matter of teaching history, scripture and theology.  Out church strives to send you out fully prepared to live a life engaged in our complex 21th-century society.  It provides a place where we can bring the questions we confront Monday through Saturday.

Sunday Morning Forum

Every Sunday during the Program Year, we meet in the Parish Hall on diverse topics that range from Bible Study to biographies about beloved Saints who inspired our faith, from book discussions to a study of art that opens our eyes to the beauty and drama of our Christian heritage.  We also take the opportunity to address current events and issues in the church such as the discussion around the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.

We have enjoyed the Embracing Series with video and discussion by Morehouse Education Resources, including Embracing Forgiveness by Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, Embracing Emergence Christianity by Phyllis Tickle and Embracing an Adult Faith by Marcus Borg.

All are welcome to the class that meets from 9:30-10:30AM between the morning services.

Small Groups

On Wednesday or Thursday mornings, we offer a Women’s Book Discussion on books of religious interest.  While it may be a Bible Study on the Book of Ruth, it can also be an award-winning novel like All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

We meet at 10:00 – 11:30 in AM in the Senior High Classroom with tea and cakes and closing Morning Prayer.  

Exploration Series

During the Lenten and Advent Seasons or when an important issue of the church arises, with the help of speakers and/or Book Discussion guides, we offer short series on topics of interest. We have conducted a series on Spirituality, Prayer, and Aging Well, in addition to discussions on Being Mortal by Dr. Atul Gawande.

These offerings usually begin at 6:00 PM with a Potluck supper and end at 8:30 with Compline.  All are welcome.

Adult Inquirer’s Classes

As needed we offer a Five-week overview of the Episcopal Church and life at St. Andrew’s led by the Rector with the help of other Lay Catechists. This course is a perfect opportunity for newcomers, or for those interested in preparing for confirmation or reception into the Episcopal Church, or anyone looking for a “refresher” on the content of our faith.  Call the church office if you are interested in attending such a series.

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Parish Life

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Fellowship
There are fellowship opportunities in many forms at St. Andrew’s.  After each of the morning Sunday services, parishioners gather in the Parish Hall for conversation and refreshment.  All are especially encouraged to greet newcomers, but also to sit down and enjoy one another.  Volunteers to host the Fellowship Time are always needed.  There is a scheduled rotation of Leaders who serve drinks and food and clean-up.  If you are interested, we would welcome you into the ministry of Holy Hospitality.


Foyer Groups
Members with and without families are invited to sign-up for Foyer Groups. Foyer Groups are small groups of 8-10 persons sharing simple meals and fellowship. The intention is to have fun and provide an opportunity for us to meet each other and/or to become better acquainted.  Each group meets once a month for a simple meal and relaxed conversation in the homes of members. 


The groups are put together randomly in order to add an element of spontaneity, such that each of us might have the opportunity to get to know others in the parish.  Newcomers are especially encouraged and invited to join one of the groups at any time.  Look for information about how to sign-up in the announcements and newsletter.

Festival Sundays
There are festival fellowship Sundays throughout the year when a special brunch/lunch fellowship is planned and enjoyed.  Some of those Sundays are:  September’s Homecoming Sunday, October’s St. Francis Sunday, November’s St. Andrew’s Sunday, December’s St. Nicholas Sunday and Christmas Pageant Sunday, January’s Parish Meeting Sunday, February’s Last Epiphany Sunday, Easter Sunday, Pentecost Sunday and Youth Recognition Sunday.  All of these Sundays are feasts days of fellowship.  Usually, hosting such a Sunday requires more than one team so you can volunteer to be part of the celebration.

                                                                                           
Parish and Property
As one might expect with an historic church, cemetery, parish building and church grounds, it takes a village. The proper care and feeding of the campus is blessed to have a devoted group of members who attend Parish Workdays and accomplish whatever is on the “to do” list.  This faithful group has repaired drainage problems, foundation problems, heating problems, storage problems, aching gutters, replaced filters and light bulbs galore and enhanced with scrubs and flowers the campus.  The teaching staff has also worked hard to clean-up and brighten up the classrooms. 


Under the direction of the Junior Warden, volunteers are always needed to take on small monthly tasks, sign-up for the heavy-duty workdays, or pick a project that he/she knows needs to be done

Holy Mowers 
One group of incredible servants known as the Holy Mowers show up when assigned to do the mowing of the grassy areas and grass/weed whack the campus so that it looks good for the Sunday services and weekly use.  We have a beautiful riding mower so if you want to make a difference on a mighty mower, don’t hesitate to join-up.  During the spring and summer months, we always need more volunteers.  Contact the Parish Office if interested. 


The Greening of the Church

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Pastoral Ministry

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Pastoral work is that aspect of Christian ministry which specializes in the ordinary.  It is the pragmatic application of religion in the present.” (Eugene H. Peterson, Five Smooth Stones).

Pastoral Care offers an opportunity for a parish to think about personal one-on-one ministry of presence and service.  Always at the core of parish life, it takes place as all sorts of groups meet and support their members in choirs, small groups, grounds crews, classes, and outreach work. 

Whether you choose to be formally involved or not, you are part of our pastoral care system as you greet newcomers, comfort friends, help a child, pray for those who are ill.  We welcome you into the life of a community that prays and cares for its members.

Pastoral Care is offered to our members through daily and Sunday prayers
.  Names of those who are sick or in some need are placed of the parish prayer list.  Prayers are also offered in thanksgiving and especially at the time of death.  Simply call or email the parish office. Additionally, the laying-on-of-hands for healing is offered by the clergy and lay assistants whenever needed after a Sunday service at the chancel rail.

On a continuing basis, visiting lay Eucharistic ministers assist the clergy in taking communion to parishioners who are unable to attend services at church. A Eucharistic Visitor in the Episcopal Church is a lay person licensed by the bishop to administer the consecrated elements of the Eucharist to go from a Sunday Eucharist to share the sacrament with members at home or in the hospital.  The act of being “sent out” by a congregation to bring the consecrated Host to a home-bound member and family is a special time of prayer and worship.

At difficult times in the life of a member and family, it is important to speak with the clergy or any member who can notify the Rector, especially if there is a hospitalization.  In special cases, a pastoral care team leader organizes other elements of care such as meal and transportation or flower delivery ministries.

There are occasions when a member needs the care of a professional counselor.  Located in Lexington Park at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, we recommend the Pastoral Counseling Center of St. Mary’s.  Counseling fees are set on a sliding scale fee based on your income that is lower than almost any other type of mental health care. There is also the ability to utilize a variety of health insurance options. Call: 301-863-9333.

If you are interested in receiving care as a member, please contact the parish office.  If you are interested in offering care as one of the lay pastoral ministers, we would welcome you to join us. Contact the Rector or church office.  

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Stewardship

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“All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee.”
With these familiar words we acknowledge that all we have in the way of materials, goods, and talents are gifts from God.  Stewardship requires that we contribute to God’s work in and through St. Andrew’s; not only with our time, varied abilities and talents, but that we prayerfully make a commitment of our financial support.  When we give sacrificially, we are giving back to God what is already God’s.
 
Stewardship is not about that narrow slice of life we call offerings to the church or that narrow slice of our time, talent and treasures that we give to church.  Stewardship is taking care of the precious property/people that God has entrusted to us. Jesus said, “Give me an account of your stewardship.  Give me a record of how you are taking care of your household affairs.”  How are you taking care of yourself, your family?  Your home?  Your animals?  Your church? All that has been entrusted to your care. 
Stewardship practices are not just for church work and mean more than simply filling in a pledge card. It is not just about “passing the plate” in a church service. They are a way of life.

Actually, reflection upon one’s own stewardship practices is about nurturing one’s own soul. Soul-crafting digs into the day-to-day challenges of supply and demand; when digging, the question beckons:  How are you spending your resources of time, talent and treasure?
At St. Andrew’s, one of the guidelines for membership is “giving” of one’s time, talent and treasure along with regular attendance at Sunday services.

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Giving Treasure, Time, and Talent 

Giving Treasure

Giving Time and Talent (below)

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Annual Parish Campaign  All members of the parish family are given the opportunity and privilege of making an annual pledge.  When you are asked to make a monetary pledge and to participate in the work of this parish, please remember that giving is a ministry and to meant to enrich your spiritual journey.

When you receive the invitation every October, you will also receive a commitment card and brochure about the mission and ministry over the previous year.  And too, during this focused month of Stewardship, we hope that you will ask all the questions you have about giving to the church.

An online pledge form is available on this website.

While there is a focused time for the Fall Stewardship Campaign, commitment cards are accepted throughout any time during the year. Simply contact the Parish Administrator and request one, or collect one at church on Sunday. Also, you may request Offering Envelopes by contacting the office. Cash Donations given with an offering envelope can be recorded.

Contributors who are “known to the Treasurer” (i.e. St. Andrew’s has your name, address from check you submitted or cash in an offering envelope) receive Contributions Statements suitable for tax purposes.

Electronic Giving  We have incorporated online giving through our web site  We have a Pay Pal account for your convenience. Donations can be made for special gifts, altar flowers, memorial gifts, and to fulfill your annual stewardship commitment.  Simply make the note in the space provided.

Donate Flowers   Another way to give to St. Andrew’s is to donate flowers. If you would like to celebrate or remember a loved one or a special day in your life, consider having flowers placed on the altar on a Sunday of your choosing.  On certain feast Days, flowers are ordered by the Rector.  Many others can honor the memory of loved ones by having flowers on the altar.  You can celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or any special day in your family calendar. 

The office orders the flowers and arranges for their delivery.  Altar flowers are $45.00 and you can request them by calling the office or by leaving a note on her desk. You will be asked to mail a check made payable to St. Andrew’s, with “altar flowers” on the memo line to pay for the flowers.

Memorial or Thanksgiving Donations Memorial Donations are often made at the death of the loved one or after a funeral service at this church.  Such contributions are used to improve and maintain the church and the grounds around it.  Also, such gifts are used to purchase sacramental or worship items needed to celebrate regular and special services.  Gifts may also be given in thanksgiving for someone you love.

We depend on the generosity of our members and visitors for the care and preservation of St. Andrew’s.  In addition to our presence as an historic national landmark, we are committed to serve beyond our campus.  At any time during the year, should you wish to make a donation in thanksgiving for a person, family or ministry, it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact our Stewardship Chair or the Rector if you have any questions.

Planned Giving   If you would like information about including St. Andrew’s in estate plans to provide for its future and to accrue income and tax benefits, or if you would like to make a gift of stock, please contact the Rector for a packet of information. Such gifts are great significance to the parish to keep the missions and legacy alive.

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Giving Time and Talent



The Ministry of the Laity  At St. Andrew’s there are so many opportunities to volunteer time and talent.  The weekly email announcements and the newsletter usually have the details of on-going volunteer ministry, such as the Thrift Stop, as well as on-time projects with a specified date and time to volunteer, such as last spring’s “Big Dig” or “Gardening Day.”  If you have questions about any of the positions, simply call the contact number/email listed for more information.  Of course, you can also contact the Parish Office for assistance.

All of the various areas of the parish have volunteer opportunities.  Check-out the “Worship and Music” section for a good idea of what kinds of lay ministry is available.   You can do the same thing in the other areas of ministry, “Formation” and “Outreach.” Your time and talent spent in a particular ministry nurtures your soul-crafting and strengthens you faith. There is bound to be something that matches your interests and talents.  And getting to know other members through volunteer work together provides another benefit and reason to engage in lay ministry.

Fundraising is steady practice at the parish.  With 2 colossal Yard Sales and 2 Plant Sales annually, and a Mulch Sale, recruiting volunteers becomes critical.  These events are one-time events with very flexible volunteer shifts to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules. Watch for information in the communications for such opportunities.                                              St                            


Some of the vitally important ministries of “Formation” include:  
-Teacher: Leading a class in the Sunday school.
-Assisting Teacher: assisting one of the teachers working in the Sunday school.
-Youth Minister: mentoring youth in the Christian faith in a small group experience,
-Group Leader: joining the adult education planning group.
-Bible Study Group Leader: forming a small group for Bible study or book discussion.
-Eucharistic minister: offering communion to the homebound or hospital.
-Adult Inquirer:  attending Sunday morning Adult Forum
-Ministry Leader: assisting in the formation of Foyer Groups or any other program.
-Stewardship Chair: leading the annual pledge campaign.
-Fellowship Minister: hosting a Sunday morning fellowship time.
-Holy Mowers:  mowing on a rotation and tending the campus.
-Fundraiser: setting-up sorting, pricing, selling, cleaning-up for the variety of fundraisers.

If you need any direction about opportunities to serve, do not hesitate to contact the Rector.

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